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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well... tomorrow I'll be doing a compression test on my motor, if it's low it's coming out. While it's out I'll be checking it over, fixing the rear main leak, cleaning it, and painting it Chevy orange like it should be. I've never changed rings, so what should I expect (I do have a friend helping that knows what he's doing...)? I'm almost 100% sure I need new rings, it would explain the blow-by problems I've been having, and the stiffer brake pedal (less vacuum).

I remember seeing an excellent article around here about adjusting valves, where can I find that? Is it 12lbs of torque, then 3/4 turn?

Anyway... any pointers would be appreciated. If everything goes as planned I might be taking this bad boy to the track to lay down some times for myself (the 12.92 was the old owner, I haven't had a chance to run it yet).

BTW... I bought a set of Total Seal gapless rings, supposed to reduce blow-by, improve power/torque and increase engine life, anyone tried these?

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kenny

85 El Camino 355ci
350 turbo - 4.11's
best run so far 12.92
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How many miles on the engine?

I hate to bear bad news, but new rings may not help, and that'd be a lot of work down the tubes. If you put new rings in a bore that is not perfectly round, they may not seat properly.

When you're putting this much work into pulling the engine, disassembly, etc, you're so much better off getting the block decked and bored. It's a fraction of the expense and hassle you'll go through reringing it to no avail, and then having to have it machined anyhow.

You may have success with a low-miles engine if you do a really good cross-hatch with a good honer. Then treat the engine as if it was a full rebuild, the rings may seat.

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70 Impala Sport Coupe (350)
66 Chevelle (I wish, still looking)
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make sure to use a bead hone to break the cylinder glaze, and not a 3 stone style which will try to straighten the cylinder. You also may need a ridge reamer to clear the ridge at the top of the cylinders if the engine has a lot of wear. Really if the engine is that worn that you have a decent ridge that you can catch your fingernail on then the rering is just a bandaid and wont last a long time. A thick ridge means the cylinder is tapered, so cylinder sealing wont be that good even with new rings. If the engine is still in good shape and this is just a freshening, then the rering should work ok.

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Dave
70 chevelle ss396 conv
66 chevelle ss396 hdp/conv
72 chevelle
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Pretty low miles 55,000 or so 60,000 max... it seems to be in great shape (fires first click of the ignition, burns no oil, runs great), but if it's bad it will be going to a machine shop. The reason I'm doing it is because I've been getting a lot of blow-by, its actually going around the baffles and up into the breathers. It also feels like I've lost some vacuum as the brake pedal is a little stiffer. Anyway, the response always comes back, check the compression it's probably the rings. So as far as I know it's in good shape. I've also had a couple of people say the rings may have died due to a recent valve job. If you think it could be anything else I'm all ears.

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kenny

85 El Camino 355ci
350 turbo - 4.11's
best run so far 12.92
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Kenny, so you are the guy who bought this car. A re-ring job is not a good project for someone who has never really torn an engine apart.

Before you subject yourself and friends to this kind of work, may I suggest that you bring the car into a quality shop for an opinion.

If the engine really is weak and tired, I too would reccomend that you avoid band-aid repairs. Instead, you may want to find a quality shop that will rebuild the engine you bring them, with your saving$ being measured by your hours of removal and installation labor.

Best of luck, Thomas

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"Bomber" '67 El Camino, Beater comes back to life.
Was 350/TH350 14.90 @ 93mph, 360,000+ miles on car
Now 406 roller, 340rwhp, more hp coming, 3.08 gears
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
What do you mean I'm the guy that bought 'this' car? I've had it for almost a year. I'm fully aware a re-ring job is not a good project for someone who hasn't torn an engine apart, that's why I called a friend. He's going to school to become ASE certified, and knows what he's doing. Between me and him we also have all the tools we'll need, except maybe 1 or 2 (which I'll be picking up soon enough, he also works at Advance Auto so I can get a 20% discount). I've torn a couple of motors apart, swapped a couple of engines and done most other things... I'm hoping to learn some more by doing it myself, not to mention the money I'll save (which I don't have). Gotta learn sometime right? The motor is no where near weak, it screams... BUT the blow-by is becoming a serious problem, and I want to fix it before selling the car to anyone. I'm not the type of person to sell someone else my problems, I wouldn't feel right.

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kenny

85 El Camino 355ci
350 turbo - 4.11's
best run so far 12.92
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After you have the engine out and apart.........(4 beers, 2 busted knuckles and a dented header panel later.....)

Measure the cylinders with a dial bore gauge.
Measure the pistons with a mic.
Determine the cylinder to piston wall clearance.
If the clearance is not bad, take the block to the machine shop and have them put "a pattern" in the cylinders. They will run a ball hone through the cylinders to "rough-up" the lowest spots in the cylinder walls and also put the block into a CK-10 or similar honing machine to put a new surface on the cylinder walls....... so that (and this is important), THE NEW RINGS WILL SEAL AFTER BREAK-IN !!
At this time it is also wise to replace all the freeze plugs, inspect and replace the cam bearings (if necessary), and cleanse the oil galleys. Typically the machine shop will do all of this. If the block is a filthy mess, then it is wise to have it "hot-tanked" and final cleaned for assembly.

If your engine has low mileage, the cylinder walls are probably still good and the engine will benefit from a "ring job".
If you have excessive wear, it's time for a rebuild.
Re-ringing an engine is usually only succesfull on a low mileage block where cylinder out-of-roundness is not present.

Nate
 

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Your right about needing to leard some time but why go through all that work to sell it? I understand not wanting to sell some one your problems but looks at it good they will know its problems right? Its not like your going to lie about things. But if you are going to go through all that work you might as well take it to a machine shop and have it all done and done right. Bored and new cam bearings and plugs installed. If you rip it apart that much you are already spending most of the money anyway in gaskets and bearings, now you might need pistons at 20 or so a pop and with the right compression and a mild cam your car could really scream
I'm all for doing things 1/2 way but your going through all the hard work. Why run a 25 mile marathon to stop 400 yards from the finish? Even if you get the crank turned and by new pistons it will only cost you a few 100 more to do it right(and then why sell it?) And for the I'm broke problem...save a bit and if all else fails get a loan at a bank w/maybe a parent cosigning. trust me on this as a young dude starting out, build credit as fast as you can. I'll stop preaching now


Good luck


Philip
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Why sell it? I'm 17, this is my only car... take a look at my setup and tell me why I should keep it (hell ya I love it, but I need something practical, so I'll be buying a stock Elky and a GN for the weekend fun).

Motor:
350 .030 over 10.5:1 pistons
GM 3947041 Heads (64cc 2.02 valves)
Comp Cams 305H
.525/.525 Lift
253/253 Duration
Edelbrock Victor Jr. intake
Holley 750 Double Pumper
Mallory ignition

Tranny:
TH-350 with B&M shift kit
B&M Holeshot 3000 torque converter (3000 stall)

Rear End:
8.5 10 bolt (out of a Grand National) with 4.11 gears

I don't need to change cams, pistons or whatever else was mentioned. I'm checking bearings, and cleaning a lot of things. Why do this if I'm selling it? - think about it, $200 or so now, instead of selling it for $2000 or so less why wouldn't I do it? Plus, I enjoy doing the work.

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kenny

85 El Camino 355ci
350 turbo - 4.11's
best run so far 12.92
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ok, im confused, you say it uses no oil yet it has a lot of blow-by?? and also the valve adjusting is NOT 12lbs... just tighten them untill you can't rotate the pushrod by hand or you feel no lash (make sure that piston is in TDC position first) then turn 1/2 turn. and why is the blow-by a problem??? if it's not using oil??

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1970 SS396 AKA 454/4spd
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Sorry... I meant it burns no oil, I do lose oil with the blow-by, but the smoke comes from the breathers, not the exhaust.

12lbs was just a guess, that sounds a lot better... any idea on where that write up of how do adjust valves is?

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kenny

85 El Camino 355ci
350 turbo - 4.11's
best run so far 12.92
My Page

[This message has been edited by ? (edited 09-20-2001).]
 

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<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by ?:
Sorry... I meant it burns no oil, I do lose oil with the blow-by, but the smoke comes from the breathers, not the exhaust.
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I'm curious,do you have a PVC valve hooked up? My SS454 had 2 breathers and no PVC valve on it when I first bought it,and both breathers smoked at idle.I tossed both breathers,and replaced them with 1 new breather and a PVC valve...no more smoke.



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1970 Chevelle SS396/M20/4.10 My 70 SS396
Engine pic
1970 Chevelle SS454My 70 SS454
1968 Oldsmobile Cutlass convertible
1982 Oldsmobile Cutlass 350 Olds,TH350(daily driver)
Chris Corwel,TC Member 785
 

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Kenny,
Looking at all the posts, I don't believe you need to take the engine out. It appears to run strong, doesn't smoke, recent valve job, etc. From what I understand from your posts, the oil blows out of the breathers in the valve covers and you have a hard brake pedal.
I would first look at whether or not the valve covers have baffles under the breathers. No baffle will result in some oil splash coming out of the breathers. Some part stores carry a rubber type baffle that works as a seal around the breather. Install a PCV valve as recommended. This will put a negative pressure inside the crankcase to help pressures from building and forcing oil out of the breathers.
Looking at the cam specs., The cam you're running can result in low vacuum that in turn will cause brake pedal problems (hard pedal). This can be improved by installing a vacuum canister between the hose coming from the intake to the brake booster. This stores vacuum as you are going down the road and helps the brake booster have more effect.
I hope I'm on the right track. If so the costs should be $50 or so.

Ed C.
70SS 396/350 4 spd red/white
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
There's other reasons its coming out, I need to fix the rear main and I want to clean it up a bit.

Anyway, yes I have baffles and no I don't have a PVC system (although I'm planning on getting one). I'm not too worried about a little smoke coming from the breathers at idle, what I'm worried about is the oil that goes into the breathers, and then out onto my valve covers and headers. This makes a real mess, and usually begins to smoke like crazy. That's the reason I'm pretty sure I need new rings.

Oh: I relies the cam specs and understand the lack of vacuum, I do have a reserve canister but the pedal has been stiffer even when I have full vacuum.

So if you guys don't think I need new rings what else could it be? A PVC system isn't going to stop oil from getting into the breathers and all over the motor... or is it?

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kenny

85 El Camino 355ci
350 turbo - 4.11's
best run so far 12.92
My Page

[This message has been edited by ? (edited 09-21-2001).]
 

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Last time I took off or plugged the PCV system it caused several things to happen... 1. oil all over the valve covers and the exhaust, 2. massive oil leak at the rear main, 3. oil leak at the front of the crank, 4. oil vapors/smoke under the hood all the time. Hummmm, me thinks the PCV needs to be reinstalled and alot of your mess may just go away after a good cleaning. ALL motors create a fair amount or more of internal blow-by pressure, 2 breathers alone MAY not be enough to relieve that internal pressure created by the pistons moving (remember pistons move JUST as much air under the piston as on top and with some blow-by there will be POSITIVE pressure in the block cavity). A proper PCV system pulls that POSITIVE pressure out of the motor more effectively than just breathers alone and also helps keep our sport and the air we breathe cleaner by BURNING those oil vapors. Any ???'s

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'94 Camaro 1LE (original owner)
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by harleighguy:
Last time I took off or plugged the PCV system it caused several things to happen... 1. oil all over the valve covers and the exhaust, 2. massive oil leak at the rear main, 3. oil leak at the front of the crank, 4. oil vapors/smoke under the hood all the time. Hummmm, me thinks the PCV needs to be reinstalled and alot of your mess may just go away after a good cleaning. ALL motors create a fair amount or more of internal blow-by pressure, 2 breathers alone MAY not be enough to relieve that internal pressure created by the pistons moving (remember pistons move JUST as much air under the piston as on top and with some blow-by there will be POSITIVE pressure in the block cavity). A proper PCV system pulls that POSITIVE pressure out of the motor more effectively than just breathers alone and also helps keep our sport and the air we breathe cleaner by BURNING those oil vapors. Any ???'s

<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

That's something I've been hoping to hear... I have one question. Will a breather style PVC system work just as well as the valve does? It seems to be the same thing, am I right at guessing that they're the same thing? Just to clarify, this is what I'm talking about: http://www.jegs.com/photos/7202054.jpg

The motor is coming out regardless, I'm pretty lazy so I don't want to have to change a rear main from under the car (if I dropped the tranny instead of pulling the motor) also, it'll give me a chance to make it nice and purdy.


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kenny

85 El Camino 355ci
350 turbo - 4.11's
best run so far 12.92
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IMO "harleighguy" nailed it! Before you pull it out put a pcv VALVE on it. If you can, connect it to the base of the carb. Don't be in such a hurry to pull it out, try to fix it first. You might just find that it works and then you'll only need to detail the engine instead of rebuilding it.

I always thought you drove it 12.92....Did he show you a time slip?
 

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I too am wondering if the breather that kenny posted the picture link too will be as effective as a PCV valve in the breather hole. Another question:

mr. 4-speed:
when you replaced one of your breathers with a PCV valve did you lose power brakes? Please see my other post about this:
http://www.chevelles.com/forum/Forum23/HTML/004400.html

I have a manual tranny, and just an alternator for an accessory. Will I need a vacuum canister?

thanks
Joe



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1965 Chevelle SS
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by junglejimmie:
IMO "harleighguy" nailed it! Before you pull it out put a pcv VALVE on it. If you can, connect it to the base of the carb. Don't be in such a hurry to pull it out, try to fix it first. You might just find that it works and then you'll only need to detail the engine instead of rebuilding it.

I always thought you drove it 12.92....Did he show you a time slip?
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Unfortunately no on the time slip, I kinda half doubt it... not that I don't think it's capable, but because there isn't a battery tie down on it. Maybe he took it to some track with a slacking tech, who knows. I've ridden in a couple of 12 second cars, and from the seat of the pants feel mine feels capable. With that and how badly I can beat people on the street (don't flame, I'm a safe driver and only go WOT when theres no one out), I'm guessing 12.60s. The heads have been mildly ported by looking at them, but from what I've read about them they're limited by intake runners. If it turns out that I can't sell it I'll be buying a nice set of Air Flow Research heads for it.

But ya, that breather will match my other one and would be nice if I could have 2 breathers AND a PVC system. Anyone tried it?

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kenny

85 El Camino 355ci
350 turbo - 4.11's
best run so far 12.92
My Page
 
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