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Discussion Starter #1
Looking at crate stroker short blocks. One vendor tells me that they can't tell me the deck height or let me spec it. They build them and it is what it is. You fix it with gasket thickness.

Of course you can get deck height where you want. But it requires a mock up and measurement before decking the block.

They're saying head gasket roulette is normal and it's not critical.

I disagree.

What are your thoughts?
 

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A quality builder knows what's in their blocks! That's unacceptable! Contact Woody at Ford Strokers for a real quality build....IMHO.
 
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It's impossible to set quench without knowing the deck height. Playing "head gasket roulette" is their way of having blocks ready to ship instead of building to suit. I bet they just run all their bores out to "spec" overbore (eg. 4.030") and don't bother to fit the pistons, either.
 

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I suppose if you looking at budget short blocks, that's the price you pay. If that's not ok, move on to another vendor.
 

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Scroll through the reviews on Summit Racing for some of the mass market rebuilders. Some reviews are glowing, others are downright scary. One quote I recall, "every bolt hole was stripped"
 

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disquek,
A builder that has that attitude "upfront" throws "me" a red flag. I understand that blocks do vary in deck height especially when dealing with used cores and one would need to be picked and measured to give you the answer. BUT the "smart" answer would ( to me) have been "we measure block heights and machine / assemble to 0 or .0xx piston to deck". If the block was "too" short , a custom piston could be ordered or a thicker head gasket could be used to achieve .040 net piston to head. Now that different thickness gaskets are available , "short" deck blocks "can" be used with a thicker gasket to keep the piston from crashing into the head. It also makes the intake fit like it was supposed to at the original block height. I would hardly call this the norm but call it an "option" that works. The brand X LS engines have a .051 gasket thickness and builders commonly ask for a piston .010 "out" of the block to reduce piston to head clearance for optimal quench.
Buying a crate engine is a big expense and the "cheapest" one may not be the best one same as the most expensive one. A seller that is willing to answer your concerns is usually the guy that cares the most about his product. Buy from the seller you feel most comfortable with , it's your money!
Randy
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Looks like they're going to take some extra time and get the deck to zero. Thanks Guys!
 

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When in doubt, I always go with the thinnest possible head gasket.
But you should always check piston to deck clearance before ordering head gaskets. And take combustion chamber size into account.
 
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