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Old 11-04-2002, 03:56 PM
Super Streeter Super Streeter is offline
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The deck surface cracking problems are mostly related to poor material in the block.All 400's that came out of late 70's and later vans and pickups had this problem.I aviod them for performance use.A 73 thru 76 2 bolt passenger car engine is the best find and is the premium piece for a maximum effort buildup,the earlier 4 bolt blocks arent that bad,and will work fine up to about 600 horsepower if you prep them right,but for the ultimate in strenght,a 2 bolt block with splayed caps is the best factory block setup.Otherwise,you are limited in what you can look for.If you can hear the engine run you will get an idea of what kind of shape it is in,and you need to look for all the regualr problems.Milkshake in the oil is bad and I would pull a head before buying any engine with milkshake,and wouldnt buy such an engine unless I was sure that the problem was simply a blown intake or head gasket and not a crack in the block{even a cracked head wouldnt be the end of the world if you didnt want to use the heads}.Milkshake in the oil destroys the bearings in the bottom end so even if the problem were a blow intake gasket you shoudl still plan on a full rebuild.If you cant hear it run,I would bid way low on it on the off chance that you are only buying a good block and crank or maybe even just a good crank.If you can ehar it run you can decide if it is what you want.A little smoke aor a light knock may be a good thing if it helps you get the engine for a lot cheaper,but if you need a drop in and drive it engine then a smoker or knocker would be no good for you.Good luck,and if you pass it up let me know where it is.
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