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Old 07-31-2017, 06:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Tbird6 View Post
...I would do the heads first and see how it runs and drives. Yes install hardened seats (Good idea) but really focus on the valve guides and valve stem seals. Install bronze guides and DO NOT knurl the guides as that is a short cut and not worth it even though it will be cheaper than a new set of guides.

Be sure and cut the head surface to make sure it's strait. It's nice to also surface the intake manifold surfaces but that gets expensive to do and I usually don't unless I have really shaved the heads and the alignment is off.

You really don't need the hardened seats unless you run the car hard...
This is a 430 MEL with slanted block deck.

Normally, I would agree but in this case I will respectfully disagree for the following reasons:
[list][*]The block bores need to be measured before ANY work is done.
  • New rings exert lots of sidewall pressure but they cannot flex in a bell-shaped bore. They will break.
    • Old rings still work because they are worn and most of their spring-seal is gone. So, new rings need straight bores.
  • If the bores are out of tolerance, the options are few because OEM-type pistons are NOT available. They are domed and come in sets of 4-RH and 4-LH. Otherwise, flat pistons must be used at a drastically reduced compression ratio. So, there goes your HP. <--THIS determines if you should spend any more money on your 430.
  • If newly rebuilt heads are mated with old piston rings, the old rings will fail very soon. (Been there.) When all the parts are new, they seal well but they also wear together, which is why old engines still work.
  • If you're rebuilding heads, I mean if you go through all the trouble to get them to a machine shop, let the shop install hardened exhaust seats. The job doesn't cost that much more and the fear of receded valves will be gone. I would also install stainless valves and new valve springs.

Personally, I would shelve the 430 and build a 390 (FE) because all the parts are supported at reasonable prices. - Dave
My latest project:
CLICK HERE to see my custom hydraulic roller 390 FE build.

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