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October 2021
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Kirkham Motorsports

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  • 1 Post By jts359
  • 1 Post By blykins

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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 09-22-2021, 01:53 PM
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Default A tale of three Windsors.

This is the "new" build thread mentioned elsewhere. There's a good number of reasons for a fresh start, not the least of which was that the other thread was 3-1/2 years old and didn't have the focus I would have liked. But the MAIN reason is that, in keeping with my tendency to go overboard, the project has morphed from the initial goal of just a good, stout 351w, to a simple 408 stroker into three engines for 3 different vehicles. As it stands, there's the 408w that is bespoke to the Hurricane, the 351w that was a Craigslist buy, now penciled in to drop in my Midstates Cobra chassis, and lastly, the 351w currently under the hood of my t-top foxbody.

I guess a guy could say we have a mild-medium-hot type thing going on here. Being the inquisitive guy that I am, I see this as a perfect excuse to get all 3 of these on the dyno. Plus, the 408 and the craigslist engine will both be sporting dual-quads, and folks at my dyno shop are the go-to guys for this.

Just a pre-emptive note. Just about all of the parts have already been bought/traded/gifted, or were already on hand. Some parts there's simply no way I'd choose today if I were buying. A good example is head studs. I start to laugh every time someone brings up the overkill factor. I didn't fully realize it until i started looking at builds of guys with stellar reputations like Brent Lykins. That being said, I can't afford to throw out these studs simply because they're too good. Although they are a royal pain to work around. But next time...

If all went right, this post should have the 1st pic of the 408w short block.
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Old 09-22-2021, 03:06 PM
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Default The 408w

I stopped by my engine shop last week after a day of not so good news at the clinic, and there next to the door was the completed short block. Oh happy day!!!! Three and a half freaking years. This is my first take-away from this. If you let other people slide, they will, but if you need an excuse to slide yourself, these same folks will happily oblige. Anyway, here's a rundown of the work:

-boil, bake, blast the block
-index & install main caps and line bore
-bore and torque plate hone
-clearance for stroker
-deck block for zero height with new pistons
-new cam bearings and freeze plugs
-balance and prep rotating assembly incl. file fit rings
-pre-assemble, check, then assemble short block
-install cam at 0 and timing cover
-disassemble and clean new Edelbrock heads, lap valves, install Howard's springs
-cc heads, cc cylinders, calculate static compression ratio 10.6:1

So to walk out of there with my newly refreshed parts, total bill was $1741.00. Plus an additional $309.00 for the front of the house where the spring set came from. Other than the springs, that bill covered machining, the outsourced services of bake and blast the block and balance the rotating assy., and his assembly work on the block and heads.

That being what it is, it's easy to get a better feel for how reputable engine builders arrive at their prices. I don't mind paying for high quality work, I do, however, like to know that the rate is comparable to what others in his league would be. I originally thought of having a Brent Lykins built engine, but he quoted me a two year wait. This is where I feel like a complete FOOL! Had I just said "sounds good", I'd have had my engine over a year ago, and likely for very similar money, I'd be the proud owner of a Lykins-built engine. Oh hindsight... One of his cams may be in the works for dyno day, on my list to contact.

A few more shots of the short block...
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Last edited by Hoodabest; 09-22-2021 at 03:30 PM.. Reason: Spelling
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Old 09-22-2021, 03:13 PM
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Hind site is 20/20. Just keep moving forward. Hopefully the availability of parts will start easing up and it will go a little quicker for you.
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Old 09-22-2021, 03:21 PM
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Manage attachments is giving me static. Here's another couple. One is of my freeze plug. A couple weeks ago I walked in to the engine shop to check up on things. In every engine waiting for pickup, the freeze plugs had the large-font capital letters "CHINA" stamped deep into them. I told Bill (the engine guy) "Don't even THINK about putting those in my block". He actually had to make look for non-chinese freeze plugs. With me, it's the principle.
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Old 09-22-2021, 04:53 PM
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Nice pics and story so far, keep it coming.

I would ask your builder to show piston to valve clearance, plus retainer to seal etc. Hopefully he can quote this, and not hesitate.

I start a dummy build with the camshaft, then the crank, then one piston and rod, then one head with 2 valves and light checking springs.
Dial indicator on the valve retainer while watching the VTP clearance, versus crank fitted timing wheel.
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Last edited by Gaz64; 09-22-2021 at 04:59 PM..
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Old 09-22-2021, 09:09 PM
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Default PCV or not??

So, let's talk crankcase venting. (This is where it becomes CLEAR that I'm a mere hobbyist ) . Up until now, I've simply used whatever setup was there, be it pcv, vented caps, didn't matter.

So now i have 3 engines, 3 different sets of valve covers, 3 different intakes. I'm not sure what criteria would even be used to guess where to start. I believe all 3 carb setups have some provision for a pcv line, but that's where I'm stuck.

Oh, and the 408 will be getting a pair of those beautiful Blue Thunder cast covers. They just showed up with a vent-cap, 2 non-vent caps, and a cap with a built-in pcv valve. So I guess I could surmise that to be a nudge in a direction maybe?
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Old 09-23-2021, 02:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoodabest View Post
So, let's talk crankcase venting. (This is where it becomes CLEAR that I'm a mere hobbyist ) . Up until now, I've simply used whatever setup was there, be it pcv, vented caps, didn't matter.

So now i have 3 engines, 3 different sets of valve covers, 3 different intakes. I'm not sure what criteria would even be used to guess where to start. I believe all 3 carb setups have some provision for a pcv line, but that's where I'm stuck.

Oh, and the 408 will be getting a pair of those beautiful Blue Thunder cast covers. They just showed up with a vent-cap, 2 non-vent caps, and a cap with a built-in pcv valve. So I guess I could surmise that to be a nudge in a direction maybe?
By all means, we could do that. I recommend you start a new thread, so this one stays on your original topic.
Makes searching threads for future reference/information etc a lot more practical.
I am sure there are many members on here that will contribute to a well-informed discussion.

Gary
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Old 09-23-2021, 06:01 AM
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Hi Thanks for removing the china freeze plugs , But why didnt you use brass plugs ? Just curious , Ed
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Old 10-03-2021, 04:38 PM
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Hi Thanks for removing the china freeze plugs , But why didnt you use brass plugs ? Just curious , Ed
I've asked myself that question and came up blank. If there is a particular reason, please anybody, let me know so I can switch over on the engine stand. Like the PCV question, I simply don't have the expertise to know of any particular advantage. I have had to replace 3 or 4 freeze plugs in my life. All were on old ford gas dump trucks or tractors, all were due to leaking, not freezing, all were steel. But every one had been in place for decades before failing.
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Old 10-04-2021, 06:09 AM
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I appreciate the kind words and I feel your pain. Parts shortages and lead times have put me in a bad bind recently.

Just to chime in on the freeze plugs. Nothing wrong with steel plugs if you coat them inside and out, otherwise they will rust.

Also, they make freeze plug drivers. The ones you show have been driven in with a hammer and socket, which leaves the ring in the middle as you see. Also, it kills me when they're not all aligned the same. The devil's in the details....
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Old 10-05-2021, 08:40 AM
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It is almost impossible to find non crappy "China" parts. Most part stores barely even carry any on direct inventory, usually "at the "Hub". Again not nice brass USA built parts. People these days in almost everything readily sacrifice quality and longevity of everything they buy for a cheap I want it now alternative. They could car less where it came from, or who profits from it's sale. Try to find USA sheet metal for that beloved muscle car, good luck. Don't even get me started about the dimensional and corrosion issues. BTW yes very easy to swap out the freeze plugs on the stand. As usual there are varying opinions on the use of a sealant on them. I never have, never had an issue.
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Old 10-05-2021, 10:26 AM
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OK, I have decided to do this right. As I truly do believe that the devil IS in the details. If anyone happens to have a set of nice brass plugs and/or the proper driver available for sale, please p.m. me. Even a link to a vendor that will save a bit of searching. Thanks.
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