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Saving a rusty engine?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by garyv, Oct 7, 2009.

  1. garyv
    Joined: Nov 6, 2006
    Posts: 129

    garyv
    Member

    Can a motor that has rusty cylinders, due to sitting out in the weather (rain), be saved? If so, how do I get the rust out of the cylinders without doing more damage?

    Thanks,

    gary
     
  2. ChevyRat
    Joined: Oct 12, 2007
    Posts: 575

    ChevyRat
    Member

    Hard to say. Any pitting or just some surface type rust? Would need to mic it to see if could be saved with machining the block. Good luck!
     
  3. madpole
    Joined: Apr 9, 2007
    Posts: 629

    madpole
    Member

    it could also be bored out and sleeved if machining can't save it
     
  4. garyv
    Joined: Nov 6, 2006
    Posts: 129

    garyv
    Member

    I won't know about pitting until I get the rust out. Some of the rust looks pretty crusty, so yeah, probably pitted.

    Are there any downsides to sleeved cylinders?

    Thanks,

    gary
     

  5. moparmonkey
    Joined: Aug 14, 2009
    Posts: 565

    moparmonkey
    Member
    from NorCal

    Gary-

    If the rust is to the point of being "crusty" after the engine has been sitting with water in the cylinders its probably going to need some machine work. I'm assuming here that the pistons are stuck too right? A picture would really help, as well as any history on the engine (how many miles on it?) but here goes.

    Best bet is probably to soak the cylinders in oil (take your pick of products, I like marvel mystery oil for this) for a few days and then disassemble the engine. With that much rust you're probably not going to be able to clean it up and run it as is. But once its disassembled you can get a better look at things, provided you can get the pistons out. The oil should loosen up the rust as well, you can wipe all the chunky stuff out with a rag or sponge. A heavy duty plastic bristle brush should help too and won't damage anything, but if you've had to hammer any of the pistons out don't bother, just take it to a machinist and have it hot tanked. After the hot tanking most of the loose rust and crud should be gone and the machinist should be able to get a good idea of how bad things really are. If all the pistons slide out after all that you may be able to just hone the cylinders, but even then you'll have to measure everything to make sure you don't go too far. And if the engine was worn out to begin with, you're into machining anyway.

    Whether or not the engine needs sleeves will depend on how bad it is and if its ever been bored before. If its a standard bore most engines can go .060 over without problems, that'll clean up a lot of rust. If its already .030 or .040 over you'll probably need sleeves, but again, that'll depend on the engine. I've heard of some of the old hemi's and other old sand cast blocks being able to take a 1/8" bore!!! :eek:

    And sleeves aren't the end of the world. They add to the cost of the rebuild, but they aren't horribly expensive. And if done properly you should never have any problems with them. There are all kinds of big diesel engines that start out being sleeved. Key words being "if done properly".

    Where in NorCal are you?
     
  6. robt500
    Joined: Nov 6, 2006
    Posts: 432

    robt500
    Member
    from Lex, KY

    cost
     
  7. chevy57dude
    Joined: Dec 10, 2007
    Posts: 6,224

    chevy57dude
    Member

    How rare is the engine? I try to save everything, too. But if it is, say, a small block Chevy it's just not really worth it.
     
  8. jimi'shemi291
    Joined: Jan 21, 2009
    Posts: 9,499

    jimi'shemi291
    Member

    What's a cost WAG for sleeving all eight cylinders nowadays?
     
  9. garyv
    Joined: Nov 6, 2006
    Posts: 129

    garyv
    Member

    I have a couple in that bad condition. The one I'm most concerned with is a Lincoln Zephyr V-12. I don't have much money in it but I'd still like to save it. The other is a 331 Cadillac, again, not much investment, but still...

    I'm in Modesto.

    Thanks,

    gary
     
  10. r8odecay
    Joined: Nov 8, 2006
    Posts: 787

    r8odecay
    Member

    My machinist quoted me 100 a hole labor sleeved and sized and 40ish per sleeve. this was last week.
     
  11. garyv
    Joined: Nov 6, 2006
    Posts: 129

    garyv
    Member

    Uh -- OUCH!
     
  12. r8odecay
    Joined: Nov 8, 2006
    Posts: 787

    r8odecay
    Member

    :D


    Yeah, no shit....a thousand bucks just don't seem to stretch as far as it used to!
    :D
     
  13. Dyce
    Joined: Sep 12, 2006
    Posts: 1,912

    Dyce
    Member

    $100.00 a hole is'nt bad. I'f you've sleeved a block you can respect the price. Here's a thread I made when I sleeved my Hemi.
    http://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/showthread.php?t=292239&showall=1
    I used to have a full machine shop, but sold the buisness. Now I just have the basics. I did save Dad's old Van Norman boring bar though.....
    Jeff
     
  14. Damn some of you guys are cheap, $100 bucks a pot? Hell Id happily pay that! Especially for something like the V12!
    I guess it comes down to ignorance of what is involved (I dont mean that in a bad way) Like the paint thread where people cant understand why a paint job can cost 10g plus.
    Doc.
     
  15. r8odecay
    Joined: Nov 8, 2006
    Posts: 787

    r8odecay
    Member


    Yeah, your thread was instantly what I thought about when he told me we would have to sleeve to get back to 331 piston specs...but then I said, 'what about 365??'. No sleeves needed, and a boost to boot...

    I didn't think 100 a hole was out of line at all...but then you get the total.
     
  16. r8odecay
    Joined: Nov 8, 2006
    Posts: 787

    r8odecay
    Member

    OH, and doc, no ignorance here...set up the boring bar plenty. Paid my dues. Hope you didn't get distracted by my :D sarcasm symbols on that post.
     
  17. Johnny1290
    Joined: Apr 20, 2006
    Posts: 2,834

    Johnny1290
    Member

    Thanks for posting that tech Dyce, it was interesting to see it done.
     
  18. 73RR
    Joined: Jan 29, 2007
    Posts: 6,551

    73RR
    Member

    There are two reasons for sleeving; 1. cylinder is cracked, or 2. the bore is too big and pistons are not available.
    You really need to strip the block, clean the rust and then sonic check the walls.

    As said, the 331 can use the 365 pistons, if the bores clean up. On the v-12, what piston o/s is available?

    And, $100/hole is pretty average, just a factor of hourly shop rate and the cost of the sleeve.


    .
     
  19. oneratfink57
    Joined: Feb 12, 2006
    Posts: 717

    oneratfink57
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Wisconsin

    I mean, it depends on how bad the rust is, by he sound of the machinist its pretty bad (unless u simply asked him how much it is to sleeve) Light rust can be honed away with a berry hone and stone hone combo, both available at sears or somewhere similar(or egay!) or have the machine shop hone it, but they dont usually like to do it when they can convince you to bore it over for more expensive, but sometimes you have no choice.


    heavy rust (pitting) can only be removed through boring over or re sleeving.

    is this going to be a stock replacement?


    ALSO it depends if the motor is together now or if its just the block. If its together then I have a few more cents to share with you:D

    I had a motor that i was told was good (was given to me and i never tried turning it over or anything) put it in my car like a newb and the starter wouldnt crank it. WAS SEIZED. so what i did was pulled all the plugs and emptied the oil pan. Almost every cylinder poured out shit ass water, and the pan emptied about 2 quarts of rusty water and a WEE bit of oil.

    Long story short once the plugs were pulled i SOAKED them with WD-40 (all i had) and worked the crank pulley back and forth back and forth then bumped it with the starter a few times and soaked some more and so on. About 20 minutes later it was free. That was 3 years ago and that motor still runs strong today so the morale of the story is.

    If it aint broke dont fix it (a.k.a. dont rip the motor apart until you KNOW somethings wrong) but if it's already broke(apart) then just try what i told you above.

    Have fun and let us know what happens!

    -nick-:cool:
     
  20. oneratfink57
    Joined: Feb 12, 2006
    Posts: 717

    oneratfink57
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Wisconsin

    however, now that i paid more attention to what was said above. Im leaving out the minor detail that my motor was a worthless chevy 350.... in the case of your V-12:eek: id probably just re sleeve seeing how its worth a wee bit more:p. and the cadilac just take my advice above

    thats my, well lets see.. that probably adds up to my .12 cents! :cool:
     
  21. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 28,813

    Mr48chev
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    The third reason is how hard it is to find a decent block like you are working on.

    A Lincoln V12 or 331 Cad would be a pretty good candidate while as mentioned above it isn't usually financially prudent to sleeve a 350 chev when good blocks are fairly inexpensive and very common.

    As for the block, soak it with whatever it takes to get the pistons free from the cylinders and get it apart. Then either take it to a machine shop to get it cleaned and checked or if you have a Redi Strip shop around you could haul it there and have the rust stripped out.
    We save stuff that has been out in the weather for longer than I am old now that would have only been looked at as scrap 35 years ago.

    The main thing is to get it to the point that it can be checked out so you can see what needs to be done.
    Depending on how much wear the cylinders have to begin with, if they have been bored in the past and how deep the rust pits are will decide if it can be safely bored to a standard oversize or if it would need to be sleeved.
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  22. RacerRick
    Joined: May 16, 2005
    Posts: 2,753

    RacerRick
    Member

    They make 350 chevy pistons in 80 over now, but some other blocks will go a full 1/8th inch over. In other words, the pits have to be pretty deep to scrap a block or sleeve it. For a street motor you can get away with about .120 wall thickness without problems. More on the thrusts is recommended. I have seen some thinner but they always ran hot.

    Unless its something worth some $$$ its usually cheaper to get a better block than sleeve it. When you sleeve all 8, you also usually have to get the blocks decked, and the mains align honed a lot of the time also. There is a lot of stress put into the block when you are driving in the sleeves.
     

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