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Discussion Starter #1
My short block (Man-O-War) & heads (Edelbrock Victor JR) are at the race shop getting some work now and I am trying to figure out how to O-ring the block and/or heads and run copper gaskets???

The machinist at the shop said he would not have enough room between the cylinders to do a conventional .041 SS O-ring.

I've read a BUNCH of older posts on here and have learned a great deal, but I'd like to hear from you guys what you recommend currently for my combo.

My car is a street car and runs water for cooling & C16 fuel. My FelPro MLS gaskets worked fine until I turned boost up to 25 psi.

My plan is to run 30 + psi next year.

My questions:

1. If I run "figure 8" rings in block, do I need a figure 8 receiver groove in heads?
2. I am thinking of running Clark copper gaskets? Good idea?
2a. With a 4.125 bore, what bore size should the copper gaskets measure? 4.155?
2b. Recommended Copper HG thickness?

3. What is the exact procedure that I should follow so that I have NO Leaks? Gasket prep? Heat cycling? Re-torque process?
 

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I'm not sure what the diameter of the wire my Orings are but w/ a 4.155" bore I have room for a single Oring on each cylinder. Sbf bore space is 4.380" so you have a 1/4" between your bores if its 4.125 now.
My blocks always had the receiver groove & the Oring goes in the head.
Its best to have the receiver groove in the steel block or cylinder sleeve so the edges of the groove stay sharp IMO.
I had the best results w/ Clark copper gaskets. .050 thick w/ the gasket bore at 4.160 dia.

when I had a wet block I always re torque after the 1st heat cycle & didn't have leak issues. But it wasn't a street car & never really got hotter than 150 degs. so I'm not sure what is best for your situation.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I'm not sure what the diameter of the wire my Orings are but w/ a 4.155" bore I have room for a single Oring on each cylinder. Sbf bore space is 4.380" so you have a 1/4" between your bores if its 4.125 now.
My blocks always had the receiver groove & the Oring goes in the head.
Its best to have the receiver groove in the steel block or cylinder sleeve so the edges of the groove stay sharp IMO.
I had the best results w/ Clark copper gaskets. .050 thick w/ the gasket bore at 4.160 dia.

when I had a wet block I always re torque after the 1st heat cycle & didn't have leak issues. But it wasn't a street car & never really got hotter than 150 degs. so I'm not sure what is best for your situation.
Great info! Thanks! .
 

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Which gaskets are you using. What heads? I'm sure my Edelbrock Vic JR heads have a tendency to lift since their deck isn't as thick as others.
Felpro pt19333 Heads are Vic Jr. I was going to switch over to copper but have never breached the gasket with the o rings in the block. I have cracked my first gen 1 heads all along the spark plug rail from front to back. Never had water in the cylinders. I will always run o rings.
 

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Your guy at the "race shop" is full of shit. I have even installed .050" Top Fuel Hoops one SBF with 4.145" bores and is totally wet block and heads, Clark copper gaskets and has been street driven plus over 125 passes at up to 40psi without issues. O-ring in the block with receiver groove in the head at least .010" wider than o-ring diameter(.050" ok). I would never recommend any copper gaskets but Clark's. Spray them with Hylomar on both sides, let it tack up for at least 15 minutes then torque as usual. Retorque after full heat cycle and engine is back to ambient temperature. I have never had a single water leak doing it this way.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Your guy at the "race shop" is full of shit. I have even installed .050" Top Fuel Hoops one SBF with 4.145" bores and is totally wet block and heads, Clark copper gaskets and has been street driven plus over 125 passes at up to 40psi without issues. O-ring in the block with receiver groove in the head at least .010" wider than o-ring diameter(.050" ok). I would never recommend any copper gaskets but Clark's. Spray them with Hylomar on both sides, let it tack up for at least 15 minutes then torque as usual. Retorque after full heat cycle and engine is back to ambient temperature. I have never had a single water leak doing it this way.
Yeah, I called them and gave them a run down of the actual calculations for surface area between bores. They were eye-balling it when I dropped the block off, but have since measured it. It looks like I have .235" total area between bore chamfers. So, .235" - (.041" x 2) = .153" - .100" = .053"/2 = .0265" out from the bore that each wire would need to be located? Hell, I don't know. They will cram it in there somewhere, and with Clark's gaskets, hopefully I can run 35 psi and have no combustion or water leaks.
 

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Went down this road very recently, tried to install 8 "hoops" in BBC twin-turbo, didn't happen! Between the "flats" on the sleeves and the sizes of intake valve reliefs on the "Head-Hunter" heads it just wasn't doable! We couldn't keep the MLS's in the program any longer, they just couldn't take the power.

Ended up with straight "old-fashioned" .039" grooves in the sleeves and receiver groove in the heads. We didn't even have enough room for the conventional receiver groove diameters so we made them the same size as the block grooves, .039". This was all agreed on after kicking this around with my friend (he owns the ride). I would have "bet-the-ranch" this was ALL going to "backfire" on him, even told him my own feelings??

The ride is running fine now, probably at 2200/2300 HP, just won the Fall 2019 Drag-Week event running 7.20's @ 197. Also just returned from the MIR (Maryland dragstrip) Halloween weekend and I understand broke his own record, I don't have it from him yet, only through the "grapevine"??

Read the P.S. here very closely, when I was doing the all the groove machining I stumbled on to a really potential negative issue which I felt needed to be addressed at the time? It took a BBC BHJ O-ringing plate to pull this off here!

Thanks, Gary in N.Y.

P.S. One really huge issue with this particular platform was the differences between the dowel pin holes in the block and the ones in the heads. It was a big enough problem for me to contact Brodix about what I was seeing. They did agree with the problem but had no idea about a legitimate "fix". If I recall the movement was in the neighbor of .007"/.008" with the heads in position. Kind of grabbing at straws I decided to have some "dedicated" stepped, stainless-steel, dowel pins made. They came in, fit was good, sort of "pressed" into the block and heads so I went one step further and put a narrow slit in all 4, being stainless they weren't going anywhere! We also made some dedicated pins for the BHJ plate mentioned above to do the machining. So far, so good! I put this here because I believe Ford uses the "split" dowel pins also? This power-plant is in my signature below here.
 

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I use a BHJ tool and fixture plates and always make custom dowels so there is no movement while doing the machining and also when the engine goes together so the heads are not moving around on the block. I think this alone would cure a lot of MLS issues that are being run right at the limit of what they will hold. I have also had issues with heads that have material relieved around the curtain area of the valve to gain flow but it undercuts the deck surface so much that it will either cut thru doing Hoops or burn thru if you don't fix it. I have started asking porters to use a medium bore or even small bore chamber program with whatever port program you are going to use so this is not a problem on the head side of things.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Well, it looks like I will be trying .041 SS O-rings in block sticking out about .010 with a .050 Clarks copper gasket...NO Receiver groove in heads.

Will this work at 30 psi boost? If not, I may just send heads and intake to Fox Lake for race porting and shoot to make more power at the same boost level, then just run FelPro MLS gaskets again.
 

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Well, it looks like I will be trying .041 SS O-rings in block sticking out about .010 with a .050 Clarks copper gasket...NO Receiver groove in heads.
My last GEN3 Hemi was done that way. I was rewarded with cylinders filled with water.

I'd highly recommend finding a knowledgeable shop to do the fuel hoop install.

You're going to save yourself a lot of headaches as you turn things up.
 

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We just went 7.6's at WCF with an a-4 block, victor jr heads, non o-ring, cometic HG, e-85, 76mm at 3300lbs. It has never lifted a head. IMO boost is irrelevant when it comes to lifting heads and making power.

I like a copper o-ring and a MLS gasket.;)
 

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Well, it looks like I will be trying .041 SS O-rings in block sticking out about .010 with a .050 Clarks copper gasket...NO Receiver groove in heads.

Will this work at 30 psi boost? If not, I may just send heads and intake to Fox Lake for race porting and shoot to make more power at the same boost level, then just run FelPro MLS gaskets again.
Boost pressure is a measure of resistance to flow. Cylinder pressure is what determines HP no matter how you get there. As an example let's say a 400cfm head on 20psi makes 1500hp and a 325cfm head on the same engine at 35psi makes 1500hp. The chamber pressure is the same. If you can't hold the gasket at 35psi and have the heads ported to move more mass flow at lower boost you are still going to have the same problem around that same power level regardless of what boost pressure got you there.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Boost pressure is a measure of resistance to flow. Cylinder pressure is what determines HP no matter how you get there. As an example let's say a 400cfm head on 20psi makes 1500hp and a 325cfm head on the same engine at 35psi makes 1500hp. The chamber pressure is the same. If you can't hold the gasket at 35psi and have the heads ported to move more mass flow at lower boost you are still going to have the same problem around that same power level regardless of what boost pressure got you there.
Great point! I was just thinking about that. Cylinder pressure is cylinder pressure, the boost psi is irrelevant.

I've decided to resurface my block and heads to 30 Ra or better and try the Cometic MLX head gaskets. I'm going to retorque after a heat gun heat cycle on the motor stand, and then take a look at my tune again.

I was running 21 deg total timing at 25 psi on C16. I figured that was fairly conservative considering the fuel I'm running and that my compression is around 9.6 to 1. I definitely have some ET to be had by launching with more boost and playing with the suspension a bit. My 8.46 pass was made launching at only 4 psi and with some converter slip on top end.

I was going to send my heads and intake out for CNC porting, but I'm running the Gen 1 (Older than dirt) Victor JR heads and I don't want to drop a bunch of money into a head that might crack down the road.
 

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Timing isn't always what it appears. I had friend that bought a car that was a turbo SBF on Holley that was tuned by a well known "professional" tuner... Every time the previous owner took it out it blew a HG. They blamed it on it being a SBF. The car was on Q-16. I switched it over to E-85 and I CHECKED ACTUAL TIMING. At at idle it was advanced 3 degrees at 4000 rpm it was 12 degrees advanced. I fixed the timing in the ECU after 3 years and 100 runs it never blew another HG and went much faster then before.

Always double check timing and make sure you check inductive delay aswell. A lot of people overlook it.
 

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I have a customer running a set of those heads that are hand ported and yes OLDER THAN DIRT, LOL!! Its a 8.200 deck 365cuin in a all steel, full interior foxbody coupe complete with back seat and stock non-adjustable suspension with some bolt on relocation brackets. It has run in the 4.60's after I put Top Fuel Hoops, aluminum rods and converted it to methanol. It runs in the .114-.116 range on 60ft and has launched with as much as 22lbs of boost. It also has a Turboglide with 1.47 1st gear without which there is no chance of launching with that much power. Well over 100 passes without any gasket issues with wet block and heads.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Timing isn't always what it appears. I had friend that bought a car that was a turbo SBF on Holley that was tuned by a well known "professional" tuner... Every time the previous owner took it out it blew a HG. They blamed it on it being a SBF. The car was on Q-16. I switched it over to E-85 and I CHECKED ACTUAL TIMING. At at idle it was advanced 3 degrees at 4000 rpm it was 12 degrees advanced. I fixed the timing in the ECU after 3 years and 100 runs it never blew another HG and went much faster then before.

Always double check timing and make sure you check inductive delay aswell. A lot of people overlook it.
Definitely...Something I have never done is actual check engine "true" TDC. And yes, I'm guilty of NOT degreeing my cam in...just threw it in straight up! LOL! I'm going to degree it this time though.

That is just down right a scary thought that the timing could be that far off...WOW!
 

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I have a customer running a set of those heads that are hand ported and yes OLDER THAN DIRT, LOL!! Its a 8.200 deck 365cuin in a all steel, full interior foxbody coupe complete with back seat and stock non-adjustable suspension with some bolt on relocation brackets. It has run in the 4.60's after I put Top Fuel Hoops, aluminum rods and converted it to methanol. It runs in the .114-.116 range on 60ft and has launched with as much as 22lbs of boost. It also has a Turboglide with 1.47 1st gear without which there is no chance of launching with that much power. Well over 100 passes without any gasket issues with wet block and heads.
Wish you were closer...I'd bring my block down to you to see if we could fit the receiver grooves into it for the Top Fuel hoops in the heads.

I'm going to run the MLX gaskets for now and hope for a 200 mph tailwind to push me into the 7s! LOL!
 
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