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Help a Nervous Newbie......Should my Headers Glow in the Dark?

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by BigBen, Nov 18, 2002.

  1. BigBen

    BigBen 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    Hey all.
    I'm new to CK5, but have been playing with K5s on and off for the last 15 years or so....

    I just bought a bone stock '74 and am in the process of building it up. The first step was to put in a 383, (My first major engine work)leading us to my question.

    After 4 months of downtime, we finally fired it up last night.
    The first problem was no spark. We took everything in the cap/rotor/coil (HEI) apart and put it back together. Then somehow we had spark.... /forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif

    It took some coaxing, but after a lot of wheezing, belching, and coughing it roared to life and pissed most of the neighbors off. That was way cool, and we bumped her up to about 1800 RPM for the initial cam break-in.

    I was watching the guages when I noticed a warm glow coming through the hole in the floor where I haven't replaeced the cover over my new (junkyard) SM465. When I bent down, I realized that it was my Headers brightly glowing!!!!! /forums/images/graemlins/shocked.gif

    We IMMEDIATELY shut the engine down and regrouped. We also noticed that the primarys were red-hot on all but Cyls #2,4, and 5.

    The guy who was helping me didn't seem to worry, but I don't think Headers are supposed to glow.

    I'm running Headman Elite (thermal coated) headers on a 383 with an Edelbrock performer EGR manifold. I put the HEI from the 350 back on with a new cap and rotor. I put the Qjet from the 350 back on top without changing anything. I thought this would be Ok.... The Qjet has a sticker saying it was rebuilt and the date code appears to be from 1999. The new heads are 2.02/1.60 valves, and I am running true dual exhast with a Comp Cams Extreme 4x4 cam.

    Hopefully that is enough info on the engine. I've read online that I could be running either too rich or lean, or maybe too little spark, or maybe wrong timing....

    I find it really strange that 3 of the cylinders didn't seem to glow. /forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif

    Does anyone have any good suggestions for proceeding with diagnosing this?

    Or, do I have nothing to worry about.

    Once again, any help would be appreciated!

    -Ben
     
  2. muddysub

    muddysub 1 ton suburban status Staff Member Moderator GMOTM Winner

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    wow /forums/images/graemlins/shocked.gif i can't help ya here but i would like to see pics of that! /forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif
     
  3. heavy4x4

    heavy4x4 1/2 ton status

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    If I recall correctly, this was covered quite a while back. The solution had something to do with the timing. Exhaust gasses were being ignited on the way out?!?! Timing 180 degrees off /forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif Maybe that's not even possible /forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif
    That still doesn't explain why it was only a couple of cylinders. If that's the case, it should be all of them.

    Calling all engine guru's /forums/images/graemlins/1zhelp.gif
     
  4. heavy4x4

    heavy4x4 1/2 ton status

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  5. 4x4Freak

    4x4Freak 1/2 ton status

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    Your timing is probably way off. Mine did this when I ran it for the first time and the timing was off. It was also pretty hard to get it to start.

    Ever seen cast iron manifolds glowing? /forums/images/graemlins/angryfire.gif I have on my brother's truck when the timing was off.
     
  6. 90K5

    90K5 1/2 ton status

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    Check the firing order, maybe some wires off by one...
     
  7. Chaz88K5

    Chaz88K5 1/2 ton status

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    had the same problem when i dropped my 350 in a few years ago...all it was is the timing..not a big deal at all
     
  8. VisionxOrb

    VisionxOrb 1/2 ton status

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    I had the same thing when I put my 383 in 4 years ago. Broke in the came with the timming way off. just after i broke it in readjusted the timing and all was good.
     
  9. Blazer1970

    Blazer1970 1/2 ton status

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    Lean or late. Either you have a big vacuum leak somewhere, or your timing is way retarded. I have done that before also, and it didn't hurt anything.
     
  10. Leadfoot

    Leadfoot 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    Too lean and/or timing is off.
    You probably toasted the ceramic coating as well. They say to make sure the motor is running correctly before install, as to not prematurely "cook" the coating. They cook as you run, and will harden. Too much heat initially will cause the coating to fail. You may get lucky (and I hope you do), and time will tell. Headers and manifolds are designed to run hot, NOT glow.
     
  11. BigBen

    BigBen 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    Heavy,

    Thanks for the search help. I had used the search for a while before asking, cause I didn't want to piss any of the big boys off... Unfortunately I didn't see that post. /forums/images/graemlins/crazy.gif

    I think this is starting to sound a little less catastrophic to me.... /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif

    -Ben

    PS> How was the color change in Madison this year? /forums/images/graemlins/laugh.gif
    The thing I miss most since moving from the midwest to Cali is the seasons!
    /forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif
    But: I was able to find an almost perfectly rust-free '74, and that was worth it all /forums/images/graemlins/rotfl.gif /forums/images/graemlins/rotfl.gif /forums/images/graemlins/rotfl.gif /forums/images/graemlins/rotfl.gif
     
  12. BigBen

    BigBen 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    Wow,

    You CK5 guys come through big, and in a hurry!

    So, if I'm getting the message here:

    First: Permanent damage was most likely not done. (Except maybe to the ceramic coating.... time will tell)
    Second: Past experience points heavily to Timing/too lean.
    Third: Others have seen this, so don't panic.
    Fourth: Headers should NOT glow! /forums/images/graemlins/blush.gif

    I'm thinking my progression from this point is to drop a new coil into the cap and try to adjust the timing to make things better.

    We got confused when checking the coil. The book says to measure the two impedences (should be between 300,000 and 600,000 ohms) and if BOTH of them are infinite, replace the coil. Well what if one of them was infinite???? /forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif That's what I got.

    Then look for vacuum leaks or too lean?

    Does anyone know if taking a minute at idle to get timing right before cam break-in will hurt anything?

    Thanks again all,

    -Ben
     
  13. thatK30guy

    thatK30guy 1 ton status Premium Member

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    I've seen the exh. manifolds glow before.

    A buddy of mine and I were out one night on a snowy covered field, drag racing side by side and sliding around with both of our SBC's revving high RPM's when at one point I happened to glance over to him and saw thru the fender well the manifold glowing bright orange/red. /forums/images/graemlins/eek.gif We got him to pull over and check out the manifold. It had already started to cool down and get darker. Didn't know what it was at that time so we kept dragging half the night away. /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif BTW, the motor he was running was a 400 SBC.
     
  14. 88k5blaza

    88k5blaza Registered Member

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    you say you have the stock carb on a 383 with a edelbrock manifold big cam and headders with out adjusting the carb? they thing is running real lean take a few plugs out and i bet theyre all buring white if so you have it to lean and it could be a bit of both lean and timing too retarted!
     
  15. 6.2L Jimmy

    6.2L Jimmy 1/2 ton status

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    I read an article in Hot-Rod Magazine about that and it is quite common (apparently)on newly built engines during break-in. Tight rings and all creates friction and friction creates heat.Once everything is seated it should cool down.
    Even the cover of the magazine had the glowing headers on the cover page. Who knows.
    Good luck
    Mike
     
  16. BorregoK5

    BorregoK5 1/2 ton status

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    Now that I don't run inner fenders, I've noticed my sb415 gets the stock manifolds glowing, uniform accross both sides. I usually see it at night after I park and walk past. It doesn't last long. The engine temp always runs cool and I usually run a little on the rich side. Most performance cars I've had were similar. Only my Camaro's 250ci straight six ever took it the next step and had the cast iron head glowing too, just before it siezed a piston due to a broken coolant line (in the middle of the desert, on a hill... I bump started it an hour later after repairing the line, breaking the piston free... and drove it home... great engine!)

    You'll find that its relatively common on cast manifolds even after normal driving, headers will do the same if under load.
     
  17. thatK30guy

    thatK30guy 1 ton status Premium Member

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    </font><blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr />
    my Camaro's 250ci straight six

    [/ QUOTE ]

    The truck in this photo has the 250 inline 6!! /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif

    I loved this truck and loved the 250 even more! That thing was just so strong and reliable, I'm kicking myself even today for selling it. /forums/images/graemlins/angryfire.gif /forums/images/graemlins/frown.gif

    It had the 250, 465, 208, 10 &amp; 12 bolts with 3.73's, and 4" with 33's. Got me 18 mpg on the highways. /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif /forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif
     
  18. BorregoK5

    BorregoK5 1/2 ton status

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    Yeah, digging in the dirt with it! What a torque monster those inlines are!

    Mine ran flawlessly until the coolant prob. Consequently, I drove that engine daily to work on 5 cylenders (intake locked closed, exhaust locked open) with a 3 speed for 6 months untill my small block was ready to transplant. Ran choppy but reliable the whole time. It's now rebuilt and in a 65 Nova!
     
  19. boots

    boots 1/2 ton status

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    I would get a gieger counter and check and see if them headers are made out of uranium
     
  20. BigBen

    BigBen 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    OK, everytime I come up with a plan on how to solve this, I change my mind. /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif

    Right now I can't get time to work on the truck until Saturday, so that gives me time to develp a "plan of attack".... /forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif

    First, I'll check the plugs to see if I'm running lean.
    Second, I'll check out my ignition system to try and figure out how the heck the last guy put the HEI in... (see my other post about the resistor wire).
    Third, I'll start that bad johnny up and do an "On the fly" timing adjustment while revving the engine at break-in speed until it sounds good.
    Fourth, complete break-in and then deal with the rest of my problems....

    Hopefully my headers won't meltdown in the process. If they do, I'll get a geiger reading and take pictures! /forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif

    What do you guys think?

    -Ben
     

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