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NTX5467 last won the day on April 9 2016

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About NTX5467

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    Sr Mbr -- BCA 20811
  • Birthday 12/25/1951

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  1. I concur, good scores! Especially the distributor, for good measure. IF you get into the Master Catalog for some cam manufacturers (of which there are few compared to cam sellers), you'll find a list of lobe specs for custom grind camshafts. For some o the older engines, you'll need to supply a core for them to "work"(??). LOTS of things to mix and match! The cam specs for Russ' cam look very close to what many sell for (advertised duration) 250-260 degree cams in lift, duration @ .050", and the other things. I know we had 401s for many years, but if the '59s were "famous" for their lumpy idle and such, due to the longer duration, that cam would probably be too much for a smaller 322cid engine. Sometimes, cam specs aren't listed as such, but some tings can be hidden in the sub-section on intake and exhaust valves (i.e., valve lift). Although the SAE specs are formulated from a minimum amount of lobe lift from the base circle, a little different for intake and exhaust, the "duration at .050" is a relatively new standard from the aftermarket vendors as some "advertised" durations were not all measured the same. "Relatively new" = from about the late 1970s or earlier 1980s. Take care, NTX5467
  2. If not black or chrome, then it probably would be color-keyed to the main interior color. That's usually how many carlines did it back then. Replacements from GM, after the color-keyed items were depleted, probably changed part numbers to the black ones. Some people got chrome ones for that extra "upscale" look, by observation. NTX5467
  3. From other GM products, specifically the '51 GMCs we've had, there is probably a rubber "surround" that might plug into the floor board for ornamental purposes, but there might also be a thick felt washer that is on the outside part of the pedal, which would somewhat seal the rod to the back of the floor pan when the pedals are released? By observation, the thick felt washer might be more durable than a rubber grommet. Just some thoughts, which might not be correct for Buicks, NTX5467
  4. You'd need to see the '55 and '56 heads side-by-side to see if there is ANY difference in the configuration of the combustion chamber in the intake valve area. For example, there are two differences between an early Z/28 cylinder head and the 350/300 cylinder head, although they are related, as the basic heads are physically the same (port size, chamber size, etc). The 350/300 head valve sizes are 1.94/1.50 (intake/exhaust). The Z/28 head has 2.02/1.60 valve sizes. It is possible to put the Z/38 valves in the 350/300 head, but the edge of the intake valve is very close to the edge of the chamber, which shrouds and basically kills any additional flow from the larger valve. The difference in the two heads is a "machining operation" which cuts a radius in the edge of the chamber by the intake valve, "unshrouding" it or clearancing the edge of the chamber for the larger valve. So, is the '56 head just "clearance" or is the unshrouding cast into the chamber? My suspicion is that if it's cast in, that might explain the need for different pistons (different domes?). From what you mention, things look pretty good, as to the machinist. I also like that he wants you there to observe and see what he finds! NTX5467
  5. There's probably NO real "best answer" as it depends upon if you are the buyer or the seller. To a seller of new parts, in the business at some point in the selling chain, it's "old stock" that wasn't or couldn't be sent back to where it came from, when it didn't sell. Inventory control was not the best for some retailers. All parts are implied to be "new" unless otherwise stated. To the buyer seeking a better (allegedly, or OEM with the needed date code), it's still "old stock that is new", but the "new" description is important, so it gets to be "new old stock" or "new old replacement stock" (for non-OEM-sourced items). The "old stock" part indicates it was more special and desirable AND usually worth more money, "A Find". In any event, "old stock that is new, uninstalled", for certain parts, might not be the best part to purchase. Knowing what doesn't deteriorate with time in a box on a shelf is important. But you also have to understand that "rust" can still happen as there will be some machined surfaces which might have had assembly lube on them initially, but which has evaporated with time. And, box/container condition can be important, too! Those little pieces of cut, thin cardboard have their moisture control limits. OEM date coded parts have to be dealt with as necessary . . . as to IF you really need them or not for what you're seeking to accomplish. You buy them, carefully spiff them back to "as new" condition, and install them on the vehicle. In some judging classes, that date code can mean the difference between a first place award and not getting it. Buying "NOS" does NOT universally mean it's the best part you need to buy, which some have learned the hard way. Similar with "NORS" items, too, sometimes. Many variable situations/orientations! NTX5467
  6. Don't feel like the "lone ranger" in this respect. This is why many people I know "in the hobby" have accumulated large numbers of tools OR accumulated large bank accounts to pay others to do the work. One former customer learned to paint for this reason, as did several of his friends in the hobby. Of course, this was when you could shoot acrylic lacquer in your driveway or garage on a calm night and it turned out good. Another guy paid somebody he felt was "knowledgeable" to restore a factory muscle car. He paid "good money" for what he got . . . a "hack" job. Then he found another guy that really knew what was correct and who's heritage was in his Dad's large mechanic shop and then everything was re-done correctly with a great outcome. Sometimes, it takes twice, unfortunately, whether you're doing it yourself or you're paying somebody else that first time. After watching somebody do things once, I'd see there was no real secret to it, so I'd figure I could do that myself . . . and did. That felt great when it worked out well! But there were some things I felt best about letting known-good people do other things I wasn't or didn't want to invest in getting set-up to do. One way to make new friends and share experiences . . . that "bonding" situation that is mutually beneficial and, as a result, everybody wants the best outcomes. Some times, a quality control check might be needed, just to make sure or after there have been a little time for things to settle in. Enjoy! NTX5467
  7. Thanks for the pictures and information. At this point in time, until the innards of the engine are actually disassembled and an autopsy of sorts is conducted on it, there might be some issues which have been found and possibly diagnosed, BUT until everything's laid on the workbench and the bare block is on an engine stand, naked to the world, any orientations about paying for something that was done improperly is pure conjecture. Therefore, less said to the new guy might be best. Certainly, he will need to know the basic information of why this all is happening. A Joe Friday "Just the facts . . . " situation so he knows what he might be looking for and why. When my Dad bought our '69 Chevy pickup, it seemingly came with engine problems. One of the dealership guys attributed it to a car deal gone bad and the fact it was dealer-transferred from another dealer about an hour's drive away. And that apparently on the way back, it was run too hard too quick. Later, under warranty for an engine piston knock, they put in two pistons and a connecting rod. Then things were quiet and it ran better. But issues still kept arising every so often, even a hint of piston knock when cold. Eventually, a replacement short block (what we really wanted for a good while!) was put in toward the end of the factory 50K mile engine warranty. During that time, I read and researched and talked to some people about the real issues might be. Until the short block was replaced, it seemed to be something every so often. Some of it was due to whom Dad had found to work on it (we tried all different "advice" from others that really didn't make a significant "dent" in things). In some cases, it came back worse than it went in, which didn't help either! My machine shop operative had been through some of situations you've had too, ever the years . . . as I've had to deal with over the years, too, where somebody else got a customer the wrong part. Having to fix somebody else's prior "indiscretions" was necessary, but it took a full investigation to see how what happened happened as the discovery phase progressed. UNTIL that discovery phase is completed and a determination of the particular chain of events is evident, no real fix and way to move forward can happen. You never know what will be found, although some strong suspicions might exist. Hopefully, the new guy will be open about what he finds and show you what he did find. IF things are as you have described over time, there should be plenty to look at! AND you'll need to trust HIS judgment and ask for HIS recommendations that both of y'all can talk about and decide how to proceed. As for a "ticking lifter", we've chased those too. But this was over many thousands of miles, not just 5K miles. Looking in the obvious places didn't fix that sound. One time, on the warranty short block, we did find a lifter with a hole in the contact surface where it rubs against the cam lobe. The cam lobe was fine, so a new lifter fixed that one. At this point in time, you know what you've seen and shared with us. You've heard and felt how the engine operates and the non-typical-Nailhead sounds it might have made or is making. We all understand that and can relate to some of them from our own experiences, as many of us have offered possible issues. There might be some evolved thoughts of why things are the way things are, but you also have to respect the knowledge and expertise of the original rebuilder, as "bad" as it might be and the problems which you've been dealing with. At this point in time, all you (or anybody else in your situation) desires is to get things fixed right, things work right, and be done with it. Disparaging words about the first guy won't fix anything. Many engine machine shops, especially private shops that don't do installations and such, normally don't have "warranty coverage" on anything they didn't do. They have no control of how the engine was started initially, as they didn't do it. And if it's a "high performance" or "race engine", even less warranty coverage. This might seem counter to what most consumers might desire, but that's the pattern I have seen. If some issue results from a rebuild they did, if it's something they did, they fix it. If there is no mechanical problem with what they did, customer pays. IF there was an issue with assembly of the motor, other than a wear-related issue, it should show up reasonably soon, as you've experienced. It's easy to put 2+2 together and get "5" in your case. The guy does your motor, no real written warranty, then closes the shop and works for somebody else about the time your issues began. It can be inferred that he got out of town before the sheriff arrived, but we don't know what other things motivated that perceived situation. Perhaps he needed healthcare coverage and wanted somebody else's insurance plan to cover it? Who really knows? He DID do work and you paid him. I know you would have liked to have some recourse in this matter, but sometimes seeking that getting recourse can be more stressful than enduring the issues which arose from the work that was done. Twenty years ago, some auto supplies were selling reman Chevy 350 short blocks for $299.95 (from an out-of-state mass rebuilder) as my machine shop associate's normal long block rebuild was about $1500.00. The consumer would see two short blocks which looked the same, they'd go for the "best paint" or look usually, although my guy's long block would have known bulletproof machine work and innards that were "right". The new guy sounds like he is probably a good engine builder and hopefully should know that a Nailhead doesn't "build" like a Chevy motor might, although there can be some similarities. I'm hoping things work out well this time. I hope he will be open and share what he finds and tell you why it might have happened this way. It can be a great learning experience for you, by observation. But you MUST trust him and his judgment. Paying double is never any fun, but sometimes necessary to discover what the first time should have been. Life is a learning experience and has some costs . . . whether in time or money . . . so we know what to do next time. Other thing is that both of these guys might know or have knowledge of each other. Even friends? Which is one reason to head into this new relationship in a "fix it" orientation rather than otherwise. If things work out as I suspect, all of the things you might have wanted to say will be said by the new guy, at which time you can smile and agree. Let HIM say them, though! When and IF that happens, he'll know you wanted to say them, reasonably, too. NTX5467
  8. The fact the heads have been cut and then surfaced later could be interesting. Not in that both things were done, but on what equipment? The "rotating rock" surfacer or a cutting lathe surfacer (which has a much higher degree of control of how much is cut). The hardened insert itself might not crack, but the metal around it might be, given other information in threads about how much less metal is in that area than in other engines. Modern "cheap parts" are really not that bad, just that I'd term then for use in "used car lot" motors or "30K mile" motors. Motors which are "new/rebuilt", which can be a selling point, but were done "very economically" in parts costs. At your 5K miles, there should be no issues in that area. If it was at 50K and using oil or whatever, then your "money's worth" would be operable. In ANY event, don't "bad mouth" the first overhauler, just mention that you've been having some issues and need to get them addressed. That you'd like a full disassembly and inspection to see what's wrong in there before proceeding. Once you've seen the innards, a decision can be formulated to move forward. IF you have any questions about what is found, you can ask us in here. BUT, remember that this guy must be respected and hopefully you can guide him a little regarding which parts are used. Every engine builder has their own preferences as to what's worked best for them, in the past. He might even have access into the "rebuilder white box" parts, which are name-brand parts you see advertised but available to "the industry" at prices much less than to retail customers in their name-brand boxes. You want the best outcome and he's the one to make it happen . . . with whatever items he deems applicable. Worst case scenario? You might need another rebuildable block. My generic standard for engine things is "at least OEM-quality parts", which with correct machine work, should result in a 100K durability motor. Modern lubes and such, from the "after the first oil change at 3K miles) can make that happen. Some of those-spec parts are not nearly as expensive as the OEM parts were when the car was new, which is a good deal. Some upgrades to a rubber rear main seal might happen, too? Although he's a bit away from your location, consider making a few "progress" visits, but once he starts, it'll probably happen somewhat quickly. Let him source all of the parts, although y'all can talk about what he uses as he might have sources you don't know about, plus some old paper catalogs with part numbers (OEM and replacement vendor) that might still be available. Y'all talk about it. Y'all become friends. Ask questions. Pay when asked. The crate motor which has been "found"? Any assembly lubes used have probably evaporated by now, so it would need a major look-see inside BEFORE thinking of using it--period. A newer GM crate motor that has been "fire tested" (i.e., run rather than just assembled) is a different situation. There were some of the old LS7 Chevy 454 crate motors which were just assembled as a way to package the parts for sale. They came with no oil filter installed, just a piece of craft paper in the oil filter cut-out on the block. My machine shop operative always disassembled them for inspection BEFORE they went into a car. Those that were not inspected, had to be later torn-down due to debris internally (in some cases, rust in the oil passages) anyway. So, that Buick crate motor, in its current state, is just an assemblage of parts, assembled on the Buick engine assembly line, and at this time, nothing more. It is what it is, but it's not ready for prime time as it sits! Please keep us posted. NTX5467
  9. The cylinder wall "finish" can relate to the rings used in it. I know it sounds counter to all I've read, but I had a friend that was in the vehicle wholesale business. Buying at one auction and taking to another distant auction for resale. He had the somewhat common Chevy C-30 "2 car hauler" that was common in the later 1970s, with the requisite Chevy 454 V-8. Once, he was getting oil consumption issues, determined to be from the rings, so he pulled the engine apart and just put in new chrome-moly rings. NO touch of any cylinder bore hone, just check the end gap and put everything back together. It worked! I asked my engine machine shop associate about that and he reminded me that a chrome-moly ring needs a smoother surface against which to work than a normal chrome piston ring. Therefore, that "quick rebuild" worked just fine with that type of ring on a used engine with no cylinder wall scoring or "issues". Then, it all made sense. That particular engine had been rebuild by my associate a few years ago and had accumulated about 250K since then. Everything "inside" was known-good, just with a little wear. I suspect that as those 454s could run a little hotter in that use, with time, the tension of the rings might have decreased to allow for increased oil consumption. Therefore, all that was needed new rings of the correct type. Might not work that well for others, but in this case, it did. Key thing, to me, was that when the engine was rebuilt, it was done by a machinist that could do Chevy engines and do them RIGHT without thinking about it. Therefore, everything inside the engine was "known" with great machine work. This might not be the case of an initial engine rebuild from factory condition, but worn. Tommy knew how to build an engine that would last in that use, which was a huge asset! Although it was a common "plus .030" rebuild, dead-on machine work and quality assembly made it work better than new. NTX5467
  10. Oh, one other way to check comparative compression, with the engine running. This is a Cylinder Balance Test. Some of the roll-around Sunn engine testers had it, plus a "scope" for ignition traces. Punch one numbered button and deactivate ignition to that particular spark plug. Trace disappears from the display, rpm drop, note change. Repeat for each cylinder. This is the sophisticated way to do it. For the brave and those with a THICK rubber fender cover . . . with well-insulated shoes, or insulated spark plug pliers, OR all of these. With the engine running, you can remove each spark plug and listen to the rpm change. The weak cylinder will be obvious, although the engine runs smoothly with all plug wires attached, when that spark plug is disconnected. This all happens "analog" and in "real time" AND it happens quickly. You can disconnect the plug wire at the distributor cap or at the spark plug itself. Careful to not "get bit"! If and when that happens, involuntary muscle actions can result from your arm/hand and vocal cords, somewhat in sequence. A variable situation, by observation! Cheap entertainment for others, too! Doing this FIRST can locate where to look, not particularly what might be found (which other diagnostic actions might further winnow-down). Enjoy! NTX5467
  11. In my (much) younger days, I felt the need to get a compression tester. I got one of the screw-in models from Sears Craftsman tools. It worked as advertised. I tried to do things as my MOTOR manual said. On an acknowledged good-performing engine, it seemed it was more trouble than it was worth to go to the trouble to do this test. I tried it with the throttle at base idle, with the throttle open, added a little motor oil to the cylinder and re-checked, all of that. I STRONGLY CONCUR that cylinder balance is much more important than "pure numbers"! I heard some older guys (at that time) talking about supercharged Studebaker motors and how one of their friends had one that had 260psi of compression and how strong it ran. Considering the specs I'd seen on some other motors, that was VERY high indeed. I searched for some factory specs and those numbers weren't that high. So, how did they get compression check numbers THAT high? A "mystery" I never figured out, but I did find out what all affects cranking compression. Remember, the more cranking compression there is, the more the starter has to work AND the added strain on the battery and electrical system in order to simply make the car start! Basically, any service manual compression numbers will be under "ideal" conditions. That, like the SAE horsepower ratings, would include a physical elevation above sea level (at sea level), a particular ambient temperature, possibly a certain atmospheric pressure, AND "new" engine condition. In other words, "optimized" for best results on an engine just off the assembly line and possibly run-in on the engine stand (at the engine plant) for about 30 minutes BEFORE it goes to the hot and cold tests prior to shipment to the assembly plant. AND, with a known and somewhat consistent factory bore and hone job. To me, unless all of these factors are met, what happens "in the field" can vary in pure numbers generation. Kind of like what happens when "gross" horsepower ratings meet the reality of exhaust systems and engine-driven accessories, much less how much is absorbed by the drivetrain and tires before the vehicle moves from rest. The accumulation on that one spark plug is probably nothing terribly wrong. I've had some that came out that way too, even tan in color. I'd knock the accumulation off, dress and re-gap the plug, and put it back in the same hole and it works fine. A bone white insulator is probably best, but tan deposits are fine, too. Accumulations as you pictured are nothing seriously wrong, from my experiences. Knock off the accumulations, dress and re-gap to specs, ensuring the "V" is still in the center electrode, re-install, and proceed happily down the road. By the time you read this, you've probably already got into the motor. In more recent history, the video probe tools have become less expensive and are now used as non-invasive diagnostic tools. Some probes just have the video screen as others have "capture" and "memory" capabilities. This, like the infra-red non-contact thermometers (especially the one that goes past 500 degrees F), this video probe can be a good diagnostic tool (and learning how things look without turning a wrench). If more of the plugs had had accumulations as that one, the literature suggests "a clogged air cleaner". Allowing too much particulate into the engine. IF compression numbers are important to you, find an engine builder that has a Sunnen or Rotller mechanism that secures the bare block on the mains (after a line hone cleans things up), then can bore and power hone the cylinders (while the operator watches the Load Meter!!) with deck plates installed. Circulating 180 degree F fluid through the block as all of this happens (temperature fully stabilized!) can help. End result? When the cylinder heads are torqued onto the assembled cylinder block, the bores are still perfectly round for optimum piston ring sealing than and better later as all of the parts learn to better live together. All of this costs more to get done, but some mass-rebuilders are set-p to do it and it can give them a better product with fewer warranty issues. Not an endorsement, but finding a higher-level engine shop with these capabilities can probably lead to some expensive race car engine builders. Such an engine should be "better than new", for what it's worth. But any of them knowing how to specifically build a Buick Nailhead can be questionable. Building an engine from a "used core" is better than using a "green" new block as with the core block's dimensions will not "move" as the various hot/cold cycles accumulate, i.e., "cure" the metal. Oh, and get the block decked and the cylinder heads "cc'd" so everything will be a minimum blueprint specs. When my compression numbers didn't match the service manual specs, I consulted with the old-line service manager at the dealership. He quickly and matter-of-factly stated that a compression test ONLY tests the "compression ring" and has NO real test of the oil rings or other rings below the compression ring on the piston's side. So don't look to a compression test to check the condition of the oil rings, for example. Physical mechanical compression affects cranking cylinder pressure. Altitude and barometric pressure affect cylinder cranking pressure. Cranking speed can affect things, too, as can how mild or wild a camshaft is in the particular-size engine. Cylinder leakdown tests can pinpoint issues which are not yet large enough to cause performance issues (i.e., an exhaust valve just starting to "burn", but hasn't really progressed to where it affects performance) AND where they might be located in the engine. There are also some other non-invasive ways to check for burnt valve issues, such as with the engine at idle, put a red shop towel over the tail pipe exit. When the cylinder with the burnt exhaust valve is on the intake stroke, a big negative pressure pulse will result and the rag will be visibly sucked back into the pipe before the leaked compression pulse blows it back out. This can work best on a single exhaust system. Just as with using a vacuum gauge, I've never achieved the "numbers" many manuals quote, BUT I've observed the needle movement mentioned. End result, you can chase "numbers" as your heart might desire, but LOOKING and HEARING and FEELING what's happening can be a better course to follow. This can also give you a better "feel" of your engine and how it needs to be acting. Once you get really keyed into these things, you can usually do better diagnostics (once you get past the learning curve). Same with driving and feeling how the throttle responds to minor throttle inputs, going up hills, moving away from stop signs/red lights, etc. Some of these learning curves are lower as others take more time. To me, this is much more definitive on older vehicles than modern vehicles, in degree. More things to feel and listen to! I have no doubt that you got a decent rebuild on the engine, but it seems (from your various comments) that it could have been better. I think many have had that feeling, over time. I've also noticed that some shops can build certain engines just fine, but might have more "unseen" issues with other engines, although what we see looks the same. Plus that what some people call "acceptable" might not be that to others. A VARIABLE situation, by observation! You have to learn to read others and their orientations in many judgments of "good" or "fine", which can be an acquired education of sorts. Being in a more remote geographical location, you sometimes have to deal with what you have locally, unfortunately, but as Old-Tank mentions, you also have to know what the builder used in gaskets and such, too. Look at what you have, understanding that it's not 1956 or 1960 any more and we have to deal with what's NOW available in building engines. Some things are much better in quality and value as others are "will fit many engines" in nature, but still being of quality materials. Some things might not meet "the numbers", but can still be at least as durable as any OEM part might have been in prior times. Keep us posted on your progress! NTX5467
  12. The Mopar Club I'm in is taking a trip to Hemi Hideout soon (I'm not going), but it strikes me as an event venue for a collector that needed/desired a neat place to house the collection. The webpage looks pretty impressive, but not your typical "museum". Every so often, Sam Pack hosts car club tours at his place in northern Dallas. A local AACA group toured it a while back. There are probably more car collections around than we know about. NTX5467
  13. Looks good. Just be carefull to not over-torque the air cleaner stud wing nut to make sure the upper housing seals good against the filter's top. NTX5467
  14. The A.I.R pumps have valving and manifolding which end with the exhaust manifold. I do remember some had belt-driven vacuum pumps, but I'll have to research that some more. ALSO, on some diesel medium-duty trucks I ran across something called "vacuum generator" which was a small mechanism that had one vacuum line "in" and one "out" that went to the a/c system to work the actuators. I'll have to research that, too, as I sold a few of them back in the 1990s. NTX5467
  15. There are some spin-on filters which have an internal anti-drainback valve in them as others the same size do not. Might need to get in the back of the filter book, in the "Specs" section to find this information. Or others that might fit. NTX5467