before you buy a salvage yard engine, just some info



before you buy a salvage yard engine, just some info

Postby grumpyvette » June 25th, 2010, 8:40 am

I recently had a friend buy a 500 cubic inch 1970 caddy engine to install in his t-bucket hes built, he spent all day in the salvage yard unbolting the engine removing it with the help from the salvage yards fork lift, to lift and place it in his pick-up truck, and most of the next day to install it only to find it had a busted crankshaft, the salvage yard didn,t have a second 500 caddy engine so he got a big discount on a 472 caddy engine and about 90% of his cash back he paid for the 500 caddy as they have a 72 hour guarantee on used engines, (which IM sure is because they figure 90% of the buyers can,t possibly install and test an engine in that time limit) that clearly states that if the block or crank is not salvageable/rebuild-able, with normal rebuilding processes such as a mild over bore or cutting the journals on the crank no more than .010, that the core may be returned for a similar core, provided the faults found and verified within that 72 hours, and that the salvage yards not responsible for testing, inspection,transportation or related costs.you can avoid lots of problems by carefully inspecting spark plugs, if they are clean and dry chances are far better that the engines in good condition that if they have indications of oil or coolant, if the intakes been removed or the carburetor off so you can use an inspection probe look at the back side of the intake valves, if they are fairly clean the valve seals and guides are more than likely serviceable

all the drama and trips back and forth and arguing could easily have been avoided if he had done a careful inspection before he started removing the engine.

viewtopic.php?f=27&t=845&p=1281#p1281

go to the salvage yard only after doing your research and having an extensive printed list of casting numbers carried with you and any VIN NUMBER info that will help identify what engine your looking for!
viewtopic.php?f=50&t=3045&p=8043&hilit=numbers+casting#p8043

viewtopic.php?f=51&t=93&p=7030&hilit=numbers+casting#p7030

viewtopic.php?f=3&t=951&p=1627&hilit=+numbers+casting#p1627

viewtopic.php?f=78&t=632&p=846&hilit=+numbers+casting#p846


find out before, your pull any engine, what the salvage yard guarantees, and for how long its guaranteed good for,
get it in writing, and get a dated receipt, and GET A DETAILED PRICE, listing WHATS BEEN PURCHASED ,WHATS COVERED in the cost, and WHATS guaranteed, WITH A MANAGERS SIGNATURE, then take several pictures of the guy, the engine and make copy's


any time you go and look at a salvage yard engine core you do a few simple tests, test one is before you start work, you'll need to be sure theres access under the car and its firmly and safely supported, and you'll need to clarify who moves the engine from the car to your pick-up truck or trailer and if the salvage yard has a fork lift that can lift the engine out of the car once its been un-bolted and if theres a charge for that service if you unbolt the engine, always get a price on the transmission also as a package deal, as at times you'll find an extra $30-$60 buys you a rebuild-able transmission core and converter


(1)pull and inspect the spark plugs, looking for a consistent condition and no coolant in the cylinders

(2)turn the engine with a breaker bar and watch the distributor and valve train move, it should turn freely and not bind-up

(3)do a compression test ON ALL CYLINDERS, results should be similar and all above 100 psi after squirting a bit of oil into each cylinder when turning the engine over by hand with a large breaker bar

(4)SLUDGE and oil under the valve covers should be minimal and NOT mixed with coolant, some minimal sludge is good as it prevents rust,lots of sludge indicates an engine that was not well maintained

(5)most salvage yard engines have their oil drained already but the dipstick should not be rusted,which might be indicating water or coolant in the crank case.

(6)cars that were in minor accidents were probably running when hit so that's a potentially good sign, cars pulled from lakes or cars that were in serious fires were not usually a good indicator, I generally look for cars that were hit in the rear or side for engine salvage candidates

if your allowed ID suggest pulling the intake for a close inspection

an inspection tool like the one linked below will allow a casual inspection of the lower engine internally without pulling the oil pan if used thru the oil pan drain plug hole, this is also a great way to easily locate 4 bolt vs two bolt main cap engines without pulling the oil pan.


http://www.toolrage.com/prodView.asp?sku=SLI-PV618

viewtopic.php?f=50&t=1513

viewtopic.php?f=62&t=881&p=8362&hilit=leak+down#p8362


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http://www.harborfreight.com/high-resol ... ?hftref=cj

GOOGLE SLI-PV618

http://www.tooltopia.com/provision-pv61 ... opping_r1&

http://www.toolrage.com/prodView.asp?sku=SLI-PV618

http://www.toolrage.com/prodview.asp?sku=SLI-PV300

a tool like this, with its 1/4" lens and cable lets you remove the spark plug and lets you closely inspect the piston and valves at least giving you some better info on the condition in the combustion chamber, its also good once the oil pan plugs been removed to inspect what you suspect to be lower end rotating assembly conditions in many cases.
I bought one and while its not used daily its a great help when you really want to inspect things before dis-assembly, as for example if you want to know if a salvage yard engines a two or four bolt block, without pulling the oil pan




btw if your thinking about a t-bucket kit, or something in a traditional hot rod, for example

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http://www.spiritcars.com/

http://www.tperformance.com/

http://www.tbucketplans.com/

http://www.corbinrods.com/1923_t_bucket.html

http://www.speedwaymotors.com/Deluxe-27 ... 24789.html

http://www.speedwaymotors.com/Deluxe-23 ... GoogleBase

http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.anc ... dster.html

http://www.tperformance.com/total-performance-kits.html

viewtopic.php?f=87&t=4706

http://www.rodandcustommagazine.com/tec ... index.html
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: before you buy a salvage yard engine, just some info

Postby grumpyvette » October 3rd, 2010, 7:20 pm

if your going to buy a used short block or a bare block from an un-known private source or most salvage yards, obviously you'll need to do BOTH a close inspection, WITH some measuring tools
AND get some idea of the blocks physical condition
this is also a good inspection tool
http://www.thetoolwarehouse.net/p-6283- ... pv618.aspx
Image
GOOGLE PV-618 and PV-636

High resolution lens provides a clear image of objects as close as 3/4 inch and over one foot away while providing a wide 40 degree field of view.
Powerful lamp illuminates dark crevices on-demand with the push of a button conveniently located on the handle.
Ergonomically designed handle is comfortable to hold and allows one-handed focusing and light activation.
Rugged and water resistant, ProVision is made of high impact ABS and flexible cable sheathing. (Note: Shaft is water resistant, not the handle.)
PV-618 and PV-636 models have .23” diameter, flexible, non-obedient cable. Durable carrying case included.
Accessories available to optimize ProVision for specialized applications.
Made in the USA
Specifications:

Cable Length: 18" (457.2mm)
Cable Diameter: .23"
Handle Length: 6" (152.4mm)
Handle Width: 1.43" (36.2mm)Overall Length: 24" (609.6mm)
Weight of Scope w/ Carrying Case: 1 lb. 5.7 oz (615 g)
Field of View: 40°
Optimal Viewing Distance: Min. .8" (20mm); Max. is dependent upon ambient lighting conditions.
Lamp Volts: 2.7 volts (Halogen)
Power Source: 2 AA batteries (not included)
Pressure Necessary to Operate Lamp: 2.9 avg. p/psi; 3.2 max. p/psi


drain your oil and look at the cam thru the oil pan drain hole, or pull a spark plug and inspect the valve or piston condition
the average chevy V8 blocks most likely nearly 10-40 years old,in a salvage yard so keep that in mind, youll need a steel machinist 2 foot strait edge,ruler, feeler gauges and a machinist caliper at the minimum, and I would bring a torque wrench, to measure the rotational resistance, which should not exceed 35 ft lbs even dry, assuming thats all checking out you generally won,t pay more than about $300-$700 for a 400-454 short block, and no more than $250 for a bare block and those are HIGH LIMITS, normally youll pay less than 60% of those limits

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IM always VERY SUSPICIOUS of engines that get pulled that are for sale that Ive never heard running....
ID replace the freeze plugs with BRASS ones so your not likely to need to chase leaks for a few years, ID replace the timing chain and verify the cam and lifter condition, ID suggest doing a compression test to verify theres good compression and Id listen for leaks, ID fill the coolant passages and look for coolant leaks, and ID pull the oil pan and inspect then replace the gasket with a one piece synthetic gasket, ID use an oil pump prime tool and prime the oil system looking for leaks and pressure levels, and ID be looking in the oil pan and filter for indications of excessive wear or metallic crud, with that low mileage the rings and bearings should be barely broken in, but I don,t trust many people to tell the truth on used engines Ive seen to many gullible friends buy "350" or"383" engine bargains that turned out to be either defective, well worn, or 305-307 sbc engines with a nice paint job
related threads
viewtopic.php?f=87&t=4706

viewtopic.php?f=44&t=5995

viewtopic.php?f=87&t=10337&p=42394#p42394
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: before you buy a salvage yard engine, just some info

Postby grumpyvette » March 13th, 2012, 2:43 pm


ONE OF THE GUYS POSTED THIS

"Well, I got a 350 off craigslist out of a 98 silverado for my 350 swap, the guy said it ran great with about 95,000 miles if i remember right.. i bought it last year, and the last couple weeks i've been fixing it up buying all the parts i need to drop it in. Well i got the vortec heads redone to handle my lt4 hotcam and noticed the pistons had .060 stamped on them. The block numbers were 14093638, so its not a 98 block. And finally I took the oil pan off to paint it and new gaskets and everything and found a broken crankshaft... Im thinking i was ripped off, Heres a pic, What could cause this??"
Image

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NOTICE THE BUSTED OFF REAR CRANK(GREEN ARROW)

What could cause this??
well,its unfortunate but theres a few real low life scum that think its just smart to unload busted or well worn engines on unsuspecting buyers, the damage could easily result from incorrect clearances, a defective cast crank, or a badly balance rotating assembly, a defective balancer, are factors that jump to mind but a detailed inspection once its all apart will give you a good deal more info. you obviously were LIED TOO, that engine could not run in that condition without making one hell of a noise so obviously you were sold a busted engine knowingly, buy the seller, thats why your never supposed to buy an engine without hearing it run or pulling the heads and oil pan for an inspection to verify your not buying a trashed engine from some smiling lying bastard out to scam you!
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: before you buy a salvage yard engine, just some info

Postby grumpyvette » February 19th, 2013, 4:07 pm

just some info!
examples
think about what your goal is and don,t get so focused on one limited course of action without considering your options , as an example one of my friends purchased an older muscle car (it was a 1968 Pontiac tempest with a busted 350 Pontiac engine) and wanted to find a 350 Chevy to upgrade the engine to a 383 SBC as he had most of the performance parts for that engine, too install in the car, but he decided he wanted the low rpm torque of a TPI corvette engine and wound up buying mostly new parts and not using most of the parts he had that he based his decision to swap to a Chevy engine in the first place on, and visited several salvage yards to obtain the basic components, by the time he was done he had spent $3600 on a fairly new vortec 350,new injectors, an intake adapter base, new roller cam, used roller lifters, a used distributor,and a used 700r4 transmission, then machine work, ignition parts, gaskets etc. and while that certainly was a decent price for what he had when he was finished, the car made 360 rear wheel hp and ran mid to low 13 second times.
EXAMPLE
I know a guy I occasionally see and talk with in a local muscle car club,with a similar 1970 GTO he re-built with the larger caddy v8 and a matching th400 transmission, ,that he had purchased in a barely running 1970 caddy with a 500 cubic inch engine and several parts salvaged from the junk yard, he also managed to locate a rear differential with disc brakes that he fabricated brackets for and installed in that car, and by the time he was done rebuilding the GTO with the 500 caddy engine,and rear disc brakes, the cost was a bit less and his car was a bit faster.
the point being that your not locked into buying only a Chevy engines for Chevy and Pontiac engines for Pontiac cars and with a bit of creativity the car you built can be both fast and rather unique

at times you need to do some minor fabrication to get things to fit & function, so having a welder and knowing where to get header flanges helps, but some careful measuring will yield surprising results at times, like BIG BLOCK CHEVY HEADERS CAN BE MODIFIED TO FIT A 500 CADDY ENGINE
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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
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Posts: 14105
Joined: September 14th, 2008, 1:40 pm
Location: florida


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