If you were reading last month, you heard about Daniel’s LS2 and the high oil consumption we found after taking it apart. The theme of the last column was to resist the pressure to throw a project together, and well, we took our own advice after fully disassembling the engine and finding heavy carbon deposits in the ring lands of the pistons. The cylinder bores had evidence of combustion gases blowing past the rings at the top inch of the bore. This isn’t that uncommon for the LS-based aluminum engine blocks. They have gotten much better with time, but we got lucky. Daniel has decided to jump in with both feet and enlarge the engine out to 404 cid with a Livernois Motorsports stroker kit, which features a Callies 4-inch stroker crankshaft and H-beam rods, fully coated Diamond Racing forged pistons, and Total Seal piston rings. This kit is packed with quality parts, and the folks from Livernois have been great to work with.
As if this isn’t enough for a very full plate, I got my Super Gas roadster chassis back from the powdercoater! It was killing me to break away from the car and sit down to write this month’s column. I want to have it back on the track so I can tell you all about it next month. As with Daniel’s project, we have to slow down to make sure the car goes together the way we want. I’m completely rebuilding the car from stem to stern, including all-new plumbing for both the fuel and braking systems. I’ve already replaced the battery cables and rebuilt the steering; it’s going well, but my checkbook is dropping like a rock. One of the best upgrades I’m doing is installing a Racepak UDX digital dash and a Sportsman Data Logger system. This digital dash is the bomb; it replaces all analog gauges in the car. With the combo of the Data Logger and dash, I’ll be able to monitor in real time the rpm, water temp, transmission temp, oil pressure, fuel pressure, crankcase vacuum, and oxygen sensor. Another really nice feature is that you can program any warning lights from the channels you monitor. From shift lights, to max temps, to low fuel pressure, you can concentrate on winning the race instead of scanning the gauges for problems.
And on a bragging note, Daniel and his wagon won the Stock/Super Stock Series put on by the Southern California Drag Racing Association. This was an eight-race series; now with the season wrapped up, we’re moving on to our bracket combination and getting ready for a big bracket race in Las Vegas. Don’t work too hard this month, guys and gals!
Q: I recently built a 388 stroker with an Eagle Street performance-balanced rotating assembly. The assembly came with a cast-steel crankshaft, SIR 5140 steel connecting rods, and FM244 aluminum alloy hypereutectic pistons with Perfect Circle piston rings and Clevite 77 bearings. A local machine shop came highly recommended and did, from what I can tell, a fine job. They bored, clearanced, and machined 0.005 inch off the deck. They installed ARP main bolts and said the mains were within spec. A Melling high-volume oil pump and a Summit stamped-steel stock replacement oil pan seals it up. I’m running a COMP Cams valvetrain with a small-base-circle Thumper camshaft, Magnum roller rockers, and Magnum double-roller timing set. I had the 350 Turbo tranny rebuilt, and he included a rebuilt 2,200-stall converter. I hope this is enough information for you to point me in the right direction.
I removed the oil filter to find brass shavings that looked like glitter. I have built several engines and have never seen this before. Is this bearing material? I was told the torque converter might have ballooned and pushed the thrust surface of the crank into the thrust bearing and this is the material I’m seeing. The rods are bronze bushed for floating pins. Could this be the material from the small end of the rod? A couple felt a little tight but assembled without any problems. The only other bronze/brass-colored materials used were the valve locks.