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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'
  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
  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 chec
  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 a
  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 had
  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.
  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 actua
  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 b
  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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