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Rebuilt V12 bummer!


lincolnmatthews
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Been working steady for 3 months installing the engine & painting the engine compartment looks awesome.

Started the engine yesterday & had 50lbs oil pressure, then about 10 minutes I heard a bang clang (thought something fell off & hit the floor, it didn't) started to loose oil pressure (the manual gage was bleeding down towards 0). I don't know what it was, figured something happened to the oil pump (they installed a Mallory high volume pump). This requires a modification for mounting maybe they screwed this up? I don't know if they removed the clean out plugs on the crank, I know they didn't tap & plug these (I believe H&H does this?). 

 Anyway pretty bummed out, the wife's PO! I'm going to call the rebuilder in Portland tomorrow (of course no warranty). Guess I should have sent it to H&H instead! 

 I think I can pull the pan in the car (a 42 LC) & the intake to have a look. 

Would appreciate any thoughts on this how I could loose almost all the pressure (still had about 1 mark on the gage but basically nothing) 

Yes I did pre-lube the engine before startup, can't imagine pulling it again & starting over. I'm now not in a position to spend another 10k, (recently retired on a fixed income) so maybe I may not ever get it fixed, pretty depressed as I've had the car for 30 years & was looking forward to finally have a good running V12! 

Thanks for any ideas.

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If I had to guess, it's possible that your oil pump driveshaft broke. That high volume pump puts a LOT more stress on the the driveshaft. Add in thick break-in oil, a cold start, and some RPM and it could have sheared. A hardened shaft is required with high volume pumps. If you shut it down quickly, there's probably minimal damage. Someone needs to get in there and evaluate, preferably the builder. However, if you asked for modifications that he wasn't keen to make, he might have an out in terms of warranty. Call the builder, ask him what he wants to do, and if he's OK with it drop the pan and have a look at the oil pump to see what happened.

 

Believe me, brother, I feel your pain. Gotta do an autopsy to know what happened and how to proceed.

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I am calling him tomorrow before I do anything. I was using a 30wt break in oil that he supplied, I was running at fairly high speed right off startup as his instructions stated to make sure the oil circulated. 

He was just fine with going with the high volume pump. I was going to start it one more time today just to see what my psi would be, but I guess I will bag this.

If the oil pump shaft puked would the filter catch some crap? I should be able to change the pump out in the car, correct? Maybe I should go back to a std pump?

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Actually I did start it tonight, had oil pressure about 20 on the gage but did drop off very low at an idle. So I guess my pump is still working, but couldn't get it to idle very well. Doesn't seem quite right to me, I will still check with the builder but I don't think there's much he can say or do. Almost hate to keep running it in case something puked.

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I had a similar problem.  I installed a Melling high volume pump, and the oil pickup I got from Macs was getting hit by the rear crank counterweight.  Finally got a pickup and tube from Speedway motors that seems to work without interference.  To get pan off, I take off the ball for the front radius rods, and get a long bar to pry the assembly down and insert three short 2 X 4 boards to keep down while pan is removed.  Its a hassle.

Abe

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Don't run it until you figure out what's going on. If you're only getting 20 PSI and 5 PSI at idle, something is wrong. Either the pump isn't working properly or your bearing clearances are wrong. Either way, you're going to hurt it if you keep running it. Hopefully the answer is obvious once you get it opened up.

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ALL of the advice above is good! DO NOT start the engine again !  Call the rebuilder ASAP and follow his instructions. One of my Zephyr friends years back had a similar situation and it turn ugly real quick---lawsuit, litigation etc. etc. The  car owner lost the case because he messed with the engine 

before calling the rebuilder.

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Thank you all good advise! Called the rebuilder this morning, we had a very amicable conversation. Had his ok to drain the oil & check for contaminates & pull the oil pan & intake to check things out. 

He said they did pull the welch plugs & clean the crank. He believed they tap & plug them, also they used a std M19 Melling oil pump with a bolt on screen, so not a high volume pump like I had asked for. So probably not a broken shaft. Anyway will start pulling the stuff today! Yippee! Can't wait to pull the pan, I will keep you guys informed what I find (if anything) may just have pull it out. He sounds like they will probably stand behind there work if needed. Thanks you guys!

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I wish you all of the good luck that you need.

 

Save the oil and send it to a nearby lab to check. They will be able to help you determine if there is metal in the oil and what kind of metal. Save the results, you may need them if the shop starts giving you a hard time.

 

Write down your conversation with the shop now while it is fresh in your mind. Save it in your computer and do not modify the file that you saved. If you have more conversations, do the same and save it in a separate file. If you need these conversations, the file saved date will help prove when the conversations took place and your impressions of the conversations

 

Keep all of the conversations cordial and polite, you don't want to make the shop owner angry and uncooperative. You need his help to solve the problem.

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Look for one of the crankshaft welch plugs in the pan, you may be losing oil pressure up in that cavity. Sounds like what happened to mine too, no bang, just a loss of oil pressure when I cranked it one day. Under load, it would still show 20 lbs, but at idle the gauge went down to near nothing. I had it rebuilt with a different crankshaft, rings, new bearings. Now under load it shows 50 lbs of pressure, and at idle about 20 lbs of pressure.

 

Since being rebuilt the first time, that engine had had a "hard to turn it over when hot" issue. I had replaced starters, cables, checked all connections, no help. While it was apart fixing the crankshaft, we noticed some piston scuffing at the top of the pistons on one bank that was (I believe) the cause of the hard to turn it over when hot problem. The machinist said something on that bank had been installed wrong, I wish I could remember exactly what he said. Anyway, he fixed that and honed the cylinders. Now it turns over when hot no problem, cranks every time. 

 

I have that used crankshaft for sale, minus a welch plug, if anyone wants it, and another 86H crankshaft that has been built up and reground to standard size, never used. Send a message if you are interested. 

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I did find a welch plug in the pan this morning. I could see some red loctite but only staked in 2 spots. They did offer to send a new plug & the bolt & nut that they used to install, but I'm not real interested in doing it myself. Would have to remove a main brg cap for access a chance of messing it up. My other choice is pulling it & taking it back to them & have it all checked. 

 It's about a 10 hour round trip though, (they won't pick it up I asked). Quite a bit of added expense, they should at least replace all the gaskets. They won't of course cover any other expenses. 

Should I try & fix myself or pull the engine what would you guys do? 

I'm sure most of you would take it back to the rebuilder? Thanks.

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I can't believe the life of my engine relies on a "Mickey Mouse" 1 1/8" plug! Looks like they installed it with a 1/2" dia bolt w/nut. It looked like it didn't go in straight untill it was seated. This would distort the plug a bit & I believe contributed to it coming out. It's a difficult area to work in, I worry about the other plugs coming out sometime. 

 I think they need to be staked more than 2 spots, they need to stake the hell out of them the best they can do to access.

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I hear you edinmass it's over a year out of there warranty period. I guess there not obligated to cover anything. There not going to cover my time for pulling the engine or my fuel for a 10 hr drive etc etc. The best I can hope for is to reinstall a new plug, & hopefully a new gasket set. I would have had to change the break-in oil & filter shortly anyway.

 I don't think I should get into hissing match with now or they could tell me to "get bent". 

 Yes I think they should cut me a check for $500 but of course they won't.

One last thing they said they sleeved to cylinders, but I didn't see any evidence of it. I would have thought I could see it. When I get it out I will check it out closer. When I get down to the rebuilder I will have them show me. I don't want to confront them now. If they said they did & charged me & didn't do it then I will be "hissed off". Then I think they should reimburse me something. The saga continues!!

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  • 3 months later...

Hi an update, took it back to them & they installed another. Pulled the closest main brg cap it looked good. I ended up buying a Snapon spring loaded punch kit & additionally staked all but one plug as much as I could. These punches worked pretty good, beat trying to do it with a punch & hammer.

Finally got back in the car & started late Jan sounded ok other than a collapsed lifter (thought it might have been a bearing) it finally quieted down. Oil press was 50 & 20 at an idle. Took it for some test drives after 10 miles or so the oil press dropped to around 10+ or so at an idle & somewhere around 25 to 30 (as I recall haven't driven for about a month, gas tank is out of the car & new electric backup fuel pump.) 

Anyway would have liked to have seen more oil pressure when hot, found out they did not install the high volume oil pump, they put the std one. Oh well lots of places to loose oil press with hyd lifters etc. From what I have read on forums I guess my oil press is adequate.

After cleaning the fuel tank the best t could got it installed yesterday hope to put some gas in it today & drain it out to help flush.

Anyway that's the latest "time will tell" thanks for all your responses.

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