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Projects Who else has this much bad luck?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by trilobyte, Jul 25, 2013.

  1. trilobyte
    Joined: May 18, 2009
    Posts: 100

    trilobyte
    Member
    from California

    I mean seriously, the first engine in my 52 lasted 30,000 miles, then while driving 55mph up hill it blew a piston randomly without a single symptom.

    Then I buy a 350 long-block (used), turns out it had sand in it, and a warped cylinder head.

    Now to my fresh build:

    [​IMG]

    Recently, I bought a 350 short-block from a small engine builder, it looked absolutely fantastic! was excellent craftsmanship, I was amazed. 4-bolt main, bored .060 over, forged pistons, decked to 0, rest is stock cast iron. I threw in a Comp Cams lifter/cam kit .480lift 230 duration, aluminum heads, 6qt Claimer pan, Melling HV pump, moly pushrods, 1.3 full roller rockers (for break in, 1.5's for official), Edelbrock Performer RPM Air-Gap, blocked the oil filter by-pass, 8in PRW damper.

    Put in a little less than 6 qrts of 10w 30 oil (6qrt pan), with the comp cams additive, primed the oiling system using an electric drill, then used the starter with the coil disconnected looking for oil pressure. Had to fire it up a few times real quick turning the distributor till it ran smooth enough to get out the door and start idling it to 2000rpm's. 5min in, oil pressure at 70psi and began to hear a tap tap tap tap, I was like hmmmm... must be a rocker, by this time it was nightfall so I decided to call it a night and get that rocker resolved in the next day.

    Came back to it, found a rocker was loose, seemed a bit odd, appears that the center lock screw came loose and it thread it's way out a bit, I then took it to 0 lash, turned the nut 1/2 turn, then tightened the lock securely.

    Fired up the motor, and now it's a grind CLACK, grind CLACK! 10 times a second about, motor heats up real quick, and one cyl sounds a bit flat.

    Great... Now I am broke, College classes are coming up, all I wanted was to be able to drive to class, and get a better job. Third engine, and I still have no luck... how is this possible?

    ----------EDIT----------
    Got a Build thread going finally
    http://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/s...d.php?t=820308
    If the link does not work, you should be able to find it titled: "The SBC 350 Build."
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2013
  2. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 17,018

    gimpyshotrods
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Had a lathe chuck fail, throwing the workpiece at the side of my head. Lost vision and hearing on that side, for a while. Can barely move my jaw.

    How is that for luck?
     
  3. Rickybop
    Joined: May 23, 2008
    Posts: 6,378

    Rickybop
    Member
    from Michigan

    It might just be a collapsed lifter. Or that one lifter didn't pump up 'til after you re-adjusted it, and now it's over-tightened.

    Whadda ya say, guys?
     
  4. trilobyte
    Joined: May 18, 2009
    Posts: 100

    trilobyte
    Member
    from California

    :eek: *Feels jaw slowly...* :eek:
     
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  5. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 17,018

    gimpyshotrods
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    And you probably had a collapsed lifter, and now it is overtight, as others have said. Re-adjust, and try it again. Check all of them, just to be safe.
     
  6. trilobyte
    Joined: May 18, 2009
    Posts: 100

    trilobyte
    Member
    from California

    Wont hurt, at least there is now hope in my mind lol, now maybe I can sleep and wake up early before the hot sun. At least I know which cyl. bank it would be on, as I heard a flat tone out the exhaust on the passenger side.
     
  7. Rickybop
    Joined: May 23, 2008
    Posts: 6,378

    Rickybop
    Member
    from Michigan

    Btw...

    I had a 25 year career as a machine-tool designer and 1/2 dozen cool old cars. Then lost my career about the time the internet came into being, and the big 3 started sending the work overseas at the push of a button. I painted houses and stuff for a few years until that started kicking my ass. So I sold all my old cars and parts so I could go to school to become a nurse. Part way through, I had a heart attack and had to drop out. So I spent lots of time, money and effort, have no old cars, and at 56 years old, I have nothing to show for it but a nice big school loan bill and a bigger hospital bill. And I'm behind on rent.

    On the other hand, Hamb Andy died at a very young age after battling a fatal disease.

    I'm actually a very lucky man.

    Feel better now? :)
     
  8. trilobyte
    Joined: May 18, 2009
    Posts: 100

    trilobyte
    Member
    from California

    yes... lol you guys are great.

    I guess my luck could really be worse, at least I have a whole life-time ahead to pull it all together.

    Wish you luck in job searching, it's an exceptionally tough time right now.
     
  9. firingorder1
    Joined: Dec 15, 2006
    Posts: 2,147

    firingorder1
    Member

    OF course things could be worse. But you're still standing. You're broke. Whoopdeedoo. I've been that way most of my life. Its given me an advantage. I learned how to make things without fancy machines. Count your blessings. You're alive. Live and enjoy life while you can. You'll be a long time dead.
     
  10. 48FordFanatic
    Joined: Feb 26, 2011
    Posts: 1,336

    48FordFanatic
    Member
    from Maine

    So you probably could have bought a GM long block 350 for what you've spent and you would have a good running engine. Live and learn !
     
  11. Gman0046
    Joined: Jul 24, 2005
    Posts: 6,108

    Gman0046
    Member

    I still can't believe why someone would buy a pig in a poke when you can buy a crate motor with a warranty.
     
  12. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 9,106

    Rusty O'Toole
    Member

    This is not unusual with Chev engines. I know several people who have had similar luck, including buyers of Target Master engines from GM.
     
  13. Don't even ask me about luck, if it was raining soup I could walk out my front door and get hit right in the mouth with a hay bale. :(

    Here is the deal if you depend on luck when it comes to anything mechanical you are asking to throw snake eyes every time. if you are going to gamble always best to hedge your bets, when it comes to engines you hedge with intellegence and skill. if you don't have either then it is time to buy a bicycle.
     
  14. Fatbob309
    Joined: Jan 1, 2009
    Posts: 491

    Fatbob309
    Member

    Put a Ford in it. I hear if you pull a stock 302 from a Mustang you get 40000HP off the bat. ;)
    That sucks about the eng. I have had issues like that with other parts. It will pass and soon you will be driving and loving the old truck again.
     
  15. junk yard kid
    Joined: Nov 11, 2007
    Posts: 2,720

    junk yard kid
    Member

    My buddy went through three big blocks in three months.
     
  16. 56sedandelivery
    Joined: Nov 21, 2006
    Posts: 6,182

    56sedandelivery
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Personally, I've never heard of 1.3 rocker arms for a SBC; what would be the "advantage" there? 1.5 to 1.6, and even 1.52, but never 1.3. The lifter situation could be a stud pulling out, IF they're pressed-in studs. Butch/56sedandelivery.
     
  17. 1959apache
    Joined: Nov 22, 2009
    Posts: 2,627

    1959apache
    Member

    I get that kind of crap luck all the time, but I would have gone completely through timing the motor and making sure valve lash was set correctly before I even started. I never trust anyone's work unless it's my own. There is nothing you can do about it except to push on and readjust it. Do you have any metal in the pan?

    It's good to be poor, you learn to appreciate things more. You are more able to think outside of the box that way because money just isn't in the cards. A upper gasket kit is like $50-80 bucks, so at worst if you want to explore what is going on you can OR you can just not worry about it... how much did you throw down for the last engine anyway? A fresh rebuild locally here is right around $1,000 or less.
     
  18. trilobyte
    Joined: May 18, 2009
    Posts: 100

    trilobyte
    Member
    from California

    I spent somewhere around $2700 on this one, last one which had sand in it I only spent below $1000 (had no job).

    Some Good news: I pulled off the rocker which was previously found loose and to my surprise I found that the pushrod could not slide all the way up the guide plate, it was hitting the wall of the head! (Don't know how I missed it, I specifically checked the clearances carefully on each pushrod.)

    Since I have adjustable guide plates, I changed the alignment of the rocker so the pushrod had a bit more room, sacrificing some of the alignment on the rocker tip on the valve stem.

    So, after tearing out the electric fan controller (it went bad... just now...), and replacing it with a switch, (a cool shiny chrome switch I found in my toolbox) I fired it up again, this time, I could not hear any noise while in the cab, so at least it is not as loud as before, but I can still hear the pitch of one of the cylinders seeming a bit more flat than the others.

    The scary part: I could not run it for too long since after about 3min the engine temp's soared reaching for 200* scary fast, and I found a few flakes of magnetic metal on the oil dipstick... Again, luckily, I installed an oil adapter plate which has no bypass, and a massive Wix filter that could hold a lot of crap, so I think the bottom end will be ok.

    It appears that the thermostat is stuck closed, since the top radiator hose was barley warm, so I may either remove it completely and try it out, or buy another. I don't have enough anti-freeze and a red ant figured out how to jam its self through the upper mesh on my shoes and bite me right on my big toes joint... So it looks like I may have to wait till Monday, unless I figure out a new method.

    Should I bring buckets of hose water and remove the thermostat completely and see what happens? Just worried since aluminum and iron don't play well in a conductive fluid. (then drain it all out before the end of the day of course).

    And yes, the 1.3 rockers from speedway are for cam break-in, it reduces the amount of pressure from the springs on the cam due to a lower ratio. (I stayed up through many nights studying all that I could about engine building, and found them mentioned on another forum.)
     
  19. Wild Turkey
    Joined: Oct 17, 2005
    Posts: 903

    Wild Turkey
    Member

    Look at it this way -- at least a shot engine is worth something at the scrap yard and you don't have to pay alimony.:rolleyes::D
     
  20. Rickybop
    Joined: May 23, 2008
    Posts: 6,378

    Rickybop
    Member
    from Michigan

    A red ant bite now? Just what do the gods have against you, anyway?

    Any weird noises at all means problems. Find the problem before running it anymore. You may avoid some serious damage. Good luck with it. Let us know how it goes. Good luck with school too.
     
  21. sawzall
    Joined: Jul 15, 2002
    Posts: 4,662

    sawzall
    Member

    I went through something similar.. I had a ford F1.. with a chevy 350.. I think that the first 3 engines (which were all used but "good" according to the folks who I bought them from) carried me all of 130? (not any more) miles..

    yeah.. 130 miles.. 3 engines..

    needless to say.. engine #4 was a new crate motor..
     
  22. indyjps
    Joined: Feb 21, 2007
    Posts: 3,764

    indyjps
    Member

    I got a fresh rebuilt 350, just what you need, come on over we'll load it up.
     
  23. trilobyte
    Joined: May 18, 2009
    Posts: 100

    trilobyte
    Member
    from California

    Yea... it was one of the smarter red ants too, first time being bit by one out here also, usually they leave me alone. I made sure to smash it, luckily it was not one of the 10 black widows I have killed so far hanging around where I am trying to work. As for the gods... well... sort of difficult to smash them with a stick...

    Once the swelling goes down, Ill be able to fit a shoe on this foot, and see if I still have one intake gasket left, so I can pull the intake and have a look at the lifters and lobes.

    Maybe it will be cheaper on monday after work to buy a bunch of bottles of distilled water in case I have to drain it yet again!

    first motor I got 30,000 more miles on top of it's 400,000+, second, i got 40 miles, third, 0? I think Ill follow your lead if this does not go well, too difficult to avoid catastrophic failure with so much new chinese junk flooding the market.

    You would think that if you got a good short block and threw on the upper, everything will be fine, but apparently, if you do that, somehow then the valve train will just have an issue to destroy all. I never imagined that engines could be such fragile machines.
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2013
  24. trilobyte
    Joined: May 18, 2009
    Posts: 100

    trilobyte
    Member
    from California

    So I got 3 bottles of distilled water, water wetter, and a 160* thermostat which I put in a pot of hot water and TESTED! I brought the engine to read 8* BTDC, then aligned the #1 cyl. post back up to the rotor, so it should have about 8* initial timing if I fired it up again.

    So right now I am starting to think that if I have to drain some of the coolant anyways, I might as well remove the intake and have a look at all the lifters... but it's annoying since at that time, it's very easy for dirt to enter the block, especially since it's parked above dirt.
     
  25. Engine man
    Joined: Jan 30, 2011
    Posts: 3,476

    Engine man
    Member
    from Wisconsin

    If it weren't for bad luck I'd have no luck at all.
     
  26. trilobyte
    Joined: May 18, 2009
    Posts: 100

    trilobyte
    Member
    from California

    lol I have two whole engines I'm going to start posting on craigs list, one 57' 283, with a blown piston, need of MAJOR TLC, a 350 bored 60 over with all blown bearings, crank, chewed camshaft, and a warped smog style heads, and now I am about to find out what the condition is about this engine tomorrow...

    Man... I just wish with all those parts, I would have something that works!

    Just wondering, If anyone reads this, if you have chewed a camshaft and had the oil bypass blocked, how much damage resulted to the mains? If all the oil goes through the filter, and does not bypass, I don't know how any of the metal fragments would ever reach the bearings.
     
  27. rainhater1
    Joined: Oct 5, 2009
    Posts: 1,150

    rainhater1
    BANNED
    from az

    No problem you have had bad luck, just lost our entire house, tools and lift. We all have to take a look at our time in life. No one was hurt, hope the insurance will cover most of the loss. Our 2 cars were in our summer home so I still have something to play with
     
  28. Rattle Trap
    Joined: May 11, 2012
    Posts: 358

    Rattle Trap
    Member

    Bad luck? We had our house burn to the ground 5 years ago. Had to sell our bar that we had owned for ten years due to the bad economy. I got knocked off my Harley on the freeway as a mattress flew up from under the car in front of me. Shattered my right wrist and tons of road rash. Now have a plate and twelve screws holding that together. Three months ago I fell off my work truck and broke my right leg and tore up all the tendons. Had to have reconstructive surgery on it all. Still recovering from that one. Right now I am feeling lucky to be alive.
    I wish I only had a few engine problems. I could handle that.
     
  29. need louvers ?
    Joined: Nov 20, 2008
    Posts: 12,911

    need louvers ?
    Member

    The second you have destroyed 1 washing machine, 1 coffee pot, and four (4!) cars simply trying to back out of your driveway to go to work one morning, come talk to me about bad luck...
     

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