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430 Wildcat Engine: PCV Grommet HELL

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Well, I used to be one who believed it could not happen to me. I thought I was too meticulous and careful to let it happen. I'd heard stories of it happening to others, and figured I would not befall that fate. I was wrong.

A few weeks ago, I attempted to install a new PCV grommet into the engine of my 67 Riviera. It fell inside. I attempted to pick it up with the wrong tool, and pushed it off the valley pan gasket, where it fell underneath the gasket and onto my camshaft. Many different methods of extracting it were tried. All were unsuccessful. Leaving it in there to get chewed by the cam, then have engine heat break it down into bits to clog the oil pump pickup screen, was not an option. It had to come out of there.

Time for some heavy lifting.




The grommet was lying right on top of the cam lobes for cylinder #8: invoking certain disaster had I turned the key with it sitting there. Now, with the manifold on my bench, installing the grommet should be a piece of cake.


Even with the manifold off the engine, the rubber part kept pushing through the hole. I needed to soften the rubber up a little bit:


...with the old tea kettle. A few minutes in the boiled water did the trick:


So, with everything clean & ready to go back together, what else could go wrong?



Bolt #2 decided to give me some more grief. Thank the maker for left-handed drill bits:


This bolt, and one other gave me some trouble. When the instructions say to blow out all of the bolt holes and run a tap down them, they should say: "or else you will BREAK bolts." I thought I'd done a thorough job blowing the holes clean: apparently they were not clean enough.

While I had things apart, I also decided to address the worn fuel inlet threads on the Q-Jet. I'd threaded the deepest part of the inlet and used a long inlet nut, but the fix seemed shaky at best. Occasionally, I'd smell gas while driving and pop the hood to see fuel spraying from the side: not good. I broke out the Helicoil kit. Using a 57/64" drill bit by hand is an interesting experience.

Now, I am happy to report everything is back together and humming along nicely.




Edited by lemmy-67 (see edit history)

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Good info Lemmy. I am glad that you are up and running. I have played with these before and luckily, did not have as many problems as you. But I can certainly see how easily one could end up with your same dilemma.

Consider packaging a hard copy of your story with the pictures and send to Pete to put into the Bugle. I bet there are many offliners that could benefit from your experience.

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