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Old 02-16-2009, 10:00 AM
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SBC rebuild research questions.

I'm researching how to rebuild my SBC (355, Gen I) and I just got a DVD from box wrench on basic engine building. The DVD takes you from start to finish, really good investment, and almost crystal clear. The DVD has left me with a few questions.

1) They say I need a non-hardening sealer (looks black) and a teflon sealer (white, comes in tube) to put in the engine plugs. I've found a teflon sealer made by APR and will be adding that to the list of things to get. I can't seem to find the non-hardening sealer that they're recommending. Could someone point out the sealer they mention (preferably on summit so I can get everything I need from one place)?

2) They recommend the use of a shim metal protector tab to install the 2 piece rear main seal so it doesn't get tore up during the install process. Where do I find these and what is the proper name of these tabs? I can't seem to find them.

3) Last but not least, they say when using a shim metal head gasket (I'm going to using a FelPro .015 gasket) to use a high quality spray on head gasket sealer to aid in sealing up the heads good. The one they were using was red in color when sprayed on the gasket. What gasket sealer are they talking about and could someone point one out? Do I necessarily need the spray sealer if I have my decks machined so they're flat and to clean them up? I've read here that it's not necessary.

Let me know if there is any other info you need to answer my questions. Thanks in advance.

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Old 02-16-2009, 10:17 AM
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Almost forgot a question. Also, I bought a copper gasket for my oil pump. The video recommends that I not use a oil pump gasket because popular opinion says that pieces can break off and get into the oil system. Is that true even with a copper gasket or were they perhaps talking about a cork or paper gasket? Should I not use it and return it?

Thanks!
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Old 02-16-2009, 11:02 AM
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Yea, that DVD helped me out immensely on my first rebuild as well .

I can't answer all your questions, but I used Permatex 2B for my sealer (says non-hardening on the package/tube), and the rear main protector tab came with the seal that I got - might be why you couldn't find it.
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Old 02-16-2009, 11:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brimstone
Yea, that DVD helped me out immensely on my first rebuild as well .

I can't answer all your questions, but I used Permatex 2B for my sealer (says non-hardening on the package/tube), and the rear main protector tab came with the seal that I got - might be why you couldn't find it.
Thanks, so the rear main seal will come with the tab? It is a great video (narrating could be better though).
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Old 02-16-2009, 11:49 AM
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Generally head gasket sealer is worthless, if your block and heads need sealer to seal they need to be machined. In the old days the steel shim head gaskets use to come with an aluminum paint on them and that was all they needed. Don't go crazy with gasket sealers on your engine. If the pan, valve covers, timing cover and intake fit well hardly any sealer is required.

Vince
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Old 02-16-2009, 12:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 302 Z28
Generally head gasket sealer is worthless, if your block and heads need sealer to seal they need to be machined. In the old days the steel shim head gaskets use to come with an aluminum paint on them and that was all they needed. Don't go crazy with gasket sealers on your engine. If the pan, valve covers, timing cover and intake fit well hardly any sealer is required.

Vince
Thanks Vince. Well, I have new vortec heads and plan to freshen the bottom end up with new bearings, piston rings etc. The blocks looks like a recent build cause there's little carbon build on top of the pistons and the cylinders still have their hone. While I'm having the machine shop check everything out I'm going to have them machine the decks to clean them up and ensure they're flat.

I have a one piece oil pan gasket and a standard paper(?) gasket for the timing cover. The video says you'll only need a little bit of sealer in the four corners of the pan on top and bottom. Some sealer for the rear main cap surface. They also call for a some gasket sealer around the timing cover / surface (a little silicon to seal the gap on the bottom of the timing cover), some around the water ports on the intake and some around the water neck. It's a very moderate amount recommended.
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Old 02-16-2009, 04:30 PM
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If you're talking about the Fel-Pro 1094 head gasket, it has a thin rubber coating on it to seal up the water passages, so no sealer is needed.

Also, don't just have the shop do an arbitrary skim to clean up the decks. Have them do it properly, setting the piston deck height at 0.020" to 0.030" to give you a squish of 0.035" to 0.045". With a standard stack of parts, the crank radius would be 1.740", the rod length would be 5.700" and the piston compression height would be 1.560", so your stack would add up to 9.000". You would therefore want a block deck height of at least 9.020" MINIMUM to work properly with your 0.015" gasket. Measure the parts before you start. Some aftermarket pistons are shorter on the compression height. If your stack of parts adds up to 9.000" and the block deck height is less than 9.020" as a result of the block having been decked in the past, DO NOT USE THE 0.015" GASKET. You will have a piston/head collision.

I keep a can of #3 Permatex around for general purpose use such as core plugs and sealing gaskets. It's resistant to gasoline and oil....
http://www.permatex.com/products/Aut..._Sealant_a.htm
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Old 02-16-2009, 05:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by techinspector1
If you're talking about the Fel-Pro 1094 head gasket, it has a thin rubber coating on it to seal up the water passages, so no sealer is needed.

Also, don't just have the shop do an arbitrary skim to clean up the decks. Have them do it properly, setting the piston deck height at 0.020" to 0.030" to give you a squish of 0.035" to 0.045". With a standard stack of parts, the crank radius would be 1.740", the rod length would be 5.700" and the piston compression height would be 1.560", so your stack would add up to 9.000". You would therefore want a block deck height of at least 9.020" MINIMUM to work properly with your 0.015" gasket. Measure the parts before you start. Some aftermarket pistons are shorter on the compression height. If your stack of parts adds up to 9.000" and the block deck height is less than 9.020" as a result of the block having been decked in the past, DO NOT USE THE 0.015" GASKET. You will have a piston/head collision.

I keep a can of #3 Permatex around for general purpose use such as core plugs and sealing gaskets. It's resistant to gasoline and oil....
http://www.permatex.com/products/Aut..._Sealant_a.htm
Thanks Tech! I appreciate your advice.
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Old 02-16-2009, 07:58 PM
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I personally use black silicone on the end seals for all the little dabs you need.Also,I have taken apart many small blocks and don't know what oil pump gasket you are talking about nor have I ever installed one.Could someone explain
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Old 02-16-2009, 08:24 PM
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Here's the gasket I'm talking about.

Summit SUM-111480

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Old 02-16-2009, 08:35 PM
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Thanks.But like I said,No engine I have ever taken apart had one .I have taken apart alot of never opened up stock engines from the 60s and 70s.Nor have I ever got one with a rebuild kit.Am I missing something? I have seen the paper gasket that goes in the housing but there ain't know way I would use one there,lol.
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Old 02-16-2009, 09:37 PM
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That is an after market gasket, the factory assembled engines never had a gasket between the oil pump and the rear main cap. FWIW, I have never used one either. I would worry that it would allow the oil pump to walk around on the rear main cap.

A friend of mine came up with a neat little device to prevent the oil pickup tube from coming out of the oil pump cover. Jegs part #23620, he holds the patent on it.


Vince
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Old 02-17-2009, 12:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 302 Z28
That is an after market gasket, the factory assembled engines never had a gasket between the oil pump and the rear main cap. FWIW, I have never used one either. I would worry that it would allow the oil pump to walk around on the rear main cap.

A friend of mine came up with a neat little device to prevent the oil pickup tube from coming out of the oil pump cover. Jegs part #23620, he holds the patent on it.


Vince
I have thought of buying one and probably will now.How many of you guys use these gaskets And why?
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Old 02-17-2009, 10:59 PM
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I've never used an oil pump gasket, and the oil pressure in my 355 is great 60+psi on a cold start with 40wt vr1, and 25 warm idle.
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