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Technical SBF 289 Engine issue with odd symptoms

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by 57JoeFoMoPar, Aug 31, 2015.

  1. 57JoeFoMoPar
    Joined: Sep 14, 2004
    Posts: 4,042

    57JoeFoMoPar
    Member

    So a good buddy of mine who is totally new to the old car hobby just picked up his first old car. Unfortunately, it has been less than kind to him in his first couple weeks of ownership and now there is an issue that I'm having a hard time pinning down in my head.

    The engine: 1966 Ford 289 4V - factory heads, edelbrock intake, 750 double inlet holley (yes, much too much carb but it's what he bought it with and is going to down-size appropriately), long tube headers. It sounds like it has a mild cam in it as well.

    On Sunday, it started smoking bad from the right (passenger side) bank. But not through the entire exhaust system out of the tail pipes, it looks like it's dripping oil out of the bottom of the gasket where the collector meets the reducer. Oil pressure is strong and is holding steady at 40 psi, same as before this issue occurred. The car also isn't running hot or overheating. The right side valvetrain suddenly sounds like a diesel with lots of clacking and noise.

    I haven't had the time to start pulling things apart yet to investigate myself, but in my mind, it can be a few things: valve stem seals, head gasket, cracked head or block. I'd like to hear some of your thoughts.
     
  2. porknbeaner
    Joined: Sep 12, 2003
    Posts: 40,355

    porknbeaner
    Member

    Joe just thinking off the top of my head here.

    If it broke wrings it would still hold good oil pressure, or if it broke a piston and both of those would oil the exhaust. The reason I am mentioning broke piston is that I have broken them in the ring lands the cars ran still but really clattered. I have even been lucky enough to break them there and just replace the piston and rings on that cylinder.

    Another thing that comes to mind without actually hearing it is I had a 390 have some lifters come apart a few years back, and a couple of valves got stuck partially open. it made weird noises and smoked to beat the band. I pulled the heads and cleaned them up then replaced the cam and lifters, and one pushrod. The cam actually wasn't hurt at all believe it or not and still resides in a 390 in Houston. ;)

    Anyway just thinking off the top if my head.
     
  3. tricky steve
    Joined: Aug 4, 2008
    Posts: 377

    tricky steve
    Member
    from fenton,mo.

    here we go....
    1.) intake rocker fell off, or failed,
    2.) intake lobe on cam is flat
    3.) no baffle in valve cover under PCV valve, pulling oil straight into the PCV valve (very common with aftermarket valve covers) and possibly Pcv valve connected to a runner that goes to a cylinder on the right side.
    4.) leaking intake manifold gasket,(easy to check, put tape over valve cover holes,.and start it, if it pulls the tape in, then there is a vacuum leak into the crankcase. ( bottom of intake gasket leaking into the intake)
    5.) hole ported into the pushrod hole, (not probable with stock heads though)
    6.) piston has lifted ring groove, or burnt .
    7.) broken ring.
    that is the order to look at the issue for me.from the description.
    good luck !
     
  4. 57JoeFoMoPar
    Joined: Sep 14, 2004
    Posts: 4,042

    57JoeFoMoPar
    Member

    Lots of good ideas fellas. I thought about the rings too, but somewhat discounted it because it didn't seem like it was pushing blowby. I'll keep you guys posted with progress.
     
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  5. porknbeaner
    Joined: Sep 12, 2003
    Posts: 40,355

    porknbeaner
    Member

    I hadn't thought about the PCV valve, even if it is baffled if it sticks open they will make odd noises and suck oil.

    Another thing I have had happen mostly on GMs is broken diaphragm on the vac modulater. They will suck transmission fluid up and depending on where the vacuum is coming from it could just oil one bank. Some guys suck vacuum from the manifold instead of the carb.
     
  6. F-ONE
    Joined: Mar 27, 2008
    Posts: 1,406

    F-ONE
    Member
    from Alabama

    IMHO he has one option, pull it and tear it down.
    If it's something simple your out time labor and a gasket set. Trying a quick fix is a gamble. While farting around with quick fixes a very repairable problem deteriorates and destroys the engine or at least destroys whats still good requiring a complete rebuild. The safe bet is to pull it and tear into it.
    My 68 302 had a very minor "Tick". It wound up being the #1 piston skirt broken off, bouncing off the counter weight. I caught it time. Had I fooled around and tried this and that, I may have ruined the engine.
     
    seadog likes this.
  7. 57JoeFoMoPar
    Joined: Sep 14, 2004
    Posts: 4,042

    57JoeFoMoPar
    Member

    You're not wrong. Hopefully in the next week or two we're going to tear into this thing and see what's going on with it. Though you're absolutely right about pulling the damn thing out and tearing into it, if we have to go to such lengths, I may just try to find a different engine and dump that one in instead. I think at minimum we're going to have to pull the heads and just replace the head gaskets for the hell of it. The car doesn't need to be absolutely perfect, but it does need to run reliably with basic driving.
     
  8. F-ONE
    Joined: Mar 27, 2008
    Posts: 1,406

    F-ONE
    Member
    from Alabama

    289 4Vs That's really a good engine.
    If you are going to dump that one, how about dumping it at my house.:D This summer I drove across 5 states to get a 64 223.o_O

    Seriously though, Don't throw the baby out with the bath water. It could be be something as simple as sludge build up...dirty inside...that has stopped some passages up...filling the valve cover, flooding oil down the guides and starving oil to the top end. Very plausible for a car that has sat for a while and then is driven a lot. Solution... break it down and clean it out.
    Anything on a forum is guesswork. The only way to know for sure is to get into that engine. I know it's a PIA but sometimes that's how it goes. I recommend putting the engine on a stand because it's so much easier to work on one on a stand or bench. This all can be done in chassis but that means working off the floor, odd positions and trying to position things perfectly from an imperfect position.
    There is a good possibility that this problem is easily repairable.
     
    57JoeFoMoPar and belair like this.
  9. Jalopy Joker
    Joined: Sep 3, 2006
    Posts: 20,461

    Jalopy Joker
    Member

    post some pics of engine - pull valve cover to see# 1 if it is leaking #2 how clean, or not, inside engine is. pull spark plugs to see more what insides are like. drain oil & check how clean, or not, it is.
     
  10. I've seen ford rocker arms come loose, causing mucho oil come up the pushrods, flooding the inside of the heads and valve guides. If that turns out to be the case, next step is to find out why...I'd be hoping for harmonics loosening the rocker nuts and not low-zinc oil causing a flat cam....hope it's something simple.
     
  11. Mike51Merc
    Joined: Dec 5, 2008
    Posts: 3,739

    Mike51Merc
    Member

    Perhaps a rocker stud pulled out. I'd get that rocker cover off and do a quick visual inspection.
     
  12. Or broke. HRP
     
  13. 57JoeFoMoPar
    Joined: Sep 14, 2004
    Posts: 4,042

    57JoeFoMoPar
    Member

    The noise isn't that bad. I've had that happen and it sounds like the bitch is coming apart at the seams. This isn't that bad, the valvetrain noise is more akin to a solid lifter engine with rockers that are out of adjustment.

    Right now the car is in Phoenixville, PA, about 2 hours south of me. Even though the car runs and drives, it doesn't do so well enough that I feel comfortable telling my buddy to drive it up to my house. He has virtually no tools at his house, so I'd much rather do this in my shop. I'll see if he can pull the plugs and pop the valve cover off and take some pics for me. This coming weekend is a huge show weekend in NJ, so I'll be a little tied up.
     

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