Hagerty Video: Everything It Takes To Machine a 1968 Chrysler 440 V-8 Engine

Posted: 2023-06-19 15:00:14
Author: Hagerty
We’re back working on Snowball’s 1970’s-era dirt track racer by taking our 440 V-8 Chrysler engine to the machine shop. Jon at Apex Competition Engines has taken on the task of walking through the process and getting everything ready for us. Hopefully this vintage race car is back on the track sooner rather than later!

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0:00 – Intro
01:04 – Starting with the heads
1:35 – Step One: Fresh Guide-Liners
4:05 – Checking Oil Clearance on Guides
5:19 – Step Two: Decking the Heads
8:34 – Step Three: Fresh Valve Seats
13:24 – On to the Block
13:48 – Pulling Dowel Pins
15:25 – There are no Problems, only Solutions
17:20 – Step Four? Balancing the Rotating Assembly
20:50 – Checking the Harmonic Balancer and Flywheel
22:27 – Surfacing the Block
23:05 – Boring and Honing the Block
25:15 – Outro

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Hagerty Video Transcript

– Hey, this is David with Hagerty and Redline Rebuild. We’re back on our race car, and if you’re not familiar with what I mean by the race car, it’s the 40 Ford race car that we got from Snowball down south. – We’re running to Virginia to grab a car. – [Speaker] (indistinct) right here is the 440. Ooh wee. – [David] We got our race car to go fix. It’s gonna be a little bit of a task to make some things work. Unlike most of them, we got a pretty good start here. It’s all tore down, it’s looking good and we are making steady progress on that again. And to which we’re here at Apex Competition Engines, and we’re gonna do our 440 Mopar and get that thing rolling with all the machine work. Jon is gonna knock it out of the park for us.

Ha, how’s that for putting you on the spot? – That is fun– – So for starters, we’re going over our cylinder heads and basically the same rundown as normal. You go through and make sure our guides are good and then inspect our seats and all that type of stuff.

We’re gonna put hardened exhaust seats in it because with the fuel of today, with no lead in there then the exhaust temperatures are higher. So they need hardened seats, otherwise they pound themselves to death and have a problem. So we’ll put fresh hardened exhaust seats in, and then clean up the intakes.

I mean, we should be good to go. – We should do guidelines in it first though. Unless you’re good with them. – [David] No, you’re probably right. It’s probably best. – I mean. – Yeah. So when you say you wanna do the guides first, tell me why?

– You have to do the guides first because if you don’t, with our SERDI machine, it runs a live pilot and if the guide isn’t dead perfect, now you’re doing a valve job on a loose guide. – So it’s wallering around. – So it’s wobbling around like crazy.

– And your seat has to be concentric with– – To the valve guide. – To the guide. – It’s kind of like doing a block where you do the mains first because everything goes off the mains. Kinda the same thing with the heads. You gotta have the guides right

Or the valve job won’t be right. – Gotcha, perfect. – All right, so what he just finished doing is basically going through and reaming all the guides out. And now we’ll set… Take and put liners down in from there. And the biggest reason is is, A, get all the holes to size

And then the K Liners tend to be a little bit better than your old guides. Hey, if you like what you’re watching, check out the Hagerty driver’s club. Link’s right down here in the description. So final step, ream them to size. – Hone them to size – Hone them the size. So that’s not a reamer? – That is not a reamer, that is a hone. – [David] So that has a– – [Jon] It has an actual stone– – [David] An actual stone, okay. Cool.

– [Jon] We still have one more hone process to do on them. At the end we’ll go in with a dingleberry hone. – Oh yeah. – And it knocks the frillings off. – Yep. – This is the last check. We’re gonna take a pilot and check the valve guide clearance,

But first we need to get a number off the valve. – [David] This is really more for posterity, right? – Yeah, this is– – Because we already know that our guides– – We know they fit. – We already know our valves go in and they move nice. But you’re also gonna verify

That you really have proper clearance. – [Jon] We should be all right. Yeah, that’s what we need. – [Camera Person] Get to work. – [David] I am to work. I’m punched in and everything. I’m all punched in over here. This is the best way. I like this part.

Machining days is the easiest for me. I mean– – And they look good. – I just make the final, “yeah, that was great. Whatever you tell me.” Just… We’re gonna jump right from the guides over to resurfacing the head and you’ll see that this is slightly different

Than some of the other ones we’ve used. Where instead of a single cutter, this is a multi cutter, which is cool because, well, if you’re not careful, you can touch it. That’s probably gonna be bad. But it separates different kinds of people. The inquiring minds– – Yeah.

– And the ones that don’t wanna know how it feels to have your finger cut off. And then as soon as that’s done, we’ll roll into putting the seats in. Okay, so basically just tram it in so it’s level on that plate. – Yep, you wanna–

– [David] And then checking it horizontal, if you will. And knowing that it could be warped, what’s your allowable? I mean, how close are you trying to get it? – Trying to get it within one. – [David] Okay. – But notice how I skip right over the middle? – [David] Yep.

– That’s just in case it is warped. – Yep, use the ends. – Yep, you want to use the ends. – [David] Yeah, use the ends. – Which you could deal with a little bit of twist too. – [David] Mm hmm. – So you just pick an end. Like I picked this end,

Level that one. And then if the head’s twisted, at least– – [David] At least you’ve got an average. – Yeah, you got an average. – [David] Got a good average because it’ll make it flat. – [Jon] Yes, it will. Whether it is on there straight or not.

– [David] At a 45 degree angle. (laughs) – The machine does not care. – Nope. Not too bad. Yeah, it’s not bad. – [Jon] Yeah, so when it just touches, I’ll make a pass. – [David] Yep. – [Jon] To call a skim cut just to make sure that the head’s on level.

I can see where it’s warped, where it’s twisted. Kind of gives you an idea of how much you’re gonna have to take off of it. – [David] What’s your max pass when you go to make a cut? – [Jon] I try to go three at a time–

– [David] But if you don’t need to, you don’t. – [Jon] Right, cause this is a machine we can… I can walk away and go do other stuff. – Right. – You know, and I just listen for it. When it stops, I can come back, wheel it down another three,

Make another pass, go do something else. – [David] Yeah. – [Jon] If you’re taking five at a time, but you only need to take eight, you just blew too fast. – Yeah, yeah. – You know, when you’re taking stock off, it doesn’t really need to be taken off. – [David] Right.

– When we start getting into… Like we’ve cut 15 or 20 then you better start looking at the intake manifold– – Starts to move it away. – Yup, yup. Which you really should be checking that intake manifold whether you cut five off it. – Right, right. – But when you start

Getting up that high, bolt holes start getting pretty misaligned. – We’re all set up on the SERDI and Jon’s gonna bust out these seats, the old seats and the exhaust and then we’ll press in the hardened ones and then of course cut the intakes to basically wrap up the cylinder. Right? – Yep. – That’s really it. That point.

How many times did you uncover cracks right there? – I don’t know. I don’t recall ever finding one that way, but thanks for jinxing me. Now, I’m gonna. – Hey, you’re welcome. Glad I could help. – We’ve caught them for a press fit six, 7,000. We put them in the freezer, help shrink them up a little bit so we don’t have to beat them so hard to get them pressed into the housing bored. – Right, okay.

– So cut this last one and we can start knocking them in. – Okay. Okay, so once the seats are pressed in, then you’ll go through with the cutter and put the angled– – Yep, we’ll cut the three angle or four angle or five angle, whatever we decide to do. – Okay.

– We’ll cut them in at that time. Gonna have to go a little deeper with that. That’s quite a bit closer. – On the stock rocker arm assembly, it uses a shaft that holds the exhaust and the intake rockers, but those rockers are just stamped

And they have no adjustment in them on the stock form. So the height of the valve stems need to be square and in the same height. So then when you set the rocker shafts down, it pre loads into the hydraulic lifters the same amount or within that zone.

So that’s what we’re going through, an extra little bit of a pain to make sure we using this side of the valve that they’re level because then that tells us that the other side is level. – I’m gonna cross those. Look at that. – [David] All right.

– Right where it landed. – Intakes are perfect. – Right to that exhaust– – And the exhaust too? – Exhaust is within– – [David] I mean it got a– – Thou or two. – Perfect. We just confirmed that basically we set all the intakes at one height,

And now we’re gonna go back and finish up the exhaust. But all the intakes are dead level, and the one exhaust that we did is sitting within a thou and that’s great. Now if we had a issue where it wasn’t, all we would have to do was, let’s say we were done

And we had a seat that was too deep and this stuck up too high then you just take this over to the valve grinder and knock off the tip whatever amount you need to. But we don’t have to though. And that’s just to have a little cross hatch in there, right? – [Jon] Knocks the frillings out, any of the scratches that we put in it from the live pilot or the guide cutter. – [David] Cool, okay. – [Jon] Makes it look pretty. – Well, final cleaning step here on the guides

And we’ll bag them up, throw them in the truck. We’ll get onto the block. Right? – Yep. – Sound like a plan? – Sounds like a plan. – Sweet. – Oh, we’re attaching the BHJ fixture to the block. We’re doing that so that when we resurface the block,

One we can equalize the deck heights to each other, so they’re both the same exact height. But with this fixture you can also square deck in. So we can correct the deck angle and we can also get both decks at the exact same height. – So this is a slide hammer,

Basically it’s a collet and a slide hammer that pulls it tight. And this will allow us to pull the dowel pins out of the top of the head or top of the block. – [Jon] And I’ll give her a slide. – [David] Ooh, it moved. – Did it? – Yeah.

It’s lifted a little bit. See it? – Yeah. – [Jon] No? Okay. We’ll piss with it more when we get it up in the– – Yeah. Up off the floor? – [Jon] Yeah, up off the floor where I can get it level, it’ll be rock solid. – Yep.

Yeah, I wouldn’t lock it down. Just set it up there and be– – [Jon] Yeah, at least, set it up there. – Always a gratuitous torch lighting. Oh, you warped the bore. – [Jon] I know. – Man. – Man. What are you thinking? – Should have used a welding blanket on it.

– [David] Yep. I just didn’t wanna… I didn’t wanna break it out. I figured, I’ll let him do it. – Want me to do it? Like that? – Yep. (laughs) Oh, it hit. Here’s our problem. We have one dowel pin that doesn’t want to cooperate and come out with all the normal tools.

So we’re gonna do our best here to extract it using some heat from a TIG welder. But what we’re gonna do is we’re gonna… I’m gonna take and TIG weld this washer to the little nub of a stub that’s left and then I’m actually going to TIG weld the nut to the washer,

Keep the threads open on the inside that way we can put a slide hammer on it and pop it out. Now when we go to pull it out, we’re still gonna heat this backside of the block right here to help basically give it its best shot. Otherwise… Well, no otherwise,

We’re gonna make this work. Yeah, baby. – Got it. How about those apples? – So that worked, but obviously this block is really hot and it’s going to move around and distort. It’ll be okay because we’re gonna let it come all the way back down to room temperature before we mill it off. Maybe not the best fix

If you were not going to mill it, but since we’re gonna mill it, it doesn’t matter. It’ll flatten right off. Everything will be good. I didn’t create a weak spot or brittle or anything like that by bringing the temperature of that corner up a little bit. We’ll be good. We’ll be good.

And of course, we’re gonna put torque plates on it. So it’ll all be fantastic. So as our block cools, we’re gonna hop over and get our rotating assembly balanced. Now the choice of parts I have here, I have a set of CP pistons, nice flat tops.

It’ll bring that compression ratio right where we want it with our basically stock heads. These pistons required also some better rods. And so I have a nice set of eagle rods here. And then of course, we’re gonna use our stock crankshaft that’s nice and turned and ready to roll.

It’s just a lot of different parts relative to that crankshaft what it was balanced to before. So we need to kind of start all over. – Yep, we got my sheet over here. I’ll get all the weights of every piston and then we’re gonna take them down to the lowest weight piston.

So say there’s one that’s three grams heavier– – Right. – We’ll take that three grams out of it until they’re all exactly the same weight. Cut all the wrist pins, we’ll weigh all of those, make sure that they’re all real close and then we’ll kind of sort them each piston, you know,

If they’re 10th or two, here or there, until they’re all exactly the same. Weigh all the rings, weigh all the bearings. – Okay. – And then we write everything down on the sheet, do a little bit of math, get a bob weight for it. – Okay. And then you also–

– Yeah, we have to weigh each end of the rod. Get the big… All the big ends the same. – [David] Right. – And all the small ends are the same. – [David] Right. – If you’ve got one that’s lighter than the other seven, you got a lot of work to do.

– Right. – But you’re just grinding on the pad here or on the small end on these eagles. It’s kind of tough. You just gotta massage it real gingerly around this. But a lot of times with this newer stuff, it’s real, real close from the factory. – Yeah.

– They kind of weight match everything when they put it in the box anyways, so– – Right. – It helps make our job a lot easier. – Take take some of that error out of it. – Yeah. – Okay, so if anybody’s out there wondering why are you going through all this pain to balance an assembly? Well, GM and Ford and Chrysler all balance their assemblies on the assembly line. We have made changes to that assembly. And I’ll equate it to this from a balance standpoint. You balance your tire

So they don’t shake themselves apart or shake you off the road. In this case, balance the rotating assembly so it doesn’t shake the motor apart and well, then you’re walking on the side of the road. – This can go one of three ways, I guess. We put the bob weights on,

We spin it and we need to drill the crank. – Mm hmm. – Take a little weight out of it. We may have to– – Add a little weight. – Yeah, add some tungsten to it. Hopefully it’s not like the last time where we have to add tungsten, weld it,

Grind it, drill it. – Alright. – [Jon] Hopefully this one’s a little easier. – Nice, that looks good. That’s a big, big piece done. The only part I know how to do. Tripped over some boxes, I was moving the crankshaft and I forgot I had the flywheel and the balancer. Now this is an internally balanced engine, so we didn’t need these on

When we were balancing the crankshaft, but it’s a really good idea to verify that these are zero balance. So in other words, they’re perfectly balanced. – Got it. – There, we got it. – Cool. – Nice. – It’s off eight grams. – Yep, off by eight. – And it wants it. Nope, nevermind.

– [David] Opposite of where that’s at? – Pretty much. 90 degrees to it. – All right, so like I talk about every time, buy good parts, there are good parts. But did you always check things? So we put the balancer and the flywheel both on the balancer

And checked everything and balancer was off by two grams and the flywheel here was off by eight grams. So what that meant was the factory hole that they used to balance things by, probably made it a lot better. But the addition of these three holes made it perfect. So that piece is done.

Jon’s over getting the block ready over here and gonna surface it first. Then we’re gonna go through and open all the bores up to size, hone it, send it down the road. Ended up taking 10th thou off to get any warp and all that out of it. Surface imperfections. It’s all good to go. Move it over to the boring bar. I know our finish bored is gonna be at 4375. – Yep. – So 30 overstock. – Yep. – How far are you gonna… How far do you bore it here and then to leave for hone material? – We typically leave three… Three to five thou to hone. – Okay.

– You start getting over that and you got more room to screw up with the hone, get taper in the bore, whatnot. Anything less than three, you’re not really gonna get the grooves that the boring bar makes. – Okay, so I know this looks a little bit different from lots of the other times that we do things. So based on popular demand to see how it’s done, we’re gonna use a torque plate when we hone the cylinder bores on this 440. Now the whole idea behind a torque plate is

You go in and torque down a mock head, so it simulates the cylinder head on the deck surface. So if the bore is going to distort based on the bolts being pulled down and all that jazz, then when you hone it, it will hone it to size

That it’s going to be when it’s all assembled. So if you were to measure a bore after that, you’re gonna show that it’s probably gonna do this, right. It’s not gonna be a perfect round with the torque plate off, but it will be when it’s being used. Got that nice edge chamfered there, the pistons going there perfect. We’ll run this back to the shop, get it washed up, get some paint on it, assemble it, and back in a car. Thank you, sir. – Thank you. – Nice job once again. – Yeah, thank you. – Appreciate it.

– Thanks for the business. – You bet. You know the drill. Get out in the shop. Go get your work done. See ya. We’ll lift this up.