Jump to content

Me and My 1956 Buick Super 4 Door Sedan


usnavystgc
 Share

Recommended Posts

3 hours ago, JohnD1956 said:

I would ask to run the heater when it gets to operating temp. You should be able to.put your hand in front of an outlet without feeling like it is getting burnt. But if you do feel like you are getting burnt then yes, you have an over heating situation. 

Unfortunately, I can't run the heater JD.  The ducting in the engine compartment is totally gone and the blower motor is inoperable.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yeah some of us have run the temp right at H and they keep on goin.  The year I went to Allentown with new Engine #1  with only 1000 miles on it, it just sat on the H in standstill traffic at checkin which I knew was about 215-220.  Had a 13 lb cap on it.  Pretty unnerving but no big deal - did same as you and asked everyone else.  Now you get to pass the torch 🤣 no pun intended.  But would recommend getting familiar with the approximate numbers for a given position.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Temp OK at idle, but ever increasing ("runaway") temp at highway speed makes me think you have a partially plugged radiator.  Have you tried reverse-flushing the radiator?  What did the coolant that you originally drained out of the system look like?  I agree with others that gurgling after shutdown isn't necessarily cause for alarm.  If you have an IR thermometer you might try shooting different areas of the core with the car up to temperature.  Cooler spots would suggest reduced flow...

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

13 hours ago, EmTee said:

What did the coolant that you originally drained out of the system look like? 

It didn't look like anything because it was completely dry. The car sat for 53 years so all the coolant was gone. I did flush the system before I filled it and I got some rust colored water but overall, it wasn't too bad. The coolant in it now is bright green and free of any rust color. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hmmm, being in the middle of a similar situation with my '38 Century I'll say you should take a hard look at the radiator.  Another easy thing to check is that you have a coil (i.e., 'spring') inside your lower radiator hose.  If your radiator is actually restricted, the water pump can collapse the lower hose which WILL restrict flow and make it run hot.  Once that happens the only way to stop it is to turn-off the engine and let the pressure equalize.  Make sure the hoses are not too long -- a 90* bend with a hose that's too long can create a kink that restricts flow.

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

You can also try rigging-up something like this to check radiator flow:

 

image.png.3fb9bc0b8700aa86aa9be7c055139ec8.png

 

image.png.3a8bf6f2acc1e369c5adc23aa2551cba.png

 

The setup above could provide ~20 GPH to the radiator.  The measured flow was about 10 GPH.  The expected flow for the radiator, if good, is something like 30 GPH.  This radiator is now at the shop to be re-cored...

Edited by EmTee (see edit history)
  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I appreciate the advice @EmTee and I will read and heed all.  I will pay close attention to the lower rad hose and make sure it's not collapsed at any point.  I have not noticed it collapsed at any point but, if I'm honest with myself, I haven't paid too much attention to it.  All good stuff to keep in mind and try.  So much to do and so little time to do it.  One way or another, we're going to get this thing running and driving reliably.  :)

 

PS:  That's some very nice oak you have there behind the radiator.  

 

Phil

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ok here's an update, I added oil pressure and temperature gages and here's what I saw.  

 

When you first start the car the oil psi is about 20 psi.  When fast idle kicks in, it goes to about 23psi, once the engine warms up, it steadily decreases to about 9 PSI at fast idle and 2-3 PSI at normal idle.  It was an unusually cool night in Tucson so I was unable to bring the car to the stress levels of the previous tests but, I did take it for a drive.  While driving, the engine maintained temps below 190 but oil pressure dropped to 0 at idle while stopped.  At steady state 30mph, it reads about 5 psi.  At steady state 45mph, around 8-9 psi.  The picture below was taken after the drive in Park, in my garage. the car was running while this pic was taken.  As you can see, engine is not overheated however, oil pressure is at  0 psi with temp at only 160.  There were no valvetrain noises thruout the entire test.  The engine sounds fine and has the power I would expect it to have.  So, IDK what to think. 

 

Regarding the stock gages, it looks like between N and H is about 20-23 psi. 

 

More testing to follow.

 

20211215_193942.jpg.489c2ddb3e1669cdc7b7dc9250028683.jpg

Edited by usnavystgc (see edit history)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, that is really low oil pressure.  Probably minimum for operation without further damage.  Of course, if you continue to use it like that further damage could be occurring and one spun bearing and you'll be looking at some major work to fix it.  I would be thinking it needs a set of main bearings at this point and probably rod bearings too.  Unfortunately there is only one way to really tell.  Plastigage for an accurate reading.   This could be done while it is in the car, but I think you'd find it easier to assess and repair if it is out.  The motor can be pulled without removing the transmission. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, JohnD1956 said:

Well, that is really low oil pressure.  Probably minimum for operation without further damage.  Of course, if you continue to use it like that further damage could be occurring and one spun bearing and you'll be looking at some major work to fix it.  I would be thinking it needs a set of main bearings at this point and probably rod bearings too.  Unfortunately there is only one way to really tell.  Plastigage for an accurate reading.   This could be done while it is in the car, but I think you'd find it easier to assess and repair if it is out.  The motor can be pulled without removing the transmission. 

Or.... switch to a heavier viscosity oil and/or add STP or your choice of oil thickener.  Then drive it like you stole it until you win the lottery so that you can finance an engine rebuild.

  • Haha 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

No lifter tics or valvetrain noise?  No knocking...?  Could the galley where the oil pressure is connected be restricted/plugged?  To be sure, I agree that you should Plastigauge a couple of main and rod bearings.  Too bad you didn't do it when you just had the pan off.  The other possibility, if the bearings measure OK would be the oil pump.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well this is a doozy….blame the gauge?  Temps look good.

 

IF the behavior of the dashboard oil pressure gauge changed for the worse after cleaning the pickup screen maybe drop the pan and make sure nothing “fell off” or isn’t fully seated ( gulping air?) Any reason to think the distributor shaft would not be fully engaged and turning the oil pump shaft?  Agree with EmTee -  oil pressure feed port on the engine block is a pretty thin tube and opening on the block.  Maybe run a fine pipe brush through that opening - might be a non invasive thing to try and/or pull the distributor, run oil pump with a drill, unhook the line from the gauge and see how well it pushes oil out to a pan maybe it will clear the galley/port.

Wouldn’t it seem with oil pressure that low at idle - as in zero - there’d be lifters or knocking sounds?

If after adding a viscosity improver the gauge doesn’t come up a little isomething’s pretty hokey..

 

2 hours ago, old-tank said:

Then drive it like you stole it until you win the lottery so that you can finance an engine rebuild.

^——-  +1 🤣🤣🤣

 

 

Edited by KAD36 (see edit history)
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

13 minutes ago, KAD36 said:

Maybe run a fine pipe brush through that opening - might be a non invasive thing to try and/or pull the distributor, run oil pump with a drill, unhook the line from the gauge and see how well it pushes oil out to a pan maybe it will clear the galley/port.

Wouldn’t it seem with oil pressure that low at idle - as in zero - there’d be lifters or knocking sounds?

Yeah exactly what I was wondering.  How could the pressure be that low and no lifters complaining?  Shouldn't there be a low rap-rap-rap at 1/2 the RPM...?  It makes me think the oil pressure port is obstructed.  Disconnecting the gauge and letting oil flush from the hole might be a good (but messy) thing to try.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

15 hours ago, Smartin said:

The question is, does the oil pressure increase with RPM?  These things will idle on 2psi all day.  That is straight from a Buick engineer’s mouth, too.

Yes it does.  When you bring it up to about 3000, the oil pressure increases to about 9 psi.  

 

@Ben Bruce aka First Born, The screen is def not plugged.  I gave it a thorough cleaning when I dropped the oil pan.  

 

@KAD36and @EmTeeThe behavior of the dashboard oil gage did change after cleaning the pan but it changed for the better.  I have slightly better oil pressure after cleaning the pan and the pickup tube/pump.  I say this because before I cleaned the pan and pickup tube, the oil pressure was just above "N" on the dashboard gage but after the cleaning, it was in between "N" and "H" on the gage.  I also changed the oil pump gasket.  It def has better pressure now than before but, as you can see, still low.  Regarding the oil pressure feed port, it is not clogged.  this was verified by bleeding the new oil pressure line to the gage prior to hooking it up.  Did I have great flow to the gage?, no but, I had flow consistent with how tiny the line is.  If you look in the pic, you can see drops of oil next to my foot.  That is from bleeding the gage when the line slipped out of my hand only for a few seconds.  

I don't have any reason to believe the distributor shaft is not fully engaged with the the oil pump shaft since I have good oil pressure at startup and the oil pressure increases when I increase the rpm.  

 

All,

I know it sounds hard to believe that there is no knocking or valvetrain noise at 0 psi but, there is not.  I'm going to post a video of it so you all can see what I'm seeing, I will try to get that uploaded tonight.  The only odd valvetrain noise I've ever heard from this engine is when we first started it after 53 years of sitting (which is understandable).  That noise went away fairly quickly after a few hours of running time.  I do place hope in what @Smartin said about the 2 psi at idle but, I also know that on any day but the most driving friendly conditions, (temp wise) I'm not confident the engine can maintain an acceptable temp.  I will need to do more testing to confirm this.  I'm not giving up on this engine yet but, I do tend to think like @JohnD1956 said that it's probably drivable like it is for a short time but, not addressing the problem may lead to costly repairs.  

I so appreciate all of you taking the time to weigh in on this and like I said, more testing to follow.  :)

Edited by usnavystgc (see edit history)
  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you trust the gauge connections and screen (sounds like it improved) then my vote would be throw a jar of your favorite oil molasses in it watch the gauge and see what happens.

 

What weight oil is in it now?  20w- 50?

 

Oil pump gasket - the one that goes on the flange at the end of the pickup pipe right?  Did not go inside the pump at all….

 

Another thing you can do that worked for me (thank the “Tank”) was checking the clearance between the gears and the pump cover.  Mine was at the absolute high end of the tolerance if I closed my eyes and wished real hard.  Put the pump housing on a piece of emery cloth over a piece of flat glass and Figure 8 pattern on the housing to bring it in a few thousandths - think it went from .004+ to .002 but check the specs.  Sounded hokey but it made a difference.  I wanted to keep the made in USA pump gears.  You’ll need to reprime the pump and all that jazz.  Try easy first and start with the viscosity improver.

 

Thanks also for giving us all feedback on all our advice- that’s cool.  Feels like we’re there instead of just flying a desk.  In fact I’m gonna get my flip flops….

Edited by KAD36 (see edit history)
  • Haha 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, KAD36 said:

What weight oil is in it now?  20w- 50?

10W30.

 

1 hour ago, KAD36 said:

Oil pump gasket - the one that goes on the flange at the end of the pickup pipe right?  Did not go inside the pump at all….

That is correct, did not open the pump.  Just cleaned the screen and pick up tube, primed the pump then reinstalled with a new gasket.  The old gasket seemed to be sealing but, it was brittle.  The gasket I'm referring to is the one where the pump bolts to the block.  

 

1 hour ago, KAD36 said:

Sounded hokey but it made a difference.

Does not sound hokey, sounds like a great way to do things.

 

BTW, bring your flip flops on over, we're having a blast here.  :)

 

33 minutes ago, Smartin said:

9psi at 3000rpm is no gouda.  It should be no less than 25-30 if you want it to live.

Yeah, those are my thoughts too.

 

I'm going to try one last ditch effort to change the oil to 20W50 and just see what that does.  I don't really like the idea of running 20W50 this time of year but, the only way to find out if that will help is to do it.  I will take a video before I do to hopefully give you all a glimpse of what I'm seeing.

Edited by usnavystgc (see edit history)
  • Like 1
  • Thanks 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Copy all.  Am still a little dazzled the gauge reads in the safe zone yet the numbers seem overall 10 psi low in general….because if there was no numbers gauge to check against would be none the wiser….?

 

Whatever visc you pick to experiment with you can always add the goop in partial doses and observe results.  Old tank convinced me to sprinkle STP all over my old engine like holy water.  
 

Pro Tip - do not pour in with engine running and fan blast blows the goop all over you and anything downstream unless you want to look like Cousin Eddie’s dog Snots in Christmas Vacation.
 

  • Haha 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 minutes ago, old-tank said:

Straight 30 will initially give higher pressures than 20w50 but when it gets hot it will be just like your 10w30.

"Enter “multi-weight” oil. These products are one grade or viscosity (or weight) when cold and another when warm. You have seen 10W-30, 5W-20, and the like. The first number refers to the grade when cold and the second when warm. Actually, the oil itself is the lower grade and contains additives that make it resist thinning out as it gets hot, thereby making it work like a higher-viscosity oil. So, 5W-20 is a 5-weight oil that acts like 20-weight when warm."

 

https://www.columbiatireauto.com/Blog/ID/243/Engine-Oil-Types-Weights-and-Viscosity--Frequently-Asked-Questions

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 2
  • Haha 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ok @JohnD1956, I drilled the hole in the torque tube and drilled a 7/64th pilot hole in the propeller shaft. When I got about 1/2 inch deep I hit hardened steel. Does that mean I hit the shaft that exits the differential and meshes with the splines in the prop shaft? Should I go ahead and drill out to 7/32 and rap the hole or did I do something wrong? My assessment is I've hit the shaft exiting the differential but, before I make the hole bigger, I wanted to check with you. In my mind the only explanation for suddenly hitting hardened steel is, I've hit the hardened end of the differential shaft. What say you?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I do not know for certain. Was the half inch drilled through solid metal or was it hollow?  I am thinking the splines on the inside of the driveshaft are the same grade metal as the splines on the pinion shaft. You may have hit the backside of the driveshaft splines instead of the splines on the pinion shaft.  But if you used the designated location of 7 1/4 " on the torque tube from the rear axle then you should be good to go.  Looking over the post I made which referenced this there is the picture from the service manual called Frame 6. It shows a drive shaft disenged from the pinion. To me it looks like the pinion splines are half as long as the splined end of the drive shaft. The Tech Tip article indicated the grease fitting would be located very close to where the drive shaft spline meets the larger dimension of the drive shaft.  If you are seeing that joint in the hole you drilled then I would be more confident that you are hitting the backside of the driveshaft's spline.  

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, JohnD1956 said:

Was the half inch drilled through solid metal or was it hollow? 

The half inch was drilled thru solid metal.  I have not hit a hollow spot (which is what I expected).  I can drill no further into this hardened metal, it literally just laughs at my drill bits and not even one sliver of metal is being scratched off.  I'm gonna have to do some more looking.  The hole is so small and I can't see what I'm hitting but, I did use the 71/4" measurement from the end of the torque tube.  The only thing I know to do at this point is to try to put a grease fitting on it and see if it will take grease.  If not, I don't know how I'll drill any further cuz whatever I'm hitting is super hard stuff.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yep, those are my thoughts as well. I really think it boils down to one option which is, pull and rebuild the engine. I'm pretty confident in the oil pump since it has such good pressure when cold. The only other thing to try is heavier weight oil. I may give that a try but even if that works, it's just a temp band aid.

Edited by usnavystgc (see edit history)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

As discouraging as it is to re-do something you've just done, my choice would be to drop the pan, Plastigauge a couple of mains and a couple oft rods to gauge clearances and look at them and crank journals for overall condition.  Depending upon that result, I'd pull the oil pump and dress the inner surface of the cover with wet/dry paper as Ken had suggested above.  I'll bet the clearance between pump cover and gears is excessive.  That issue would also be consistent with your symptoms.

 

On second thought, I'd check the oil pump first, before disturbing any main or rod caps.  My hunch is a new or R&R'd oil pump gets you back on the road...  ;)

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the videos.  If you like tinkering with it, really consider dropping the pan, measuring and bringing in the pump clearances and putting 20-50 or some viscosity improver in it before rebuilding.  Not saying this is a root cause final fix, rather the behavior sure looks like wear and viscosity related so adjust that which you currently have some control over.

 

Consider a course of action such that the level of repair cost, complexity, and down time is proportionate to your plans for usage, budget and schedule.

 

FWIW those numbers all looked familiar until it went below 8-9 psi at hot idle in D and sat around 10-11 at 30 mph.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Btw, what brand oil does it currently have?  I did have a problem with a name brand several years ago and simply switching to a different brand resolved the issue. In my case when my GS warmed up I had lifters collapsing. Happened to another guy in my local club too. We both changed to something else and went our merry way. Currently I use Quaker State conventional oil with satisfactory results.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm using O'Reilly's house brand of 10W30 full synthetic.

 

I have no problems with dropping the pan again. I can do it fast and my friend has a lift she lets me use so that's easy. I'll have to decide the course of action. I think I'm gonna start with just changing viscosity and going from there.

Edited by usnavystgc (see edit history)
  • Like 1
  • Thanks 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

40 minutes ago, usnavystgc said:

I'm using O'Reilly's house brand of 10W30 full synthetic.

 

I have no problems with dropping the pan again. I can do it fast and my friend has a lift she lets me use so that's easy. I'll have to decide the course of action. I think I'm gonna start with just changing viscosity and going from there.

If new oil already, just add some STP which will bring the viscosity of 4 quarts up 10 points.  If it helps then use 20w-50 at the next change.

20w-50 serves me well since our climate is similar to yours.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, usnavystgc said:

. I think I'm gonna start with just changing viscosity and going from there.

Concur.  Am definitely no oil expert but will say that 40 psi swing over temperature and use as the oil is thrashed around really surprised me. 

 

Recommend avoiding the Pandoras box of “who today sells .030 over pistons for a 1956 322 with the right profile to keep decent compression” until you really really have to because it is a world full of many compromises and few suppliers of varying quality.  While not unsolvable, there are a couple of parts for the (56) 322 that could be limfacs or very long lead depending on what the extent of the rebuild, or perhaps refresh, objectives for the motor are and which weaknesses you decide to address as the COA is refined.

 

The good news is it will keep you thinkin and there’ll be “nary a dull moment….”🤣

 

  • Haha 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...