Project 10 the Hard Way – It’s ALIVE!

Racing Head Service #12056 Pro-Action head. You can see the taper of the Beehive valve springs.

Start with a solid foundation on your engine

We had decided what we wanted for the rotating assembly and cubic inch. Now we needed to have the strongest and yet affordable foundation to build this engine on. We decided to use the DART SHP small-block Chevy iron block. We ordered it with a finished 4.125" bore and Dart requested we send them the rotating assembly to make sure every clearance was correct when they sent out the finished block. It arrived ready to assemble, painted, can bearings installed, and brass freeze plugs and all hardware installed. Nicely done by DART!

This is a better picture of the Beehive spring. Reduced weight, less harmonics with less spring pressure. They are new to me and I will let you know what I find out.

DART Machinery offers racers a wide selection of cylinder blocks and heads. The best way to know what block would be best for you is to do what I did, call the Dart tech line at 248-362-1188.

Next up was cylinder heads and camshaft

Again, this engine is about durability and reliability. I have never been steered wrong by Comp Cams so a call to "my main man" at Comp Cams, Chris Pagitt, got us set up with what we were looking for. We talked about a roller camshaft but that was outside my budget so he recommended a solid lifter camshaft and a set of their solid lifters that have a .017" EDM hole on the face of the lifter that rides on the camshaft lobe. This hole feeds oil pressure directly between the lifter and the camshaft assuring better lubrication and longer life of the components.

We also chose their Ultra-Pro Magnum steel rocker arms. The #1604-16 are for the 7/16" rocker stud so make sure you choose the right ones for your heads.

When it came to choosing cylinder heads you could spend a year trying to figure that one out. Heads for small-block Chevy engines come in hundreds of sizes, shapes, port volumes, etc. We decided to stay with a very conservative 210-cc intake port aluminum head. The RHS Pro-Action 23-degree cylinder heads have 2.02" intake valves and 1.600 exhaust vales. We ordered our heads completely assembled and on Comp Cams’ recommendation we are trying their Beehive valve springs and lightweight retainers. The Beehive design is less prone to harmonics and should give us a hundreds of runs before needing replacement.