Morgan Wright

1918 E-49 starter/generator restoration job

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I dropped piston 5 today and what a mess. The amount of carbon jammed in the rings and ring grooves was unbelievable. The carbon was all loose due to all the solvents I used to untick the engine, ranging from acetone and brake fluid mix, toluene and ATF mix, carb cleaner, brake cleaner, but the carbon was stuck UNDER the rings. I wish I took a pic before I wiped it off but I'll take a pic when I drop the next piston.

 

I thought cleaning out the carbon would fix the problem with the rings, but I found out the rings were extremely worn down, by measuring the ring gap. I will show you next post.

 

Here is the bore. Clean, smooth, no gouging. This pic also answers the question of whether valves can drop into the cylinder.

DSCN2686.JPG

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Posted (edited)

I put one of the rings into the cylinder to see the gap. It's supposed to go by the rule of 0.004 for every inch of bore, so a 3  3/8 bore would be 0.014. But the Buick manual says no less than 0.030. Look at the pic, the gap was 0.120!!!!! These rings are shot!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

RingGAP.jpg

Edited by Morgan Wright (see edit history)

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6 minutes ago, DonMicheletti said:

Are you going to pull the other pistons too?

 

What is the ring side clearance?

 

Yeah, I'm doing all the pistons, might as well do it right. 

 

The ring side clearance............The diameter of the rings when fully compressed to zero gap is 3.32 inches but the diameter of the piston skirt is 3.36. The ring fully expanded by its spring pressure is 3.40 but the gap is huge at that point, when you compress the ring to the same diameter of the piston, the gap is .11 that is terrible.

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Dave at Otto machine told me that end clearance on my 1922 should be between15 and 50 thousands.    I too have 3 3/8 bore.

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Morgan,

I mean the side clearance between the ring and its grove.  Are the groves OK?

 

The .120" end gap is huge.

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6 hours ago, DonMicheletti said:

Morgan,

I mean the side clearance between the ring and its grove.  Are the groves OK?

 

The .120" end gap is huge.

 

Makes you think that piston 5 was being carried along by the other pistons, like 5 guys on a work crew and the 6th guy is Bernie Sanders.

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The amount of carbon you removed pointed to a ring issue.

 

The nice thing about these engines is that valve guide wear is not a contributor to oil consumption nor carbon.

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Yeah as recommended and sold by Dave at Otto. The others are new too.

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This morning I installed piston 5 and 6 and plastigauged the rod bearings to 0.003. Perfect results all around. Everything is smooth, the babbit on 6 was like new. I did not have to remove any shims, they were already the right plastigauge. Ready to do 3 and 4 tomorrow.

 

I spent 3 hours on my back a few days ago trying to get piston 6 in. No matter what I did, it wouldn't go in all the way. The 3 compression rings jiggled right in, in less than a minute, but the oil ring was hung up on something, because the piston at that point had no wiggle room. I could get the oil ring into the casting but not into the sleeve. I took the piston in and out half a dozen times trying to figure out the problem, maybe the bore was too small at the bottom and the rings went to zero gap and got stuck, maybe the oil rings weren't the right shape to taper into the cylinder sleeve. I thought of everything and experimented, and then after 3 hours I discovered, about a quarter of the way around the bore at the bottom, the cylinder sleeve was not tapered smoothly at the bottom, there was a small ledge of around 0.025 inch thickness where the sleeve stopped at the block casting, that the oil ring was getting stuck on. I could actually stick my thumbnail into it. I thought all week how to solve the problem. Maybe get some really thin feeler gauges around 0.08 to straddle the ledge like a shoehorn. Then I thought, it would be better to get some thick feeler gauges, shove them in around the ring and butt them into the ledge. That's what I did, I aligned the gap of the ring to the offending part of the sleeve, stuck two feeler gauges of around 0.030, one on either side of the gap, and shoehorned the oil ring on them, couple soft taps with the rubber hammer, and BINGO the piston went up and the feeler gauges fell down.  I had to do a similar thing getting piston #5 in, but by then I had the knack.

rings002.jpg

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On 6/9/2019 at 4:53 PM, Morgan Wright said:

 

Makes you think that piston 5 was being carried along by the other pistons, like 5 guys on a work crew and the 6th guy is Bernie Sanders.

 

#5 must have been the supervisor of a government crew.

 

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Posted (edited)

Ring job done, oil pan back on and torqued, (miraculously did not strip any oil pan bolts in the soft aluminum), pinsize hole in the oil pan welded with JB, put 10 gallons of non-ethanol gas in the tank, vacuum tank filled with gas, carburetor leak fixed, fuel line between vacuum tank and gas tank filled with gas (required sucking on a banjo), everything oiled and greased.

 

Ready to start the car for the first time in 80 years on July 4 morning.

Edited by Morgan Wright (see edit history)
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Went out early this morning around 8 AM when it was still cool.

 

It fired right up, no problem at all. Ran it for 15 minutes and made me a cool video https://youtu.be/CIPmxELliK4 in the process.

.

They really made these Buicks well.

.

.

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Since you had the engine running for a while and more than likely got it up to normal operating temperature, if it were me, I would check out the manifold clamps and see if they need to be tightened up a bit more.  That might possibly help the leaking situation on the one cylinder.  Just something to check out.  That is really wild that the engine started right up and no carburetor adjustment was done to improve performance.  Likewise on the timing.  I suspect that when the day comes that I start my engine for the first time after the rebuild, the neighbors are going to call the Fire Department because of the smoke from the burning off of the assembly grease.  Pretty cool way to celebrate the 4th.

 

Terry Wiegand

South Hutchinson, Kansas

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37 minutes ago, Terry Wiegand said:

That is really wild that the engine started right up and no carburetor adjustment was done to improve performance.  Likewise on the timing. 

 

 

I did, but I was so slick about it you didn't notice. When it started, I immediately turned the air from "choke" to "hot," which caused it to run much faster so I quickly advanced the spark with one hand and lowered the throttle, the hand is quicker than the eye. 

 

 

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