Sign in to follow this  
Bill Stoneberg

64 Riviera, something let go in the engine

Recommended Posts

After almost 100,000 mile and just when I had the car running good and shifting good, something let go in the engine while driving on the freeway.

A horrible clatter ensued, and my car looked like a mosquito fogger.

Dont know what it is yet, but the engine is coming out.

Question, can the engine come out without taking the grill assembly off ? Is there enough room to do that ?

Also, how hard is it to get to the upper transmission bolts without a lift ?

Thanks all….

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Before pulling the engine you might want to check the 'easy' things first such as a failed water pump. A sudden release of coolant on a hot manifold might account for the fogging. When I say 'easy' I simply mean in relation to removing the engine.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with Eric. Do some troubleshooting before making costly (time and money) decisions.

Tom Mooney

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry to hear, Bill. Yes, the engine can come out after the radiator/fan come off and the trans can be unbolted without a lift-of course, you have to get underneath for some of that and exhaust-mounts,ect. I figure you know the origin of the 'cloud' as to coolant or oil. If 100k original, probably has engine needs, but I'd also troubleshoot as much as possible before pulling-good luck-Dan Mpls. Mn.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The heads are easy to pull. Do a compression check and take the head off the suspicious side.

You can drop the pan by lifting the engine 4 or 5 inches. Be sure to remove the fan shroud and you'll have to use a 1/4" drive socket set to remove the four pan bolts above the crossmember.

Those two steps will get you inside so you know what happened.

The short distance between the firewall and the crossmember makes pulling the engine and tranny together tight, but you can do it. Raise the car and lift from the front of the engine the assembly will be almost verticle when it comes out.

When my piston disintegrated the rod didn't jam. It just rattled around in the bore like a little ball pein hammer and the car kept running. I thought it was a bent push rod; it sounded so innocent.

Bernie

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have every intention of troubleshooting first. Working on the suspect head now. Its not coolant, I wish it was that easy.

I am thinking I dropped a valve or something worse.

When I crank it for doing a compression check it makes a horrible noise.

More later on...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Now I am back from my morning Buick meeting and pulling the plugs from the other side. The side I thought was OK...

This is never a good sign when a plug looks like the one on the right below. Looks like something came out and abused it badly.

post-30710-143142266531_thumb.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Compression, what is compression…

From the front on the passenger side

150 lbs

145 lbs

10 lbs

150 lbs

As was said about Marie Antoinette "Off with the head".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am surprised I have any compression at all I only have 1/2 of one piston.

A valve looks like it broke and took every thing else with it.

Pictures soon...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OK Bill: After rebuilding several 425's I have come to the conclusion that a quality rebuild with quality parts is really the only way to go. That would be .30 over and a parts list from one of the Buick parts vendors.

The 425 was never that great to begin with and now it's equal with the 401's of 64, 65 and 66 vintage in the fact that Father Time has cast his giant shadow on the whole Magilla. The good news? If you wind up doing a quality rebuild you can really enjoy your 4747 for a long time. There ain't nothin' like a Nailhead that's hitting on all 8 with 150 pounds in every cylinder! Mitch

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I Dont know if it damaged the wall as the piston is all the way up at the moment and I couldn't find a socket to turn the engine. I am hoping its not too bad.

But considering it looks like grenade was dropped in the cylinder, I am not holding out hope.

The other 3 look real good though.

Here is a picture of what I found when I pulled the head.

post-30710-143142268236_thumb.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ouch, yep, looks like a valve let go, and it was playing frog in a blender. Hopefully your block is not damaged.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is the rod still attached to the piston or did it yank the pin out the bottom? You might have gotten lucky, but you need to have that block fluxed/sonic checked if their are no holes in it. If it has a hole, it will need a sleeve. Is your car matching numbers?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Make sure, whatever path your repair takes, that you thoroughly clean out the intake manifold for possible metal debris. When a piston is pumping metal around it can get into places which at first thought dont seem very likely. You dont want to "process" any of that piston thru your newly repaired engine.

Tom Mooney

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Matching numbers, is there such a thing on the Riviera's ? I have the original motor in it.

I have not gotten far enough into this to tell if the rod is still attached. I think so as I did a compression test and it registered on the guage.

Tom, thatnks for the advice on the intake, I will make sure I check that. That would suck (literally) to get metal into a rebuild engine.

I cant wait to pull the pan and see what the part of the intake valve looks like and how much more stuff is in the pan.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I ask about the matching numbers because if that is the case, I would rebuild that motor to keep it original. If it's a replacement, I would build/buy another motor. Hopefully the rod is still attached to the piston. If it is, you have a good chance of saving that block.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Got the motor out today and on the stand. Then pulled the pan. I got a baggie full of metal that looked like piston, rings and other assorted parts. Oil filter screen is full of metal shavings. Like someone said up above it looked a frog in a blender. This will be a fun one to pull apart and diagnose.

Engine was actually pretty easy to pull, a lot easier and lighter then the Straight 8's I am used to in my other cars.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Check out the worst of 3 pistons This is the one where the valve dropped into. [ATTACH=CONFIG]227133[/ATTACH]

could a timing chain failure been the cause of the valve tearing up that piston? What would cause a valve to just let go? I have a numbers matching 65 rivi gs and i shudder at the thought of the block being ruined beyond repair.

arnulfo

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

could a timing chain failure been the cause of the valve tearing up that piston? What would cause a valve to just let go?

Adnulfo, The valve stem broke in half right above the valve, dropping it into the combustion chamber. There it acted like a large ball bearing in a dishwasher full of glass. It broke at least 3 pistons and I dont trust any of the rest and it broke the bottom of some cylinders. I still had compression and I am hoping I dont have to have them sleeved. Will know more after I take it to the machine shop.

John, I will keep you in mind for the pistons as I dont know what I will need yet. I would perfer not to go oversized if I can avoid it.

Good news is that the crank looked good, no scoring or scratches on the rod bearing surfaces. Going to pull the mains tonoght and look at them. Oil pump screen was full of metal particles though. I pulled a baggie of metal out of the bottom of the engine.

Edited by Bill Stoneberg (see edit history)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bill,

the one valve that broke also got into thre other cylinders? Wow! Any idea how the debris from the one broken valve got into the other cylinders or is there a possibility that other valves failed? Trying to learn as much as i can about these beautiful old classics.

gracias,

arnulfo

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So the valve broke, beat a hole through the piston dropped into the bottom end where it bounced off the crank and hitting pistons and breaking chunks off the bottom of the bores. At least 4 of the bores will need to be sleeved and I may just go ahead and do all of them to be safe. This way I can stay with stock pistons.. more to come after visiting machine shop

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this