'66 401 with Russ Martins 425 cam...Grrrrrrrr!

Discussion in ''Da Nailhead' started by UntamedKitty, Oct 30, 2014.

  1. 8ad-f85

    8ad-f85 Well-Known Member

    Nice post.

    What originally brought me to this section of the forum is that there's some good people to learn from here. I'm still learning.

    The gift of a line bore job is that you don't have to take material on center, you can take more from the cap side. As far as the bore, how round is round and what's good enough? These choices are made daily by all machinists in every field.
    If you haven't noticed, part sets are pieced together or if conveniently offered, really freaking expensive for what they are...

    It's weird how one question opens up a whole can of worms, this is where you have to start off trusting your shop from day one.
    If you don't think they can work with a particular project (and as a customer you are not always qualified to make that decision), believe me you are $$ ahead even shipping this across the country to be done.

    With nearly any build at any power level you still have to ask, "How much is in the budget for corrective machining?" Yep, on brand new parts. These things don't always just bolt together. Each manufacturer doesn't always follow a common blueprint. As a shop and as a customer one has to think ahead and realize that problem solving costs $$... yours.

    From a shop perspective, can you see why offering "crates" solves a lot of hassles? No custy to micromanage you, simply write the check.

    I think it's been said a couple times here, "arm yourself with info" before you start cutting...

    Good luck!:)
    Wife calls me "f" sometimes.
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2014
  2. doc

    doc Well-Known Member

    Hey,,, f 85,,, what is your name,,, I know it aint f 85....:grin: We all are on a first name basis here....
    I completely understand where you are coming from,,, machinists, by nature of the job, are forced into a world of reality, because the occupation demands it.....It is good for you ,,, makes you tough....:laugh:

    The real solution would be to cut a set of gears that would be enough bigger to tighten the chain up... any stock chain...
    I dont think anybody has said it here, but any time you install a ''stock'' timing set and the chain is not tight as a fiddle string,, then there is something wrong,,, either it is worn some,, or if new, made wrong... that is,,, as they say,,, ''out of spec''.....
    but personally ,,, unless you are doing a all out ''blue print'' of a engine,,,, dont mess with recutting the main saddles... it is better to have a main bearing that is a tweak off than to have a a timing chain that is a sloppy fit at the start... Nailhead engines have thick , forged steel cranks that will ''flex'' a thousanth or so... and the main webs on the engines are so thick and dont warp that much.... that is why I say, lube them up with moly grease and then ''break the engine in'' for 500 miles before stressing it.... it will loosen up and run good....
  3. hi desert 57spl

    hi desert 57spl Well-Known Member

    Default Re: '66 401 with Russ Martins 425 cam...Grrrrrrrr!

    Hey,,, f 85,,, what is your name,,, I know it aint f 85.... We all are on a first name basis here....

    he signed off as tony:rolleyes:
  4. bhambulldog

    bhambulldog 1955 76-RoadmasterRiviera

    upon Doc's suggestion; Tony edited his post to add his name
  5. Jim Weise

    Jim Weise 1000+HP

    Just a note here..

    The rollmaster set for the 400/430/455 has larger gears to account for the reduction in cam/crank centerline..

    Not a shorter chain.

    This is true of all "line hone sets" that I am aware of.

  6. TA Perf

    TA Perf Member

    Try to degree the cam with a standard key. Not an offset one and see where it comes out
  7. UntamedKitty

    UntamedKitty Janitor

    Here is the latest update:
    The RM timing gears/chain set was received today and dropped off at the builder's shop. Picked up a set of new valve springs due to the 425 cam reccomendations from RM. Builder plans to complete short block to allow pick up late Monday.

    Any tips on replacing valve springs?

    As soon as I know more, it will be posted here with a full accounting of all parts and machine work done.
    Keep smiling!
  8. UntamedKitty

    UntamedKitty Janitor

    Re: '66 401 - update...shortblock is back with bill

    So I picked up the shortblock yesterday and sat down with the builder to pay up. We chatted pleasantly. I am going to try and post the bill here also for everyone's reference. SPR Shortblock Bill.jpg

    The builder noted when initially measuring the main bearing saddles he found three of them to be slightly out and one marginal so he cleaned them up slightly with a line bore of .002-.003" at most. "My recollection" of the early block measurements was that only one of the saddles was marginal, the other three were within spec but he likes to line bore them to know what he is starting from, he also explained normally putting an idler on the timing gear chain in this scenario. I explained this was not a race car, a stock timing chain was to be used with the Melling replacement steel gears I had taken off, and I did not want to get into adding an idler set up. When removed, the steel gears did not show any significant wear patterns from the link belt chain although the chain did have 5/8-3/4" slack as measured below.

    Here is what I got. The RM roller timing gearset is installed and the play measures a bit more than 5/16". I measured this from chain movement at a point equally between the gears, pushing the chain lightly with one finger to the outside, putting a scale on it, then pushing the chain to the inside and reading the scale.

    This strikes me as still sloppy, what do you guys know?
    As always, Thanx in advance for your help!
  9. doc

    doc Well-Known Member

    it is sloppy ,, by the time the chain wears any at all it is going to be really sloppy....

    What it amounts to , it he built the engine they way he likes instead of the way you like....:Brow:
    Did you have a written order to line bore the mains ???? that you signed... ???
    if not , and it were me,,, he would have just bought his self a nailhead engine....:Brow:
  10. telriv

    telriv Well-Known Member

    Or install the idler system at N/C to you. What he did was to do a "Chevy" rebuild which is what they mostly ALL need. I've done MANY "Nails" & the way we do it, when nec. which is very SELDOM, is to align bore & remove LITTLE or NO material from the block side of things. It IS much more difficult & time consuming as we have NO source for a "SLIGHTLY" larger cam gear or "SLIGHTLY" shorter timing chain. We ALWAYS end up with a not/barely noticeable line.
    Just my thoughts on the subject.

    Tom T.
  11. gsgtx

    gsgtx Silver Level contributor

    my thinking you will be fine, even on my last stock block with no line bore it was a hair loose. plus that chain will stay tighter for you. at the most it will make the cam a 1/2 degree retard no big deal.
  12. UntamedKitty

    UntamedKitty Janitor

    '66 401 - "Ya Pay To Go To School, Don't Ya..."

    You guys are seeing it a lot like I am. But it is done now, no going backwards.

    Being a novice, I left this main saddle thing up to him, figuring his years of experience would point us in the right direction. To my recollection, the labor estimate after he measured everything, was originally around $1000 (I wrote it down after each time we spoke) for all block, crank, and short block assembly work and we ended up closer to $1600. How does this compare to other parts of the country?

    Now to clean/prep the block for paint. Planning to use the POR15 brush on engine painting process in Buick Green. The heads, pans, intake, and valve covers are done already. Going to leave the AL castings natural. Will post some pics soon.

    A very wealthy friend of mine told me to rationalize stuff like this with:
    "Ya Pay To Go To School, Don't Ya...Did Ya learn anything?"

    Thanx for keeping track of this thread guys, hope the billing info was informative! Will post some pics soon.
  13. roadrunnernz

    roadrunnernz Gold Level Contributor

    I'm no expert so I'll rely on others (Doc. Telriv, etc) to comment BUT I see there's a charge for internally balancing the engine.
    I thought Nailheads were externally balanced. Can someone smarter than me comment?
  14. 8ad-f85

    8ad-f85 Well-Known Member

    Good catch on the balancing. Could just be how it's typed on the invoice. Might want to look at the components. I will defer to the experts...

    I've always felt that it's good integrity to discuss "surprises" and corrective machining possibilities well before the operations are done.

    Prices look in line. Too many variables around the country.
  15. Babeola

    Babeola Well-Known Member

    A balanced and assembled short block including parts for 2K is not a bad deal. I didn't see bearings on the list. Put the idler on the block for the timing chain or just deal with the fact that the cam timing will be moving a little whenever you let off the gas. Acceleration will keep the timing solid when you are on the gas.

    Cheryl :)
  16. doc

    doc Well-Known Member

    I tried por15 and the result did not justify the extra expense,,,, in other words it aint any better than any other paint....
    I went with cars buick green,,, pricy still,,, but good and easy to use....
    personally I like the 1966 red color ,, nailheads look good in red,, which btw is the same as ford red.... and it is less expensive and readily available.... :Brow:
  17. Bib Overhalls

    Bib Overhalls Well-Known Member

    I have used Eastwood's high temp "ceramic" engine paint a couple of times and I like it. From my experience, Eastwood sells good stuff at premium prices and I only use them for stuff that I can not get locally or on line for less. This paint is an example.


    I use it on clean, bare metal. You can use a primer but it will compromise the 650 degree heat rating.

    GOSFAST Well-Known Member

    All factory "Nails" were/are externally balanced, hopefully it's just an oversight on the invoice!

    With respect to degreeing the cam (assuming it is reasonably close) you won't notice anything major whether it's in slightly early, straight-up, or slightly late! It MAY only be evident on a couple dyno pulls???

    Thanks, Gary in N.Y.

    P.S. To the O.P., make certain to "index" the flywheel/flexplate during the installation, if not, you will have some "vibration" to contend with! It must be bolted up in the correct position!!
  19. UntamedKitty

    UntamedKitty Janitor

    Good input across the board!

    Bearings - bought the mains set off Ebay for $100. (Federal Mogul)

    Paint - Went with stock green because that is what came on '66 Wildcat Conv. Custom stock, and I had it left over from a nailhead cleanup about ten years ago. (you know how saving it forever and finally getting to use it feels good!!!!)

    Balancing - I questioned this invoice line item at pick up, and was assured the Harmonic Balancer was put on then it was balanced. The flexplate was not on when balanced. When the motor was dis-mantled, the HB, Crank, rods, and flywheel were all from a running driving car. All new pistons, rings, and bearings were swapped out from that same rotating assembly. All pistons and rods were balanced.

    Question - Flywheel, does this need to be balanced by itself?? I see "clips" noted in the manual for the flywheel balancing along that smiley looking slot. How does that work?
  20. 8ad-f85

    8ad-f85 Well-Known Member

    Wonder how they replicated the imbalance on the flexplate when they spun the crank. Might want to make a phone call, just to verify.

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