Saturday, July 7, 2012

Cams and Stuff

After the headers came out for ceramic coating, the engine went on the stand where I promptly tore it down.

The engine had carbon headgaskets, which are nasty. I bought a plastic scraper and some permatex gasket remover and went to town on all the crap they left behind. To get all the left over residue off, I went over the surface with a nylon scotchbrite pad (no aluminum oxide) until all the remaining gasket was removed. After that I used some 2500 grit sandpaper to get the final finish, to give the cometic headgaskets a good sealing surface. Then I cleaned everything over and over again and checked all the surfaces for dirt with my fingertips and then cleaned some more. You can never be too clean when you open an engine. All and all the cleaning took about 3 hours per side.


Then I unboxed all the goodness that the fedex and ups guys had delivered.

Here's the grocery list from above:

- Cometic .040 MLS Headgaskets
- LS6 Valley cover, for its improved PCV system
- LS2 Lifter Guides
- LS7 Lifters
- GMPP Heavy Duty Timing Chain
- Melling High Volume Oil Pump
- GM camshaft install gasket kit
- ARP Headbolts
- ARP Camshaft Bolts
- ARP Cam Retainer Bolts
- Lingenfelter GT2-3 Cam
- Lingenfelter LS9 Blue Springs (hand checked for lift to work with the cam)

 Check out the difference between the original chain and the heavy duty one, can you tell which one is which?  I consider it cheap insurance when getting heavier valve springs, the HD chain has some serious beef to the side plates compared to the original part.

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Also the melling high volume oil pump is more of a preventative maintenance item as well.  Its the part number 10296.  It comes with the red high pressure spring installed, which I plan to switch out for the blue standard pressure spring.  I suspect that the increased volume alone will try to drain the pan, so I'm at least going to start with a little less pressure.

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The cam install was pretty uneventful. I discovered that cams are very sharp while I was cleaning it with a bunch of little paper cut like cuts on my hands that I discovered when hosing it down with brake cleaner. I then used some Lucas Oil Assembly Lube and slid the cam into place. Overhead cams (like the SR20DET) are way easier to install, but all and all it wasn't bad. You just have to be patient and careful so that you don't damage the bearings or get it stuck.

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Afterwards I moved on to the valve springs. I considered getting a loaner tool, but ended up just buying one specifically made for the job instead. I love new tools anyways. I got the Trick Flow Specialties 90306 from Summit, this tool made the valve spring change simple and quick, its definitely a quality tool.


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While I was in there I found something interesting, my 799 heads have what looks like hollow exhaust valves and the intake valve is black oxided, I'm not quite sure what to make of it.

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Super easy, just turn the nut down and pull the locks, I had lost my magnet and there was enough room that I could remove and install them with my fingertips fairly easily.

After I finished with that I installed and torqued down the heads.


To get torque specs, patterns, and specific instructions, when guidance was needed, I used these references.  The first is free information over the web which is pretty good, and the second is a book I purchased which had great, in depth explanations and some really good information in general.

How to Build and Modify GM LS Series Engines - Joseph Potak (Kindle Edition)

Friday, July 6, 2012

Ceramic Coated

I did the final test fit on the headers after Dan and guys at Advanced Chassis welded the tubes to the flanges, I couldn't be too careful before ceramic coating.  Once that coating is on, its on there and won't come off easily.  As always they did a great job and everything came out perfect.  They even modified a tube slightly for increased steering clearance.  For the ceramic coating I used Panacea Powder Coating, where Mike took excellent care of my headers.  Mike showed me a color called blue titanium on his own classic hotrod and I went with his recommendation.  The headers turned out awesome.  Pictures are hard to do the color justice, its a matte charcoal grey color with a little blue metallic, it makes for a really clean look.