LemonWedge 470 build thread

LemonWedge

Well-Known Member
Local time
5:52 PM
Joined
Dec 27, 2009
Messages
831
Reaction score
1,727
Location
Puyallup, WA
I‘m happy to report that I‘ve decided on a path for a refresh of the LemonWedge bullet that will hopefully take place this coming off-season. This will be a budget friendly deal, but should still yield some strong results. The current 452” 400 will be stroked to 471 (4.382 x 3.915). Ill be needing some help with questions and verification of various things here & there, so I’m starting this thread as a place to reach out to guys with experience where mine is lacking.

Build plan: I’ll be re-honing the current bore and reusing my current flat top 1.322 pin ht Icon pistons. They will be hung on new 6.700 rods, and we will offset grind my current forged RB crank out to 3.915, or whatever puts me at 0 deck. Compression should end up just a tad north of 11:1. Heads will be untouched for now; MCH ported and prepped Stealths. Intake and carb will also be the current M1 and 1000cfm annular 4150.

I decided on stepping up to a solid roller this time around, and have already been working with Howards on valvetrain parts. My order is already in for the following cam, lifters, and valvesprings:
Howards Cams 722323-08 Howards Cams Steel Billet Mechanical Roller Camshafts | Summit Racing
Howards Cams 91735
Howards Cams 98816 Howards Cams Pacaloy Mechanical Roller Valve Springs | Summit Racing

Luke at Howards was great to work with. We ran into a stumbling block with the springs, but he was able to find a path that works with new “+.100” retainers to get me the required nose pressure while working with my existing valves Installed ht. With my current 1.6 ratio rockers, lift will be pushed to .660, after lash. I’m pretty excited about this rowdy new valve train combo.

First question I have is for anyone that has worked with a set of 440Source Aluminum Main Caps: My block is already studded, and currently utilizes stock caps. Even though this isn’t a long stroke, I want to strengthen the bottom end of my 400 block to deal with the extra strokes leverage at 6800rpm, which is what I currently trap at and shouldn‘t change. My machinist says that new caps will likely need a mainline bore, a thrust machining process, and machining of the block register. He’s telling me these processes are expensive and push my budget. He doesn’t feel the aluminum caps are necessary.
440source claims their caps should be usable with a simple mainline hone, and possibly some sizing of the caps register width.

Q: who is right? and are the aluminum caps a worthy investment for a build targeting approx. 625hp.
 
Last edited:

Hemirunner

Well-Known Member
Local time
7:52 PM
Joined
Jul 12, 2011
Messages
5,444
Reaction score
7,039
Location
Down South
Based on the hundreds I’ve done, I would say your machinist is. You’ll be fine with your current setup.
 

66Satellite47

FBBO Gold Member
FBBO Gold Member
Local time
7:52 PM
Joined
Jan 15, 2015
Messages
6,843
Reaction score
5,877
Location
St Paul MN
I found stock main caps good at 7000 RPM for 350-400 runs. Although I did have a #4 cap in two pieces, at about 400 runs, most were 7200- 7400 RPM. I then changed the rear gear. But the motor was still running just fine. I'm lucky.
 

dvw

FBBO Gold Member
FBBO Gold Member
Local time
8:52 PM
Joined
Feb 16, 2010
Messages
6,853
Reaction score
10,819
Location
waterford mi
Will the +.100" retainers clear the underside of the rocker arms? I'd look closely before it is disassembled to see how much clearance it currently has.
Doug
 

LemonWedge

Well-Known Member
Local time
5:52 PM
Joined
Dec 27, 2009
Messages
831
Reaction score
1,727
Location
Puyallup, WA
Will the +.100" retainers clear the underside of the rocker arms? I'd look closely before it is disassembled to see how much clearance it currently has.
Doug

Good thought, Doug. I’ll look closely before I disassemble this fall. They have another set of springs that offered 625 lbs on the nose. They would have been okay with 1.5 rockers. Howards wanted to see 1 lb per .001, so 660 lbs.
Hope this doesn't become an issue... we’ll see.
 

LemonWedge

Well-Known Member
Local time
5:52 PM
Joined
Dec 27, 2009
Messages
831
Reaction score
1,727
Location
Puyallup, WA
I found stock main caps good at 7000 RPM for 350-400 runs. Although I did have a #4 cap in two pieces, at about 400 runs, most were 7200- 7400 RPM. I then changed the rear gear. But the motor was still running just fine. I'm lucky.

well, I’m certainly hoping this build sees more than 350 runs. Current bullet is approaching 1000. Hoping to see similar longevity with the new motor.
 

66Satellite47

FBBO Gold Member
FBBO Gold Member
Local time
7:52 PM
Joined
Jan 15, 2015
Messages
6,843
Reaction score
5,877
Location
St Paul MN
well, I’m certainly hoping this build sees more than 350 runs. Current bullet is approaching 1000. Hoping to see similar longevity with the new motor.
When you get to the 600 HP point stuff Gets tired. My 400/451 issues were mainly the stock 440 steel cranks. They would start to bad in that 350-400 run point, but never broke one. I typically pulled the motor at the end of the season to inspect it.
Back in the day the issue for me was valve springs. I always had spares & the tools I needed to change them in the pits. Finally got some Crower springs that held up with my Comp 660 roller & my Lunati 690 roller.
 

LemonWedge

Well-Known Member
Local time
5:52 PM
Joined
Dec 27, 2009
Messages
831
Reaction score
1,727
Location
Puyallup, WA
At my race rate, 400 runs will be roughly 5 years. I suppose committing to a full tear down at 5 years isn’t bad. Current motor has probably spoiled me. I‘ve had (2) head gasket issues Along the way, top end has been down & back up a few times for various reasons along the way. Bottom end has never been opened up in a dozen years though. It’ll be interesting to see what the bearings look like.
 

LemonWedge

Well-Known Member
Local time
5:52 PM
Joined
Dec 27, 2009
Messages
831
Reaction score
1,727
Location
Puyallup, WA
Your machinist is correct on the caps. It’s labor intensive.

so let’s assume that it adds roughly a grand to the machinework budget. At this power level, is it worth it? Would a girdle system with the stock caps instead be a more cost-effective investment? Or is main-studs alone good enough to be confident about with a 3.915 stroke in a 6800rpm motor?
 

67MPRFAN

Well-Known Member
Local time
7:52 PM
Joined
Mar 21, 2010
Messages
493
Reaction score
431
Location
Cols,Ohio
I like they you are thinking with this build. I also was going to use Aluminum main caps and machine shop said it wasn't necessary for the power range I was shooting for
 

67MPRFAN

Well-Known Member
Local time
7:52 PM
Joined
Mar 21, 2010
Messages
493
Reaction score
431
Location
Cols,Ohio
so let’s assume that it adds roughly a grand to the machinework budget. At this power level, is it worth it? Would a girdle system with the stock caps instead be a more cost-effective investment? Or is main-studs alone good enough to be confident about with a 3.915 stroke in a 6800rpm motor?
If there's extra $$ set aside for that would stepping up to a 512 be feasible. Just curious not trying to spend your money
 

LemonWedge

Well-Known Member
Local time
5:52 PM
Joined
Dec 27, 2009
Messages
831
Reaction score
1,727
Location
Puyallup, WA
If there's extra $$ set aside for that would stepping up to a 512 be feasible. Just curious not trying to spend your money

“Necessary” is being weighed against “a good investment”. If this build puts me to the point where the main caps are the weak link and a likely issue down the road, then it’s a good investment at that point, and I’ll find a way with the budget. Building something you know has a shortcoming is a poor investment.
No, theres really not extra $$$ set aside. And if we decide the caps are part of this build, then they CERTAINLY would also be part of a 4.25 stroke build, so that would be a double-whammy. I went over the 512 thing on a spreadsheet with numerous options in & out. Came to the conclusion that the 470 is just a better fit for me for a number of reasons.
 

66Satellite47

FBBO Gold Member
FBBO Gold Member
Local time
7:52 PM
Joined
Jan 15, 2015
Messages
6,843
Reaction score
5,877
Location
St Paul MN
At my race rate, 400 runs will be roughly 5 years. I suppose committing to a full tear down at 5 years isn’t bad. Current motor has probably spoiled me. I‘ve had (2) head gasket issues Along the way, top end has been down & back up a few times for various reasons along the way. Bottom end has never been opened up in a dozen years though. It’ll be interesting to see what the bearings look like.
You have a great combo that you've been running. More power means a lot more routine checking. I was a traveling bracket racer, 2 to 4 time runs, and 6 or 7 in eliminations on a good day. 120-150 a season. As a young guy, I thought 7000 RPM was good. My first 400/452 would go 7200+ all the time. A BAD PLAN. An OEM 440 steel crank was designed for a max of 5200 RPM. Just say'in.
 

67MPRFAN

Well-Known Member
Local time
7:52 PM
Joined
Mar 21, 2010
Messages
493
Reaction score
431
Location
Cols,Ohio
Came to the conclusion that the 470 is just a better fit for me for a number of reasons.
Got it. Insight I think that's why I went that route. On another note I finally got a trailer now time to get it back to the track
 

LemonWedge

Well-Known Member
Local time
5:52 PM
Joined
Dec 27, 2009
Messages
831
Reaction score
1,727
Location
Puyallup, WA
Been doing research on the maincap install thing. Thinking now that the cost may not be worth it for me. I do still want to strengthen the mainline as much as possible, so I’m shifting my focus to looking at girdle assembly options. I know people have differing opinions on these assemblies. Hughes is pretty bullish on theirs.
thanks for the help with straight scoop on the caps, guys.
 

66Satellite47

FBBO Gold Member
FBBO Gold Member
Local time
7:52 PM
Joined
Jan 15, 2015
Messages
6,843
Reaction score
5,877
Location
St Paul MN
When I researched the girdles several years ago, I realized there was a lot to the install. Just be aware of all that is required.
 

HDNMOPERS

Member
Local time
8:52 PM
Joined
Jul 21, 2021
Messages
6
Reaction score
1
Location
Tennessee
I used Pro Gram caps on my 512 low deck build. My machinist preferred them over the aluminum. Reason being the aluminum caps can shave. Each time installed or removed from the block during the build. But I will say he wasn't against the aluminum. He just preferred the steel caps. My build is a all street combo. But still dynoed [email protected]/[email protected] I could of gotten away with stock caps at that rpm. But being my first real custom built engine. I didn't mind springing the extra on the caps. That was the least of my expenses lol
 
Last edited:

Gunner1

Well-Known Member
Local time
5:52 PM
Joined
Nov 9, 2021
Messages
401
Reaction score
354
Location
LA Cal
Biggest thing I can think of is the difference in growth rates during the heat cycles for iron vs aluminum. Iron + iron caps can have a different clearance setting than a Iron + aluminum cap would.
As long as that is taken into consideration during assembly then no big deal. And yes the thrust cap might need to be cut to the same width as the block.
 

LemonWedge

Well-Known Member
Local time
5:52 PM
Joined
Dec 27, 2009
Messages
831
Reaction score
1,727
Location
Puyallup, WA
Question about rings: was going to go with standard moly rings; now looking at Total Seal gapless top-ring set. Is the gapless ring set worth the extra expense? The difference between them and the set I was considering prior is about $200. If it helps a Race application seal better at rpm, I suppose it’s worth it.

what’s the story on these, guys?
 
Top