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Chevy Nova: Ask Anything

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We Got it—Backward

Mike Smith; Crystal Lake, IL: In the Dec. ’11 issue of Car Craft, you responded to a reader wanting to put an LS truck engine in a kit car. The reader was looking at using an LS1/LS6 intake to avoid “cutting a hole through the back window,” to clear the tall truck intake. The reader appeared to be talking about a mid-engine application. Your advice on changing the accessory-drive system, while valid and helpful in a front-engine setup, is a little off point in a mid-engine application because it will bring the induction piping into the cockpit next to the driver’s ear. The reader could save money by using the existing truck accessory drive if it clears his firewall. Then, what we do at Schwartz Performance is pull the intake manifold and valley cover, remove the oil-pressure sending unit located at the rear of the engine and saw or mill the stand flush and drill, tap, and plug the hole (be careful not to tap too deep). Then move and adapt the sending unit to the small two-bolt cover above the oil filter. Once you’ve reinstalled the valley cover, the Corvette/Camaro LS1/LS6 intake, along with the fuel rails and throttle-body, can now be bolted on backward using the factory torque specs and sequence. The induction piping and/or air filter will now fit nicely above the bellhousing and transaxle. It makes more sense when you see the pictures of the Ultima and GTM car projects at Car Craft is a great magazine, I read it cover-to-cover every month.

Jeff Smith: This is a great idea, Mike. We mocked up an LS6 manifold on our 5.3L engine to see how this works, and it bolts right up. The reason you can reverse the intake is because the intake ports are symmetrical, unlike the original small-block Chevy. It’s another reason to like the LS-series engines.

More Info

Schwartz Performance; Woodstock, IL; 815/206-2230;

Cam Coating

Jeff Lee; Phoenix, AZ: I just read your article on building the 400 SBC where the cam went flat (“How To Build a 400ci SBC Torque Monster for $2,500!” May ’11, pg.26). The machine shop I use for my race Stock & Super Stock ’70 AMX has a proprietary coating that has been tested extensively with 100 percent success rate. Even on square lobe Stock Eliminator camshafts.

With this coating applied to both the lifters and camshaft, you can load them into your block with race springs installed (not the light-duty break-in springs). fire the engine up, and let it idle. Yes, no high-rpm cam break-in and no more replacing valvesprings after the 2,500-rpm, fast-idle cam break-in procedure. Thus far testing has only been done to 480 pounds of open pressure.

Jeff Smith: Thanks for the information, Jeff. We talked with Bud Yancy at MACH Development in Maricopa, Arizona, a company offering a new coating process called Anealon, an antiwear coating designed for the bottoms of lifters as well as cam lobes. Yancy described it as a proprietary ceramic coating developed by Tech Line Coatings, and MACH Development is a certified installer. Yancy said that on his 428ci Stock Eliminator engine, he coated both the lifter bottoms and the cam lobes and was able to use valvesprings with 260 pounds of seat pressure and 500 pounds over the nose and from initial startup allowed the engine to idle without any special break-in procedure. He says you can coat the cam lobes alone ($125), but it might be a good insurance do the normal break-in procedure as well. Once lifters are installed on the cam lobes, pressure and heat from the interface activate the coating, preventing micro-galling, which is the process of moving metal from one surface, like the cam lobe, to the lifter face, allowing the two wear surfaces to create a long-lasting mating surface.

Yancy also said Anealon can be applied to more than just camshaft lobes and lifters. He has successfully used this coating on a ring-and-pinion set with excellent heat-reduction results. It could also be used on tapered roller bearings and races, manual transmission gearsets, and steel connecting rods at the wristpin.

More Info

MACH Development; Maricopa, AZ; 602/278-1200;

Tech Line Coatings; Murrieta, CA; 972/775-6130;

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