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Need advice on engine rebuild parts

BlueCorvette

Active member
Joined
Feb 13, 2016
Messages
29
Location
Florida
Corvette
1985 two tone blue Z51 4+3
This is my first engine top end rebuild, so I'm trying to be careful and think everything through. Here is a barrage of questions.


The Crane tech recommended Crane Gold Race Extruded Rocker Arms 1.6 11759-16, I have rod guides in the heads, plus Crane Valve Spring and Retainer Kits 11308-1 to match.

I am replacing all the gaskets. Is there anything wrong with these Fel-Pro gasket kits?
Fel-Pro HS7733PT6 - Fel-Pro Head Set Gaskets
Fel-Pro CS77332 - Fel-Pro Conversion Set Gaskets

It looks like black RTV was used for sealant. I have ultra black, but I am using synthetic oil. Should I use Permatex 81878 - Permatex Ultra Copper RTV Silicone for synthetic oil resistance?

Is this any good for an assembly lube?
Lucas Oil 10153-1 - Lucas Semi-Synthetic Assembly Lube

Is there any difference between the Sealed power and Fel-Pro head bolt kits?
Sealed Power 260-2500 - Sealed Power Replacement Cylinder Head Bolt Kits
Fel-Pro ES72856 - Fel-Pro Head Bolt Kits

Do I need additional thread sealant for the head bolts?

What about the Sealed Power timing chain kit? This is $15 Do I need to spend more?
Sealed Power KT-3499S - Sealed Power Timing Chain Sets

Can I buy a sub $100 aluminum hi flow water pump, or do I need to spend hundreds on one with a CNC impeller?

Thanks, I'm trying to work through everything I need to do the reuild
 

Hib Halverson

Technical Writer for Internet & Print Media
Joined
Jan 10, 2001
Messages
13,453
Location
CenCoast CA
Corvette
71 04 12 19
This is my first engine top end rebuild, so I'm trying to be careful and think everything through. Here is a barrage of questions.
Good move but, to best answer the questions you need to tell us: the size of the engine, desired performance and what use the engine will see.

The Crane tech recommended Crane Gold Race Extruded Rocker Arms 1.6 11759-16, I have rod guides in the heads, plus Crane Valve Spring and Retainer Kits 11308-1 to match.
Crane Gold Race Rockers are one of the better choices in the aftermarket. It's what I use on my engines which use aftermarket rocker arms and those engines are a Big-Block and an LS6. My other Vette engines have used stock rockers or don't have rocker arms.


I am replacing all the gaskets. Is there anything wrong with these Fel-Pro gasket kits?
Fel-Pro HS7733PT6 - Fel-Pro Head Set Gaskets
Fel-Pro CS77332 - Fel-Pro Conversion Set Gaskets
Fel-Pro is an good choice for engine gaskets of all types. In most cases Fel-Pro head gaskets are a good choice, but there are certain applications where I think Cometic head gaskets are even better. There are a few other cases, such as an LS7, where OE GM is good idea. So, you see, we need more info about your engine and it's use to answer the head gasket question properly.

It looks like black RTV was used for sealant. I have ultra black, but I am using synthetic oil. Should I use Permatex 81878 - Permatex Ultra Copper RTV Silicone for synthetic oil resistance?
There is a lot of marketing BS about RTV sealers. Any good quality RTV will work fine with synthetic oil. My first choice has been "All-in-One RTV" from Valco Cincinnati. The Permatex item you mention is good, too but you really don't need a special RTV for use with synthetic oil. As I said, any good-quality RTV will do.


Is this any good for an assembly lube?
Lucas Oil 10153-1 - Lucas Semi-Synthetic Assembly Lube
I'm not a fan of Lucas products because I think too much of their cost is marketing. There are two different types of assembly lube you may need. One is a grease and the other is an oil. I like Joe Gibbs Driven "Engine Assembly Grease" and Joe Gibbs Driven "HVL" which is an engine oil specially blended for engine assembly use.

Is there any difference between the Sealed power and Fel-Pro head bolt kits?
Sealed Power 260-2500 - Sealed Power Replacement Cylinder Head Bolt Kits
Fel-Pro ES72856 - Fel-Pro Head Bolt Kits
Probably not.

Do I need additional thread sealant for the head bolts?
Depends on the engine and what its service manual calls for. Some need a sealant. Some don't. Many require engine oil as a lubricant.

What about the Sealed Power timing chain kit? This is $15 Do I need to spend more?
Sealed Power KT-3499S - Sealed Power Timing Chain Sets
Need more information on the engine and the intended use to answer.

Can I buy a sub $100 aluminum hi flow water pump, or do I need to spend hundreds on one with a CNC impeller?
Need more information on the engine and the intended use.
 

BlueCorvette

Active member
Joined
Feb 13, 2016
Messages
29
Location
Florida
Corvette
1985 two tone blue Z51 4+3
Good move but, to best answer the questions you need to tell us: the size of the engine, desired performance and what use the engine will see.

Crane Gold Race Rockers are one of the better choices in the aftermarket. It's what I use on my engines which use aftermarket rocker arms and those engines are a Big-Block and an LS6. My other Vette engines have used stock rockers or don't have rocker arms.

Fel-Pro is an good choice for engine gaskets of all types. In most cases Fel-Pro head gaskets are a good choice, but there are certain applications where I think Cometic head gaskets are even better. There are a few other cases, such as an LS7, where OE GM is good idea. So, you see, we need more info about your engine and it's use to answer the head gasket question properly.

There is a lot of marketing BS about RTV sealers. Any good quality RTV will work fine with synthetic oil. My first choice has been "All-in-One RTV" from Valco Cincinnati. The Permatex item you mention is good, too but you really don't need a special RTV for use with synthetic oil. As I said, any good-quality RTV will do.

I'm not a fan of Lucas products because I think too much of their cost is marketing. There are two different types of assembly lube you may need. One is a grease and the other is an oil. I like Joe Gibbs Driven "Engine Assembly Grease" and Joe Gibbs Driven "HVL" which is an engine oil specially blended for engine assembly use.

Probably not.


Depends on the engine and what its service manual calls for. Some need a sealant. Some don't. Many require engine oil as a lubricant.

Need more information on the engine and the intended use to answer.

Need more information on the engine and the intended use.

Sorry yeah, I guess some specifics would help. :) Thanks for responding.

I have a 1985 C4 with a 4+3 with 143k miles. Std 5.7l TPI. No problems like smoking or rough running, just some carbon buildup in the head/valves that I am cleaning. Switching to Hedman Street Headers 68440. I am trying to keep it as a flexible sports car, not a race car, or drag car. I am going to remove the EGR system and need to figure out how to program the ECU to not switch to EGR mode. I have the service manual CD for reference.

I am leaving the crankshaft and camshaft alone. Reusing the lifters and rods. I have rod guides in the head.

The old head bolts had sealant on them, so I am assuming I need more. I thought that some head bolts come with sealant on the threads?

Also I forgot to add, I should replace the oil pump while I'm in there. I don't know what I should replace that with.

Do I need assembly grease for something other than the crank and camshaft? I was going to use the assembly oil on the valvetrain.

I am having great fun working on this thing.
 

Hib Halverson

Technical Writer for Internet & Print Media
Joined
Jan 10, 2001
Messages
13,453
Location
CenCoast CA
Corvette
71 04 12 19
Ok. Now that we know something about the engine, I need to change a few things.

Forget the Crane rockers.

L98s are low-rpm engines and even with going to a 1.6 ratio, roller rockers will be offer no practical performance advantage but they will cost a lot of money.

I'd go with Crane's or Comp's 1.6:1 stamped steel rockers which will work fine at the L98's low rpm.

Also, with 143,000 miles on the engine, I'd overhaul the motor not just modify the top end, especially since you are tearing down the engine far enough to change the oil pump. If you don't what you're going to find is that at 150,000 or 175,000 the performance you gained with rebuilding the top end and going to 1.6 rockers may accelerate wear of the short block.

Lastly, on removing the EGR, if all you do is that you're going to have a hell of a problem with detonation at part throttle and recalibrating the ECM is not a DIY task unless you own the special equipment necessary to "burn" and/or "erase" the EPROMs used in the chips which are in an 85 ECM. Frankly, I'd make sure the EGR is working right then leave it alone. It is disabled at wide-open throttle and only operates at part throttle, but if you insist on removing it, you need to get a chip that is designed to work with an engine not having EGR otherwise that engine will rattle like crazy or get tons of KR at part-throttle.
 

BlueCorvette

Active member
Joined
Feb 13, 2016
Messages
29
Location
Florida
Corvette
1985 two tone blue Z51 4+3
Ok. Now that we know something about the engine, I need to change a few things.

Forget the Crane rockers.

L98s are low-rpm engines and even with going to a 1.6 ratio, roller rockers will be offer no practical performance advantage but they will cost a lot of money.

I'd go with Crane's or Comp's 1.6:1 stamped steel rockers which will work fine at the L98's low rpm.

Also, with 143,000 miles on the engine, I'd overhaul the motor not just modify the top end, especially since you are tearing down the engine far enough to change the oil pump. If you don't what you're going to find is that at 150,000 or 175,000 the performance you gained with rebuilding the top end and going to 1.6 rockers may accelerate wear of the short block.

Lastly, on removing the EGR, if all you do is that you're going to have a hell of a problem with detonation at part throttle and recalibrating the ECM is not a DIY task unless you own the special equipment necessary to "burn" and/or "erase" the EPROMs used in the chips which are in an 85 ECM. Frankly, I'd make sure the EGR is working right then leave it alone. It is disabled at wide-open throttle and only operates at part throttle, but if you insist on removing it, you need to get a chip that is designed to work with an engine not having EGR otherwise that engine will rattle like crazy or get tons of KR at part-throttle.

oops, I forgot new bearings and rings at 80k. So the block is a little fresher than a true 143k.
 

DonB

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 25, 2015
Messages
339
Location
Chicago
Corvette
2019 ZO6 in Elkhart Lake Blue
I have to agree with Hib on this one. Even with new rings and bearings at 80k, that is still 60k on the existing. The actual parts cost is minimal here and since you are replacing the oil pump I feel it would be a good move. I also would recommend a Mellings (or Milodon) oil pump w/ a new drive shaft. Jegg's sells a hardened one in a kit I like, combined with the Mellings pump. A new distributor drive gear wouldn't hurt either. You don't need a "high" pressure pump either. A stock pressure higher volume pump will do the trick just fine. Use a minimum of 10W40 oil (in summer) and you will be "Golden." Get to Work! Let us know how it is going.
 

BlueCorvette

Active member
Joined
Feb 13, 2016
Messages
29
Location
Florida
Corvette
1985 two tone blue Z51 4+3
I have to agree with Hib on this one. Even with new rings and bearings at 80k, that is still 60k on the existing. The actual parts cost is minimal here and since you are replacing the oil pump I feel it would be a good move. I also would recommend a Mellings (or Milodon) oil pump w/ a new drive shaft. Jegg's sells a hardened one in a kit I like, combined with the Mellings pump. A new distributor drive gear wouldn't hurt either. You don't need a "high" pressure pump either. A stock pressure higher volume pump will do the trick just fine. Use a minimum of 10W40 oil (in summer) and you will be "Golden." Get to Work! Let us know how it is going.

I looked up the Melling oil pumps. They sell a high volume and a regular volume pump. Each has a spring inside that you can change out to convert it to and from high pressure.

The info states that high volume is for engines with wider bearing clearances. I'll get the high volume one and change it to std pressure.

Pickup Inlet Diameter:
0.6250 in. Is this what I want, my service manual doesn't say?

Thanks for the info.
 

Hib Halverson

Technical Writer for Internet & Print Media
Joined
Jan 10, 2001
Messages
13,453
Location
CenCoast CA
Corvette
71 04 12 19
You don't need a "high-volume" pump on an L98. All it will do is cost you money and increase your oil temperature due to the HV pump's larger rotors beating the oil to death.

Take your OE pump out, disassemble it and inspect the parts. If the body, bottom plate and rotors are not badly worn, simply replace the pressure relief valve spring with a the 60-psi relief spring then reassemble the pump.

If the pump is worn, replace it with a standard volume, high-pressure pump which is available from a variety of sources.
 

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