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Old 06-19-2017, 10:54 AM
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New Engine ran Considerably Rich for a few months...

No way to keep this short unfortunately, lengthy read ahead, you've been warned.

About a year ago, I had a 350 Small Block rebuilt, had a new crank, fresh KB 30 over pistons installed... brand new rings, the whole 9 yards. I combined the setup with a crower camshaft and vortec heads and a performer RPM Intake. I built it to be a street rod, around 300hp to the wheels.

While my engine was being rebuilt, I looked at my carb, I had an edelbrock 600cfm, 1406. Carb.

I had never ripped a carb apart in my life, but having just designed an engine block with good compression, a perfect quench distance, and tons of research, I guess I was feeling like an ďexpertĒ and out of excitement/eagerness, I decided to buy the calibration kit, yank it apart, take out the stock .093ís and install .01ís... Assuming I would experiment with the mix as time went on.

When I got the engine, I got into a seriously bad personal situation, and basically stopped researching/caring... and I ran a very rich mixture, for a whole summer, with the car as my daily driver, I donít have to drive much, but I do pleasure cruise, approximately, 2-4000 or so KMís.

Throughout the summer, the engine oil was changed around 4 times, because the oil was always black after a short amount of driving, I thought it was to do with the break in, it would smoke profoundly on start up (Blue oil smoke though, never black on start up) and burned oil would build up on the back bumper. It would not smoke if I stomped the engine while it was warmed up.

This was my first engine rebuild ever, and before having the engine rebuilt, it was behaving the same way, so I assumed it was a normal part of the break in/ behavior of a mild 350 smallblock.

My life situation is better now, and I started to re diagnose the issue, and take pride in my car again... and oh my god, my baby, my poor engine! All that work and to do something so retarded... I hate myself for it... I had always heard ďFat and HappyĒ was the way to go with the mix... well, my ******* actually believed that, now Ive read that I may have potentially (who am I kidding... that amount of driving, I know I did) prematurely worn down my BRAND NEW cylinder walls and rings.

This spring, I ran a cranking compression check on my engine... I designed it to be a 9.7-1 with vortec heads with 62cc machined heads, and I got between 190-210 PSI between ALL the cylinders. The variance was a little more then I had hoped between the individual cylinders, but the numbers were all still good at least, which was a relief.

I then took my carb apart, and set it back to factory settings... thats when I realized my most major screw up so far, I somehow installed two DIFFERENT SIZED METERING RODS... I know, I know, I never plan on ever touching a carb again, canít believe I was so careless...

Anyways, This has been fixed, set my floats, installed .095 primaries and .096 secondaryís, leaned out the mixture... the engine is no longer smoking on start up, itís running stout, idling normally (better than ever actually) But Iím worried about the damage Iíve done... Iíve accepted that I MUST have worn the rings out a bit more than they should be for such a young engine. But based on my oil changes last summer, compression check looking reasonably solid, and the fact that it was also running rich for the BREAK IN, where the walls and rings are actually wearing themselves in regardless, Iím hoping my engine sounds OK... I know I must have worn it a little bit at least, but you guys, with all your experience, without actually diagnosing it, based on the info Iíve given you, does it sound like the damage is minimal? Or severe?

I did about two weeks of highway driving with it for work at one point, with a 3 speed trans, 1 hour there, 1 hour back, I had no issues at the time with the car, but this is what Iím most worried about, as I was around 100km/ sustained for an hour at 2900rpm at a time. (Plus passing at times) Other then the occasional stomp, this was the only higher rpm sustained driving my car went through. Heat was always in the safe range.

Iím just hoping for some closure, I know I could rip the heads off and look, but Iím afraid too... please be honest, but donít sugar coat either... Keep in mind Iím young, and have always been a ďHard wayĒ learner, but I canít afford another block so if you guys think itís complete toast, itís basically the end of my life as a hot rodder.

Thanks for reading guys... does anyone have any input?

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Old 06-19-2017, 01:39 PM
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In my opinion... Dont sweat the small stuff. These engines are amazingly durable to some extent. If it is currently running & driving... go with it. Keep an eye on oil consumption, smoking, etc. If something shows up, deal with it at that point.
run it, have fun, until it wont go anymore, then rebuild it again & keep on keepin on!
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Old 06-19-2017, 03:15 PM
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Agreed. You too worried about kinda like a helicopter parent.

When people talk about washing out the rings as you are, it's usually over valued. That's to say it doesn't happen but you would see things like black smoke billowing out the back and very wet plugs plus mileage that way off the charts. I don't think you were even close to anything like that. Run it, enjoy it and your new life.
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