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RickLee 07-31-2001 10:15 PM

Sleaving the fe block
Forgive me for my lack of knowledge on this but is sleaving the #2 and 3# cylinder on FE blocks particulary the 427 common practice? or a necessity?If so why ....Thanks

mickmate 08-01-2001 07:45 AM

With the 427 especially it's such a big bore with close centre distance it makes the wall very thin. They made the outside of the wall a squared off cylinder to increase strength and still allow coolant between them. Sleeving is not an uncommon practice as the combination of core shifts when casting, and the thin cylinder walls, and old rusty blocks corroding from the back, have the potential to leak or throw a leg out of bed (collapse completely).
Ultrasonic cylinder wall testing is very helpful and advisable before throwing alot of money at a motor. Plenty more advice and experience on it I'm sure.
Cheers Nick

Jeff Frigo 08-02-2001 12:21 AM

I have a sleeve in number 3. There was a rust hole from the back side that appeared after boring it .030 over. Made over 570 hp on pump gas on the dyno (solid lifter cam at only 6,000 rpm). If the machine shop knows what is doing, don't worry. Should only cost you $150 per sleeve with machining, labor, and material.

chopper 08-02-2001 02:58 PM

Steve Christ, in his book "How To Rebuild Your Big-Block Ford", recommends sleeving no more than one cylinder per bank. If two adjacent cylinders are sleeved, it would be logical to assume that the sleeving was necessary due to a failure of the wall between the two cylinders. That wouldn't be hard to believe due to the nominal 0.110 inch cylinder wall thickness for the stock block.

From what I understand, not all of the blocks came with the "square cylinders" to which Mr mickmate refers. Only the second-generation side-oilers had that casting. However, his suggestion to have the block sonic checked is excellent advice.

That said, I've talked with a person here in Phoenix who claims to have a 427 with all eight cylinders sleeved. He claims to have had no problem with the engine despite some aggressive driving habits.

mickmate 08-02-2001 06:47 PM

Good point, my book says late 66 427's had the reinforced cylinders. I was working with an engine builder that found it cheaper easier and more effective to sleeve a whole block and turn down expensive Hepolite pistons to match the bores rather than replace pistons(in a car we only use the rear end out of!?). No worries by the right machinists.

GEORGE ANDERSON 08-02-2001 10:49 PM didn't mention why you need to sleeve #2&3 holes?
We sleeve FE blocks and if done correctly and with the right wall sleeves you have a good fix. My Midstates with its 427 has been running and racing since 1994 and I sleeved all 8 bores here at the shop. I'll reference you to an information page from last year....

Sleeving a block with a damaged bore is one thing as compared to sleeving to get the block back to a standard or slight overbore condition. Not all bores can be repaired with a sleeve....if the bore has a crack and it extends to high or to low in the bore then a sleeve may not be a solution that will work....
Regards, george

RickLee 08-03-2001 12:32 AM


Hey thanks for the replys. I found a 427 reluctantly for sale that had #2 & 3 sleaved. I wondered if it was a leakdown problem. The more I talked to the engine builder the more I felt uncomfortable about the blocks history.....Thanks

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