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Old 12-15-2019, 12:46 PM   #1
David R.
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Default Engine assessment

The engine in my AA hasnít been running for a while and I have no history. Has great compression on all four but pan and valve chamber really gunky. Bottom side looks decent, no stuck valves etc.. I can see shims on rod caps. I am going to pull engine and go through it. This is my first experience with an A engine. I plan to start by checking and adjusting bearings if possible. If cylinders look good how do you check for wear- cylinder to piston clearance? Any suggestions? I will definitely pull crank and clean all oil passages etc.,. Should I go ahead and replace rings while itís out if everything else looks good? Valve guides?
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Old 12-15-2019, 01:43 PM   #2
Jacksonlll
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Default Re: Engine assessment

I would first get it running to see what it sounds like and how it runs. Might learn something.
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Old 12-15-2019, 02:37 PM   #3
Ernie Vitucci
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Default Re: Engine assessment

Good Afternoon...If the old girl has good compression...then simply clean out the pan, the valve chamber and the oil pump. Check to see that the tubes that go from the valve chamber to the three main bearings are clear...then put her back together and start her up...with fresh gas...not old gas...use marvel mystery oil in the gas! The old girl is most likely just fine. You might be wise to give her a new condenser and coil and carefully check all the connections from battery to distributor and especially behind the dash for the wires on the back of the amp meter and the ignition switch...Good luck. Ernie in Arizona
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Old 12-15-2019, 02:38 PM   #4
David R.
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Default Re: Engine assessment

That was my initial idea, but as gunky as the valve gallery and pan were, I’m worried if mains were getting oil, so I’ve decided to pull it and at least get everything cleaned up good and it will be easier to adjust bearings with it out if need be. Just kind of wondering about assessments while it is out. I have a guy that can do the babbit if it needs it.
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Old 12-15-2019, 02:47 PM   #5
J Franklin
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Default Re: Engine assessment

It never hurts to clean and thoroughly inspect what you have.
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Old 12-15-2019, 03:02 PM   #6
David R.
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Oh this thing was kind of a basket case. I just finished rebuilding starter and distributor. There was no steering gear or instrument panel. I found and totally rebuilt a steering gear and column assembly. I found an original instrument panel, a rebuilt speedometer and bought new switch and ammeter. I have all the new ignition wiring. New battery. I think I have most of the parts to rebuild front axle. Getting ready to rebuild water pump and put new bushings in the oil pump. Radiator is off and is going out for cleaning and repair, (hopefully).
Just fixed up and painted 2 wheels and mounted two new tires for front.
I really want to be sure I have a dependable engine.
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Old 12-15-2019, 09:43 PM   #7
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Default Re: Engine assessment

Pulling the engine out and giving it a good once over is a very good idea.
If your compression is good and the cylinder walls aren't all buggered up that is a plus.
It sounds like you want to make sure things are right and the only way to do this is to disassemble the engine completely. If you don't already have it get Les Andrews Mechanics Handbook (the red one) It will help a lot.
Take lots and lots of pictures as you go. Even ones that you just don't think could be helpful. Some of those pictures have ended up saving my bacon.
Be dang sure to mark your bearing caps, rod caps, shim packs and pistons to make sure you match them back to the way they were before you took it apart.
Lots of folks here to guide you through this.
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Old 12-16-2019, 06:54 AM   #8
David R.
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Default Re: Engine assessment

Thanks Dave. I have that book and it has already been a big help. Thanks for the reminder about the pictures. I try to do that but sometimes get so wrapped up in it I neglect to stop and wipe off the grease to pick up the phone/camera. I have really enjoyed working on it so far but probably should have started with a more complete vehicle. I think this one would likely have been parted out if I hadn’t gotten hold of it. I bought it sight unseen pretty cheap but it is quite the project.
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Old 12-16-2019, 11:04 AM   #9
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Default Re: Engine assessment

Don’t spend the effort and money trying to turn it into a show car. Just make it a fine running and presentable driver and have fun with it.
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Old 12-16-2019, 11:42 AM   #10
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Default Re: Engine assessment

If it were me, I think that I would clean out the valve chamber and pan and get it running. Put some fresh oil with some Marvel in and run it for a bit and see if any potential problems should arise. That's what I've done with these "basket case" type engines anyway.
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Old 12-16-2019, 11:43 AM   #11
David R.
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Default Re: Engine assessment

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jacksonlll View Post
Donít spend the effort and money trying to turn it into a show car. Just make it a fine running and presentable driver and have fun with it.
That is exactly my goal. I painted my front wheels with a brush and Rustoleum. I donít plan to bondo or hide the patches on the fenders.
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Old 12-16-2019, 06:21 PM   #12
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Default Re: Engine assessment

Clean out the pan, put in fresh oil, assure the head is torqued right, coolant in the radiator, put a little Marvel mystery in each spark plug hole, Make sure you have clean new gas, and work at starting it up before you go into the engine to do mechanical stuff. The engine may not run now, but better to figure it out before a lot of parts removal. You can always work your plan after you know what you are up against by getting it running. This engine may be just fine. Best to find out before getting deep into it.
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Old 12-16-2019, 08:04 PM   #13
Chuck Sea/Tac
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Default Re: Engine assessment

How does he know if the gunky oil hasn’t plugged one or more of the main oil tubes, unless he checks it out, apart? Or cam feed for that matter?
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Old 12-16-2019, 08:35 PM   #14
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Default Re: Engine assessment

I have a 31 deluxe roadster that we just drove in a parade and it started acting up and wouldn’t idle and making strange sounds like either the throw out bearing or alternator bearing is going out and also started a knocking sound. I don’t know much about this motor, who built it etc. other than it is a inserted motor. I also am planing like the original poster to pull the motor and trans to take them apart an inspect everything and replace and repair what is needed.
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Old 12-16-2019, 08:54 PM   #15
David R.
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Default Re: Engine assessment

I have made my mind up to pull engine. The motor mounts need replaced anyway and the gunk in the valve gallery cinched it. I want to clean all the oil passages and even if everything is ok, I want to pull caps and check bearing clearance. This will be lots easier with engine out. I aim to drive this thing and donít want any surprises.
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Old 12-16-2019, 10:19 PM   #16
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Default Re: Engine assessment

Great plan!
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