cleaning a block after a cam lobe, rod or bearings fail



cleaning a block after a cam lobe, rod or bearings fail

Postby grumpyvette » March 2nd, 2010, 6:15 pm



NOW FOR THE NEWS THAT YOU REALLY DON,T WANT, TO THINK ABOUT!
AND for yet another an unpleasant moment in your thought process, just ask yourself "where did all that material , metallic trash, etc. that wore off the cam lobes, lifters, cam gear go before MOST it ended up in the oil filter? What instantly comes into mind for me is the obvious question, "why did the cam or lifter wear excessively, what can I do to prevent a repeat failure" . That is the first thing to logically be determined.
A properly installed and maintained valve train and cam, even a flat tappet cam while using quality top shelf parts , and having the clearances checked and oil flow checked, should not have wear issues for many tens of thousands of miles..

YES all that METALLIC TRASH from the cam lobes and lifters DID get into the OIL and MOST of it probably DID get sucked thru the oil pump and at least some of that fine metallic trash bye-passed the oil filter and got embedded in the bearings....ESPECIALLY if you failed to install magnets and shrapnel screens to limit the amount of metallic debris from reaching the oil pump

you first job should be to inspect the worn or defective components and correct the CAUSE of the parts failing so you don,t just replace the components and repeat the problem
Its a fact of life that if you start pushing the engine performance to its limits that youll eventually have components fail, and that can get expensive rapidly.
But parts rarely just "FAIL" theres usually a REASON that parts fail,that can be traced to the CAUSE, thru a careful inspection.
the cause is frequently, use of the wrong component for the application, miss matched components ,improper installation, improper clearances , or lack of proper lubrication , or cooling ,are high on the list, but there's an opportunity to learn what went wrong and what process or clearance issue, lack of cooling or lubrication,or improper tuning caused the part to fail!
post very clear pictures of all damaged components, and theres a good chance the CAUSE will be indicated, by the type of failure or damage
if you don,t understand why a part failed and just blindly replace it, your certainly going to have similar failures operation under similar conditions with similar parts

valve train failures seldom result is ONLY busted valve train components, its rather common for the shrapnel formed during a catastrophic valve train failure to spread metallic debris thru the engine , that causes extensive secondary damage especially if the engine run for long after the valve train failure, obviously the extent of damage will be effected by the component(S) that failed and if you've installed safety measures like shrapnel screens , quality filters and magnets and a well designed oil pan , but the whole oil system, its passages and anyplace the debris could flow to needs to be cleaned to prevent future damage, simply replacing a worn lifter and cam won,t generally provide a long term cure as the metallic debris will tend to migrate into areas where it caused further damage if its not cleaned out of the block and oil passages.
almost any trash suspended in the oil eventually gets sucked back thru the oil pump before its going to reach the oil filter and as soon as the oil filter becomes partly clogged most oil filters bye-pass at least some metallic crud to the oil passages in the block, if you've installed shrapnel screens and magnets you can significantly reduce the potential amount of crud reaching the bearings


as I'm sure your aware, after careful dis-assembly,an older engine that looks rather well used and un-loved and homely ,can look much different after a careful cleaning those parts will come out of a cleaning,wither you do it or have a local machine shop do it in far better condition and once cleaned and painted look like a totally different engine. personally Ive found the price of a 3200psi pressure cleaner, and particle blast cabinet, pays for itself very rapidly in what you save in cleaning costs you would have other wise spent at the machine shop.

oven cleaner or a good commercial paint remover can usually remove old sludge and paint, from hart to reach crevices, if left for a few hours, to soften the surface mess,then use the pressure cleaner, but only use them on cast iron NOT ALUMINUM

Ive generally used and strongly suggest you consider using, one or both of these face and eye shields , and wearing a rain coat , while working outside in a well ventilated area , that's not near any building or car,when using chemicals and a high pressure washer due to learning from past experiences

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heres one area where harbor freight has a few real good items, the cheap long reach air gun nozzles and brushes come in very handy cleaning oil passages

http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/d ... mber=95100
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http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/d ... mber=97014
http://www.harborfreight.com/Air-Blow-G ... 68260.html
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http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/d ... mber=95947

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if you don,t think the trouble and expense of installing a few shrapnel screens and a dozen magnets is worth the time and effort consider how much metallic crap will circulate through the oil pump if they are not in place when something unpleasant happens

when you have a block magnetically or dye checked for cracks , and sonic tested for bore wall thickness, don,t forget to check lifter bores, and lifter gallery areas, and main cap webs etc. just because its not easy to access does not mean cracks can be ignored

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threading the oil passage plugs increases durability and I generally suggest drilling an oil pray jet hole thats .031-.035 in the pass side oil pass plug, THE ONE AS YET UN THREADED IN THE PICTURE ABOVE
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I got darn tired of running old engine blocks to the local car wash to degrease and blow out the internal oil passages or wasting time and money ,dropping them off at the local machine shop to have them cleaned, and have new cam bearings installed, only to find they took 3 weeks and did a crappy job, so I bought a pressure washer and a heat gun, a bunch of thread cleaning taps and several cans of engine paint, several sets of freeze plugs and a rifle bore cleaning rod and a dozen bore brushes.
that way I could do my own block cleaning.
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anytime you loose a cam lobe or a few lifters and and cam lobes theres an excellent chance theres enough metallic micro crud circulating with the oil to trash the bearings with or without the new or used cam being reinstalled. that fine metallic debris was from the previous worn components and pumping all that hardened steel shaving stuff though the engine passages. the oil filter and oil pump are most likely loaded with shavings & debris the pump,bye-pass is probably open much of the time. You REALLY need to tear that engine down to the bare block and start fresh, after pulling all the oil passage plugs and roding out the passages and carefully cleaning the block.. These's very likely to be micro debris/ pieces of lobe and roller embedded in the piston skirts and cylinder walls. They'll eventually damage your new components too. get every plug out of the block, have it cleaned and carefully inspected, and most likely youll need to bore &hone it to the next oversize and get new bearings pistons and rings along with a new cam and lifters.

not all roller cams can use Melonited gears, check with the grinder to be sure. Some require bronze distributor gears.

on eny engine you don,t want to stress components till the oils up to art least 200F ,so stay out of it when it's cold. Anything over 10 lbs at idle is usually OK for hot idle oil pressure, 30 is more than needed. High volume oil pumps can add stress to the distributor gears and the front of the block behind the timing gear and really should not be used unless matched to a 7-8 quart baffled oil pan and windage tray, shrapnel screens and magnets are a huge help in limiting damage potential. BTW, that steel filings stuff is embedded in the oil pump gears too. replace the pump .. You'll get new cam bearings anyway,if your smart when the blocks cleaned. youll Need to disassemble and clean the valve train and the heads, take them down completely clean all the parts. It's in your roller rocker bearings too. I'd clean them carefully and if they show any were retire those roller lifters, you'll almost never get all the stuff out of the lifter wheels, and that could cause the next cam to fail.
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Roller cam and lifter grindings are murder on engines. that's 8620 hardened steel. I've seen guys try to cut corners on this cleaning and rebuilding after that, it never works. Imagine breaking up a file into microscopic pieces and feeding it into the engine.

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AFTERMARKET BLOCKS LIKE DART PRODUCES HAVE FAR THICKER CYLINDER WALL CASTINGS
the tools use is more a tweak or refinement than mandatory, but increasing cool lubricant flow to the lifter contact area can,t hurt a bit!I bought mine simply because I liked the idea, and its proved to be useful.
I usually groove my blocks lifter bores lower 1/3rd regardless of the lifter type used, but Id point out that the grooves are shallow and designed to flow extra cooling lubricant, so you'll want to also use a windage tray to control the extra coolant flow volume.
I don,t think they are as big a benefit to roller cam applications, as the flat tappet lifter applications but obviously your more or less stuck with the grooves in the lifter bores even if you change lifter types after the lifter bores grooved unless you sleeve them.

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mag check for cracks in the block

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http://www.circletrack.com/enginetech/c ... index.html
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PARTS THAT FAIL TEND TO LEAVE SHRAPNEL/DEBRIS that can cause problems

for a GOOD job, at a minimum, you'll want to remove ALL the oil passage plugs , and clean the block out with solvent and high pressure air, and some rifle bore brushes, run thru the passages. IF you've had a cam or bearings fail, you need to clean out the oil passages and replace the cam bearings
first PULL ALL THE OLD CAM bearings and INSTALL new ones so you can remove crud trapped behind them
and rod out all the oil passages.
instructions in links below as to oil hole clocking
theres a GROOVE under the cam bearing so oil will enter at any location PROVIDED you get it installed correctly front to back so the oil feed holes line up with the groove under the bearing BUT look at this, you will want to support the cam with maximum oil wedge under the cam bearings, remember the bearings are NOT interchangeable in all locations

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viewtopic.php?f=32&t=939&p=1582#p1582



you might want to read thru these links
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viewtopic.php?f=51&t=10464&p=43788#p43788

viewtopic.php?f=54&t=120&p=867&hilit=magnets#p867

viewtopic.php?f=52&t=282

read these threads

now obviously you won,t be the first guy that thinks of just installing a new cam, changing the oil and filter , maybe flushing the engine out a bit with a quart of diesel fuel added to the old oil, for about 2 minutes of idle time just before changing the oil etc., and while those practices do occasionally let you get by, thats not the correct route and it leaves a significant amount of metallic crud in the oil passages , the fact that people do occasionally get by with a semi clean engine is tribute to how well the factory lube system and oil filter functions,
but betting on those bearings and the new cam and lifters not being scored by the retained metallic debris, is at best a gamble, where your putting far more than the new cam and lifters at risk

to do the job correctly Remove ALL oil passage plugs. Those are the 2-3 at each end of the cam, depending on if its a bbc or sbc ,don,t forget the one under the rear main cap, and the one in the left deck at the rear. Removing the, main ,bearings and rotating assembly and carefully inspect and clean those components,remove the cam bearings, as the oil passage that feeds oil to the main bearings is behind them, and if there is ANY metallic crud retained AT ALL in the oil passages and if you don,t remove the bearings and clean the oil passages with a brush and high pressure air theres bound to be some retained, you can be certain that metallic debris, which will get flushed RIGHT DIRECTLY INTO your brand-new main bearings, lifters and cam lobes, during the first 10 minutes the new engines running, when you crank the new motor up, resulting in scored bearings and a highly increased chance of the new cam failing

[color=#BF0040]READ THIS

viewtopic.php?f=54&t=4580

IF youve got the time you could get a bit excessive and polish the block surfaces
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VERIFY THE BLOCK DECKS NOT WARPED
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ONCE your cam has failed and theres no way to do any repair other than replacing BOTH the cam and all new lifters, your current engine has a great deal of metallic dust from the worn cam lobes and lifters circulating in the oil and only about 70%-90% is likely to have been trapped in the oil filter before being embedded in the bearings, yes IM fully aware you don,t particularly want to do a rebuild, and yes Im fully aware that youve got a buddy that says just flushing out the block and installing a new cam and lifters is all thats required, and while that can be done,and its cheaper and has been done thousands of times, its very unlikely that the bearings in the current engine are not contaminated, with metallic debris, the correct route is a total dis assembly, cleaning and rebuild

READ THESE LINKS

viewtopic.php?f=52&t=282

viewtopic.php?f=51&t=2919&hilit=cleaning+passages+lifters

viewtopic.php?f=53&t=2727&p=7078&hilit=magnets+screens#p7078

viewtopic.php?f=32&t=939&p=1582&hilit=filter+cutter#p1582

viewtopic.php?f=54&t=3834&p=10199&hilit=trash+passages#p10199


viewtopic.php?f=54&t=4580
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LINK FOR OIL PASSAGE LOCATION INFO

viewtopic.php?f=38&t=11

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http://www.se-r.net/engine/block_prep.html

viewtopic.php?f=50&t=614

http://www.hotrodpitstop.com/engine-block-prep.php
Cleaning Your Engine Block

Engine builders usually charge around $120 to clean a block, and most racers consider it money well spent to avoid the hassle. The engine builders usually use a mild acid or caustic wash, either in a hot tank or a jet sprayer. Whether you choose to do it yourself or have your engine shop handle the duties, make sure the freeze and gallery plugs are removed beforehand so that anything hidden behind them can get out. After all the machining processes are complete, the block needs to be cleaned again to get rid of any accumulated machining oils and metal slivers left over from cutting.


Cleaning is a necessary step even if you are using a brand-new block. New blocks can often have casting slag hanging around in the cracks and crevices, and it becomes a big, gritty problem if not removed before assembly. This is a step you can definitely do yourself. If the block is new, all you need is a water hose and a variety of brushes to make sure you scrub everything. If you are cleaning a rebuild, however, the work gets tougher. You need to use hot water and a cleaner capable of cutting through the grease and grime that builds up just about everywhere. When you are finished, make sure to hit all the surfaces with a light coat of WD-40 or some other type of light oil as soon as the surface has been dried to prevent rust.


Replace The Freeze Plugs

If you have your freeze plugs in place, it's also a good idea to pressure test the block before beginning the big projects. Pressure testing is done by filling the water jackets and then adding air pressure to see if there are any cracks or leaks. Both of these processes should be repeated after all the machine work is done to make sure you didn't cut too much away. Many machinists say they have seen situations in which a chunk of casting slag that was knocked away during one of the cutting procedures opens a pinhole through to a water jacket. The only way to catch this is with a final pressure check before engine assembly begins.

Sonic and Pressure Testing Your Race Engine Block

It doesn't make sense to do machine work on a block that may not even be usable. That's why it's wise to sonic test the block before much effort is put into it. Sonic testing can tell you the thickness of the cylinder walls quickly and easily. Even on a new block, this is important because core shift can cause one side of a cylinder wall to be too thin. Engine builder Peter Guild of PME Engines says he likes to see the cylinder wall thickness at least 0.275 inch. A sonic tester is also capable of catching a block that's just too far gone to be rebuilt again
Instructions
Things You'll Need: to hone a block in your home shop

* Drill
Cylinder hone
Goggles
Motor oil
Kerosene
File
Soap
Cloth
Anti-rust protective oil

1 Set the engine block on an engine stand if you have not done so already. You can use the top of a sturdy workbench instead; just make sure the engine block is set firmly on the surface.
2.Set the honing tool in a large drill with a slow speed setting. You may use a brush hone if the condition of the cylinder walls is fairly good and they just need deglazing. Use a flex (stone) hone if the cylinder is worn but not excessively; use a rigid (stone) hone if the cylinders are excessively worn but still within manufacturer specifications. Also, if you are installing cast-iron or chrome-faced rings, use a 280-grit stone; for moly rings, use a 400-grit stone.
3 :Mix equal amounts of 20-weight. motor oil and kerosene in a clean plastic container and use the mixture to lubricate the cylinder walls. Put on your safety goggles. Hand-squeeze the brush or stone hone and slip it into the cylinder.
4.Turn on the drill and keep the hone moving up and down the cylinder wall at all times, at a pace slow enough to produce a crosshatch pattern of about 50 to 60 degrees on the wall. Keep the cylinder wall well-lubricated. When you are finished, shut off the drill, but keep the hone moving until the drill stops. Compress the brush or stones and pull the hone out of the cylinder. Continue with the next cylinder until you are finished.
5.Chamfer the top edge of the cylinder walls with a small file so the pistons will not seize during installation. Thoroughly wash the engine block with soap and warm water, to get rid of the grit produced during honing. Dampen a white cloth with new motor oil and wipe the cylinder walls. If the cloth picks up gray residue from the wall, wash the engine block again.
6.Rinse the engine block and cylinders with clean water. Dry the engine and lubricate the cylinders with anti-rust protective oil. Cover the engine with a plastic bag to keep dust off.
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don,t forget to blow out the crank oil passages , metallic crud can be trapped in there
http://www.ehow.com/how_4827132_hone-cy ... z1FeOOneJL

related threads you really should read thru

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BTW
SUPERIOR FORMULA 23 HEAVY DUTY INDUSTRIAL CLEANER & DE-GREASER
"BLACK BOTTLE/JUG, & YELLOW LETTERING"

"PUBLIX super market sells it"

if you ever want to clean your cars engine while its in the car, a spray bottle filled with a 50%/50% mix of that cleaner/solvent sprayed onto the outer surfaces and left to soak for 5 minutes and a pressure washer does an amazing job if used several times in repeated succession

OBVIOUSLY USE OF A PRESSURE WASHER AND OR A DECENT AIR COMPRESSOR, and SOME good GREASE SOLVENT HAS ADVANTAGES, and use of QUALITY OIL FILTERS and INSTALLING HIGH TEMP, MAGNETS to trap any metallic crud you might miss helps



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you would be amazed at the sludge build up in some engines
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LEAKING GASKETS< BAD PVC VALVES FAILURE TO CHANGE OIL ALL RESULT IN ENGINE DAMAGE

heres a helpful diagnostic tool,


http://www.circletrack.com/enginetech/c ... ilter_fun/
http://www.summitracing.com/parts/SUM-9 ... toview=sku
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its basically a heavy duty can opener , or an oil filter cutter designed to make it easy to internally inspect oil filters, by allowing you to remove the filter element , from inside the surrounding (CAN) for close visual inspection. if you've got more than a tiny bit of metallic crud in the filter theres a good chance some is embedded in bearings or partly clogging oil passages
If you don,t have one, and have not used one, your unlikely to see, or appreciate the benefits,close inspection can and does frequently give you prior evidence of impending or at least gradually occurring wear and with practice you can make an excellent guess as to the parts and condition of those components.
IT also helps to trap crud if you install a couple high temp magnets on the filter and in the oil pan.
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!!
grumpyvette

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Re: cleaning a block after a cam lobe fails

Postby grumpyvette » February 9th, 2011, 1:12 pm

I paint the inside surfaces of my blocks with
http://www.glyptal.com/1209_black_enamel.htm
to lock in place any micro dust left after the last total cleaning before assembly, to speed the oil flow back to the oil pan and help prevent corrosion

BTW I bought 16 rubber corks to push into the lifter bores to prevent paint entering the lifter bores during the painting, I placed 16 mini-screw eyes in the corks and strung them on a bead chain to keep from loosing them while in storage or in use!

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the lighter and brighter colors like grey,silver, gold,yellow, light blue, light green, usually help you spot oil leaks far faster


don,t forget to clean the internal oil passages, your going to be amazed at the amount of crud trapped in the blocks internal oil passages the first time you remove all the plugs and use a rifle bore brush and solvent like carb cleaner to flush out those passages.
a couple cans of throttle body or carb cleaner the brushes and the compressor with the high pressure spray gun will do a decent job cleaning those oil passages, a pressure washer, and a stiff bristle brush and a 5 gallon pail of hot water and grease solvent will do a good job on the blocks external surfaces.
but keep several cans of WD 40 handy because as soon as the blocks sparkle clean it will start to rust almost instantly if not painted, or sprayed
machine surfaces need to be sprayed, the blocks outer surface should be painted with high temp engine paint, the lifter gallery can be painted also, gyptal is the common surface sealant used



keep in mind the painted cast surfaces locks in micro crud and speeds oil flow over the surfaces but paint won,t stick unless the surface is totally dry and degreased before its applied, never paint machined surfaces, like the block deck where gaskets under high pressure are used
its not to hard to do with a small 1/2" wide brush on an engine, block thats clean and degreased, once the engine blocks on an engine stand thats easy to rotate, a heat gun to speed up the time required in drying the paint helps prevent runs. just take your time, it should take under 20-25 minutes to do it correctly, if you can,t reach an area don,t get crazy, its not critical to cover every last bit of surface area, just do what you can reach

http://www.por15.com/ENGINE-ENAMEL/productinfo/EEPA/

http://www.eastwood.com/glyptal-red-bru ... e=mn130060

http://www.engine-paint.com/

http://www.eastwood.com/paints/hi-temp- ... aints.html

http://www.tcpglobal.com/spraypaintdepot/DC-engine.aspx

one time use disposable brushes are fine

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at this point Id degrease all the un-machined cast surfaces and carefully tape the machined surfaces,
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Id paint the un-machined surfaces, after installing shrapnel screens with EPOXY (J&B WELD)
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Id use 3/4" rubber corks to block the lifter bores and Id install BRASS freeze plugs
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shrapnel screens epoxied into the block to prevent valve train failure shrapnel from inducing bearing failure if crap gets sucked into the oil pump is a good idea IF you do frequent oil changes so the screens won,t get sledged up
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THE SCREEN ABOVE IS CLOSE TO BEING IDEAL
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THE SCREEN ABOVE IS TOO SMALL TO BE IDEAL
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while I generally use stainless 6 or 8 mesh screens theres lots of options that will work just fine, just remember to keep the oil changed regularly or theres some potential for sludge to clog ANY size shrapnel screens
http://www.twpinc.com/twpinc/products/T ... 6T0350W36T
http://www.twpinc.com/twpinc/products/T ... 8S0280W36T

IVE typically used these magnets in an engine, one in the rear oil drain on each cylinder head, one near each lifter gallery drain and 4 in the oil pan sump

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http://www.kjmagnetics.com/proddetail.asp?prod=D82SH
and BRASS or steel oil passage plugs , and drill the pass side oil gallery plug with a .031 drill bit to lube the chain cam drive and prevent air from being trapped in the oil passages slowing oil from reaching the lifter bores.
Id install cam bearings
Id carefully groove the distributor lower bore about .050 wide and about .010 deep so oil sprays directly on the cam/distributor gear contact area.
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then ID oil the MACHINED SURFACES

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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!!
grumpyvette

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Site Admin
 
Posts: 14105
Joined: September 14th, 2008, 1:40 pm
Location: florida

Re: cleaning a block after a cam lobe fails

Postby grumpyvette » May 23rd, 2011, 1:42 pm

here your looking at the results of an engine pulled down after only a short time running and the resulting bearing damage, its rather obvious that there was a great deal of metallic crud left in the oil passages, or oil pan, or block that got flushed into the bearings and that the block needs to be line honed and/or crank should be checked for straitness, journal taper and surface finish and roundness as the wear seems to indicate both particulates in the oil and un-even wear on the bearing surfaces
I generally see this when someone failed to pull the oil passage plugs and use a high pressure washer and solvent to clean out the blocks internally and externally after a lifter or cam or bearing fails , and remember machine shops are NOT fool proof , they are supposed to clean blocks after machine work but occasionally fail to do it correctly
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If your rebuilding an older engine, especially one thats been sitting for years , in a car or in some guys shop, or had a bearing or cam fail, like an early hemi, or pontiac 421 , or ford 427 that you just got a deal on, that sat in some guys shop for decades, be sure you totally dis-assemble and clean each of that engines component parts an amazing collection of crud can be , or have collected inside the rocker shafts and push rods and in places like the blocks oil passages in any engine thats 40-60 plus years old,.... get out the rifle bore brushes solvent and high pressure air , and solvents and REPEATEDLY CLEAN THE PARTS , several times.
the old oil mixed with metallic debris can be a hard or clay like mass clogging passages that hot oil will eventually dissolve and transfer to the bearings and cam/lifter contact area, piston rings etc, insuring rapid wear, or parts failure, and internal damage, if not removed prior to engine reassembly

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http://www.enginerepairshop.com/cleanin ... parts.html
CLEANING ENGINE PARTS

Cleaning engine parts is one of the most basic procedures that your machine shop will do, yet it is also one of the most important parts of the engine repair procedure. Before you can really inspect the parts for your engine to determine what will need to be done to them, they have to be cleaned. If the parts aren’t clean, it’s hard to measure them and inspect them for defects etc.

If you are restoring an engine and want it to look original, then it must be completely cleaned of all rust, old paint etc so that you can refinish it after it is assembled.

Cleaning engine parts is also one of the most time consuming parts of the engine repair procedure so anything that can be done to make it easier will help reduce costs.

There are several methods that are generally used to clean parts in a modern Automotive Machine Shop.

THE SPRAY WASHER

Most shops have a “spray washer” that is used for quickly cleaning engine parts prior to inspection. This machine is basically a big dishwasher type of cabinet that has a strong soap and hot water solution in it. The parts are placed on a turntable and the solution is sprayed at them under very high pressure. This gets most of the oil, grease and other road dirt off the parts so that they can be worked on. This is what we use to clean cylinder heads before we check them for cracks and resurface them. We also use this machine to rinse engine blocks after machining to remove honing oil etc.
HOT TANK

Hot tanking is the traditional way to clean dirty cast iron engine blocks, heads etc. The hot tank is just a big metal tank with a very nasty, caustic hot water solution in it. The parts are submerged in the solution and allowed to soak for many hours with the solution slowly circulating around them. This is sometimes referred to “vatting” or "boiling" the block, because it is being soaked in a large “vat” of almost boiling liquid. A hot tank does a good job of cleaning engine parts but does not always remove all of the rust and old paint. Because of environmental rules and regulations, a lot of shops are doing away with this method of cleaning.

Aluminum parts cannot be cleaned in a hot tank as they will dissolve.
THERMAL CLEANING and STEEL SHOT BLASTING

Thermal cleaning of engine parts has been used in the automotive machine shop business for at least 25 years or so. In this method the parts are loaded into a large oven and baked at a temperature of about 500 degrees. This basically burns off all of the oil, grease, carbon, old paint etc. This is very similar to using the self cleaning cycle on your home oven. Some of these ovens will bake the parts for 7 to 8 hours, while others are constructed differently and use an open flame which can do the same job in about an hour.

Once the parts have been run through the oven, the next step is to put them in another machine called a steel shot blaster. This machine bombards the now dry parts with very small steel beads. This removes any remaining rust, paint etc as well as the burnt residue of oil and carbon. Once the parts come out of the shot blaster, they look like brand new castings.

One last very important part of this cleaning method is to “tumble” the parts in order to remove any remaining steel shot. Even the smallest particle of shot can cause damage to a new engine so it is imperative that every bit of it is removed. Some shot blasters have a tumble cycle built into them while others require the parts to be put in a separate tumbler that rolls them around to remove the shot. This is the type of system we use and have not had any issues with the steel shot.

The other very real advantage to this method is that there is no dirty cleaning solution to have to dispose of. All you end up with is some fine dust from the shot blaster and it can be disposed of in the trash.

Instead of an oven some shops will use a spray washer with a very strong caustic solution in it to clean the parts prior to shot blasting them. This method seems to work well as long as the parts are completely dried prior to shot blasting.
GLASS BEAD BLASTING

Cleaning engine parts with a glass bead cabinet has been done for many years in many industries. It is really the best way to clean aluminum cylinder heads even though the process of making sure that all of the glass bead particles are removed from the parts is VERY time consuming. This process also works well for many small parts such as engine valves.
SODA BLASTING

Soda blasting is a relative new process, especially for cleaning engine parts. It is very similar to using glass beads, but instead a specially made “baking soda” is used. This soda is coarser than that used at home and does a very good job cleaning parts without hurting the underlying metal in any way. Another advantage to using soda is that it easily dissolves in water so that a quick rinse is all that is needed and you don’t have to worry about left over cleaning material hurting your newly machined parts. This seems to be the up and coming method to clean parts, especially aluminum cylinder heads.
ULTRASONIC CLEANING

This is the same method that the jeweler uses to clean your Wife’s diamond rings.

Ultrasonic cleaning uses sound waves to create millions of small bubbles in a tank of cleaning solution. The parts to be cleaned are submerged in the solution and as the bubble are formed and “explode” they remove any dirt, grease, carbon etc. This method also works very well. The one disadvantage that I noticed with ultrasonic cleaning is that aluminum parts do not come out of the cleaning tank looking like new. They seem to have some discoloration to them even though they were clean. If you are going to paint the parts then this shouldn't matter.
OTHER MISCELANIOUS CLEANING METHODS

Most shops will also have a traditional parts washing sink in which a cleaning solution is circulated through a hose with a brush on the end and is used to manually clean parts. There are times that this is the only method that will really work.

We used to clean valves and some other parts in a parts tumbler type of cleaner. The parts would all go in a basket filled with large steel "beads" and then it would tumble everything together while submerged in solvent. This method worked well but I never liked the fact that it scarred up the valve stems somewhat. They do make little sleeves that you can put over the stems but its a lot of work. We find it easier and faster to just rinse the oil off the valves and then glass bead them. I can clean a set of V-8 valves in about 5 minutes this way and there is no damage to them.

So that gives you an idea as to the ways that your machine shop will clean the parts to your engine.

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READ THESE
http://www.enginebuildermag.com/2007/07 ... eal-world/
viewtopic.php?f=51&t=2919&p=13672&hilit=pressure+washer#p13672
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: cleaning a block after a cam lobe fails

Postby marv02 » June 10th, 2011, 10:35 pm

Hey I know who's motor it mine.

The Motor had 3300 Miles on it It started out as a simple cam swap I was putting In a hotter cam Shaft when I notice that the #1 cam bearing had gouling on it and more I tore in to the motor you see what I found.

From now on I will double check what the machine shops work not saying "It alway happens but Pulling to motor back out is no fun.

Oh ya I did pul the repacment short block apart ya it was anouther time bomb waiting to happen sure glad I tore it down before putting the new motor into the car.

grumpyvette wrote:here your looking at the results of an engine pulled down after only a short time running and the resulting bearing damage, its rather obvious that there was a great deal of metallic crud left in the oil passages, or oil pan, or block that got flushed into the bearings and that the block needs to be line honed and/or crank should be checked for straitness, journal taper and surface finish and roundness as the wear seems to indicate both particulates in the oil and un-even wear on the bearing surfaces
I generally see this when someone failed to pull the oil passage plugs and use a high pressure washer and solvent to clean out the blocks internally and externally after a lifter or cam or bearing fails , and remember machine shops are NOT fool proof , they are supposed to clean blocks after machine work but occasionally fail to do it correctly

MEASURE CAREFULLY

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Last edited by marv02 on June 11th, 2011, 9:33 am, edited 1 time in total.
383 4 bolt main (10.5 to 1) Balanced, Flat top , pistons LT-4 Cam, Comp Cam ultra pro magnum 1.6 RR Arms, Trick Flow Heads Super 23 (195 runners) 62cc , SPL runners Hi Flow intake base, 24# FIC Bosch 3 Injectors, Chipped,SPL full headers,.
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Re: cleaning a block after a cam lobe or bearings fail

Postby grumpyvette » June 11th, 2011, 9:11 am

its always amazed me how much crud , casting flash, rough machine work,and machining debris is in the little nooks and crannies in most crate engines, or even common rebuilds.
that loose crud always acts to reduce engine durability, and even knowing that so few guys take a new crate engine apart to clean, inspect and verify the parts before they install it in their cars.
now OBVIOUSLY that takes more work and a whole new gasket set, and a DETAILED understanding of what your looking for and what you can potentially do to improve things, and in a few cases it may be a warranty issue.
but from what Ive seen over the years doing it, its RARELY a waste of time effort or money to do so!
working on engines eventually teaches most guys that theres a lot more to building an engine than slapping together parts!
and one factor most guys seem to learn only slowly, is that theres a whole lot of places in an engine that can and usually do retain fine metallic debris, sludge, varnish, dirt, moisture, etc,that will cause constant damage, to that engine if you don,t repeatedly and constantly clean the block and heads and protect the components from exposure to dirt and moisture during the assembly process.
a quality oil filter, shrapnel screens and magnets help trap loose , debris but because an oil filter rarely traps more than about 80% of the crud circulating thru the engine in a single pass thru the oil pan.oil passages.bearings, and back to the pan its mandatory that you start with a clean block and change the oil and filter frequently, if your not familiar with cleaning a block and replacing freeze plugs and cam bearings etc.

viewtopic.php?f=54&t=5946&p=18310&hilit=freeze+plugs+brass#p18310

viewtopic.php?f=44&t=846&p=1284&hilit=freeze+plugs+brass#p1284

viewtopic.php?f=54&t=1479



Strictly Attitude wrote:Is a $130 a good price for cleaning and magnaflux?



IF YOUR TALKING ABOUT CLEANING CHECKING A BLOCK, yeah!
thats about the average price I see quoted
sometimes you can talk the machine shop into mag testing the crank in a package deal for not much more

ID be very clear that you want new cam bearings installed and BRASS FREEZE PLUGS and all the oil passages brushed out, sometimes the cost is included on the freeze plugs with the block cleaning but generally they try to hit you for the new cam bearings, if they don,t even mention removing and replacing the cam bearings , oil passage plugs,AND freeze plugs find a better machine shop FAST
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: cleaning a block after a cam lobe, rod or bearings fail

Postby grumpyvette » June 14th, 2012, 5:20 pm

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keep in mind any engine build even with a brand new block from the factory will require careful cleaning and detailed inspection, and a good cleaning before assembly starts.
I just had a call from a guy I went to high school with I had not seen in 40 plus years who heard I had started the site, we discussed a few old friends and then he told me about a recent engine project he had been involved in, where the engine had gone together well, he had checked the bearing clearances, ring gaps, piston to bore clearances and he had done all the valve train checks, etc.
[b]Yet the engine had spun all the main bearings withing minutes of starting the engine the first time, careful inspection during the tear down, that followed showed that he had had the block cleaned and bead blasted , to remove rust, before he started the engine assembly and had the machine shop do the work and replace the freeze plugs, but what got over looked was the oil passages, and at least one or more of the oil passages were not carefully brushed out,their full length and then cleaned with high pressure air and solvent after the bead blast.
[b] I pulled these pictures off a different site to show you and example of what micro trash in the blocks internal oil passages can do to bearings in a very short time

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the result was about a teaspoon full of steel micro beads were temporarily trapped under some oil passage plug,s and those came loose,and were embedding in and destroying the bearings on engine start-up as high pressure oil carried them out of the passages and into the bearing surfaces.
a good cleaning of all the oil passages PRIOR to installing the passage lugs should have prevented a very expensive engine failure , and a rifle bore brush and rifle cleaning rod followed by careful cleaning with a long needle nose air nozzle and a solvent bore brush could have prevented this.[/b]
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http://www.jegs.com/i/ARP/070/911-0006/10002/-1
http://www.jegs.com/p/ARP/ARP-Thread-Cl ... 8/10002/-1
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THESE ARE THREAD CHASERS NOT TAPS THAT ARE DESIGNED TO REMOVE METAL
http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/d ... mber=95100
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http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/d ... mber=97014
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I used the parts cleaner for at least a couple hours, off and on today, after throwing a bunch of assorted bolts, and small metal parts, in a mix of diesel fuel, carb cleaner acetone and toluene in a 1 gallon can to soak over nite, I then removed the bolts and washed them in the parts cleaner , and used my drill with a wire brush to remove stubborn residue, separated by dunking parts in solvent and use of a drill and wire brush again,to remove crud from bolt threads and today . its absolutely amazing how much better parts go together and how consistent torque readings are if the parts are properly cleaned and lubed before assembly.
Use a quality tap and some tap oil, then compressed air to blow out any leftovers, in the threaded holes in a block,[quote=Mr. Sinister]Use a quality tap and some tap oil, then compressed air to blow out any leftovers. [/quote]
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the use of solvent and a thread cleaning tap on old threads that might be full of thread sealant , well that works fine on female threads, but a wire rotary brush on a drill after soaking the bolts in a 50%/50% mix of diesel fuel and acetone for at least a few minutes,(throwing the bolts in a stainless steel pot you buy for that application, as they get removed so they soak the maximum time before you clean them is a good Idea) to loosen or dissolves crud and rust, (I purchased this set, gave the wife the smaller three and use the larger one as a bolt box thats almost always 1/2 full of diesel/acetone mix)
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http://www.harborfreight.com/stainless- ... 94829.html
obviously if you use power tools a face shield is a good idea.
you can,t get anything close to repeatable torque wrench readings unless all the threads are clean and your using the correct sealants or lubes
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http://www.harborfreight.com/adjustable ... 46526.html
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viewtopic.php?f=50&t=8745&p=30913#p30913

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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: cleaning a block after a cam lobe, rod or bearings fail

Postby MikeB » September 26th, 2012, 8:06 pm

Where do I buy high temp magnets, and show me where you'd install them on the oil filter.

Thanks,
Mike
Mike
55 Chevy 2dr sedan, 327, Muncie M20
69 C-10 pickup, 350, TH350
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Re: cleaning a block after a cam lobe, rod or bearings fail

Postby grumpyvette » September 26th, 2012, 8:32 pm

http://www.kjmagnetics.com/proddetail.asp?prod=D82SH

THIS is a good example of what happens to bearings if the oil passages are allowed to push small metallic debris, from wear like rockers,valve tips,cam and lifter wear thru the engine, use of a few small magnets, and shrapnel screens helps reduce or eliminate this

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BE AWARE magnets heat tolerance differs so ask for and pay attention to the heat limitations, a MINIMUM of 300F for any magnet expected to be used bathed in hot engine oil would be smart
I buy these 50 at a time,
I place one near the rear oil drain in each head, 1-to 4 in the rear of the lifter gallery near the oil drain shrapnel screen drain holes
and a couple in the corners of the oil pan, I try to PREVENT crud entering the oil pump, its too late once its passed thru the oil pump into the oil filter.

once you've used them and disassemble an engine later you'll be amazed at the crud they trap and prevented from circulating with the oil

but if you call the supplier Im sure they have a larger disc you can stick to the bottom of an oil filter if you want that



YOU MIGHT FIND THESE THREADS WORTH READING


viewtopic.php?f=54&t=120&p=150&hilit=magnets#p150

viewtopic.php?f=51&t=1458&p=22845&hilit=shrapnel#p22845

viewtopic.php?f=54&t=2187

viewtopic.php?f=54&t=64

viewtopic.php?f=54&t=1800
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!!
grumpyvette

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Re: cleaning a block after a cam lobe, rod or bearings fail

Postby MikeB » September 27th, 2012, 5:11 pm

Thanks for the info.

On a related topic, which oil filters do you recommend? For header clearance, my 327 requires the short type, like an AC Delco PF454.
Mike
55 Chevy 2dr sedan, 327, Muncie M20
69 C-10 pickup, 350, TH350
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Re: cleaning a block after a cam lobe, rod or bearings fail

Postby grumpyvette » September 27th, 2012, 6:02 pm

viewtopic.php?f=54&t=117&p=147#p147

viewtopic.php?f=54&t=2187

purolator , mobile 1 or WIX filters have always been ok, the secret is in swapping out the filter every 4500-5000 miles and changing oil AT LEAST every 4500-9000 miles , and ID suggest every 5000 miles on street car engines, on race cars I pull and inspect the filters internally ever few weeks and change oil any time IM in doubt about it dirt or fuel or moisture content, keeping clean oil and a fresh filter even with oil at $5-$7 a quart and when you have 7-8 quarts in the engine is dirt cheap insurance

http://store.summitracing.com/partdetai ... toview=sku
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If your serious about maintaining peak engine durability you should invest in this tool, its basically a heavy duty can opener ,you mount under your work bench that allows you to easily open used oil filters, or an oil filter cutter designed to make it easy to internally inspect oil filters, by allowing you to remove the filter element , from inside the surrounding (CAN) for close visual inspection.
If you don,t have one, and have not used one, your unlikely to see, or appreciate the benefits,close inspection can and does frequently give you prior evidence of impending or at least gradually occurring wear and with practice you can make an excellent guess as to the parts and condition of those components.
IT also helps to trap crud if you install a couple high temp magnets on the filter and in the oil pan.
Regular oil changes can drastically reduce the amount of sludge buildup in the oil.
Basic filter cutting & inspection procedures, its best to catch problems BEFORE they get expensive and inspecting your oil filter can usually help locate wear issues early
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!!
grumpyvette

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