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Engines that wont die.

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by iwanaflattie, Nov 29, 2011.

  1. I have found the Slant 6 to be nearly indestructable.

    A good friend had a Slant 6 'Cuda and had a fresh 440 ready to go in it. We were at an outdoor party and someone bet him that he couldn't blow it up. He put a brick on the gas pedal and that poor motor ran full throttle for at least a half hour and never skipped a beat. Finally, we shut it off because some drunk chick started bitching at us because she couldn't hear the music over the sound of the motor screaming.

    A Slant 6 might be the ugliest engine ever produced, but they are one dependable SOB.
     
  2. I took it a little more literally. This is an engine that really wouldn't die.
    I was towing my Off Road Race truck home from Las Vegas. We had won that weekend and were feeling pretty good. The week before I had put a new Intake manifold (this will be important later), Headers, Distributor, Cam and Carb in the 460 that lived in the engine compartment of the tow vehicle - a Ford Crew Cab Dually. As we were heading up the back side of the Baker Grade out of Las Vegas ( as the locals will attest this is a long steep pull over the mountains). Like I said we were feeling pretty good about the weekend and telling jokes and talking away the miles. About a mile from the top, I noticed that the temp gauge was pegged. Hmmm, that can't be good. I turned off the A/C and turned on the heater to try and cool it down, not to mention pissing off the wife and crew guys. this was the desert in August and it was about 110 out. We get to the top and it still hadn't cooled down.
    Well, I thought we'll just coast the 17 miles down the other side - that ought to cool it off. As we pulled into the rest stop, it still hadn't moved from the pegged position. Everyone bails out of the sauna that I have created by running the heater - although the heater wasn't really putting out any heat, it was just that hot outside. I turn the key off and the damn thing just keeps running. I try pulling the coil wire and that does nothing, except yank the terminal end off the wire. We quickly realize that the motor is now so hot that with the ignition off it is just dieseling. Being an automatic we stare at each other as to how to kill the damn thing. We talk about pulling the fuel line off the Holley, but with the thing idling at about 1500 and the mechanical fuel pump doing it's job, we really don't want to spray fuel all over the hot motor and the line into the pump is metal, no way to crimp it. One of the crew guys suggests sticking my arm in the fan as a way of not only killing the engine, but me too. I argue that with a fan clutch it will only maim me. I turn the key back on, figuring it is better to have it actually running then just making glow plugs out of the Autolites. I pull the radiator cap, expecting Mt Vesuvius (a stratovolcano in Italy if you aren't familiar) to erupt, but all I get is a little steam. Hmmmm, no water - that can't be good. We grab all three massive ice chests and start pouring ice water on and in the radiator. After about 20 seconds the eruption happens. We repeat this for about 45 minutes before it will start to actually accept the water and not spew it back out like a teenage cheerleader after her first beer bong party. It's now been about 2 hours since I first noticed the temp gauge was pegged and we finally get the thing to shut off. One of the crew members starts to read it it's last rights, but I say not so fast Father - It is a Ford after all. Why don't we put some holy water back in and see what happens. As we start pouring water in our now cooled down BBF it starts coming out through the By Pass Hose. Hmmm, that can't be good. Remember that part about the new manifold? Well, the hose clamp on the By Pass Hose to the manifold is as loose as the average rectum at the gay pride parade. A quick turn of the trusty screw drive and were good as gold.
    We look at each other with the bewilderment of a small child on Christmas wondering if we have hurt the thing or not. I decide that worst case scenario we drive it until it explodes, unload the Race Truck and drive it for help. Taking off a bit gingerly, all seems right with the world. Bravery sets in and soon we're hauling the freight with the trailer wagging right along at 75-80 MPH. We get home and I swear it had never run better. I call a friend of mine who has worked for Ford for ever and he says "Sell It!. Not that you probably hurt much, although ring tension might be a little loose, but you will NEVER get the head bolts out."
    The next race we towed out with the Brand New Box Van
     
  3. Rich Rogers
    Joined: Apr 8, 2006
    Posts: 2,019

    Rich Rogers
    Member

    When I got my 55 in 2005, I was given a sbc that had been sitting uncovered in a shop for 3 years. I took it because I didn't have anything else to get the car running. I ran the crap out of that thing for 2 years until I put the double tunnelram on it and have wound it beyond 7 yeah 7000 rpms and it's never failed me. It's never been rebuilt and it's a 1980 engine. Since I had bought all of the parts to build a strong 350 I kept beating on this thing , missing gears once in a while and just waiting for it to give up. Well it still runs great and only uses about 1 quart every 1200 miles or so and here's the killer, it's a HO 305. I NEVER would have thought it could take the punishment I've given it but yet, it lives on. Next spring I'll pull it out and give it to a buddy of mine for a project of his and I'll finally get the other engine built.
     
  4. Deuces
    Joined: Nov 3, 2009
    Posts: 18,826

    Deuces
    Member
    from Michigan

    Those also had solid lifters.. ;)
     
  5. theHIGHLANDER
    Joined: Jun 3, 2005
    Posts: 8,049

    theHIGHLANDER
    Member

    My good friend had a 307 in an early Nova. Both of us terrorized that little mouse and it refused to lose oil pressure or die. We didn't purposely try to hurt it, we just wanted to see it hurt itself. Nope. This went on for years. He sold the car to a neighbor kid who was a bit of dumbass. He tried his hardest to blow it up. Nope. I told him I want it, sell it to me. He says ok and goes out to buy a 350. He took the 307 to the scrap yard. I found out a week later and was pissed off big time. "Uh, I forgot you wanted it, and I didn't think you were serious, and they gave me 20 bucks for it, and I...". Like I said, he was a dumbass. I'd have given him $50.

    We pulled a 70K mile 500 Caddy out of a mid 70s DeVille and dropped into an F150. We put 200K more miles on it. When we got a new truck we gave it to my sister and brother-in-law on the provision we want it back when they tire of owning it (it was getting rusty and shitty looking). We got it back 4 years later with another 75K on the ticker and still no major engine service, but it drank a qt of oil a week...but didn't smoke or clatter ever. We sold it to some ol scrapper guy (like a picker type dude) and he was all wound up about it being Caddy powered. It was like another 3yrs later and I saw the thing in a nearby town and pulled up next to him..."Hey, still Caddy powered?" "Yeah how can ya tell?" I sold it to ya, remember?" "Oh yeah! How y'all doin? She still usin a bit o oil but I like this thing jes fine! Got the AC workin again too!"

    I'm guessing quite a bit north of 300K on it by then and never even had the heads off.
     
  6. Graham M
    Joined: Apr 17, 2011
    Posts: 406

    Graham M
    Member
    from Calgary AB

    Very OT. Have over 1million on our old 351 Windsor, barely even burns oil, very strong engine still. However the truck its in is getting very tired (Original engine in it) so its just a farm truck for us now. But I dont think there is a single road in this province that truck hasn't down. It was an old oil patch truck, so it was probably driven by 200+ drivers, and had a pretty miserable life the whole while. We bought it after it turned over a million. Its about 1.1 million I think at this point. (THAT was an amazing thing, too bad that engine drinks the gas like its going out of style other wise that truck would be my million km daily driver.
    842k on our old 2.8L Chevy V6 ('84 S10). I sold it to a kid that used it as a commuter from a town about 45minutes from here. Bumped into him a few years later, he had it up to 917k, still ran fine. Im STILL kicking myself for selling it. I wanted to be the one who rolled it over.
    I really miss that little truck, handiest thing ever.


    ON TOPIC, we had a friend with a similar story on his Slant 6, that engine just could not be killed, it out lasted 4 cars/vans with nothing but abuse & neglect.
    Finally, he just let it go on the 4th, that was enough.... still had lots of life in it even then.
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2011
  7. waldo53
    Joined: Jan 26, 2010
    Posts: 847

    waldo53
    Member
    from ID

    Since the old Chevy 216's are supposed to be "junk", here's an unusual story:

    A friend of mine has a '39 Chev coupe and he ran a 216 in it for years, then, in order to have more power, he built a 261 with high-lift cam, dual carbs, etc. He decided he'd just use and abuse the 216 until it quit then haul it to the dump. Well.....after 2 years of over-revving, not changing the oil, going way to fast on the freeway....the little engine just wouldn't quit. He finally put it on Craig's list and sold it so he could get the new 261 in there!
     
  8. 2935ford
    Joined: Jan 6, 2006
    Posts: 3,377

    2935ford
    Member

    Ford's 300ci 6. Just keep on running!
     
  9. Lobucrod
    Joined: Mar 22, 2006
    Posts: 4,120

    Lobucrod
    Alliance Vendor
    from Texas

    When I bought my 38 Chevy Coupe in 1974 it had a 283 in it. I drove it with that engine up till 1996 when I replaced it with a 350. (mistake but thats another story)
    Since then its been in a 58 chevy PU, 66 midengine corvair, and 65 chevy II. When I put it in the chevy II I changed the oil pan and timing cover and discovered that it still had the nylon coated cam sprocket and it was still in good shape! ITs the motor I use when building a car then usually build a fresh one for the car and pull this one back out. I think it will outlive me.
     
  10. slickhale
    Joined: Dec 19, 2010
    Posts: 756

    slickhale
    Member
    from Phoenix

    and this is just about when my drink sprayed out of my nose...
     
  11. Sir Woosh
    Joined: Dec 1, 2008
    Posts: 2,273

    Sir Woosh
    Member

    Must be something about the Mopars. I bought a 73 Grand Fury with a quarter million miles on the 360 for $200 to run in the demo derby.

    Beat the thing to death in the heat, then went on to win the feature.

    Still seemed good, so I plucked the motor and trans and dropped them into a 67 Plymouth 2 door hardtop and drove it for a couple of years till a guy begged to buy it. Still going strong with no complaints till I lost track of it.
     
  12. i had a street stock car and needed a engine and bought a abandoned junk Ford station wagon w a 390 pD $10 FOR IT in the 1975 area. thisa car was supposed to have a defective block in it
    put it in and it screamed and won my buddy said i need a 4 barrel holley wanted to give me a free one. I told it would blow up that junk engine it just went faster and finally i SOLD IT FOR A GOOD PRICE

    i had overhauled a ford 390 or 2 and they would just cough out parts so that was my solution to keeping a race cAR GOING A TEN DOLLAR JUNKER
    :D big fingers on laptop too mauch caploks
     
  13. DamnYankeesKustoms
    Joined: Jan 14, 2010
    Posts: 297

    DamnYankeesKustoms
    Member

    My dad had a old county chevy pickup(late 60's) with a 327, he said it was burning oil, and ran sort of crappy, he had bought another s/b to replace it( was actually strapped down in the back). The night he picked the engine up he said he put the peddle to the floor all the way across Syracuse,NY, blew smoke like crazzy and tried his best to blow that sucker up.... but after 20 minutes of wide open throttle the smoke cleared and the engine ran great after. He said he ended up selling the new engine the next day.
     
  14. cherokee_64
    Joined: Apr 8, 2006
    Posts: 85

    cherokee_64
    Member

    My dad would do the same thing to his '62 Chevy 3/4 ton truck. The inline 6 in it would start running rough, smoke, or start to get tired and he would say "well I better blow the carbon out..." He would take it out on the road (we were in the country) and just crank the rpm's up in first and second. He would just wail on it for a few minutes, then the engine would just purr like a kitten. It would run great for a long time before he would have to do it again. He hauled a 1 ton welder in the back of it, and I have no idea how many miles it had. I learned to drive in it, hauled horse trailers, wagons full of hay, etc for years and it never missed a beat. He would change the oil in it once a year whether it needed it or not. ;) The truck finally died (the rear suspension broke) but the engine just ran like a top...
     
  15. poolmike
    Joined: Jul 28, 2009
    Posts: 71

    poolmike
    Member

    just picked up a '53 Dodge dump truck. Flathead 6 in it. It was as stuck as it could get, #5 being the worst of them. I literally beat life back into the engine with a BFH and a block of wood. New head gasket and head bolts and she is good as new. It had a hard life and thought it was retired for the past 15 years....I got news for it- Back to work!
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2011
  16. sledkid
    Joined: Oct 7, 2011
    Posts: 20

    sledkid
    Member
    from mansfield

    75 d100 with a 318 470000 pulled it because top speed down hill was 55 thrust bearing was wasted and it sounded like it was a popcorn machine...slant 6 kicked a rod, pulled what was left out pop rivited a beer can over the hole pulled the push rods idled like it had a massive cam purred down the highway drove it for 6 weeks like this but it was using more oil than fuel
     
  17. zeuglodon
    Joined: Nov 17, 2010
    Posts: 88

    zeuglodon
    Member

    I had a 61 Impala convertible in high school that I stuck a 327 and 4 speed in. It ended up with a solid lifter cam and 456's. I got in it pretty hard one day when it was a little low on oil and spun a bearing. Didn't have the money to fix the motor so I went to the boneyard for a temporary replacement.

    I bought a greasy 283 they were using as a doorstop for $15 and dropped it in. That thing burned oil out the tailpipes, leaked oil everywhere and smoked blowby out the breather like a chimney. I kept a gallon of "bulk oil" in the trunk and it seemed like I was spending more on that than gas.

    One day a buddy and I were coming home from the lake when the lifters started clattering really bad. I looked in the trunk...oil can was empty. I asked my buddy where the closest gas station was and it was 15 miles this way and ten miles that way. I had zero oil pressure and a worn-out 283 turning 456 gears. We headed back to the lake (5 or 6 miles). Got 2 quarts at the marina, poured 'em in and it quieted right down.

    Used that motor a couple more months while I scraped up money to rebuild the 327. When it was ready to drop back in we decided to give the 283 a glorious death, so we took it out and flogged it mercilessly trying to blow it up. It just kept going...even when it's many forms of oil consumption reduced oil pressure to zero once again and we continued to beat on it. I wish the 327 had been that tough...although if it were capable of the 7000 rpm the 327 was turning when it broke it would probably have been a different story.
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2011
  18. weps
    Joined: Aug 1, 2008
    Posts: 530

    weps
    Member
    from auburn,IN

    A friends dad moved mobile homes. they had a 74 Ford F100, 300 six, three on the tree with a camper shell LOADED with wood blocks,pipe fittings,skirting, all the crap to setup a trailer at the new location. They used the pickup as the "wide load" / chase vehicle.It also had a tow bar on the front. On a trip back from KY, they pulled the truck up to the back of the semi, dropped the towbar, hitched it up and headed north. They left the truck in First gear! They pulled that straight six about 300 miles that way. It blew off the alternator belt, and "went thru half a tank of gas" That truck ran daily for a least 8 years after that before it was sold off.
     
  19. monkeyspunk79
    Joined: Jan 2, 2011
    Posts: 553

    monkeyspunk79
    Member

    I had a 283 2bbl in my '64 Chevy Bel Air that I took apart & put back together when I was 17. Just learning how to wrench on things, ya know? I remember doing a lot of rookie things with that rebuild (RTV Silicone & Martin Senior engine enamel made up most of it). I buzzed that thing up to redline every time I drove it and it never missed a beat. I learned more on that car and put it through more abuse that I care to admit...but it was as great a performer as it was back in '64. God Bless Chevrolet, my Dad, my local NAPA store, and Craftsman tools.'

    Great thread BTW!
     
  20. Locomotive Breath
    Joined: Feb 1, 2007
    Posts: 711

    Locomotive Breath
    Member
    from Texas

    I had an old Dart with a 273, the 318's solid lifter little brother. It ran good but burned oil really bad. It got so bad it would go thru 2 qts. of oil in 10 miles. You couldn't even see behind the car. The smoke would roll up thru the speaker holes in the package tray and you had to roll down the windows to breath. :eek: It had mechanical oil pressure gauge under the dash and it would hold about 40 psi when it had oil. I got a defective exhaust ticket and got tired of buying oil all the time so I finally quit putting oil in it. The oil pressure gauge would fall off to 0 and I just kept driving it. I beat on it pretty hard, didn't care if it blew up. I'd get a little nervous and put a quart of 50W and a can of STP in it every 2 or 3 weeks which would last one trip to work. Then the oil pressure would drop back to 0 and it would quit smoking until it got some more oil. Never fouled a plug, and always hit strong on all eight cylinders. I drove it back and forth to work every day for over six months like that. It was still running good when I sold it to friend. He tore the engine down and said the only thing that they found were the oil rings had about a 1/4" end gap. Everything thing else was fine. He freshened it up and drove it for a long time after that.
     
  21. BIG-JIM
    Joined: Jun 13, 2009
    Posts: 1,369

    BIG-JIM
    Member
    from CT

    Had a SBC 305 that I ran for 12 years. Six years in I was at my grandfathers funeral when the thermostat stuck closed. Couldn't stop in the procession so I kept going to the church. Got a ride the rest of the day. Came back next day and found out it was almost out of oil too.:eek: We fixed her up & we were back in business. My buddies used to laugh at me all the time because I almost never changed the oil. It leaked & burnt so much I just kept adding it. The only way to change the oil was to do it hot so it would actually come out of the pan.:D It even had an engine fire once (leaky valve covers). I remember my insurance covered it & the bill came to $666 I told the guy at the shop to charge me another dollar or two (Hate that number). At the end it sat for about 6 months, a little gas down the air cleaner and she started right up with a little puff of smoke out the back but I figured hell she's old enough to smoke. It had 350K on her when I drove it on to the trailer. I traded it for a 31 nash 4 dr sedan body. The guy I gave it to pulled the engine & trans to put in his 53 Chevy truck. He also used to wiring, tires, rims, power door locks, power windows, & I think the seat too. I think he freshened it up before he put it in his truck though. That was the toughest car I ever owned.
     
  22. I'd talk Clevelands too, but it ain't friendly. ;)
     
  23. Story I heard in college... one of the auto instructors had a hobby of taking beaters and leaving a brick on the gas pedal and see how long before they blew up before junking them. Apparently had a Nova or something with a worn out 250 six in it - and they could not get it to blow up. It would get hot enough to where it would stall, then when it cooled down it would run again. Even after they drained the oil and put antifreeze in it. Must have had some pretty sloppy clearances in that thing -


    Around here engines outlast the cars; my mom has a '95 Chevy pickup that has 320,000 or better on the 305 and has never been apart. Trans either. A buddy had an S10 for a while with a 4.3 that had 360K on it when it finally quit.

    The 350 I'm putting in my '50 Chevy only has just shy of 100,000 on it - but I beat hell out of it for 44,000 of those miles, towing as much as 7500 lbs behind the Suburban it was in, then I let it sit for two years, then in the spring before I pulled it I fired it up and drove it around and it still ran like hell, probably the best TBI motor I've driven - and with 2.73 gears no less. It was run with low coolant, with low oil until it was clattering, thermostat stuck once on a hot day, and never had an issue. It did always smoke a tad on startup, probably needs valve seals, but I'm not even going to mess with them.


    Heck even the current beater has already seen some abuse; it threw the belt off when the alternator siezed up and I drove it 15 miles home - the temp came up a bit but it didn't even get really that hot. Which is good considering it had no fan and no water pump without the belt.
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2011
  24. Dakota
    Joined: Jan 21, 2004
    Posts: 1,535

    Dakota
    Member
    from Beulah, ND

    i had a vehicle with the 2.5 4 Cylinder Gm in it, and after getting bored one night, we thought we go out and see if we could blow it up. we drove around with it floored in 1st gear for so long, we got bored and gave up. It would get hot and want to quit but as soon as it cooled off it would start right back up. im sure that it was way loose inside, and didnt make enough power to hurt itself. the engine had 260k + miles on it. I sold it to a friend of mine as a work car, and that was 8 years ago, he still drives it 25 miles round trip everyday to work!
     
  25. RAY With
    Joined: Mar 15, 2009
    Posts: 3,133

    RAY With
    Member

    I have to say my 289 -4 speed in my one owner 66 Mustang Heads and oil pan never been taken off and still runs good and very dependable after 45 years of driving.Just used for cruising now.Dont think it gets any better than this one.
     
  26. 390Merc
    Joined: Jun 29, 2008
    Posts: 659

    390Merc
    Member
    from Indiana

    I've had a couple bone stock 352 FE powered 64 Galaxies that you could put to the floor as long as you wanted. Probably because the stock valvetrain does not let it rev high enough to grenade itself. Good idea to ensure reliability as long as you keep oil in them. I finally rebuilt the one but only because it leaked a quart every 100 miles. I remember driving it to Tennessee on its first trip and my first gas stop had to add 2 1/2 qrts!
     
  27. daddy_o's_diner
    Joined: Sep 8, 2007
    Posts: 2,784

    daddy_o's_diner
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I haven't read through the whole thread but my is experience with engines is if I say "I'll just toss this engine in until it dies, then rebuild it and do it right" - THE DAMN THING LASTS FOREVER!!!

    If I absolutely have to have the car running and am down to my last nickel - the f*ckin' thing won't last 2 weeks. Something about Murphy and his Damn law, maybe???
     
  28. poolmike
    Joined: Jul 28, 2009
    Posts: 71

    poolmike
    Member


    My '37 Ford pick up has a '52 Flathead in it that wouldn't quit. The truck was parked in '68, I picked it up 2 years ago thinking "full rebuild". Then I found out that the motor was loose, so I put fuel to it and never looked back. Last year I changed the heads and noticed a crack in the block, coming off #1 intake valve making it's way to the cylinder bore. I just bolted the new heads on and continued down the road. She ran like a clock, driven daily, until 3 months ago when the crack went deep and she started steaming a little. I kept driving it daily with the temp gauge pegged, beating on it more and more...still runs like a clock. I stopped driving it while I'm building the new flathead. Got tired of bringing water with me everywhere.
     

  29. We actually changed the engine in the ravens AD 5 times one winter, he had one professionally rebuilt and they couldn't figure out how to make it hold together for more than a week.

    Finally one night late when he had to be to work the next day he pulls this crusty old junk yard 235 out from under a pile of stuff. He said he gave 35 bucks for it or some outrageously small amount at a wrecking yard. We stuffed it in there and he ran it for 7 or 8 years. Run the guts out of it, it was still running when we swapped it out for a small block. Using more oil than gas but it was still running.
     
  30. Here ya go. Running strong since 1976 (and it sure wasn't new when I bought it).
     

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