Jump to content

263 manifold cracked (shock!)


Aaron65

Recommended Posts

Another 263 manifold has exhausted its last hydrocarbon...my '53 cracked its manifold all the way around its circumference, right behind cylinder #5.  I'm about to bite the bullet and order a new one from Bob's (gulp!), but I'd figure I'd do a last minute check and see if anybody has any good, somewhat cheaper advice.  I think I know the answer, but $710 is a lot of money for any single part.  Oh well, 64 years is a good run, although the one that cracked was in the trunk of the car when I bought it because the one on the car had a slight crack in it!

 

One other thing I just thought about.  I had the intake milled quite a bit to even it and the current exhaust manifold out.  I hope it will match up with a new exhaust manifold!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Upon reassembly, be sure to put a thick flat washer under the bolt head so there can be a sliding interface between the retention bolt and the exhaust manifold's outer surface.  Trying to "lock it down" (bolt head against manifold directly OR with a lock washer) can make the new one crack, too.  IF there needs to be some "French locks" under the bolt/flat washer pair, get some of those too!

 

One of my Chevy associates calls them "heat washers" AND there is a GM part number on them.  Only thing is . . . no dealer will have them in stock AND they might come in a unit pack quantity of 20 or so.  Might find something at a hardware store with a big selection of flat washers.

 

Basically, the OD is about the same as the OD of the flange head manifold bolt, with the appropriate ID.  The thickness is about 3/32" or so, which can make them hard to find . . . but if you have a salvage yard nearby, that might be a source.  The French locks are necessary for this arrangement so you can bend the tabs over to keep the bolt from losing significant amounts of clamping torque.

 

NTX5467

Link to post
Share on other sites

That's how I did it last time, Joseph.

 

Do you have an infrared thermometer, Joseph?  At idle in the driveway, my siamesed manifold runners near the exhaust port seem to run about 600* or even a little more, which seems pretty hot compared to all my other cars, and I want to minimize any chance of my new or new used one cracking.  If you could check out yours after a run sometime, I'd appreciate it!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Greetings

         Sales of intake manifolds with 4 bolts have increased in recent past and its stated they are cracked or the underside, mating to the heat "stove" is corroded away to the point where almost no gasket surface is left. This has not been the case, however, with the older small 8 3 bolt carb intakes that Ive seen. One solution that might produce better odds for longevity would be to aquire one of the three bolt carb intakes, then look at the adaptor(approx $30) from Speedway Motors. Would raise carb top so need to measure carefully, but still prolley a lot less expensive than reproduced stuff. I have two of these on my 41 Cent, but the tall hood is nothing less than caverness inside on this car! Ive seen the side of the intake pushed out like and engine block cracking from freezing. Im beginning to think when the carbon fills cavities inside these cast manifolds full, they are very prone to holding moisture and could conceivably freeze and expand to crack these areas, which are not visible unless disassembled. This is just a SWAG(SCIENTIFIC WILD ASS GUESS),on my part based soley on numerous examples like this Ive found in junkyard cars and statements from folks calling for replacements for their cracked manifolds.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Was there also a recession around the time of the Korean War? Ive read on the str8 form, Team Buick, a guy actually did a test on connecting rods and found the quality of the metal was changed to inferior after I seem to remember 1950? Maybe cast suffered same corperate money saving fate?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Im always amazed when I read about gasket usage after all the Buick tech print material stating a diffferent process(absolute flat cast surfaces with no gaskets and grafite/grease, belvue washers, light torque to allow a mile long chunk of cast iron to expand with heat and contract on cooling without being "stuck" to the head when gaskets stick to the cast surface like epoxy after time and being tightened with a cheater bar

 Just sayin. My 2000 cents.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Most cylinder head repair shops have equipment to recondition/flatten/mill the surfaces to straight

 Very inexpensive, I always have this done on intake/exhaust that I sell as very cheap Insurance! No absolute guarentees. I talk with a cast repair person. Why so hard to repair weld this stuff? Repy, inconsistent content, metals loose/burnout some content over time with heating cooling cycles. Cast iron is brittle particles formed together, not "fiborous" and malluble like steels. If you heat it in one spot the heat does not "spread" in even expansion, it has to move, but cant, pop, it cracks! Just more hearsay.

Link to post
Share on other sites
58 minutes ago, 2carb40 said:

Im always amazed when I read about gasket usage after all the Buick tech print material stating a diffferent process(absolute flat cast surfaces with no gaskets and grafite/grease, belvue washers, light torque to allow a mile long chunk of cast iron to expand with heat and contract on cooling without being "stuck" to the head when gaskets stick to the cast surface like epoxy after time and being tightened with a cheater bar

 Just sayin. My 2000 cents.

 

I don't use gaskets; I install them like the factory recommends.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Joseph P. Indusi said:

Aaron:

I will use my laser pointer temp gauge to get you some data on manifold temps when it stops raining here. 

Do you get exhaust leak sounds from exhaust manifold without use of gaskets?

joe

 

Until yesterday, there were no audible leaks, and I've had the manifolds on there for probably five years or so now.  I cut the intake gaskets from a set of Fel-Pros and used RTV to seal them to the head, and then I installed the combined manifold as per the service manual's instructions.  I also used orange RTV on the heat riser gaskets, because I did have a slight issue with a leak there once.  

 

Thanks in advance for checking your exhaust temps!

Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Aaron65 said:

 

I don't use gaskets; I install them like the factory recommends.

 

Im sorry if I inferred you specifically, as I was meaning generally. I try not to assume, ass I know what that can do. I thought I might offer some perspective, as it comes up rather often. I also stated that materials are looking more and more like an often culprit. No offense intended. Apoligies if interpreted as such!

Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, 2carb40 said:

Im sorry if I inferred you specifically, as I was meaning generally. I try not to assume, ass I know what that can do. I thought I might offer some perspective, as it comes up rather often. I also stated that materials are looking more and more like an often culprit. No offense intended. Apoligies if interpreted as such!

 

No need to apologize...I just wanted to make it clear that gaskets weren't the culprit in this situation.  In this case, I think it was just a brittle old part, like you said above.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, there's your problem!  I ordered a new one, but Bob's said they're out!  New ones should be in by the 5th or the 8th (they hope).  I'm going to take this opportunity to flush out the block (it's not too bad, because it was hot tanked 10 years ago).  I think I'll be able to make my current intake manifold work; it looks like I had about 1/8" milled off it.  There's about 1/8" play in the exhaust/intake interface, and I use gaskets on the intakes rather than depending solely on the sealing rings (although they seem like a pretty swell idea!).  

 

We'll see how it goes in a couple of weeks...

 

013.JPG

Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Aaron65 said:

Well, there's your problem!  I ordered a new one, but Bob's said they're out!  New ones should be in by the 5th or the 8th (they hope).  I'm going to take this opportunity to flush out the block (it's not too bad, because it was hot tanked 10 years ago).  I think I'll be able to make my current intake manifold work; it looks like I had about 1/8" milled off it.  There's about 1/8" play in the exhaust/intake interface, and I use gaskets on the intakes rather than depending solely on the sealing rings (although they seem like a pretty swell idea!).  

 

We'll see how it goes in a couple of weeks...

013a.JPG

 

   Shucks, that is no problem, Arron. Just braze an end on each piece. Braze a connection on to the back piece and run another pipe! My brother Jack remembers when we split the manifold on my '40 that same way. He still remembers it being a killer sound.         

 

Ben

Link to post
Share on other sites

Aaron65:

Here are some exhaust manifold temperatures, in degrees Fahrenheit, taken with a digital laser pointer infrared thermometer held about 6-7 inches from each position noted below.   The temperature measured at the thermostat housing was 174.  These measurements were taken on a 1953 Buick Special 263 straight eight.

 

Cylinder Outlet.           Temperature Reading

1.                                   331

2/3.                                450

4/5 (center) .                  422

6/7.                                438

8.                                    397

 

Valve Body (Hot Box) just above exhaust pipe connection 397.

 

Any questions, just send me a PM.

Joe, BCA 33493

Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow, thanks Joseph!  Mine runs way hotter than that for some reason, which certainly doesn't help matters.  I'll have to throw together another carburetor and try it out.  Thanks again for checking that out for me.

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Aaron65 said:

Wow, thanks Joseph!  Mine runs way hotter than that for some reason, which certainly doesn't help matters.  I'll have to throw together another carburetor and try it out.  Thanks again for checking that out for me.

Fuel/air gauges are available aftermarket. Hole drilled in headpipe just below cast iron heat riser/flapper valve they readout in numbers corresponding to fuel air ratios, digital 14 is 14/1 ratio. I believe they measure oxegen left in exhaust like the new injected vehicles, but the signal goes to computer to adust for best mpg/power. Originally called, lambda sensors if memory serves. If it's lean=hotter running.

Link to post
Share on other sites
58 minutes ago, 2carb40 said:

Fuel/air gauges are available aftermarket. Hole drilled in headpipe just below cast iron heat riser/flapper valve they readout in numbers corresponding to fuel air ratios, digital 14 is 14/1 ratio. I believe they measure oxegen left in exhaust like the new injected vehicles, but the signal goes to computer to adust for best mpg/power. Originally called, lambda sensors if memory serves. If it's lean=hotter running.

I have an Innovate O2 setup with a long cord to run to the tailpipe of my various vehicles.  Of course, I have to run 12 volt power in the Buick, so I just put another car's battery on the passenger floor.  Out on the highway, the Buick runs in the low to mid 15s AFR, and it richens up to 12.5:1 under load.  It's a little lean at cruise, but not dangerously.  Needless to say, I'll be working on this when I get the car back together.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 weeks later...

Here's where I am on this project:

 

I got my new exhaust manifold (credit card still smoking)...unfortunately, my current intake manifold has been milled so much that the bosses where the retaining washers ride are not level between the intake and exhaust.  My spare intake manifold has a runner that sat with water in it and must have frozen, so it has a big crack in the runner for cylinders 3 and 4.  That's less of a problem that the cavernous rust that was inside that runner.  To get it clean, I had to remove quite a bit of material, so now that runner is about 1/8" wider than the rest.  

 

So my choices are really two: 1. get the crack welded on the damaged manifold (or JB weld it...it's only through in one place) and hope my mixture distribution isn't too messed up by the larger runner or 2. find an unmilled used intake manifold.  Anyone have a 4 bolt unmilled manifold lying around? :)  Ben, I know you said you might have one, so if you could check it out, I'd appreciate it.  

 

If anybody has a third option that doesn't involve milling the new exhaust manifold down to the old intake, I'm all ears (which is a metaphor, of course). 

Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Aaron65 said:

Here's where I am on this project:

 

I got my new exhaust manifold (credit card still smoking)...unfortunately, my current intake manifold has been milled so much that the bosses where the retaining washers ride are not level between the intake and exhaust.  My spare intake manifold has a runner that sat with water in it and must have frozen, so it has a big crack in the runner for cylinders 3 and 4.  That's less of a problem that the cavernous rust that was inside that runner.  To get it clean, I had to remove quite a bit of material, so now that runner is about 1/8" wider than the rest.  

 

So my choices are really two: 1. get the crack welded on the damaged manifold (or JB weld it...it's only through in one place) and hope my mixture distribution isn't too messed up by the larger runner or 2. find an unmilled used intake manifold.  Anyone have a 4 bolt unmilled manifold lying around? :)  Ben, I know you said you might have one, so if you could check it out, I'd appreciate it.  

 

If anybody has a third option that doesn't involve milling the new exhaust manifold down to the old intake, I'm all ears (which is a metaphor, of course). 

Please pm if a good used 4 bolt carb intake is still needed. Didn't know you were pulling trigger on new exhaust, have good used also. Best Regards, Greg

Link to post
Share on other sites

This is certainly not the optimal situation for an intake manifold, but I think it'll work, and it's what I have...  I think the JB Weld will hold, and it's on the bottom of the runner, so a little black paint will render it not too noticeable.  

 

Obviously, you can see the difference between the bad runner and a good one.  The sealing ring won't fit tightly, but they only locate the runner anyway.  I'll use a thin film of orange RTV around the flange and where the sealing ring used to seat.  The runner's lumpy and bumpy, but I don't think these were really designed for maximum flow anyway.  The hard part was making sure it was clean enough inside so the engine doesn't ingest any rust particles.  We'll see if it works...  I'm not thrilled, but sometimes you do what you have to do.  

 

 

 

006.JPG

007.JPG

010.JPG

Link to post
Share on other sites

I went out and gave it a high pressure wash down at the spray wash (to break loose anything that might be floating around in there) and then I came home and gave it a quickie paint job.  Finally, I put a little JB Weld on those pits.  I built up the ring area a little but not TOO much because there's no way I'll get that centered in the port like the others, and then it might hang up on the ring when I'm putting everything back together.  It's getting there!

 

011.JPG

Link to post
Share on other sites

To follow up this thread, I got everything back together again and it's working normally so far.  I hooked up my wideband and rejetted the spare junkyard Stromberg I had in my attic, so we'll see how it goes...thanks to all who offered feedback and insight!

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 weeks later...

This is the finished product so far.  As I did last time, I cut four intake gaskets from a standard gasket set and used some Gaskacinch to attach them to the head.  Then, I mixed up some motor oil and graphite lock lube as a lubricant for the cylinder head/exhaust manifold interface before attaching the intake/exhaust as a unit.  I torqued the manifolds to the head (approximately 25 lb./ft.), and then I torqued the exhaust manifold to the valve body, and finished with the intake manifold to valve body bolts (they are only torqued to 10-15 lb./ft.).  I did use a gasket for the intake manifold to valve body interface because both were significantly pitted.  I also coated the gasket with a thin layer of High-Temp RTV.  

 

So far, I have a very small leak at the manifold between cylinders 6 and 7, but it goes away after about 30 seconds to a minute of running.  I imagine it will seal itself up after a bit of run time, but if not, I'll likely try loosening everything and retorquing it.  The cylinder head is a bit pitted where the exhaust manifold mounts, so I'd like to run gaskets for a completely leak-free seal, but I've had poor luck with them in the past.

 

If this manifold ever cracks, I'll probably build a header for it, but I hope that's far into the future.  The quality of the manifold from Bob's is good, but it's costly.  My JB Welded intake manifold runner is shown in the second picture; everything seems to be working well there.  I checked the manifold vacuum and it's idling at over 20", so I'm comfortable saying there aren't any appreciable vacuum leaks as of right now.

014.JPG

015.JPG

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 month later...

Aaron,

 

You indicated it was a "quickie paint job" but the finished product looks great!

 

Not to change the thread, but what paint and color did you use?

 

Thank you!

 

Vernon

 

BCA 49029

1949 Series 70 Roadmaster "BlackTie"

1937 Special 40 "Iris"

Link to post
Share on other sites

Aaron,

 

I have the engine out of my '49 Roadmaster and will be painting it soon. The Bob's Automobilia paint you used looks identical to what is on it. Thanks for the manifold information, photos and, of course, the paint info!

 

"Mr. Earl" Thank you for publishing the article in The Bugle. Without reading it and seeing the photos I wouldn't have been able to resolve what was turning out to be an issue. Other threads have covered all of the opinions as to what "Buick Turquoise" really is and I have samples of most of them - but I like what is on it now!

 

Vernon

 

BCA 49029

1949 Series 70 Roadmaster "BlackTie"

1937 Special 40 "Iris"

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...