15. The Comp Cams double roller timing set is installed. We installed the camshaft straight up, meaning the dot on the lower sprocket is lined up with the dot on the cam sprocket.
16. The other big aspect of updating this engine is the top end setup we ordered from Edelbrock. The Performer RPM cylinder heads are half the weight of the original iron castings, and they came fully assembled with valvesprings, 7/16-inch rocker arm studs and guideplates.
17. We ordered the cylinder heads with valve springs that are set up for hydraulic roller camshafts with maximum lift capabilities of 0.600 inch. Comp Cams offers more aggressive valvesprings if needed, but keep in mind that more than 0.600-inch valve lift may require custom pistons.
18. The Edelbrock cylinder heads feature stock valve sizing to ensure a true bolt-on experience. No machine work is necessary to install the Edelbrock heads on a stock short-block. Notice the lack of combustion chamber in the cylinder head—the combustion events occur inside the cylinder.
19. Fel-Pro gaskets are used, and the Edelbrock heads are installed onto the dowel pins.
20. Before the ARP head bolts can be installed, we must first remove one of the rocker arm studs from each pedestal. Then we rotate the guideplate far enough to allow the bolt to slide into the bolthole. This also provides enough clearance for a socket.
21. As we install the ARP head bolts, we apply ARP thread sealer to each bolt. Every head bolt in a 409 is a wet bolt, so thread sealer is a must if you don’t want coolant leaks. Don’t forget to also coat the threads in ARP Ultra Torque to ensure proper torque specs.
22. Starting in the middle of the cylinder head and working our way outward in a clockwise pattern, we torqued the ARP head bolts. We tightened the bolts in three steps, with a final torque reading of 70 ft-lb.
23. We begin the valvetrain assembly by installing the Comp Cams retrofit link bar roller lifters. The link bar is pointed away from the block surface, and the lifters should easily drop into place.
24. The Comp Cams Ultra Pro Magnum rocker arms offer a lightweight and very durable construction. Rocker arm ratio is 1.7:1 for this application.
25. Before sliding the rocker arms onto the studs, we used the Cam & Lifter Installation Lube on the ends of the pushrods and valvesprings. These surfaces see a lot of friction on initial startup, so pre-lubrication is always suggested.
26. We threaded the rocker arm nuts loosely into place. We will adjust the valves in next month’s installment.
27. The finished long-block is looking good, so check back next month when we put the finishing touches on the 409 and see how it handles a serious thrashing on the dyno.