Thanks for the info on the roll bar mount. The bar is part of a complete
cage that I think is strong enough.
Seeing as you build competition engines I have a question for you. I am
putting together a 1954 331 Hemi engine for use in a street rod that I hope
to build someday. The machine shop that is doing the block work (decking,
honing, etc.) just told me today that the crank is perfect except for the
thrust surface which is on the #3 bearing in this engine. He is checking to
see if a special bearing is available with a thicker thrust surface so that
the crank can be machined and used. My question is: Can the crank be built
up on this surface and ground so that the standard bearing can be used?
and I'll be glad to help you out as much
as I can. If you need any help on putting the engine together if the
machine shop is not I can give you some pointers that will help prevent
Sounds like a great project!
While we're on the subject of engines, do you have a recommendation for
a reference book for a "normal" rebuild of a Chevy TBI 350 other than
the factory service manual which I have? I'm not looking to do anything
exotic, just going to tear my old full size blazer down to a pile of
parts and see if I can rebuild / restore it. Just a low cost low
pressure project to fiddle with. I've never torn into an engine that far
The Chilton books available at your local parts house are decent for
this, with pictures and stuff. Really, there isn't all that much to an
engine. But being careful, CLEAN, CLEAN, CLEAN, and checking everything
Some tips for non-experienced folk:
1. Get some good 3M masking tape and a sharpie. Tear off about 2" of tape
and wrap it around every wire you disconnet and label it.
2. Get your digital camera out and take pictures of _everything_ before
you start, and as you disassemble.
3. Get a box of Ziplock quart & gallon freezer bags and for every part
you take off, put the bolts for that part in a separate bag and label it.
(Exhaust bolts, head bolts, rod bolts, crank bolts, valve cover bolts,
water pump bolts, etc). Put smaller items that you remove in the gallon
bags and label them, especially support brackets and what not for the
4. For lifters, the tried and true egg carton works great as a storage
5. Clean _everything_. This takes the most time and effort if you do it
right. I generally will also repaint everything, and even some stuff like
brackets, that weren't factory painted. A good coat of engine paint or
powder coat on those parts makes the engine stay cleaner longer, and it's
easier to clean.
6. Check every part for wear/damage.
7. I recommend against reusing the following items: any bearing, pistons,
rings, valve springs, rocker arms, push rods, valve guides, lifters and
camshaft. I typically replace the valves too. All of these items are high
cyclic parts that have a difinitive lifespan. I also put a new water pump
on. It's much easier to replace while you have the engine apart, than a
month after you get it back together.
You can't 'idiot proof' anything....every time you try, they just make
The factory service manuals in '90 were better than those of today on
diagrams and detail, so I expect that I don't need the Chilton's manual.
Yep, I've rebuilt an ancient hydraulic steering valve before, I figure
if I survived that I can survive an old 350.
I've got the diagrams and electronics is one of my specialties so I'm
not too concerned about the electrical.
Yep, I've been using the dig camera like that for a long time. The
camera phones are handy as well, particularly when you need to search
for oddball parts, having the pic handy like that is nice.
I hear a piece of foam insul board is good as well, poke the bolts or
whatnot into the foam and label with a sharpie.
I'll have to collect a few.
I plan to clean every part as I go, media blast exterior stuff as needed
The engine has about 165k on it and was running fine when it went out of
service so other than whatever in storage deterioration occurred,
hopefully many parts are in decent shape.
Any suggestions on the best place to get parts kits?
I figure this project will keep me occupied at pretty low cost, and if I
get it operational, the 16 MPG or the Blazer is better than the 11 MPG
of the current truck.
How much info do you want?
Grab a copy of "How to rebuild your Small Block Chevy" by David Vizard
Has a lot of info not in the service manual and pointers as well. I had
a copy a long time ago.
looks interesting as well.
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