Chevy Car Questions & Answers - Performance Q&A

Kevin McClelland May 1, 2009 0 Comment(s)

With all this information, go ahead and finish screwing your engine together. Give it a nice, long break-in time before full-throttle runs. This will give the piston rings and cylinder bores the chance to get happy and wear slightly. Also, with this wear, the rings will have a greater surface contact area to the cylinder walls to aid in cooling. You shouldn't have a problem. Enjoy your new engine.


Rip Van Winkle
Q My '72 Chevelle has been in storage for the last two years. I was not expecting to store it that long, so I didn't perform proper maintenance before I put it away. I have been a Chevy High Performance subscriber for several years, and I know I saw an article at some point about how to go about starting a car that's been in storage for several years, but I cannot find it. Could you please point me in the right direction? Thanks!
Tim Francis Louisville, KY

A First, for the fuel system you'll want to pick up a bottle of Redline Water Remover & Antifreeze. This will allow any moisture built up in the fuel tank to be absorbed into the fuel and burned though the engine without a problem. It is also a great upper-end lubricant, which will help wake up your sleeping engine. You can either pick up a bottle at your local Advanced, AutoZone, CSK, NAPA, or Pep Boys, or order it directly online from Redline.

Next, change the engine oil and replace the filter. Since we don't want to start the engine until the new oil is installed, give the oil plenty of time to drain from the oil pan. Normally, you'd want to drain the engine oil when it's good and warm to promote drainage.

Finally, remove the spark plugs and shoot some oil directly into the cylinders. What we've had great luck with is Marvel Mystery Oil, developed in the 1920s to combat deposits on carburetors caused by poorly refined gasoline. It was used extensively in WWII on everything from airplanes to battleships to tanks. The best part about Marvel oil is that it burns with no deposits. The top piston ring of an engine is essentially a dry ring (not supposed to have oil on it). Standard engine oil will leave deposits on the ring lands that inhibit ring seal. You can pick up Marvel Mystery Oil at all the above-listed auto parts stores.

With the plugs removed, Marvel in the cylinders, fresh oil in the pan, and Redline in the gas tank, crank the engine until you have good oil pressure or the oil pressure light has been off for 30 seconds. Reinstall the plugs, and you should be good to go. Of course, check all fluid levels, brake hoses, and tire pressure. We'd then service the car in about 1,000 miles-a complete service with all fluids. This will give the car a chance to wake up all its sleepy parts and get all the moisture out of its system.Sources:,

For Cryin' Out Loud!Q I was wondering if you ever might do a piece on building an 8.1 496 Voretc. I see tons of LS engine builds but have not seen one of these engines built in any magazine. Also, why does no one offer a carb intake for these engines? They have a place for the distributor in the block, although there might be a clearance problem with the intake runner. Everything else is either available or adaptable from Mark IV, Gen V, and Gen VI big-blocks. I have two of these engines and am installing one in a '47 Chevy sedan. Both of mine came from 4500 Chevy moving vans, where I think they are still available, although no longer in pickups. They have a strong, internally balanced 4.37-inch-stroke crank, a 4/7 swap roller cam, large cathedral-style ports, 2.19/1.72-inch valves, and thick cylinder walls that might go 0.125 inch over! The rods are 6.693 inch with light pistons. I know Raylar makes aluminum heads (expensive), so why does no one make a cast 4150/4500 flange intake for these things? It's a big-block rotting in a junkyard, for cryin' out loud! Like the early Chrysler Hemi was in the early '50s-no one wanted them at first.
Danny Marlow Mt. Vernon, IL


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