Bronze guides vs. K-Line liners

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Brooks Elliott
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Bronze guides vs. K-Line liners

Post by Brooks Elliott » Wed Jun 04, 2008 6:17 pm

When is a bronze guide the preffered choice over a guide liner? I've been using the liners for a long time and almost never get to see them after installing them, so I don't have any evidence of their success or failure. The only time I've seen liners after some use was on a Subaru WRX making 415 WHP with EGT's of 1800f after 10K miles of mixed use. The liner wear was minimal, VERY slight taper at the bottom. I understand sizing is very important. I use a Sunnen Hone-all and my Newen pilots to check size. Any input would be appreciated. I think the bronze guide prefference by lay people might be just old school thinking, liners sound inferior to some without experience.

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Guide Liners

Post by GOSFAST » Wed Jun 04, 2008 8:14 pm

Not any issues with either.

Have some "Dart-360's" here now from 1995. Going back on a different build for a local "streeter". SAME guides are still in there!

These heads have the "liners" from day-one when "Dart" produced them. They never had "1-piece" guides installed, they are "integral lined-aluminum". One of "Darts" cost-savers no doubt!

But they've gone 13 years now with these original liners. Came off 1000HP "Blown-BB" with 750# spring pressures. So I would say they do work!

Thanks, Gary in N.Y.

P.S. Have literally run 1000's of these with no issues in both SB's and BB's!
Here's a shot of the heads now!
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Post by rustbucket79 » Wed Jun 04, 2008 11:01 pm

The only time we use guides is when the original guide is beyond repairable with a liner or guides were already installed.

We've been using the K Line interrupted spiral liners for about 10 years and are extremely happy with their performance. We've used them all but nothing matches the lifespan like the liners. If they will survive in a Ford FE, they'll survive everywhere.
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Post by Racerrick » Thu Jun 05, 2008 12:37 am

The longest lasting guides are harden cast iron. End of story PERIOD. All heavy duty industrial motors use harden cast guides.
Then mag bronze, then liners. I can post numerous pictures worn out liners when used as a exhaust guide. I will not use them in any endurance/long term street motor as a exhaust guide. Street get harden cast and race/marine get mag bronze for exh. IMHO drawn from 30 years of machining heads, longterm liner are suitable for intake guides only.

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Post by Wolfplace » Thu Jun 05, 2008 12:06 pm

I too have been using liners for some 15-20 years with little to no issues after going through a "learning curve"
What I have found is most people who have problems with them do not know how to install them properly & the majority of guide problems are installer issues not guide issues.
A few:
People who stick them in & ream them
People who stick them in broach & ream & do not finish with a hone or at the least a flexhone to give the thing half a chance to retain some oil
People who put them in by hand with no fixturing or with the hand held stuff.

All guides must be installed & finished properly but this goes double for the liners as they are real easy to screw up

I use an air locking fixture to lock the head & guide tooling in the seat because I have found no matter how good you think you are after the first few your fingers get tired :lol:
Then what happens is you start leaning on the drill & guess what,, you have a hole that is not straight
Guide goes in, you size it
Valve won't to through the damn thing but it will go in from both ends about half way
You measure the guide & it is right where you wanted it but the sucker is not a straight hole so,,,
You go in & open it up
Now you have a guide where you are supporting the valve at three points
How long do you think it will last??
I have run these things at less than a thou of clearance on the intake side with no issues so I know the hole is pretty straight & they do not seem to give me much trouble
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Post by cpmotors » Thu Jun 05, 2008 7:12 pm

Mike,
Are you using the K-line also?

Would using my Bridgeport work to install them? I know its a little time consumimg(vs a seat/guide machine) but thats how I do V/J's-

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Post by Wolfplace » Fri Jun 06, 2008 12:33 am

cpmotors wrote:Mike,
Are you using the K-line also?

Would using my Bridgeport work to install them? I know its a little time consumimg(vs a seat/guide machine) but thats how I do V/J's-
=
Yes I use the spiral K-liners
I don't see why you could not do it in a Bridgeport
What you do not want to do is put any kind of side pressure on the reamer or you will not have a straight hole

I really like the K-Line air lock installation stand, it uses the seat as well as the existing guide to line things up & keep them straight
Hell, even I can't seem to screw it up :lol:

I can probably post a picture of the stand if you have not seen it, let me know
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Post by Racerrick » Fri Jun 06, 2008 9:35 am

Wolfplace wrote:I too have been using liners for some 15-20 years with little to no issues after going through a "learning curve"
What I have found is most people who have problems with them do not know how to install them properly & the majority of guide problems are installer issues not guide issues.
A few:
People who stick them in & ream them
People who stick them in broach & ream & do not finish with a hone or at the least a flexhone to give the thing half a chance to retain some oil
People who put them in by hand with no fixturing or with the hand held stuff.

All guides must be installed & finished properly but this goes double for the liners as they are real easy to screw up

I use an air locking fixture to lock the head & guide tooling in the seat because I have found no matter how good you think you are after the first few your fingers get tired :lol:
Then what happens is you start leaning on the drill & guess what,, you have a hole that is not straight
Guide goes in, you size it
Valve won't to through the damn thing but it will go in from both ends about half way
You measure the guide & it is right where you wanted it but the sucker is not a straight hole so,,,
You go in & open it up
Now you have a guide where you are supporting the valve at three points
How long do you think it will last??
I have run these things at less than a thou of clearance on the intake side with no issues so I know the hole is pretty straight & they do not seem to give me much trouble


Just so people don't think it techinque as Mike alluded to. I boring the head on the head shop with carbide tooling, broach them with kline broachs and finish hone all guides with sunnen tooling and an inside bore gauge for clearence.
Beside race stuff I do alternate fuel motors in towing rebuilds that last in excess of 300,000 miles. Nothing I know of is harder on guides than alt. fuels and Kliners won't make it, been there done that. Mag bronze won't last like harden cast either. Overtime the end of the exhaust liner will turn black and pieces of it are gone and mag bronze will bellmouth. Now a harden cast iron guide clearence at .0025 for exhaust and .0016 intake will go forever and they do not wear, they'll kill the valve first. A set of propane heads I did 250,000 miles ago came thru my shop last month the exhuast guides were still mint the valve had .020 wear. I always run some form of bronze in race motors just to run tighter clearences and to protect from overheating but for street nothing lasts like harden cast.
Not to hijack the thread but the first thing to fail in the sbc towing motor is the head gaskets, they pull the outer cylinder fire ring into the chamber and brand doesn't matter, so now I stack metal shim gaskets.

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Post by PackardV8 » Fri Jun 06, 2008 11:27 am

Getting way off topic here, but trying to learn something; why would anyone with a towing application, expecting 300kmi of reliable, economical service, be running a SBC?

thnx, jack vines
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Post by PackardV8 » Fri Jun 06, 2008 11:33 am

Getting way off topic here, but trying to learn something; why would anyone with a towing application, expecting 300kmi of reliable, economical service, be running a SBC?

thnx, jack vines
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Post by Wolfplace » Fri Jun 06, 2008 11:51 am

Racerrick wrote:
Wolfplace wrote:I too have been using liners for some 15-20 years with little to no issues after going through a "learning curve"
What I have found is most people who have problems with them do not know how to install them properly & the majority of guide problems are installer issues not guide issues.
A few:
People who stick them in & ream them
People who stick them in broach & ream & do not finish with a hone or at the least a flexhone to give the thing half a chance to retain some oil
People who put them in by hand with no fixturing or with the hand held stuff.

All guides must be installed & finished properly but this goes double for the liners as they are real easy to screw up

I use an air locking fixture to lock the head & guide tooling in the seat because I have found no matter how good you think you are after the first few your fingers get tired :lol:
Then what happens is you start leaning on the drill & guess what,, you have a hole that is not straight
Guide goes in, you size it
Valve won't to through the damn thing but it will go in from both ends about half way
You measure the guide & it is right where you wanted it but the sucker is not a straight hole so,,,
You go in & open it up
Now you have a guide where you are supporting the valve at three points
How long do you think it will last??
I have run these things at less than a thou of clearance on the intake side with no issues so I know the hole is pretty straight & they do not seem to give me much trouble


Just so people don't think it techinque as Mike alluded to. I boring the head on the head shop with carbide tooling, broach them with kline broachs and finish hone all guides with sunnen tooling and an inside bore gauge for clearence.
Beside race stuff I do alternate fuel motors in towing rebuilds that last in excess of 300,000 miles. Nothing I know of is harder on guides than alt. fuels and Kliners won't make it, been there done that. Mag bronze won't last like harden cast either. Overtime the end of the exhaust liner will turn black and pieces of it are gone and mag bronze will bellmouth. Now a harden cast iron guide clearence at .0025 for exhaust and .0016 intake will go forever and they do not wear, they'll kill the valve first. A set of propane heads I did 250,000 miles ago came thru my shop last month the exhuast guides were still mint the valve had .020 wear. I always run some form of bronze in race motors just to run tighter clearences and to protect from overheating but for street nothing lasts like harden cast.
Not to hijack the thread but the first thing to fail in the sbc towing motor is the head gaskets, they pull the outer cylinder fire ring into the chamber and brand doesn't matter, so now I stack metal shim gaskets.
=
Well Rick,
First I don't think anyone is asking about service trucks here :lol:
With that said
I had a Propane engine for the local propane company in their service truck
We live in the mountains of No CA up in the Redwoods & these trucks until retired for real trucks with diesel engines were overworked overloaded mountain goats
This one had in access of 100K & was still going strong
It had K-line spiral liners in both the intake & the exhaust

I have two 489's in motor homes with stock GM heads & bronze liners
Both have well over 80K last I heard & both run on propane
One is kinda cool, has an Ede two-4 intake with two mixers
Anyway it appears my results have been somewhat different than yours in these cases

Now to be fair, I did one delivery truck for the Propane company & it did exactly what you are referring to on the exhaust
I replace all the ex guides with Ohio hardened cast iron with .0025 clearance & no more issues so I don't have a problem with cast iron but the liners do seem to work pretty fair for the most part if installed correctly & the tune-up is somewhere near right

Just for info, Ford did a ton of testing on the liners many years ago & concluded they were an excellent alternative for their "factory rebuilt" engines too.

But hey, whatever works for you is certainly what you should use & I do not question for a minute the results you see with the hardened cast guides just as long as you do not try to run them with bronze clearances.
Been there done that,,,, don't work :lol:
Mike
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Post by stock z/28 » Fri Jun 06, 2008 6:14 pm

Hello,

Well, I kind of have to agree with every one.

I have used the K-Line style guides for 30 some years. I have also used Winona style spiral guides for even longer, but I don't use many any more.


I use the centering tooling like Mike referred to that centers off of the seat and aligns with the guide. It seems to be very accurate.

I use a Gogsdill? adjustable rotary broach, that uses tapered caged needles that run on an angle to compress and expand the bronze material.

I have also used the carbide sizing broaches to size the liners as well.

To finish them I usually use a Sunnen hone to finish the guide to size.


I too like the hardened cast iron valve guides for heavy duty and especially propane operation. There are a couple of guides that were available in .500 that are hardened and after being honed to size they seem to hardly ever wear in a typical application.

In my opinion for what its worth, the valve itself is very important as well. I prefer to use a high grade valve with a hard chrome stem with the bronze style guides.



Jeff
Last edited by stock z/28 on Fri Jun 06, 2008 10:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by sam-missle » Fri Jun 06, 2008 8:14 pm

WOLFPLACE, would you post a picture of the alignment tooling you mentioned? thanks sam
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Post by RL » Fri Jun 06, 2008 8:30 pm

The tightness of the liner to the reamed hole is very important for life, a sleeve in a guide has a thermal barrier between the interface. We have different brands of liners and tooling and if you mix and match and the liner is not tight you will not get 1yr out of a liner

I find CI guides last longer, we have heads with over 200K on them with CI and there not too bad, I haven't seen any liner reach much over 100-150K that aren't total gone.

Liners are a quick and economical alternative that should last one rebuild just, good for repeat business. In my car I would use CI

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Post by Wolfplace » Sat Jun 07, 2008 12:29 am

sam-missle wrote:WOLFPLACE, would you post a picture of the alignment tooling you mentioned? thanks sam
=
Hi Sam,
Here ya go.
The head sit on the lower rests, the overhead arm has a quick release deal that takes different bushings that fit the valve seat & has an air lock in the back
The seat bushing take another bushing like a drill bushing that the reamer is guided by
The reamer is piloted in the guide & locked bushing
The arm pivots & moves in & out on another bushing to set it in the seat

Hell of a lot easier to use than explain :lol:

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A few of the cars I have driven & owned
A tour of my shop
The Dyno
And a few pics of the gang

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