Starting Build - Shortblock and Custom Heads/Cams Sitting Since 2008...

EvilTwins

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Hey guys,

It's a really long story, but essentially I damaged my stock engine back in 2008 (damaged a piston) and I decided to go with something really stout for my next build. The engine failed in the beginning of 2008 and I knew I was leaving the country for a 3+ year international work assignment at the end of the year so I scrambled to get it all the parts I needed to build a new engine before I had to leave. Unfortunately (for many reasons) I didn't get the time to get to it at all so all of my parts have been sitting in heated storage since 2008.

I ordered a Big Bore 5.0 crate shortblock (the block had just been released at the time) with all the bells as whistles (Melling pump, Oliver billet rods, etc.) from Modular Performance and some Stage 4 heads from Livernois with custom turbo grind cams. I had Livernois supply everything I needed to install the heads (lifters, followers, etc.) as I didn't plan on re-using anything from my old engine. I even went with Mod Cam-Ponents adjustable cam gears so I could properly time the cams in. All said and done I think I spent ~12k on the shortblock, heads and some needed accessories (ARP2000 head studs, etc.).

Anyways so I have a lot of money invested in this gear and this is not an ideal situation. I hate the fact that this has sat this long but there's nothing I can do about it now. I haven't even opened the boxes the heads came in. I spoke with my suppliers during the build about the possibility of not being able to put this together for several years and the "warranty" implications - It's fairly safe to say I have no warranty on any of these parts...

Can you guys please chime in on things I need to be aware of and look for now that I'm re-starting this build? I can't believe it's been 6 years....

Things I have done include:
Rotate the crank in the short block (probably only happened like once a year unfortunately)
I had the heads buried in oil by Livernois as I knew at the time the stuff might sit for years

Any help on this subject will be appreciated. I plan to touch base with Modular Performance and Livernois again to explain the situation and that I will be in contact during the build, hopefully they are somewhat understanding.

I read a post before about a person that had let their shortblock sit and the they had a hard time getting the rings to sit (actually had to pull the engine to fix it). Is this a common issue? The last time I checked the block the bores looked great and full of oil. Thankfully it did all sit in heated storage.

Anyways, any and all help/guidance is appreciated.

Mike
 

98 Saleen Cobra

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Damn man that's a crazy story..

A few things to note..

1. The Boss block has been shown to not really be the best platform for high boost applications due to headgasket sealing issues..
2. Modular Performance isn't around anymore..

I would have Livernios just do the entire build for you.. it might be easier that way.. I would also try to unload the Boss block and get a Teksid :)
 

SlowSVT

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I don't see any problems what so ever. If you had installed the piston and rings I might be concerned the rings would take a "set" in the bore and lose some of their spring tension and not seat as well at start-up. Seals don't like sitting around but none of them have been exposed to heat or chemicals so those should be fine. The valve springs may have lost some tension compared to when they were new but not as much if they had 6 years worth of miles on them. Everything else is pretty static and can sit around almost indefinitely unless they are corroding.

Best to keep an engine in a state of "disassembly" until the rest of the car is finished. I don't like a brand new engine sitting on a shelf collecting dust. Save the engine assembly for "last".

Yea, don't go too crazy with boost on the Boss block the wall thickness between the bores are narrower than the 4.6 and should be treated accordingly. I would be comfortable up to 20 lbs. but wouldn't push it past 25 on a street car. A copper Titan gasket with an embedded SS wire ring should buy you some added insurance keeping the cylinders sealed.
 

EvilTwins

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Huh so the Boss Block had some issues while I was out of the game huh? Frankly I'm not too concerned - with a proper build, ARP 2000's, good head gaskets I'm going to feel pretty comfortable. I might need to revisit what headgaskets I've purchased already so thanks for the heads up, I think I have Ford Motorsports MLS....

My build consists of a Nazty Performance short runner intake, stage 4 heads, custom cams and 5 liters of displacement - I have a feeling at 20-25psi I am going to be making a lot of power as this engine should be able to move a lot of air. My ultimate goal was to have a 1000rwhp dyno slip so hopefully some day I will be able to do that.

Pretty much everything is still in it's original wrapping, so everything is wrapped in plastic and has a film of oil so I'm hoping everything is good.

Damn that's too bad about Modular Performance, I'll need to track down John's contact info as he was a great guy with an amazing reputation for his work with modular engines. I did some pretty extensive research before making my decision and that's why I went with them in the first place. I did a quick search and I see it wasn't shady business practices that did in the business so that makes me feel better...
http://www.modularmisfits.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1841
http://forums.corral.net/forums/gt-sohc/1347579-modular-performance.html


Looks like he went through a rough time, his son died in a crash and it sounds like his father passed shortly after. Pretty sad... I hope he's doing alright and can still be contacted...

Any comments are very welcome, thanks for the help so far guys.
 
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EvilTwins

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EDIT:

Well this seems to be the definitive thread on the Boos Big Bore block and the potential for headgasket sealing issues:

http://www.modularfords.com/threads/198361-Boss-or-Standard-Iron-Block/page2?

It seems that MLS gaskets + my ARP 2000 studs + 110 lb-ft should work for my goals. I'm going to look into other gaskets though - I'll need to determine the best ones to use as I really don't want to deal with those issues...
 
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EvilTwins

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SlowSVT - Damn dude I need to clarify something. My shortblock is assembled - it was done by John at Modular Performance.

So am I going to be in trouble with the rings? Is there anything I can do?
 

SlowSVT

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SlowSVT - Damn dude I need to clarify something. My shortblock is assembled - it was done by John at Modular Performance.

So am I going to be in trouble with the rings? Is there anything I can do?

From your post it sounded like everything was in boxes.

I can't quantify what the implication are regarding new rings seated in the cylinders sitting for 6 years. My gut says chances are they will seat but not as well as if they where freshly installed in the block. If it's fully assembled it would take my chances are fire-up the engine anyhow and hopefully the rings will seat well........or perhaps not quite so well but there is only one way to find out. The alterative is to pull the heads and install new rings but at this stage I would be reluctant to strip the heads off a brand new old engine. A harder than normal break-in (boost pressure) may help as the cylinder pressure helps to force the rings into the cylinder walls helping them to seat better.

If the motor is still at the short block level I would re-rings the engine.

Try to get a bore scope down the spark plug holes to make sure the cylinders have not rusted as freshly machined surfaces are more prone to corrosion than a smooth worn surface.
 
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EvilTwins

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Thanks for the insight.

To be clear:
Shortblock: Still in the crate. I've taken the screws out of the lid and side so I can rotate it no problem but it's still wrapped in the plastic and I replace the lid and side when I'm not touching it.
Heads: Still in the boxes, never opened.

I haven't assembled the long block yet and that's why I'm pondering which head gasket to use. I'm glad you guys mentioned this problem as apparently using 110 ft-lbs on the ARP 2000 studs makes a big difference (it actually sealed up a leaking gasket in mofasta's car).

Damn I really don't want to put new rings in this thing, I don't want to disturb any of John's work... Damnit... lol
 

SlowSVT

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Thanks for the insight.

To be clear:
Shortblock: Still in the crate. I've taken the screws out of the lid and side so I can rotate it no problem but it's still wrapped in the plastic and I replace the lid and side when I'm not touching it.
Heads: Still in the boxes, never opened.

I haven't assembled the long block yet and that's why I'm pondering which head gasket to use. I'm glad you guys mentioned this problem as apparently using 110 ft-lbs on the ARP 2000 studs makes a big difference (it actually sealed up a leaking gasket in mofasta's car).

Damn I really don't want to put new rings in this thing, I don't want to disturb any of John's work... Damnit... lol

Call a couple of the ring manufactures like Total-Seal and ask a tech regarding the effects of having brand new rings sitting in a engine for that period and see what their take on this is. Personally, during break-in I want the ring pressure that was built into them as the mfg intended but from their perspective it may not be a problem but it's best to talk to the experts to know for sure.
 

98 Saleen Cobra

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I also believe that ring material plays a big role in sealing as well especially depending on how long they sat for ;)
 

EvilTwins

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The engine does have Total Seal rings so it's probably a good idea to give them a call to see what they say. I'm leaning towards taking the risk at this point as it's gonna be pretty late in the season when I get this car going anyway (if I do) so if they don't work out I'll have lots of time to redo it over the winter... Would still suck though.

I've attached some photos for reference..

Includes:
-Shortblock as it has been for years
-Close up of cylinder walls (I just rotated it again to get oil up the walls again)
-Wall-o-parts waiting to go in this thing...

The block looks great but those damn rings have me worried...

Sorry if the photos are too big!

DSC_0247_zps39ee41ae.jpg


DSC_0251_zpsb67464a8.jpg


DSC_0249_zpsb2b0f962.jpg


DSC_0253_zpse1eb0c97.jpg


DSC_0248_zps6b7aa022.jpg


DSC_0257_zpsf96772d7.jpg


DSC_0256_zps63a826fb.jpg
 
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99cobrajn

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It will be fine. Im running a ford prototype motor that sat for over 10 years and it fired right up no issues so far! haha
 

SlowSVT

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It will be fine. Im running a ford prototype motor that sat for over 10 years and it fired right up no issues so far! haha

+2

I don't think your going to have a problem. It's not "ideal" but for all we know they will seat perfect and will serve you well. That call to Total Seal should settle things, let us know what their response was.

I had a bad experience with Powerall and a big kit for a 4x4 quad. The hone on the cylinder looked rather smooth but I installed it anyway thinking they knew what they were doing. Ever get that nagging feeling that something's not quite right? It wasn't :nonono: On start up the thing blew more smoke then a dive bar somewhere in the outskirts of Victorville. The whole thing had to come out again and required a couple of passes with a 320 grit flexi hone and problem solved! Nothing more depressing then stripping an engine you just built :(
 

Quick Strike

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I'd be more concerned about the assembly lube status, or lack of, on the crank and bearings. You can not spin up the oil pump previous to firing the engine in a mod motor, and it is certainly not good to spin a dry crank on dry bearings. You can, however, prime it and get fresh oil to the bearings with a garden sprayer.
 

EvilTwins

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It's funny you mention that because that is actually exactly what I intend to do. I've already purchased a sprayer and intend to connect it to my oil cooler (where my turbo oil feed is) and run lots of oil through the engine before the first start. In addition would holding the throttle wide open (to disable fuel injection on OBD2) and turning the engine over for a while also help to prime? Probably not initially I guess?

I've also got a Canton Accusump in one of those boxes on my shelf which I intended to use to prime my engine before every start, I'm not 100% certain I will actually follow through and install that though as there's limited space for it.

While I'm here... Does anyone know the "definitive" head gasket to use with my block (or have any additional insight)?
 
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SlowSVT

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While I'm here... Does anyone know the "definitive" head gasket to use with my block (or have any additional insight)?

I guess you missed this on post #3

"A copper Titan gasket with an embedded SS wire ring should buy you some added insurance keeping the cylinders sealed"
 

EvilTwins

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No I did see that but I've seen a few different options/opinions and I'm trying to just determine if there is an "agreed upon by the Modular gods" option.

Some options I aware of are:
- ARP 2000 Head Studs torqued to 110 ft-lbs (already have these so this is happening)
- Standard MLS (what I have, unsure of thickness)
- MLS (0.030" thickness)
- MLS (0.036" thickness)
- Soft Copper with SS "figure 8" pattern
- Cometic MLS LCE (Load Control Embossment)

After reviewing the below sources the copper gasket does seem to be the way to go?

I wonder if 110 ft-lbs is too much for the copper gaskets? Is it only MLS + 110 ft-lbs that's advisable, is the extra torque needed with the copper?

Are these the right copper gaskets - Made by SCE and dubbed the "Titan"? There seemed to be a couple of very similar part numbers from SCE.
http://scegaskets.com/product/sce-gaskets-part-number-s46754/
http://www.excessiveracing.com/SCE-s46754.aspx


Once again guys thanks a lot for the help, very much appreciated.


Some source material for the above statements from ModularFords:

Well here's my take on the boss block, Initial build>mls headgaskets (.036) 8740 studs and 90 ft-lb of torque with 26psi (headgaskets leaked and resulted in engine overheating) 2nd build > mls headgaskets. (.030) 2000 studs and initially 87 ft-lb torque and pre-dyno retorque to boot and again the headgaskets leaked during dyno session. So before we went to Mir we retorqued to 110 ft-lb and as Ed mentioned it seemed to reseal a already leaky gasket. Milling surfaces were ruled out as a factor and without extensive research I'm not sure I'll ever know the exact issues why they leaked. Tune was good and all other environmental factors,Imo our heads were never structurally engineered to sit over a big bore of 3.70 in dia. * There have been other well-known engine builders that have expressed the same concerns about sealing up the big bore motors,it seems that up to 20 psi 90-100 ft-lb will keep it sealed up and anything above that I would suggest torgue of 110 ft-lb to be on the safe side and definitely 2000 arp studs. AJ Mofasta

The BOSS block has head gasket sealing problems when used with big boost or high compression w/high boost. We have had several members on the site experience the problem. The best fix to date is to either use ARP 2000 head studs torqued to 110 ft/lbs or use copper head gaskets with an interlocking stainless o-ring and receiver groove laid out in a figure 8 format. If you use MLS gaskets you must be sure that the surface finish on both the head and the block meet or exceed the Ra limits established by the gasket maker for the engine. If you do not already own the block there are several alternative build models available to you. You could use a std bore 4.6 block. If you do not use a PD blower you could use a 5.4 block with a 3.800 crank for 305 inches with much improved rod thrust angles and rod to stroke ratios. If you use a PD blower then you would need to use a GT500 style blower manifold and engine front dress. If you intend to run the engine normally aspirated, the BOSS 5.0 block has not exhibited any gasket sealing problems that members have documented on the site here. If you intend to run it supercharged at boost levels above 18 psi it has. Ed

I'm running 20-25psi of boost in my street car with no issues as of yet. The new setup is a Procharger F1C, ARP 2000 head studs and ICS Titan head gaskets (PN-S46754). My old drag engine was running over 35psi, but I used a dead soft copper head gasket and a figure 8 O-ring setup to insure proper sealing. That engine never had head gasket issues even after several years of abuse. I'm not sure what the exact issues are for some folks having sealing issues with this block, but personally I've never seen or experienced a problem.

AJ has covered most all of the issues but im chiming in late to add a few details. The Iron block will take 110lbft (probably take more) but where the heads start to take issue under clamp load is the point. With the advent of the Cometic MLS LCE I hope the bigbore will get another look in with 30psi+ builds... I often ask myself why not just go Teksid but if you are building a turbo platform and want some extra cubes in there for spool then having 5.3L with a BBS combo is much handier than 4.6L. I had no issues running 110lbft on either 03+ or FGT heads (ran both on Boss50 blocks) on E85 but that was with combos at around 8:1 comp and 30psi... that changes a lot when the static is lifted to 10:1 but AJ's scenario seems to have been sorted with the 110. The good thing about bigbore is the unshrouding. You build a 5.0L bigbore at 10:1 with a blower and cams in the 245-250 degree at .050" and run it to 8000+rpm even with (only) 20psi in there the power potential is huge. After seeing what a bigbore NA can do at high rpm it really makes me wonder what a cammed bigbore with boost would be like up there in the stratosphere. Daniel

Read more at: http://www.modularfords.com/threads/198361-Boss-or-Standard-Iron-Block


ShelbyGuy, If you are partial to the dead soft copper gasket solutions then you will like this. The guys over at SCE Gaskets offer a dead soft copper head gasket with a built in stainless o-ring trade named TITAN. Click here for a description of the gasket => http://www.scegaskets.com/page/ICSvsMLS.html. If I am not mistaken these are the same gaskets Ken Duttweiller used on a 288 inch small block Chevrolet that produced a little north of 1800 FWHP. He reportedly used the same gaskets through the entire engine development cycle removing and reinstalling the heads some outrageous number of times. I believe the number was 28 removals and reassemblies with the same head gaskets! This is a customer testimonial (Mark Larson's) and he uses the gaskets on a reportedly 999 RWHP mustang that runs 8.90s at 150+ in a 3600# car. Click here => http://www.scegaskets.com/page/fastmark.html. The engine runs 36 lbs of boost without o-ringing the heads or block. Of course there is a stainless o-ring SCE builds into the TITAN gasket. The gaskets tend to cost a little more than the Cometic equivalent but they are sort of like using head studs instead of TTY bolts. They pay for themselves at the second tear down. I like them for all their combustion sealing and longevity characteristics but also because SCE has come up with a novel approach for sealing the water and oil passages which previously always weeped on copper gasket installations. They talk about it in the first link above. Essentially what they do is bond a rubber o-ring like seal to the copper wherever it has to seal water or oil. Certainly a novel approach and also quite effective. I don't make 1800 FWHP, or 999 RWHP, I can't run 8.90s with my car and I certainly haven't had the heads off 28 times but, like yourself, I came from a different style engine where all we ever used was .040" dead soft copper. We used it because it worked and we didn't have to put new gaskets on between rounds when we pulled the heads. My car is not a race car it is a fun street car and I love my ModMotor Titan head gaskets! I think you will too. BTW you can get them through Jegs and Summit. Jegs wants about $210 and Summit wants about $175 for them. Ed

Read more at: http://www.modularfords.com/threads/140926-Building-engine-with-Boss-5-0L-block
 
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