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Old 04-29-2012, 11:14 AM
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383 fresh build issues... imagine that

Hello all, I have a Chevy 383 I built about two and a half years ago. Got it assembled over a failrly spread out period of time, got it painted, and it sat for around two years before I got around to getting it into any sort of vehicle.

Enter the V8 S10. Picked up a 4wd 84, converted it to AWD, and got the 383 dropped in. It ran, but after breakin I noticed at hot idle it had around 5 or so psi oil pressure (on a mechanical Sunpro gauge I picked up from a parts store). Since there was a leak coming from the rear of the engine, and I wanted to fix that and investigate things, I pulled the motor. Hope you don't mind a little copy/pasting, I wrote a lot describing it and think it gets the point across rather well.

For background, yes I did prime the motor with one of those tools you get from Autozone for that purpose, and used Rotella T 15w40 with a bottle of GM EOS.

Ok, an update.

Cold idle oil pressure is around 30 or so psi, doesn't seem like enough to me. That and the leaking rear main prompted me to pull the motor.

Three hours later, the motor is out, the oil pan is off, and there's no metal chunks in the pan, but there is quite a bit of grit, and metal shavings stuck to the magnet on the drain plug. I associate that with breakin, and do not panic. Oil pickup screen has a lot of crap stuck in it, doesn't look like it is too free flowing. I spray it off, clean it out, and proceed to break it off of the oil pump. Guess my tack weld didn't hold. At least I know that now.

Next, being a curious fella (that has to replace a rear main seal anyway), I pull the rear main cap, to find grooves that I could see and feel worn into the bearing, and a little copper showing in the middle, and identical grooves in the crankshaft (brand new Eagle cast crank, clearances checked, they ranged from .002 to .003, etc). I start getting a little mad.

Pull the other main caps, examine bearings, same frigging thing. Grooves on bearing and crankshaft, slight amount of copper showing around the middle of the journal, none spun though! That's something to be excited about! Right?

Pulled #1 rod cap, same deal. Pulled #7 rod cap, it looked perfect. Here's where I go "WTF?"

Oh, since it's relevant, the oil pump is a Melling M50something. Not too helpful, I know.

Anyway, since I know now this is no longer a "general swap" question, I will politely ask that a mod move this to wherever it'll get me the best quality of answers. So, I imagine I should ask some questions.

1) Where else should I check for the lack of oil pressure? I re-checked bearing clearances, and they were all within spec, .002 to .003. All the plugs in the rear of the block were in place and accounted for, and I haven't got a chance to pull the timing cover to check the front galley plugs.
2) Do I need a new crank, or will this one be able to be turned? I'll include pictures if that helps.
3) Would I be a huge idiot, or just a normal level idiot if I decided to run it as is?
4) To keep it relevant, would 2 1200ish cfm pusher fans on a stock 4.3HD radiator be able to cool 350 or so HP, if I remove the a/c condenser?

If I left out anything helpful (other than pictures and the oil pump model), let me know and I'll add anything helpful. Thanks!

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Old 04-30-2012, 06:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by big_c_snow
Hello all, I have a Chevy 383 I built about two and a half years ago. Got it assembled over a failrly spread out period of time, got it painted, and it sat for around two years before I got around to getting it into any sort of vehicle.

Enter the V8 S10. Picked up a 4wd 84, converted it to AWD, and got the 383 dropped in. It ran, but after breakin I noticed at hot idle it had around 5 or so psi oil pressure (on a mechanical Sunpro gauge I picked up from a parts store). Since there was a leak coming from the rear of the engine, and I wanted to fix that and investigate things, I pulled the motor. Hope you don't mind a little copy/pasting, I wrote a lot describing it and think it gets the point across rather well.

For background, yes I did prime the motor with one of those tools you get from Autozone for that purpose, and used Rotella T 15w40 with a bottle of GM EOS.

Ok, an update.

Cold idle oil pressure is around 30 or so psi, doesn't seem like enough to me. That and the leaking rear main prompted me to pull the motor.

Three hours later, the motor is out, the oil pan is off, and there's no metal chunks in the pan, but there is quite a bit of grit, and metal shavings stuck to the magnet on the drain plug. I associate that with breakin, and do not panic. Oil pickup screen has a lot of crap stuck in it, doesn't look like it is too free flowing. I spray it off, clean it out, and proceed to break it off of the oil pump. Guess my tack weld didn't hold. At least I know that now.

Next, being a curious fella (that has to replace a rear main seal anyway), I pull the rear main cap, to find grooves that I could see and feel worn into the bearing, and a little copper showing in the middle, and identical grooves in the crankshaft (brand new Eagle cast crank, clearances checked, they ranged from .002 to .003, etc). I start getting a little mad.

Pull the other main caps, examine bearings, same frigging thing. Grooves on bearing and crankshaft, slight amount of copper showing around the middle of the journal, none spun though! That's something to be excited about! Right?

Pulled #1 rod cap, same deal. Pulled #7 rod cap, it looked perfect. Here's where I go "WTF?"

Oh, since it's relevant, the oil pump is a Melling M50something. Not too helpful, I know.

Anyway, since I know now this is no longer a "general swap" question, I will politely ask that a mod move this to wherever it'll get me the best quality of answers. So, I imagine I should ask some questions.

1) Where else should I check for the lack of oil pressure? I re-checked bearing clearances, and they were all within spec, .002 to .003. All the plugs in the rear of the block were in place and accounted for, and I haven't got a chance to pull the timing cover to check the front galley plugs.
2) Do I need a new crank, or will this one be able to be turned? I'll include pictures if that helps.
3) Would I be a huge idiot, or just a normal level idiot if I decided to run it as is?
4) To keep it relevant, would 2 1200ish cfm pusher fans on a stock 4.3HD radiator be able to cool 350 or so HP, if I remove the a/c condenser?

If I left out anything helpful (other than pictures and the oil pump model), let me know and I'll add anything helpful. Thanks!
Check the finish on the crank's thrust journals, Eagle has had on and off finish quality problems here on the surface. If it's rough it will tear up the bearing pretty quickly putting the debris in circulation with the oil.

No 4.3 Liter V6 radiator won't come close. The Malibu 396/454 radiator from the 1970's will fit albeit tight to the water pump. An aftermarket like the Summit 381331 which is a two row aluminum carries the same external dimensions but Summit's idea of 19 inches high does not include the filler which stands another 1-1/4 inches above the core, the S10 hood will not clear this. The solution is the cut the truck's lower radiator frame. This is a box section. You want to slice the top of the box open leaving the side walls. Then take the side wall facing the engine and bend it 180 degrees down this will help retain strength and stiffness. You weld or bolt some gussets to tie this in as well just to retain the load carrying capability of the original radiator frame. Locate GM rubber radiator supports under the tank welds, drill the frame bottom to position them. This will drop the radiator deep enough to clear the closed hood.

Fans are always a problem with this conversion, lessons learned indicate that conversion to the short water pump is a great benefit toward finding space between the engine and radiator.

Bogie
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Old 04-30-2012, 06:39 PM
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From your description. DIRT, grit from somewhere. Thats why the damage in the centers of the bearings. Particles in the oil imbed to the center of the bearing on the oil hole path. Bearing sacrifices itself to protect crank. This material, in turn, imbeds further down the line. Vicious circle.

Was the crankshaft cleaned with brushes and blown out? Same for block?. Was block clearanced before or after the block was professionally cleaned?

Pull the plate off the M-55 pump and closely examine the surfaces. Deep scratches?

One guys idea of cleanliness is not close for another. ONE grain of grit can destroy an engine..
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Old 04-30-2012, 07:11 PM
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Yeah, asked around at work (for a Chrysler dealership, there's a lot of guys that built loads of SBC engines "back in the day"), and the consensus was dirt or something, that requires crank to be turned and block to be cleaned and all new bearings. Guess I'm shelling out for that now.

To answer the questions, I know I cleaned the block before I put it together, not super sure about the crank though. Knowing what I know now, guess I get to do it all over again.

What seems like a fair price to get a block cleaned, new cam bearings, and crank turned?
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Old 04-30-2012, 10:03 PM
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If you bought a new crank and installed it without thoroughly cleaning it, that was probably the issue to start with.
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Old 05-01-2012, 05:33 AM
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With that much debris that went through the bearings I would have to say the block was not cleaned properly, Is that a block with the press in plug on the rear of the block just under the top of the left cylinder head?

Use a good filter and plug your oil filter bypass and make sure the plug is in under the rear main cap.
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Old 05-01-2012, 07:37 AM
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As for machine costs, we have no idea where you're located and they tend to vary with location, around here you'd probably pay about $400 to have it all done, maybe less.
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