: Hot rodding



Ogier
07-12-04, 03:38 AM
Greetings all,

I have been reading and have answered some of the questions posted here on the forums as well as asked a few. I do notice that this forum is a microcosm of a much larger issue in the hotrodding community in general.

There seems to be a tremendous amount of attention placed on things that are really the last things you need to worry about if you really want to achieve true performance.

The latest and greatest bolt-on toys will gain you some power. Unfortunately, if you don't upgrade the system as a whole, the upgrade in power is directly proportional to the downgrade in reliability.

Some bolt-on stuff is a really good way to seperate the non-savvy carfolks from their money.

I don't care what companies like Edelbrock say, you simply can not bolt on their magic whatcha-majigger of the week and gain a million hp or lbs/ft of torque without a loss of reliability.

I have seen many, many wouldbe hotrodders over the last 20 years who never got their cars beyond mediocre because they bought the hype and didn't put their money where it will do the most good.

Before you contemplate rebuilding, upgrading, or building a new engine for performance, there are several things that must be taken into consideration.

1) What is your realistic budget. If you only have $100.00 to spend, save it. There is absolutely nothing that you can do to an engine that will gain you anything of note with a $100.00 bill.

Now before you cry foul, or throw up that performer manifold in my face, please concider that I don't believe that a 5-10hp increase over a stock performance is worth spending $100.00 on. You still have a stock engine when you are done.

2) Assuming you have a reasonable budget, take a long, hard look at your entire drivetrain. are you going to hook up your new 450hp motor to a factory 10 or even 12bolt rear axle? If you are, good luck. I have seen 12bolt rear axles snap under the load of a 200hp engine(over 400lbs/ft torque though).
Also look at your driveline, and transmission. How about your brakes? Can you stop the thing?

Now we enter where we look at the engine.

3) Machine work. If you have $1500.00 to spend on an engine, put $1000.00 of it into having Good machine work done to the engine. This is the single most profitable place to make HP and Torque you can possibly use.

Have the following done:
A) Heads: 3-angle grind the valves and seats, Port, Polish and CC. <<-- This is absolutely nessecary if you want your motor to last beyond next friday.
B) Block: Align bore, deck and port the oil galleries for better flow. Also, if you can afford it, have four-bolt mains installed(this is a must for anything over about 450hp or 6000rpm).
C) Intake manifold: Portmatch to the heads.
D) If you are running a highlift cam or spinning faster than about 4500rpm, update your valve springs and rockers appropriately.

4) Cam selection: Contact the manufacturer of the camshaft that you want to use and talk to a tech. They deal with this stuff everyday and unless you are a flow dynamics engineer, they probably know better than you do what cam grind will work best for your application.

5) Headers: Good idea. Like carberation though, bigger is not nessecarily better. Again, call the manufacturer and get their opinion.

6) Carb: BIGGER IS NOT BETTER!!! I can't think of a single person that I told that they needed a smaller carb that wasn't happier with it once we installed it. Big carbs have a different flow characteristic than smaller ones and it is possible to actually decrease HP and torque by installing too big of a carb.

7) Intake: If you are looking at a performer or performer class manifold from a different manufacturer and don't need to have the aluminum look under the hood, stick with the stock intake. This is not worth the $ except for visual appeal.

8) The rest: Buy good parts. This is where you truely get what you pay for. I can't say how many times I have seen some idiot install cast pistons in a motor that they spin up to 6500+rpm and then get mad because the skirts bust. Match the parts to the application.

Please note, This is just what I have learned in the last 20 years of building lots of different cars, trucks, and motorcycles. If I am wrong on any point, I would welcome the information.

I hope this helps. Please let me know if I need to add anything to the list. I researve the right to change, amend, add to or delete anything presented here. :)

Ogier

Night Wolf
07-13-04, 03:30 PM
I assume you are talking about the big block Cadillac engines?

these engines are some of the most reliable engines around, they hradly ever just "die"

certain bolt ons such as the Edelbrock intake manifold and a cam will not have any reliability issue on the BB Cads.

in my case, I have a 425, but will be getting a 500, a close friend owns a machine shop, so labor will be cheap, I am going to get a stock rebuild done and then get the Edelbrock intake manifold, a performance cam and a nice free-flowing true dual exhaust.

I believe the Qudra-Jet on my 425 is 800CFM, when I build up the 500, I am using the same carb (it is getting rebuilt though)

About the tranny, I think many people here can say just how strong the Turbo 400 is, not only can these hold up to the increased power, but they are what came bolted to the higher output 500's in the early 70's... just put a shift kit in there and you will be good to go.... also the only problem I have heard about the rear end from somebody would be finding the right gearing, and a Posi, not reliability.... for the time after I get the 500 in my car, I'll be running the stock 2.28 open rear.... and be in search for a 2.78 Posi.... there should be no problem....

... while parts for a BB Cad are more expense then a SBC, not to mention the sheer amount of parts out for a SBC, as I read on the old MTS website, it is cheaper to build up a BB Cad to 500hp and 600 ftlbs of torque, then it is to get those same numbers from a SBC, not to mention the reliability, smoothness of engine, and it'll work on pump gas.... from what it seems, when you enter the BB Cad engines, everything from carb, bolt on parts, gearing, gas, to the way you build it up, and last of all.... reliability seems to change when comparing to doing a SBC built up.

Perhaps somebody with more knowladge can fill in the other areas.... as I am currently learning as well....

Ogier
07-13-04, 04:58 PM
I assume you are talking about the big block Cadillac engines?Actually, this applies to all engines be they a chainsaw motor all the way up to a 12000 ton diesel engine on a ship.



These engines are some of the most reliable engines around, they hradly ever just "die".I am not saying that the Caddy motors are unreliable. What I am saying is that if not built properly, reliability does go down.


certain bolt ons such as the Edelbrock intake manifold and a cam will not have any reliability issue on the BB Cads. While the intake probably will not fail and if you are going with a performer style, it won't give you any noticable performance gains over a stock intake, it just looks cooler than the stock gm part, also, the HIPO cam and lifters will probably not fail, by installing these, without upgrading the rest of the system, reliability does go down.


in my case, I have a 425, but will be getting a 500, a close friend owns a machine shop, so labor will be cheap, I am going to get a stock rebuild done and then get the Edelbrock intake manifold, a performance cam and a nice free-flowing true dual exhaust.

I believe the Qudra-Jet on my 425 is 800CFM, when I build up the 500, I am using the same carb (it is getting rebuilt though)Two things here:
1) You will need to rejet your carb to put it on your 500.
2) I love it when someone tells me that their q-jet is a xxxCFM carb. The Q-jet is a quasi-variable venturi carb. Properly setup, it will only give your what it needs to run. In the case of the 500ci motors, about 650cfm at 4500rpm.



About the tranny, I think many people here can say just how strong the Turbo 400 is, not only can these hold up to the increased power, but they are what came bolted to the higher output 500's in the early 70's... just put a shift kit in there and you will be good to go.... also the only problem I have heard about the rear end from somebody would be finding the right gearing, and a Posi, not reliability.... for the time after I get the 500 in my car, I'll be running the stock 2.28 open rear.... and be in search for a 2.78 Posi.... there should be no problem....Yes, I completely agree that the TH400 is perhaps the stongest auto transmission ever developed for the car. What I am saying is that you need to update it to handle the higher horsepower/torque. Heat is the number 1 killer of all automatic trannies so upgrade your cooling. Also a shift kit is in order and finally, if your tranny has more than about 30,000 miles on it, a rebuild may be needed depending on how the thing was used. Also, a higher than stock stallspeed converter is probably a good idea as well

With a 2.28 rearend, you are not planning on hooking up much while street racing are you? How often do you want to replace your spider gears? There is nothing more entertaining than watching some idiot blow his spiders out while doing a really good burnout trying to race someone. You may wish to reconsider your gearing choices. You want to win races, not pilot your caddy to 200mph. :)

Keep in mind that the "Posi" rearends are in reality a limited slip and are still subject to failure. In the 4x4 world, they have figured out that a limited slip will only give you 25-30% more power to the side with traction. This is why you see lockers on 4x4s way more often than posi's

Good luck
Ogier

Night Wolf
07-14-04, 01:35 PM
the biggest thing with the stock intake manifold is that it is very restrictive.... both in the size of it, and I don't remember the correct wording (low rise?) but the way it is designed, once the air/fuel mixture leaves the carb. it has to travel *up* to go into the cylinders... I don't care how it looks... the stock the better IMO, but the stock intake manifold (and exhaust for that matter.... but it is staying for now) are highly restrictive.

I know the carb will have to be re-jetted for the 500... that is simple enough.... and I read on a Cadillac site that on the '79 425, the carb was 800CFM... something I just read, not saying its true or the world ends....

I am going to get a tranny cooler installed... infact I think every car should have one (atleast my '93 has one form the facotry) the shift kit will be in as there is too much slippage between shifts (designed like that) but I am not going to get a rebuild until I have to....

... I said I was going to run the stock 2.28 open rear for now... until I can find a 2.78 Posi... I know what Posi is too.... but the stock, chocked 425 will light the tires up, and I have layed rubber for literally 60 feet... it was peg-legged, and that was just from hitting the gas after making a turn... hopefully with Posi power will be going to both tires instead of mostly one... (although when it shifted into 2nd, both spun) there is a thread around here with pics.

All in all, for me atleast, it is going to be a low budget build on a car in very good, but not restored shape.... it isn't going to be a show car, and it will not have to be trailered around... I just want to be able to drive the '79 DeVille, but when I hit the gas, let the beast loose.... somepeople like sports cars, I like luxury cars... not just luxury cars, high performance luxury cars... and if I am in the '79 and pull up to a Mustang GT (stock) or some other well-known, established sports/muscle car, or even a top end BMW or benz, and flat out beat it in a drag type race in a 1979 Sedan DeVille... that alone is worth evertyhing I am putting into it....

davesdeville
07-15-04, 06:23 PM
While the intake probably will not fail and if you are going with a performer style, it won't give you any noticable performance gains over a stock intake, it just looks cooler than the stock gm part,

The only issue with what you've said is about the intake manifold. Not everything works the same in a Caddy as it works in an SBC (or whatever you're used to building) Night wolf already got into the manifold thing. The stock Caddy (carbed) intake manifold is a low rise, restrictive manifold. The Edelbrock performer has some inconsistancys, but anyone who knows these engines will agree it's much better than stock. It really is worth 15-25hp on a stock engine. Intake is a must if you're looking for any performance out of this engine. A stock FI intake is much better than stock and seems on par with a performer.

I'm just curious, have you ever built up a Caddy before?

Ogier
07-15-04, 08:28 PM
Yup. Just about everything GM, Ford and Chrysler at some point or another.

Lots of foreign engines as well.

This includes the Aluminum block 215 buick motor as well.

4's, 6's, 8's. FLatheads, and OHV's.


I would love to play with a Viper engine sometime though as well as a Falconer V-12.

Ogier

JTraik
07-15-04, 10:18 PM
Have you guys ever thought of the reasons Cadillac engineered the way they did? Every part on that engine is engineered to run accordingly to all the other parts for the longest amount of time and maximum performance. So by swapping out one part your throwing off the engines equilibrium.

Not trying to say what your doing is ruining these engines, but you simply cant throw aside Cadillac's reasoning for engineering how they did.

EastOfGratiot
07-16-04, 12:17 AM
Ogier,

What was that about GM 10 and 12 bolt rear ends? EVERYTHING I have read states the durability of the 8.5" 10 bolt and ALL 12 bolts is well capable of decent HP. If they are not up to snuff what do you recommend??

I have about 400HP and 500 lb/ft of torque with 255 tires running through a 3.08 posi 8.5" 10 bolt that was assembled by DTS. They seemed to think it would hold up fine without slicks.

Ogier
07-16-04, 01:20 AM
The problem is the relative reliability of the 10 and 12 bolt if you are doing a lot of burnouts. The spiders don't seem to like it. Now that I think about it, I don't remember anyone scattering one that was relatively new(under 50k miles) but, rather the higher mileage ones.


I tend to think that the heat, along with the inherrant slop that comes with wear and tear may be the cause of failure.

Personally, I think that 400hp is probably ok. But then, I also think that a 400hp GM V8 is still a stock engine. :)

Ogier

davesdeville
07-16-04, 04:20 PM
Have you guys ever thought of the reasons Cadillac engineered the way they did? Every part on that engine is engineered to run accordingly to all the other parts for the longest amount of time and maximum performance. So by swapping out one part your throwing off the engines equilibrium.

Not trying to say what your doing is ruining these engines, but you simply cant throw aside Cadillac's reasoning for engineering how they did.

Keep in mind, Cadillac's priorities when designing these engines aren't the prioriries of a hot rodder. Cadillac cared more about gas mileage and emissions than performance than a hot rodder would. Sure, by doing performance modifications you'll put more stress on some parts, that's why you have to know what you're doing to keep the stressed parts going or replace them too.

JTraik
07-16-04, 11:22 PM
Keep in mind, Cadillac's priorities when designing these engines aren't the prioriries of a hot rodder. Cadillac cared more about gas mileage and emissions than performance than a hot rodder would. Sure, by doing performance modifications you'll put more stress on some parts, that's why you have to know what you're doing to keep the stressed parts going or replace them too.

Well see now your just proving my point. They didnt build these engines exactly for the hotrodder, so if you want to make a hotrod out of it you need to do an overhaul instead of a few parts here and there...

Night Wolf
07-17-04, 12:29 AM
well, in the mid-late 70's, there was more emphasis on millage and emmisions them power (as Dave was talking about)....

... but anyway that builds a 500 cu in., 8.2L, biggest production engine ever made, must think that somebody, someday is going to unleash the beast within....

.... and even if you go to a junkyard, find a stock 500 even with 100k miles on it, in good running condition... throw the Edelbrock intake manifold, and a performance cam.... maybe even some N2O.... you will have an engine that will perform considerably better then how it did when new, and there will be pretty much no reliability issues with those simple bolt ons.....

... the thing to keep in mind is, these are big block Cadillac V8's....not wussy 1.8L 4banger imports... they can take a beating, are bullet-proof, and very reliable.... they also seem to take well to modifacations...

... another example would be my stock 425, when I went to go pick it up, the guy thought the engine was blown, it has a knock, it was loud.... we test drove it on his dead end street, and even when we came back, it was knocking... the guy even said that he used to have a '75 with the 500 that had 120k miles on it and it started knocking, but he admitting to beating on it all the time... somebody told him to race the engine while in park, he said he did, and the knocking went away after he shut it down then started it back up....

... well, in my case, my father drove the car 3 miles to get gas (I followed in my car) and by the time we got to the gas station, the engine was as quiet as could be.... there was no knocking..... we think it was the wrist pins froze up, and there was piston slap (the wrist pins seem to be a problem on the BB Cads) the guy said the car did sit for 5 months... so it makes sense... but to some it up, the engine was knocking... pretty loud, and now it is fine... durring the week and a half I had it on the road and put 1k miles on it, I ran it WOT any time I could... the only thing stopping me from laying rubber everywhere was the fact that the tires didn't have much tread on them.

my father used to have a '79 Coupe DeVille, pretty much stock, had a shift kit, test tube in place of the cat, I don't think any performance things either... I remember he would always do burnouts with it (power braking) he towed the 18' Sea Ray with it.... the boat, trailer, and a full load of stuff means it was pulling 5,500+lbs... he siad it hardly felt like it was towing anything, and that it towed the boat far better then the '85 Bronco with the towing package and 351HO 4bbl does... only thing was trying to get the boat out of the water..... bascially put, the speedo would be pegged, adn all 4 barrels were open... it would take 20min to get the boat out... coudln't get traction...

....or the '71 Fleetwood limo with the 472, that is stock, my father said you woudl barly breath on the gas and it woudl do 80 on the highway, lay rubber at will, and even with an engine knock (again, he thinks it is the wrist pins) he did an insane burnout in the parking lot last time he had it out some 10 years ago....

... so I am just saying, by throwing a bolt on item on the engine, it will not hurt it, or do anything to the reliability.... really, going from a SBC to the BB Cad's are like 2 different things altogether.... these engines can take a beating and come back for seconds...

Ogier
07-17-04, 03:35 AM
... but anyway that builds a 500 cu in., 8.2L, biggest production engine ever made, must think that somebody, someday is going to unleash the beast within....Um, no. Nice try. There have been many production engines made that were larger. Like oh say the 16cylinder engine that Lincoln was playing with in the 40's. Or the 502 BB Chev that has been around for 10-15 years. And so on...


... and even if you go to a junkyard, find a stock 500 even with 100k miles on it, in good running condition... throw the Edelbrock intake manifold, and a performance cam.... maybe even some N2O.... you will have an engine that will perform considerably better then how it did when new, and there will be pretty much no reliability issues with those simple bolt ons.....I see now that in your many years of engine building that your experience must be more complete than mine. :hmm:

Good luck to you. You are going to need it.

Ogier

P.S. Any idiot can lightup the tires. It doesn't take nearly as much power as people think. Just a brain-dead willingness to abuse the vehicle.

TorqueInc
07-17-04, 05:53 PM
I think he meant production passenger car engine and none of the 16 cylinder engines were what you would call production
altho i am sure there is some sort of arguement for it the cadillac was the king of cubes as far as passenger car engines go.

TheCanadianWannabe
07-18-04, 01:03 AM
Um, no. Nice try. There have been many production engines made that were larger. Like oh say the 16cylinder engine that Lincoln was playing with in the 40's. Or the 502 BB Chev that has been around for 10-15 years. And so on...

...I see now that in your many years of engine building that your experience must be more complete than mine.

Good luck to you. You are going to need it.

Ogier

P.S. Any idiot can lightup the tires. It doesn't take nearly as much power as people think. Just a brain-dead willingness to abuse the vehicle.



Take it easy on Night Wolf there Ogier, he's only 17 years old. Granted he does write posts that are longer than a '59's tail fin, and pretends to know what he's talking about even when he doesn't, but remember he's a Cadillac enthusiast too. There's no need to try and make him look like an imbecile, he's 20 years your junior, and for that matter still in a state of post-pubescent development. Just take everything he says with a grain of salt and think back to when you were his age - I'll bet you have a few burnout stories of you own from when you were a kid.
I really enjoyed everything you said in your initial post about hot-rodding and I'm sure the knowledge you related to us comes from much hard-earned experience. :worship: (I bet you blew a few engines up too) Maybe our friend Night Wolf just needs to learn some of these lessons through his own life experiences like you did, instead of having others publicly belittle him.

P.S. Night Wolf, think before you type. :D :bouncy:

Dead Sled
07-18-04, 01:52 AM
another king shit I know everything there is to know about automobiles kinda guy. :rolleyes2 have some tact. cars are a learning expirence when you firs laid hands on that shinny wrench were you expected to know every minute detail of mechanics and automibilia?

JTraik
07-18-04, 10:53 PM
another king shit I know everything there is to know about automobiles kinda guy. :rolleyes2 have some tact. cars are a learning expirence when you firs laid hands on that shinny wrench were you expected to know every minute detail of mechanics and automibilia?

Ehh... My 68' is my first car and I have enough sense to take advice from the experienced. I wanna look back and say "man i had fun with that car" rather than "man i wish i hadnt have done that to that car"

If i were to hotrod my 68' i would make it a slow and proper process, rather than rushing into things and slappin crap on there. It will make the car last...

Thats just how i see things at my young age, its just my opinion. :)

Night Wolf
07-20-04, 04:51 AM
Wow, I go away for a day, and come back to get flammed.....


Um, no. Nice try. There have been many production engines made that were larger. Like oh say the 16cylinder engine that Lincoln was playing with in the 40's. Or the 502 BB Chev that has been around for 10-15 years. And so on...

Talking about displacement here... Cadillac made a V12 and a V16 besides the V8 in the 30's.... and the 502 Chevy was NOT a production engine (you didn't go yo the Chevy dealership and find the 502 sitting in a Caprice like you did the 500 in a DeVille, did you?) the V10 in the Viper is 505ci, and GM makes a 572 crate engine.... they are both bigger, yes, but not mass production..... the Vipers are hand built....


I see now that in your many years of engine building that your experience must be more complete than mine.

:rolleyes2


P.S. Any idiot can lightup the tires. It doesn't take nearly as much power as people think. Just a brain-dead willingness to abuse the vehicle.

eh.... the topic was how much power the stock 425 had, some people didn't believe me, so I showed some proof.... if lighting up the tires and leaving rubber isn't good for you, why don't you send me a check and directions to the nearest dyno place, then I get get numbers for you....

Also if you call that abuse, then your 20+ years of hot-rodding must have been pretty low-key.... only abuse I see is wearing down already worn tires faster.... Plus, unlike other kids my age who beat the hell out of thier parents cars, I bought, insure and maintain all 3 of my cars, to quote my father "don't baby them, but don't beat on them" I keep the maintenace up, and fix anything that needs to be fixed, and don't do stupid things in the cars..... example? redlining the engine then doing a neutral drop and claiming that the tranny is made for it... as a friend has did (to his... well, his fathers car)



I think he meant production passenger car engine and none of the 16 cylinder engines were what you would call production altho i am sure there is some sort of arguement for it the cadillac was the king of cubes as far as passenger car engines go.

Thanks :)


Take it easy on Night Wolf there Ogier, he's only 17 years old. Granted he does write posts that are longer than a '59's tail fin, and pretends to know what he's talking about even when he doesn't, but remember he's a Cadillac enthusiast too. There's no need to try and make him look like an imbecile, he's 20 years your junior, and for that matter still in a state of post-pubescent development. Just take everything he says with a grain of salt and think back to when you were his age - I'll bet you have a few burnout stories of you own from when you were a kid. I really enjoyed everything you said in your initial post about hot-rodding and I'm sure the knowledge you related to us comes from much hard-earned experience. (I bet you blew a few engines up too) Maybe our friend Night Wolf just needs to learn some of these lessons through his own life experiences like you did, instead of having others publicly belittle him.

P.S. Night Wolf, think before you type.

um, wow, another newbie with no room to talk... I don't know how you could possibly come here, post a whopping 16 times, then bad mouth one of the regulars.... you know, I am not even going to start as that whole post is not even worth my time I spent reading it..... I'll just say that I think it is you that needs to think before you type.


another king shit I know everything there is to know about automobiles kinda guy. have some tact. cars are a learning expirence when you firs laid hands on that shinny wrench were you expected to know every minute detail of mechanics and automibilia?

:)

---

I will just finish off by saying, call me what you want, if you would like to base somebodys knowladge and mental status on nothing but something trival such as age, then go for it... that is your porblem, not mine....

....it is better to make people think you are a fool then to open your mouth and prove it....

Night Wolf
07-20-04, 05:01 AM
Ehh... My 68' is my first car and I have enough sense to take advice from the experienced. I wanna look back and say "man i had fun with that car" rather than "man i wish i hadnt have done that to that car"

my car is my baby (well cars) I do not do anything to it that I would regret either... I have already came to the conclusion that I am keeping it ('93) for ever.... therefore I do not need to worry about resale value, or anything like that, I even have a log that lists the date/millage/work performed that I keep with the car.... any doubt about me keeping the car, and I guess I just take after my father that way... he still has his HS car- '68 GTO rag top... actually he has every car is has ever owned (Ponitac nut)


If i were to hotrod my 68' i would make it a slow and proper process, rather than rushing into things and slappin crap on there. It will make the car last...

eh, this will not be something I am doing on my own, my father will be helping me with it, and he has been building engines since he was younger then me (experience?) along with a close friend who owns a machine shop.... it'll get done correctly..... and yes, it is a learning experience for me, just as doing any work on any of my cars, or friends cars are....

Anyone in the mood to be kind and not talk bad about Night Wolf and give him any tips on replacing the waterpump on a firneds '94 Jetta with a 2.0 4banger? actually the service manual will be in tomorrow, that plus me and my tools is all I need.... I have done more work on that car in the past week then I have on all 3 of my cars in the past month...heh....

davesdeville
07-21-04, 07:54 PM
Well see now your just proving my point. They didnt build these engines exactly for the hotrodder, so if you want to make a hotrod out of it you need to do an overhaul instead of a few parts here and there...

You don't need to do an overhaul unless you're planning on some serious power or the engine's high mileage/in bad shape. You certainly don't for something as simple as an intake and cam.


.... and even if you go to a junkyard, find a stock 500 even with 100k miles on it, in good running condition... throw the Edelbrock intake manifold, and a performance cam.... maybe even some N2O.... you will have an engine that will perform considerably better then how it did when new, and there will be pretty much no reliability issues with those simple bolt ons.....


I see now that in your many years of engine building that your experience must be more complete than mine. :hmm:

Good luck to you. You are going to need it.

Wow, aren't you a know it all. Night wolf's pretty much right, an Edelbrock and mild-moderate cam aren't going to put much stress on the rest of the engine. Reliability will not be affected. Since you seem to know everything, what parts do you think will fail or be adversely affected?

barge master
07-22-04, 12:59 AM
I thing it's true that a lot of people waste a ton of money throwing poorly prepared projects together, we've all seen them. The other side of the coin is that many people, including myself don't have unlimited time and money to make everything 100% in every regard. I wish I could do my 500 swap with a nice fresh engine, but I've got a family to feed also. The compression readings seem OK, so a gasket and timing chain rehab, plus a realistic view on what I've got will have to do. Making pork chops from pig shit has been the working mans virtue forever.