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Old 12-20-2012, 12:58 PM
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Advice on evaluating engine condition

Hi,
I'm starting my first engine rebuild and have made a few observations that I'd like some help on. Odometer shows 165K.

First: The cylinders still show cross hatch marks. Can this only mean a recent rebuild, meaning would hatch marks still be visible after that many miles?
Also, connecting rods are numbered. Can this be from factory, or done during the last rebuild.

Second: There is no noticeable ridge at the top of the bore. At least not one I can hook a finger nail on. Can I just re-hone them and call it good? I will have the bore checked at the machine shop and see.

Third: 2 push rods were bent. I'll buy all new push rods. When I removed the rockers, I did not keep them in order. Since I am buying all new push rods, can I put the old rockers back in any order, or do I now have to but new rockers?

Forth: All lifters move freely, what else could have caused the push rods to bend. Timing chain seems like it's loose, but I have no experience to compare that to. Timing gears are lined up. Valve springs seem good and valves are seated properly, no leak test done on them yet.

Thanks

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Old 12-20-2012, 04:37 PM
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You will need to measure the bores and see. Sometimes with chevy a quick ball hone and good rings will seat right up. Chevy nore ford number there rods as far as i know are they cast in numbers. Or stamped if stamped or scratched they are surely from a rebuild.

Check the valve trian you should be able to find the reason the push rods bent. I would not reuse the rockers if at all possible cheap roller rocker these days are 50-150 bucks. Worth the money since the rocker is a possible cause of the failure. Are all the studs in good shape no wear or bent broken studs?

Many things can cause the push rods to fail. They are pretty much the weak link. If they were not lined up right they could of moved sideways and bent just from leverage and the springs.
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Old 12-20-2012, 04:55 PM
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Originally Posted by hcompton View Post
You will need to measure the bores and see. Sometimes with chevy a quick ball hone and good rings will seat right up. Chevy nore ford number there rods as far as i know are they cast in numbers. Or stamped if stamped or scratched they are surely from a rebuild.

Check the valve trian you should be able to find the reason the push rods bent. I would not reuse the rockers if at all possible cheap roller rocker these days are 50-150 bucks. Worth the money since the rocker is a possible cause of the failure. Are all the studs in good shape no wear or bent broken studs?

Many things can cause the push rods to fail. They are pretty much the weak link. If they were not lined up right they could of moved sideways and bent just from leverage and the springs.
Numbers are stamped. The lifters moved up and down freely, but when I tried to remove them, I had to pound them out. I will go with new lifters, push rods , rockers, cam and valve springs. Replace valves and seats as necessary. No broken studs.
Anthing else?
Thanks
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Old 12-20-2012, 05:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Infinite Monkeys View Post
Numbers are stamped. The lifters moved up and down freely, but when I tried to remove them, I had to pound them out. I will go with new lifters, push rods , rockers, cam and valve springs. Replace valves and seats as necessary. No broken studs.
Anthing else?
Thanks
You can buy over sized lifters and have the machine shop bore them out to a new size. It actually has some advantages but usally you only want to go a few thou over. I have used a small ball hone or brake hone to clean up the lifter bores but i recommend having the machine shop do it correctly. Its a polished surface and requires proper finishing.

You may want to make sure all the oil galleys are clean and flowing. Loss of oil is where all problems start. If its not from leverage its from heat or metal rubbing together. The push rods them selves can get jammed full of crap and some times the hot take does not clean them out. An engine builder may have over looked the issue thinking its always worked in the past or they were that bad. But you never know. Look for some rockers with different color sockets and tips and see if you can find the bad ones out of the pile. Bet it wont be hard. Shiny spots are a good tell for heat or scrapping damage. Also blueing is possible. Do the valves move freely with the spring off. If there sticky they will lock up when really hot and low on oil. So just a matter of time before a small catch becomes tightly seized.
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Old 12-20-2012, 05:30 PM
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Any signs of the valves hitting the pistons. I have seen mushroomed lifters stick up and the valve hit the piston and wasted the valve trains for that cylinder. This is more of a possible thing rather than a for sure. You always have to look and measure everything sometimes the true issue only comes out in the clearnces are checked over.
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Old 12-20-2012, 06:20 PM
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No sign of piston to valve contact. Ive not gotten to the heads yet. I will check them tomorrow. The springs seemed good when I hit them with a hammer to check rebound. Valves seem to sit properly against their seats, but I just gave it a cursary glance.

How do I insure oil passages are perfectly clean?

I will replace lifters, push rods, cam, valve springs, rockers, valve seals. I think, because of the cost, I'll repalce valves and seats as necessary. Anything else.

Thanks

Last edited by Infinite Monkeys; 12-20-2012 at 06:34 PM.
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Old 12-20-2012, 06:41 PM
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No sign of piston to valve contact. Ive not gotten to the heads yet. I will check them tomorrow. The springs seemed good when I hit them with a hammer to check rebound. Valves seem to sit properly against their seats, but I just gave it a cursary glance.

How do I insure oil passages are perfectly clean?

I will replace lifters, push rods, cam, valve springs, rockers, valve seals, and valves and seats as necessary. Anything else.

Thanks
New oil pump and double roller timing chain. I would just buy master engine rebuild kit. Some guys on ebay have pulled together all the best stuff. A lot of time the best stuff is still cheapest since its the most popular.

I always buy a bolt kit from ebay i just got one that is all stainless for under hundred and it has all the bolts in the engine that are normally replaced with store style bolts not head bolts or flywheel/balancer and no engine bolts like rod/main bolts. But these should be arp high grade stuff. Head volts and rod bolts really can make the engine survive when it would normally fail. But the normal bolts i replace with new ones. Also keep everything until its in the car/truck you never know when you need one bolt or bracket.

New dizzy they are cheap for chevy on amazon right now. Just got one for 35 bucks.

Arp oil pump and fuel pump shafts Are cheap and worth the few bucks they cost for performance. Also remeber to compare to oe replacement part not zero because they will be worn and need to be replaced.

Keys and other finishing parts. New flexplate or flywheel ring gear. I always replace them unless thye look great and normally they dont.

Not sure where you live but in my area machine work is very expensive its cheaper to buy new heads sometimes or at least close to same money with more power. SS valves are also not really needed for low power engines. Stock replacements valves and seals can be very cheap you may want to ask the machine shop if you can source the parts to keep the cost down.
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Old 12-20-2012, 06:59 PM
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Normally the block will be acid dipped and that should clean them like new. But a little air or wd40 into the ports should let you see the if they are clear. Machine shop can take care of this they can probly check it as part of the normal machine work. Just let the machine shop know it let go and to check the oil passages for blockage after its cleaned up. They should do it anyway so should not change the price.

Replacing just one valve at a time is fine. But if several of the exhuast valves are bad a new set of 8 is not that much money. Hopefully the seats are not all burnt up. Usally they can be cut pretty deep. For performance engine i usally move the seat out closer to the edge of the valve any way. So cutting them deeper is not really an issue. Cutting the valves and the seats is not good but not really bad either, its common in replacement style rebuilds.
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Old 12-20-2012, 07:03 PM
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I was thinking about getting this kit:

Link.

Sealed Power/Engine Kit (Master) (MK-6321A) | 1993 Ford F350 1 ton P/U 4WD 8 Cylinders G 7.5L FI | AutoZone.com

Cylinders look good and should clean up by a honing, but won't know for sure till I get it checked.

I was thinking about reusing the head bolts, or is that not good?
I will have the block cleaned at a shop.
Thanks
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Old 12-20-2012, 08:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Infinite Monkeys View Post
I was thinking about getting this kit:

Link.

Sealed Power/Engine Kit (Master) (MK-6321A) | 1993 Ford F350 1 ton P/U 4WD 8 Cylinders G 7.5L FI | AutoZone.com

Cylinders look good and should clean up by a honing, but won't know for sure till I get it checked.

I was thinking about reusing the head bolts, or is that not good?
I will have the block cleaned at a shop.
Thanks
Head bolts aint cheap for the fords. 50 bucks will buy you the procomp stud kit for oe and alum heads but the arp is almost 80 bucks.

For performance rebuild i would use good head bolts but with for stock rebuild oe bolts should be ok. But i do think they are one time use. Tighten to yeild style bolts i think. But not sure of all the ford stuff.

Looked at the kit but could see what was really in it and who makes the parts. You want to see all the top brands not just a generic rings bearings gasket kit. Seal power is usally good. Just not able to tell one way or the other.
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Old 12-20-2012, 09:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Infinite Monkeys View Post
Hi,
I'm starting my first engine rebuild and have made a few observations that I'd like some help on. Odometer shows 165K.

First: The cylinders still show cross hatch marks. Can this only mean a recent rebuild, meaning would hatch marks still be visible after that many miles?
Also, connecting rods are numbered. Can this be from factory, or done during the last rebuild.

Second: There is no noticeable ridge at the top of the bore. At least not one I can hook a finger nail on. Can I just re-hone them and call it good? I will have the bore checked at the machine shop and see.

Third: 2 push rods were bent. I'll buy all new push rods. When I removed the rockers, I did not keep them in order. Since I am buying all new push rods, can I put the old rockers back in any order, or do I now have to but new rockers?

Forth: All lifters move freely, what else could have caused the push rods to bend. Timing chain seems like it's loose, but I have no experience to compare that to. Timing gears are lined up. Valve springs seem good and valves are seated properly, no leak test done on them yet.

Thanks
first, you didn't mention what motor you are working on.
small block chev would not have numbers on the rods from the factory, a big block would though.
i wouldn't count on a crosshatch meaning anything. someone could have done a terrible job with rough stones and its still there, or it could mean little wear.
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Old 12-21-2012, 06:50 AM
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first, you didn't mention what motor you are working on.
small block chev would not have numbers on the rods from the factory, a big block would though.
i wouldn't count on a crosshatch meaning anything. someone could have done a terrible job with rough stones and its still there, or it could mean little wear.

It's a Ford 460. My theory is that some one botched up the last rebuild and the engine did not run for long.

Other observation are:
cross threaded spark plug.
2 missing exhaust manifold bolts on the same port and 1 broken bolt on another
engine oil was nasty, maybe they did not replace during break-in
cracked timing chain cover
2 bent push rods
Plus whatever I can find out at the machine shop

So, it's looking like even if it was a recent rebuild, it did not go right and I will recheck and redo. Hopefully I won't screw it up also, this is my first.

Thanks
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Old 12-21-2012, 08:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Infinite Monkeys View Post
It's a Ford 460. My theory is that some one botched up the last rebuild and the engine did not run for long.

Other observation are:
cross threaded spark plug.
2 missing exhaust manifold bolts on the same port and 1 broken bolt on another
engine oil was nasty, maybe they did not replace during break-in
cracked timing chain cover
2 bent push rods
Plus whatever I can find out at the machine shop

So, it's looking like even if it was a recent rebuild, it did not go right and I will recheck and redo. Hopefully I won't screw it up also, this is my first.

Thanks
don't think so.. the fact that the lifters had enough of a film that they needed to be pounded out.. says it was running a good long time..bent pustrods , mostlikely from floating the valves..
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Old 12-21-2012, 08:41 AM
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don't think so.. the fact that the lifters had enough of a film that they needed to be pounded out.. says it was running a good long time..bent pustrods , mostlikely from floating the valves..
I see your point. I also saw incomplete combustion in another cylinder that did not have the bent rods. My guess is that this is also from bad valves.
Does that sound right?

Thanks for your help guys. I'm getting closer to getting it to a machine shop and getting the problems resolved. Again thank you for sticking with me.
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Old 12-21-2012, 10:28 AM
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don't think so.. the fact that the lifters had enough of a film that they needed to be pounded out.. says it was running a good long time..bent pustrods , mostlikely from floating the valves..
Lifters could also be mushroomed from lack of oil or the cam wiping out or lack of break in procedures. Oil film is usally not a problem a little solvent cant clean up. Should not need to pound them out if they are just dirty. Its usally flatten metal that holds back the lifters.

In the future if the block is going to the machine shop anyway let them deal with removing the lifters its not always good to force them out of the holes if they are badly worn.

You can use a file or die grinder to remove any burrs before pushing the lifters out. Machine shop guys will have a few tricks for getting them out. And usally wont charge to much. Probably no harm done either way they needed to be bored out anyway to make things work correctly.
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