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 Big block build for the Starship

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booster
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Fred Kiehl
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Fred Kiehl

Fred Kiehl


Posts : 6705
Join date : 2009-11-13
Age : 74
Location : Largo, FL 33774

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PostSubject: Re: Big block build for the Starship   Big block build for the Starship - Page 7 Icon_minitimeSun Dec 26, 2021 6:58 am

Crank but no start. Put a new fuel pump in, but need another person to turn the key while I watch for symptoms...injectors, spark.
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Fred Kiehl

Fred Kiehl


Posts : 6705
Join date : 2009-11-13
Age : 74
Location : Largo, FL 33774

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PostSubject: Re: Big block build for the Starship   Big block build for the Starship - Page 7 Icon_minitimeSun Dec 26, 2021 7:23 pm

I got some bolts off, but not much else. It is amazing how much all my muscles hurt when I am working under the car.
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rcktpwrd

rcktpwrd


Posts : 472
Join date : 2019-03-06
Age : 48
Location : Raleigh, NC

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PostSubject: Re: Big block build for the Starship   Big block build for the Starship - Page 7 Icon_minitimeSun Dec 26, 2021 8:04 pm

sorry to hear the engine blew up! Sad
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Fred Kiehl

Fred Kiehl


Posts : 6705
Join date : 2009-11-13
Age : 74
Location : Largo, FL 33774

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PostSubject: Re: Big block build for the Starship   Big block build for the Starship - Page 7 Icon_minitimeWed Dec 29, 2021 9:38 pm

I got the headers out of the way, and the head bolts are all loose. Tomorrow I take the heads off, and see which rod broke (piston not in sync). I should have the engine out this week, and I will take some pics of the carnage. I am almost afraid to open it up, but I can not fix it if I don't. I don't see any holes in the block so far, so maybe I am going to come out of this in reasonably good shape. I can turn the crank far enough to get to all of the TC bolts, so I can just pull the engine, and not the trans too. I am going to send the TC back for a refreshing as well. It was acting weird with no engine braking at all.

I must get the White Elephant running as well. I am walking back and forth to my dad's just to work on them. I think the walking is good for me. My life is relatively sedentary, and it is getting easier to walk the distance.
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Fred Kiehl

Fred Kiehl


Posts : 6705
Join date : 2009-11-13
Age : 74
Location : Largo, FL 33774

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PostSubject: Re: Big block build for the Starship   Big block build for the Starship - Page 7 Icon_minitimeThu Dec 30, 2021 7:30 pm

I pulled the heads today. #7 is the culprit. The carnage is bad. I broke a valve, and it went though the cylinder wall. Took the piston out with it, and twisted the rod. beat up the head as well. Could have been the cylinder wall failed, and was the cause. It is really a mess. I hope the crank survived.
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booster




Posts : 468
Join date : 2020-04-21
Location : Andover, Minnesota

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PostSubject: Re: Big block build for the Starship   Big block build for the Starship - Page 7 Icon_minitimeFri Dec 31, 2021 8:51 pm

How did the rocker arm, pedestal, pushrod look? I know you had some rocker arm and lifter breakage early on plus pedestal issues and this sure looks like it could be related to that kind of issue.

Have you identified a probable root cause?
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Fred Kiehl

Fred Kiehl


Posts : 6705
Join date : 2009-11-13
Age : 74
Location : Largo, FL 33774

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PostSubject: Re: Big block build for the Starship   Big block build for the Starship - Page 7 Icon_minitimeSat Jan 01, 2022 7:22 am

I believe the cause was that the cylinder wall broke first. The carnage is far to great for a valve breaking. The block came from a truck, and could have been damaged long before I got it.

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Fred Kiehl

Fred Kiehl


Posts : 6705
Join date : 2009-11-13
Age : 74
Location : Largo, FL 33774

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PostSubject: Re: Big block build for the Starship   Big block build for the Starship - Page 7 Icon_minitimeSat Jan 01, 2022 4:44 pm

A 2000 truck with a 454 just showed up in the local LKQ. I will spent Monday there, and probably Tues, and Wed. I am after just the short block. I looked at the valve gear, and it looks really clean.

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Fred Kiehl

Fred Kiehl


Posts : 6705
Join date : 2009-11-13
Age : 74
Location : Largo, FL 33774

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PostSubject: Re: Big block build for the Starship   Big block build for the Starship - Page 7 Icon_minitimeMon Jan 03, 2022 6:56 pm

I have 3 bolts to remove and the short block is mine. I will be at the yard at 9:00 Tomorrow.

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Fred Kiehl

Fred Kiehl


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PostSubject: Re: Big block build for the Starship   Big block build for the Starship - Page 7 Icon_minitimeWed Jan 05, 2022 8:40 pm

It turned out to be 5 bolts, but I still pulled the short block by 11:00 on Tuesday, and disassembled it today. I found a machine shop that can get it back to me in about a week or week and a half. The crank in the donor looks really nice as well. It turned out to be a 4 bolt main block. I guess that only counts if the cylinder walls don't break.

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94Woody

94Woody


Posts : 2254
Join date : 2008-12-02
Age : 47
Location : Ocala,FL

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PostSubject: Re: Big block build for the Starship   Big block build for the Starship - Page 7 Icon_minitimeWed Jan 05, 2022 9:37 pm

Good stuff, Fred. Glad to see that it is all working out.
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Fred Kiehl

Fred Kiehl


Posts : 6705
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Age : 74
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PostSubject: Re: Big block build for the Starship   Big block build for the Starship - Page 7 Icon_minitimeFri Jan 07, 2022 5:42 pm

The block, and crank are at the machine shop.

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Fred Kiehl

Fred Kiehl


Posts : 6705
Join date : 2009-11-13
Age : 74
Location : Largo, FL 33774

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PostSubject: Re: Big block build for the Starship   Big block build for the Starship - Page 7 Icon_minitimeMon Jan 10, 2022 7:45 pm

I got a donor core support to replace the one damaged by the tow guy. I wire wheeled it, and painted it today. I may pull the old block tomorrow or Wednesday. I need to get the usable/sellable parts off of it, and scrap the bad parts. The torque converter is going for a checkup, because it was acting up.
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Fred Kiehl

Fred Kiehl


Posts : 6705
Join date : 2009-11-13
Age : 74
Location : Largo, FL 33774

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PostSubject: Re: Big block build for the Starship   Big block build for the Starship - Page 7 Icon_minitimeThu Jan 20, 2022 9:09 pm

The engine is out. I have started disassembly, and there is one broken rod. There are also a lot of small chunks rattling around in the oil pan. I am not overly happy with the condition of the cam and some of the rollers on the lifters. I will probably replace the cam, and the lifters. The referbed block is ready for pickup tomorrow. I need to mic the journals on the polished crank so I can get the correct bearings. They will probably be -.001, but could be std. I believe the crank in the damaged engine is in good condition. I have been checking the journals as I take it apart, and they look really nice. I will take pics tomorrow.

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Fred Kiehl

Fred Kiehl


Posts : 6705
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Location : Largo, FL 33774

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PostSubject: Re: Big block build for the Starship   Big block build for the Starship - Page 7 Icon_minitimeFri Jan 21, 2022 6:33 pm

Here are a few more pics of the carnage. I think the cylinder got water in it when the car was at the custom body shop...it sat outside without a hood for almost a year. It may have been hydraulically locked, and bent the rod when I started it.

Big block build for the Starship - Page 7 20220110
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Fred Kiehl

Fred Kiehl


Posts : 6705
Join date : 2009-11-13
Age : 74
Location : Largo, FL 33774

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PostSubject: Re: Big block build for the Starship   Big block build for the Starship - Page 7 Icon_minitimeSat Jan 22, 2022 5:59 pm

I got my donor block back today, and it only cost me $440 to get it bored .030 over, and have the decks milled. He had to mill .007 off of the decks to get it right. I must do the cleaning, but I have time not money. I must get my gun cleaning brushes out to clean the oil galleries.

The donor crank polished up nicely and was included in the price. Monday I will be measuring the journals, and ordering bearings.

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rcktpwrd

rcktpwrd


Posts : 472
Join date : 2019-03-06
Age : 48
Location : Raleigh, NC

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PostSubject: Re: Big block build for the Starship   Big block build for the Starship - Page 7 Icon_minitimeSun Jan 23, 2022 2:13 pm

that's some pretty good destruction!

sounds like a reasonable price for the machine work.
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Fred Kiehl

Fred Kiehl


Posts : 6705
Join date : 2009-11-13
Age : 74
Location : Largo, FL 33774

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PostSubject: Re: Big block build for the Starship   Big block build for the Starship - Page 7 Icon_minitimeThu Jan 27, 2022 8:59 pm

I cleaned the block today. I was told to put a couple of plugs in the bypass passages to keep fuel pressure up, although I did not have any issues with them in the old block. I tried using the ones that the machinist gave me, but they did not fit properly. I will get a couple more tomorrow. I had to buy a 2-3 inch micrometer that measures in .0001 of an inch to measure the crank journals for bearing size.

I found one of maybe two camshafts for my application in the world right now, and a set of new lifters. It seems that the cam manufacturers can not get cam, or lifter blanks right now. They are probably stuck on a boat in the Pacific Ocean off of Californication.
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brokecello
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brokecello


Posts : 3478
Join date : 2009-05-28
Age : 44
Location : Greenville, SC

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PostSubject: Re: Big block build for the Starship   Big block build for the Starship - Page 7 Icon_minitimeMon Jan 31, 2022 10:03 am


Yeah, same issue with the LS guys...big lifter shortage at the moment and what you can buy is garbage.
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Fred Kiehl

Fred Kiehl


Posts : 6705
Join date : 2009-11-13
Age : 74
Location : Largo, FL 33774

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PostSubject: Re: Big block build for the Starship   Big block build for the Starship - Page 7 Icon_minitimeThu Feb 03, 2022 7:09 pm

I got my new lifters a couple of days aggo, and the cam today. I also got a few small things done on the block.

Installed the gallery plugs, and ran a tap through the threads for the head bolts. I was going to lap the valves, but the neighbor is having a tree removed, and the sawdust headed directly toward my work area. As long as I get something done each day, I will get the engine together. I am going to remove the TC in the next day or so to send it back for a referb.

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Fred Kiehl

Fred Kiehl


Posts : 6705
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PostSubject: Re: Big block build for the Starship   Big block build for the Starship - Page 7 Icon_minitimeMon Feb 07, 2022 5:55 pm

Today I got the odd side bank of valves lapped. I have been feeling really tired. I am not sure if it is the weather, or getting over whatever I had last week. It is supposed to rain tomorrow, so the even side head will have to wait until Wednesday.

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Fred Kiehl

Fred Kiehl


Posts : 6705
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Location : Largo, FL 33774

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PostSubject: Re: Big block build for the Starship   Big block build for the Starship - Page 7 Icon_minitimeWed Feb 09, 2022 8:26 pm

I got the other side valves lapped, and installed the cam plug. The upper main bearings are in place, and I am ready to check crank clearance.

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Fred Kiehl

Fred Kiehl


Posts : 6705
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PostSubject: Re: Big block build for the Starship   Big block build for the Starship - Page 7 Icon_minitimeThu Feb 10, 2022 8:02 pm

I yanked the TC from the trans today. I was expecting a flood of trans fluid, but it came off dry. It is going back to be refreshed. I also fit the lower crank bearings to the caps, and installed new oil pressure relief valves in the block.

I received the new set of pistons, so I have 7 Sealed Power H581CP30 pistons for sale by the each for $40 plus shipping. They are 0.030 over -20 cc Hypereutectic pistons.
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Fred Kiehl

Fred Kiehl


Posts : 6705
Join date : 2009-11-13
Age : 74
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PostSubject: Re: Big block build for the Starship   Big block build for the Starship - Page 7 Icon_minitimeFri Feb 11, 2022 6:40 pm

The pistons are Speed Pro, not Sealed power. Same company. I got the old heads disassembled. The #7 intake valve is bent, so I presume the exhaust valve stuck open, and the piston hit it. Then all the mayhem took place. I have the TC ready to box and ship. I may take a pic of the exhaust valve stem, and intake valve.

I must get someone to help me lift the crank into the block, so I can check clearances. The clearance of the crank will give me some direction on the rod clearances.
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Fred Kiehl

Fred Kiehl


Posts : 6705
Join date : 2009-11-13
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Location : Largo, FL 33774

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PostSubject: Re: Big block build for the Starship   Big block build for the Starship - Page 7 Icon_minitimeSat Feb 12, 2022 7:54 pm

Installed the valve seals, and timing cover seal. Cleaned the passages in the crank. I still need some help getting the crank in the block to measure the bearing clearance. My die grinder has disappeared, along with the carbide bit. I also can not find my piston ring installer(s) (I have 2).
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Fred Kiehl

Fred Kiehl


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PostSubject: Re: Big block build for the Starship   Big block build for the Starship - Page 7 Icon_minitimeMon Feb 14, 2022 9:14 pm

Here are the bent and broken valves from #7
Big block build for the Starship - Page 7 20220210

I checked the mains with -0.001" bearings, and I am going to need std. bearings. I will have 0.0025" clearance with the std. bearings. I am going to put std. bearings in the rods, and check them for clearance.

I started massaging the heads to gasket match with the intake ports. It is slow going, because I need to remove about 1/4" from the top of each intake port to match the manifold. It seems to take a lot longer this time. I have plenty of "meat" to work with, so no issues with putting a hole in the port.
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Fred Kiehl

Fred Kiehl


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PostSubject: Re: Big block build for the Starship   Big block build for the Starship - Page 7 Icon_minitimeTue Feb 15, 2022 7:18 pm

I have been busy porting the heads for the intake manifold. The amount of metal I must remove is a lot more than I expected. It takes me hours with a die grinder to get them opened up. I have 2 1/2 done at this point. Tomorrow I will make a concerted effort to finish at least one head.

I am ready to install the crank if I can get a hand placing it in the bearings.
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Fred Kiehl

Fred Kiehl


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PostSubject: Re: Big block build for the Starship   Big block build for the Starship - Page 7 Icon_minitimeWed Feb 16, 2022 7:34 pm

Completed the gasket match for one head. I need to do a little finishing with a sanding drum to smooth out a couple of cutter marks. My poor compressor is running constantly in an attempt to keep up with the die grinder. I am going to start on the other head tomorrow.
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Fred Kiehl

Fred Kiehl


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PostSubject: Re: Big block build for the Starship   Big block build for the Starship - Page 7 Icon_minitimeThu Feb 17, 2022 8:14 pm

I have the second head half done. Here are some pics of the porting before and after. The gasket covers some of the port in the head, so I only worked it to the gasket.

Big block build for the Starship - Page 7 20220211
Big block build for the Starship - Page 7 20220212
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Fred Kiehl

Fred Kiehl


Posts : 6705
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PostSubject: Re: Big block build for the Starship   Big block build for the Starship - Page 7 Icon_minitimeFri Feb 18, 2022 9:58 pm

I finally got the heads ported today. Now for assembly.

I took the morning off yesterday to pick parts at the local junk yard. I got a nice pair of black electric rear view mirrors for a 95-96.
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Fred Kiehl

Fred Kiehl


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PostSubject: Re: Big block build for the Starship   Big block build for the Starship - Page 7 Icon_minitimeSat Feb 19, 2022 6:54 pm

Installed 12 of the valve springs. Ran out of cleaner at that point. I'll finish them tomorrow.
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Fred Kiehl

Fred Kiehl


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PostSubject: Re: Big block build for the Starship   Big block build for the Starship - Page 7 Icon_minitimeSun Feb 20, 2022 10:36 pm

I got the valve springs installed, and was going to check the crank bearing clearance with the std bearings, but my torque wrench broke. It is always something.
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Fred Kiehl

Fred Kiehl


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PostSubject: Re: Big block build for the Starship   Big block build for the Starship - Page 7 Icon_minitimeMon Feb 21, 2022 10:08 pm

Today the crank is installed. Tomorrow the pistons and rods, and the cam.
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Fred Kiehl

Fred Kiehl


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PostSubject: Re: Big block build for the Starship   Big block build for the Starship - Page 7 Icon_minitimeTue Feb 22, 2022 8:29 pm

As usual more issues. I installed one rod bearing, and the plastigauge says it is .0015" clearance. I ordered a set of oversized bearings, so it will be about .0025" It takes until Monday to get them. I put the pistons on the rods, and installed the camshaft. I was going to clean the spider for the lifters, and dropped the brake cleaner can...wouldn't you know it, it got a puncture and blew all the propellant out of the can. I guess I can paint the block while I am waiting for the new bearings. I must also make standoffs for the individual coils, so I have plenty to do.
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Fred Kiehl

Fred Kiehl


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PostSubject: Re: Big block build for the Starship   Big block build for the Starship - Page 7 Icon_minitimeWed Feb 23, 2022 9:37 pm

I installed half the pistons today. I ended up using the standard bearings for the rods. The clearance is .0015, which I have had confirmed as perfect. I had a small incident with one of the end caps...I got it on crooked, and bent the guide sleeve. I managed to get it straightened enough to allow the cap to install, but it took half the afternoon to figure out how to, and then "fix" it. It gets difficult to turn over once you have half of the pistons in. I'll have the rest of them in tomorrow, and maybe the timing set.
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Fred Kiehl

Fred Kiehl


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PostSubject: Re: Big block build for the Starship   Big block build for the Starship - Page 7 Icon_minitimeThu Feb 24, 2022 9:25 pm

I finished the piston installation, and got the timing set on it, as well as the lifters and spider. I need to torque the rod, cam gear, and spider bolts. I must make some standoffs for the coils, and I guess tomorrow is a good day to make a lot of aluminum chips.
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Fred Kiehl

Fred Kiehl


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PostSubject: Re: Big block build for the Starship   Big block build for the Starship - Page 7 Icon_minitimeFri Feb 25, 2022 10:22 pm

Torqued the bolts, and installed the timing cover. Got the new pickup installed on the oil pump, packed the pump with Vaseline, and installed it. Taped off the engine for painting.
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Fred Kiehl

Fred Kiehl


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PostSubject: Re: Big block build for the Starship   Big block build for the Starship - Page 7 Icon_minitimeSat Feb 26, 2022 9:12 pm

I painted the block today. I need to work on finishing the assembly of the heads, and installation of the harmonic balancer. I am going to do a temp install of the oil pan.
Big block build for the Starship - Page 7 20220214
Big block build for the Starship - Page 7 20220213

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Fred Kiehl

Fred Kiehl


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PostSubject: Re: Big block build for the Starship   Big block build for the Starship - Page 7 Icon_minitimeMon Feb 28, 2022 12:11 am

Installed the harmonic balancer, cleaned the head bolts, and cleaned the rocker studs.
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Fred Kiehl

Fred Kiehl


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PostSubject: Re: Big block build for the Starship   Big block build for the Starship - Page 7 Icon_minitimeWed Mar 02, 2022 7:53 pm

Making some standoffs to weld on the valve covers for the LS coils. I have 8 to drill and 16 to tap.

I also made a filler to allow me to use a standard distributor base in the enlarged hole I made for the TBI distributor. I am using a distributor eliminator, and it has the same diameter as a stock Chevy.
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Fred Kiehl

Fred Kiehl


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PostSubject: Re: Big block build for the Starship   Big block build for the Starship - Page 7 Icon_minitimeSun Mar 06, 2022 6:37 am

I bought an cast aluminum oil pan, and 13 of the holes did not line up with the bolt holes in the block. I got 6 of them opened up to fit so far.

I tried fitting the valve covers, and by clocking the alternator positive lead 90 deg. counterclockwise I got clearance on the left one. The other side of that coin is that the bolt holes do not properly line up with the screw holes. Here we go again. The bottom is not flat either. I have a surface and sand paper to fix that, although it is substantial. I would like to know why they can not make parts that fit.


Last edited by Fred Kiehl on Sun Mar 06, 2022 6:39 am; edited 1 time in total
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rcktpwrd

rcktpwrd


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PostSubject: Re: Big block build for the Starship   Big block build for the Starship - Page 7 Icon_minitimeMon Mar 07, 2022 5:58 pm

Sounds like it's coming along decently even with all the little setbacks.

It amazes me that so many aftermarket 'performance' or stock replacement parts don't fit properly right out of the box!
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Fred Kiehl

Fred Kiehl


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PostSubject: Re: Big block build for the Starship   Big block build for the Starship - Page 7 Icon_minitimeMon Mar 07, 2022 7:56 pm

Decently is not good enough. I need to have it done by the Spring Turkey Run.

I got the pan done this morning. It is ready to install once I get the top end done. I do not like to remove the pan to retrieve a screw I dropped completing the top end.

The valve covers are going back to the manufacturer. They are too bad to even consider fixing.

I cleaned some parts today, including the wheel I used to make parts for my moon style hubcaps. They are not finished yet, because I have some other little things to do.

I must pull the gas tank because there is a leak somewhere. I am not sure where, but it could be the vent hose at the filler.
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Fred Kiehl

Fred Kiehl


Posts : 6705
Join date : 2009-11-13
Age : 74
Location : Largo, FL 33774

Big block build for the Starship - Page 7 Empty
PostSubject: Re: Big block build for the Starship   Big block build for the Starship - Page 7 Icon_minitimeWed Mar 09, 2022 9:40 pm

I got the heads on and torqued down. It is starting to look like an engine.Big block build for the Starship - Page 7 20220310
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Fred Kiehl

Fred Kiehl


Posts : 6705
Join date : 2009-11-13
Age : 74
Location : Largo, FL 33774

Big block build for the Starship - Page 7 Empty
PostSubject: Re: Big block build for the Starship   Big block build for the Starship - Page 7 Icon_minitimeFri Mar 11, 2022 7:16 pm

I spent all afternoon today getting the valve train properly installed and aligned. I did not get it adjusted, because I need to figure out how to rotate the crank on the stand, because the flex plate is not installed. Tested the water pump pulley spacer, and the holes are drilled incorrectly...who would have guessed that I would have an issue with some insignificant, but important part fitting?
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Fred Kiehl

Fred Kiehl


Posts : 6705
Join date : 2009-11-13
Age : 74
Location : Largo, FL 33774

Big block build for the Starship - Page 7 Empty
PostSubject: Re: Big block build for the Starship   Big block build for the Starship - Page 7 Icon_minitimeSat Mar 12, 2022 7:46 pm

I got my replacement valve covers today, and outlined where I want the standoffs for the coils located. It was fairly cold, and windy, so I made a small mod on the White Elephant's suspension, and called it quits.
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Fred Kiehl

Fred Kiehl


Posts : 6705
Join date : 2009-11-13
Age : 74
Location : Largo, FL 33774

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PostSubject: Re: Big block build for the Starship   Big block build for the Starship - Page 7 Icon_minitimeSun Mar 13, 2022 6:07 pm

I adjusted the valves today. Hydraulics are easy.

Tomorrow I am taking the valve covers to the welding shop. I also hope to get the trans out, and to the shop.
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Fred Kiehl

Fred Kiehl


Posts : 6705
Join date : 2009-11-13
Age : 74
Location : Largo, FL 33774

Big block build for the Starship - Page 7 Empty
PostSubject: Re: Big block build for the Starship   Big block build for the Starship - Page 7 Icon_minitimeWed Mar 16, 2022 11:05 pm

I attached the FEAD brackets to the front of the engine. I also spent most of the day chasing materials instead of working on the car.
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Fred Kiehl

Fred Kiehl


Posts : 6705
Join date : 2009-11-13
Age : 74
Location : Largo, FL 33774

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PostSubject: Re: Big block build for the Starship   Big block build for the Starship - Page 7 Icon_minitimeMon Mar 21, 2022 7:32 pm

Found a little issue today while checking the alignment of my rocker arms...One of the rocker studs is bent. That is a 7/16 inch stud. It is bent about 1/16 of an inch. I believe it was the stud on the original engine #7 exhaust valve that was broken when I opened the engine after it took a dump.
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Fred Kiehl

Fred Kiehl


Posts : 6705
Join date : 2009-11-13
Age : 74
Location : Largo, FL 33774

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PostSubject: Re: Big block build for the Starship   Big block build for the Starship - Page 7 Icon_minitimeMon Mar 28, 2022 11:39 pm

I'm back from the Daytona Wagonfest. I picked up the replacement rocker stud and installed it. I readjusted all of the rockerarms, and set the preload on the rockers. The stainless steel tubing arrived over the weekend, and I started to make a new right FEAD brace. I decided to buy another set of valves covers, and make brackets to hold the LS coils myself.

I was checking out the distributor eliminator, and figured out how to find the magnet from the outside. I can do a basic adjustment without putting power to it. It is small enough that I may be able to install it with the intake in the car.
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PostSubject: Re: Big block build for the Starship   Big block build for the Starship - Page 7 Icon_minitime

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