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Technical what do you consider freshening a motor?

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by evilokc, Oct 14, 2018.

  1. evilokc
    Joined: Jan 30, 2013
    Posts: 5


    I have a good running chevy v8 with 150k. it has no mechanical issues and is running smooth and reliably. im going to try and add a little power with headers, a complete exhaust, a better manifold, heads, and a cam. im also planning to have this dyno tuned which I have never done but am pretty interested in. my question is while I have the motor partially torn down for this (doing all work in the truck) is there anything I should do to "freshen the motor"? it will already be getting new gaskets when I reassemble but im not sure if everyone's definition of freshening a motor is the same. appreciate any knowledge you can pass my way.
  2. thirtytwo
    Joined: Dec 19, 2003
    Posts: 2,516


    Freshening the motor is new rings, bearing , internal parts like timing chain cam and probably valve job and checking bore and clearances , anything less is fibbin
  3. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 43,194


    kind of depends on how long it has to last....could be just rings and gaskets, and inspect everything else. The longer you want it to run, the more money you spend on new parts and machine work.
    Texas Drifter, Old wolf and Hnstray like this.
  4. To me the bare minimum for a refresh is bearings, rings, hone, gaskets and that is only if all your tolerances are within specs. Just replacing gaskets should never be considered "refreshing" your engine, that's just an out right lie.
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  5. anthony myrick
    Joined: Sep 4, 2009
    Posts: 4,363

    anthony myrick
    from al

    Doing the same thing. Picked up a good running 500 caddy. Got it on the stand prepping for a re seal. It has great compression and oil pressure. It’s tempting to replace bearings and rings. Seems kinda useless. But then again it out and easy to do.
    Hnstray likes this.
  6. Hollywood-East
    Joined: Mar 13, 2008
    Posts: 1,010


    You gotta do bearings an rings, I did my first in chassis as a kid at 14, didn't have a picker, so in chassis it was... Can be done... But if you're going That far spend the extra an do it...
  7. So a can of spray paint isn't a freshening?...… :eek::D
  8. 41rodderz
    Joined: Sep 27, 2010
    Posts: 3,079

    from Oregon

    Refreshing an engine is a complete rebuild to me. A partial is an upper end or lower end rebuild. But if your doing a lower why not do a complete rebuild? Putting gaskets on is a bandaid build. You have to ask yourself what you think it is. If selling be honest with what you did.
    DennieC and 56don like this.
  9. Maybe some chrome too?
    mgtstumpy and da34guy like this.
  10. Paul
    Joined: Aug 29, 2002
    Posts: 14,375


    Freshening to me means rings and valve lap.
    Never done it though, once I tear it down that far I end up doing a complete rebuild.
    Roothawg, CudaChick1968 and mrhp like this.
  11. evintho
    Joined: May 28, 2007
    Posts: 1,179


    I've done a few this way. I always pull the motor (ain't that difficult) and do it on a stand. If compression is good across the board, I'll pull the pan and take a good look at the bearings. At 150K you probably need 'em. Replace the oil pump and screen while you're in there. Replace timing chain, gears (if necessary). Pull the heads perform a valve job and replace the seals. Clean any carbon off the piston tops. Pop all freeze plugs and run high pressure water through the water jackets. Replace all gaskets, rebuild the carb (if necessary), check your distributor for any sloppiness, clean everything, paint it and make it all purdy!
    You just freshened your motor (in my vernacular, anyway)!
  12. indianbullet
    Joined: Feb 5, 2014
    Posts: 36

    from Ca

    Used to refer to "Overhaul" as rings bearings and valve job. Rebuild is blueprinted to spec. There again you want to run it for 50k miles or 150k? Once you start putting a mic on everything that will dictate the correct way to go.
  13. jimmy six
    Joined: Mar 21, 2006
    Posts: 4,558

    jimmy six

    Freshening an engine is what's done after a season of racing. Valves are inspected if no problem is found they are lapped, springs are checked but probably replaced, keepers and retainers replaced, and new new seals. Surfaces checked for flat. Crank is mic'ed, polished and rod bearings, mains are inspected and might be reused. Rings replaced, timing chain defection measured, cam and lifters inspected, oil pump and screen cleaned and clearances checked. New gaskets/seals and reassembly. No machining should be needed on a freshening

    150k miles on a SBC gets an overhaul.
  14. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 43,194



    Who is planning to put 150k on a small block Chevy, these days?
  15. Boneyard51
    Joined: Dec 10, 2017
    Posts: 2,446


    I agree with most of these post, the only thing I would change on the posts is ... inspect the valves and lap or grind as necessary. At 150 thousand, more than likely it “ could” need a complete valve job... but maybe not. Every time you grind the valves it makes them thinner, no two ways about it. They may have been ground before. You don’t bore the block unless it’s needed, why grind valves unless it’s needed?

    firstinsteele and Old wolf like this.
  16. F-ONE
    Joined: Mar 27, 2008
    Posts: 1,859

    from Alabama

    This reminds me of my day...circa 1989....
    Take a half worn smog motor out of a 15 year old land boat "1974 Model or so...."
    bought a whole 75 Monte Carlo for 500 bucks. (Looking back it really was a good car:rolleyes:.)
    Pulled that engine and transmission sell or scrap the rest.....Put a intake 4bbl and headers on it...shoe horn it into a old body and we had a running Son-Of a-Bitch.....For a while.

    Fresh...nothing was fresh but the box store engine paint and the black stripes on the pavement.
    Ignorance is bliss. We did not know we needed to add hundreds of dollars worth of internal parts.....maybe a grand or more in machine work....No, we just run the fire out of them. Then, we fixed them when they broke.

    Honestly I don't re-call any of them breaking....bad. ;)

    Those old engines were like...Thank you.
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2018
  17. mnjeff
    Joined: Oct 17, 2006
    Posts: 73


    I have just about always ran used motors. If they sound okay after warmup and don’t smoke - change oil and filter and away we go. I am more of a cruise guy than a racer, and have not had a major motor failure. Yet. It does help to get a project on the street faster and cheaper, then decide what to do.
  18. jetnow1
    Joined: Jan 30, 2008
    Posts: 1,300

    from CT
    1. A-D Truckers

    If it needs a valve job, compare the price of aftermarket heads to the cost, it often makes more sense.

  19. Got to LOVE the rebuilds by Krylon !
    CudaChick1968 and LAROKE like this.
  20. blowby
    Joined: Dec 27, 2012
    Posts: 5,891

    from Nicasio Ca

    Only if accompanied by a can of STP.
    CudaChick1968 and LAROKE like this.
  21. Not sure of you'd classify it as a feshening or "tune-up", but in the past when I was going to use a used engine, I'd change out timing chain set, valve seals, and hard to service items(like rear main seal if out of car). Gaskets where necessary, and away it goes. If anyone asked, I'd tell them what I did, and wouldn't just say "Freshened it up" or Rebuilt it, as that means different things to different people.
  22. chargin03
    Joined: Jan 8, 2013
    Posts: 367


    Aerosol overhaul works for me.
    czuch likes this.
  23. Clay Belt
    Joined: Jun 9, 2017
    Posts: 367

    Clay Belt

    Valve cover gaskets, cleaning any oil off, timing chain, tune up (oil change, pints, plugs, etc). That’s a refresh if you ask me
  24. Gman0046
    Joined: Jul 24, 2005
    Posts: 5,549


    To me a refresh is a total rebuild. Trying to refresh a worn out motor without a rebuild its a waste of time and money. You'll only be throwing more money at it a short time later. As the saying goes "pay me now or pay me later" or "you get what you pay for".
  25. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 43,194


    ...and we all know that cute sayings are a much more accurate reflection of reality, than understanding how things work.
  26. I always considered a rebuild as freshening up an engine.
    Its all semantics, means different things to different people, just make sure you communicate your definition to whomever it needs to be explained.
    CudaChick1968 and Gman0046 like this.
  27. Chappy444
    Joined: Jan 27, 2012
    Posts: 814

    1. Maryland HAMBers

    A can of Motor Honey, Two cans of Engine Orange high temp spray bomb, some chrome valve covers from J.C Whitney with a piece of carpet glued inside to quiet that noisy valve...and Viola!!! fresh as a daisy.
  28. badvolvo
    Joined: Jul 25, 2011
    Posts: 361


    When I was racing, we freshed up the engine yearly.
    Freshen up to me means, taking a really good running engine, tear it down, hone, rering, bearings, check out the cam and components, clean & reseat valves, check springs, reassemble, ready to run all season. Some would call it a rebuild, but it was more maintenance related.
    Rebuild / overhaul = basically everything new.
    Reseal = new gaskets and spray paint, tune up.
    mad mikey, jimmy six and Gman0046 like this.
  29. Back in the day if a engine started burning oil. a set of rod bearings new rings, possibly knurled pistons and a valve job. all done in the chassis. It was considered a in frame overhaul. That ring job was called a refreshed mill. And it generally was accepted that a engine could be overhauled one time and the next go around it would need a rebore. We never miked anything. The shops I worked at very rarely ever had any engine rebored or crank turned. The worn out mill was simply exchanged for a rebuilt short or long block from a jobber.
    texasred and Blues4U like this.
  30. texasred
    Joined: Dec 3, 2008
    Posts: 1,034

    from Houston

    A few dryer sheets in front of the radiator
    czuch, partsdawg and Johnny Gee like this.

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