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'68 PCV grommet fell into hole


mcmasterson
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Replacing vacuum hoses and thought I'd throw in an "easy" pcv grommet as it looked original. Well it was brittle enough that top came off and bottom portion fell into intake hole.  I've never had the intake off but does anybody know if the valley pan is sealed against the back of block or is it plausible it fell behind the valley pan and is now resting on the cam?

 

If that's the case, what's the probability of engine damage should I fire up the engine?  

 

I've read several forums on other cars where several say they would let it ride and drive it.  I could see of it stayed on top of the valley pan that would be ok, but worrisome that it makes it way past the cam.  Anybody have the same issue with this?  

 

Thanks!

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I assume we are talking about 400/430/455 engine ? Most likely it rests on the valley pan metal gasket and it will stay there. The metal gasket has the upward edges, that in my opinion will prevent further falling down of the grommet.

 

You can also get endoscope camera for android telephone or tablet (they are quite cheap and surprisingly good), to locate the grommet through the hole it felt in - knowing the location maybe you could get it out with some copper wire, or with some other creative tricks 😉 ?

 

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=endoscope+camera+for+android&crid=PEWJCCPS27NM&sprefix=endoscope+camera%2Caps%2C251&ref=nb_sb_ss_i_1_16

I have one of those $20 price area and it is really good !

Look for the one with LED light integrated (I think all of them have it, but just double check)

 

image.png

Edited by George Buick Riviera (see edit history)
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Yeah the 430 engine. I borrowed a camera and discovered that the valley pan which is identical to image above actually has the edges pointed down.  Also the pan stops about 1/4-3/4" from ends of block. And with camera discovered it managed to roll down and underneath the pan.  I can see it but so far cant get anything to snag it.  Waiting for my flexible claw to arrive and hopefully that will do.  Thanks for the reply! Should have left the darn thing alone!

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Well, if it were my car, I wouldn't loose any sleep over it.  Worst case I can imagine is it manages to get sucked into an intake runner and finds itself against the valve stem, where it will likely be further decomposed, with bits sucked into the combustion chamber and burned.  I don't think it will even be noticed.  Worst case worst case is a piece momentarily gets caught between the valve and the seat before getting pulverized and burnt up.  In that case there could be a momentary hiccup before its gaseous remains pass out the tailpipe...

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But the 1500° temperature does not have an instantaneous effect on the rubber. It won't vaporize it, it would 5ake a second or two to melt it.  Yuck, melted rubber in my oil passages.

 

It's probably worth the cost of some gaskets to take some time and do it properly. 

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40 minutes ago, EmTee said:

Well, if it were my car, I wouldn't loose any sleep over it.  Worst case I can imagine is it manages to get sucked into an intake runner and finds itself against the valve stem, where it will likely be further decomposed, with bits sucked into the combustion chamber and burned.  I don't think it will even be noticed.  Worst case worst case is a piece momentarily gets caught between the valve and the seat before getting pulverized and burnt up.  In that case there could be a momentary hiccup before its gaseous remains pass out the tailpipe...

At the moment it's under the valley pan so I worry it getting past cam and into the oil.  I feel it might be ok though too.  I've got a flexible claw coming this week.  I can see it with the camera but the position of it is challenging to get anything to it.  I've tried wire, combination of vacuum lines attached to shop vac.  Duct tape wont work.  Fingers crossed that claw thingy will be able to snag it.  

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I had one of the same thing happen MANY years ago.. At 1st. it was in the valley pan then at some point feel into the pan where it stayed for almost 15 years. NEVER broke up into more pieces or anything else.  It got trapped in the sludge that normally builds up in the pan after so many years, unless you are one of those oil change freaks who changes your oil every 3 months regardless of mileage.  Even then I really feel it will NOT break up into smaller pieces.

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8 minutes ago, telriv said:

I had one of the same thing happen MANY years ago.. At 1st. it was in the valley pan then at some point feel into the pan where it stayed for almost 15 years. NEVER broke up into more pieces or anything else.  It got trapped in the sludge that normally builds up in the pan after so many years, unless you are one of those oil change freaks who changes your oil every 3 months regardless of mileage.  Even then I really feel it will NOT break up into smaller pieces.

That's reassuring to hear.  How did it make it past the cam into the oil pan without getting ripped to shreds?  Weird! I'm going give it a retrieval shot with the mechanics claw next week and if no luck I probably will just fire it up.  

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I am going to assume that it is now lodged/hanging in the rear cam area.  There is a good sized void at the rear of the cam void of cam lobes.  It will likely just fall down once the engine is started & will NOT be broken up by the cam lobes.  IF it makes you feel that uncomfortable I would just remove the intake.  The hard part is the re-installing of the intake because of it's weight.

Playing around trying to retrieve it you may possibly dislodge it & it will fall into the pan.

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