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Projects Unknown Olds Rocket Engine for my 55 Olds Rocket 88 Project

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Godsmobile, May 20, 2016.

  1. Godsmobile
    Joined: Mar 4, 2016
    Posts: 83

    Godsmobile
    Member

    Here you can see the latest results of trying to get that damn pistons out. First I put in some citro acid for a night. Did remove the surface rust in the cylinders but pistons still stuck. Then I used the explained charcoal method and heated the block properly. In every corner it was damn hot. I tried to cool the pistons down by spraying brakecleaner on them. Be careful if you try that on your own. I saturated the air with gased out brakecleaner and it did explode a bit. I shit my pants but I'm not injured or something. A that time the charcoals where totally gone and out of the engine. Must ignite because of the heat of the block or something. Pistons still stuck in place. But if you have such a problem it is worth to try it with that method. If you clean up the block before you can have a cool BBQ.

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    I found another 303 block a few hundret miles away. So I drove down to the east last saturday to get that stuff over to my place. Now I will try to make one good engine out of the collected parts.

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    Because of the mounting for the distributor with one hole for the bracket you can see that it is a later block than the other one i have. I believe it could be a 1953 block.

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    The block with the stuck pistons does have two holes for the dist. bracket so it must be a 1949. Thanks to Tony from Ross Racing for that info. One year only.

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    I'll keep you guys updated.
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2016
    kidcampbell71 and warbird1 like this.
  2. Godsmobile
    Joined: Mar 4, 2016
    Posts: 83

    Godsmobile
    Member

    Hey Michael, didn't see your post before. Now you know the whole story of my project. I will keep on trying to get those pistons out of the block. Maybe in one piece, maybe not. We will see.
     
  3. Did you end up giving coke a try?
     
  4. Marty Strode
    Joined: Apr 28, 2011
    Posts: 4,411

    Marty Strode
    Member

    Engle made a 116, camshaft for the early Olds engines.
     
  5. bchctybob
    Joined: Sep 18, 2011
    Posts: 1,958

    bchctybob
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Quite an effort Jan. Amazing that the pistons are stuck that bad. I guess just keep them soaking while you work on the other block, they may eventually give up and come out.
    Hey Marty, what is an Engle 151? I have one for an early Olds.
     
  6. Beautiful car. Seems like you guys really appreciate the four doors. Not so much over here.
    More for us guys!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  7. Marty Strode
    Joined: Apr 28, 2011
    Posts: 4,411

    Marty Strode
    Member

    Bob, I am not familiar with that one, I do know that the 316, was a roller for a 394, I had one once.
     
  8. If the pistons have swollen because of corrosion would it help to drill holes in the dome area to relieve pressure?
    What about trying CLR in the cylinder bores also? Maybe that would break the bond.
    I've beat them out before with varying success rates but just a couple random ideas.
     
  9. I'd say they are definitely Thomas rockers. I have the same only without the "Olds" cast in them. I also have Gotha, McGurk and Isky rockers and they are all different.
     
  10. Dimadee
    Joined: Feb 19, 2013
    Posts: 105

    Dimadee
    Member

    I was thinking along the same lines. You could drill a series of 3/8" or 1/2" holes around the perimeter which may allow the pistons to release from the bore. Worst case you can smash and crack the centre with a big hammer and large steel punch (or a piece of pipe). Once this is done you might be able to get some Coke or CLR in between the piston and bore.
     
  11. Godsmobile
    Joined: Mar 4, 2016
    Posts: 83

    Godsmobile
    Member

    Thanks for the new ideas, guys. I didn't try coke. Read a lot about the chemical background in the web and if you compare coke (phosphorus acid) with lemon acid the chemical reaction of lemon acid is the better one for this issue. I did try lemon acid twice for one night each. Cylinder walls were clean after that but pistons still stuck in place. That was the point when I decided to try it with heat. I talked to a mechanic at work yesterday and we will make a big plate to have a bridge over the bore. Will try to use a big bottle jack pushing against the "bridge".

    What is CLR?

    Is that number on my cam surely not an og olds number?

    Since a lot of work was done to that engine back in the days it surely could be a Engle. Is anyone having specs for that cam?
     
  12. Godsmobile
    Joined: Mar 4, 2016
    Posts: 83

    Godsmobile
    Member

    Had to correct myself in a post before. The block with the stuck pistons is a 1949, one year only with two distributor clamp holes.

    About the four door "hype" over here. I guess it is similar to the US. Nearly everyone loves the 2dr hardtops and coupes. But they are damn expensive. Before I bought the olds I bought that 1965 Buick Wildcat 2dr ht in the background and it put a dark hole in my wallet. But when I was over the first financial shock I wanted something older. So I looked at the web for a new project and the olds was quite cheap and a solid start to build one nice patina cruiser.
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2016
  13. 73RR
    Joined: Jan 29, 2007
    Posts: 6,264

    73RR
    Member

    As mentioned earlier, you risk breaking the cylinder wall in this manner.
    From the pictures you originally posted the pistons are junk so just start drilling holes through the tops around the permieter and behind the rings. Be cautious and keep clear of the cylinder walls.
    Another option is to put the whole mess in a caustic hot tank for a couple of days, if you have such a thing in your area.

    .
     
    HiHelix likes this.
  14. Dimadee
    Joined: Feb 19, 2013
    Posts: 105

    Dimadee
    Member

    CLR is a product here in Australia....I assume you would have something similar there in the US.
     
  15. Scott De Shields
    Joined: Mar 23, 2011
    Posts: 160

    Scott De Shields
    Member

    Are you trying to drive the pistons out towards the deck or down into the crank area. If you use a ridge reamer on the top part of the cylinder it is usually easier I found it easier to drive them up towards the deck. I also am restoring a 55 Oldsmobile Super 88 four door. Avatar picture was my grandfathers car that I went thru years ago.
     
  16. Scott De Shields
    Joined: Mar 23, 2011
    Posts: 160

    Scott De Shields
    Member

  17. Scott De Shields
    Joined: Mar 23, 2011
    Posts: 160

    Scott De Shields
    Member

    Sorry Godsmobile, not trying to hijack your post. Thought you might like to see my projectl when I first found it.
     
  18. woodbutcher
    Joined: Apr 25, 2012
    Posts: 3,178

    woodbutcher
    Member

    :( Oh yeah.Stuck pistons.THAT will drive a fella to drink.Or worse.
    Good luck.Have fun.Be safe.
    Leo
     
  19. I think the corrosion of the aluminum pistons has created a tighter fit with the cylinder wall. Also corrosion in the ring land behind the ring pushing it into the cylinder wall. I would have thought the acid soak would help more than it did, I would keep trying that. Of course acid won't dissolve any oil-based, so try to clean the bore of any residual penetrant liquids before the acid.
     
    Saxman likes this.
  20. Rand Man
    Joined: Aug 23, 2004
    Posts: 3,391

    Rand Man
    Member

    Did you try the Acetone? Try 100% Acetone. CLR stands for Calcium-Lime-Rust. It is available in most hardware and grocery stores in the US. You should be able to order It over the net.

    Most auto machine shops in the US have a hot-tank or a bake-n-blast. Both get the entire block up to 200 F or more. Shouldn't cost much. Problem solved.


    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
  21. Godsmobile
    Joined: Mar 4, 2016
    Posts: 83

    Godsmobile
    Member

    I was able to get those stuck pistons out of the block. Some guys from the machine shop at the university made a plate of thick steel to put on top of the dome pistons. This way I can get more hammering power to the outer section of the pistons. It took a half of a day hammering those f*****s out but finally, I made it.

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    Hmm, not sure why but I can't post the pics.
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    Last edited: May 16, 2017
  22. Godsmobile
    Joined: Mar 4, 2016
    Posts: 83

    Godsmobile
    Member

  23. Godsmobile
    Joined: Mar 4, 2016
    Posts: 83

    Godsmobile
    Member

    Like I mentioned in the other rocket post, I was able to buy a 394 cui rocket straight out of a good and strong running 1955 Olds holiday coupé here in Germany. Wasn't cheap but it will move my 55 4door as long as I'm tinkering with the other rocket parts. It came with those offy valve covers, the fairly new edelbrock carb and the brand new offy dual quad intake. I will clean it up a bit and will throw it in the 55 with my complete rebuilt 56 Jetaway for now.
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    Paul likes this.
  24. Godsmobile
    Joined: Mar 4, 2016
    Posts: 83

    Godsmobile
    Member

    This came last year from ebay USA to me. Plan is to try to get the 324 cui bored 1949 303 block back to life and to top it with this weiand dual quad intake. Sooner or later ;)
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    Paul likes this.
  25. Dago 88
    Joined: Mar 4, 2006
    Posts: 1,720

    Dago 88
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Someone may correct me on this but is the '56 Jetaway compatable with the 394 ? Being that the 394 is externally balanced & the Jetaway came with the 324 which was internally balanced ?
     
  26. BJR
    Joined: Mar 11, 2005
    Posts: 6,086

    BJR
    Member

    That cracked head looks to me like it froze, and ice expanded and broke it. Look over the block very carefully for freeze cracks.
     
  27. Godsmobile
    Joined: Mar 4, 2016
    Posts: 83

    Godsmobile
    Member

    Hmm, not sure about this. I thought every og tranny is mountable to every rocket theoretically.

    About the cracked head, I'm pretty sure the dumbass who pulled the head from the block just dropped it right to the broken edge. Eventually the new owner of that Ford Pickup did that here in Germany. It was already removed from the block when I bought it.
     
  28. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 8,999

    Rusty O'Toole
    Member

    That first motor is someone's old hot rod. A long time ago someone put together the best available parts including solid lifter cam, what appears to be solid skirt forged racing pistons, etc. If rods or pistons are stamped 1 through 8 it was done by the man who built the engine, the factory didn't do that.

    It may be possible to reuse the block and pistons by giving the cylinders a light bore or hone. Some rust pits won't matter. The pistons can be knurled to increase size slightly. I know of one hot rodder years ago who fitted forged solid skirt pistons to .012 clearance then knurled them. He ran the engine (a Chev 283) on the street with no piston slap or wear. I also know an old time mechanic who rebuilt an engine with rusty cylinders without boring by cleaning out the rust and honing the cylinders, and reusing the old pistons because parts were not available at the time. He told me the engine burned oil for the first 1000 miles then ran perfectly and did not burn oil. Later he had the engine apart,the pits in the cylinders were filled with carbon and polished smooth. 2 stroke engines have large holes in the cylinders and as long as they don't snag the rings work ok.

    If I had known sooner I would have suggested making a thick steel plate to bolt on over a cylinder and using a hydraulic pump to push the piston out. Have heard of doing this with a grease gun. It is not hard to get 500PSI or more this way, calculate the area of the piston and this works out to several TONS of force evenly distributed. This can also force oil between the piston and cylinder loosening it up.

    The 394 will be a great engine for your car with lots of power although very thirsty especially with multiple carburetors. You might want to tone it down if you plan on driving it much.
     
    vtwhead likes this.
  29. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 8,999

    Rusty O'Toole
    Member

    Did a calculation for fun. If your bore is 3 7/8" which is stock 324 size then your piston area is 11.75 square inches.

    If you apply hydraulic pressure of 100PSI that makes 1175 pounds of pressure. 500PSI = 5873 pounds. It is not hard to get several hundred pounds of pressure with a hand pump.
     
  30. Godsmobile
    Joined: Mar 4, 2016
    Posts: 83

    Godsmobile
    Member

    I've read about the possibility that the factory did stamp some numbers in their experimental engines. I'm quite sure I saw that in another thread here. But it is more likely that an engine builder did it while redoing that engine.
    I would love to reuse those pistons but some of them are really corroded on the top surface. In my opinion a tad too much to reuse. Does someone know what kind of pistons those are?
    Read about Jahn was making dome pistons at that time.
    Is there an option to get pistons like that on the market?
    I like the idea of trying to get that bored 324 (former 303) back on the road in its hot rod conditions. Just adding the Weiand to it.
    Since I want to turn the 55 Olds into a reliable driver for longer distances, I'm not 100% sure about using the Offy intake on the 394. Gas is really expensive over here. But that is an issue I can play around with when it is moving under its own power.
     

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