Big-Block Chevy Engine Build - Project American Heroes: Shock & Awe

Project American Heroes Will Blow Away The Competition Thanks To Its 717-Horse Smeding Performance 572 Big-Block

Mike Harrington Oct 17, 2007 0 Comment(s)
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Smeding degreed the cam for 108 1/2 degrees intake lobe center, which equates to 1 1/2 degrees of advance for better low-end drivability.

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When we asked Ben why he uses Pro Race, ProStreet balancers, his reply was: "They are very affordable and work excellent." Smeding has never had one fail.

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A Canton oil pan (# 15-350) was used. These particular ans fit on '66-67 Chevelles and have a shorter sump to work with Tri-Five steering. The pan is clearanced internally for a large stroke crank and incorporates integral crank scrapers. A Melling standard volume oil pump with a Canton pickup tube was installed before the pan, obviously.

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Smeding chose to go with Comp's high body lifters, which are commonly used in high-performance applications. Smeding prefers this configuration because of the added lifter-to-tie-bar-to-block clearance and uses them in higher end applications where the extra cost is warranted. Compare the size of the lifters in the middle to a stock one on the left and an average sized aftermarket lifter on the right. Does size matter? Apparently so.

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Because of the thin spacing between cylinder bores on these big-bore engines, Fel Pro metal layer steel Permatorque MLS head gaskets were used. The use of this type of gasket is critical to the engine's sealing. The #1077 big bore gaskets are .041-inch thick, which combined with the piston-to-deck-height clearance of .003-inch, gives a relatively tight total of .044-inch, right where Smeding likes it.

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The pre-assembled RHS heads, which have all been gone through, are next up on the list.

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An Edelbrock Victor Jr. intake was used with some black RTV to seal the ends and ARP six-point stainless bolts. We also used a trick swivel stainless steel water outlet from Performance Stainless Steel. They so supplied us with a full compliment of stainless steel pipe plugs.

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Smeding recommended a Holley Ultra HP 950-cfm carb to feed our beast. This is the latest/greatest that Holley has to offer with anodized billet metering bodies and base plate, four-corner idle adjustment, and changeable idle feed restrictors.


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