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Projects Blown 4 Banger (210 inch grenade)

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by nutrocker, Feb 7, 2021.

  1. nutrocker
    Joined: Jan 12, 2007
    Posts: 386


    A couple of years ago I did a trade with my old modified for a T bodied, A chissis’d car with a blown F head 4 banger. I loved the car but the owner was starting to hate it. The reason for this was it never ran properly, and kept having failure after failure.
    I guess I’m a bit of a sucker, but the trade for a perfectly good and reliable hand made car for something that had issues seemed to make sense at the time. How little did I know?

    This is my old modified during the build. Build thread here


    And this is the new T’n’A being driven by Jamie, the previous owner.
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    The motor. ‘28 A fitted with a Belcher Engineering billet 2 piece head with overhead inlet, Scat crank and rods etc, and a Wade RO34 supercharger as fitted to a Comma TS3. If you’ve never seen a TS3 then google one and have a look at its engine.

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    So far so good. I played with if for a bit, changed a few things about and set about trying to dial it in. That’s when the trouble started. My first problem was the vibration. Way too much. I know bangers do have their own vibrating style, but something was definitely wrong. The blower was a problem too. In stock form the bearings are not sealed, allowing oil to pass through to aid oiling to two stroke TS3 engine. But this meant that if you topped up the oil in the front gears it just got sucked through and smoked until the oil was empty. What this actually meant was that it was also sucking in air after the carbs. M

    More to follow
  2. Kevin Pharis
    Joined: Aug 22, 2020
    Posts: 190

    Kevin Pharis

    I built a manifold to run a 500 cfm Holley 2 barrel on a hot A motor... ran awesome!!!! But at certain rpm... it would find a harmonic vibration that would shake so bad the fuel would foam in the carb and shoot out the bowl vent... and flood out the engine! :(

    We put the dual 81’s back on and pulled 102 hp on the dyno... but it wasn’t anything like the Holley...
    Jet96, Tim, Stogy and 2 others like this.
  3. nutrocker
    Joined: Jan 12, 2007
    Posts: 386


    With the blower causing a air fuel ratio issue I pulled the blower and modified it to take seals and more modern sealed bearings. That was one issue easily sorted.

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    Once the blower was sorted and refitted I decided to get a bit arty and change the modern serpentine belt system for a chain. I thought it looked great. I made a sprocket fit the strange water pump pulley that was already fitted. Acquired an alternator and fitted a sprocket to that and set it all up. Now at this point the alternator was running backwards. Not being sure if it would work I set it up on the bench, and it did indeed work. Spinning it up with a hand drill and connected to an exciter bulb and a meter it registered 14.7 volts.
    On the car was a different matter. Would it bloody work? No, is the answer. I spent ages working on it, days turned into several weeks, trying different alternators, rewiring half the car, refitting different wattage exciter bulbs, but nothing worked.
    Time had now run out for its first outing at Gow! I had failed to get a car to an event for the first time, but looking back, it was a good thing I hadn’t thrashed that engine up the hill at Prescot.
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    Not managing to get it to the event I decided to pull the motor and spend some time going through it. It did have an abnormal vibration after all.
    Engine out and remove the sump. That’s when my heart sank. The motor itself was pretty clean. The crank looked good, the steel main caps were chunky and it all looked great, except for what was found.

    696E3717-0508-4D25-A459-BA330FB4409D.jpeg 7434F975-5F68-4BBE-BBD6-3A0AB70127B9.jpeg

    These bits were in the sump. Panicking, I checked everywhere thinking the block the bolloxed. Nothing seemed to be wrong. Just a handful of random lumps of cast iron.

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    The sump was full of what can only be described as the remains of a blown up motor, but none of those bits belonged to this engine. What the hell is going on. The company that originally built the motor fitted the main caps and full pressure oil system, and as a result needed a modified sump.
    At this point I need to say that this was not the fault of Jamie, the guy I bought the car from. He had paid good money for the engine to be built. When I found all these bits he was horrified. Talking with him about the build and what parts he supplied, it came to light that a sump was one of the bits he was missing and the engine building company would supply one.

    I’m only guessing, but sure does look like they’ve built the motor and not thought about the sump until the end. Then just took a sump from a blown up motor and somehow fitted it without cleaning it first. How? No idea, but here I am with a clean engine and dirty sump.

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    On removing the crank I could see shell bearings had been fitted. At least that was something good. Sadly not. When they align bored the block for the shells they didn’t get it all. Part of the original casting was still visible.
    Roughly measuring the bore in the block with the bore in the caps looked to have a 6-1/2 thou difference. When I fitted the caps back on the block with the bearings in place I could feel the step where the bearings joined together.
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    Attached Files:

  4. nutrocker
    Joined: Jan 12, 2007
    Posts: 386


    The motor now completely apart, goi g through what’s good and what wasn’t.
    With the head being an F head, meaning that the intake valves were over head, meant it needed push rods for the over head valves. What the builders had done was to find push rods that fitted with the rockers in the head, cut them to length and fitted them in the socket of a socket head screw screwed into the lifters. Was this a good idea and did it work, no, not really.
    You can see from the photos that the rods was just mushroomed. This would also be knocking the valve clearance out too.
    D20244C3-2F4B-45ED-A760-1124D8CAE50D.jpeg 52C29869-ACC4-4513-9F67-AECA4A0C08AC.jpeg

    The only answer was to invest in some Manley push rods which I could make up to size.

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    While on the head it was a good idea to check that over. It was built by the same company that built the motor, so only prudent to give it the once over.
    A work customer has a flow bench. The path on the side draft head looked very flat so we checked it. It was bad. The 1-7/8” valve flowed less than half that of one of the heads my friend normally works on with an 1-1/4” valve. So I needed to do something.

    First couple of photos are from the internet and show the heads in production. You can see how flat the intake path is.

    There is also some shrouding of the valve.

    B69D2551-809A-4B39-B262-B4CCF36FC531.jpeg D23EDDE2-B265-48A6-B894-30AAC3E7B5F7.jpeg

    This is the flow bench we used.
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    With the heads apart I set about welding up the ports

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    The ports welded as well as tubes welded in where the new ports will be.
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    With a flange welded on it was done. Just needed a new port to be cut in.
    I also decided to take the billet look out and took a grinder to all the corners to make them more aesthetically pleasing.

    C7C9C7AB-9F68-4FCE-8877-EF36E1D2EEDE.jpeg 5CCBE123-D405-46DA-B10A-97B2B0DC739F.jpeg CD5E4A78-2FB3-4CF9-A367-BC60F2501E83.jpeg 40B8201C-E534-4316-B49D-84B0B5321FAE.jpeg 7DCEF317-66BD-4F28-9F65-6DCBEC31BD87.jpeg C0DA8F32-5B9F-486E-A3BA-58DB7C15722F.jpeg 3B43AA71-A394-418D-B7AA-B4497C201024.jpeg

    On the Bridgeport mill cutting the new semi down draft intake path.

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    Another bit that needed to be done was to relieve the area around the valve that was shrouded.
    For this I used the old valve guides as a guide and made a cutting tool for the mill to open up the area behind the valve.


  5. Budget36
    Joined: Nov 29, 2014
    Posts: 6,783


    Oh my, you certainly are near the top of the shade tree;)
    Stogy, winduptoy, Jet96 and 5 others like this.
  6. spanners
    Joined: Feb 24, 2009
    Posts: 1,232


    Well I'm seriously impressed with your skills.
    BradinNC, Stogy, Blues4U and 4 others like this.
  7. TCTND
    Joined: Dec 27, 2019
    Posts: 248


    I love seeing constructive OCD at work; brilliant.
    Stogy, winduptoy, LAROKE and 3 others like this.
  8. nutrocker
    Joined: Jan 12, 2007
    Posts: 386


    While still working on the head I was also working on the block. I found that the AER bearings were bigger than what was used, which was good news as it would open up the bores and hopefully get rid of the step that it had. Sadly not quite enough and the small areas around the main bearing bores had to be welded. This makes it difficult for the machining as they have two differing metals and hardness to try and machine together.
    At this point as I was having to go to the expense of an align bore I thought I might as well make a girdle to help support the centre main bearing.
    I started with a lump of 2” square, cut and machined to size. I cut a half circle on the one side with enough for machining them machine screwed it to two 5/8” x 2” side blocks. Surface ground it all flat and mounted it to the block.

    2B875005-3EB1-4F3C-ACB7-1BACA1CD8BA5.jpeg 1F271DA7-8068-449A-8A2E-519479C74D3D.jpeg E36A9EA4-0681-404F-B703-A3F1D861BEC4.jpeg 608D0DBD-B989-4C89-AB69-0F833453F9E8.jpeg 52DC8C69-DB97-409E-88AA-E627995BB110.jpeg 9B947A3F-7EA5-4DE4-ACB1-A017738FEE82.jpeg 07C42BD4-323E-4055-843E-941519B303F2.jpeg

    so with the girdle fitted there’s no way the original sump would fit. I kept the bottom 2” of the sump, cut the middle bits out and fab'd up a dry sump with a centre channel.

    19E665E9-3AD2-4F97-B028-0FEF73BDBC2E.jpeg B6C49F73-B416-4A79-9DA0-A09AC14C358B.jpeg

    As I didn’t want to run the original water pump I made a mounting for an electric pump and the dry sump belt driven oil pump.

    EE919F3D-4223-41E0-A619-E3BBAC942D5D.jpeg D9F44395-4FBE-4C73-A9A4-76DF24FAD34B.jpeg 607258CD-41E0-4054-804A-FC909829DDF9.jpeg B6455F13-1CA1-4052-87C2-5CE8AEEE23EF.jpeg C87BAD31-8BB0-4927-9552-860DDFC3BD71.jpeg ED6B2147-B676-482D-BE20-CEDB8471A66E.jpeg A5890DE2-E631-4905-BB26-0232DBE432C3.jpeg AC68C1B1-2246-4F24-9C2F-19EE4F4EF11D.jpeg 37939011-9144-48B3-8114-530F036D4795.jpeg
  9. Doublepumper
    Joined: Jun 26, 2016
    Posts: 1,059


  10. nutrocker
    Joined: Jan 12, 2007
    Posts: 386


    Time to get serious. The pistons that were fitted would be fine for a stick or mildly tuned banger, but the thin top and cast construction meant they wouldn’t be fit for this engine.
    I spoke to JE Pistons and had them make me a bespoke set. Not cheap, but very nice pistons. Really thin rings too.

    ADF7A053-452D-41E2-8378-4A7BD6DA0799.jpeg 047D3BC1-DA65-4727-87AE-B0EDA225D06F.jpeg

    as it was now going to be dry sump I needed an oil tank. Wanting something that looked old I fabricated one using some spun ends.

    7E0ABD1E-5AC3-46D8-92D9-650C22E51826.jpeg 5DE821C5-71D6-4111-BDBB-AB3933986C42.jpeg 3D3EC594-15A2-4AF6-A1FC-98B110D420F1.jpeg

    Nearly time for the build. I now had fitted cam bearing so needed an oil feed to them.
    I started by making a brass manifold which I could feed directly from the oil filter housing. Using small bore copper nickel lines reduced the flow leaving the majority of flow to the mains and bid ends. I also put a line to the front timing gear, the valve chest and rocker boxes with mister jets to provide a light mist over these areas.

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    Titan oil pump and the electric water all nicely fitted to the shallow sump. I made a fake section on the sump to look like the water pump was crank driven. It does hide the wiring so does have a use.
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    Build day. Did it a5 my mates place with his help. All went together well. I was really happy. Just need to fit it in the car and run it up. 4 weeks till Pedine, not long.

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  11. nutrocker
    Joined: Jan 12, 2007
    Posts: 386


    All in, blower on, filled with fluids and ready to go.

    It fires up well, runs nice, or did. 20 minutes it ran for until squeak squeak squeak. Arse! FAD734A1-8D55-4F95-8BF8-00A9D05126C9.jpeg




    On inspection we found the bearings from Scat had the locating tangs in different places. Bingo, found the problem. When we put the motor together it didn’t come to light. But what was happening was the bearings were just touching the journal radius causing them to pick up, or so we thought.

    With only one week till Pendine, new bearings were ordered, the motor stripped, cleaned a d reassembled paying attention to the clearance on the journal radius.

    All good, the motor turns over nice. Fit it back in the car. Check everything and fire it up.
    Almost immediately the same number 1 big end picked up again. Game over for Pendine that year and knowing that something more was wrong, I packed up my tools and went to Pendine in my daily.

    Attached Files:

    Okie Pete, Stogy, winduptoy and 15 others like this.
  12. Holy Shite!!!!..........what a great thread, let me guess, this is not your first chance to learn how to weld or build an engine?.............fantastic work and thanks for the pics & details, regards from Oz.......Andy Douglas
    Stogy, 48fordnut, Blues4U and 4 others like this.
  13. nutrocker
    Joined: Jan 12, 2007
    Posts: 386


    After a month or so away from the engine I got back on it.

    so I have another problem? Must be oil feed to the big ends, it’s the oil thing it can be.
    With that in mind I replaced the whole oil feed system for the mains from the 1/4” bore of the tubes between the main caps to aeroquip hose with 3/8” bore. The rear main was now an external line with the centre and front being internal.
    Once it was all assembled and with the help of my mate we powered up the oil pump while the motor was upside down on the bench so we could physically see oil going to the big ends.

    795E6AB9-3648-4CCB-B71C-B0D3DDA0E4E7.jpeg E763A3A1-4EDF-4735-9D08-3D199CF53958.jpeg 6DAA1EDE-96EC-49F4-B4B0-C569AB068108.jpeg B5690A1E-F8BD-4DBC-B113-E999CEC63F8B.jpeg 7FB55393-5220-41A5-9E79-0B8218AB3EC3.jpeg

    with a bit more time, I spent some of it making the billet on the blower a bit nicer too. I fitted a sprung belt tensioner as well.

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    Starting to look real nice, and with the all new oil system it should work too.

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  14. Lepus
    Joined: Nov 18, 2016
    Posts: 310


    That's a lot of work, and it looks great. That engine should be bullet proof when you're done. I think you should treat yourself to a new wheel for your surface grinder.
  15. nutrocker
    Joined: Jan 12, 2007
    Posts: 386


    Not my first time welding, but only my third engine build.
  16. nutrocker
    Joined: Jan 12, 2007
    Posts: 386


    One of the things I was happy with was the cam. Although a nice grind, one of Jim Brierley’s dual grind cams, it didn’t suit what I thought the blower would need.
    I talked to a UK cam company and told them what I was doing, what I wanted and could they help me. After they stopped laughing, asking why would I want to build a motor like this, they helped me design a one-off cam that on paper will work. So much for my retirement fund.
    With the new cam, all new oil system things were looking good.
    I even took some time out to take some arty farts photos













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    The feeling good didn’t last long. Within a minute of the motor running I could hear that squeak. Shut it down and pull the sump.
    While it wasn’t as much as last time, it still wasn’t right.

    It can’t be the oil system.
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  17. Dangerous Dan
    Joined: Jul 10, 2011
    Posts: 375

    Dangerous Dan
    from Graham Wa.

    fantastic workmanship and skills. But for a poor guy like me I could have built a couple of cars in my style of cheep rides . You are a genius. Just sayin.
    Stogy, nutrocker and loudbang like this.
  18. nutrocker
    Joined: Jan 12, 2007
    Posts: 386


    This time we had to look elsewhere.
    Had to start with the rods. With the motor upside down I rotated the crank. That’s where the problem was. As I rotated the crank I could see the wrist pin turning in the small end bush. But as the piston went up the bore the wrist pin locked in the small end and started to turn in the piston. Over centre and on the way back down it freed itself from the small end again. Is the rod bent.
    I had the rod checked for round after the very first failure and it was fine with a bit of a hone. So is it twisted or bent? On a surface table and dial gauge it looked fine, but too much chance of inaccurate readings. So I just bought a new set. Even less in the retirement fund now.
    To be sure, I also sent the block, crank and rods with new bearing off to a very good machine shop. I asked them to align hone the block, fit the bearings and measure the ID. Then grind the crank to suit the bearings rather than ask then to grind it 10 thou under. Same with the rods. Now I have no pension fund left.
    But the motor is all back together, in the car and runs very well. Still have to get it on the rolling road to set up the fuel and timing, but it runs without squeaking.

    On another note, the new bearings from scat arrived like this. To be fair, they were good and sent me replacements and thanked me for bringing to their attention.
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    I have video of it running but I’m not too good with computers so can’t load it. A mate Gav posted it up here though.
  19. nutrocker
    Joined: Jan 12, 2007
    Posts: 386


    yeah, I get where you’re coming from. Been there, done that too but with bikes. I could have built more cars but space is an issue here. Nowhere to store them. I’ve got another car, I’ve got bikes, just wanted to do this, scratch an itch like.
    I’m not wealthy, I do nearly all the work myself, just paying for what I can’t do, and normally have to sell a car to build a car.

    thanks for your thoughts though.
    BradinNC, Stogy, winduptoy and 7 others like this.
  20. Smrtmike
    Joined: Nov 11, 2018
    Posts: 15


    I like the shift light on the rear carb scoop. At least that’s what I think the red light is for. Or is it a low oil pressure light
    Stogy, HiSpoke, nutrocker and 2 others like this.
  21. nutrocker
    Joined: Jan 12, 2007
    Posts: 386


    It’s oil pressure warning light.
    If I have the tonneau cover on I can’t see any of the gauges, and having blown up a few motors in my time, knowing oil pressure is a must.
  22. adam401
    Joined: Dec 27, 2007
    Posts: 2,458


    Im incredibly impressed. I applaud your willingness to forge ahead. Its such an emotional rollercoaster to take something freshly assembled apart over and over. Beautiful work.
    Stogy, winduptoy, Hnstray and 4 others like this.
  23. Rickybop
    Joined: May 23, 2008
    Posts: 7,208

    from Michigan

    So awesomely vintage.
    And muscular. A little beast.
    I'm absolutely amazed.
    For all the reasons.
    I absolutely love it.
  24. neds29
    Joined: Dec 25, 2013
    Posts: 74


    That is one neat, complicated looking motor; you, obviously aren't a typical shade-tee mechanic! Please don't take offense but your previous ride is beautiful with the hand made aluminum body, etc. and I think your buddy got the best of the deal.
    Stogy, nutrocker and loudbang like this.
  25. 51box
    Joined: Aug 31, 2005
    Posts: 1,000

    from MA

    Beyond impressed, your work is over the top!
  26. spanners
    Joined: Feb 24, 2009
    Posts: 1,232


    With those skills have you thought of getting a block of aluminium and machining your own engine from scratch. Superb work.
  27. This is beyond amazing! Skills, engineering, execution, the whole package.
    The babbitt pounding, normal mortal, banger guys at Pendine are quietly folding their tents, I would imagine.
    More, more, more!
  28. seb fontana
    Joined: Sep 1, 2005
    Posts: 7,035

    seb fontana
    from ct

    So end conclusion is that #1 rod was bent or twisted causing the bearing to rub on the journal harder than the oil film could support causing the bearing to gall up? Now for a run!
  29. trevorsworth
    Joined: Aug 3, 2020
    Posts: 747


    Jeeeeeesus. I might as well start selling my tools. :eek: Fantastic stuff!
    Stogy, chiro, nutrocker and 1 other person like this.
  30. SEAAIRE354
    Joined: Sep 7, 2015
    Posts: 313


    Truly amazing. I can really appreciate the welding and machining that went into this project and especially the time and dedication. I can’t wait to see how it runs at Pendine.

    Sent from my iPad using The H.A.M.B. mobile app

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