Hot Rod Forum : Hotrodders Bulletin Board

Hot Rod Forum : Hotrodders Bulletin Board (
-   Engine (
-   -   A kid bought my pickup and threw a rod in under an hour.. how? (

artillerystevens 05-01-2013 12:13 AM

A kid bought my pickup and threw a rod in under an hour.. how?
I have an ethical dilemma. I sold my 1977 Chevrolet 3/4 ton 4x4 pickup a few days ago to a young man who promptly threw a rod complete with holes in the oil pan spilling both oil and coolant on to the ground within an hour of the title being signed over. I rebuilt the motor late last year and have around 500 miles on it since the rebuild. It has been running great since day one and the kid even said it ran "excellent" on the test drive. I am not a professional engine builder, but this certainly isn't the first motor I built and I am confident it was machined and assembled correctly.
I know I have no legal obligation to do this but I want to stand behind my motor. However I do not if it was abused. Do you think the motor was scattered by overspeed, incorrect assembly, lack of oil???
The motor is a 350 sbc, .40 over, new bearings throughout. Crank journals line bored, new rods, pistons, block was magged and fluxed, crank ground. Stock rotating assembly, edelbrock intake and carb. Stock heads were tanked an inspected. New RV cam. Engine was made to last, not be a runner..
I have been out of town for over a month, oil was good the last time I put gas in it and had no visible leaks or smoke in the exhaust. Truck has been parked except for test drives since I left.
The guy swears he did not tach it, but we were all 19 once so I have trouble believing. So what do you guys think? I know there is a lot of experience on this forum, certainly more than I will ever have.
Thanks in advance for replies.

gearheadslife 05-01-2013 12:36 AM

luck of the draw..
if it was built right even if he ran it to 5500 rpm it shouldn't drop a rod..
don't know of many judges that will side with you here

itsjusti 05-01-2013 01:03 AM

Its nice to be caring but I think it was on him. Sounds like a simple case of *hey I just picked it up...friend: the truck with the 350? Buyer:yeah ill be at your house in 10. Gets there friend hops in....lets see what it will do smoke em*

When I was in the sport compact phase I tried to run a motor into the ground while the motor/drivetrain I wanted to put in was being built. I tried everything...I put 15000 miles without an oil and/or filter change and without adding. Ran it a week straight with no Radiator pressure cap and only adding water. All of this was done with 75% of the time being under as much wot as possible everywhere. The day of the swap the oil smelled rich and was only dark no coolant leakage no globbing and started right up. but then we put the new one in which was actually of the same block and tranny just different internals and bolt ons for a direct swap...kind of. Long story short...alot of details I left out.....I would imagine that happening would only be due to high pressure stress for a good amount of time. ive seen alot of autos throw were under alot of high temp rodding around then winding it up to 140 and holding it for a while then taking it back down to park then show off and rev up and boom....friend did that. Another example was a tire warm up then sit then hit it and boom. I could go on and on lol.

techinspector1 05-01-2013 03:15 AM


Originally Posted by artillerystevens (Post 1671636)
threw a rod complete with holes in the oil pan spilling both oil and coolant on to the ground

Now think about this carefully. If a rod bearing was going out or a rod nut loosened up, it would make some noise before it finally let go. Matter of fact, it would make A LOT OF NOISE. The kid would have shut the motor off in that case and would not have continued to drive the truck. If that were the case, and you could have heard the motor running with the loose rod, you might fault yourself.

That is not what happened. The kid matted the loud pedal and either missed a shift or just didn't let up at all. There's only one way a rod comes through the pan, a catastrophic rev failure. He bought it, he killed it. End of story.

DoubleVision 05-01-2013 03:58 AM

My feelings on what happened? He dropped it in 4 wheel low, which doubles the amount of gear reduction, he gets into the throttle and finds out it seems to have double the power it did in high range due to the gear reduction. Within the first second of feeling the power of low gears he wants MORE so he gets swallowed by mores law which is "If some is good, more must be better"
So to the floor it goes and he doesn't know or realize now that it's in low range the engine reaches redline very very quickly, twice as fast as it does in high range. He floors it, holds it there, not realizing it's at redline, the valves are floating, he's still holding it down, a piston kisses a valve and bang!
The ball game is over. If the engine had 500 miles on it, that clears you of any wrong doing as I've never seen one have a mistake in the bottom end then last 500 miles.
On another occasion a used to be friend of mine had a nice 67 Firebird.
The previous owner had dropped in a chevy 350 and TH350 trans. The engine was a basic stocker with a 2 barrel carb. However it did run strong. It did not smoke, use oil, and it didn't have over 30,000 miles on it since the overhaul. He decides he wants something that gets better mileage so he sells the Firebird and buys a Isuzu Pup. The guy who bought the Firebird lived about 4 miles away. He let his teenage sons take the car out one night. The car came back on a roll back with 2 slung rods. How did they do that? They over revved it. The teen's father had been told by friends how his son was treating the car when it blew, he had the shifter in 1st, foot to the floor, wouldn't let up on it or shift, the valves floated and bang. Game over.

spinn 05-01-2013 04:13 AM

Sold as is, no warranty expressed or implied.

I had a friend who had no respect for his vehicles. He got a 90's Cadillac and would leave it in 1st or 2nd because it sounded like a racecar at 65mph. It could not do a regular burnout he would get going in reverse, then shift into drive. The rearward momentum the car had to fight spun the tires and put extra stress on everything.

1Gary 05-01-2013 04:48 AM

Life can-be a hard lesson.We where all young at one time and learned about engines and cars.As a "as is used sale",there really isn't any moral issues here.

Irelands child 05-01-2013 05:15 AM

You have no obligation. As you said, we were all 19 once. But - if you do feel an ethical obligation, maybe you could spend some time with him giving moral support and advice though not a penny's worth of financial support. He knows how he blew the engine - and the only way it will catastrophically destruct to the point of blowing holes in a casting is high revs.

dogwater 05-01-2013 06:33 AM

My sons grilfrind bought a 96 Mustang an drove it for a week until it blew a head gasket. The previous owner an her split the cost of parts an labour 50/50. He didn't have to do a damn thing, but I thought that was a nice thing to do. If this happened to me I'd have him buy a rebuild motor an have him help with the install. Just an idea, but its not my call.

ap72 05-01-2013 06:49 AM

Did he pay extra for the 3 year 30,000 mile warranty? If not I wouldn't even bother saying another word to him. I'm not sure why in the hell he thought you should even know about it.

killeratrod 05-01-2013 07:01 AM

You built the truck, you drove the truck, And i am sure you got on it a bit here and their. You had no problems. Sorry but this is a perfect case of young and dumb. The kid nailed it or even dropped down a gear, to see what it would do. Once you handed the title over cash was counted. Your done.

AutoGear 05-01-2013 07:20 AM

19rs old
punched holes in the pan

Not your fault. If the rod was going to let go, your neighbors would have heard it knocking. He wound it up and kept it there like Billy ****** and it bit him.

Id say nothing but, if you feel like it, suggest a rev limiter for his next motor.
The ONLY way you pitch a rod with that kind of force in 60 minutes of owning a new car is acting like a 19yr old.

malc 05-01-2013 10:12 AM


Originally Posted by ap72 (Post 1671676)
I'm not sure why in the hell he thought you should even know about it.

My thoughts too.

malc 05-01-2013 10:30 AM

A Brit who worked with me had worked in Detroit, owned an IROC.
One night he parked the car and made his way up to his apartment.
Entering the apartment the phone starts to ring.
Itīs the police.
They have his car and the two guys who stole it.
When he gets there the car is okay apart from having a motor strewn
all over the road under it.:mad:
It doesīnt take long to destroy a motor.

BarryK 05-01-2013 10:30 AM


Originally Posted by gearheadslife (Post 1671644)
luck of the draw..
if it was built right even if he ran it to 5500 rpm it shouldn't drop a rod..
don't know of many judges that will side with you here

Every Judge would say and agree with him, "luck of draw"
He has 0 liability! Period.

I have some young guys working for me 21-30 and there is one common denominator, EVERY-TIME they get a new car be it a used $5000 car or a new $53,000 car first thing they do is get out there and smoke them up, not once but I have seen 30 minutes worth, even with the expensive new one mentioned.
Of course they think I'm an idiot because, 3000 miles on a year old vette and I can't say if it will smoke the tires, guess I'm too cheap to buy new tires for it.

Yep, someone missed a gear, end of story!

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 06:21 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.0 PL2
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
Copyright 1999 - 2012. All Rights Reserved.