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Thread: Building a ZZ430 clone. Question about quench, compression ratio, etc.
          
   
   

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  1. #1
    v6underpressure is offline CHR Member Visit my Photo Gallery
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    Building a ZZ430 clone. Question about quench, compression ratio, etc.

     



    Hello,

    I am in the process of building a ZZ430 clone engine. In case you are not familiar, this was simply a limited edition engine built by Chevrolet I believe over 10 years ago. It was simply a ZZ4 shortblock with Fast Burn aluminum heads, LT4 hotcam and 1.6 Roller Rockers. Anyhow, I have the ZZ4 short block and am getting ready to bolt on the heads. I am going with the GM performance headgaskets. But I have two choices: 10105117 or 12557236. Now the ZZ430 apparently came with the 12557236 gaskets which are 0.051" compressed thickness. The ZZ4 crate engine piston deck height is apparently .025 which would net me a quench of 0.076 correct??? I would assume this is far from ideal quench goal of around .040? Anyhow the 10105117 gaskets are 0.028" compressed thickness. I would assume this would net me a quench of .053 which would not be perfect but much closer. Am I looking at this all wrong??? I want to use the thinner gaskets if I can get away with it. I do have 93 octane out here so I have no issues using that all the time. I would assume that my engine is similar to the new ZZ5 crate engines which use the thicker 12557236 head gaskets and are 9.72:1 compression. So I would imagine I would have no problem using the 10105117 gasket depending on how much it bumps compression??? Any help would be appreciated. I'm ready to bolt on the heads but need to make sure before I assemble. Thanks everyone in advance!

  2. #2
    Henry Rifle's Avatar
    Henry Rifle is offline CHR Member Visit my Photo Gallery
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    The ZZ-430, Fast Burn 385, and ZZ-5 all use the same head gasket (12557236), short block (12561723), and heads. The ZZ-430 difference is in the camshaft and rockers, as you mentioned. I'd be careful with a thinner head gasket, because, as I remember, when I added the the hot cam/roller lifter combo to my FB-385, the valve/piston clearance was OK, but just about the minimum recommended.

    I'm not qualified to evaluate your quench inquiry, but I will guarantee that that engine/cam combo will make serious horsepower when properly tuned. Mine is in a 2,500# car, and it flat moves.
    Jack

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  3. #3
    techinspector1's Avatar
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    Use 14096405 Composition Head Gasket.
    This composition gasket has stainless steel on one side and graphite on the other side with a compressed thickness of .028".
    Next time you build a motor, begin with the stack of parts, then cut the block decks to the stack and use the head gasket of your choice to set the squish.

    .
    Last edited by techinspector1; 04-26-2015 at 07:27 PM.
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    v6underpressure is offline CHR Member Visit my Photo Gallery
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    Quote Originally Posted by techinspector1 View Post
    Use 14096405 Composition Head Gasket.
    This composition gasket has stainless steel on one side and graphite on the other side with a compressed thickness of .028".
    Next time you build a motor, begin with the stack of parts, then cut the block decks to the stack and use the head gasket of your choice to set the squish.

    .
    Thank you for the feedback. What would be the difference between your suggested 14096405 and 10105117??? They both have graphite and stainless fire rings. Not to mention they both have a compressed thickness of 0.028". This is a ZZ4 crate engine and I don't have the tooling to cut the decks etc. so I'm only doing the top end. So you are also saying that a 0.028" gasket will work with my combination?

  5. #5
    Deuce4dad is offline CHR Member Visit my Photo Gallery
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    You may want to look at Fel Pro's gaskets for the aluminum heads before buying. Decking the block is the only way to correct this, but if this is not possible I would use a composition Fel Pro for the 4" bore and aluminum head and go with it.

  6. #6
    rspears's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by v6underpressure View Post
    So you are also saying that a 0.028" gasket will work with my combination?
    I would think it would be prudent to check your valve to piston clearances with modeling clay, especially based on Jack's recollection,
    Quote Originally Posted by Henry Rifle
    I'd be careful with a thinner head gasket, because, as I remember, when I added the the hot cam/roller lifter combo to my FB-385, the valve/piston clearance was OK, but just about the minimum recommended.
    Roger
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  7. #7
    techinspector1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by v6underpressure View Post
    What would be the difference between your suggested 14096405 and 10105117??? They both have graphite and stainless fire rings. Not to mention they both have a compressed thickness of 0.028". This is a ZZ4 crate engine and I don't have the tooling to cut the decks etc. so I'm only doing the top end. So you are also saying that a 0.028" gasket will work with my combination?
    10105117 has a 4.000" bore and the edges of the gasket could overhang into the cylinder bore on an overbored block, creating a "glow plug" that could fire incoming mixture before the spark plug gets a chance to do its business. Pre-ignition equals detonation. 14096405 has a 4.100" bore, so the edges of it are back away from the fire a little.
    Either gasket, although not ideal, will work with aluminum heads and prevent the fretting of the aluminum material that occurs with a steel shim gasket.

    I would further comment that every good engine build should include claying the piston crowns for valve to piston clearance checks. Actually, there should be 3 to 4 trial assemblies to check different clearances before anything is permanently bolted together.

    Next time you plan an engine build, begin with the stack of parts you will use and cut the block decks to that dimension. Then you can use the proper gasket for aluminum heads (Fel-Pro 1003) and have a 0.041" squish. For instance, building a 383, crank radius is 1.875", rod is 6.000" and piston compression height is 1.125". Add these 3 values together and find 9.000". Cut the decks to 9.000" and like I said, use the 1003 gasket. Everybody's happy.

    Most of the younguns on these forums seem to go bananas at the thoughts of cutting the block decks. The block is not sacred. It is there for you to alter to your needs and decking costs only about $150, so it's not the end of the world as far as your finances go.

    .
    Last edited by techinspector1; 04-27-2015 at 10:02 AM.
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  8. #8
    v6underpressure is offline CHR Member Visit my Photo Gallery
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    Quote Originally Posted by techinspector1 View Post
    10105117 has a 4.000" bore and the edges of the gasket could overhang into the cylinder bore on an overbored block, creating a "glow plug" that could fire incoming mixture before the spark plug gets a chance to do its business. Pre-ignition equals detonation. 14096405 has a 4.100" bore, so the edges of it are back away from the fire a little.
    Either gasket, although not ideal, will work with aluminum heads and prevent the fretting of the aluminum material that occurs with a steel shim gasket.

    I would further comment that every good engine build should include claying the piston crowns for valve to piston clearance checks. Actually, there should be 3 to 4 trial assemblies to check different clearances before anything is permanently bolted together.

    Next time you plan an engine build, begin with the stack of parts you will use and cut the block decks to that dimension. Then you can use the proper gasket for aluminum heads (Fel-Pro 1003) and have a 0.041" squish. For instance, building a 383, crank radius is 1.875", rod is 6.000" and piston compression height is 1.125". Add these 3 values together and find 9.000". Cut the decks to 9.000" and like I said, use the 1003 gasket. Everybody's happy.

    Most of the younguns on these forums seem to go bananas at the thoughts of cutting the block decks. The block is not sacred. It is there for you to alter to your needs and decking costs only about $150, so it's not the end of the world as far as your finances go.

    .
    Thank you for the helpful information. This is a fresh ZZ4 crate motor so the bore is 4.00". The main reason I wanted to go with the 10105117 was to tighten up the quench a little bit. The original head gasket for a ZZ4 is 12557236 just seems a little thick in my opinion. Since it was a typical off the shelf ZZ4, I figured the specs would be pretty standard to figure this out. But it seems I have to check my piston to valve clearance. Not only did I want to tighten up the quench, but I have heard numerous people running the 10105117 gaskets with no issues, one of which using nitrous.

  9. #9
    v6underpressure is offline CHR Member Visit my Photo Gallery
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    Quote Originally Posted by Henry Rifle View Post
    The ZZ-430, Fast Burn 385, and ZZ-5 all use the same head gasket (12557236), short block (12561723), and heads. The ZZ-430 difference is in the camshaft and rockers, as you mentioned. I'd be careful with a thinner head gasket, because, as I remember, when I added the the hot cam/roller lifter combo to my FB-385, the valve/piston clearance was OK, but just about the minimum recommended.

    I'm not qualified to evaluate your quench inquiry, but I will guarantee that that engine/cam combo will make serious horsepower when properly tuned. Mine is in a 2,500# car, and it flat moves.
    Was this with the 12557236 head gasket? Or did you go with a thinner one?

  10. #10
    techinspector1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by v6underpressure View Post
    Not only did I want to tighten up the quench, but I have heard numerous people running the 10105117 gaskets with no issues, one of which using nitrous.
    I strongly recommend that you check the piston deck height (distance from the block decks where the heads bolt on to the crown of the piston) before you go any farther. Blueprint PDH is 0.025", which when added to the compressed thickness of the gasket, 0.028", would make a squish of 0.053". Personally, I would not button up a motor with this squish measurement. I'd do it properly by measuring the stack of parts and cutting the block decks to zero so that when using a Fel-Pro 1003, I'd have a squish of 0.041", or if I was in a position of not knowing the fuel quality I could buy later, I would cut the block decks so that the crown of the piston popped up out of the block by 0.006", then use the 1003 for a squish of 0.035".

    .
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  11. #11
    Henry Rifle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by v6underpressure View Post
    Was this with the 12557236 head gasket? Or did you go with a thinner one?
    I kept that head gasket. This may sound like blasphemy, but I was not trying to extract the last half-horsepower from this motor. It runs extremely well, and in a 2500# car with 3:70 gears and a 700R/4 trans, it's crazy fast.
    Last edited by Henry Rifle; 05-06-2015 at 01:24 PM.
    Jack

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  12. #12
    v6underpressure is offline CHR Member Visit my Photo Gallery
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    Quote Originally Posted by techinspector1 View Post
    I strongly recommend that you check the piston deck height (distance from the block decks where the heads bolt on to the crown of the piston) before you go any farther. Blueprint PDH is 0.025", which when added to the compressed thickness of the gasket, 0.028", would make a squish of 0.053". Personally, I would not button up a motor with this squish measurement. I'd do it properly by measuring the stack of parts and cutting the block decks to zero so that when using a Fel-Pro 1003, I'd have a squish of 0.041", or if I was in a position of not knowing the fuel quality I could buy later, I would cut the block decks so that the crown of the piston popped up out of the block by 0.006", then use the 1003 for a squish of 0.035".

    .
    I totally get your reasoning here, but the motor is in my garage, is brand new, and I don't have a means to transport the engine let alone have any extra money to cut the block deck. I'd also imagine this couldnt be done with the engine still assembled, which would just add to the cost. I guess it was kind of a crap shoot looking for someone with the same combo who tried those gaskets. Perhaps the clay test will be what I need to do. Or I just forget wasting all this time and simply use the gasket it originally came with...

  13. #13
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    aluminum heads go for the thinner gasket and higher compression-if you have any spark knock issues back off the timing some and or then put on the thicker gaskets---------If you don't go for it now you'll always wonder What If I had -------
    Have some issues, feel free to contact me--you could bring me your bare block and I could deck it while you wait-----

  14. #14
    v6underpressure is offline CHR Member Visit my Photo Gallery
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    Quote Originally Posted by techinspector1 View Post
    I strongly recommend that you check the piston deck height (distance from the block decks where the heads bolt on to the crown of the piston) before you go any farther. Blueprint PDH is 0.025", which when added to the compressed thickness of the gasket, 0.028", would make a squish of 0.053". Personally, I would not button up a motor with this squish measurement. I'd do it properly by measuring the stack of parts and cutting the block decks to zero so that when using a Fel-Pro 1003, I'd have a squish of 0.041", or if I was in a position of not knowing the fuel quality I could buy later, I would cut the block decks so that the crown of the piston popped up out of the block by 0.006", then use the 1003 for a squish of 0.035".

    .
    So I like the recommendation of the felpro 1003 head gasket. But, humor me for a moment. The factory gasket is. 051". And the 1003 is. 041". So if I went with your recommendation of cutting the deck and using this gasket, wouldn't I actually have less valve clearance than my first suggestion? Anyhow, I'm looking at this another way now. I've read about great results with the felpro 1003. And I would actually prefer to use that one now. (call me wishy washy). It would be only. 010" in height shorter than factory. But this is on a new crate engine with a 4" bore. The 1003 has a 4.166" bore. Think it will work? The dummy in me is saying that with a .010" difference in gasket thickness, it shouldn't cause issues running the 1.6 rockers. But now the gasket bore size is my concern. And then of course we have the Felpro 1010, which is virtually the same with exception to having a .039" compressed thickness and copper fire rings which I'd prefer for an aluminum head anyhow. Thoughts?

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    v6underpressure is offline CHR Member Visit my Photo Gallery
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    Quote Originally Posted by v6underpressure View Post
    So I like the recommendation of the felpro 1003 head gasket. But, humor me for a moment. The factory gasket is. 051". And the 1003 is. 041". So if I went with your recommendation of cutting the deck and using this gasket, wouldn't I actually have less valve clearance than my first suggestion? Anyhow, I'm looking at this another way now. I've read about great results with the felpro 1003. And I would actually prefer to use that one now. (call me wishy washy). It would be only. 010" in height shorter than factory. But this is on a new crate engine with a 4" bore. The 1003 has a 4.2" bore I believe. Think it will work? The dummy in me is saying that with a .010" difference in gasket thicknes, it shouldn't cause issues running the 1.6 rockers. But now the gasket bore size is my concern. Thoughts?
    In follow up to my previous post. Here is a Hot Rod thread where they did exactly that. This is of course without a hot cam and 1.6 roller rockers. Although they say they use the felpro 1003, they say it had a compressed thickness of .039". But it's the 1010 that has a compressed thickness of .039". Anyhow, it seems we're halfway there:

    GM Small-Block Cylinder Heads - Hot Rod Magazine
    Last edited by v6underpressure; 05-10-2015 at 12:31 PM. Reason: added information

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