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Thread: Headers getting RED hot!

  1. #1
    Member JUNIOR BUILDER
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    Jul 2004
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    Olive Hill,Ky
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    Headers getting RED hot!

    I seem to be plagued with problems with this car regardless of the engine combination I try,something is never right!

    I now have a 355 with Vortec heads in the car.I have never used Vortecs,but I know a lotta you guys use and like them,so I figured I'd ask here before I tear the engine down.

    I traded for this engine basically as it is-Vortecs on an old model block,Hurricane single plane intake,mild cam,etc.

    When I start the engine the headers start to glow after a minute or less run time.I can play with the timing(I've only timed it by ear so far),and the glow sometimes decreases,but never goes away.

    The engine seems to be pretty close in time as far as throttle response and starting,but it does have a gear drive in it,and I'm thinking it could possibly be a tooth or two off on the cam timing?Would that cause the headers to glow?

    The only other explanation I can come up with is that possibly the intake gaskets aren't sealing(which I know is a big problem with these type heads),and it could have a really bad vacuum leak.It don't really wanna idle at low speed like a vacuum leak will do,but would that cause the headers to get that hot?

    I'm kinda at a loss here,and any input would be greatly appreciated.

    Glen

  2. #2
    Senior Member RACING JUNKIE
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    Is it running realy fat? If it is the extra fuel could be burning in the headers..

  3. #3
    Member JUNIOR BUILDER
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    It don't seem to be rich at all.I don't even know what jets are in the carb(750 DP),but the carb,ignition,everything right down to the spark plugs are the ones that I used with the 377 I just pulled outta the car,and it didn't act like this!
    I dunno if I'm even close on this,as it is only a guess(but at this point guess is all I can do,since this is the first time I've ran into this problem),but am I wrong to suspect a possible vacuum leak at the intake?I dont know if that'd turn the headers red,but I know the Vortecs are prone to intake sealing problems.

  4. #4
    Senior Member RACING JUNKIE
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    easy to tell if it has a vacuum leak on the top side .. start it up let it idle and spray carb cleaner around it .. if the idle changes you'll know it has a leak

    typically it'll raise the temp some but still usually not enough to make headers glow

    Get a timing light on it to see where you are at would be the first place I'd go ... 2nd would be a compression check to see where that is, you'll be able to tell if the cams way off.
    David Lanning
    IHRA NHRA 387B

    Fleenor Racing Transmission
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  5. #5
    Senior Member RACING JUNKIE
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    what type lifters, solids or hyd, if solids valves may be adjusted a little too tight.

  6. #6
    Senior Member DYNO OPERATOR
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    Definately check the timing with a timing light. Retarded timing will make headers glow in a heartbeat. Ears are great for some things, but not setting timing.......

  7. #7
    Member JUNIOR BUILDER
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    I certainly appreciate all the input,and I'm definately not disagreeing or disputing anyone-that's why I asked here,but honestly I have NEVER had anything like this happen due to dist. timing and although the problems I've encountered with this car never cease to amaze me,I'm not a novice.I've built quite a few cars/engines.

    On another note,I did pull yet more spark plugs to check thier color(the car developed a distinct "miss" after I added water to it).Surprise,surprise-water in #3 and #5,water in #4 and #6.This engine has BOTH head gaskets blown between the cylinders.

    I'm not 100% certain if they were that way when I got the engine or if whatever caused the headers to glow also blowed the gaskets.I did notice severe discoloration around the exhaust ports before I installed the engine,but I chalked it up to poorly sealed headers!

    It did NOT miss until I filled it with water,but then again,the plugs were dry until that point.There is very slight rust on top of the pistons and in the chamber area of the heads,indicating that water was present prior to me starting the engine,but the piston tops aren't burned "clean" as if it had been ran for any period of time this way.

    The engine is(was?)fresh and I suspect the problem occured just before the guy I got it from pulled it out.

    This is,after all,the engine I got(on a trade)from Tim Lohden(aka critty396ss) of Elizabethtown,Ky.He lied and said it was a forged 383,when in actuality it IS a cast 355,so why would he bother to tell me it was junk!?

    Oh yeah,it is a hydraulic camshaft(although he said it was solid)LOL.

    Thanks a lot guys,

    Glen

  8. #8
    Senior Member RACING JUNKIE
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    I rember when you got screwed on that motor, I was looking into a malibu he had for sale here about the same time. after seeing how he delt with you I chose to look on.

  9. #9
    Member JUNIOR BUILDER
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    Quote Originally Posted by MEMRACING62
    I rember when you got screwed on that motor, I was looking into a malibu he had for sale here about the same time. after seeing how he delt with you I chose to look on.
    I'm sorry this thread went off in another direction.My original intent was to seek help with the engine,but if one person reads it and sees what happened with the deal,then I guess the direction change was worth it.

    On another note,I pulled the camshaft outta the engine,and it looks perfect,although I have no idea what it is exactly.I would like to be able to re-use it,if I could identify it.I can only see one set of numbers on it-951909.If anyone has any idea what this may be,I'd really appreciate it.I did enter the # in a search engine with no results(other than some type camshaft for a Model T Ford,LOL).

    Glen

  10. #10
    Member JUNIOR BUILDER
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    I sent Mr. Lohden an email letting him know that I did have his engine running,and that I had left feedback on it here:

    This is an automatically generated Delivery Status Notification. Delivery to the following recipients failed. [email protected]


    --Forwarded Message Attachment--
    From: [email protected]
    To: [email protected]
    Subject:
    Date: Sun, 15 Nov 2009 12:21:05 -0500








    I've had your new engine running.You've recieved appropriate feedback in the racingjunk forums,as well as the others I visit.



    Have a nice day,



    Glen


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Windows 7: It works the way you want. Learn more.


    It seems that he has blocked my personal emails from reaching him,as he has done with his racingjunk account.Buyer beware!!!


    Glen


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