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Old 04-11-2005, 11:18 AM
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When to retorque my heads...

Well..the end is near...just a few more plumbing issues to solve and then I am ready to fire. (350ci SBC, New Edelbrock Performer RPM Heads, Comp XE268H)

I intend to prime engine, install distributor, startup and run for 30 minutes at 2000 rpm.

Question is....after 30 minute break-in do I then remove valve covers and headers and retorque the heads? If yes, I assume I just set my Torque wrench at 65 ft-lbs and check all bolts in correct sequence and make sure all are tight?

Anything else I need to do after break-in...assuming no leaks?
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Old 04-11-2005, 12:00 PM
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I like to double check my torque after break-in. Some people say its not needed, and in most cases (as is my experience) you are okay, but sticking to the side of caution, I double check.

Dont forget to change/examine your oil. Id also pull a couple plugs and read them to see how the engine is running.
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Old 04-11-2005, 12:13 PM
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I wouldn't do it right after break-in unless something is off. Actually, I just broke in a 327 with that cam 2 days ago! Break-in went fine for us, we used 6qt of oil in a 5 qt pan (extra splash, works every time, don't over-do it, though). 30wt havoline oil, btw. Used a bottle of crane cams break-in concentrate and molly paste on the cam (30wt on the journals). Standard issue stuff, never had one go down bad on me (knock on wood) with my ritual. I'm very picky about adjusting valves too, although with roller rockers it generally happens that one will back off. Just always seems to be the case, no great shakes.

As far as the retorque, I would wait about 2-300 miles to let it heat up and cool down a few more times. Make sure you change your oil right after the cam break-in to some 10/30 (I like valvoline or havoline).

I run mine, btw, about 1800-2500 RPM for 25 minutes and change the RPM (with the screwdriver idle adjustment) about every 3-5 minutes. Watch out for leaks when you start, and go over your hose clamps one last time, they're always what will leak first. Gasket leaks you can wait until after-

Best of luck, that's a fun cam with a good sound (especially in the little 327 we put together).

K
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Old 04-11-2005, 02:43 PM
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Appreciate the input.

This is my first engine where I am the responsible party. I just want to make sure I can try and eliminate most of the stupid mistakes...
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Old 04-11-2005, 03:14 PM
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Let me know how you like those heads.
Nice looking engine by the way. I was told that you could retourque alluminum heads before you ever fire it up?? Thought it sounded odd, but hey thats why we are here. HG
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Old 04-11-2005, 03:39 PM
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After break in is always a good time to recheck head bolts. Adding a can of GM EOS is prudent on break in. Changing the break in oil and filter is also excellent advice.
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Old 04-11-2005, 04:18 PM
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Good advice above. I would just like to add it depends on the head gaskets you used. Some head gaskets are not meant to be retoqued.

Royce
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Old 04-11-2005, 08:30 PM
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I would retorque any head that didnt have to come off between rounds regardless of manufacturer recommendations. On his particular motor, I would get past the drama with the cam and take it out and lay into it enough to make 3/4 of the available power and go straight back to the tool box and let it cool down completely and retorque. I would then make note of any loose nuts/bolts and recheck them next time I was in there.
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Old 04-11-2005, 11:29 PM
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I've had no problem not retorqueing iron heads on SBCs with stock gaskets.
On my last motor I retorqued after the break in using steel shims and used bolts(lol).But it hasn't been down the road enough to let ya know.
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Old 04-12-2005, 01:41 AM
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torquing

I torque my heads and wait about an hour and retorque them. The Permatex thread sealer is only good for retorque for up to 24 hours, if you don't start the motor. If you let the thread sealer set and retorque you may spring a head bolt leak. I always spray my head gaskets with Hi-Tach. Never had a leak yet.
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Old 04-12-2005, 05:09 AM
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Wickster...I noticed you have a Summit, billet timing chain cover. Which timing pointer did you use with it. I noticed it does not look like you have one mounted yet or am I overlooking. I am waiting on my catalog so I can get one ordered. I did get a Mr. Gasket pointer the other day but it will not work because the Summit cover has the bolt recesses in it so it looks like the pointer will have to have two bosses to fit it properly.

Kevin
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Old 04-12-2005, 06:41 AM
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Pretty good advice here. I will agree with the no retorque needed camp. I had an issue one time with some loosening off, but usually not. Cant remember the gaskets I used. If you check the ones you can get to with everything together, you should be fine. If one loosened off then they all will. It is a question of head gasket flattening, so all bolts are affected if one is.

As for the cam break in, I would not use the idle screw. I like to vary the engine speed while breaking in. There is a theory that the lifters can stick in one spot and not spin like they are suppose to if engine speed is held constant. You want to keep RPM between 2000 and 2500 RPM, but vary it some. I usually tap the throttle once in a while to let it rev a bit higher for a second just to make sure everything is moving properly. I talked to comp cams a little while back about a bad cam, and they said not to let RPM fall below 2000 on break in.

Also, I would cut open your oil filter after break in just to make sure there are no big pieces of bearing or anything indicating a problem. I learned to do this after a severe bearing failure recently. I run a prefilter screen after breakin so I can see any big parts that show up at the filter without cutting it open. I would only recommend that for a race engine or project with frequent oil changes.

Chris
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Old 04-12-2005, 09:44 PM
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Thanks a lot for the advice...I am going to fire on Saturday...I'll let you all know how it went.

Kevin45; I also bought the Mr.Gasket first (doesn't work). I used an adjustable billet aluminum pointer...was the only one I could get to work. Summit part # SUM-163625.
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Old 04-13-2005, 06:36 PM
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I know the fel pro permatorque gaskets are supposedly good to go with just the initial torque. some like to be retorqued it says on the instructions sometimes.
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