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Everything posted by Beemon

  1. I need some help because I've never rebuilt an engine before, but I figure of I can rebuild a carburetor, I can rebuild an engine. I tried replacing the rear main, but I've just got too much oil leaking to the point where I can't even enjoy the car. The lifters tick, the road draft filter is plugged, installed hardened valve seats against my will, and who knows what else is wrong. There's a gentleman selling a virgin 56 322 in British Columbia for $500 and I have to pull the engine anyways to remove the crank, I figure I might as well start fresh. All I know about the engine is that it has a hole through one piston but from the images, the cylinders look good. I need to know what's okay to keep, what needs to be replaced, the best vendors, etc. I'm hoping I can get away with .006 over bore and use stock pistons, but if they have to bore it out, does anyone sell the correct pistons? What about quality lifters and cam, oil pump, valves and springs? Do crankshafts ever need to be replaced? I am really beyond upset. I mean I knew this day was coming but it just makes me not want to ever do an old car again, and really makes me mistrust people in the profession. I don't normally write bad reviews, but there is going to be one up tomorrow morning that will tarnish their reputation. The engine has less than 10,000 miles on it!
  2. I've secured cover for the car so we can tear into it starting either end of this week or next week for sure. I've been looking for camshaft specifics, but can't seem to find any in the shop manual. Does anyone know what the camshaft specs are for a stock 1956? The only thing I can find is specs for a solid lifter cam in 1956, which I guess could work for a cut if needed, but would like to know stock.
  3. So some good news and bad news. The good news: I met with the machinist today, he's a retired Boeing engineer who builds mostly high performance engines for the local Pacific Raceway teams. He says he wants to see the short block to mic out the pistons in the bore and check for proper valve clearance. He said he won't do any work unless he can physically see it. He will hone the bore to 200 grit and then install Chevy 327 chromoly rings. He also wants to see the cylinder heads, too, to check valve clearance both in the guide and at the seat/rocker. He said most likely I should start looking for new heads, though, but will hold judgement until it comes time. He also told me to do a leakdown test. Lastly, he demanded I bring him the shop manual so we can go over checking clearances. And he wants me to be there when he does it all. For honing and re-ringing the block he wants $270 and if I come up with some unmolested 56 322 heads, he wants $400 for them combined to do the total valve job. The bad news: His work at Boeing was mostly clearance checking, bearings and machining. He is fairly certain that from what I've told him about the water jacket design, that the heads will eventually fail. He said even though we can check the grind, fix and slap the heads back together for $100, that he would feel much more comfortable with clean, original heads. The two 56s near me don't have heads and the largest classic car yard in Washington doesn't have heads. There are some heads on Ebay right now for $250, but would like to find something closer, since shipping is $180...
  4. The electric wipers were pretty underwhelming, too say the least. Not only did they sweep too much, but they wouldn't even sweep the window when it's dry... I know it's not really a test of function, but the vacuum wipers sweep the window dry if that's anything to go by. So, I was doing some research into different electric vacuum pumps, but it seemed they would all tax the generator a bit much. Then I started looking at diesel vacuum pumps and that's when I found it - a 1983-92 Ford vaccum pump, still V-belt driven. Out of the three trucks at the local junkyard, only one held vacuum. They said I could return it if it was garbage, but it actually held 23" Hg by itself. This should be more than enough to hold the wipers. I was even thinking the power brakes, but I'd rather that be on intake manifold if the pump ever fails. Maybe I'll tee into the power brakes line with a 1-way valve so if the pump fails, it won't loose vacuum, but I'm not sure what kind of havoc that would play also being tee'd into a line that's already tee'd into the manifold... Anyways, I've been thinking about where to mount it. The bracket as it sits would need some modification to fit the engine, but I'm thinking water crossover bolts. It fits in line perfectly with the generator, and that will probably be my test spot, but that's where factory AC goes. Likewise, I wanted to put it under the power steering pump where it's out of sight, but it's pretty tight in there. It's not heavy and was only held on by two bolts, I figured I could modify the bracket so it's fixed, and then tighten the belt with either the P/S pump or generator. I almost gave up on my timing cover swap, but now it's back on again.
  5. Doug, if the jets and rods changed between 57, 58 and 59, it should be pretty easy to figure out. Buick is the only carburetor that has the starter switch, so that already cuts you out of the flock.
  6. So I'm thinking worst case scenario here, and will most likely be hunting for new heads, but what can I do to combat the low compression pistons? Maybe shave the heads and block deck to the proper compression ratio? I also heard using 55 heads on a 56 increases compression? Would I run into any valve clearance issues? The heads will be coming off today if I have time before work, tomorrow at the latest.
  7. That's funny, my dad did a 396 swap in his 78 Chev K10 back in the early 90s, before he sold it for an 80 and dropped a 502 in it. I always knew dad was coming to pick me up from daycare because I could hear him from 5 miles away. Funny you mention the "Farmtruck" because my dad's been living with my uncle for the last couple of years now down on the coast and we just got running my uncle's 1970 C20. It's got the stock 350 in it, but the exact same color as the Farmtruck, with matching bed cover. They're thinking about doing a 396 swap in that one, too, but cheap throw away engines waiting to be built aren't as plentiful as they were 20 years ago. Wew, we're wayyy off topic now... lol
  8. My dad had a built 426 before I was born. Used to always call him a liar until he drudged out some old photos. He said when everyone was putting the nose up, he put the nose as low to the ground as possible and just rolled with it.
  9. Hills where I live are plentiful, I don't think a vacuum tank will hold more than 30 seconds before it's depleted... plus where I'll be going to school is on the other side of a busy mountain pass followed by a steep gradual slope (downhill going, uphill coming back) and then rolling plains. Coming back from orientation was the first time I'd seen the old girl puke green after we made it to the top of the steep incline before the start of the mountain pass. Vacuum tank works fine for brakes because they're not constantly on and they can replenish before you use them again, especially when vacuum builds on deceleration. But wipers are on all the time, I don't think I'd see a noticeable performance gain when driving 45 minutes up a mountain.
  10. Around here, gas is blue. How long had the gas been sitting for?
  11. Found the bill and balance sheet but no warranty, must be over at my grandpa's. I guess they didn't understand the crank was externally balanced, but I guess it doesn't matter. I always figured there was a new cam in there, but I guess it was the originals with some cheap lifters (one has a really bad tick). I wouldn't be surprised if I needed a new cam now. Looks like I have a "new" timing chain in there, too, which explains so much. I guess I was being too optimistic with my $4200 figure, but I guess I paid $4700 for a bad job.
  12. It must be my luck, though. I've been screwed on everything I've had rebuilt by someone else in the hobby. It almost makes a newcomer like me not even want to bother with old cars anymore. At this point it's not even fun or enjoyable anymore, fixing others mistakes and being out hundreds of dollars.
  13. Willis, for clarification the only rebuilder id bad mouth is the original rebuilder, and not this new guy. I was looking for the warranty information this morning after work when I recalled he filed bankruptcy to get out of another warranty before closing his shop on my motor. A man is only as good as his word, and you can't trust someone who can't face the music... I'm still looking for the paper work. At the very least, some pay back would be nice. The new guy I found out about came from me poking around the junkyard yesterday and a close friend of his, who happened to see me under the hood of a 57, told me about him. He runs his own shop across the street from the only ethanol free station (a good 45 minutes out of my way). Turns out he's also really good friends with the owner of the shop my would be rebuilder works at. Reputation is everything, and with social media it can really destroy a person. Word of mouth is spreading about my engine, but I think it'll be worth it plopping my destroyed heads down on the counter if the seats are cracked. I can't get the $4200 I spent saving for 2 years in anticipation of driving the car I fell in love with looking at 20 years ago, but I can get some satisfaction in ruining a shoddy machinists reputation...
  14. I'm a bit worried now. Not that I wasn't worried before. I'm starting to think the guy that rebuilt my engine charged me hefty but put cheap parts in the engine and just did a really poor valve grind. The one spark plug could also be an indication of a hardened valve seat cracking? The low compression is what worries me the most. Even if the low compression gaskets were used, my uncle shaved the heads in the 80s to give it higher compression before letting it sit and I'm sure when the shop resurfaced my heads, it would have added a little bit more. Knowing that, and differences with gaskets, I still expected it to ballpark right at 140-150. As it so happens, a gentleman just uncovered a 1955 264 crate motor near me. I'm not sure what he wants for it, but it might be a good substitute until I get all this figured out. I'm going to take the car up to another shop out on the edge of the mountains an hour away from me. It came from great praise now from two different people in two different regions around here, and I'll be taking the car for it's last drive to confirm suspicions. He's an old boy I've been told who does old engines for hobbyists. I know what my numbers are, but it doesn't hurt to get more opinions even though it all points to one conclusion... I will just need a reliable shop to fall back on when the time comes.
  15. The two plugs on the driver side bank had oil in the wells, not actually from the cylinder. My valve covers are warped, but I never noticed with the spark plug covers on that they have been leaking. I thought about my PCV experiment, too, but I find it odd that only one plug is like that out of 8. Regarding compression testing, throttle was held open like it says in he shop manual. It also says in the shop manual that 140 PSI is for Special Syncromesh, 160 PSI for Special Dynaflow and 170 PSI for all other models. Plus, everything I've ready said readings have to be within the 20% range of all cylinders and at 100-105 PSI (I was really being optimistic here) compared to 120-125 PSI seems too low for these cylinders. Cam is stock as far as I know. I've never performed a leak down test before, though. That just puts pressure on the rings, right?
  16. I have been helping my dad move into a new place the past two weeks on my day's off. He's out on the coast and it hasn't been without some fun. My uncle lives 30 mins from him and he had a 1966 IH Scout I6 and a 1970 Chevy C20 350ci parked in the barn/carport area that haven't been running in a few years. We got both of them started and moved so I've kind of adopted two new engines between two old men that used to rod in the 70s and 80s but apparently lost the trade when they had to "grow up" (IE kids). So I got back into town, handed the guy at Autozone a $50 and pulled the spark plugs in the parking lot. I did a compression test tonight, and here are my results: 115 105 125 120 115 115 115 105 So it looks like I have two bad cylinders on the same side of the engine, but I feel like these numbers are less than satisfactory for an engine with only 8000 miles on it (if I'm being generous). Here are the plugs: L2R: 7,5,3,1 8,6,4,2 (looks like I found a partial oil leak, too. Been wondering why the starter has been dripping...) The picture makes them kind of whiter than they were, but they were a pretty decent tan. So I guess that says something about my carb tuning abilities... too lean? I'm not sure what happened to #3... according to the guide at AutoZone, it says ash deposits are an excess of oil in the combustion chamber or something... I hope the guides aren't worn... Anyways, I'll be clearing some space in the garage this weekend hopefully. I won't really get into pulling the engine until my next set of days off, though. It's actually kind of depressing, I was hoping for the best, but this engine is worse than a stock 2 barrel low compression Syncromesh Special (140psi), when it should be 170psi minimum. I figured being .030 over, that it would have been somewhere around 150psi with the "low compression" pistons, but man...
  17. Sounds like Washington. After October this year, I'll have one year before the car is officially in my name. Which is fine, as long as my grandpa is living and lost title doesn't show up in my uncle's hand. You should have nothing to worry about.
  18. I wonder if this will fit around the edge of the 50s snorkels?
  19. No comment on those expensive rally wheels?
  20. Any 364/401/425 exhaust manifold should bolt up to your block, fitment to your system may be a bit difficult as I think the manifolds changed quite a bit year to year. For your manifolds, it looks like 57 and 58 interchanges according to Russ's website.
  21. John, your new red rims really pop!
  22. Willis, I saw plenty of these on the 80s wrecks out there, as well. The differences between them is that this is a vacuum pump and the others are smog air pumps that have some type of filter or something in them. At least that's what I gathered from their almost alternator looking case and construction. I'm not sure about those smog pumps, but I'm pretty sure that the vacuum pump I found is also being made new still. I really don't have any information on cars of that era to really make a formulated opinion, but I think this application will exceed my expectations.
  23. I've got a junkyard pic, too I've always liked the 68 Riviera, maybe I'll have one some day... but not before I have a 68 Charger
  24. Looking good! I wish I had done mine in red at the time of paint, but mine were originally black and not knowing any better at the time... Now get them mounted!
  25. Finally secured the correct WCFB model 2347S and am just starting the clean up process. The first difference I noticed between the WCFB and the 4GC is that the base of the carb doesn't have the cut out for the heat track. It's just flat. I'm going to be picking up a kit here pretty soon, but I've also seen that there needs to be some type of steel plate underneath the carb. There is no mention of this plate in the shop manual, and my 4GC didn't have the plate either. Also, isn't the WCFB base cast iron and not aluminum? Is this plate necessary? Thanks in advance to replies. I'm pretty excited to get this one going. It's much more complex than the 4GC, which means it'll be much more fun.