WHY THE RELUCTANCE TO PULL IT DOWN AND INVESTIGATE?



WHY THE RELUCTANCE TO PULL IT DOWN AND INVESTIGATE?

Postby grumpyvette » November 14th, 2011, 10:50 am

one of my friends sons just purchased a 1/3 done project car, its an old 1969 road runner with a 440 Chrysler (MOPAR) engine thats not running correctly and has obviously seen better days, the car is not in terrible shape , it needs paint and an interior upgrade but the engine runs like its got about 100 hp max, I suggested he do all the basic maintenance items, and give the car a tune up and verify all the sub systems work, but after doing a compression check,and adjusting the valves, setting the timing etc, if hes not getting good compression its most likely a mechanical issue, if he finds its mechanical and not electrical, vacuum,ignition or fuel related then he might want to pull the engine and disassemble and inspect it and do any required parts replacement, and I even offered to help and supervise, provided he have a genuine desire to spend some time on the project and realize that it would more than likely need new rings, bearings lifters and cam and timing set, and might require new pistons and the block being machined, but in any case he could easily have a 400 plus hp engine that would make the car truly fun to drive again for much less that the cost of a new crate engine and learn a great deal during the process
and id only charge him what ever it cost for lunch on the days it took to complete the project, so in effect he would get basically free labor, help and supervision for the cost of parts he would buy himself after we pulled it down, inspected and discovered what needed to be replaced.
now both his dad and I thought that was more than a fair offer and his dad had me build up a similar mopar 383 about 20 years ago , that he still drives today,so hes knows I know my way around the mopar wedge engines, yet for some reason the kid seems intimidated about pulling and refreshing the engine like its some kind of brain surgery? the kid seems overwhelmed at the idea of engine removal and disassemble?
ID also look at the motor mount bolts and bell housing bolts as those can also cause noise at low rpms that goes away as rpms increase


when I was his age I could not wait to pull apart, and rebuild my first 421 Pontiac engine and first 427 big block Chevy and 500 Cadillac engines
I looked at that as a great opportunity to learn new stuff and my old geezer mentor mechanic when I was 18 was some old 50 year old guy who worked as a heavy line mechanic at Pontiac, so I knew he would keep me from getting in over my head, i welcomed the opportunity to learn, so the kids reluctance even with his dad and my help seems curious, especially since it was the kids idea to buy and rebuild the car in the first place??
GUYS I NEVER SAID I,M A GREAT MECHANIC, BUT I HAVE LEARNED THAT IF YOU TAKE THE TIME TO BREAK THINGS DOWN INTO THE SIMPLEST PART AND DO A BIT OF RESEARCH, FINDING ANSWERS IS FAR LES INTIMIDATING OR DIFFICULT

like the old saying how do you eat an elephant......one little bite at a time! :D

all the answers are readily available, theres known testing procedures and listed test results you can expect, and procedures listed in the shop manual for isolating and testing components, you don,t need to be a genius, you just need to be logical and persistent and not afraid to learn new things while getting your hands dirty at times

IF you have a more modern performance car that won,t start, you start with the basics also,
have you pulled trouble codes yet?
youll need a VOM meter and a list of trouble codes, and a shop manual sure will help!
are you getting fuel pressure?
have you checked the fuses for the injectors?
have you checked for loose electrical connections, vacuum lines or defective sensors?
have you used a noid light to test the injectors?
what does the ohms resistance accross the unplugged injector read?
how much?
are you getting spark at the plugs?
what color and is it strong?
whats your oil pressure while cranking the car?
can you pull the plugs and post CLEAR PICTURES with each cylinder numbered?
whats the battery voltage?
have you checked for vacume leaks?
are you sure the distributor or coil is not wet or the connections loose?
are you 100% sure theres clean fuel reaching the engine?
have you replaced the fuel and air filters?
was there any sound like a belt slipping or the engine running like the timing changed before this happened?
have you done a compression check?
have you taken off and carefully cleaned BOTH battery cable connections


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IF YOU CAN,T SMOKE THE TIRES AT WILL,FROM A 60 MPH ROLLING START YOUR ENGINE NEEDS MORE WORK!!"!
IF YOU CAN , YOU NEED BETTER TIRES AND YOUR SUSPENSION NEEDS MORE WORK!!
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Re: WHY THE RELUCTANCE TO PULL IT DOWN AND INVESTIGATE?

Postby DorianL » November 16th, 2011, 2:22 am

more than a fair offer??!?!?!?!? What is the matter with that kid? The word wedgie comes to mind! He's in dire need of a big one! Go-go-go!!!!
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Re: WHY THE RELUCTANCE TO PULL IT DOWN AND INVESTIGATE?

Postby mathd » November 16th, 2011, 3:38 pm

Well, thats is an impressive project for him, that mean lots $$ and time to be invested.
He did not use the car very much yet am sure, maby he care about other unknown issues that could get too expensive and/or discourage him.
Maby hes not in love(yet) with what he is going to work on/with.

Its all in getting started.. once he get started am sure he will fall in love with all this nasty stuff. If he dont then maby its just not for him.
And he have the best people to school/show him how to do it RIGHT, wish i had this luck :P.
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Re: WHY THE RELUCTANCE TO PULL IT DOWN AND INVESTIGATE?

Postby grumpyvette » December 21st, 2011, 6:49 pm

now this has zero to do with cars but the same principal applies, if you think your probably going to throw out some appliance you might as well try to fix it, and learn as you go, because if you throw it out in one piece or totally disassembled its still junk! my microwave oven stopped working and I figured "nothing ventured nothing gained" so I took it completely apart and started using the multi meter ,I found an inline fuze was blown, when i replaced it it blew instantly, so out came both the digital and analog the multi meters again and I found the capacitor didn,t kick/drop off like capacitors usually do, so I found a .94 farad capacitor at an appliance repair shop, for $12 (probably wildly over priced) that appeared to be identical in size and farad rating (bring the old capacitor with you to compare the rated load/voltage etc. when you buy the replacement,)and installed it and much to my utter amazement the microwave works like new.
a new micro wave oven of the same brand and watt rating listed as it costs $179 , so an hour of cussing under my breath at the idiot Korean engineer with the mini hands required to work on the darn thing, that designed it, and under $17 for the fuzes and capacitor, to repair it was not totally a waste of effort
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for those that don,t know, you test a capacitor with an analog multi meter test each side to the case you should NEVER get a short to ground, then put one clip of the meter to either terminal and touch the other terminal, the needle should hop up slightly then fall back, if it pegs or fails to hop and drop the capacitor may be defective
IF YOU CAN,T SMOKE THE TIRES AT WILL,FROM A 60 MPH ROLLING START YOUR ENGINE NEEDS MORE WORK!!"!
IF YOU CAN , YOU NEED BETTER TIRES AND YOUR SUSPENSION NEEDS MORE WORK!!
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Re: WHY THE RELUCTANCE TO PULL IT DOWN AND INVESTIGATE?

Postby mathd » December 21st, 2011, 6:59 pm

Make sure you have the right voltage rating.
When testing cap usually you want to test for leakage current and ESR(equivalent serie resistance).
The later one require a special meter/test equipement.
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Re: WHY THE RELUCTANCE TO PULL IT DOWN AND INVESTIGATE?

Postby grumpyvette » April 19th, 2012, 6:14 pm

I recently had a guy stop by and ask for some advice on isolating probable sources of a recent problem he was having, it seems he was out trying to impress a few friends by doing a burn-out with his car when it suddenly lost power and started missing very noticeably.
I started to point out that a logical step by step approach starting with checking obvious stuff like for loose ignition wires and loose vacuum lines and isolating which cylinder(s) were not running correctly would help locate the cause.knowing your true compression ratio would help, as would knowing your converter stall speed, exhaust back pressure at peak rpms and plenum vacume reading at peak rpms and your ignition timing and advance curve.
posting clear pictures of your spark plugs labeled to match the cylinders would also be useful, as would any info on jets and power valves, accelerator pump cams , and fuel pressure etc. If you were local we could work out the testing and details far easier, things like voltage, and exhaust,back pressure, fuel pressure get over looked but they can be great indicators
things like verifying the timing, doing a compression check and visually inspecting the spark plugs rockers and verifying the ignition and fuel pressure were a good place to start.
does anything change when the cars in or out of gear/ does the sound or symptom directly relate to engine rpm levels?
does turning on the head lights change anything?have you checked all the fluid levels?
if theres no noise, just a drop in power, have you checked the exhaust system back pressure?
have you checked all the sensors and trouble codes? have you checked the connections and fuses and electrical grounds?
honestly when you think it thru, youve got the lower rotating assembly,and the valve train, that both basically control compression,and valve movement, the intake and fuel delivery systems that control fuel flow , a few vacuum, lines , the cam, lifters and valve train,and fuel pressure and the ignition,which controls when or if spark ignites the cylinder, systems and the exhaust then the drive train. if you take each potential problem area independently its far easier to locate the source of problems.
if the cars computer controlled pull trouble codes,
but don,t panic, the isolate and test each system route will produce answers, you might not like the answers but you will find the cause!


yeah I know many of you don,t think its worth reading thru the related threads posted below,well in most cases, thats just one reason its usually going to take you longer to find the cause

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IF YOU CAN,T SMOKE THE TIRES AT WILL,FROM A 60 MPH ROLLING START YOUR ENGINE NEEDS MORE WORK!!"!
IF YOU CAN , YOU NEED BETTER TIRES AND YOUR SUSPENSION NEEDS MORE WORK!!
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Re: WHY THE RELUCTANCE TO PULL IT DOWN AND INVESTIGATE?

Postby grumpyvette » April 27th, 2012, 1:09 pm

I was recently asked to come over and give a friend a hand locating a major problem getting his new engine he had just installed running, a few checks indicated the probable cause was he had screwed up the cam degree in procedure, naturally he was very reluctant to either consider he had screwed that procedure up or to remove the accessories and water pump to verify the cam timing which was basically the only route we had available due to his not having a degree wheel and dial indicator and the time constraints we had at that time as he had to leave for work with his other car before I could go back and get the required tools from my shop.
the symptom that was most telling was very low compression in a new engine at TDC and verifying the ignition timing and watching the valves plus a bit of experience from seeing similar issues in the past made it very suspicious, your obviously dealing with incorrect valve timing if you have only about 40 psi on a compression test of a new engine
look EVERY LAST ONE OF US SCREWS UP AT TIMES!, its just a fact! so if you start having problems you just go back and verify every step until you locate the defective or incorrectly installed component, don,t get defensive,or think your the first guy that never screwed up! just stop, isolate ,locate and fix the problem

now anyone who has ever built many engines will tell you if they are honest that they have either screwed that up, or seen someone screw that procedure up, so its not like its unthinkable or a rare deal.
I know Ive screwed that up in the past and you LEARN that it doesn,t take much to do so so you also learn to take your time and verify the process while your doing it so you don,t need to guess later if it was done correctly.
honestly, the time it took to verify the problem was less than the time it took to convince the guy to verify that the cam was or was not installed correctly PLUS the time and effort required to do so.
the result was that 20 minutes time showed that the crank key way used was not the one matching the index marks and a simple change requiring pulling the crank and cam gears and re-installing them got things back on track, a total of about 45 minutes work and the engine was up and running.
to the average guy I see with little experience, diagnosing and correcting cam timing problems may seem like a black magic arts class, but if you break things down you quickly find locating and isolating problems tends to be reasonably easy
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ONE QUICK THING TO REMEMBER is that WHEN THE DOT-TO-DOT TIMING MARKS ARE CORRECTLY LINED UP. THE KEY-WAY on the CRANK GEAR WILL POINT AT ABOUT 2 O'CLOCK, EVERYONE OCCASIONALLY SCREWS UP, SO VERITY EACH STEP TWICE

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IF YOU CAN,T SMOKE THE TIRES AT WILL,FROM A 60 MPH ROLLING START YOUR ENGINE NEEDS MORE WORK!!"!
IF YOU CAN , YOU NEED BETTER TIRES AND YOUR SUSPENSION NEEDS MORE WORK!!
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Re: WHY THE RELUCTANCE TO PULL IT DOWN AND INVESTIGATE?

Postby grumpyvette » August 3rd, 2012, 8:52 am

youll love this example.
Bill calls, and says hes installed a new 850 Holley 4 barrel with vacuum secondary's, on a wieand air strike intake to replace his stock cast iron intake that he said weight about 40 lbs, on his older big block powered car, he was expecting a very noticable power gain, yet now he says, the car runs like crap and its down on power significantly, so he ask me to stop by and look over things and check out it took me far longer than it should have, because at first everything looked to be correctly installed, but a short test drive made it obvious that the carb was not fully opening, as the engine just felt restricted like it had a very undersized carb, but I eventually found the carbs secondary venturies were jammed shut against the undersized carb gasket, that he reused. off his old intake, once that was trimmed with an exacto razor knife,for the required clearance, allowing the carb to function normally, the difference was amazing.
not only was the car running better but it sounds better and has picked up some mid and upper rpm power
IF YOU CAN,T SMOKE THE TIRES AT WILL,FROM A 60 MPH ROLLING START YOUR ENGINE NEEDS MORE WORK!!"!
IF YOU CAN , YOU NEED BETTER TIRES AND YOUR SUSPENSION NEEDS MORE WORK!!
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Re: WHY THE RELUCTANCE TO PULL IT DOWN AND INVESTIGATE?

Postby grumpyvette » November 25th, 2012, 12:21 pm

I got a call late yesterday from an old friend who was stuck when his car broke down.
he had installed a 428 Pontiac engine a few months ago in a 1967 fire-bird.
his first thought, after a few tests showed he was getting zero fuel to the carb, was his fuel pump was defective because he showed at least 3/4 tank of fuel but the carburetor inlet port was getting zero fuel pressure.
but having owned and raced several Pontiac engines in the past I had a strong suspicion that its not the fuel pump but the fuel pump eccentric that drives the pump lever that was the cause of the problem.
this is where experience comes in, I had a very similar issue the day after I got married, my Pontiac engine just died, which totally freaked my wife out as we were due to leave on a honeymoon in 24 hours, luckily I got it fixed in about 6-7 hours.
(most of the time spent in getting the car towed home and diagnosing the problem, it took about 3 hours to get the parts and fix the problem.

well he went and bought a new mechanical fuel pump and installed it with my help, and as I suspected that failed to clear up the problem.
so I talked him into pulling the front cover and sure enough the bolt retaining the timing chain had gotten loose, we replaced the timing chain, gears and eccentric, installed the fuel pump and everything worked just fine.
and this time I made sure the threads for the bolt was cleaned with TOLUENE
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and some LOC-TITE was used on the retaining blot threads
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IF YOU CAN,T SMOKE THE TIRES AT WILL,FROM A 60 MPH ROLLING START YOUR ENGINE NEEDS MORE WORK!!"!
IF YOU CAN , YOU NEED BETTER TIRES AND YOUR SUSPENSION NEEDS MORE WORK!!
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Re: WHY THE RELUCTANCE TO PULL IT DOWN AND INVESTIGATE?

Postby grumpyvette » August 9th, 2013, 5:52 pm

I just got a call from a guy I knew in high school who is a buddy of one of my neighbors, who suggested, after talking to him that he call me!
his problem is that he parked a project car in his garage and has not touched it in over 4 years, this was a project car he bought and drove home and parked figuring he would get to rebuilding it at the time but due to financial reasons it sat untouched. now he goes to start it and finds the battery is dead, (big shock???) so he replaced the battery and poured in 5 gallons of fresh fuel and hits the starter and it just clicks, he pulled the spark plugs and found even then the engine won,t turn over, he checked the oil and although its 4 years old its not showing any coolant so he verified the starters good and the engine itself is locked up. its not the starter because he cant turn the engine with a breaker bar,
I suggested an oil change and squirting a couple table spoons of MARVEL MYSTERY OIL into each spark plug hole and then after making 100% SURE THE CARS IN NEUTRAL HE SHOULD TRY TURNING THE CRANK WITH A FLY WHEEL TOOL.

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BTW if your going to store an engine in or outside of a car for over 6 months at a time of find you have not driven a car in over 6 months, it sure won,t hurt to pull the plugs and squirt in a table spoon worth of marvel mystery oil into each cylinder and to change out the oil to reduce the potential for things like this occurring

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when it was rather obvious the short block assembly was binding I suggested he pull the engine to disassemble and inspect it to locate the problem, the response I got seemed similar to what you might expect if I suggested selling his 8 year old daughter into sex slavery, it was obvious that my suggestion to pull the engine out of the car and pull it down and do a close detailed visual inspection, met with almost disbelief and a good deal of panic at the idea that he might do the work himself!
honestly I don,t see the problem, even when I was 18 the idea of pulling an engine and totally disassembling it sounded more like a great chance to learn something, than a potential problem.


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buy these book/video's its probably the best money value you can get, you might be amazed at what a couple hours research into the subject will do to help you build a much more durable engine, and actually reading thru links and sub-links and asking questions helps a great deal

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only once my neighbor and I suggested we could help did he seem reluctantly able to be able to think the project was something he might do!
I strongly suggested he buy a decent , yet reasonably priced engine stand and offered to help pull the engine with my engine crane at HIS GARAGE.
look the facts as presented are that he drove the car and parked it without any apparent issues but 4 years later the engines binding and won,t rotate, its unlikely that its a busted head gasket as no mention of coolant in the cylinders was observed when the plugs were removed so I suspect bearing corrosion or a busted timing chain or a binding valve train, all of which should be easily fixed one located during a disassemble and inspection process

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IF YOU CAN,T SMOKE THE TIRES AT WILL,FROM A 60 MPH ROLLING START YOUR ENGINE NEEDS MORE WORK!!"!
IF YOU CAN , YOU NEED BETTER TIRES AND YOUR SUSPENSION NEEDS MORE WORK!!
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Re: WHY THE RELUCTANCE TO PULL IT DOWN AND INVESTIGATE?

Postby chromebumpers » August 11th, 2013, 10:26 pm

[quote="grumpyvette"]one of my friends sons just purchased a 1/3 done project car, its an old 1969 road runner with a 440 Chrysler (MOPAR) engine thats not running correctly and has obviously seen better days, the car is not in terrible shape , it needs paint and an interior upgrade but the engine runs like its got about 100 hp max [quote="grumpyvette"]


That's a car that would be on my list. Someday I would like a big block MOPAR. Just out of curiocity and for the sake of knowing how the market is going, approx. what did this car go for?
Rich
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Re: WHY THE RELUCTANCE TO PULL IT DOWN AND INVESTIGATE?

Postby 87vette81big » August 11th, 2013, 10:55 pm

Mopar Musclecars are very valuable today Rich.
A close friend had a 1969 Dodge R/T. 440 Magnum 4-bbl.
Hemi 4-speed. Dana 60 3.54 posi rear. Ultra rare Q5 Hunter green paint.
Needed total restoration.
Sold it for $11,500 back in 2003.

Put the money into restoring his 1969 Super Bee.

Few years later bought a 1970 Dodge Challanger.
Ex Race car.
We put it back together for street use.
440 engine. Auto trans.
Nice driver & fast
Sold it for $8500.
A few months later he bought a 1970 Road Runner.
Kinda rough but a driver. $5500.
383 Magnum 4-speed.
We did driveline repairs & upgrades.
Fun cruiser. Air Grabber hood worked.
Sold it for $8000.

1 Month later he found a 1970 Charger.
Real rough. Sat for 30 years.
Original 383 Magnum. Auto trans. A/C equipped.
Original color Plum Crazy Purple.
Under carriage & Frame rails Mint. Perfect. No rust.
$8500 layed out in $100's.
His other dream car now had.






Fully restored worth 20,000+.
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Re: WHY THE RELUCTANCE TO PULL IT DOWN AND INVESTIGATE?

Postby chromebumpers » August 12th, 2013, 5:46 pm

it's funny. in the early to mid '70s these MOPARS sat as left-overs some up into year 2 - everybody complained how horrible Chrysler products were for fit and finish, cheap materials and really poor mpg. When we had the first oil embargo in 73 car lots were full of big block cars traded in for VWs, Toyota and Datsuns. Buick sold Opel GTs and their target was for vette owners. similar looking and twice the mpg.
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Re: WHY THE RELUCTANCE TO PULL IT DOWN AND INVESTIGATE?

Postby mathd » August 12th, 2013, 5:56 pm

Was talking to a family member this weekend.
he had many road runner, javelin, corvette and lot more when he was young. all brand new.
We where talking how much they would be worth if he kept them instead of selling/trashing them. :)
He also said at some point he wanted to cut the roof to make a big flower pot with the bigblock dual quad t-top corvette to put in front of he's house but he didnt :O.

On topic, had a guy 2 week ago, he wanted me to paint the hood of a 98 rav4, shop charge 300$, i charged him 150$ but it was still too expensive for him.. did not want to spend more that 50-100$ for a top quality paint job...
He ended painting with a roll and cheap BLACK tremclad(rust-o-leum) paint without primer just sanded clearcoat fooling himself into thinking he could get a good result for 20$... he used the whole pint trying to make it look good but it did not and Also the hood was miss aligned, rendering the safety catch useless, i told him it was dangerous for the hood to pop open on the road... and you guess it, it did pop open on the road at 50 mph.
He ended buying another hood almost the same GREY color as the rav4(plus some rust) lol. And he gonna have to change the hood hinges and windshield.
Some people just want to save cash and time and are reluctant to pull down and do it right the first time. but at the end, it did cost more for a not so good result that took alot more time that i would have.
Positive, i think he larned the lesson as he said he will no longer try to paint body panel himself and next time he will pay me for the job.
Mathieu
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Re: WHY THE RELUCTANCE TO PULL IT DOWN AND INVESTIGATE?

Postby grumpyvette » October 4th, 2013, 9:18 am

STEVE wrote: Grumpy?, the # 1 cylinder went on my 350, was rebuilt about 500 miles before, can I emery the crank journal, measure it get a set of bearings, cylinder wall looks OK, get a rod and piston, and get this running again or just bit the bullet and rebuild it again? Thanks


you MIGHT be able to just polish the crank and replace the piston,rings,bearings and connecting rod with a carefully matched set of similar components, but theres always a REASON that previous rotating assembly failed and unless you find and correct that problem its more than likely wasted money.
the chances of you using an emery strip of sand paper on the journal , by hand buffing and maintaining it as a perfectly concentric surface are NON-EXISTENT.
carefully checking clearance issues, like ring end gap, bearing clearances with plasti-gauge, quench,valve to piston clearances, valve train geometry and clearances, piston to bore clearance, connecting rod side clearance, ETC. will be critical,connecting rod journal finish, concentricy, and taper, and oil supply issues, like beveled oil passage openings and removal of metallic trash, is the first step and a careful examination of the failed components and careful measurement of the retained components will usually help determine what whet wrong and WHY so you can prevent it re-occurring


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IF YOU CAN,T SMOKE THE TIRES AT WILL,FROM A 60 MPH ROLLING START YOUR ENGINE NEEDS MORE WORK!!"!
IF YOU CAN , YOU NEED BETTER TIRES AND YOUR SUSPENSION NEEDS MORE WORK!!
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Re: WHY THE RELUCTANCE TO PULL IT DOWN AND INVESTIGATE?

Postby chromebumpers » October 4th, 2013, 11:00 am

[/quote] . . . . ."For those of you that don,t know, you test a capacitor with an analog multi meter test each side to the case you should NEVER get a short to ground, then put one clip of the meter to either terminal and touch the other terminal, the needle should hop up slightly then fall back, if it pegs or fails to hop and drop the capacitor may be defective[/quote]


Grumpy, May I ad this information? Remember that capacitors can hold a charge so before handling any capacitor always remember to discharge by shorting between the terminals (some capacitors have more than a pair of terminals). Note that multi-meter results are good when the capacitance levels (high or low) are within 10% of their labeled rating. Capacitors (when going bad) have a higher rather than lower farad reading.
Rich
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