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Old 06-11-2008, 11:06 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Steve, I think that's Jim Mcfarland.
Years ago I talked with Jim when I was designing a turbo system for a Rolls-Royce Griffon (2,240 cid). Knowlegeble guy. With the help of other brains in the industry, we came up with (4) TV8101 turbos and a custom EFI box. It was going to make 7,200 hp at 3,200 rpm. But, alas, funding fell through and was never produced.
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Old 06-11-2008, 12:23 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Never noticed that other than due to lousy engine building on a 109.

PowerManual is for Stage engine mods
Wouldn't any oil system mods be beneficial reguardless of what block casting you are using? Just look at the work you need to do with the stock front cover and oil pump. I'm just thinking back to my Buick 455 days where you had to enlarge the oil passages on the early blocks. At least you dont need a 36" long drill bit. This would only apply to the main bearings as Buick took care of the cam bearing issues on the 109 block. I drilled out the holes on my first 109 rebuild and noticed a little improvement as far as oil pressure goes. Hard to say as I also did the front cover and oil pump mods at the same time. When I get bored I'm going to have to drag out some 4.1 and 109 blocks to see what difference there is in those holes as far as size goes anyway.
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Old 06-11-2008, 01:05 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Cleaning out flash, smoothing out corners will not hurt...and, if it is bad enuf, will help. That is standard procedure as is making sure the oil pump is up to snuff spec wise.

On the other hand, enlarging passages to increase volume means a drop in oil pressure unless you go to a larger pump. Going to a larger pump takes more hp to turn. It also puts more strain on the pump drive, and wear on the cam sensor gear/shaft. Further, it increases the wear rate on the front cam bearing due to the increased loading. Increased wear on the front cam bearing leads to reduced oil flow and consequently, potentially shorter cam lobe life.

Now one has to keep things in perspective. The Power Manual is for Stage engines with dry sumps and solid lifters that turn 7500-8500 rpm. The oiling needs of a solid lifter engine are different from a hydraulic engine, and the high rpm requirements certainly require enuf flow to maintain a film at those speeds.

Our 109 blocks are typically used under 6000 rpm (except for hard core racers in TSM) and generally the only problem encountered on one that is not consistently detonated, is timing chain failure. Otherwise they often have no problem making 200,000 miles on a stock factory engine.

Now, if you rebuild the engine for racing, you will probably be taking it apart once a year either by design, or by necessity.

I see a lot more problems on rebuilt engines than I do on factory engines-no matter the intended usage. I generally blame the machine shop and the builder. Rod failure, barring extreme detonation, is very often the lousy job done on resizing at the shop.

Aftermarket parts like front covers are often junk and need considerable work to get them back to as good as the originals...one has to check everything...but, a lot of the mods to make them better are more folk lore than fact. Again I exclude high rpm racing engines which may outstrip the ability of the factory system to keep up.

You are old enuf to remember when it was common practice to put a BBC pump in small blocks to improve them. Now, many experienced builders have discovered there is no real benefit, but, there can be some downsides. You don't see that as a standard suggestion anymore...at least nothing I read pushes it

In general, we don't give factory engineers that build engines for 50,000 mile warranties enuf credit. Next thing, you will be bad mouthing the General like everyone else...before you piss him off, I sure would like an LS9
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Old 06-11-2008, 02:39 PM   #19 (permalink)
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On the cover of that Mag what block is that? I noticed its Blue & it caught my eye.
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Old 06-11-2008, 05:27 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Hey Steve. The only Stage motor referenced in this Ruggles book is Stage1. No S2. And no dry sump stuff listed. I have to agree most of the block mods are overkill for the 109.

The motor on the cover is a 4.1. I'm guessing this book was published around 1980-1981.


If I had the capabilty I would scan all of the Buick HP manuals in pdf form for use as a reference. I think I have 90% of all the books ever printed.
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Old 06-12-2008, 01:48 PM   #21 (permalink)
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The Ruggles book referenced is NOT for stage engines, it is a buildup of a n/a 4.1 street engine. They were targeting about 1 hp/cid, though the dyno result shows 227 hp (and 257 ft-lb torque). You may not agree with the mods they suggest, but to say that their recommendations are for a stage engine only is not accurate. The Power Source book is mostly directed at stage engines, but there is some good stuff that relates to production blocks as well.

That being said, I don't think there is any requirement to perform the oil modifications they discuss on a purely street engine. Some of their recommendations are simple things that, to me, just fall under the scope of "blue printing". Certainly GM built the things to run for a good long while, and they did have to go through their durability testing, so things ought to be good as-is. Still, some mods make sense to me. We do tend to increase power levels and such a good bit over stock, and that alone might change some of the requirements. Improving the oil system where we can doesn't seem harmful to me, when done intelligently.

In reference to the cam bearing mods, I think those were probably good mods for 85 and earlier blocks, but not 109 blocks. Those books were written when the oil transfer to the drivers side gallery was still through the holes in the #1 bearing and through the groove in the #1 cam journal. The 109 block is set up different of course, and those mods are no longer applicable.

I think that one change from stock that is a bad change is having a 109 block and using a cam with a groove in the #1 journal. I think the stock setup, with a grooveless cam, is much better. Hard to find a grooveless flat tappet cam though. That's part of the reason why I went roller. But hey - roller cam - that's not how the factory did it! *shuddder* OMG, I improved something over the factory - heavens to betsy! heh heh - just gigging ya a little there

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Old 06-12-2008, 02:43 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Thought I was talking about the Power Manual mods? I guess I don't know what I was talking about I don't have the third book referenced in the picture.

I stand by my comments about the lack of need to get crazy and start boring out oil passages and such on 109s that run in the normal rpm range and the potential to cause more problems than are cured.

I have a roller cam as well...has nothing to do with oiling mods as far as I know if we are discussing hydraulic rollers.
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Old 06-13-2008, 10:22 AM   #23 (permalink)
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Well, the typical oil system mods are listed in all 3 books I have - The Free Spirit book, the Ruggles/Hot Rod thing, and the Power Source.

The Free Spirit book (1980, my edition says revised August 1985) is the obvious precursor to the Power Source, most of the chapters were copied exactly in the Power Source, pictures and all. There's a couple of chapters in the Free Spirit that are not in the Power Source, and vice versa. My Power Source is also dated 1985. The Ruggles/Hot Rod thing has no date, but 1982 is found in a couple of spots in the text, and that would be my best guess.

I would say that the Free Spirit and Power Source are focused on stage I, stage II, and "heavy duty" production blocks, while the Ruggles thing is strictly "heavy duty" production.

As I said, the oil system mods discussed - cam bearing stuff, porting of oil passages, drilling out the mains, booster plate that reroutes the bypass oil - appears in all three books. Ruggles said he thought this stuff was smart for engines making over 200 hp and that would run over 4500 rpm.

FWIW, since the Power Source was a GM publication, and since a lot of the book does talk about the preparation of a production block, I don't consider those mods as unacceptable for a street engine.

I do note that none of the books talks about using larger oil pumps among all the other mods they list. I've done most (if not all) of these things and I sure don't need anything more than the stock pump to maintain good pressure.

As for perfection from the factory - if they were so perfect they wouldn't have revised the arrangement around the #1 cam bearing for 86/87, moving from the groove-in-cam-journal to groove-underneath-cam bearing. Apparently they had to do that in conjunction with some extra hard cam bearings to correct some oil pressure problems that were leading to warranty issues (or so I read somewhere... the Source maybe? GSCA newsletter? somewhere).

Again, I don't think anyone has to do these things, but I think we can occasionally improve what the factory gave us. That was my point about the cam - we improve what the factory gave us in lots of areas without a thought. I don't think the oil system is the one spot where they got everything exactly right.

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Old 06-13-2008, 11:36 AM   #24 (permalink)
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Me? I believe one has to be able to demonstrate the need to "improve" upon the factory system, and further, be above to demonstrate there are no downsides as well as being able to demonstrate the actual improvement. If the originals can be demonstrated problematic, then I would change my mind.

Clarifying once again, I am speaking of the typical street engine that is not going to be rebuilt frequently and is not revved over 6000 rpm.

The problems with modifications that I have pointed out in prior posts have been demonstrated by a number of more qualified individuals than myself although I have seen first hand what increased load does to the cam bearing, etc.

When I was younger, I believed many things because others wrote that it was the thing to do. Now, I want to see proof.

For the record, I never believed in Peter Pan. I did once believe in larger oil pumps, larger passages, etc. tho. Oh, yeah, that was about 1985, the same year as your source, when I believed that. History has shown it to be an unnecessary concern. I think that was very early in the Buick experience. So far, no one has shown it to be a problem in the past 23 years in the context of the original discussion.
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Old 06-13-2008, 01:28 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Fully understood, and I'm in agreement. I wish I could offer you some proof, but I don't have 2 engines, one with and one without mods, that have been equally abused.
- I know that I have good oil pressure.
- I know that regular parts house cam bearings + grooved cams have left me with bad oil pressure after just a few thousand miles. I was surprised at how much cam bearing wear affected my oil pressure.
- I think that having my bypass blocked has kept trash from circulating, but I can't prove it.
- I think that my porting and enlarged mains have helped, but don't have a side by side to prove it.
- I do know that after my last teardown, which was caused by a bad overheating incident (frozen thermostat + highway + inattentive driver), and which caused two pistons to get scuffed pretty bad and resulted in some scary noises, my bearings looked absolutely perfect. Maybe they would have looked perfect anyway, but I don't know.

That's about all I "know".

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Old 06-13-2008, 01:32 PM   #26 (permalink)
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Come out for a visit and we can argue about it and some other things! Maybe you can motivate me to change converters

I agree completely on the cam bearings, and I am willing to agree on the bypass if you have a good filter that won't collapse. We have some common ground
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Old 06-13-2008, 01:56 PM   #27 (permalink)
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I almost came over the last time I was out at my folks, if I had just had one more day I would have. I don't get out there as often as I'd like. Hopefully this fall some time. Got some fresh goat meat laying around? I love cabrito tacos

I confess, there have been times in the past when I should have listened to you and didn't!

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Old 06-13-2008, 02:30 PM   #28 (permalink)
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There are times today that I should listen to myself, but don't.

I am fixing to ship some fresh cabrito Sunday afternoon. I gave one to one of my friends recently...should have given him two and made him butcher one for me....damn stuff sells for like $11 a lb if you can find it in a store.
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Old 06-13-2008, 07:21 PM   #29 (permalink)
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Steve, your posts are the reason i come on this site...

"pats Steve on the back and tells him good job "
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Old 06-13-2008, 07:48 PM   #30 (permalink)
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Phil...I like to argue, and, John is a good friend of mine so he knows I will not kill him

Guys like him, and, Todd King, are some of the sharper guys around when it come to really understanding why things work and I have learned a lot from them.

In real time, I am not nearly as hard to get along with as I often appear here. For some reason, those that know me don't mind that I am a smart ass

I am just one of those people that have to be shown rather than taking conventional wisdom as fact. I have seen too much wisdom that turned out to be folk lore, I guess.
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