Beemon

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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. What's wrong with the mechanical pump?
  3. Here's the differences in pulleys between Buick and Chevrolet. Aside from that, both generators are identical.
  4. So before I tore my engine apart, the charging system stopped working and I ended up putting an alternator on there. Since I've had the engine apart I checked the voltage regulator and the contact Points seem fine, they all move freely. So the next step was to tear into the generator and I found this. One of the copper strands off of the windings is missing and the other ones are damaged. Likewise the field coil insulation has also been ripped open but they seem to be intact. The bearing has a lot of play in it and the end shaft is pretty scarred up but the bushing looks fine. I'm not sure what they did when they rebuilt it but it doesn't look like a whole lot. So now I think I'm looking for a core and I know where a 55 generator is. Will that work? If the Armature and field coils are still intact it should work just like my starter rebuild.
  5. I picked up the generator today. They marketed it as a Chevy nomad generator, but it was a reman unit so they gave it to me for free... still have yet to save the original one, but now I have one that works. Just need to pop off the pulley. I did some research, all the 12 volt armatures for the big body generators are the same, so it must be pulley sizes for different engine demands and operating ranges. I'm sure windings and field coils improved over the years, too. Maybe the adjustment hole is cocked differently? This one is just like my original, so we're good to go, just in time for the Friday night cruise.
  6. Masters in Humanities and Fine Arts with a minor in English
  7. I'm not religious, but I think someone was watching over me. Ken made a comment to me about how he searched for 56 parts for a long time and I found three engines in 2 weeks, and one was running. I keep smelling something like burning oil when I turn the car off, I think it's maybe just cooking out the sludge? The stuff I cleaned out of the rocker galley wasn't too bad, but just makes me wonder. Or maybe it's the actual crankcase vapors doing their thing? I'm fascinated because I thought I had it down, but my other engine was just so bad that I thought everything bad was right. I'll keep on it. The vacuum gauge under the dash is reading about 14.5"Hg, which is realistically 15-15.5"Hg considering the leakage past the vacuum wipers, switch and pump jar, so that's good. I still need to tune the carb, because they were originally tuned on another motor that was not right. I'm dialing her in, though. Tomorrow we go back to the Friday night cruise in. I was thinking about stopping by the fabric shop and draping red velvet across the top of the air cleaner housing to display my piston with the wrist pin sticking out, with a little sticky that says "Trust but Verify". I thought the origin story behind my car was a story, but I guess the story keeps on writing itself?
  8. For some reason I thought this was in July.. I couldn't make it anyways.
  9. My final regrets with my car right now is the exhaust. I was talked into Magnaflow mufflers, but I think I would have much preferred stock mufflers after listening to the LeSabre concept. I don't know what stock mufflers sound like because my original ones were collapsed and perforated and were thrown out... but damn do you hear me coming when the secondary air valve flips open. Quiet otherwise putting around. Put a Honda to shame today in Low.
  10. It didn't seem that heavy to me...
  11. Probably not desirable, but when my letters were faded I used a black sharpie...
  12. I have toyed the idea of a Powergen. There was a thread here a while ago about trying to tie in the foot pedal switch. I think it was after that thread they came out with the lamp terminal that puts out 6V when charging, the right amount for the safety feature on the start relay. But, I like to have everything work in harmony. I would either get rid of both the generator and voltage regulator or keep them and I'd much rather keep it simple. To each their own, but I'm running stock radio, stock speakers, heater and that's it. No HID bulbs, AC (yet), power accessories (yet), high output amps, etc.
  13. You asked for the video, you shall receive! I hope everyone likes my joke at the end... It's really funny, the lopey and poor driveability was terrible oil. I did the oil change today. I used Valvoline VR1 20W-50 and the car runs like brand new. It also had a FRAM filter in there... now replaced with a WIX filter. Also I couldn't figure out why the WCFB won't pull off the choke. There is vacuum to the heat stove, and I waited 5 minutes... today it's 78 degrees outside, it's not cold or anything. Looks like I'm going to have to tear it back down and see what's going on with that gasket. For now, the 4GC is back on. I don't have a good choke stove tube for it, so it's just running the electric choke for now. This engine deserves respect, and aside from the valve covers with the 401 rockers underneath and the late 50's Buick fuel filter, it's going to be mostly stock, IE no additional modifications like a PCV system or a newer carburetor. Oil bath filter, too. It's an original running motor, it needs to be preserved with dignity. I'll save the Edelbrock and stuff for my new engine. I don't know what the original caretakers of this engine did for maintenance, but it'll be babied from here on out.
  14. Greg, you've given me many ideas. I have a spare 56 Dynaflow but no 57 bellhousing... would be interesting to see if something comes from it. The 50s Dynaflows were said to have unlimited torque characteristics due to the fluid coupling. Maybe put it to the test?
  15. Willie, while you're here, what grade oil would you recommend for the used engine? I was thinking 10W-40 or 20W-50, or straight 30W. The summer heat is here, but nights are still in the 50s.
  16. Same cam as before, but I put the 1.6:1 rockers on there so with more lift, maybe it's a little more meaty?
  17. I think the issue is of perspective. From the front the engine turns clockwise, from the rear it turns counter clockwise
  18. The old one was balanced and smooth but smoked like a chimney under load. This one is lopey and not rough but not smooth as silk either, basically what I'd expect of an old engine. Only drove it at night and I'm waiting to hold judgement until after the fluid changes.
  19. 1955 and 1956 engines to my knowledge rotate clockwise. If the starter is mounted on the driver side, then it has to rotate counter-clockwise to rotate the flywheel clockwise.The only way the starter can run clockwise is if it's on the passenger side, or mounted through the torque converter.
  20. This really threw me for a loop... 55 and 56 tail light housings are interchangeable?? I didn't know that.
  21. That stock Blazer 350 must not do very well with the big tires. My dad had a 78 Silverado with the stock 350 on about the same size tires and he got horrible gas mileage and poor performance, so much that he pulled it out and sent it to be junked while he swapped in a 68 396... never had a problem pulling boats over the pass after that.
  22. So that's how the tail lights worked... I always thought it was the three small lights on each side. I always loved the sound of chugging old engines made.
  23. So it's not the weekend, but... I'm back on the road!
  24. Glad you made it out in one piece! Good thing it was a newer car, and not one of the classics, otherwise you might not be writing us for a while.
  25. Still can't figure out the WCFB choke. The choke won't heat up after 5 minutes and pull off, I think my choke spring is beat. Going to probably swap back to the 4GC tomorrow since I'm a little hesitant to go back to the Edelbrock. While it was the best running carb, it just doesn't feel right to try and do up this rescue engine like that. Oh and here's a good one for you guys. We were trying to line up the block and tranny and when it finally went snug (with taking awareness to torque converter drain plugs this time), one of the torque converter to flywheel housing bolts fell out. Gasp! So, what we ended up doing was taking 3 bread ties, wrapping them together, then stripping the paper off one end and wrapping it around the threads of the bolt. I then had to snake it back through the hole... we were not pulling the engine back out again! Also I used what I thought was the mark on the balancer for TDC, but ended up being a paint smudge... turns out we were 180 out. So after I pulled the distributor again, I set the balancer to 5 BDC, dropped it back in so it was pointing at #1, marked the base with a highlighter close to where I thought #1 plug wire was on the cap, lined the highlighter mark up with the rotor, and put everything back together... when it fired off, it was at TDC exactly.. I was 5 degrees off. All in all, lots of fun. My dad bailed on me around 3:30 PM after it was seated in. The rest of the night I spent doing all the small 1 man stuff... alternator, vacuum hoses, etc. Here's a pic of the engine my dad took right after we got it butted up to the transmission (he hasn't uploaded our special torque converter bolt installer yet): The next thing I gotta do before going to college is rip the dash back apart. My oil gauge stopped working for some reason and needs to be investigated. When we fired it up at the guy's place, we noticed about 40 psi. Is that normal? Also the radio has been cutting in and out, I think one of the big capacitors is grounding out on the inside after going over some heinous bumps.... and maybe I can get the clock working, too! I've also decided against doing a compression check... I want to know, but I don't want to know... lol. This about wraps up the thread... I guess when I get to machining the other engine, I'll make a new one. Thank you everyone for advice, support and feedback with everything that has gone on in this thread. As always, it is greatly appreciated no matter what the subject matter and content is. I learn something new every time I come on here and ask questions.