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1956 Crankshaft End Dimensions


Beemon
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I'm looking for the correct crankshaft end dimensions. I'm not sure what to call this area, but its the smoothed part of the crank that sticks out of the block with the key. I measured the diameter to be about 1.5" with a 1/4" key. Is this correct?

I'm looking for a crank socket to turn the crank. I can't get the flex plate to turn and I need to get the engine out. My tax return came back two months and I can't drop it on the engine without getting it out and seeing what I've got. :P Its been sitting for over 30 years without the heads on the block and I'm pretty sure the rings are seized to the cylinder walls.

Was looking at this socket here. Will it fit properly?

Here she is as she sits right now:

post-76469-143142550147_thumb.jpg

post-76469-143142550147_thumb.jpg

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If the rings are seized your best leverage will be realized with a pry bar in the ring gear in both directions. Most likely a socket on the crank won't do it. I would suggest soaking the cylinders with a penetrating oil for at least a week often longer. A 50/50 mix of acetone and ATF gets good reports. You may have to remove the heads and rap the pistons often with a block of wood and hammer and soak some more. Sometime the engine must be disassembled piece meal.........Bob

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I think what you may have is a boat anchor. Even if you got it to turn i imagine its unsalvageable. It may be best to look for a replacement engine and trans and set that one aside so you can do some long term soaking.

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A .020/.030/.040 rebore should cleanup any cylinder bore damage and I've seen seized engines that ran just fine as is once they were freed. It's amazing how little can seize them up. My Olds engine was frozen but I broke it loose with the soak/pry bar method. When I tore it down the only evidence of it being stuck was some staining on the walls. I wouldn't give up just yet.................Bob

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I have the same job staring at me with my '57 DeSoto. The engine is complete, but locked up tight. Every chemical you can think of has been poured down the carb throat and left to soak for years. I figure one of three scenarios has occurred. Either the coolant leaked out, and the engine ran hot to the point of welding a piston to the cylinder wall, or the oil level became depleted to the point that either a rod or crank bearing seized to the crankshaft, or a head gasket let go, and leaked coolant into a cylinder and seized. The way I plan to tackle the problem is to unbolt the motor mounts and raise the engine as high as I can (without wrecking anything) to facilitate removal of the oil pan. Then I'll remove one rod cap and examine the bearing surface to see if it's scored. If it looks okay, I'll lightly tap on the connecting rod to see if it moves. This will tell me if the piston is free to move within the cylinder. If it moves, I'll put a little assembly grease on the bearing cap, and reinstall it, and move on to the next one until I've done all eight. Once that's done, I'll do the same to the main bearing caps. Between each bearing cap removal, I'll lightly pry on the ring gear to see if the crank turns in either direction. After all that, I should have a pretty good idea as to why the engine won't turn, and then devise an appropriate plan of further action. Good Luck to both of us!

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The heads are off and the pistons have been soaking for almost two weeks now in a mixture of PB blaster and Marvel Mystery Oil. I also pounded quit a bit on the pistons with a hammer and wooden block already. This has been ongoing for the last month with no movement. I tried getting a pry bar on the flew plate but haven't had any success. Any tips on how to rock it back and forth?

Finding a replacement engine and trans locally might be a hassle for me. If I have to replace the engine and trans, I'll most likely gut the underside and replace everything front to back. Would like to keep it stock.

Edited by Beemon (see edit history)
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I'm just trying to be practical here so let me expand on my post above.

Initially my thought is: this year Buick car is a fun car to own, but it likely will never achieve a "classic" car standard by which a concours restoration is required. That is not to say a concours restoration would be inappropriate, but instead, intended to say it is unlikely that a 56 Buick will ever appreciate enough to cover the cost of a concours restoration. If there will never be enough appreciation to cover those costs, then how original does it have to be?

For purposes of Buick Club 400 point judging, if you have a 1956 motor and transmission, you are good to go. It need not be the original engine to the car. And securing such an engine has it's difficulties but is much more probable than unsticking a engine which has sat for 30 years, without the heads, and doing so without major damage. You have 8 cylinders which all must be free enough to turn a little to even rock the thing. Add to that the possibility that the camshaft is stuck, requiring removal of the timing chain at a minimum. You have already pounded on the pistons, which are aluminum, and the block is cast iron which is durable but not immune to fracture. So, after all the work to rotate the engine it may not even be rebuildable. And if you do not need "the " original engine, which, BTW, can cost multi thousands to bore and rebuild, then why invest so much in that original block.

My 56 Super has a replacement motor from a 56 Roadmaster. I do not advertise that my car is original. I none the less consider it to be a stock 1956 Buick. And I estimate 98 % of the people who look at it consider it to be original. Your engine, if it's rebuilt, is also no longer original. It might be the original motor, but it's not original.

Now, I do not know where you live but I can point out several methods to secure such an engine. I have seen these engines on various craigslist ads throughout the country. You can also post a wanted ad on this site. You can look for just an engine or an entire car. 56 Buicks are not ultra rare, and any model except a 56 Special will suffice. While even the Special in 56 had the 322 engine it also sported a two barrel carb and appropriate sized cam. If I am seeing things right it looks like you have a Super? So you would prefer a factory 4 bbl engine. If you estimate $2.00 per mile for transporting an entire car you might see that the cost of transporting an entire car is less than the cost of a rebuild, if you ever get the engine unstuck. If we knew what state you lived in someone may know of an existing engine that would suffice that is much closer than one might think. Chances are good that you can find a running car which may not even need an engine or transmission rebuild.

However, I would never attempt to dictate what someone might do with their own car. It's yours. If one more is gutted and converted to something else, it does raise the value of my own, even if it is not original.

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Push the pistons out. I fabricated a metal plate and using the head bolts and parts of a substantial puller, rigged a method to push on the pistons. Sometimes this will get the whole thing turning; other times I had to remove all the main and rod caps and push individually. Once I did all that work and the machine shop demonstrated some cracks in the block.

Willie

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I live in Washington, Seattle area specifically. This is my first project, the car belongs to my Grandpa. I'm still a little bit new to this hobby. If I could find a working engine and transmission that would be ideal. I have no intention of selling or giving up the car anytime soon. I don't post a lot either but you guys have all been a big help through reading.

It's a Century by the way. :)

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  • 4 weeks later...

On my '57 Ford, I had one cylinder that water got into and seized the piston to the cylinder wall. With the head removed, I cleaned up the top of the piston and exposed portion of the cylinder wall as best I could. Then I applied a gentle heat to the cylinder wall with a propane torch as evenly as I could. The thought being that the cylinder would expand enough to allow penetrating oil to do its job. After several applications, along with taps from a hammer and block of wood, the piston broke free and now the motor purrs like a kitten.

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