My next undertaking in 2011ish was going to be cleaning up the engine, and painting it and the front of the frame. Good thing I decided to pull the heads during this process, because this is what I found. No idea how water/coolant got in there because it had just been sitting in the garage being neglected most of the time. I had been planning on building up a new motor and just swapping them, but decided to tackle that job immediately.
Oh no, Fram!
Vortec kickin' in yo.
I was on a budget at the time of the build, and skipped/skimped on some things I would have done in the present. It was the first motor I ever built from scratch. I am still very happy with the final specs. She's got it where it counts! Specs/parts/work done
Bored 0.030 over
99 Vortec heads with valve job
New old crank done 10/10 instead of the 30/30 mine would have needed
Clevite P series bearings all the way around
Keith Black pistons. Static compression is 9.3:1. Basic Summit ring set.
Eagle rods in lieu of refurbishing stock rods
Edelbrock Performer intake
Comp 12-318-4. 268/276 seat to seat, .464/.464 lift, 110* separation
New Comp springs and lifters. Reused Vortec rockers and pushrods.
Rebuilt the Q-Jet with some goodies and mods
Had I known my crank was basically unusable, and that I would be buying new rods instead of reconditioning the old ones (not much of a price difference), I would have just thrown in a 400 crank and ordered different rods/pistons to make a 383. Probably would have shot for 10:1 compression with forged flattops. I should have gotten the new heads setup for more lift (stock Vortecs are only good to .460-.480. My combo is good with ample spring space and no binding), and done screw-in studs. Oh well. The drivetrain also got:
New more shiny fuel pump
New more shiny dress-up bits
New high-volume oil pump
New stock-style oil pan with studs
2400 RPM B&M stall converter.
New vacuum modulator and trans dip stick (old ones leaked)
Serpentine setup with new reverse rotation water pump. Rebuilt the PS pump
Fresh paint on everything
I regret the torque converter. The budget B&M's are just loosened up stockers. Really didn't want to drop the money on a fancier converter for a TH400 at the time. If I had more money back then, I would have put in a 700R4 with a 3000 stall lock-up converter. These days, I've got an itch for a manual with overdrive.
Since the motor was out, I took a grinder to the front frame and smothered it in POR-15 and ChassisCoat Black. Phosphoric acid works well for etching the metal. The POR itself is basically indestructable and unscratchable, but I don't care for the ChassisCoat. It bubbles, shows brushmakrs, takes about a week to harden, and is about as durable as standard paint.
Somewhere along this 6 year undertaking, some odds and ends have gotten worked on too. Steering column was totally rebuilt, repainted, and "de-column-shifter-ed". All that brake pedal braket stuff was blasted and painted. Basically anything that was metal and got unbolted got blasted, primered, and painted satin black. Trying to keep my black paints consistent. Some things will have to be repainted so it all matches and has the best quality coating I can put on myself. I wish I had a powdercoating setup.
(to be continued)