Frequently Asked Questions
1. Why are crate engines cheaper than custom engines?
The same reason that a Hyundai costs less than a Rolls-Royce, a steak at Denny’s cost less than one at the Keg Steakouse and why Wal-Mart clothes cost less than the ones from Nordstrom. Quality and speed of delivery. Both types of engines have their respective buyers and that is okay by us. Some crate engine prices are so cheap that we would have to cut back on our quality to compete and we just refuse to do so. Quality may not be that important to some people and, again, that is OK with us. We cater to the customer that wants the best and is willing to wait for the best. Does that delicious juicy steak arrive to you as quick as a Big-Mac? probably not. Does it taste better? Yes very much so. Would you believe a 525Hp small Block or 625Hp 572 with a stock 5 litre oil pan? Pretty dumb. Maybe okay on the dyno, but not in your car! How about a blown small block with aluminum heads complete top to bottom for less than $6000.00? if you add up the cost of parts, it’s more than that at wholesale cost, so what do you really think you’re getting? And try to get warranty when something goes wrong. The old expression “you get what you pay for” is very true, so beware of the “super, super good deal.”
2. How can I get my engine project finished sooner?
A 100% pre-pay is the best way to get moved to the top of the list. On complete custom engines, we generally move at the speed of payment. Many times in the past we would finish an engine with a 50% deposit only to have it sit finished waiting for the customer to pick it up. This kills our cash flow and our storage space. So, if you can not afford to pay 100% up front, give us what you can and we will go as far on your engine as you have paid. This way you set the pace of your engine job.
3. Setting Valve Lash on Mechanical Cams
All the valves must be set individually and only when the lifter is properly located on the base circle of the lobe. At this position the valve is closed and there is no lift taking place. How will you know when the valve you are adjusting is in the proper position with the lifter on the base circle of the cam ? This can be accomplished by watching the movement of the valves
- When the engine is hot (at operating temperature) remove the valve covers and pick the cylinder that you are going to adjust
- Hand turn the engine in normal direction while watching the exhaust valve on that particular cylinder. when the exhaust valve begins to open, stop and adjust that cylinder’s intake valve. (Why? because when the exhaust is just beginning to open, the intake lifter will be on the base circle of the lobe , so the intake is the one we can now adjust)
- Use a feeler gauge, set to the correct valve lash, and place it between the tip of the valve stem and rocker arm. Adjust until you arrive at the proper setting and lock the adjuster in place.
- After the intake valve has been adjusted, continue to rotate the engine, Watching that same intake valve. The intake valve will go to full lift and then begin to close.When the intake is almost closed, stop and adjust the exhaust valve on that particular cylinder. (Again, when we see the intake valve almost closed, we are sure that the exhaust lifter is on the base circle of the lobe.) Use the feeler gauge and follow the procedure described before in step 3.
- Both valves on this cylinder are now adjusted, so move to your next cylinder and follow the same procedure again. in the future you may find shortcuts to this method, but it still remains the best way to do this job correctly
You can take the “hot” setting given to you in the catalog or cam specification card and alter it by the following amount to get a “cold” setting.
With iron block and iron heads , add .002
With iron block and Aluminum heads , subtract .006
With both aluminum block and heads , subtract .012
Remember this correction adjustment is approximate and is only meant to get you close for the initial start up of the engine. After the engine is warm up to it’s proper operating temperature range, you must go back and reset all the valves to proper “hot” valve lash settings.