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Discussion Starter #1
Well, ive been holding off on writing about the 383 engine build-up because id like to get all the pictures together at one time, with the project complete but i cant wait anymore; these long summer days with nothing to do, waiting for a job are killing me - so ill start now, why not.
The saga all begins in about March, with us purchasing a donor 4 bolt block for $175 locally. After the engine was all stripped down we found out that one of the cylinder walls had a huge gouge in it, aside from that the block was prestine, the block had never been bored, bearings for the most part looked new, only one worn into copper. I dont want to clog up this post w/ my oversized pics, ill post a few at a time, but if you want to see them all theres a link: http://s179.photobucket.com/albums/w293/63vette77/383%20engine%20buildup/
At this point it is now app. April 5th and we have sent the engine to the machine shop, paid in full for all the parts,and things are moving along. the parts are: aluminum heads w/ average flow ratings, scat "cast steel" stroker crank, forged I beam rods, forged flat top pistons, custom ground cam, full roller rockers/lifters, an intake like the edelbrock performer rpm, and all the other stuff.
We give the shop a few weeks and come in on a friday to check the progress, there is none, other than a pile of new shiney parts. We tell them we'll be back in 2 weeks to check out the progress
4-6 weeks later (app.May 11th) the block is still the same as we left it, and understandibly so. The story is that the shops co-owner had died of cancer, the other partner was in legal matters, on top of that the stripping machine, to clean the blocks was broken, and the company refused to repair it ( its a month old machine)

Well at May 18th some progress had began, the block had been cleaned and some machine work had been done.
On the 25th the sleeve for the cylinder with the gouge in it had been put in - for some reason the before pic. is HUGE, so this is the after pic.- taken on the 1st, you can barely see the sleeve (center cylinder in pic).
AFTER:

On June 1st the block is completely machined, its all decked, bored, etc, all thats left is the final hone job for the cylinder walls.
We are going in on friday to see the progress, everything is supposed to be balanced, and ready to go into the block. Ill post the pictures when we go in friday, and as there is visible progress along the way, so i hope you stay tuned :thumbsup:
 

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Maybe YOU see a sleeve in that pix, I damn sure don't.....at any rate, i'ts nice when a project comes together.....personally, I don't like doing short blocks, too much fiddley crap and too easy to screw up, alls it takes is one mil overlooked somewhere, or a scratch on something, and it's toast....

I don't mind slipping cams in place, heads, timing chains, seals, the rest, but thost piston rings, caps, bearings, mains.....eh...I aint' got the patience....or the experience....I pay the guy 300 bux to do that in a hearbeat,....

I'll go fix someone's kitchen....

:thumbsup: :surprised :cheers:
 

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Wow..good engine project, Reasonable and economic sounds like. Please Keep posting your progress , Hope your able to start it up this summer:thumbsup:

PS, Yeah the sleeve is viseable at the PHotobucket Pics. it looks Like a Good Job!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Hello again, i failed to post any updates last friday because like the 2 out of 3 times we go there (it seems) there was NO progress! I think i am learning the causes for delay, the machine shop is highly reputable, and has a few shops around town going to him for machining, so naturally he satisfys their demands first, b/c of the work they provide him (he finished a 455, and is working on a mean stroked LS motor for a c5 w/ either LOTS of nitrous or turbo for one shop by us). well, that was last week. This last friday he has told us that he has been working on clearances for the rods and is half done with balancing stuff. He also told us that Wed/Thurs he'll have the crankshaft on the table being balanced, so ill be getting pics of that. for now heres a few pics of the progress on the block, we caught him in the middle of it all...
The first pic. is of the clearance on the block for the rods:

The second pic. is of the lifter valley smoothed out for better oil flow i assume:

Until next time...
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Hello everyone!
i am on here mainly to vent my anger over this machine shop, as you might have guessed by reading along, they dont work on our engine in a steady pace, and its another whole week that it hasnt been touched and is in the same state as the previous post, same spot even, not even rolled around the shop. but i did get to see a beautiful merlin II big block, forged everything, and that special heat/friction coating on everything. (id have taken a pic. but stopped bringing the camera) that engine i have NEVER seen before at his shop, meaning he built it in NO MORE than 2 weeks, yet our lil 383 has been sitting in there since MARCH 9 !?!?! ( i looked at the reciept) It will be at least another 2 weeks id assume, maybe a month at his pace. what really made me mad was the last two weeks seeing these high dollar engines in and out of the shop for local shops installing them in cars, i understand he wants to be kept in good terms with these shops, but were a paying customer, potentially a big customer too, with at least 4 engines going to him in the next year or two, why are we not being treated with this kind of dilligance???? He still has to assembly the heads, block, balance the crank, check clearances...etc. Is there ANY reason that an engine of this kind should TAKE 6 MONTHS TO BUILD!?!??!?! (closely approaching it anyways) im baffled and getting more pissed off by the second as to why our engine is not being touched, while the other engines are being cranked out. dont get it wrong he does great work, and all his work is great on anything he does, but its the ammout of time he does it in that is whats messed up; how our engine can sit around for 3 weeks with nothing significant done, while he cranks out several engines for other large volume suppliers to him. well, we just got a 1970 duster, with a 360 that needs to go in, so sadly, it looks like that gets priority on the engine stand, never thought that the new project would come before the old one was wrapped up. well, sorry for the long post, im not gunna write until theres some real progress. until then...
 

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What kind of heads are you planning on using? Sorry about your bad experience with your shop. Why didn't you layout some type of time table for getting things completed before hand?
 

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Hello everyone!
i am on here mainly to vent my anger over this machine shop, as you might have guessed by reading along, they dont work on our engine in a steady pace, and its another whole week that it hasnt been touched and is in the same state as the previous post, same spot even, not even rolled around the shop. but i did get to see a beautiful merlin II big block, forged everything, and that special heat/friction coating on everything. (id have taken a pic. but stopped bringing the camera) that engine i have NEVER seen before at his shop, meaning he built it in NO MORE than 2 weeks, yet our lil 383 has been sitting in there since MARCH 9 !?!?! ( i looked at the reciept) It will be at least another 2 weeks id assume, maybe a month at his pace. what really made me mad was the last two weeks seeing these high dollar engines in and out of the shop for local shops installing them in cars, i understand he wants to be kept in good terms with these shops, but were a paying customer, potentially a big customer too, with at least 4 engines going to him in the next year or two, why are we not being treated with this kind of dilligance???? He still has to assembly the heads, block, balance the crank, check clearances...etc. Is there ANY reason that an engine of this kind should TAKE 6 MONTHS TO BUILD!?!??!?! (closely approaching it anyways) im baffled and getting more pissed off by the second as to why our engine is not being touched, while the other engines are being cranked out. dont get it wrong he does great work, and all his work is great on anything he does, but its the ammout of time he does it in that is whats messed up; how our engine can sit around for 3 weeks with nothing significant done, while he cranks out several engines for other large volume suppliers to him. well, we just got a 1970 duster, with a 360 that needs to go in, so sadly, it looks like that gets priority on the engine stand, never thought that the new project would come before the old one was wrapped up. well, sorry for the long post, im not gunna write until theres some real progress. until then...
I am experiencing the same problem with my engine and mechanic. He is a mechanic on 2 or 3 race teams on the weekends and he takes off every Friday to go racing. My car has been in his shop for over 2 months waiting for the engine to come back from the machine shop.
Yesterday I stopped being so damned polite. I finally lost my temper and yelled at the guy. I told him that it pisses me off that he takes time off to go racing every weekend while my car sits in his shop unfinished. I said that it would be nice if I could go racing too. I asked hm for a completion date and he said "What are you gonna do - go get a lawyer now?" - That is when I lost it and started yelling at him. I have NEVER yelled at him in over 2 years, but he pushed me too far with his lawyer comment and his seeming lack of motivation to get my car back to me. He even suggested that I should have sold the car because of the on going BS - not what I want to hear from him!
He finally agreed to complete the car by next Friday. We will see. If it is not done by then I am going to make some ridiculous demand - like he buy my 'Vette from me for what I have into it - because he has it more than I do.
I did write to my lawyer yesterday too.
Boy am I pissed!
It seems that race season is here and us "little guys" aren't worth the shops' time.:crazy:
 

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You better just go pick up the car. I don't think your gonna get his best effort now. Cut your losses and move on.:thumbsup:
 

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B2B i totaly agree go get that car now don't let him turn one more bolt on it. he will have it finished friday allright. T TOTALY FINISHED i'm sure you can find another shop near you that will do a better job for you. TOW DRAG OR CARRY THAT VETTE OUTTA THERE. It deserves better just my ½ cent. good luck
 

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I had exactly the same experience with a body shop. He dicked me around for about 3 months and finally told me I was pissing him off by asking when I was going to get my car. He didn't do half of what he was supposed to do and I finally rescued the car and cut my losses to $5500.00. He had just pushed it outside in the weather and left it there for 2 or 3 weeks! I thought I was going to have to fight him when I went to get the car.
 

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Who ever did the block - rod bolt clearancing does NOT know what they are doing:surprised

What kind of crank and rods are you using anyway?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
i hate hearing all the stories of shops procrastinating, (no matter what kind - be it paint/engine/total restore...) but whats even worse is the under-par workmanship. DeeVeeEight, good luck, hope that your bit of persuasion has helped out and that your deadline is reached. For me, as long as the engine is in the car, tuned, and runs before school gets back in, august 17th, im happy, even though our pervious deadline of easter break was not attained.
gkull, we are using a scat rotating assembly, with I-beams. that picture of the clearancing was not when it was finished, we had caught him WORKING ON IT (a shock i know), theres a lot more material that had to be taken out, and its a lot more cleaned out now. as far as not knowing what hes doing, i wouldnt be concerned about that, like i said, he does great work - all the shops around here go to him, and he has owned his own machine shop in this area for the last 30 years, and he or one other experianced employee do all the work (probably why its taking so long). good luck to all in the waiting game...
 

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Originally Posted by gkull
Who ever did the block - rod bolt clearancing does NOT know what they are doing why?
http://i179.photobucket.com/albums/w293/63vette77/383 engine buildup/rodclearancing.jpg

Look where the grinding is. It is only in the bottom of the bores. Which I have not found to be a problem unless you are building motors using 6.125 or 6.250 length big H beam rods or exceeding 3.750 strokes. The 6 inch and shorter don't ever seem to require bore base clearancing. It is just like other shop photos i have seen where every rod pan rail was clearanced the same.

It is unneccesary man hours. It shows that they are just grinding and not trial fitting anything.

If look at the bottom of a stock SBC block the pan rails are wider at the rear (no grinding required) It is only the front passenger side that has the most grinding for rod bolt clearancing of big H-beam rods. the drivers frons to a lesser extent.

Maybe:lookinup: They are using some super cheap kit where nothing really fits.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Well, another week down the drain, actually TWO with NOTHING DONE AT ALL PERIOD. i cant get any more mad when he "promises" us he'll get the crank balanced by next week, hes been saying that for 3 weeks now. hes been promising things done if we "come back in 2 weeks" when they are actually done in a month or two after those 2 weeks.

Maybe They are using some super cheap kit where nothing really fits.
gkull, he is using a scat rotating assembly, and as i said before, that picture is not the finished product. He showed us how he clearances blocks, he has a jig so that he only has to dirty up one piston rod, the jig fits where the crank should go, and he attaches one rod to an elbow with the designated throw to it, rotates it, measures clearance, and clearances if necessary. i wish i could explain the jig in more detail, but the jig apparently helps, and keeps most the parts clean.

theres no reason for him to be putting our block off for this long, and whether he knows it or not, he lost a valuble customer (projects in line-up: stroked 440 mopar, rebuild 327, rebuild 350, rebuild 360 mopar...maybe more?)

i want this car done and running by August, and i dont have anything to do all summer, so ill be going to his shop every 2 days from now until its done to let him know how much this is pissing me off that he puts it off, and that ill do anything to speed up the process.
 

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August 30th maybe.:thud:
 

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63vette77

Sir,
You have much more patients than I.........
Me and Mr. Lethargic would have parted ways looooooong ago.

:devil:
 

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This same thing happened to me. Dropped the block off to have some machine work done. 5 months went passed and no word from him. I finally had enough so I went to the shop to pick up the block. I said I am here to pick up my block he said it wasn't done. I said thats ok, I can't wait any longer. He said come back in three days guess what it was done.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Well, another week has passed, i went to go see if the engine had had any progress from the last time I had seen it (for me a month ago) , it hadnt. In that month i had gone to NJ for a week, then to GA for two, and he still has the crank sitting in the same spot "waiting to be balanced" (for the last 3 weeks) and the engine block hasnt moved one inch. Two weeks ago my dad attempted to speed up the process by telling him it has to get in by august so that i can drive to school, the machinists response was "you let him take that car to school !?!"

well this last week (thurs) when i went to the shop, despite nothing being done, he has promised that by friday everything will be machined, and in the form of a short block, he said maybe even a finished engine. I dont know how much of this to believe, but all the high dollar race engines have come and gone, leaving him with only our engine to work on, so maybe hes not filling us with false hopes. im giving him 2 weeks, then the engine REALLY has to be done to be ready for the school year, and we will REALLY have to get the engine from him.
he said that he will call us sometime this week when the crank is on the machine to be balancedand ill be there 20 mins after that call to take pics, and re enforce the need of it to be done asap.

well, until then...
 

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Hard core guys will scold me for this, but I must say that when I need machine work done I take my blocks to PRODUCTION shops...NOT race shops. I have only twice dealt with a PURE race shop for my street car needs, and both times was strung out FOREVER waiting on work to be done (and I paid a bundle for what they did).

Considering I do all I can do myself - but have to defer to the pros when it comes to equipment and tools I don't own, most of what I need machined is basic bore work - milling, and hot tanking.

If you don't know of a shop, talk to your local Chevy dealer and find out who they send stuff off to for repair - these will be high volume production shops. They crank the work out - fast. Sometimes you can talk them into doing some stroker clearancing - but not always. However, this is something you can do at home with the right information and some basic tools.

Again...hard core guys will flame me for this...but for a STREET car, balancing is NOT the end all and be all that it is made up to be. I challenge the average guy with the average ability to tune a carb and timing to be able to tell the difference between a balanced engine and a non-balanced engine ON THE STREET.

We get so caught up in the hype of ultra high performance modifications that we will start throwing dollars at street application engines that cost time, money, and cause things to drag out forever!

The last stroker I built was a four bolt 350 using a crank from a 400 chevy engine. We just did the old school stuff to it and I had a regular crankshaft production shop bore the block, hot tank, and grind the crank/rods - and press the pistons. Assembled it at home. That motor ran like a rocket, pulled like a bear...and ran for years and years of trouble free street duty and occasional drag strip fun.

So....if the dude is still sitting on his hands this Friday - pick the thing up, take it home - and put it together. You will enjoy the hands on fun and learning as well as pride of workmanship by having assembled all the internals yourself.

The guys here will walk you through ANYTHING you need to know about making the stroker crank do its job.

Have fun!
 
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