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ZondaC12

Continuation of my 1938 Special thread

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YUP thats exactly what i was thinking i could do!

i hope it wasnt misunderstood before---THERE IS oil coming from the holes you labeled with yellow dots. but not much. it just seems to run down the sides of the arms once it comes out of the hole. perhaps removing those added lines, and diverting all pressure right into the rocker shaft only will boost pressure and it will flow down the arm all the way to the tip and get in the gap. i think ill try it this weekend!

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Benefits of AACA Membership.

I think that the best thing to do is to disassemble the rocker arm assembly, take off the rocker arms and secure that all old oil that is carbonised inside the shaft is taken out. Remember to put back the arms in the same place they had before disassembly.

The oil back in those days did build up carbon inside the shaft which the additives in modern oil avoid. In my -36 rocker arm, there is also a water cooling pipe in the shaft and when I tried to take that shaft out it was stuck which means that almost no space was available for the oil to feed the rocker arms. I had to place the shaft in diesel solution for 14 days but boy, that did a wonder. All the old oil was softened up and possible to get rid off. By doing this you are also able to clean out the rocker arm feed holes as well as the grinded channels you have inside each arm that lube the whole circle of the arm.

Mats

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sounds like ill be doing that too. i might as well disassemble it all, since i want to get the ports to the pushrod attachment points cleared too. who knows, there could be some carbonzied oil in the shaft blocking them!

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mmmmkay. well then, is there something i could flush through it that would clean everything out? paint thinner? some kind of oil solution? it might sound silly, but i have this gear pump of my dads that i think is intended to pump oil or something, could i try and set something up for it to pump modern detergent motor oil through it, if something like paint thinner would be harmful?

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Read your manual on this before running anything else through there. I would think the rocker arm assembly can come off in one piece and if so, THEN you could try running kerosene through the rocker arm assembly. But don't do it while on the motor.

Also be careful if you decide to take the entire rocker arm assembly apart. Lay this outon a bench so that all the parts go back in the order they came off from. Watch for orientation of springs, washers and the rocker assemblies.

Good Luck

JD

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looking at it myself, i think it can come off in one piece too. i just have to undo all of the bolts on the brackets holding it to the head, and of course the oil lines, and i can't see anything else that would bar it from lifting right off, and pulling the pushrods right up out of their holes.

the only thing i just thought of was valves that are currently pressed open. im thinking the valve springs have a lot of force. whe i go to put the shaft back on, can i just set it down and tighten the bolts down on the brackets up in the air (im guessing theyre long enough for the threads to catch without the bracket being right on the head?) and it will press them back down?

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Hello all. I am new here but have had my 1938 series 40-41 Buick since 1978 and belong to the BCA and the 1937/38 Buick club. Here is a link to my car:

http://demandred.dyndns.org/540i/gallery/Buick

Regarding the valve train lubrication discussion, I completely took mine apart and rebuilt it from two different rocker arm assemblies. Oil is delivered to the rocker arm shaft which is hollow through a small, short oil line that connects from a shaft support to the head at the front of the head. This picks up metered oil from an external line from the lower oil gallery. There is a screen in the vertical head inlet to filter this oil. From the shaft oil is metered to the rocker bearings and through the rockers to the pushrod pivots and to a small hole in the rocker above each valve stem.

It is important to note that too much oil flow will flood the valve stems and overwhelm the seals which were not that great to begin with. This will produce oil burning when the engine is de-accelerating with high vacuum and RPM. The aftermarket added plumbing in the photo was probably intended to provide valve stem lubrication because the hollow rocker shaft was clogged.

I would get those lines out of there, take the rocker assembly apart and thoroughly clean it out. My shaft was completely clogged and I spent a number of hours soaking and reaming the crud out.

The assembly lifts right off and using time and determination can be completely disassembled. Lay out all the parts carefully in the order that they were taken apart and put them back in exactly the same order. The ends of the shaft are capped with internal brass plugs similar to "freeze" core plugs used in the engine block but smaller. I punched these out to gain access to the inside of the shaft and found replacements at the local auto parts store. With the shaft out the pushrods and lifters can also be cleaned up. Just keep the rods and lifters in the proper order.

Note the threaded adjusters on the rockers also have drilled passages that need to be cleaned out. I fabricated a new filter screen from stainless screen mesh which I formed into a cylinder, soldered and then soldered it to an eyelet for support. Still working great after 20 years. I clean it out every oil change.

I re-built my engine except for the camshaft and I re-used the main bearings with some shims removed, and my oil pressure is like yours and drops to 25-30 at 60MPH after the engine gets good and hot. I now am running Mobil 1 synth. oil, 15W-50 and the pressure is about 5 lbs higher.

Lastly, I re-built the whole braking system and used DOT 5 silicone fluid. I have not touched the system for 5 years and the fluid looks as clear as new. I have only had to top it up once. I have just done the same thing to my 1965 Mustang brake system and it is working great.

Good luck,

Steve D

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Yep. yesterday afternoon i unbolted the assembly and it came out just fine. it was of course pushed up a little by the valve springs, but no mishaps occured.

today i placed it on a drip-pan, and removed the T-fitting and the metered fitting that it was screwed into, and screwed in a brass fitting w/hose barb i found in my dad's collection of air fittings, nozzles, valves, etc, that already happened to have thread tape on it, as youll see in the attached picture. so hand tight was just fine. i then hooked up a 2 foot silicone hose to it, and the other end to a funnel, and poured motor oil, and later tried Marvel Mystery Oil, into the funnel, let the tubing fill, then push the tubing onto the nozzle of the spray attachment for our air compressor (spray fitting meaning you can just blow air onto the ground and blow dust away, etc) and pushed it through with rather light pressure flow(valve on compressor put at 40 psi). if the arms are rotated so they are almost parallel to the ground, but the tip moved down just a little, maybe 1/2 inch just to be sure. at this point, this will force the oil/air to come out the tiny holes that come out right behind the threads for the push rod adjustment screw (side of adjustment screw nearest rocker shaft itself for those who dont know these engines as well). i didnt know myself, its RIGHT next to it, and maybe 1/32nd of an inch diameter, very small. youll see in the attached picture that the next point is pointing almost straight downward, at a very steep angle. this only allows it to come out between the arm and shaft, aka through the rocker bearings. much less flow through here, good for cutting it off and trying to force it out the holes at the adjustment screws. last position i used during this test was with the tips up almost an inch above parallel, so that it can flow easily out of the holes on top of the arms.

results:

no problems with the holes on top of the rocker arms.

shaft bearings are pretty much fine, with a couple at the rear of the engine end not spitting oil/air.

the holes adjacent to the adjustment screws are the problem. it looks like the same pushrod-arm joints that i observed having little oil are indeed the ones that nothing will come out of. maybe 2 or 3 wouldnt at first but then opened up, dripping this white-slightly yellow fluid before fully opening up and allowing oil out and then a free flow of air once the oil is depleted.

what i think ill do, is remove the adjustment screws and balls from each arm, because the tiny holes seem to also be "in" the threaded holes, like some of the hole is blocked by the screw. so maybe that will give me more room to stick something in there maybe and scrape stuff out. i tugged on the bracket at the end with the rocker arm taken off you'll see in the next picture, but it wouldnt move. what should i do? id rather just get an (or both) end caps off anyway. i can see they look like freeze plugs, but how to i take them out? even doing that would make cleaning much easier.

lastly, in the picture there is a strange screw, rusted in the second bracket from the front. i took it out, and i could see the oil inside, this must be the inside of the rocker shaft, i could stick a small screwdriver in and it went in pretty far. the split wahser under it is very loose when the screw is tightened down. it doesnt go all the way down. any ideas as to what this is or why is there? just curious.

post-39688-143137883262_thumb.jpg

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Not that it matters much, but what I am having trouble picturing is how oil gets into the rocker arm to begin with. In prior posts it seems there is a tube running from the oil passage in the head to the end of the rocker shaft? But then you report that there are soft plugs on both ends of the rocker shaft?

Is this pipe attached to the end of the Rocker shaft? Or does it just lay in there? And where was the supply for that top over oiler tube attached?? Is it that there is a free flow of oil at the rocker shaft without any serious pressure?

JD

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the oil input into the shaft is at the spot i have temporarily attached that clear hose. from there the hole goes all the way down through the wall of the rocker shaft, which is hollow, i believe roughly 1/4-5/16" inner diameter. the rocker shaft has holes along it, each spot being at the center of a particular rocker arm. each arm has two holes along the round part that slips onto the shaft. the holes are spaced maybe 1/2 or 3/4" or so apart on the circumference. the positions of the arm i was talking about must have been when one of those holes lined up with the rocker shaft one, and the third one being when neither lines up, forcing all (or at least the majority) of the oil out the side, lubricating the the contact area between the arm and the shaft. it goes through all of these positions as it opens and closes the valve, thus, fully lubricating all of the assembly.

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I saw the question of "How do you know what tools numbered like J-1135 look like?" When I was working on my 1939 Roadmaster years back, I had this same problem. The answer turns out to be simple in nature, but tough in practice. What you first need to know is that all these funny special tools were designed by Buick but made for the dealers by a company named "Hinckley-Meyers". HM printed a catalogue every year that showed the Buick dealers what they needed WITH PICTURES of each one. Since I was fairly handy, I would measure the appropriate Buick part, look at the catalogue, and MAKE what I needed. That's the easy part. The tough one is finding a Hinckley-Meyers catalogue. By luck, I was able to find a 1939 catalogue in NOS condition and paid $35 for it in 1980. I found a rougher, but still very readable one for 1937 that has some earlier tools in it in 2002 and paid $40 for it. The Buick shop manuals for the 1938 self shifter has those 5 special tools illustrated, as do most other Buick shop manuals of the time. In summation, thinking carefully AND documentation are your best weapons! You can find out what J-XX?!X looked like, but it ain't easy!! Regards, Dave Corbin

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I saw the question of "How do you know what tools numbered like J-1135 look like?" When I was working on my 1939 Roadmaster years back, I had this same problem. The answer turns out to be simple in nature, but tough in practice. What you first need to know is that all these funny special tools were designed by Buick but made for the dealers by a company named "Hinckly-Meyers". HM printed a catalogue every year that showed the Buick dealers what they needed WITH PICTURES of each one. Since I was fairly handy, I would measure the appropriate Buick part, look at the catalogue, and MAKE what I needed. That's the easy part. The tough one is finding a Hinckly-Meyers catalogue. By luck, I was able to find a 1939 catalogue in NOS condition and paid $35 for it in 1980. I found a rougher, but still very readable one for 1937 that has some earlier tools in it in 2002 and paid $40 for it. The Buick shop manuals for the 1938 self shifter has those 5 special tools illustrated, as do most other Buick shop manuals of the time. In summation, thinking carefully AND documentation are your best weapons! You can find out what J-XX?!X looked like, but it ain't easy!! Regards, Dave Corbin

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Oil is fed from the short tube from the head casting to the first rocker shaft mount in the front. This mount aligns with a feed hole in the rocker shaft and feeds oil to the hollow center of the tube. The screw in the other mount is just a captive alignment screw meant to keep the shaft from rotating in the mounts, although in 70 year old parts thay are verily frozen together by heat and crud anyway.

I drilled a small hole in the end caps and used a dent puller screwed into this hole to pull the caps out. I used a rifle bore brass brush with plenty of solvent to clean out the hollow core. The mounts are very hard to remove. I soaked it in penetrating oil and then, working slowly, twisted and rocked it back and forth, gradually working it the the end of the shaft. Perhaps heat would help as the mounts are aluminum and the shaft is steel.

I would recommend removing the adjusters and thoroughly cleaning the passages. Pipe cleaners and a fine wire should do the trick. When re-assembling I used engine assembly lube to provide lubrication until the shaft filled up with oil. Lastly make sure the short tube is not clogged or better yet fabricate a new one. I made a new tube and also a new external tube from the head to the block oil gallery.

Steve D

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alright, thanks for the info. i think ill manage. it really doesnt seem that collossal a task to me now, looking at this thing it really doesnt seem to complicated as long as i keep the components in order as i remove them. i have this big 5 gal bucket of "petroleum solvent" i think is what it is, that is about half full, dad used the stuff to clean parts, etc, and for his parts washer in our basement. so im fine in that area. im not sure i have a dent puller, but i just looked it up in google, and the type that looks like it fits through a small hole is cheap, so maybe ill buy one. im sure there are other ways too, ill see what i think of (that doesnt inflict damage to the rocker shaft smirk.gif)

---EDIT---

well i decided to work on the thing this afternoon! first i stood it upright in a big metal drain-pan for coolant that probably holds a few gallons! i had cut out a scotch-brite pad in a circle shape a little bigger than the hollow core. i then used a metal rod to push it through. couple of nice big ol' chunks of SLUDGE came out the other end. made me feel terrible that that junk was in the valvetrain area at all!. so then i sprayed a lot of this solvent spray we have down the core, until it began to come out rather clear and not totally black, lol. there are still tiny bits of stuff on the wall, but ill take care of that. i then decided i was gonna at least try and get those caps off and pull some brackets and arms! i drilled a hole through the cap, then used a bigger sheetmetal screw, through some oversized nuts and washers stacked up, and threaded it into the hole, with a big fat screwdriver. so the screw wont move because the nut is against the end of the hollow core, so it yanks the cap out. didnt require a ton of force, either. this was obviosuly before i cleaned out the inside.

after cleaning the core, i clamped it to the workbench, like in the picture (not too tight, for the record i am being conscious of that, and with the pair of vise-grips i grabbed the brackets with. not too tight, and in the right spot so they didnt affect the flange part at all.) and used that hair-dryer looking thing to heat each bracket as i did it. dont dry your hair with that thing, itll catch on fire. thing puts out like 750 degrees F i believe it says on the side shocked.gif so then, with some PB sprayed on the shaft, i pulled on the bracket with my right hand and gently moved the vise-grips up and down with the other. three brackets came off with a decent amount of force, which lessened greatly once they became unstuck.

as i mentioned i have that parts washer. should i maybe use that for the arms and brackets?

post-39688-143137883267_thumb.jpg

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Glad your staying with your project. Nice to have people from all over the world helping you out isn't it. As for the dissasembly of your rocker assembly you have recieved some excellent information. I am a book mechanic myself and I've noticed all areas covered but one. You were advised to lay the parts of the rocker assembly out carefully as to know how to reassemble them. I had the engine from a 56 chevy 235 6cyl rebuilt. I dissasembled and cleaned the rocker assembly myself. I wasn't sure and the motor manual didn't say which way the extra (drain) holes in the rocker rod itself went. Well I decided they needed to be in the up position. Well it took 2 years to figure out the problem, they should have been down instead. The car smoked and used oil because the valve guides were being flooded with oil. After moving the (drain) holes to their downward position everything was fine. Just wanted you to be aware of this as not to make the same mistake as I did. I'm 51 years old, And am probably one of the youngest ORIGINAL car guys at Missouri car shows. Everything is chopped up and rodded out. I once had thoughts of V-8ing my 37 Buick Roadmaster but my heart just wouldn't let me do it. I'm currently on the waiting list of a reputable mechanic to have the original straight 8 rebuilt. Some day after the dust settles from all of the chopping and street rodding we will be the ones with the valuable automobiles because, and I hate to say it, there will be a lot less originals than rods. . Keep chipping away like you have been, a little each day, and before you know it you'll be cruzin in YOUR ORIGINAL BUICK.

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next pic: my sorting system! there are a few of these in my basement. works great! notice my numbering.

post-39688-143137883269_thumb.jpg

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last pic: brackets sorting system! hehe, just lining em up on the workbench. itll do just fine though. grin.gif

calwood1kid: thanks for the kind words! you're absolutely right. if there are younger people not interested in the rice-rockets, they like hot-rods and muscle cars. SPEED SPEED SPEED! i like a lot of power too, but these cars are plenty powerful enough for cruising. and cruising along at the speed limit is, uh, actually legal, so you can do it MUCH more often and easily then burning the tires and peeling out and accelerating to 100 mph and flying along there for a bit. and its less taxing on your car AND you! you can just relax. besides, hop up the cars meant to be fast! dont make speed demons out of cars meant to be cruisers. BTW, thanks for the tip with the shaft oil output holes. ill be sure to note where they belong. though there is a hole that, as DaveCorbin mentioned, lines up with the hole on that second bracket that has the big rusty screw in it. so that screw goes into the hole in the shaft, so i guess im actually taken care of with regards to that, but still a great tip! good choice with your '37. these are not much-seen as it is, by the time the rodders have eaten all of the ones we dont own ours will be a real rarity! and you know what? you have a <span style="font-weight: bold">roadmaster</span>. now im not saying im unhappy with the fact that i have "the common man's car" essentially in the old car hobby, but it is just that. i would be much more annoyed to see a roadmaster chopped n' channeled than a special. there are so much less of them, its a big car, and its one step down from the high-caste Limited series. not quite as disgusting, but almost like hot-rodding a marmon or duesy or something. if one of those ever got rodded EVERYONE in the hobby would know about it and thered be one hell of a backlash.

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This might be a little ahead of the process in asking this question, but I am ahead of of this repair scenerio (started at the same time as this thread) because I decided to work on what I thought might be an oil supply problem to my '41 (106K miles) rocker shaft, rather than a gummed up works problem. Cleaned the oil supply line from the oil galley, the horizontal and vertical fittings (man, the hole in the vertical fitting is small) and the cavity in the head between them, and the U-shaped tube to the hole in the rocker shaft. Also spent about five days spraying Liquid Wrench into every hole in the rocker shaft (stuffed rags everywhere under the rocker shaft to catch the drippings, need to change oil) and using a piece of 18 guage utility wire, probed the push rod oiler holes in the rockers. By the way, I couldn't figure out the advantage of the recommendation to take the ball stud out on each rocker to access the oil passage. I took the adjusting nut off the first rocker on the front of the shaft, backed the ball stud all the way up, and couldn't get the pushrod out and obviously couldn't get the ball stud out. So, I put the adjusting nut back on, adjusted the clearance, and went ahead with the probing with everything in place as normal.

This morning I started her up and I had oil everywhere. Before I started, I only had oil to the rear seven push rods and nothing to the holes on the top of the rockers. I now remember why I hated to adjust the valves on the first 283 Chevys. The spinning push rods were throwing oil down the side of the engine. Adjusting the valves will be very messy now.

Now, the question is, what might be the majority opinion on positioning of the rocker cover gasket for proper sealing. Put RTV sealant on the head and then place the gasket on the head followed by the rocker cover without RTV? Put RTV on the rocker cover and then place the gasket on the rocker cover followed by putting both on the head without RTV on the head? Or putting RTV on both sides of the gasket before assembling the cover to the head? The first two might allow for removal of the rocker cover to adjust the valves and not to waste a gasket, but the latter would provide the best seal especially when the only pressure on the cover to provide the seal is two nuts on the top of the cover.

Seems that there might be a place on fleabay for someone who would manufacture and sell the oil strainer for the rocker shaft as described by Steve bigD. I haven't noted anyplace where one might be purchased or something that might be a substitute.

Unless the shop manuals cover the subject, now might be a good time for someone with the knowledge to describe, when the rocker shaft has been removed, all rockers have been removed, and all ball studs have been removed from the rockers, how you put everything back together enough to get the engine running before fine tuning the valve clearance.

John

'41 mod 46

BCA #41635

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well thanks for trying to abate my workload, unclefogey, but i didnt catch your post in time. i went straight to work when i got home from school today, and about 10 minutes ago i finished re-assembling the rocker assembly. i cleaned everything out in the parts washer, and boy does that solvent work good! everything is assembled in correct order, and with assembly oil on every contact surface. now all i need are the caps....ill go to advance/napa/something and see if i can get em tomorrow. but providing i can get the caps, she oughta be running again tomorrow or friday! cool.gif just in time for the nice weather. im gonna have to do some driving around (no, in the cougar, sorry if i suddenly made anyone think the buick was registered yet) to see who's bringing their oldies out. itll be in the 50's friday and saturday, so i know theyll be out. cool.gif

itll be a real landmark day, because at that point, the car will be 100% ready to drive. just add insurance and registration.

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John, What is the material of the valve cover gasket? Neoprene or cork?

If cork, I would not put anything on either surface of the gasket. If neoprene there is a gasket adhesive which could be used to attach the gasket to the valve cover, but then leave the bottom side uncoated.

Here's one thing I do which may be overkill. I use form-a-gasket part 2B and put a drip on the threads of the valve cover screws. I do this because this is supposed to be non hardening formula and it is thick, which helps hold the bolts tight without locktight. Like I said it may be overkill but I can't count how many loose valve cover gasket bolts I've encountered from the factory, and this seems to keep things tight without locking things up.

Just a small tiny drip is sufficient. You don't want to fill the hole and then force the bolt in. this stuff can be sloppy.

JD

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JD, it is cork, or what passes as cork these days. Appears to be a composition of tiny ground up pieces of cork and tiny ground up pieces of rubber. It is definitely not neoprene. I believe I will be forced to use a sealant because the gasket is bowed in on the long sides and there is no way to keep it in place without sticking it to something.

Zonda, keep asking questions, I check here regularly to see what my next project should be. Your confidence in taking on these projects is well beyond mine. After pulling the rockers from the shaft and the ball studs from the rockers and then reassembling, I can only imagine the resulting clearances between rockers and the valves are all over the place. Probably a good idea to turn over the engine without plugs to get some tentative clearances when both valves are closed on a particular cylinder and then repeat on others. Speaking of turning over, it was on one of the posts to this thread by Glassesguy that I learned one of the most important tricks of a working alone mechanic and that is how to engage the starter from the engine compartment. Let us know where you find the plug for the end of the shaft. That little unknown caused me to take the action I did rather than pulling the the shaft.

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One of the first repairs I made when I got my car was to replace the valve cover gasket, as I had a good sized leak going near the firewall. The new gasket was that composite cork material. First, I tried installing it with only a few dabs of high-tack here and there on the head to hold in place with nothing on the cover side of the gasket. When I installed the valve cover, and snugged down the nuts (tight, but not too tight), the gasket slipped off the mating surface of the head and into the cover. But of course I didn't notice this, and when I started her up, I had a bigger oil leak than what I started with. Not wanting to do the repair a third time, I went the overkill route and slathered the gasket with form-a-gasket sealer on both sides. That stopped the leak, but if I ever want to take that cover off again, it's gonna be a [@!#!$].

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unclefogey: maybe i should have done it more than i did, but i didnt pull out most of the ball studs and the nuts holding them in place. that was why, i didnt want to have to adjust the valves again. the tiny hole on the underside of the arm i described, i was able to stick a needle in there and move it around and then put th hole in the path of the jet of solvent in the parts washer and then see the stuff gushing out of the hole on the cirumference of the large hole that goes on the shaft. then i knew it was cleaned out.

Update for today: went out and got the caps! (this is mainly for JohnD1956 he'll know what im talking about) Napa didnt have them so they sent me to Dave Hunt's, Mr. D i think you mentioned him to me once? they had the caps, didnt even charge me for them! it is a small part i guess but still that was nice of him. i thanked him for it. nice shop he has there.

so tomorrow ill put it all back in the car, fire 'er up, and (hopefully) the oil flow will be much more. im thinking maybe i should remove and clean out the line going from the crankcase to the head, that might be clogged. who knows?

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