Beemon

Me and my beautiful 1956 Buick

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Dual points! I like it!

 

You may need to adjust that condenser capacitance. There is only one "right" value for a particular car and driver, and the ignition parts manufacturers often don't get it right, especially with dual points. Once you get a condenser that really works right, stick with it rather than changing it when you tune up. Capacitance varies quite a bit even within a given part number.

 

If the capacitance is wrong, metal will transfer on the points. It looks like a mountain, and since the points are no longer flat the timing and dwell become unstable from one spark to the next. Any old Motor or Chilton manual from the period has a picture of this, and which point the mountain is on determines whether you have to go up or down in capacitance. Get this right, and dual points can run longer than you would believe. I had some dual points run for 6 years on a 318 mopar, and still weren't really screwing up when I pulled that distributor out and replaced it with an electronic one. Daily driven, too. IIRC the condenser I would up with was for a small block chevy.

 

I never got any decent life out of ventilated points, in dual or single point distributors. NAPA/Echlin used to have some nice big points with no hole in them. Maybe they still do. If the ventilated ones burn right up, I recommend trying them.

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Well, I just got stuck in rush hour stop and go traffic. I'm using a 6 blade 18 inch fan with supposedly a HD clutch. Temps I believe were 92? Anyways, the car overheated so bad that it turned the fuel in the float bowls into vapor. 

 

The top seam of the radiator I'm assuming blew since the top of the fan shroud had coolant all over it. I was running a 13lb cap. The hood insulator was dry and there wasn't coolant on the front of the radiator, so it wasn't the cap that blew. 

 

She never stood a chance. The fan never kicked on because there wasn't any air flow across the radiator and it was spinning at 50% water pump speed.

 

I'm going to do a compression check tomorrow and see if there's any damage to the engine. I'll also be looking for coolant in the oil or exhaust gas in the radiator. I cannot afford a new radiator at this time and the last local radiator shop has closed its doors so I'm stuck for now. I definitely cannot afford another engine rebuild. 

 

Things to do in the future: 

Adopt electric fans to cool in traffic, upgrade charging system for good (powergen thread looks promising, doubt I can get much from a 35 amp generator).

 

Also some observations in the debate between the 4GC and WCFB.

WCFB pros: looks better of the two, less bog metering rod technology, does not leak from rivets in fuel passages.

Cons: aluminum baseplate that's worn, giving lean conditions, sticking choke, tuning screws in hard to reach or impossible to reach locations 

4GC pros: cast iron base probably won't wear out soon, easy to work with, better venturi design for fuel atomization, all tuning adjustments are easily accessible, better choke cam design, does not run lean.

Cons: bog off idle due to poor power piston design, leaky lead plugs in the fuel passages. 

 

Solution: rapid prototype gas pedal ignition switch, use dual quad intake to upgrade induction system (using adapter on stock manifold makes secondary circuit into a choke)

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To bad you're not closer I'd literally give you my high efficiency recored rad... Never overheated no problems except lower tank has a very very minor leak by tranny line..I replaced it last summer with a new rad just to be done with it.. Never any overheating in 110 degree stop and go.. Needle will creep up to dead on middle of N which is higher then usual for me but no overheating no vapor lock...

Edited by 1956322 (see edit history)
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3 hours ago, 1956322 said:

To bad you're not closer I'd literally give you my high efficiency recored rad... Never overheated no problems except lower tank has a very very minor leak by tranny line..I replaced it last summer with a new rad just to be done with it.. Never any overheating in 110 degree stop and go.. Needle will creep up to dead on middle of N which is higher then usual for me but no overheating no vapor lock...

 

What did you replace yours with? I'm trying to put all my options on the table.

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I replaced it with one from a classic radiator  in I believe  new York.. Went with their high efficiency design... It was pricey but built here in the U.S. And 100 percent new

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19 hours ago, Beemon said:

Well, I just got stuck in rush hour stop and go traffic. I'm using a 6 blade 18 inch fan with supposedly a HD clutch. Temps I believe were 92? Anyways, the car overheated so bad that it turned the fuel in the float bowls into vapor. 

 

The top seam of the radiator I'm assuming blew since the top of the fan shroud had coolant all over it. I was running a 13lb cap. The hood insulator was dry and there wasn't coolant on the front of the radiator, so it wasn't the cap that blew. 

 

She never stood a chance. The fan never kicked on because there wasn't any air flow across the radiator and it was spinning at 50% water pump speed.

 

I'm going to do a compression check tomorrow and see if there's any damage to the engine. I'll also be looking for coolant in the oil or exhaust gas in the radiator. I cannot afford a new radiator at this time and the last local radiator shop has closed its doors so I'm stuck for now. I definitely cannot afford another engine rebuild. 

Unless you drove it many miles or minutes completely dry you did not hurt it.

My cooling system is about as good as it ever was and I alway put it in neutral and rev to 2000rpm when stuck in traffic (and listen to my primitive noisy 6 blade fan!)

Even creeping in traffic my engine loads up due to fuel boiling/percolating into the engine.

And to stop worrying I installed a direct reading gauge so I know the real temperature.

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The part that concerns me is that the fan clutch never engaged. If I had the stock fan I could rev it. Looks like I'm going to be using the metal fan again. The engine did runa bit cooler when I got off the road and pulled over, but it was 45 minutes to go 20 miles. 

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Welp....

 

Ow.

 

Did you do a leakdown test yet? It probably popped the headgasket between 6 and 8. Maybe it burned those 2 exhaust valves. You could suss it out with a leakdown tester but it doesn't really matter because that head has to come off.

 

Still got parts from the other 322? See if those 2 valves are burned, if they are, borrow a couple from the other engine and lap them in with clover compound and a stick. Clean it up real good. Since there is no adjustable valvetrain, you need to pay attention to the installed valvestem height and don't change it too much. Drop a new headgasket on it and torque it down. You could be back on the road in a few days.

 

P.S. I am still trying to get my head around how it got that hot and the fan clutch never engaged. I think the fan clutch has to be defective. I like your idea about putting a solidly mounted fan on.

Edited by Bloo (see edit history)

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Looks like the head of coming off.. My limited experience is if it's a burnt valve there's zero to maybe at most 20 pounds.. But maybe just a small piece of the valve is damaged.. Or gasket.. Hopefully gasket

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I'm thinking the fan clutch is defective. Original fan is going back on. 

 

There's an old timey outfit that repairs industrial and vintage radiators here in Seattle that I'm going to check out tomorrow. If they want anything close to $500 I'm going to bite the bullet and buy a new radiator from Classic Radiator. 

 

I ran the engine up to temp with the rad cap off and watched for bubbles. Nothing until the thermostat opened up and it was a few burps, no foaming or constant bubbling so I think the head is okay. I've got a few heads lying around so I'll scavenge some valves. I'm more than certain it's a burnt valve. I think while I have it apart, I'm going to pull the valley cover off and replace the lifters with the new ones from the other engine. Also going to check push rods and springs.

 

No coolant in the oil, so that's good.

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Sounds like a reasonable plan...I might be hesitant to put in lifters that have been broken in with a different cam.. Might be asking for trouble just a thought

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I just pulled the fan clutch off the water pump... I spun the thermostat like it was going to expand under heat and the clutch never engaged the shaft. The clutch shaft that the spring sits in was free spinning in the clutch head. 

 

Tomorrow the head comes off. It's 10:30, time to call it a night. 

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I dropped the radiator off today at Seattle Radiator Works off East Marginal Way. On their website, they show how they made a brand new radiator from scratch using blueprints from the 20s for a plane that was being restored by the museum of flight. That sold it for me. For $270, they're going to pull the whole radiator apart and redo every seam. They're starting with the core, however, since the head unit was cracked, and will let me know if it can be fixed or not without getting deeper into the pockets. 

 

I haven't pulled the head yet but had some general questions. Pictured is a Felpro gasket and a Victor gasket, both identical. I'm wondering since it's a crush gasket, do I need gasket sealer on it or will it crush down no problem like the intake gaskets? 

20180729_171538.jpg

Edited by Beemon (see edit history)

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Some sources swear up and down the fel pro head gaskets will leak oil... Can't speak from experience... Reasonable price on radiator hopefully no surprises 

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2 hours ago, 1956322 said:

Some sources swear up and down the fel pro head gaskets will leak oil... Can't speak from experience... Reasonable price on radiator hopefully no surprises 

 

I talked with Matt Martin, Russel Martin's son, on Facebook about the Felpro stigma and apparently this gasket set is news to them so go figure. 

 

Thanks for the heads up,  Willie (see what i did there? ). I'll pick some up tomorrow. 

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I only use the 0.015 steel and they look and function like original.  That said, with your luck they will arc and catch fire during installation?.

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39 minutes ago, Beemon said:

 

I talked with Matt Martin, Russel Martin's son, on Facebook about the Felpro stigma and apparently this gasket set is news to them so go figure. 

 

Thanks for the heads up,  Willie (see what i did there? ). I'll pick some up tomorrow. 

That's really odd cause it's their web site that mentions it lol.. Although I've found other inconsistencies on it...

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So here's the deal.. valve's look good, pistons look good. Rust through on the gaskets. Rings?  There is a ridge at the top of the cylinder wall.. oversized standard rings until I can afford a rebuild? 

20180731_121035.jpg

Edited by Beemon (see edit history)

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It was indeed 2 burnt valves. Springs all look good. No bent pushrods. Cam looks good. I did talk to a machine shop today about the potential of machine work but it looks like $500 for both heads and another $1000 to do the block work. There's a heavy ridge at the top of the block, I don't think new rings will do anything. Mother is pushing to pull and redo since its already half torn apart, but I'm not sure if I want to go that route. That will put me out 4 weeks and I leave in 2, so I wouldn't even be able to go pick it up.

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Seriously this could be back on the road fast if you want. Could the rings be shot? Sure. Maybe.

 

I have driven hundreds of thousands of miles on shot rings. As long as they're not broken and tearing up the cylinders, it is a non-problem. You just have to keep it full of oil and change it often. Burned valves on the other hand are a showstopper.

 

I am not going to tell you not to rebuild it again, especially if you can afford to. It probably needs to happen eventually. New engines are nice, but they sure aren't necessary. On the other hand, my gut says get it back on the road. When you are trying to hang on to a car, never leave it apart too long.

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