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Monte Carlo SS Project - Building A Hell-Raiser

Starting With A Solid Foundation, We Finally Begin Building Our Procharged Powerplant For Project True Sstreet.

By Dan Ryder, Photography by Dan Ryder

To take charge of the valvetrain, we called upon Comp Cams in Memphis. Comp has quite a selection when it comes to valvetrain components, so it is recommended that you contact one of its technical consultants for assistance, as we did. Comp suggested we utilize its Hi-Tech Belt Drive system to keep the crankshaft in check with the camshaft, aiding against valvetrain instability. We will also be using rocker arms, solid roller lifters, and pushrods from Comp, which will be introduced in Part 2.

To build our True SStreet small-block, we called upon Ron Mielbrecht and the staff at M2 Race Systems in Farmingdale, New Jersey. M2 can do it all: engine machining, assembly, cylinder head service, and its mainstay, five-axis CNC machining to port cylinder heads, as well as aftermarket custom pieces. M2 caters to major manufacturers in the industry, and we are happy to have them aboard Project True SStreet.

Now stay tuned as the professionals at M2 Race Systems get busy with our blower-specific short-block.

The main bearings are coated with assembly lube and the crankshaft is temporarily installed along with one piston and rod. This step is critical in checking the deck height (the relation of the block deck to the top of the piston) at all four corners of the block. This measurement will also verify that the deck surfaces are true from front to back. All was within specification. Deck height checked in at around 0.010-inch in the hole (below the deck of the block).



Now DiSomma installs the coated camshaft bearings, which are provided from Dart upon purchase of the block. A special camshaft bearing installation tool is used to press each bearing into its respective location, starting from the rear forward. The bearings can't just be slapped into place-they must be lined up with the oil galley in the main, as well as the outer bearing groove. A small flashlight can be used to peer into the hole for alignment verification.

Now that we are confident that no further machining is required on the block, the crank is removed and the block is painted to protect it from the elements. DiSomma then presses in brass freeze-out plugs and plugs off all the external oil galleys. The Dart block contains 1/4-inch provisions within the lifter galleys, both in the front and rear to block off oil feeds. DiSomma blocked off the lifter galley feeds in the front of the block just above the front camshaft journal, thus allowing oil to feed from the rear and deadhead. Why? Since we are using solid roller lifters and a Moroso race pump, less oil is required (as opposed to a hydraulic lifter). This will keep the oil in the bottom end where it's needed the most. Additionally, the Dart block features priority main oiling, feeding the crankshaft before the top half of the engine.

By Dan Ryder
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