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311 Engine Upgrades

Old 01-15-2021, 05:30 PM
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Originally Posted by ph1971 View Post
Itís super simple Tom B. I would never have been without it if I had known how cheap and easy it is to install.
I was concerned that it was complicated, takes up space and would not support 600 hp big blocks...but it looks like those issues are moot. I have been religious about installing and using flush kits...https://www.diamondperformanceparts....roducts/295-50
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Old 01-19-2021, 10:33 PM
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Some progress...



Short-block is together!


One set of heads picked up today...


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Old 01-20-2021, 08:13 AM
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Nice work!
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Old 01-20-2021, 10:26 AM
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Thanks Tom. Not a lot to see. Things are coming together though! I now need to order head gaskets and stuff for the top-end. Iíd like to get the heads on by the weekend so that I can measure for pushrods. Weíll see if that happens.
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Old 01-21-2021, 06:54 AM
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I didn’t realize that you were using the Mini domes. What is your final CR going to be? Those anodized heads are going to be sweet and flow like mad. Looks great!
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Old 01-21-2021, 10:18 AM
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Compression is going to come in right at 9.6 on this one. With tight quench she should be good on whatever fuel goes in the tank. We'll dyno on 87 and 91.

The heads are really going to make these things run. They needed some clean up on the decks to fix some corrosion. In the end we took them down to 112cc and gave them a nice valve job.

I got these heads for a song (thanks James!) but thought they'd need some real money to be brought up to spec. Come to find out, the springs on the heads were pretty weak (AFR/Pioneer blue stripe). I was replacing the springs anyway, but when I tested them here at home out of curiosity, I was getting about 100lbs or so at installed height (lowest of 98lbs, highest of about 105). These were being used on a blower setup with a 741 cam. Originally, I thought we'd have to replace the seats due to weak material (discussed by others using AFR heads elsewhere here on OSO), but the seats had good materiel left and instead appeared to be eroding from the valves bouncing around hence just needing a valve job. My springs, Comp 933's, are right at 170lbs at installed height so I think we'll be good for at least a couple hundred hours. Time will tell.

I'm excited to see what they do!
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Old 01-24-2021, 04:04 PM
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Double checking camshaft timing...open and closing events and centerline method dead on the money!



Time to out the timing cover and pan on.
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Old 01-25-2021, 08:23 PM
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Nasty.... just to put it out there... I hate cleaning oil pans. Itís like the worst job.

In this case.... I had about a 1/8-inch of silver-gray mud in the bottom of the pan. Iím guessing thatís why the oil drain hoses were not working. This also means that a ton of crap collects at the bottom of the pan if youíre changing oil via the dipstick tube so take note... if you change oil this way, youíre leaving a quart of nastiness behind in the pan.

Sorry, no pics of the afterbirth, I mean, sludge.

Side note... this engine had no signs of any engine damage so the sludge is just that... twenty some odd years worth of gunk.
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Old 01-26-2021, 08:14 PM
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I have found the same thing in oil pans with far fewer hours than yours. Even with an oil whip from the drain hole you don’t get the sediment out. I think it’s obvious that the flame arrestors that we run allow a lot more micro particles to enter than atypical automotive filter. I haven’t found “sludge” , but definitely fine non-magnetic grit in a meticulously maintained low hour engine. You look to be on your way to home plate now Tom, and as usual you’re dotting all of your T’s. That’s a burley piston stop dude!
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Old 01-27-2021, 12:30 AM
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Yep! That stop is stupid! I made it from scrap. If I come across any 12-inch bores, I'll be ready!

I got the pan back on it tonight and now ordering head gaskets. $96 a piece at Amazon!

And agreed. The engines really suck up some stuff. Just because they're running in enclosed engine rooms doesn't mean they do not pull in debris from the air. I've used K&N in the past, but the cost vs benefit has been proven to not be there so Gaffrig it will be.
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