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Thoughts on sleeving cylinder


Active member
Building a strong 383 stroker, actually 385 because its .040 over, but my block ended up being bad and 3 blocks in a row now had cracks or need a sleeve put in. Considering how much heat builds in the cylinders on airboat is a sleeve a good idea? Will the crack end up coming back through the sleeve, have heard of it happening in circle track cars. Will the heat transfer difference in the block with the sleeve make a difference?
I have a friend who just had a sbc cylinder develop a crack at .060 they are going to another block rather than sleeve.

The real remedy is to obtain one of the new aftermarket blocks such as DART as they are engineered and manufactured with thicker cylinders designed to be bored.

If you can't swing buying a DART then consider a one piece seal block as they are late model and potentially may have seen less abuse.
Working at a machine shop, I sleeve blocks on a regular basis. There are different wall thickness for each given bore i.d. Sleeves are extremely strong if installed correctly. We strive to get a .0015 to .002 press fit. I have a 6.7 Cummins to this week. .040 still should leave quite a bit of meat to sleeve. Best thing obviously is to find a good block. If your machine shop has the ability to sonic check the cylinder walls then take advantage. Heat generated from a 383 isn't anymore than any other small block build. Proper piston to wall clearance is a must. The quality of the hone is important. This is why we purchased the most advanced honing machine on the market. Rottler H85AX CNC hone. Accuracy is .0002 cylinder straightness. Each cylinder is exactly the same as the next one. 20210329_152354_HDR.jpg
Thin sleeves with to tight a fit have tendency to crack. If your machine shop is quality then sleeving shouldn't be a problem. What HP are your trying to achieve?
I'm stuck using a 2 piece main block, that's what my new crank is for because I was rebuilding the one I blew up but after baking it showed some cracks in the side of the block.
I'm hoping to be around the 500hp mark and don't plan on turning it more than 5500rpm.
My machine shop has sleeved several blocks in late model cars with no issues. I was just hoping to find a good block. I don't remember if the 4 bolt main was good to sleeve or not but the last 2 bolt was. I figured if I went 2 bolt I'd run main studs
Sleeving one or the other makes no difference on main bolt count. I wouldn't worry about 2 bolt vs. 4 bolt at 500 hp. It's not running in a 1 ton pickup pulling a heavy trailer uphill in a headwind. We build plenty that achieve mid 4s with no problem. ARP stud if it makes you feel better, make sure the mains are at least bump honed, studding has a tendency to shrink them up.
Decided to just use the better 2 bolt block, it just needs 1 sleeve because the cylinder won't clean up enough boring. Would it be worth it to stud and line hone or will I be just fine using the stock main bolts? Someone suggested using studs but torque to factory spec wouldn't need a line hone...not sure if there would be any benefit to that
If your gonna use an ARP stud kit (btw ARP is the only option, no other fasteners can compare) then you should be using the moly lube and torque specs provided in the kit. Do not torque to factory specs, use ARPs guidelines. More often than not we see the main clearances shrink with the stud kit, the way it pulls on the block is different than factory bolts. We then put it in the align hone and adjust accordingly.
I did once ended up tossing the block out after complete rebuild due to crack in water passages. Toss it get a new block.