Kosage Chavis

1955 Buick Century

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I’m curious to see the condition of your Nailhead’s oil pan sump! Sludge? Clean? Wud’ja find in there? Hidden gold coins?

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Did some more work on the engine last weekend.  Removed the hydraulic lifters as shown. 20200110_151459.thumb.jpg.b054bf21d8dee4d05c4fa2bcdba0e62a.jpgJust use your finger to push each lifter out of its bore from the bottom as shown.20200110_152631.thumb.jpg.c609f5f87cae1e60a61127684315c624.jpgShowing site of removal. 20200110_160527.thumb.jpg.63da1d00531830f4310b6d458a1621db.jpg

I am not sure if I will be reusing these lifters, but just in case I do, I was sure to keep track of each lifter in regards to how each particular one was arranged.  All lifters were entirely coated with grease and then placed into its own zip lock bag.  Each baggie was marked with the side of the engine it came from (DS or PS) and what order (1 thru 8; 1 being the front).20200110_153109.thumb.jpg.1693f121271a5d07fb5e7bed8984077d.jpgI then quickly made a divider.20200110_151536.thumb.jpg.bcb7089f01a9a37b055d3ea69a55cb39.jpgGrabbed a small box to fit the divider in.20200110_151625.thumb.jpg.5868a5cf00ea8df96b6384089597ed4e.jpgAnd placed the lifters in the box in the same manner they were while in the engine.20200110_160542.thumb.jpg.6e6aa191548867f45dde273c161d2736.jpgI also marked the box to indicate the proper arrangement as a back up.20200110_160911.thumb.jpg.922c17eb6b2d0f6f45ad5279783e3ae3.jpgThat took care of the lifters.

 

Next, I emptied the oil from the engine.20200110_141215.thumb.jpg.59870f58fbeab145c5cb4338d46f4945.jpg

 

I then started the oil pan removal.20200110_162818.thumb.jpg.6504242ed0e23182e0bafc3dad4ae5e7.jpgJust remove all bolts at the flange as shown by my helpful Daughter.20200110_162529.thumb.jpg.cc907391f81da87e0dd7a9a3c03e08c9.jpgAnd of course my Son helped keep all bolts in one spot.20200110_164019.thumb.jpg.6ca180a7a900bdf3fc7f1cafa27c7401.jpgOnce all bolts are removed, I took a rubber mallet and tapped on the sides of the oil pan until the seal was broken.  Lift up and off.  Remove.  Showing the removal site (as requested@Sean Batiz)20200110_164810.thumb.jpg.419c4140b74872868bfb41f863bba744.jpgShowing oil pan removed from engine.20200110_164823.thumb.jpg.3ba319dca036ebffa9f6520b1533ad18.jpgOverall, all the tasks in this post were easy.

 

Note: there was virtually no sludge at the bottom of the oil pan.  I had previously replaced the gasket when the car was still running.  The old gasket failed and it leaked a lot of oil.  While I had the oil pan removed, I cleaned it out.  At that time, there was a good amount of hardened sludge in the oil pan.

Edited by Kosage Chavis (see edit history)
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Cute pit crew!

The lifters and cam are broken in together. Not sure how far you plan to go with the rebuild. I can say I replaced the lifters on a 56 can that was already broken in with no issues.  I guess the mic of the cylinders will dictate the best route on this rebuild. Thanks for sharing. 

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On 1/14/2020 at 7:54 PM, avgwarhawk said:

Cute pit crew!

The lifters and cam are broken in together. Not sure how far you plan to go with the rebuild. I can say I replaced the lifters on a 56 can that was already broken in with no issues.  I guess the mic of the cylinders will dictate the best route on this rebuild. Thanks for sharing. 

I definitely will be going all "all out" on this engine.  Thank you.

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Messing around with engine today.  Can anyone explain this?  Looks like someone grinded away part of the counterweights on the crank. 20200117_162414.thumb.jpg.2d7759cb7414751cc1de49091912a8cb.jpg Was this something that was done on the assembly line to balance the engine or maybe clear a foul?  It's only on some parts of the crank, not all.  Here's a part of the crank that looks normal.20200117_162424.thumb.jpg.ac5b1edeacda1adee7de613affc058fa.jpgAlso, probably not an issue, but on this one part of the crank, one drilled hole runs right into another, leaving a thin piece of metal.  20200117_162552.thumb.jpg.5b6d6c065ceac72c0433d7594d6dbd01.jpgIs this a potential issue?  Thank you.

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I’m surprised that you haven’t received any feedback from your questions yet. I’d like to throw some knowledge/experience opinions your way but, myself, I honestly don’t have a good answer for these questions. That said, if that were my crankshaft, I’d probably assume those grounded off areas were definitely due to some sort of final balancing steps, as you were suspecting. As for the metal flash material between the two balancing holes, I “might” consider carefully cleaning that bridge out to a clean edge or, just leave it alone. You figure that that Nailhead was presumably a good/decent runner for the many miles/years of operation it delivered and, the fact that you were able to get it back to running decent/fair before breaking it down, concludes that its crank issues you’ve spotted out, ought not have been a detrimental problem (🤞🏼). It’ll be a fine running engine for many years/miles to come, especially after you’ve finished its meticulous rebuild, whether or not you do anything to that crank, other than the standard polishing of its journals. Take it down to a reputable shop that can spin it to check how balanced it actually is. It just might be perfect exactly as is👌!

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Aside from that gibberish rant (too much coffee today!), you might wanna consider purchasing BRAND NEW rod/cap bolts & nuts hardware for it! Just a thought....

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I am still hoping someone can answer the questions I posed in the previous post.  

 

More work done with the engine.  Removed the valley divider as shown.20200117_132103.thumb.jpg.1cc2c5934b17f3d1183f547ea46d69e4.jpgRemove 2 bolts as shown.20200117_132114.thumb.jpg.67ca35e996cb79ba6b231e0224adcfab.jpgRemove.  Showing site of removal.20200117_132403.thumb.jpg.6b81334ab399ea7ba6371bd20c99efcc.jpgShowing valley divider removed from the engine.20200117_132413.thumb.jpg.8b6df6a5fbff796ccad7166a329bb462.jpg

 

Next, I removed both head gaskets. 20200117_132441.thumb.jpg.dbe56acf050122120dfdac02f9d23d23.jpgJust slide off of the dowels.  Showing site of removal.20200117_132630.thumb.jpg.a308a740a3385a98b478e65997b1c55a.jpgShowing head gaskets removed from the engine.20200117_132636.thumb.jpg.17ecb010ee1e82f4bca4a7d141e37120.jpg

 

Next, I removed the timing chain cover as shown.20200117_132716.thumb.jpg.8b60de4b18b5e086e9a4970106e8c6ca.jpgIn my case, I only had 5 bolts to remove.  It looked to me that there should be more.  After removing all bolts, the cover will more than likely be stuck to the gasket.  Keep in mind that the cover is aligned by 2 dowels.  Place a wooden or plastic wedge right here.20200117_133928.thumb.jpg.7db274d75708382f2664f9435f92bb59.jpgTap the wedge till the cover separates from the block.  Slide off of the dowels and remove.  Showing site of removal.20200117_135334.thumb.jpg.6b85487d7ef695f2838e3fbc62a958e8.jpgShowing timing chain cover removed from the engine.20200122_164655.thumb.jpg.4065f0a55fdd3000c48a5ec7a4a5589c.jpgNext, I removed the windage tray as shown.20200117_140336.thumb.jpg.a5ecf12ec2e03b7f4bae78579eda00c1.jpgJust remove the 4 bolts at each corner of the windage tray.  Remove.  Showing site of removal.20200117_141124.thumb.jpg.87874bdcb1606d2f95ef0cf995023b46.jpgShowing the windage tray removed from the engine.20200117_141137.thumb.jpg.9c286347cd4d3e7fbe804b2a3174fbd1.jpg

 

Lastly, I removed the oil pump as shown.20200117_141903.thumb.jpg.85b1790120593b2e4cdaf75a9efd1074.jpgRemove 2 bolts shown here (the shaft seen in this picture will simply slide out with the whole pump assembly).  Remove.20200117_141917.thumb.jpg.5112058689a9f99fe6f42cb5d02bdd29.jpgShowing removal site.20200117_142729.thumb.jpg.5ace72100fa71e8ef77762d2bc500a4b.jpgShowing the oil pump removed from engine.20200117_162115.thumb.jpg.1249f01aa4f8861bedc2d0b2ece1f43b.jpg

 

Overall, all of the tasks shown in this post were easy.

Edited by Kosage Chavis
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I just looked at the 3 I have in the shop.  all have some variation of crappy-looking holes drilled with thin or no metal between but I don't see any of the edges looking like these...  

Edited by NC-car-guy (see edit history)
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That motor looks good enough to run and go.

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Wow - windage tray in a 322!  ;)

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Those 2 holes are most likely part of the factory balancing. I would try to clear any loose thin stuff that could break off, but you probably want to take as little metal as possible. The other grinding confuses me. It looks like those get pretty close to the piston skirts, so maybe it has been bored before and maybe the skirts were a little bit longer on the new pistons? I'm kind of grasping at straws. Maybe it's just part of the factory balancing, or maybe it's been balanced.

 

If you are going to go all out on the rebuild, you might as well get it balanced. When balancing a v-8, the crank is done last. This is because the balance guy will have to put "bobweights" on the crank to balance it, and the weight is based on what the pistons and rods weigh.

 

Any boring, piston replacement, rod work must be done first. Then, the pistons and rods are balanced. That can be done at home if you want to learn about it and set up a scale and some kind of jig to weigh the ends of the rods separately.  You just make everything match in weight. Or you can send it out. The crank you have to send out anyway, and it is spun with the bobweights to balance

 

You don't do it until you have made a decision on boring, bored if necessary, and have the pistons and rods you are going to use in your possession, and either balance them yourself or send them along with the crank. This is because the guy spin balancing the crank will need to know exactly what they weigh after balancing.

 

Edited by Bloo (see edit history)
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2 hours ago, EmTee said:

Wow - windage tray in a 322!  ;)

Is this uncommon for these engines?

2 hours ago, Bloo said:

The other grinding confuses me. It looks like those get pretty close to the piston skirts, so maybe it has been bored before and maybe the skirts were a little bit longer on the new pistons? I'm kind of grasping at straws. Maybe it's just part of the factory balancing, or maybe it's been balanced.

 

If you are going to go all out on the rebuild, you might as well get it balanced. When balancing a v-8, the crank is done last.

All of this is helpful advice.  Thank you.

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10 hours ago, Kosage Chavis said:

Is this uncommon for these engines?

 

I honestly don't know - I was just surprised to see one in a standard passenger car V8.  Windage trays are usually associated with high performance engines.  Typical bean-counter cost-cutting measures would normally eliminate items like this.  Good for Buick!  ;)

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16 hours ago, Kosage Chavis said:
19 hours ago, EmTee said:

Wow - windage tray in a 322!  ;)

Is this uncommon for these engines?

Some 55's had the tray, some did not.  I cannot tell any difference in performance.

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Supposedly windage trays keep oil from splashing on the reciprocating parts, which on a high performance engine robs horsepower. Significance on a 55 nailhead - ??????

 

A nailhead is an externally balanced engine. To properly balance it, you need the harmonic balancer and the flex plate attached while it's being balanced.

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It's my understanding the windage tray keeps oil off the crank thus isolating it in the pan for the pump to pick up.  If the oil was permitted to have the crank pulling at it with every stroke unabated eventually all of the oil would be wrapped around the crank starving the pump.  My 264 in my 54 has a windage tray. 

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10 hours ago, RivNut said:

Supposedly windage trays keep oil from splashing on the reciprocating parts, which on a high performance engine robs horsepower. Significance on a 55 nailhead - ??????

 

True the tray keeps the oil from splashing but also from pulling the oil up and wrapping around the crank starving the oil pump in the process. 

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Is it possible this crank was interchanged from a different displacement or version of nailhead, and some of it was ground away to fit?  Are some internally balanced and some external?

 

This reminds me of a story.  Years ago my dad had an S-10 pickup he bought used that had a 2.8 v6.  The engine had been rebuilt, and ran great except that it shook like hell.  We drove it that way for a couple years, and called it "The Shaker".  

 

Eventually the time was found to tear into the engine.  We discovered there were both internally and externally balanced versions of this engine, and the crank had probably been changed as the crank and harmonic balancer had been mismatched.  After properly rebalancing it was smooth as silk!

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Accomplished a little something last weekend and removed both the camshaft and crankshaft sprockets, timing chain, camshaft and a few smaller items.  First things removed were both sprockets and chain together as shown.  20200131_152600.thumb.jpg.9bf9d2f95cae7e3fb4fc60553131998b.jpgFirst, simply slide the large dished washer off of the crankshaft.  Also remove the center bolt from the camshaft.20200131_152637.thumb.jpg.03de45655599ac2f56bcecea3ac7475c.jpgNormally (from what I hear), you could slide both sprockets off a small distance at a time, while alternating between both.  This is all done with the chain still on.  In my case however, my camshaft sprocket was stuck.  So, I had to use a puller to slide off.20200131_170709.thumb.jpg.a93b0db019360568f24eb2e057981868.jpgAs the puller slid the camshaft sprocket off a bit, I'd pry the crankshaft off the same amount until both sprockets are removed.  Showing the site of removal.20200131_171905.thumb.jpg.45b37d478c46ab99c91c9ba90002912c.jpgShowing the timing chain, camshaft and crankshaft sprockets removed from the engine.20200131_171912.thumb.jpg.c36eb22322c2647195db4180974e4b98.jpg

 

Next, I removed the camshaft as shown.20200131_171940.thumb.jpg.e6272bfd9dc88bb4a3b9b191c672fcf7.jpgRemove the 3 bolts that mounts this retaining flange. 20200131_171951.thumb.jpg.4a1d3a43a3acc718db5b7b97311f5928.jpgShowing area after flange removal.20200131_172508.thumb.jpg.c048d3cc9c6ad0aee54511605c8fcd5f.jpgOnce the flange is removed, grab and pull on the front end of the camshaft while guiding and holding the opposite end out from the engine block.  Showing the site of the removal.20200131_172941.thumb.jpg.a5a534fe011f35f75f3dc9074ad11532.jpgShowing the camshaft removed from the engine.20200131_172954.thumb.jpg.71289e30b33f9598a4e5b3d3bd7084e1.jpg

 

Next, I removed this guard (???) shown here.20200131_173017.thumb.jpg.423b8cfb1d7592ce498d4e5c4e55e9e0.jpgRemove 2 bolts.  Remove.  Showing site of removal.20200131_173247.thumb.jpg.414720db7fb27e34c3146e006f055c92.jpgShowing guard (???) removed from the engine. 20200131_173255.thumb.jpg.915eff0cecffea5baa3d54e38ca536a4.jpg

 

Lastly, I removed plug/valves from both sides of the engine block.20200131_175022.thumb.jpg.8300393bb0f4feceacd13d2256d0fbc2.jpgSimply unscrew.  Remove.  Showing site of removal.20200131_175239.thumb.jpg.1430709295547fdf52d345bb33c54b44.jpgShowing plug/valves removed from the engine. 20200131_175245.thumb.jpg.8789a5889ca4248cb0d39cc347ce7dbb.jpg

 

Overall, all of the tasks in this post were easy.

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Next time you pull a camshaft or reinstall, find a long bolt, with the same threads that hold the fuel pump eccentric, and screw it into the end of the camshaft so you can have a handle.  The disk ahead of the crank gear is called an oil slinger.  Nice job so far.  Once you have it down to a bare block, consider using your die grinder to remove the cast flashing around the lifter galley.  Gets rid of stress points and is easier on your hands when you reinstall the camshaft.

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When using a ridge reamer on these engines, is there a preferred brand or do they all work well?

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4 hours ago, Kosage Chavis said:

When using a ridge reamer on these engines, is there a preferred brand or do they all work well?

Let the machine shop do it as part of boring the cylinders.  You already watched the video and see that it is a simple tool that depends on straight cylinders to line up correctly.  If there is severe taper or out of round cylinders it does not fit right and you can over cut and ruin the cylinder.  Then you need a sleeve ($$$).

If you buy one get the most expensive professional tool --- new, not used.

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5 hours ago, old-tank said:

You already watched the video and see that it is a simple tool that depends on straight cylinders to line up correctly.  If there is severe taper or out of round cylinders it does not fit right and you can over cut and ruin the cylinder.  Then you need a sleeve ($$$).

Thank you Mr Willie.  You have persuaded me not to bother with this.  So, how do I get the pistons out without damaging the piston and/or cylinder if there is a lip present?  Can I tap the piston out without worry of damage, in spite of the lip?

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