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 Big block build for the Starship

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Fred Kiehl

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PostSubject: Big block build for the Starship   Tue Mar 31, 2015 8:45 pm

The build has begun. I started disassembly of the short block, and found a massive set of 4 bolt mains. Cylinder bores are smooth, with no ridge. Looking good so far. The engine is massive compared to a small block. This will be a slow process, because I am on a strict budget.

Next is honing the cylinders and having the block tanked.
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phantom 309

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PostSubject: Re: Big block build for the Starship   Tue Mar 31, 2015 9:39 pm




I,ve had countless Pig blocks of all makes ,...

good luck with your build and its "massive" 4 bolt mains,.


Last edited by phantom 309 on Wed Apr 01, 2015 9:43 pm; edited 1 time in total
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stewzer55

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PostSubject: Re: Big block build for the Starship   Wed Apr 01, 2015 12:33 am

This is going to be good, Real Olds BB or Chevy BB?
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Fred Kiehl

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PostSubject: Re: Big block build for the Starship   Wed Apr 01, 2015 1:30 am

1998 MK VI 454 Chevy BB. Ported aluminum rectangular port heads, and Holley 550-830 MPFI system. I have not decided on a cam yet, but I am planning on using a healthy one.
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Andebe

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PostSubject: Re: Big block build for the Starship   Wed Apr 01, 2015 11:36 am

What is your target horsepower?
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Fred Kiehl

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PostSubject: Re: Big block build for the Starship   Wed Apr 01, 2015 11:50 am

550-600
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Andebe

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PostSubject: Re: Big block build for the Starship   Wed Apr 01, 2015 3:06 pm

Fred Kiehl wrote:
550-600
affraid Suddenly feeling sorry for your tires.
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MalibuSSwagon



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PostSubject: Re: Big block build for the Starship   Wed Apr 01, 2015 4:51 pm

I'm going to guess the Vortec L29 intake plenum would not fit under the cowl.
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Fred Kiehl

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PostSubject: Re: Big block build for the Starship   Wed Apr 01, 2015 8:52 pm

I have already apologized to the tires, but they will still take a beating.

I did not consider the OEM intake, because I got a tremendous deal buying the Holley. The Holley will not fit under the hood, so there will be some body work. I am planning a "hump" of some sort, but have not decided on the specifics. There are always the peripheral things that show up when mods are attempted. I will have a few other quirks that will become self-evident as the build progresses.
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stewzer55

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PostSubject: Re: Big block build for the Starship   Wed Apr 01, 2015 11:00 pm

Looking forward to seeing this happen. And the burnout videos, sweet, loud, smoky burnout videos.
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JaySS
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PostSubject: Re: Big block build for the Starship   Thu Apr 02, 2015 1:11 pm


MalibuSSwagon wrote:
I'm going to guess the Vortec L29 intake plenum would not fit under the cowl.

Nope, not it. The L29 intake fits just fine:



It's the Whipple supercharger that causes all the problems...



- J

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MalibuSSwagon



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PostSubject: Re: Big block build for the Starship   Thu Apr 02, 2015 5:15 pm

I'd just go with the L29 in that case. Along with the LS coils and a custom harness.
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Fred Kiehl

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PostSubject: Re: Big block build for the Starship   Thu Apr 02, 2015 10:27 pm

My main concern is the oil pan. I have the car lowered, and do not want it to go below the frame rails.
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Andebe

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PostSubject: Re: Big block build for the Starship   Thu Apr 02, 2015 10:34 pm

Fred Kiehl wrote:
My main concern is the oil pan. I have the car lowered, and do not want it to go below the frame rails.
Will it have to be a custom cut pan?
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MalibuSSwagon



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PostSubject: Re: Big block build for the Starship   Thu Apr 02, 2015 11:19 pm

what about an oil pan for a big block car? Like a Chevelle or even a 71-76 Caprice? I believe those had 454's
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Fred Kiehl

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PostSubject: Re: Big block build for the Starship   Thu Apr 02, 2015 11:40 pm

I am using an engine with a one piece rear main seal (gen V and VI), and the pans for two piece seals do not fit.

I may make a special pan from the one on the engine.
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PostSubject: Re: Big block build for the Starship   Fri Apr 03, 2015 1:00 am

While I plan on using a LS engine sometime soon,kudo's to you for sticking with old faithfuls big brother.Our wagons are very heavy but with the right rear gear and some of that wonderful low rpm torgue that the BB produces,they can be very enjoyable to drive.Keep up the awesome info and best of luck with your BB wagon!
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Andebe

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PostSubject: Re: Big block build for the Starship   Fri Apr 03, 2015 11:25 am

I looked up the hp numbers on the 454SS truck. Wow,was that sad.Glad you arent going that route.
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Fred Kiehl

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PostSubject: Re: Big block build for the Starship   Fri Apr 03, 2015 11:48 am

I am probably going to go with a 520 lift cam.
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Fred Kiehl

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PostSubject: Re: Big block build for the Starship   Thu Apr 09, 2015 11:06 pm

Block is at the shop for hot tanking and honing. It is also a strange coincidence, that I took the crank to another shop to have it ground, and it ended up at the same shop to be hot tanked.

I had to get another set of pistons, because two of the original ones have nicks in the top from valves. I only found the nicks after I blasted them with crushed walnut shells. I got a set from another gen VI engine (as seldom as gen VI engines show up on craigs list, they were there and cheap). They are a lot nicer than the ones from the original engine.

They are due back in about two weeks.
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Fred Kiehl

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PostSubject: Re: Big block build for the Starship   Fri Apr 17, 2015 5:41 pm

It appears that I am going to have to bore it out a little, and get new pistons. I hoped to just re-ring it, but the clearance is too much. 30 over is the first step.
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stewzer55

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PostSubject: Re: Big block build for the Starship   Fri Apr 17, 2015 9:12 pm

No replacement for displacement!
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Fred Kiehl

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PostSubject: Re: Big block build for the Starship   Wed Apr 29, 2015 6:08 pm

I am going to balance the rods...got the pistons removed, and walnut shell blasted them.
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PostSubject: Re: Big block build for the Starship   Wed Apr 29, 2015 10:07 pm

Summit has some great scales for balancing rods and pretty reasonable too.
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phantom 309

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PostSubject: Re: Big block build for the Starship   Wed Apr 29, 2015 11:44 pm

Fred Kiehl wrote:
I am going to balance the rods...got the pistons removed, and walnut shell blasted them.

Why did you blast the pistons with walnut shells?

Will you balance the pistons?
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Fred Kiehl

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PostSubject: Re: Big block build for the Starship   Thu Apr 30, 2015 8:56 am

I am getting new pistons to go with the overbore, since the original pistons will no longer fit. The pistons will be balanced before installation. The old pistons are irrelevant now.
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Andebe

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PostSubject: Re: Big block build for the Starship   Thu Apr 30, 2015 11:47 am

phantom 309 wrote:
Fred Kiehl wrote:
I am going to balance the rods...got the pistons removed, and walnut shell blasted them.

Why did you blast the pistons with walnut shells?

Will you balance the pistons?
Because everyone knows peanut shells would just be silly! Plus there is that whole allergy thing to consider... lol!
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Fred Kiehl

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PostSubject: Re: Big block build for the Starship   Sat May 09, 2015 4:40 pm

I got the crank back from the machine shop last week, and hope to get the block and pistons/rods back next week. Then it is my turn to get to work. It will be a somewhat slow process, because I have a minimal budget each month.
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Fred Kiehl

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PostSubject: Re: Big block build for the Starship   Sun Jun 14, 2015 10:34 pm

I finally got the 30 over block, pistons and referbed (and balanced) rods (with ARP bolts) back from the machine shop. I ordered the bearings, rings, and main studs. I presently need a gasket set and will be buying it this week as well. As my funds become available, I will get the rest of the parts. I hope to sell a lot of parts, and some of my other hobby items to fund the build. I still need to raise about $5000 to complete the installation (the transmission is the big expense).
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Fred Kiehl

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PostSubject: Re: Big block build for the Starship   Thu Jun 18, 2015 8:12 pm

I got the bearings and rings. Groveling for a ring filer. Friday I will start the assembly process with the parts on hand.

I found a local trans shop that may be able to make the trans a little less of a burden on my wallet.
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MalibuSSwagon



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PostSubject: Re: Big block build for the Starship   Thu Jun 18, 2015 8:55 pm

What transmission are you going with? 4L80E?

This will be more interesting with pictures. Wink
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Fred Kiehl

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PostSubject: Re: Big block build for the Starship   Thu Jun 18, 2015 9:16 pm

I have a lot of trouble loading pictures.

I am going to use a maxed out 4L60 because I do not want to put a lot of time into making it fit. There is a local trans builder who should be able to put something together, or there is a company who makes a 4L60 that will handle almost anything you can throw at it (600+HP).

I will take some pics, and try to put them up, but I can not promise that they will load.
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Fred Kiehl

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PostSubject: Re: Big block build for the Starship   Sun Aug 09, 2015 1:52 am

I took a few pics of the BBC construction...
 photo 454 A_zpsclxvpkam.jpeg
 photo 454 B_zpsqvo14wwr.jpeg
 photo 454 C_zpsrsps6x9n.jpeg
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lakeffect
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PostSubject: Re: Big block build for the Starship   Sun Aug 09, 2015 9:00 am

On the transmission question...

 About eight years ago, when GM came out with the Escalade body, they put different parts into a 4L60 shell and called it a 4L65E. One of the main changes was that instead of the input and output planetary  ring gear clusters  having four gears around the shaft, the added a fifth gear to the ring. (not five speeds mind you, five gears)

 The purpose was that five gears would better distribute the torque. By having another gear in the ring, it added about 25% more torque handling capacity to the existing 4L60. You can also get a High Performance kit from Transgo, that will give you better bands ans better parts. There is also a part called a sunshell, specifically one called "The Beast" that is less likely to break or twist with the added horsepower and torque  that you are looking at.

 The beauty of it is that all the harware parts easily fit the 4L60 case, and does not require it to be the electronically shifted version (4L60E)

 I know they fit and work, because that is what was done to Shammoo several years ago. I'm pushing around 550ft/lbs of torque, with no failures to this date.
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phantom 309

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PostSubject: Re: Big block build for the Starship   Sun Aug 09, 2015 11:21 am

lakeffect wrote:

  I'm pushing around 550ft/lbs of torque, with no failures to this date.

um,........
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lakeffect
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PostSubject: Re: Big block build for the Starship   Sun Aug 09, 2015 12:05 pm

Nick, it's an estimate based upon a well known computer simulation program . Argue or agree with the computer,  not me. It's Fred's thread.
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Andebe

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PostSubject: Re: Big block build for the Starship   Sun Aug 09, 2015 1:03 pm

Looks exciting,Fred. Looking forward to hearing about your real world results.
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Fred Kiehl

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PostSubject: Re: Big block build for the Starship   Sun Aug 09, 2015 3:45 pm

lakeffect wrote:
On the transmission question...

 About eight years ago, when GM came out with the Escalade body, they put different parts into a 4L60 shell and called it a 4L65E. One of the main changes was that instead of the input and output planetary  ring gear clusters  having four gears around the shaft, the added a fifth gear to the ring. (not five speeds mind you, five gears)

 The purpose was that five gears would better distribute the torque. By having another gear in the ring, it added about 25% more torque handling capacity to the existing 4L60. You can also get a High Performance kit from Transgo, that will give you better bands ans better parts. There is also a part called a sunshell, specifically one called "The Beast" that is less likely to break or twist with the added horsepower and torque  that you are looking at.

 The beauty of it is that all the harware parts easily fit the 4L60 case, and does not require it to be the electronically shifted version (4L60E)

 I know they fit and work, because that is what was done to Shammoo several years ago. I'm pushing around 550ft/lbs of torque, with no failures to this date.

I am familiar with the 4L65E. I just do not have enough experience and specialty tools to work on transmissions. I may be able to get someone local to build one for me. I will have to buy a "core". For what I have to pay at retail prices, it is probably cheaper to have someone build one for me.

I found a place that makes adapters for the small block serpentine belt system to the big block for $150.
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lakeffect
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PostSubject: Re: Big block build for the Starship   Sun Aug 09, 2015 4:28 pm

f you can get a 4L65E you might be able to swap parts into the 4L60, but personally, it would not be something I have any experience to do. It was done by a pro for me.
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stewzer55

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PostSubject: Re: Big block build for the Starship   Sun Aug 09, 2015 11:50 pm

Also, GM introduced a further upgraded version called the 4L70E in the Trailblazer SS, higher shift points and stronger input and output shafts.

I think the later model cases are stronger too, once they changed to the bolt on bellhousing, the newer cases have more ribbing down the sides. Bowtie Overdrives has been selling what they call the 765 transmission for a while now, 4L65E parts in a 700 case and hydraulically controlled.

Another upgrade is better bearings that can be fitted into the early cases I think without modification.
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PostSubject: Re: Big block build for the Starship   Wed Aug 19, 2015 10:53 am

found it. Car oil pan for 1-piece rear main 454.

http://www.summitracing.com/parts/nal-12495360/overview/make/chevrolet/model/chevelle/year/1970

GM part # 12495360
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Fred Kiehl

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PostSubject: Re: Big block build for the Starship   Wed Aug 19, 2015 4:14 pm

I already have a 6 qt. pan. I am trying to make a windage tray fit. I have narrowed it, and drilled the mounting holes out, as well as reshaping the hole for the oil pump and pickup. I still have to drill a hole in it, because I can not use the special windage tray studs. They are too long for the pan. I will get some more pics.
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Fred Kiehl

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PostSubject: Re: Big block build for the Starship   Sun Dec 13, 2015 5:09 am

It has been a while since updating here. I have had everything possible go wrong with this build. I am on my second set of main bearings, third set of cam bearings, third oil pan, third timing set, second set of rocker arms (because of the aftermarket heads), had to shim the cam timing gear because the alignment with the crank gear was off, took some bad advice, and tried to put flathead screws in the cam retainer, and broke it, and had to rehone a cylinder because it got a scratch on it somehow. I finally got the short block together about 2 weeks ago, and got the "new" rockers on Friday. I set my valve train, and ordered the pushrods. So, I placed the heads on the block today, but could not torque them down, because I need some sealant (another delay), due to all of the bolts going through to the waterjacket.

Latest picture



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phantom 309

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PostSubject: Re: Big block build for the Starship   Sun Dec 13, 2015 6:50 pm

Fred Kiehl wrote:
It has been a while since updating here. I have had everything possible go wrong with this build. I am on my second set of main bearings, third set of cam bearings, third oil pan, third timing set, second set of rocker arms (because of the aftermarket heads), had to shim the cam timing gear because the alignment with the crank gear was off, took some bad advice, and tried to put flathead screws in the cam retainer, and broke it, and had to rehone a cylinder because it got a scratch on it somehow.

three sets of cam bearings? what happened,.?
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Fred Kiehl

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PostSubject: Re: Big block build for the Starship   Sun Dec 13, 2015 7:59 pm

I am not going to elaborate. I am over it.
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MG Davis

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PostSubject: Re: Big block build for the Starship   Mon Dec 14, 2015 4:02 am

Fred Kiehl wrote:
I am not going to elaborate. I am over it.

That sounds traumatic. First beer is on me, if our paths cross.
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Andebe

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PostSubject: Re: Big block build for the Starship   Mon Dec 14, 2015 12:14 pm

Nice to see some progress,sorry you had so many hurdles to get here.
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phantom 309

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PostSubject: Re: Big block build for the Starship   Mon Dec 14, 2015 11:18 pm

What heads did you say those are fred? they look pretty,.
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Fred Kiehl

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PostSubject: Re: Big block build for the Starship   Mon Dec 14, 2015 11:53 pm

They are Procomp heads (AKA Speedmaster), but I would not recommend them because the stock rockers, and pushrod guides do not fit. They also were worked on a little bit to clean them up. They were originally 118cc, and I had them milled .020. They measured about 112cc after milling.
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Fred Kiehl

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PostSubject: Re: Big block build for the Starship   Thu Dec 17, 2015 12:51 pm

I installed the valve train. Next is to do some cleaning of the FEAD, and assorted other parts.
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