I have a 97 roller cam sbc 4 bolt motor, i will soon start building, it nas the plastic cover on the timing chain. it says on it to replace it if removed. why is this. should i get the oe unit or should i go aftermarket? what cover should i use? THANKS
Below is a side-by-side shot of a plastic cover from a 1997 Vortec engine and to the right of it is a '80s non-roller steel timing cover for comparison.
Some differences are:
The older block uses dowel pins (male pins in block, holes in tin cover), while the Vortec block (below) has the holes for the plastic cover's pins.
This 880 block has all the holes present and tapped. As said the dowels are absent, instead there are holes. The dowel holes in the 880 block are >15/64" and <1/4" (right for a press-fit 1/4" dowel pin, I'd guess).
The p/n for plastic cover w/sensor hole is: p/n10244600.
The number for plastic w/o sensor hole is: p/n12552557.
The last thing that needs checked is the type of front oil pan-to-cover seal is needed. I would guess it would be the later, thicker seal- but I'd check it first if the older cover was going to be retrofitted to the Vortec block.
To check what front seal is needed, put a straight edge across the front of the pan and measure down to the lowest part of where the seal rests.
2-1/4" = thin seal
2-3/8" = thick seal
I would think using a '87-up steel timing cover w/the 1-piece oil pan gasket would be the best bet, although any steel or aftermarket cover may well work as well.
The SBC damper has to be installed fully so it "sandwiches" the crank gear between the crank and the damper snout. The Vortec damper from a reluctor wheel-equipped engine is shorter by the thickness of the reluctor. So if a reluctor-equipped Vortec damper is used, a spacer made from the reluctor needs to be used if a steel timing cover is going to be used.
This is because the reluctor ring won't fit behind the steel cover. Without the spacer, the damper will go on too far and the pulleys won't line up, and the damper might even bottom out on the timing cover.
Also be prepared to get the timing tab and damper TDC line sorted out. Most likely you'll want to verify TDC anyway. Just add a damper line to match whatever timing tab you use.
• Find TDC
• Differences in SBC timing tabs and damper TDC lines
ok I see, thanks alot. this info is invaluable. with out it i would have been screwed, so like i said THANKS!
My pleasure, TN.
For future reference, the above info is condensed here.
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