I'm really stoked to be driving my Oval again, and wanted to share some interesting stuff with the rest of the KCW forum junkies. As you can tell by my lengthy posts, I'm the kid who loved picture books in school. If you have the patience, please check this out... there might be some eye opening info in here.. even for those of you who know a thing or two.
I recently had complete valve train failure in my newly built 2387. After months of gathering parts and $$, I was finally able to have another go at it. What I found during break-down of the old engine and re-build of the new one, is worth sharing. I'll space out some of that info with the pictures. The fine folks at "The Bug Shop" in Longview, TX were nice enough to take me step by step through the Blueprinting process, and showed me the difference in taking parts out of a box and slapping them together versus the countless hours of specialty machining parts to fit perfectly for long engine life...
This is what camshaft and lifter failure look like:
What I discovered was the previous engine builder didn't take the time to set-up the rocker geometry correctly. I was using 1:4 ratio rockers with LS-1 long valves from CB, and total cam lift was almost .550. the geometry angle from the rocker arm to the valve stem was so steep that the rocker wasn't centered enough on the lash cap. We measured the dual valve springs at .550 lift and it was WAY OVER 300lbs of pressure. I am learning that this is a lot of pressure on the nose of the cam for a street motor.
Here, the previous builder didn't clearance the oil pump enough for the cam gear bolts.. you can see how the bolt won in the end
Lets go forward.. Here's Daniel torquing the SHIT out of my rods
This is where Blueprinting starts to pay off. Instead of just installing the cam out of the box, they "dialed" it in, and found that it was 2 degrees off! Note the offset washers on the cam and the nice button head hardware. Not only was the cam off, but during the dialing-in process, the EMPI DEGREE PULLY WAS 4 DEGREES OFF TOO!!!!! THAT'S RIGHT! Go Figure.. So, it was notched correctly.
Here, Daniel modified the pickup tube to accept a stock metal strainer to keep metal and junk from making it's way into the oil pump. A step that most people skip on deep sump installs.
Here, Clark Jr is cutting down the long sleeve 94's for our desired deck height. Long Sleeve Cylinders keep you from having to run shims. The Lathe is from the turn of the century.
Remember the Rocker Geometry issue mentioned earlier? Clark Jr took care of that by moving the whole rocker assembly down .0350. re-drilling and adding a case insert for the new rocker studs. Also, machined 4 spacers out of a blank sheet. All of this work makes for a more efficient valve train. HERE'S SOMETHING THAT MIGHT CATCH YOUR ATTENTION.. before the rocker assy got moved, Daniel set up the dial indicator to check Valve Lift (never just trusting a cam spec card) and what was supposed to be .536 lift turned into .600 lift!!!!! WTF?? the 1:4 rockers that were pulled right out of the empi wrapper were actually 1:5's mis-labeled!!! Now, if we were just bolting stuff together like most do... there would be serious trouble... coil bind, etc, and I'd be right back where I started...
Cutting Pushrods to length on the Lathe. he used a file to clean up the outside and a Chamfer to roll the inside, then used two lifters and a hammer to install the ends.
This is the clutch alignment tool.. from their Dad's very first Transaxle Rebuild from 1958. Pretty Cool. Just a note, Daniel has a green, IDA'd oval that runs 12's, and Clark Jr is chief mechanic for one of the Formula V cars - those 120 mph 40 horse bastards!!
I found this interesting... instead of breaking out the exacto knife, Daniel used a hammer to match the gaskets to the ports, and it was super quick and clean
The next 4 pics show the extra mile that these guys go. No two mating surfaces are overlooked. I was shocked to see how un-level these CB manifolds were out of casting. Note the special cutting tool used on the drill press
With Rocker Geometry now correct, it set the rockers out farther, so we couldn't use the stock valve covers anymore. The guys were gonna give me some vintage Treuhauft Valve Covers, but I didn't have the heart to drill tap and weld on them.. so, ChEMPI it is..
Here, Clark Jr is cutting holes in the tunnel and frame horns so that I can snake a 3/8 fuel hose from front to back... WHAT A BIOTCH THAT WAS
Ready to Stab Motor... it's midnight
Next Day... it's alive!!!! Clark Sr is happy and setting timing on the first run
note: ordered one of those $36 roller throttle tubes off the Samba.. BadAss!! great product!
It's so good to have her back on the road!! Still breaking in the motor, but damn it's got NUTS! and is smooth, smooth, smooth
I replaced the 145/65's with those bad ass firestone 135's.. nice
Thanks to the guys at "the Bug Shop" for helping me realize that big motor building takes more than you think it does... Everything on my motor had to be custom fit. NOTHING fit right out of the box. Even though George T from the Wagen in Vegas didn't build my older motor personally, he honored most of the failed parts and replaced them.. which was nice - thanks George... and thanks to anyone who took the time to read this