Beemon

Me and my beautiful 1956 Buick

Recommended Posts

10 minutes ago, Bloo said:

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.

X2

Valve stem height:   1.525 to 1.550 measured (in inches) from valve cover rail to valve stem tip. OR just match the other installed valve stems with a straight edge.  OR just install a head from your previous engine.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Already on it boys.

 

I DO NOT have the money to even think about a rebuild, nor the $500 to put into a valve job. However, my mother did call me and told me to pump the brakes on all engine disassembly. Maybe she feels pity for me? Who knows. What I do know is that I want to pull the other head. The gasket for the driver side was rusted through on the water passage, so i can only imagine its the same on the passenger side. If I get a little pity cash, I may just have a complete valve job done. I've never lapped valves before, so I'm not sure when to stop and what to look for, though I am assuming you keep going until the valve and seat have a uniform cleanliness to them. I'm sure it wouldn't be bad if I lapped all the valves, too. 

 

Also I can't use the heads from the first engine. If the valve stems weren't already chewed up like crazy from worn rockers that weren't replaced (seriously, looks like JAWS), the hardened seats were installed at different heights and the valves zig zag up and down along the head. Not only this, but the guides were machined for seals and they had too much meat taken off. For lack of a better term, they're junk.

 

So I'm going to pull the other head, see what my mom has to say, and then go from there. Most likely I will be doing the valves myself. 

 

Edit: cylinder walls look good, no scoring.

20180731_160015.jpg

Edited by Beemon (see edit history)
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok, so what ya do is....

 

Stick that suction cup to the valve, put a little of the fine compound on the face, put that stick between your hands and go back and forth a bunch. Then, pick the vale up with the stick, rotate 1/4 turn or so, then back down and grind back and forth some more, lift go another 1/4 turn, grind again and so on. Keep going until it is good. What you want to see is a nice gray line about the same width all the way around both the valve and the seat. It will be a wider line than fresh ground valves. Thats fine. Get it nice and even and all the way around on both surfaces. You will have to wipe the compound off with a rag now and then to see what is really going on.

 

If it doesn't come right in, and its taking all day,  go to the coarser compound to get the line all the way around, and then finish with the fine.

 

Try to keep the abrasive out of the valve guide. Everything will need a really good wash afterward, but keep the mess under control as much as possible.

 

As old-tank said, check the height of the stem. If it is too far off, maybe try a different valve. Good luck. If you are going to pull the other head anyway, lap all the valves. It cant hurt.

 

Edit: I see your bottle of compound has only one grade. No problem. Just keep grinding until you get a nice line.

Edited by Bloo (see edit history)
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So a quick update..

 

I started examining valves that were good and was noticing a lot of pitting on the seat and valve head. When I pulled the passenger side head, one of the exhaust valves was red instead of a normal yellow or brown. I found a local shop that said they could do a full valve job within a week time frame, so I opted to go with them. Just another expense I'm not expecting, however i feel it will be better in the long run. If I get the top end sorted now, then i can do the bottom end next year or whenever.

 

I made sure to let them know the basics:  no hardened seats, valve install height. They also have a spring tester they're going to use to check fatigue. 

 

Meanwhile I'll be using a plastic scraper and a vacuum cleaner to clean up the piston domes. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


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

made sure to let them know the basics:  no hardened seats, valve install height.

Add to that: 

valve stem clearance in guide:
0.0025 inlet
0.0030 exhaust

(Chevy specs are tighter and if done like that you will have sticky valves.)

If shims are needed for the outer valve springs, be sure the correct ones are used, not generic ones that cover the recess for the inner valve spring.

And for sure to check their work before installing!!  I still have to return heads to remedy some or all of the 'basics' above.

If replacement valve guides are needed, discuss the options:  sleeving vs replacing.  On one of the last heads I had done there was a crack around a guide after 5K miles...that head had been in service for a long time with no issues until rebuilt with new guides.

I have my guides machined for valve stem seals because the rebuilt rocker assemblies shower much more oil than stock.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the tip on clearance and the seals. I'm still using the 401 rockers, but I'm sure valve stem seals couldn't hurt. I don't think I'll be getting into valve guide replacement, at least I hope it doesn't get that far. Otherwise I'll be waiting until Labor Day weekend to get the engine back together. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Got a call back from the radiator shop. Almost 90% plugged with mud and junk! Not sure where it all came from, I thought I flushed the block before adding cooling hoses... Hope my woman don't mind me borrowing the pantyhose.

 

I'm going to hook the garden hose up to the heater core and back flush it, and see if it's got any junk in it.

  • Like 1
  • Sad 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dang Ben.

Almost seems like she wants to fight you at every turn...

 

Try and hang in there Sir, you know the joy behind the wheel when things are going right and will be there again.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Beemon said:

Hope my woman don't mind me borrowing the pantyhose.

 

Please, post a picture of her expression,  if you dare to return them afterwards...  :lol::lol:

  • Haha 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I linked up with the machine shop today. No pictures, but the rocker shaft was so worn in, there was about a .010 taper on one side and it was worn down by the rocker springs. I'm not sure what Buick made the rocker shafts out of, but it was definitely softer than the aluminum rods and spring steel... so, those are packed and being sent to California as a core for new, bushed rocker arms. Talk about a huge let down... I have two sets of late nailhead and 3 sets of early nailhead rockers and all the shafts are worn in real good. Replacement shafts should hopefully arrive by the weekend.. hopefully. 

 

Heads came back good after the magnaflux. No cracks! Valve guides are totally wasted, though - way out of spec. The machine shop said they'll stand behind their valve guide supplier. Those will be here Friday. The valve springs are ok but will require shims. There's no worry of spring binding as of now.  

 

I was informed everything is on track for a late Friday pickup, with the last bit being the valve guide install, deck and soft plugs, then paint. I don't even know how any of this could even be possible without donations from family members trying to keep the family car alive. I'm going to have to make up a sponsorship list, Haha. But seriously, once I get situated with a career job, I think I owe my mother a new set of kitchen appliances. 

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not surprising on the rockers or the valve guides for that matter.. I've never seen a set of older heads not need guides even if there were no symptoms.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, 1956322 said:

Not surprising on the rockers or the valve guides for that matter.. I've never seen a set of older heads not need guides even if there were no symptoms.

Lapping the valves with compound at your house would have been adequate for awhile.  New guides are needed for the machine shop to accurately  grind the seats.

The rebuilt rocker assemblies  on mine were examined at 80K miles and appeared as new, but unlike the originals they put out a huge shower of oil making valve guides seals necessary.  With that combination and modern lubricants expect many hundreds of thousands of miles before any wear.

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Today I went over to see my grandfather (and the Buick). After conversing and trying to stomach Days of our Lives, I back flushed the heater core with the garden hose. It burped a few times, then coolant, then brown coolant with junk in the fluid, then clear. I also whipped out my plastic scraper and took to the engine block, getting all the muck and junk off the sealing surfaces. I did use a steel blade to get what I assume is calcium or similar around the sand casting holes in the water jacket. Since I also have the valley pan separated, i took a big plastic pipe cleaner and pushed all the crud out of the pushrod holes. I pulled the block plugs and also flushed out the engine block, but it ran clear with little to no sediment... guess it was all in the radiator?

 

Heads should be done today, but I'm expecting Monday. There was a hiccup with the rocker arm replacements so I'm going to clean my other set of rocker arms and then replace them when I get the others in the mail.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Finally got the correct washer jar lid. I bought one back when I got all my body stuff but it was the standard lid, not the coordinator lid. My lid was bent up and ugly. I used #4 machine screws instead of the rivets to put it back together. It was pretty straight forward and everything can only go on one way. I think if I trim the screws on top, it would look better. Is it correct? No. Was it easy? Yes. Did I need any special tools? Nope. Will it work? We'll see.

 

Oh, I also got the heads back today. Hoping to hear her roar tonight. 

20180810_190351.jpg

20180810_190400.jpg

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know you mentioned the radiator shop said it was clogged up pretty good but were they able to able it for a reasonable price?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 minutes ago, 1956322 said:

I know you mentioned the radiator shop said it was clogged up pretty good but were they able to able it for a reasonable price?

 

It was $270 plus tax for a complete rebuild - core was okay, they were able to rod it. If the core was bad, I was most likely going to buy a new radiator. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They actually rodded it? I was beginning to think that was a lost art. Which shop was it?

  • Like 2

Share this post


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

They actually rodded it? I was beginning to think that was a lost art. Which shop was it?

 

Seattle Radiator Works in Georgetown. They did an awesome job. They're one of the last big heat exchanger shops in the state. When I hadmy radiator in there, they were also restoring the radiator out of the very first fire truck from the Seattle Fire Department. They also used blueprints from the Museum of Flight to build from scratch a brass radiator for a 1920s aircraft. 

 

Almost done. All that's left really is the radiator. Compression check is also in order. I'm confident it's all on right. Even followed the head bolt pattern in the book, torquing to 75 ft lbs in intervals of 25. Per Willie's advice, I sprayed both sides of the gasket with copper coat.

 

The valve covers got at the junkyard for $50 total.... 

20180811_014238.jpg

  • Like 8

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, dang it , man, that was a BARGAIN. Probably will not make it run any better, but sure looks good. 

 

 A radiator shop here in town still does rodding. Had a Roadmaster one done in case mine did not cool with the A/C. 

 

  Hope you get it running today.

 

  Ben

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, old-tank said:

Good fast work. (to be young and strong again...:()

  Just woke up... I don't feel like doing the radiator physically but mentally I couldn't sleep all night. The pains of engine anxiety. 

  • Like 1
  • Haha 1
  • Sad 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not sure which route you're thinking about going with the fan set up but my two cents is trash that clutch set up and just run stock with everything being set right now you shouldn't have any problems..I don't and we get much hotter here

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, I am going to be running the stock 4 blade fan. Despite knowing that the clutch doesn't seem to work, I don't think it would have worked with how clogged the radiator was anyways. 

 

I'll be running a 160 t stat, too.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The results are in! 

 

I could have done a wet compression test, but this tells me all I need to know. What's funny is that this worn motor has better compression than my rebuilt motor... :(

20180811_133313.jpg

20180811_150544.jpg

  • Like 8

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...