Torana SS

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VK_3800
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Re: Torana SS

Post by VK_3800 »

You didn't say how much cam lift, but looking at photos on the web the arm design looks different and could quite possibly have a different pivot height so not sure that comparison would be much use to you.

Yes the top of the adjuster nut is likely to be the highest point unless you've got some weird cover angles. Assuming they use the same adjusters (seems likely) there is approximately 22.5mm between the very tip of the pushrod and the top of the adjuster assembly - this moves up and down within the rocker arm when adjusted so clearance doesn't change unless you make it taller by winding the nut up off the top. You could get really technical and account for the angle change if you measure your pivot distance and calculate with the rocker ratio but I'd just be looking for 25mm clearance between the tip of a standard pushrod and the cover at full lift, whatever that is.

Add about 6mm for the old-style taller adjuster/nut assembly.
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Re: Torana SS

Post by vlad01 »

Sorry, about 560 thou. Wasn't too specific because I just wanted a general idea so I can work out what the best option is, as after market covers for the 3800 are either around stock, to almost double the height and nothing in between.

But yeah, 25mm will give me a good idea at least.
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Re: Torana SS

Post by VK_3800 »

Unless you've got a very wild cam I imagine 560 is lift at the valve. If that's quoted with a 1.6 ratio rocker then it'll be around 350 at the cam/pushrod. The difference between the old and new style adjuster/nut is approaching 3/4 of the lift so gives some hope that the new style ones are pretty good for clearance.

I suspect one of the reasons (other than price/difficulty) aftermarket covers often have poor baffle setups is for additional rocker clearance too. You generally need to add/modify them but at least you can design around the rockers, e.g. offset to one side.
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Re: Torana SS

Post by vlad01 »

560ish is with those rockers, 1.65.
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Re: Torana SS

Post by vlad01 »

I did a mock up using those measurements by adding a large nut on top to get the right simulated height where the adjuster is and also turns out that the stock rocker fully binds at pretty much exactly the lift the cam has, which made the whole mock up process so much easier!

I also added some 10mm to the top of the rocker bolt (the big head tall factory v6 bolt) to sim the rocker height, although having seen them in person at Gareth's the other day, they def are not 10mm higher than the factory v6 ones.

Either way, I was surprised in the results. The adjuster area lifted the stock rocker cover by 4mm, and the over kill 10+ addition to the middle of the rocker, it lifted the cover by about 5.5mm. So that a rocker cover height increase of 8-10mm will be heaps! Also worth noting is the stock cover is very tapered at the sides, after market ones are more boxy, which adds clearance to the adjuster area without needing any extra cover height overall. So the stock covers show this as worst case.

On Gareth's race engine. He used the stock alloy clones with a 12mm spacer and had heaps of space above, only slight clearance at the side of end rocker/s on the cover walls. That is ecotec though, but there isn't much difference in that area to not be a good real world reference.

This tells me that I could probably just use the Kilkenny V6 covers and with no spacers. Looking at pics they appear to be that 15-20mm taller which is perfect for clearance else where in the engine bay. Found one pic on google images of a pair installed and indeed they are taller than stock but fit nicely, unlike the Aussie speed ones which are almost double the height of stock for no good reason and don't clear the booster, PS hard line, thermostat housing, air intake bellow, coil leads and lead brackets, potentially even the TB pipe path.
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Re: Torana SS

Post by VK_3800 »

Great, sounds promising. Haven't really done much with V6s in that area but based on V8 dimensions it doesn't surprise me that you only need a little extra - some guys get away with doubling up gaskets so they can make it look stock. I like the KC covers though on both engines.

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Re: Torana SS

Post by vlad01 »

Yeah they look pretty damn good, a lot nicer with the V6 on the cover instead of the "holden" the covers used to have years ago.

What are the oil caps like? I really like the stock oil cap and probably would have a receptacle, lack of a better word, turned up and welded in place so I can use the stock cap. Or perhaps something from race works for example, but the stock cap is the best cap I have ever used on any car or engine. Really don't like the common threaded caps on new cars to be honest.

But looking at that one in the pic, looks like pressed tin and prone to leaking?
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Re: Torana SS

Post by VK_3800 »

That was the old VK, cap is just the half-turn style so not great. I made a custom one for the Torana, it has a flanged boss that bolts to the flat surface with a gasket, and an o-ring on the cap itself. In hindsight I probably should have welded the boss to the cover when I filled the grommet holes recently, didn't even think of it.

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The V8 ones still have 'Holden' on them, you can just see it under the coil packs... :lol:
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Re: Torana SS

Post by vlad01 »

Yeah, something similar to that can be welded on, but I think the stock V6 half turn to take the stock cap is what I'll probably get turned up in alloy, the stock cap never leaks, easy to open and close quickly with no effort at all. And in all the V6s I have owned, not once have I ever had to replace the cap or O-ring on them.

Not sure how your machined cap and all works in practice, but other cars I have worked on with that style but in plastic always gets stuck for me and has resulted in a few skinned knuckles over the years trying to crack the seal. I dislike them, even if they leak free.

What gasket does the KC covers use? Paper or cork?

As for the marking on the covers, yeah Holden on the V8 is logical as it's a Holden engine. But the V6, since Holden hadn't designed or produced that engine and had little to do with Holden other than a few specific external bits to shoehorn them into the commodore, the V6 marked covers are much more fitting, just something that I've always felt given the misinformation about the Buick family of V6 being made here as a Holden designed engine or manufactured engine, which it never was. All of the engine was manufactured and assembled in Michigan and to the best of my research, or lack of evidence that Holden did anything, they were most likely fully assembled with our specific bits there and shipped over complete, or worst case, long blocks with our bits added but I found 0 evidence of the later.

Anyway, thanks for all the resources so far. It's hard to find pic and info on the details of such stuff and it's all here, right on the forum :thumbup:
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Re: Torana SS

Post by VK_3800 »

@vlad01 The KC covers all use a thick flat gasket, normally cork but rubber usually also an option. As per the V8 ones in this thread.

Tidying up some scope creep items this week.

Prepped and painted the scuttle panel. It did need doing and I didn't have much choice since I'd already stripped the old paint several months ago.
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In the interest of time I cheated and just used a spray can, came out OK (definitely better than the big chunks missing before!). A few layers of wax should help.
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Since the check engine light is now in the instrument surround this was also an opportunity to re-create the stereo surround that previously house it. I was never overly satisfied with the MDF and exposed screws so the new one is 3D printed ABS plastic painted with wrinkle black. It now houses the hands-free mic for the stereo and an anti-theft LED.
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The poor old console has been well butchered in this area over the years, so there isn't really much to attach it to. Made a stainless backing plate with a full complement of machine screws that thread through into the surround plastic.
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Nice snug fit on the stereo, just have to tidy up the edge of the cover underneath which I managed to scratch in the process.
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And... I drove it today! Well, moved it out of the shed and allowed it to warm up, then back in. Small steps. Fixed a minor coolant leak in the bypass hose with different clamps, and its running better already with a few tweaks to the tune.
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