Cylinder Block Sleeves - Chevelle Tech
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old Aug 17th, 19, 12:35 AM Thread Starter
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Cylinder Block Sleeves

So I blew up a piston which let a connecting rod go in the bottom end. All said in done I have 2 damaged lifter bores and 2 damaged cylinders. I am looking at having the blocked sleeved.

Can you sleeve a Gen VI 502 block. Sonic tester shows just under 3/16" wall thickness for the two cylinders. about .140ish. These blocks have Siamesed cylinders, not sure if that makes a difference or not. final bore will be from a 4.466 to 4.500, all cylinders will be bored at the same time so that there is no distortion when the sleeves are pressed in.


as for the lifter bores I will need to sleeve those as well.


the style would be a dry press fit sleeve. most likely from Melling as there easy to access, cast iron style just like the block.


and last question would be... is this a good idea for a performance build. are there any negatives?


hopefully some of the builders can chime in on this one.

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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old Aug 17th, 19, 6:47 AM
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Re: Cylinder Block Sleeves

As long as your machinist knows how to correctly sleeve it, it'll be fine. I have built two Dart Big M's that are both sleeved, both are fine with no issues. Neither of these broke into water, they were sleeved to clean up bores that wouldn't have made it at 4.600.
The only siamesed bore block I wouldn't sleeve is a SBC 400. There's just not enough room between the cylinder bore and head bolt holes, they'll crack there pretty much every time. Completely different animal than a big block.

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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old Aug 17th, 19, 8:37 AM
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Re: Cylinder Block Sleeves

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Originally Posted by Busted Knuckles View Post
As long as your machinist knows how to correctly sleeve it, it'll be fine. I have built two Dart Big M's that are both sleeved, both are fine with no issues. Neither of these broke into water, they were sleeved to clean up bores that wouldn't have made it at 4.600.
The only siamesed bore block I wouldn't sleeve is a SBC 400. There's just not enough room between the cylinder bore and head bolt holes, they'll crack there pretty much every time. Completely different animal than a big block.
Your not comparing apples to apples here. It hard to compare a Dart block to a Gen 6 GM block that has no cylinder wall compare to Dart block.

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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old Aug 17th, 19, 8:47 AM
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Re: Cylinder Block Sleeves

Carl, I've seen at least 2 GM 502 blocks with the exact same cylinder wall thickness as a Bowtie. These were later model blocks.

Obviously this one doesn't have cylinder walls quite that thick. 3/16" is a lot more than .140, though - more like about .185 which should be ample, IMHO since you're just going to 4.500.

Now, are you going to respond to the OP with some recommendations/advice or just critique responses as you usually do?
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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old Aug 17th, 19, 9:15 AM
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Re: Cylinder Block Sleeves

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Originally Posted by GoFast Beaumont View Post
So I blew up a piston which let a connecting rod go in the bottom end. All said in done I have 2 damaged lifter bores and 2 damaged cylinders. I am looking at having the blocked sleeved.

Can you sleeve a Gen VI 502 block. Sonic tester shows just under 3/16" wall thickness for the two cylinders. about .140ish. These blocks have Siamesed cylinders, not sure if that makes a difference or not. final bore will be from a 4.466 to 4.500, all cylinders will be bored at the same time so that there is no distortion when the sleeves are pressed in.


as for the lifter bores I will need to sleeve those as well.


the style would be a dry press fit sleeve. most likely from Melling as there easy to access, cast iron style just like the block.


and last question would be... is this a good idea for a performance build. are there any negatives?


hopefully some of the builders can chime in on this one.

.140 on the thrust side of the cylinders I would reject the block and putting in a sleeve that has a 4.690 OD does not leave very much material.

I just worked on a Mercuiser CSI 700 Horse and the block had .375 plus on the trust side. One cylinder when boring out to 4.500 and a sand inclusion at the top of the cylinder so I had to sleeve it I used a Melling CSL1167 which worked fine but there was plenty of cylinder wall to start with. This block also needed an exhaust lifter bore sleeve on the odd side of the engine which got in the the min oil galley feed which was not a big deal.

That block was not machined by GM decks had a nice deck finish, It was align honed .0005 over the high side. The main caps were machined on the bottom not ground like GM. The decks were 9.798 to 9.806 and it had thick cylinders.

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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old Aug 17th, 19, 9:51 AM Thread Starter
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What is the typical cylinder sleeve end thickness you would shot for? As sleeves come in a variety of thickness. Is it better to aim for a thin sleeve and leave as much of the original cast alone as possible? Or go for the thickest sleeve the block would accept.

After it has been bored would you want 0.060 sleeve thickness or more around .090-.120?

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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old Aug 17th, 19, 10:54 AM
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Re: Cylinder Block Sleeves

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Originally Posted by GoFast Beaumont View Post
What is the typical cylinder sleeve end thickness you would shot for? As sleeves come in a variety of thickness. Is it better to aim for a thin sleeve and leave as much of the original cast alone as possible? Or go for the thickest sleeve the block would accept.

After it has been bored would you want 0.060 sleeve thickness or more around .090-.120?
I like .090 plus but you need cylinder wall behind the sleeve......................................
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old Aug 18th, 19, 1:05 AM
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Re: Cylinder Block Sleeves

Quote:
Originally Posted by GoFast Beaumont View Post
What is the typical cylinder sleeve end thickness you would shot for? As sleeves come in a variety of thickness. Is it better to aim for a thin sleeve and leave as much of the original cast alone as possible? Or go for the thickest sleeve the block would accept.

After it has been bored would you want 0.060 sleeve thickness or more around .090-.120?
Depends on the damage
Is it just a crack & where is it or is half the cylinder missing?
If a longer crack on the thrust or missing wall I would prefer a thicker sleeve
Smaller crack, lighter damage bore less use a thinner sleeve & leave more parent material

Bottom line someone who knows what they are looking at needs to see it
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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old Aug 18th, 19, 11:45 AM
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Re: Cylinder Block Sleeves

just based on what you have said and your desire to go 4.500. I'd either find a new block or move to an aftermarket block. sleeves don't bother me one bit, but not having enough material on a damaged cylinder is a huge concern to me in a performance build.


of your machine shop looks at it and doesn't want to do it, or reccomends not doing it, listen to them.
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old Aug 18th, 19, 1:49 PM Thread Starter
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Here’s a picture. It’s not a crack, more like a chunk missing out the bottom, just below the oil ring wear point. When the motor let go I did not loose any coolant, just oil.

Some guys are just telling me, bore it and run it. There’s a lot of deep dents I would say, but there all below the second ring land. Not too sure if missing cylinder wall at the bottom is a good this or not. You can also see the lifter bore that needs a sleeve as well.
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1968 Beaumont
502 big block
Stock looking, definitely not stock sounding
HP and ET not determined yet!
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post #11 of 21 (permalink) Old Aug 18th, 19, 2:20 PM
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Re: Cylinder Block Sleeves

You said performance build,,, define performance
Which cylinder is that?
Unless you plan on more stroke if drivers side I'd likely sleeve it, passengers side just clean it up so there are no sharp edges to tear up the piston skirt, bore & run it. There is little to no load at that point most of the work is already done,,,,,

That said I think Rick had the best advice. By the time you sleeve two cylinders if necessary & have the two lifter bores bushed you have likely spent enough for another block..............
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post #12 of 21 (permalink) Old Aug 18th, 19, 4:46 PM Thread Starter
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The picture is of cylinder 1. Cylinder 2 looks similar just a little less worse.

The build is a 502 + turbo. Initially I will continue to run 5lbs and will crank it up, but at that point I will be looking for a new short block I’d imagine.

Here’s the build thread:
https://www.chevelles.com/#/topics/1080164

That said I’d like to get a new block but things in Canada are ridiculously priced with poor exchange and tariffs. For example a dart block here is just under $4000can. The GM 502 block is $3000. So that’s why I am looking to salvage the block if possible, but there’s a lot saying to pass on the idea.

1968 Beaumont
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Stock looking, definitely not stock sounding
HP and ET not determined yet!
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post #13 of 21 (permalink) Old Aug 18th, 19, 9:52 PM
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Re: Cylinder Block Sleeves

Quote:
Originally Posted by GoFast Beaumont View Post
The picture is of cylinder 1. Cylinder 2 looks similar just a little less worse.

The build is a 502 + turbo. Initially I will continue to run 5lbs and will crank it up, but at that point I will be looking for a new short block Iíd imagine.

Hereís the build thread:
https://www.chevelles.com/#/topics/1080164

That said Iíd like to get a new block but things in Canada are ridiculously priced with poor exchange and tariffs. For example a dart block here is just under $4000can. The GM 502 block is $3000. So thatís why I am looking to salvage the block if possible, but thereís a lot saying to pass on the idea.

can you buy a "used" dart block from a friend in the US? i don't know how it works with customs and whatnot.

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post #14 of 21 (permalink) Old Aug 18th, 19, 10:42 PM
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Re: Cylinder Block Sleeves

THIS:

Quote:
Originally Posted by GoFast Beaumont View Post
The picture is of cylinder 1. Cylinder 2 looks similar just a little less worse.
AND THIS:

Quote:
Originally Posted by GoFast Beaumont View Post
The build is a 502 + turbo.
Makes me say just get a new block.

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post #15 of 21 (permalink) Old Aug 19th, 19, 7:28 AM
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Re: Cylinder Block Sleeves

Cylinder wall thickness of .140 to start with on forced induction build I would not use it period.

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