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While I'm at it syndrome

spikebot 81

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 19, 2007
Messages
343
Location
vancouver wa
Corvette
81 white, not stock
We have all had this bite us in the butt and here is a perfect example. Date 2/12/12. My income tax return has arrived and the budget for this year is 3 grand. First on the list is get the ill 200r4 trany rebuilt. I find a guy 140 miles north that claims a bullet proof rebuild for aprox $1200 to $1400. Will handle 400+ horse power. Fine, out comes the trany and off to Seattle I go. Rebuild will take about 2 weeks. Here is where things go sour. The trans is out and gee there will be $1500 left in budget I might as well pull the engine and do a cam and head swap, detail the engine bay and such. Motor is out and after taking the cylinder heads off I find the pistons are 4 valve relief flat tops .040 down in the hole with a . 040 head gasket. 0.080 quench! This is not going to work for new 180cc rhs iron heads. After days of research my option appears to send the block to the machine shop for decking and general checkup. This 350ci was already bored .040 over so I,m hoping the cylinders will clean up with a hone and I can rering. Machinest sits on the project for 2 weeks and calls with bad news. Cracked cylinder, block is junk. OH BOY. There goes the budget . I"m done and very depressed. I stewed about it for a couple of days. Told my hotrod buddy the whole story and he thought I should buy a junk yard motor and just get the Vette running for the summer. Save your coins and get a crate engine next year. Not a bad idea being that the insurance and plates are already paid for 2012. Craigs list here I come. Date 3/14 12. I find a lot of junk 350 sbc that might work and then spot a add for a new long block, $1500. Sound interesting. After some email transfers with the seller and a few phone calls, this might be workable option. Turns out the seller is military and being transfered to Europe. He had the 350 sbc built by a engine shop in seattle 4 yrs ago for a 73 blazer. The engine has been wraped up in a heated garage ever since. The bad news about this is the seller has lost all the paper work and only remembers the name of the shop. Well as time goes by I finally get the seller to take some photos of the heads for ID because he has no clue what this engine has internally or externally. One of the pics has a number stamped on the head that I can id and turns out to be 180cc pro topline pro action iron heads. Most of you know pro action was bought out by RHS some years back. I just about fell out of my chair because I really had planed to use RHS as a head supplier all along.. Off to Seattle to make a deal. Apon arrival the engine has no pan and internal looks great with no surface rust. A very fine hone was done and looks like fordged pistons from the bottom. We agree on $1100 because the seller still has no clue what he has and THERE IS NO WARRENTY on this engine. OH CRAP what have I done. Date 3/17/12. I have to pull a cylinder head and the camshaft to see what I just bought. To my suprise the pistons are 12cc dished with 64cc camber heads 180cc runners .020 down in the whole and .028 gm composit head gasket. Camshaft is a elgin grind for low torque that might run out of steam at 5000rpm. Compression calcs to 9.41 to 1. I called the shop that built the engine and they seamed to remember the build. We checked the valve spring specs compared to the elgin cam specs and the builder confirmed that a 60103 voodoo cam would work just fine. Date 4/14/ 12 Engine in the Vette and break in per Luanti specs went without a problem. Motor sounds great no issues. Changed the oil and did all the tuning this week. Looks like decent weather to do shake down cruises today. I think I lucked out. Moral to all this: If it aint broke, keep your wrenches in the darn toolbox. Best of luck Spikebot


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fatbloke-dim

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 29, 2011
Messages
70
Location
manchester,england
Corvette
93 'vert,bright aqua,lt-1
Well done , you lucky monkey ! A proper engine, too - with a carby and almost devoid of electronic trickery . You ARE aware ,of course ,ther'es no point buying a lottery ticket ever again , you just used up a lifetimes worth of good fortune . Enjoy !:thumb
 

mrmarchuk

New member
Joined
Feb 5, 2009
Messages
4
Location
Portland, OR
Corvette
1979 restomod

lol, reminds me of my "while i'm changing my headlights" which turned into a full out engine swap -_- looks like we live in the same City ;) you should hit me up on Facebook, as i dont frequent these forums much (too busy with work). facebook.com/mrmarchuk :)
 

Gohot

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 20, 2012
Messages
46
Location
Cason Old Field NC.
Corvette
1982 C3
I'v got plans for RHS heads as well, but on a SBChrysler motor. After scouring all the forums about heads and build-ups with RHS heads, I was a bit alarmed by some discussion with the early RHS heads and peculiarities that rose-up with casting and ports and valve spring seats. I hope you got some good heads, but there is information out there that has diminished the desireability of 'some' of the years of RHS heads where problems occurred. Just a heads up my friend.
 

spikebot 81

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 19, 2007
Messages
343
Location
vancouver wa
Corvette
81 white, not stock
Thanks Gohot, Well so far so good on this engine. I have 600 miles on the engine and new trans. No issues yet. I have no idea what kind of HP this thing is putting out but compaired to the old engine with 882 smogger heads, its like a rocketship. Time will tell because I'm not happy to just cruise around at parade speeds

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