THE SHOP

Performance & Hotrod Business - January '15

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January 2015 n PRECISION ENGINE n 9 lock nut. Be careful not to lose the small flat washer that's under the locknut. Remove the roll pin from the shaft col- lar and slide the shaft out of the housing by 2 inches. Rotate the shaft 180 degrees and insert the advance stop bushing pin into the small hole in the advance plate. Install the washer and lock nut to the advance stop bushing. This locks the advance in place. Slide the shaft into the collar and install the roll pin. Valve Covers I selected a pair of cast aluminum, pol- ished flat-top valve covers from Summit Racing. These covers provide a tall roof to provide plenty of rocker arm clearance, and a flat top, ideal for engraving. I had the valve covers powder coated in a "silver splash" finish—essentially a charcoal color that features a textured "wrinkle" finish. I then had the covers tastefully CNC engraved with the type "499 WEDGE" by Plate Engraving in nearby Medina, Ohio. Intake Manifold The Weiand G-Force single-plane intake manifold (P/N 7533) was checked for port-match to the intake gaskets and cylinder heads. Only a very minor kiss was required on the intake manifold ports to obtain a match, (it could have been installed without touching it). Because I opted to use an aftermar- ket valley cover that does not incorpo- rate intake gasketing, separate composite intake gaskets were obtained from 440 Source. Even though the gaskets feature a slightly sticky coating, I applied a very thin smear of Ultra Gray RTV around each port prior to installation, (don't apply a bead, as this can spread out when the gasket is com- pressed and can protrude into the intake ports, disrupting airflow). I applied a very light, thin smear of RTV primarily to hold the gaskets in place dur- ing assembly. If you plan on racing the engine and expect to remove the intake manifold regularly, a thin smear of grease onto each side of the gaskets is an alterna- tive. Under compression, the grease will aid in sealing and will make it much easier to remove the manifold in the future. The intake manifold tightening specs are recommended in three steps: 10 foot- pounds, followed by 15 foot-pounds, fol- lowed by a final 25 foot-pounds. Since all of the intake manifold bolt holes are open to oil, (open to the top of the cylinder heads, pushrods, springs, drainback, etc.), I applied a coating of Teflon thread sealer to all eight of the ARP intake manifold bolt threads. Because the center four manifold bolts are somewhat shrouded by the runners and plenum, a straight socket wrench cannot be used on those four bolts. In order to torque all bolts equally, I used a 3/8-inch- drive torque wrench along with a 2-inch wrench extension, (featuring a box 3/8- inch 12-point to accommodate the ARP bolt heads). When using an extension (effectively lengthening the torque wrench), the setting on the torque wrench must be adjusted to compensate for the increased leverage of the extension. Even though the outer four manifold bolts are easily acces- sible without the need for an extension, in order to ensure that all bolts were tight- ened to equal values, I used the extension to tighten all eight bolts. EFI While I initially planned to use a Holley 4-barrel carb in the 800- to 850-cfm range, during my planning period I discovered Holley's new "Terminator EFI" system and couldn't resist. This system far exceeded my expecta- tions. The system includes a throttle body equipped with four built-in injectors, a wiring harness, controller and a handheld plug-in controller that allows custom tuning. I'll provide details in the next and final article installment, where we dyno the engine. This is a killer system. Mike Mavrigian has written thou- sands of technical articles over the past 30 years for a variety of au- tomotive publications, in addition to writing nine automotive technical books for four different publishers. Mike also owns and operates Birchwood Automotive in Creston, Ohio, where he builds custom engines, street rods and performs vehicle restorations. Mike can be reached at 330-435-6347 or birchwdag@frontier.com. Birchwood's website is www.birchwoodautomotive.com. Once the shaft collar's roll pin is removed, the shaft is partly removed from the housing. The shaft is rotated 180 degrees, and the advance stop bushing pin is inserted into the small hole in the advance plate. The original washer and lock nut is installed onto the stop bushing. This locks the advance in place. With the dis- tributor secured in aluminum vice jaws, the roll pin is installed to the shaft collar bush- ing and shaft. The MSD crank trigger system features a reluctor wheel, pickup sensor and pickup bracket. The wheel-to-pickup was set up with an initial 32 degrees in conjunction with lock- ing out the distributor's advance mecha- nism. With the crank rotated to place number 1 cylinder at TDC, the crank was further rotated to 32 degrees advance. The reluctor wheel was then positioned with one of the magnets aligned with the pickup. This is done by reorienting the wheel on the crank damper in conjunction with adjusting the position of the pickup. We chose 32 degrees advance for initial dyno running, being able to further adjust timing by simply adjusting the pickup in its bracket. The pickup must be mounted centered relative to the thickness of the reluctor wheel, as closely as possible. The air gap between the pickup and reluctor wheel was adjusted at 0.065 inches. MSD Super Conductor spark plug wires were carefully routed for stability and appear- ance. The use of MSD's wire separators aided in organizing.

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