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Old 11-26-2002, 10:26 AM
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Post steamer holes, 400 sb

After lifting the valve covers off my engine, the casting numbers are for a 350 chevy (3998993). The engine is a sb 400, I verified the casting number on that. I have read that there should be "steamer holes" drilled in the 350 heads. What would happen if this had not been done? I assume it is for proper cooling. I probably cant tell unless I pull the heads right? or is it to the intake? Thanks for all the input. I am learning tons of stuff and relearning things I forgot 20 yrs ago.

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Old 11-26-2002, 11:14 AM
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Ahhhh, you assume correct young grasshopper.

The holes help prevent the formation of steam pockets that could cause overheating. And correct, it would be the heads you would need to check, not the intake. (The gaskets would also need the appropriate holes as well. Had to throw that in there!)

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Old 11-26-2002, 01:28 PM
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Actually, one of the biggest issues is the steam being trapped causing hairline cracks in the block deck at the steam holes. Drill them.
chris
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Old 11-26-2002, 02:26 PM
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Well, I am thinking of pulling the heads anyway to get the valve stems replaced, Should I just look for some aftermarket 400 heads for better performance? or are the 350 heads with the 75cc chambers that are on there good enough?
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Old 11-26-2002, 04:59 PM
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Get a Fel-Pro #1014 marine gasket they have the steam holes in the gasket. Im not sure of the cost for replacing the valve guides, you mite think about a set of Dart sportsman heads.
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Old 11-26-2002, 07:38 PM
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figure $8.00 per guide + cost of valve job+cost of milling flat+ valve seats if made before 1974,($15.00 per seat)
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