Machine Shop Sequencing


Staff member
I have a new block from Dart. I have cleaned it with solvent, brushes, hot soapy water and more brushing. Now I'm ready to take it to the machine shop for line honing the mains, torque plate honing the cylinders to size, etc.

At this point do I have them install cam bearings or do I need to do a complete cleaning again first. Then take the block back for the cam bearings??? I feel like I need to do the later, but wanted to confirm before proceeding.


Staff member
talk to your machine shop, you need to develop at least a minimal conversational friendship with the machinist so he understands your goals,concerns and time table, they should be cleaning the block after any machine work and they should be able to advise you how they want to proceed.
I usually list what I want done and let them concern themselves with the exact order, but the last step should be installing the cam bearings and freeze plugs and painting the blocks non-machined surfaces with your choice of color in a high temp epoxy engine paint AND/OR spraying the blocks machined surfaces with a rust inhibitor like WD40 and sealing it in a heavy clear plastic bag, so it won,t pick up dirt or rust, or moisture.

SUMMIT SELLS G.M. BLOCKS you can use to build a 383 for $700 plus shipping , but ID suggest limiting power to about 500 hp with these

OR you can spend a bit more and get a far stronger and thicker casting for about $1550 ... e%20Blocks


Staff member
I usually ask them to just spray my blocks down with wd40 and bag them rather than paint them, because "PAINT" can cover up some flaws, so I want to inspect and paint my own blocks rather than let a machine shop do it because I take my time and do it correctly,and not get it on bearings or block decks etc.
you'll see what I mean if you've ever let your average machine shop paint a block vs doing it while you take your time
Most of us learn by making mistakes, and you can be sure I made my share, and learned a good deal from each,
the first really serious SBC engine, back in the 1970s I built forced me to learn all about how crooked , and back-stabbing the machine shop I was dealing with at the time was.
I dropped off my nearly new 350 block and asked them to deck it 10 thousands, add splayed main caps , line hone and install new cam bearings and freeze plugs,
I was given a written estimate for a total of $480 for the work, which I foolishly paid up front, and told it would be 3-4 days.
a couple days later I called to see if it was ready to be picked up...they had not done much yet, but promised, it would be done in 3-4 days.....2 weeks later I get a call,
and the counter gal says were done, come pick it up, I was billed $870 -$480, or $390 MORE,
and they obviously billed me for decking the block which they had not done as you could easily still see the old gasket dis-coloration on the block,
not only that, the splayed main caps had obviously not been line honed,as they showed no honing marks, I pointed those little discrepancy's out ,
and was told if I wanted my block back the cost was $590 regardless.. I foolishly paid, got my block and left as I knew I was already out $480
I rarely build or suggest any serious 450 hp, plus SBC be built on a O.E.M. block
it helps a great deal if you take the time and effort to find a trust worthy and reasonably priced local machine shop , and trust me when I say this is critical, and yes, the machinist will seem to point out endless things that should be done to increase durability, or just allow proper component function,and a good machinist will try to guide you in component selection to help avoid mis-matched parts and low quality parts being used, yes quality parts and machine work, ALWAYS COST more than you may expect them too!


these threads may help

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