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guides for rebuilding a straight 6?


Guest pyrodork
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Guest pyrodork

maybe this is a dumb question, but i'm going to be doing (at least) a partial rebuild of my 37 straight 6 engine (valves, pistons). i've never done anything like this since my lame small engines class back in 1996. i can't for the life of me find any videos or manuals describing the process; nor do i know what to do. is there a guide; online, video, or book, that could help me? the shop manual doesn't go into a whole lot of detail about disassembly/assembly. i do have the book, "souping the stock engine," but that deals 99% with ford/chevy engines and is also not a manual of sorts. this will be a project i'll do at the pace of finances and decent working temperatures.

if it means anything (i don't know what it means), but on the left side of my engine near the water pump, there's a tag that says, "for parts specify model 219." i thought this was a 201ci engine? my piston bore measures 3-1/8", so i know that's my piston size... but how do i know what size rings to buy? cylinders look fine (but will hone anyway), and valves have some buildup which i assume is good or normal for its age. the frontmost piston (#6?) has dings in the top of it. the next one (#5?) is cracked all the way across, and had no resistance when i pushed down on it (after the pic... it moved down an inch or so)... which means that's my problem one. hopefully my rods are fine. see pics for what i'm referring to. haven't gotten the oil pan off yet due to an internal dent that occurred next to a bolt, and now i can't get it off.

and for what it's worth, i think my engine suffered detonation/pre-ignition; which caused something to break; which caused the gaping hole in my oil pan (as i'm assuming by reading page 159 of 'souping the stock engine'). it started knocking for maybe a minute or two before it blew. however, i'm not sure what caused it to happen. i'm missing the counterweight on my heat riser... maybe that's it? age? water pump failure? the wire for my temp gauge was cut out when i got the car, so i'm not sure about that. ideas?

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you should remove the pan and see if the engine is in a condition to be rebuilt. If so remove all the internal parts and keep them sorted as to location and position to each other. Take the rebuild-able block and head to an auto machine shop. First have it checked for cracks and measured for wear, then you can order whatever will be needed to rebuild it. Good luck!

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The basic Dodge/Plymouth L-6 engine was used in cars from 1933 through 1959 and in industrial applications until around 1972. Nearly a 40 year run for the design. There are differences, full length water jacket and water distribution tube introduced in 1935, bored and/or stroked in different years. Bearings changed in some years, etc. So while the process is about the same for all, the individual parts you'll need will be based on your specific engine. You can use almost any factory service manual from 1934 (first year for the factory service manual) up for instructions on repair of that engine. I recall that the 66 Dodge truck FSM manual had a section on it.

Anyway, the tag that says "for parts specify model 219" indicates that it is either a replacement engine or engine rebuilt by a large rebuilding firm. Probably had non-standard (over or under) parts, so you and/or your machinist will have to measure what you need. Parts are pretty available for all those engines.

But if the engine is too far gone, replacements are not too hard to come by either. If you are not worried about judged shows requiring a matching number engine (engine number starting with P4 for 1937 Plymouths) then pretty much any Plymouth or Dodge passenger car engine from 1933 through 1959 can be just bolted in.

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Guest pyrodork

not too concerned about judging. i don't even want it to get that nice, haha. its $15 spray paint job is fine for me.

guy i bought the car from had a 360 with J heads from a late 60's/early 70's dodge truck that he intended to rebuild and put in this car; 4bbl offy manifold. that plus two different styled 4-spd mopar transmissions (that should fit the 360 engine), and a 73 challenger rear end (7:28?) for $600. not sure if he still has all that, but i don't have the extra money right now anyway. i'd like to keep the car stock if i can. i don't have the friends or the equipment to do an engine swap. i was thinking about buying them anyway if i had the money, though. just in case.

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