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PostPosted: Wed May 20, 2020 8:26 am 
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I'm wondering if the issues you've seen Brent is the result of using aluminum in place of what was originally an iron casting?

I've torn down and rebuilt a number of factory alloy block engines, some being LS engines using power adders, and I can't recall issues with the cylinder walls. They always looked great with no shadowing or distortion. Most oems use aluminum now in new engines, some being pretty high performance, and I can't say I've ever seen ring seal issues or movement with any of them.

When we ran dirt late models, everybody ran alloy blocks. taking weight off the nose was a big deal for us. So much so that a lot of your movable parts(dry sump tanks, batteries, fuel cells, etc.) were moved towards the rear of the car.


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PostPosted: Wed May 20, 2020 8:48 am 
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That one particular incident was on a Pond aluminum FE block. Similar to a factory block, but with extra lifter valley ribbing and "beef".

Regardless, even without shadows, the ring seal issue is still present, to the point where some guys try to use gapless rings to help in the losses.

The OEM is a different realm altogether. Millions and millions of dollars in testing, design, etc., so they can bandaid some areas if necessary. Robert Pond, Dart, World Products, and Tim Meyer will never have the funding that GM has. But even with OEM research, you'll see traits in aluminum blocks that demonstrate the differences: an aluminum Ford 4.6 Teksid block won't even let the crankshaft turn freely until all the main caps are tight and side bolts are tight. I've also torn down factory aluminum LS engines where the cam bearings were pinned from the factory to decrease the possibility of them turning when the block heated up.

I would look at two instances where aluminum blocks would be beneficial: the guys making ultra high horsepower that rebuild often and the dirt track crowd. Aluminum has a forgiving trait in that it will absorb some NVH. Lots of Mopar guys will run aluminum main caps on their blocks to make them survive. An aluminum rod will also "absorb some stress". The dirt trackers, as you mentioned, will do lots of things to transfer weight and it's hard to be successful there with a cast iron block.

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PostPosted: Wed May 20, 2020 12:34 pm 
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Location: Stranded in Iowa - Better get the Breakdown squad out
blykins wrote:
..........Nothing wrong with being a contrarian, as long as you're just contrary to opinion and not actual facts/data. :)

Ya-know Brent, you made several posts that prompted my response and here’s what you said:
blykins wrote:
I have seen about 40 hp difference on Windsors and FEs with the block being the only variable. I know you're saying this is a stronger aluminum and different aluminum, but the tensile strength of the alloy has little to do with heat expansion. The block may do very well with stress, but just the nature of aluminum allows it to expand. Heat expansion is what causes the aluminum to expand up around the sleeves and in different directions, which will lose ring seal and compression. I'm an engine builder but also a degreed mechanical engineer and spent more time than I want to remember in school with heat transfer, material properties, etc. Aluminum will never equal cast iron or steel in this aspect.

blykins wrote:
........However, when you look at the coefficient of expansion, the Supracast is much higher than cast iron, almost 3 times as much. The thermal expansion is the clincher of all aluminum alloys. Kinda like you can take the boy out of the country but you can't take the country out of the boy.....LOL

To that point in the discussion there wasn’t a peep in any of the posts about material stiffness being the culprit in potential power loss, only comparisons of tensile strength, so here is what I said in the first sentence of my reply.
KCoffield wrote:
I think the issue is aluminum has 3x the modulus of elasticity compared to iron (Young’s modulus), not that it thermally expands more. The latter can be addressed with how you set the engine up.

Now I probably could have just left it at that but decided to further relieve myself, and do think it was a matter of fact, not just opinion which you seem to embrace in subsequent posts citing material stiffness in respect to ring seal and power loss not thermal expansion…….-That’s all.

The forum is definitely a drag race leaning venue which is fine. I use to really enjoy it. Within limits you can overcome weight with power to go faster. Just use power adders. I don’t think circle or any closed course cars could be as cavalier about potentially shedding 150lbs+ of high CG weight because the power won’t save you from being severely outperformed in cornering and breaking which can be more than half the race. I think 150lbs of nose weight is noticeable in how street cars handle and drive in general.

-Just tryin’ to keep it real ;)

Nice build Tim. Can't wait to see it hit the track.

Best,
Kelly


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PostPosted: Wed May 20, 2020 12:42 pm 
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Kelly, this is a forum, which means that we have to just read and not hear the inflection in each other's voices.

With that being said, the smiley face that I put at the end of that sentence was for that purpose.....just a light hearted funny.

I'm a little confused at the rest of your reply though, and maybe you misunderstood what I was saying. I do think it's thermal expansion that causes the inherent flaws of aluminum blocks, but was just saying that the tensile strength of this particular alloy of aluminum was higher than what we normally see with aluminum.

Carry on. :)

And yes, we're all waiting for Tim to get it on the dyno or in the car.

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PostPosted: Wed May 20, 2020 2:57 pm 
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blykins wrote:
DragBoss wrote:
That Mr. Coffield, was a dissertation on metallurgy, that I have never heard in detail. A lot was over my head, that was for sure. I know though that this aluminum alloy does not expand as others. The first trackboss was just dynoed, and for example, lash was set to .012 cold, when warm they increased to .015, one was .018, the main bearing clearance was no different than with iron block. Brent said he saw 40 hp, who knows anything is possible. Bottom line from Darin Morgan, is that you may loose 20hp between aluminum v iron, that is about it. Hell with the weight off the front end, be like gaining double that, when you figure in scaling and weight transfer. In truth, what does it matter, zip. Not sure where this debate of aluminum blocks being so terrible came from. I know Brent does not like them, that is for sure. If they were so weak, and power robbers why do all the big dogs with high Hp run them? I have a goal of 850hp, Morgan is helping me with this, and said, no problem, I can make that easy, he said. "withhim porting BT 3.6, designing a cam, from his 2000 lobe profile library, and Scott Cook making one of his race intakes, I got to trust him. He said I have to bore lifter bushings to .904, and 55 mm bearings, don't need roller ones. He said be really hard to try and make 850hp, without 55mm/.904 or .937 keyway. The stock lifters would be too weak, said they would turn to dust, lol. I have the 55 all ready, so it is going to machine shop after I get it deburred to my liking.


The big dogs with high hp use them because they are easy to repair. Aluminum is a lot easier to weld than cast iron, plus sleeves are able to be removed and replaced when necessary. BTW, I've never said aluminum blocks are weak. They are just structurally less rigid.

Lash grows extensively with heat with an all-aluminum engine. The amount of growth will depend on how hot the engine gets. If the water and oil temps don't get high then it's not going to grow as much as a heat-soaked engine that's been driven on the street, road race course, etc. If you're dyno'ing at 130-140° water temp and the oil temp isn't getting that hot, you're not going to see a lot of growth. Doesn't mean it won't happen. Same with main bearing clearances.

To me, aluminum blocks have their place. I just don't believe that most bracket classes are that place. That's my opinion. Even if you lose 100 lbs of weight, you will still lose 30-40 hp and then the delta isn't that great (I'd rather have the horsepower), especially when you're looking at a $2500 block versus a $6000 block. I would never ask one of my guys to spend that much money for one, just because the pros don't outweigh the cons. Good news is that it's a free country and guys are free to do whatever they want. :) However, I know quite a few engine builders, who when given the choice, would not choose an aluminum block over cast iron. I have seen 40 hp differences at the 700 hp level. A few other engine builder buddies (Rabotnick, Lance Smith, Blair Patrick, etc.) have also seen as much difference.

I'm not sure where all the debate has come from either. We've had this discussion on various forums and the majority of engine builders are aware of the inherent natures of aluminum blocks, but the end users are generally the ones who take offense to the discussions. My guess is that the average DIY'er who wants an aluminum block and spends $6000-7000 on one doesn't really want to hear that they are inferior in some ways to cast iron. I can understand the novelty to the average guy though. Aluminum blocks just aren't as plentiful and when we're dealing with Windsors, Clevelands, and FE's, you just don't see a lot of aluminum blocks. At the end of the day, you want what you want, and if you want to buy an aluminum block, you buy an aluminum block. I'm not trying to poo-poo on anyone's decisions, but I just feel like most guys aren't informed. I had a gentleman call to order a 496ci FE the other day and started the conversation by saying he wanted a Pond aluminum block. I explained to him that I generally see about 40 hp difference between cast iron and aluminum and the blocks were $2000-3000 more. He quickly changed his mind.

Bottom line, Tim, is that if you are happy, THAT'S ALL THAT MATTERS!!! And I'm happy that you got what you wanted.

I agree on the lifter bore diameter. I usually use .904" diameter lifters at least. Guys are kinda getting away from roller cam bearings. The larger diameter Babbitt bearings seem to work very well. My 9000 rpm 1200 hp pulling truck engines with 1300 lbs of open spring pressure use Babbitt. The key is to check the bearing clearance like you would a main/rod bearing. A 55mm cam journal needs about .0025-.003" oil clearance. I use a mic and a bore mic and check the clearances and then polish the cam journals to get clearance if necessary. High spring pressures put a lot of loading on the cam bearings. FWIW, I always green Loctite the cam bearings in, or pin them on aluminum blocks.


Brent, I understand what your saying to a point, in regards to expansion rates, and strength. You have that engineering degree, and engine building experience. This clearly gives you the insight and understanding of aspects of engine building and performance. I appreciate those facts. I also like that you agree that if the person is happy, then so be it. And that is the bottom line. I am not going to totally do this whole build myself, I have a machinist, that will help me, We have not discussed the parameters of the build, about who will put it together. He may want to do the whole build himself, or may allow me to help him. I am just going to play that by ear. It really comes down to his thoughts on if something happens, and liability. Whose fault type stuff. I am not a vindictive person, and understand that aspect. I figured the repair, and renew aspect, is why the big dogs like aluminum blocks.

I did not ask Darin whose library it is, may be comps, I will text him later and ask. He does not work for Reher-Morrison any longer. His brother who assembles lot of the engines there, still does. He works for Mast Motorsports, and Endyne, Larry Widmer's company. Those 2 business merged, and are together. This TrackBoss build will be a great learning experience for not just me, but for anyone interested in Clevelands. Smith Bros, is one of my sponsors, They are sending me 3 sets of different length push rods to work with. I am making a video on mid lift theory. I must have at least 15, big name companies. Not that you need anything, but others here, if they need anything, they can contact any of my sponsors, and they will hook you up, just tell them DragBoss sent you. Hopefully dyno this 409, in the next few weeks. This covid, has affected everything, as you know. I appreciate your honesty, and advice, thank you so much Brent.

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PostPosted: Wed May 20, 2020 3:14 pm 
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As you might have seen in this thread, my engineering degree doesn't get used as much as I'd like LOL....

I am pretty sure that Darin uses (or used to use) Comp. I have one of his cam cards.

I also use Mast for some valves. They have some really nice inexpensive hollow stem valves that are FE-sized. :)

I don't have the financial backing of some companies, but if I can help you out with anything Tim, just let me know. You're a good dude and you've been part of this forum for a long time.

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PostPosted: Wed May 20, 2020 5:38 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 06, 2012 10:23 am
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Location: Texas
Tim- DragBoss

Hows it going my friend. I hope you and your family are well. Your Fire Breathing 427 Cleveland is a beautiful specimen for sure. I have another buddy in Georgia that has one on order. I think he will make a 434 or something to that nature. Its gonna go in a Fairmont. Now it is true the iron blocks will hold more power than an aluminium block. This holds true to factory vs aftermarket- doesn't matter what the source. Thing is, with the lighter block you wont have to make as much power to perform like the iron block just because of the weight. The aluminium will unload the front quicker and with less effort. Translates to quicker 60ft -quicker excelleration and not to mention quicker stopping. Your other engine was making 752hp but i bet with the Track BOSS you could make 650-675 and it would keep up with the 750hp engine.

But with that said, there is a steeper price for the Track Boss vs a Dart or Ford Motorsports blocks. Now im not poor but I also can not just drop $4000-$4500 for just a block. $2000-$2800 for an iron block then ya I can swing that. So what I was wondering Tim is have you heard through the Grapevine if TMeyer will be making an iron Track Boss? I would defiantly love to keep the Cleveland look but if someone doesn't make an iron Cleveland block then best be sure the next block will be a 9.2 or 9.5 Dart or something like it. That is if I dont just put a Big Block in it. Tim I cant wait to see you smile the first time it cracks off on the dyno. Keep up the good work and thank you for your time with your Youtube videos. You have a beautiful family.
-Matt


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PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2020 11:22 am 
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blykins wrote:
As you might have seen in this thread, my engineering degree doesn't get used as much as I'd like LOL....

I am pretty sure that Darin uses (or used to use) Comp. I have one of his cam cards.

I also use Mast for some valves. They have some really nice inexpensive hollow stem valves that are FE-sized. :)

I don't have the financial backing of some companies, but if I can help you out with anything Tim, just let me know. You're a good dude and you've been part of this forum for a long time.


Thanks Brent, I appreciate the kind words. The feeling is mutual, you always give a different insight when things are posted. Not just from owner of forum, but reall life experience, that is something you cannot buy. I not sure if I call it financial backing, lol, but all the companies I have talked to, except T&D, were willing to help with parts, if I mention them on my you tube channel. I have gotten quite a bit of help from the sponsors I have. Yes I am getting Valves, from Mast also, for my secret A3 heads, as I call them, and for my BT 3.6, when time comes. I am going to continue my quest, and carry. Keep you posted on where I am. Thanks

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PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2020 11:39 am 
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nova467spanker wrote:
Tim- DragBoss

Hows it going my friend. I hope you and your family are well. Your Fire Breathing 427 Cleveland is a beautiful specimen for sure. I have another buddy in Georgia that has one on order. I think he will make a 434 or something to that nature. Its gonna go in a Fairmont. Now it is true the iron blocks will hold more power than an aluminium block. This holds true to factory vs aftermarket- doesn't matter what the source. Thing is, with the lighter block you wont have to make as much power to perform like the iron block just because of the weight. The aluminium will unload the front quicker and with less effort. Translates to quicker 60ft -quicker excelleration and not to mention quicker stopping. Your other engine was making 752hp but i bet with the Track BOSS you could make 650-675 and it would keep up with the 750hp engine.

But with that said, there is a steeper price for the Track Boss vs a Dart or Ford Motorsports blocks. Now im not poor but I also can not just drop $4000-$4500 for just a block. $2000-$2800 for an iron block then ya I can swing that. So what I was wondering Tim is have you heard through the Grapevine if TMeyer will be making an iron Track Boss? I would defiantly love to keep the Cleveland look but if someone doesn't make an iron Cleveland block then best be sure the next block will be a 9.2 or 9.5 Dart or something like it. That is if I dont just put a Big Block in it. Tim I cant wait to see you smile the first time it cracks off on the dyno. Keep up the good work and thank you for your time with your Youtube videos. You have a beautiful family.
-Matt


Thank you Matt, All I have in this world, is my family. I will say tough to get girls to want to get into working in the garage at times. They would rather play with toys and dolls. I will admit, I do like to play store, squishes, and dolls, don't tell anyone. Like I said before, my goal is 850hp, and I should achieve that with help from Darin Morgan. I am not really concerned with any of the losses that are associated with aluminum blocks. I really could careless. The reason is, I build my motors for personal goals, no one else's. My build will be a good platform, along with the first TrackBoss, results to see some real world numbers, not just speculation.

Here is what I say about Cleveland iron block, it will be available when it is ready. When you or anyone else compares Dart to the TrackBoss, there is no comparison, end of story. The Dart block is not a Cleveland, so one may buy a dart block, but they are buying a Windsor. Not much more to debate, to me. That is my opinion. Not sure why people keep comparing them. I understand the financial aspect, but you get what you pay for to me. I think Dart blocks are wicked, and strong as hell. BUT they are not a cleveland. I like many others, and probably you are Cleveland aficionados, to me that means you stay true to the original design. BBf sure would be fun too. Thanks for watching my vids, going to try and get my wife to degree cam in 409, maybe we can make that vid this weekend....stay tuned.

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PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2020 12:04 pm 
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Very true Dragboss! I just want to add this:

https://www.summitracing.com/parts/drt-31344195

This is the price of Darts top alloy sbf windsor blocks. They do not offer the options of the same Trackboss block one being the supra-cast Aluminum. No one offers that. Also your trackboss is a Cleveland block and can and will come with correct date codes. The Trackboss alloy is 6500 and cast when available 3500. Dart has nothing with same options for less just so you know.


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