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73 GS that is all original except for the paint.

 

The exhaust manifolds are looking a bit rusty and I think they may need replacement this year or next.

 

If I can make it through to winter should I:

 

1. just replace with factory specification

2. replace with a more performance spec since the car isn't technically original any longer

3. have the engine repainted at the same time since the paint is flaking off on the block?

4. Only fix what's broken and let it age naturally?

 

BTW, there is a college near me where the students have to rebuild an engine for their class (under supervision of the teacher, of course). Good idea to trust the students with that or not?

 

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Get references from others who have had the students overhaul for them.

Your manifolds are fine. You could use some manifold dressing on them to make them look better.

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Too many specialty things, especially on the 455's & NailHeads.  Seasoned machinists use SBC tactics for rebuilding these engines & mostly the results are not GOOD!!!

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4 hours ago, Golden73 said:

BTW, there is a college near me where the students have to rebuild an engine for their class (under supervision of the teacher, of course). Good idea to trust the students with that or not?

Why would you even consider having it rebuilt?  If it runs now, you're just asking for trouble.

 

Rust on the manifolds is fine.

 

It's mid June.  Drive the snot out of it until the weather turns before you do anything.

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Posted (edited)

Calyx manifold dressing. Take off any surface rust with a wire brush, then apply with the manifold on the engine.  Here's an "in process" picture.

 

shopping.jpeg.512f277650a172e9e9071ee5110de73e.jpeg

Edited by RivNut (see edit history)
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1. Just planning ahead for the winter. Don't plan on doing this until then.

2. If I re-paint the block I have to take all the parts off, like the alternator, rotor, etc. That's a re-build to me.

3. The student idea was just a thought from a family member. I am not crazy about it but thought someone else might have tried it. With a pro, at least I get a warranty on the repairs and there are several mechanics and speed shops I know and trust to do this work.

4. The manifolds are rusty and work fine. I figure that as long as I'm storing it for the winter I could do some overhaul type work and stay ahead.

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Rebuilding an engine when you aren't having any problems with the engine is nuts. This is a job you do when you

have no choice if you want to drive the car. One thing you should do however is replace the timing chain and gears if you

don't know if it's been done or not. If you do that, I would hang a new water pump and fuel pump on the front of the engine while you have it apart.

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39 minutes ago, Golden73 said:

1. Just planning ahead for the winter. Don't plan on doing this until then.

2. If I re-paint the block I have to take all the parts off, like the alternator, rotor, etc. That's a re-build to me.

3. The student idea was just a thought from a family member. I am not crazy about it but thought someone else might have tried it. With a pro, at least I get a warranty on the repairs and there are several mechanics and speed shops I know and trust to do this work.

4. The manifolds are rusty and work fine. I figure that as long as I'm storing it for the winter I could do some overhaul type work and stay ahead.

Watch out for the exhaust manifold bolts if you plan to remove the manifolds...HARD to remove them without breaking them off in the head

Tom Mooney

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Rather than should I or shouldn't I, the choices seem to be;

1. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

2. If it ain't broke, keep fixing it until it is.

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19 hours ago, telriv said:

Too many specialty things, especially on the 455's & NailHeads.  Seasoned machinists use SBC tactics for rebuilding these engines & mostly the results are not GOOD!!!

Tom is correct. I tell my buddies that know everything “Chevy” all the time, it’s a BUICK! Let the students cut their teeth on something less rare.

 

Ray

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6 hours ago, Golden73 said:

If I re-paint the block I have to take all the parts off, like the alternator, rotor, etc. That's a re-build to me.

That's just a lot of standard maintenance done at the same time. ;)

 

IMHO, it's a rebuild when you pull the crankshaft.

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Posted (edited)

Think about the engine at the assembly plant.  It was sealed and torqued before it was painted and test run. The rear a/c bracket and the power steering bracket are not engine color (Not all cars had a/c or power steering.) Buy quality paint in the correct color, get out your foam brushes, masking tape, aluminum foil, and cling wrap; remove what can be easily removed and replaced (by you.) Leave the distributor but mark and pull the plug wires and plugs. Avoid spraying aerosol paint when you can paint with a brush. The only thing you might want to spray would be your valve covers; everything else is cast or raw steel with no real finish.  Just take your time and give everything plenty of time to dry thoroughly. 

Edited by RivNut (see edit history)

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One other thing: clean it well.  Then clean it again.  Paint doesn't stick to grease.  90% of a paint job is prep work.  Don't skimp on it.

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An ROA member and contributor here on the forum had his engine rebuilt.  If he hadn't, he would of had to replace it.  According to Jim Cannon's 63 registry this car had the earliest known 425 in a 63 so it was worth saving.  To save this engine, with a hole in a cylinder wall, that cylinder was wet sleeved, bored, and honed.  The car has been driven to a couple of recent ROA meets and is still running strong.  Right guy, with the right tools, and the right  knowledge.  

 

I took the heads from my 64 into Noland's head service here in the Kansas City area to be reworked and when I was there, I saw a very rare early 331 Chrysler hemi that had just had a hole in the side of the block patched.   At the time, that area was being gone over with a needle scaler to add some "detail" to the repair so it wouldn't be noticeable.

 

If you can find them, there are some really remarkable artists out there who can preserve your original stuff.

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It's still running strong Ed.I had my rebuild guy talk to Russ about the dos and don'ts with the nailhead.Bought my parts from Russ,all is well.

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I hope that you're practicing social distancing out there on the links. Stay safe my friend.

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If you golf like I do, social distancing is a given.  I'm more likely to be in close contact with the foursome on the next fairway over.

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For Pete's sake, unless you have an exhaust leak don't mess w those manifold bolts! They are baked in & ready to twist right off in the head. Then the real fun begins! (voice of experience). BTW I have a '73 rear bumper in nice driver condition. It has been gathering dust in my shed for 24 yrs & deserves a good home. Bumper can be yours for a song, however shipping from Orlando to Chi could be a bit steep.     Drew

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OK, so not a re-build, just taking all the things off the block (alternator, carb, A/C unit, etc.), painting the block, and re-attaching or replacing. Semantics.

 

I wouldn't do the work myself. I have neither the skills nor the space to do it. Even disposing of oil is a problem in my area so I just pay for oil changes.

 

As for the manifold, I figure they're off anyway (maybe) if I'm painting the motor, so why not.

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If you try to take the manifolds off you or the shop doing the work will break the bolts.  Then you will be in for an expensive job.

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As Bill said above.  LOTS of heat required BEFORE trying to remove bolts.  Then you may still end up with 1 or 2 broken.

Then you end up with a can of worms.  UNLESS the shop your bringing your car to has the equipment, the experience , the  patience & the due diligence to complete the job to the end WITHOUT botching   it up.  IF NOT then the heads need to be removed & brought to a machine shop for whatever nec. repairs need to be made.  Then while the heads are off you might as well do a valve job. Then depending on the machine shops experience working on Buick 455's

( & NailHeads ) that job can also get botched up.  In the end you are so disgusted with what's been done & the HUGE amount of $$$$ & time spent you get it doctored up & sell the car. Hopefully this doesn't happen & ALL involved will do the proper job.

This is one thing that starts out with a dream of getting things cleaned up & can easily turn into a nightmare.

You need to sit down with the shop doing the repairs & make a decision for yourself that you will be satisfied with the results & the "What Ifs"  that may follow. 

I don't know how to explain it any other way & with what others above has had to say.

By the time it's all over, said & done it could cost up to a g note & maybe even more.

Just my thoughts.

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