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biodegraded

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  1. Thanks for all the great info. And fast! I checked the master cylinder and it was empty. Couldn't find any signs of leaking either from master cylinder or near drums. Linkage was working OK. So I filled up the cylinder and tried pumping the pedal. Pumped many times and nothing improved. Tried to remove the cylinder cap and see if I could see fluid moving while breaks were pumped but it was hard to tell. Didn't see any leaks around master cylinder. Pumped some more and it got a little mushy pressure for one or two pumps and then went back to nothing. That's when I discovered the leak from one of the lines near the back on the driver's side. Must have had a pin hole that leaked all the fluid out then blew out bigger when I was pumping the pedal. I'm nervous fixing the brakes myself so I'm having it towed to my mechanic to have all the brake lines inspected and replaced if necessary. If he discovers that the master cylinder is also bad, are there rebuilt units available? Thanks again everyone for the help.
  2. Yes. I think that's right. How do I bleed the brakes? I'm lost without a manual.
  3. In need of some urgent help. My 53 special has been at the shop getting a new headliner put in for the last week. When I came to pick it up, the brakes are completely dead. Pedal goes straight to the floor with no resistance. I don't have access to my manuals and have yet to even touch the brakes myself. Could someone give me some diagnosing steps? Or maybe I just have to tow it to a shop at this point?
  4. Update: I tested the coolant pressure using a borrowed test kit (thanks for the suggestion, Ben!). After tightening a few leaky hose clamps, the system held 10psi with no problem for an extended time. Changed the oil and didn't see any more coolant. Then it dawned on me. When I first filled up the coolant and had the leak out of the temp sensor hole, I didn't have the spark plugs in. That sensor hole is right above the spark plug hole for cylinder #8. I'm sure it ran right down into the cylinder and I didn't even notice. ??‍♂️ It sat for multiple days like that before I did anything in terms of cranking it. This is bad for the lubrication in cylinder#8, but I think it at least allowed the coolant to leak down into the crank case. I also cranked it once or twice before putting the spark plugs in. So I'm pretty sure I didn't have any fluids left in there by the time I went to actually start it, which I'm hoping means I avoided any type of hydrolock damage. This mistake could have been disastrous, but by luck I think I avoided the worst of it. The way it's running smoothly now confirms this in my mind, but I'll continue to monitor for signs of a blown head gasket or any other signs of coolant in the oil. Thanks to everyone for their help and guidance in this long, but satisfying rebuild. I'm just so glad she's finally running again! Special thanks to Ben Bruce for locating those used pistons for me! Attached is a video of it running with the valve cover of that I took while doing a final adjustment to eliminate a tick. If any of you with more experienced ears hear anything I should investigate, let me know. IMG_0799.MOV
  5. I did not see significant steam or any white smoke coming from exhaust. I didn't check for back pressure in the radiator because I didn't realize this could be a problem until I went to change the oil. If I run it again, I'll take the radiator cap off and see if I get bubbling. If I can find an inexpensive radiator pressure gauge or way to do a coolant leak down, I may try that, too. I'll look to see if more coolant has dripped into the pan since it's been sitting. I did have the head surfaced, but not the block, as that remained in the car. And I'll check the plug tips as well. Thanks for the suggestions.
  6. I have one last possibility that might avoid disaster. Tell me what you think. I didn't want to remove the distributor because I didn't want to have to redo the timing. Which means I left the cover for the lifter valley in place. Therefore, that lifter valley cover did not get a new gasket or sealant between it and the head. I did try and squirt a little rtv silicone into the space between the cover and the head, but I don't expect it really made a good seal. So here's my thought and my last hope for not having to pull the head again. The temp sensor hole sits right above that lifter cover. What if while it was pouring out of that hole, it found a crack in the sealant and leaked straight into the lifter valley? My idea for testing this is to dye some engine oil with UV leak testing dye. Then pour it over the temp sensor to simulate as if it were coming out of that hole. Then drain the oil and see if any of the UV dye made it into the pan. If it did, then maybe that's what happened and I don't have to pull the head again. If it doesn't (or if I see more coolant in the oil, obviously) then I'll pull the head again. What do you guys think of my plan? Am I just in denial or is that a plausible, testable theory?
  7. Update and serious question. First the update. I got the top end put back together. Got the oil pan back on. Went to fill her with Fluids. While filling with coolant I heard a significant leak. That's when I discovered that I had forgotten to install the temperature sensor in the cylinder head and coolant was freely following out of that hole. Installed the temp sensor, got everything else buttoned up and she wouldn't start. Did a compression check and there were serious issues. Several cylinders had zero compression and most others were low (70-80). I realized I hadn't adjusted the rocker arms/valves, so I did that. That was my problem as all cylinders except one were now reading 120. The one low was reading 100. This was a good sight better than what it was, so I thought I'd still try to fire her up. After some coaxing, she started up and sounded ok. She had a little stutter every few seconds, but was otherwise strong. I let her run for about 20 min at what I guessed was 2500 rpm (no tach). Then I went to change the oil as I had planned. To my chagrin, I saw bright green coolant coming out of the oil pan when I pulled the plug. A good amount of coolant and oil came out for a few seconds and then it became more and more just oil. Here is my serious question: did I botch the head gasket installation or is it possible that not installing the temp sensor allowed coolant into the oil? Should I change the oil, start it up and let it run for a few minutes and see if more coolant gets in or is that asking for trouble? I will say that I had some trouble with installing the cylinder head. It took some persuading to get it to seat right on the pins. I did not put any kind of sealant on the gasket. As always, the help is very much appreciated. IMG_0788.MOV
  8. They aren't all like this. I posted pics of all the ones with pitting. I see that CARS lists individual lifters for sale. So I think I'll just replace these five or six that are bad.
  9. I can't inspect the cam very carefully as the engine is still in the car and I can only look at it through the lifter holes. But I definitely don't want to replace the cam. I'm already in over my head and am just hoping to make it out alive.
  10. I know that if time and money were unlimited, I would probably bore the cylinders due to the high number of broken rings. However, given my current circumstances, I've decided to hone the cylinders and install new rings and hope to get 10-20k on the engine before I need to take more drastic action. That being said, I have completed the honing of the cylinders and all the pistons with new rings are finally installed. I'm almost ready to reinstall the head. My question today is about lifters. I took out all the lifters to inspect and found some that have some pretty severe pitting. I made sure to keep them in order. So, given the knowledge that many rings were broken and I'm only honing and installing new rings hoping for a moderate lifetime on this rebuild, should I worry about replacing these lifters? Are any of these OK to reuse? I've attached some pictures of the lifters as well as the cylinder walls post honing. There is some vertical scoring, but they aren't deep enough to really feel with my fingers, so I'm just going to go with it. As always, everyone's help is much appreciated.
  11. Update on my situation. Since I had to buy a whole set of rings, I went ahead and pulled all the pistons with the goal of replacing all the rings. Boy am I glad I did (at least so far; I may yet screw things up bad enough to make me regret it). Four other pistons had broken rings. And I don't think it was just from pushing the pistons out, based on the condition of the rings. Two had the top compression ring broken, one had both compression rings broken, and one had the top ring broken so badly that it deformed the groove to the point where one small piece of broken ring was actually under another piece of broken ring (i.e. the groove is now double the width in that spot). So that leads me to my latest question: anyone ever regroove a piston and put a spacer in? Or have a custom size ring made? I found a company in Cleveland that can make custom ring sizes but I don't know the price. I really don't want to have to buy a whole set of pistons.
  12. Any advice for those of us that have converted to 12v? Would it damage the clock to hook it up directly to the 12v system? Could I just add a resistor in series to bring the voltage down?
  13. The rings were broken and fell off when I pulled it out. They were broken in several places. So they are not in the pictures but they all came out. No huge chunks in the pan. I can feel one scratch on the cylinder wall, but it is very slight. Overall, I was surprised the cylinder wall wasn't obviously worse. I have not checked taper. The ridge on this cylinder was very slight. Just enough to feel but not enough to catch a finger nail on. So I didn't even bother reaming it or honing it down before removing the piston. I'll try and check taper myself with my digital calipers and a bore gauge. Any advice on how bad it can get before I need to bore? I'm hoping that because there wasn't a big ridge and the piston is standard size, the cylinder won't be too bad. I really don't want to pull the whole block, so I'm going to lean toward putting in a new piston and driving it unless it's way out of spec. Thanks everyone for the advice.
  14. I finally got the piston out. It looks weirder than I imagined with large burnout gaps in the side. All the rings were broken so I couldn't tell if the gaps were aligned. Maybe the broken rings caused the holes in the piston or maybe the holes caused the rings to break? I checked the piston and it seems to be standard size, so now I know what size I need. I also got the head back from the machine shop so as soon as I get a new piston and rings, I'll be ready to reassemble.
  15. I'm interested in this topic as well as I have a similar issue with my '53. Does adjusting the park gear using the method mentioned affect any of the other drive or reverse gears?
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