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Chevy Propane Engine Build



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Old 08-14-2012, 04:23 PM   #1
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Chevy Propane Engine Build

Well were building a propane engine for Shany's rig.
Thought I'd share.
Hoping for about 11.5 to 12.0 to 1 compression.
We had a good 350 4 bolt block



Found some used but never run pop up pistons (cheep)

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Old 08-14-2012, 05:31 PM   #2
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The Cam

The cam

Comp Cams 4x4 extreme hydraulic roller cam 12-413-8
220 / 224 @ .050 .474 lift

Comp cams 7609 push rods

Howards Cams 91164N retrofit street hydraulic roller lifters

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Old 08-14-2012, 07:09 PM   #3
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Old 08-14-2012, 07:23 PM   #4
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We're just getting started. It's going to be a couple weeks. Ordered a set of aluminum heads last night. Head studs, gear drive and intake got ordered tonight.

Were thinking about $3000.00 total ready to run.

It's going in the buggy on the right.


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Old 08-14-2012, 07:26 PM   #5
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That should be fun! What heads did you go with, specs? Just my opinion, cam seems a little on the small side. Should help make good torque. Can't wait to see this come alive.
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Old 08-14-2012, 08:14 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by 67_SS396 View Post
That should be fun! What heads did you go with, specs? Just my opinion, cam seems a little on the small side. Should help make good torque. Can't wait to see this come alive.
We wanted the cam to work from just off idle due to the standard transmission. this cam is supposed to be good from 1000-6000. Were not needing a lot of top end we want (like you said) low end torque the rig is being used mostly for rock climbing.

Shandy told me today he ordered either:

Cylinder Heads, Aluminum, Assembled, 64cc Chamber, 200cc Intake Runner

Summit Racing SUM-162112 - Summit Racing Street & Strip® Cylinder Heads for Small Chevy - Overview - SummitRacing.com or
Summit Racing SUM-162111 - Summit Racing Street & Strip® Cylinder Heads for Small Chevy - Overview - SummitRacing.com
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Old 08-15-2012, 05:57 AM   #7
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I figured you were looking for off idle performance. That setup should make some great low end power and pull pretty dang hard.
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Old 08-15-2012, 09:03 AM   #8
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Old 08-15-2012, 11:15 AM   #9
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After reading what I just wrote and what you are about to read I want to preface by saying I am just trying to help...

I like the idea of the build, but I think you have a mismatch in parts; heads and cam selection for your goals. I don't want to come off as a know at all, but I have built alot of small block chevys for different things through the years from big cube turbo engines to daily driven performance, and helped with a pile that were not mine. I see so many people build engines and end up with a soggy performer because of a parts mismatch. The most common is with heads and cam selection being too big, mismatch to eachother, and/or mismatch to the application. There is nothing more disheartening that spending all that time and money and ending up with a dog.

Port velocity is key for off idle and midrange torque. On a 350 a 200cc intake port is WAAAYYYY too big for both the cam and the application. The cam is actually a little big as well, but the high CR will probably cover it up to a degree. For bottom end you want a head that is in the 160 up to maybe 180cc range, and a cam that is 200-210 range on duration at .050 lift and 110-112 on lsa. The goal is to get peak cylinder pressure as high as possible without detonation. The other benefit will be low fuel consumption on the trail.

I actually just finished an engine for my firebird last year and sortof took my own advice on this. It is a 377cid small block that I got already built. It had stock heads and an efi cam that was around 200 at .050 and 112 lsa. It took everything I had to stab that small cam back in it when I freshened the engine, but I made myself try it. With 10:1 CR is is pushing the limits on pump gas. To my utter surprise that engine is a tire shredding torque monster, and it is economical. I did an engine several years back very similiar in a tall geared standard shift chevy truck and it worked very well. It had tiny cam and stock heads and it just had alot of torque and was easy to drive. My brother owned it for years and a buddy of mine has it now.

If this thing was an auto with a 2500 stall or was a high RPM hill climber I think it would work fine(but, I would still go smaller on the heads). However, I think with a standard it is just gonna be way under its potential and probably not lug well at all under load. I can see it crawling in to a rock face and dieing over and over again or having to throttle up.

Don't want to come off as casting stones, but since you are in the build phase I thought I would throw my nickle in the pond.
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Old 08-15-2012, 11:39 AM   #10
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To my utter surprise that engine is a tire shredding torque monster
You got any tips on how I can turn my 1.3 in the buggy into one of those?


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Old 08-15-2012, 11:52 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Turbos10 View Post
I like the idea of the build, but I think you have a mismatch in parts; heads and cam selection for your goals. Port velocity is key for off idle and midrange torque. On a 350 a 200cc intake port is WAAAYYYY too big for both the cam and the application. The cam is actually a little big as well, but the high CR will probably cover it up to a degree. For bottom end you want a head that is in the 160 up to maybe 180cc range, and a cam that is 200-210 range on duration at .050 lift and 110-112 on lsa. The goal is to get peak cylinder pressure as high as possible without detonation. The other benefit will be low fuel consumption on the trail.

.
I agree with ya the cam is one step above what we had originally though we would use. We landed the cam lifters push rods and a cam button for $425.00delivered. Hence the slightly bigger cam. The heads were ordered by Shandy with out talking to me and I'm with you about the 200 verses the 170's he should of ordered. May send the 200's back and get the 170's.
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Old 08-15-2012, 11:53 AM   #12
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Dual mixers?
No just one.
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Old 08-15-2012, 11:59 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Elcaminoman View Post
I agree with ya the cam is one step above what we had originally though we would use. We landed the cam lifters push rods and a cam button for $425.00delivered. Hence the slightly bigger cam. The heads were ordered by Shandy with out talking to me and I'm with you about the 200 verses the 170's he should of ordered. May send the 200's back and get the 170's.
Good deal! I totally understand the budget thing on the cam and with high compression and smaller heads it will probably be okay. The benefit you have with the higher-than-gas-engine compression ratio is that it should still have decent cylinder pressure off idle even with the valve overlap on that cam which may lower the effective operating range a little bit.
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Old 08-15-2012, 12:23 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elcaminoman View Post
I agree with ya the cam is one step above what we had originally though we would use. We landed the cam lifters push rods and a cam button for $425.00delivered. Hence the slightly bigger cam. The heads were ordered by Shandy with out talking to me and I'm with you about the 200 verses the 170's he should of ordered. May send the 200's back and get the 170's.
Should of ordered these:
Summit Racing SUM-162109 - Summit Racing® Aluminum Cylinder Heads for Small Chevy - Overview - SummitRacing.com
The reason he ordered the others I think is the angle plug wouldn't work with his headers.
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Old 08-15-2012, 01:28 PM   #15
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Yeah, those would be better. I would bolt on a set of vortecs or some other cast iron head that was the right application before I would put those big runner heads on, but that is just me. I would think headers could be had that would clear angle plugs?
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Old 08-15-2012, 02:41 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Turbos10 View Post
Yeah, those would be better. I would bolt on a set of vortecs or some other cast iron head that was the right application before I would put those big runner heads on, but that is just me. I would think headers could be had that would clear angle plugs?
Problem with the cast heads is findding ones with the right size chamber. I found an older set of older 64 cc chamber heads but by the time we bought them and finished them out it would of bin just as much as the new ones and no bolt holes . Plus we get a weight savings.
And we could get some headers for angle plug heads. But then again he just bought the ones he has. No excuse except the money thing again.
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Old 08-15-2012, 08:03 PM   #17
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Your budget constraints sound alot like mine. There are some corvette heads that were 58cc and aluminum. My brother has had a few sets of them on engines and they work well, but they are not as easy to find as they used to be.

I bought some Dart Pro 1's from a guy several years ago for super cheap. He bought bulk castings and assembled and finish machined them himself. I dropped him a message to see if he had anything kindof like what you are looking for. I think I paid under 1k for finished 220cc Pro1's, but it was years back. If he has options, what is your dream head?...170cc, 62cc chambers, stainless valves, push rod guides, 110 ish lb springs??
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Old 08-24-2012, 10:19 PM   #18
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What I can remember about the Early 90's L92 corvette heads:

58cc combustion chamber might get a little tight with your domed pistons, but have a pretty efficient burning design. Not sure what the limits are with propane.

Angled plugs with "D" shaped (and I think raised) exhaust ports made header selection a little pricey for me, but that was partially due to the chassis. And there are more cheap headers to be had now days that would probably work.

They flow really well on the exhaust due to the above mentioned ports, and should be considered in selecting a cam.

CFM / port volume is surprisingly high. Don't remember what the actual flowbench numbers were, but they showed to keep up with aftermarket heads 10+ cc larger. I want to say the set I had with moderate porting flowed 240CFM on intake (1.94 valve) and 210 on exhaust (?? valve) @ ?? lift.

Like Chris said though, I think they are getting a little harder to find, so they may not even be an option.
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Old 08-30-2012, 09:44 PM   #19
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I think the cam will be ok, the heads would be more for a 400ci Or high RPM 350.. I've got Dart 200cc platinums on my 406 and love em.. But yes air speed is the key..
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Old 09-28-2012, 06:17 AM   #20
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Guess wee going to put her together this weekend.
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Old 09-28-2012, 07:24 PM   #21
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Just had to see what it was going to look like.
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Old 09-28-2012, 08:08 PM   #22
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Old 09-30-2012, 08:41 AM   #23
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Well we worked on it yesterday and it's ready to go in. Were waiting on a new clutch slave cylinder should be here Wednesday.

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Old 10-04-2012, 05:54 AM   #24
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Getting close

Well the new engine is just about ready to fire up actually I did poor a bit of gas in the intake and lit it off.(sounds nasty with those open headers).
Had 65 lbs of oil pressure spinning the pump with the drill. I always prime a new engine guess everyone dose.
We had some extra help yesterday. My granddaughter is at the shop on Wednesday's. Thanks to all the help the old engine is out. #8 cylinder was passing oil don't know from where yet but the exhaust port was thick with it. I checked the compression and everything was around 155-160 with # 1 at 175 so I suspect a valve seal.


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Old 10-04-2012, 05:57 AM   #25
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Still waiting on a couple parts. The new flywheel will be here tomorrow, dist drive gear (steel for the roller cam) will be here Monday,and the new clutch slave cylinder should be here Friday or Monday.
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