Discussion in 'Builds and Fabricators Forum' started by Fireball, Jan 18, 2021.
I love Buicks.
Because I still don't feel like scraping bedlinerand lead times for engine parts are long, I put the new 350 on the stand and started tearing into it:
It's VERY clean inside with no sludge buildup at all:
Amazingly, what I can see of the cam lobes looks great but I'll probably replace it with an RV-style cam anyway:
No valve recession. Looks like it was running a little rich, but the combustion chambers look good. I'll pop some valves out later to see how the seats look:
There is a ridge you can barely feel at the top of the bore but you can still see the honing marks further down. I'll have to measure it out, but I think I can get away with honing and replacing the rings:
Here you can see why Buick 350s are torquey. Look how far down that last piston is! That's a lot of stroke on a small block V8 at 3.85". The only "small block" with a longer stroke is the Ford 400M but they are as big and heavy as a big block:
That's it for tonight. I'll pull the lifters keeping them in order and flip it over to look at the bottom end tomorrow.
Other items of note:
The remaining coolant was nice bright green and there is no buildup in the cooling passages.
Just in case the oil pump housing is good, I used heat to pull out all the water pump bolts and managed not to break any.
So far it's looking like a great core. I'm curious what's up with the rod knock they heard.
The parts cart so far:
Here's another silly thing for this Jeep. My first car was a 1950 Ford fordor sedan with 13 ball commanding the three-on-the-tree.
That car is long gone, but I always liked that 13 ball. For nostalgia's sake, I got one for the Jeep:
Hopefully the "rod knock" was just a noisy lifter.
Isn't that going to jinx it???
The reason I put together the 4.125x4.125 sbc. I guess I'm a little surprised one doesn't see more Buick 350's in CJ's. Arguably an easier install than an sbc, generally lighter, and that long stroke without having to resort to a stoker crank.
Looks like you won the lottery on that engine even if it needs a regrind job on the crank.
The old Ford survived it somehow. Maybe the Jeep will too.
Agreed. I think I got really lucky. I haven't got the bottom apart yet, but I'm guessing it's perfectly fine. Why? Because you can move the timing chain back and forth an inch through the fuel pump hole. I'll bet what he heard is the good-old Buick timing chain slapping against the guides clatter. It sounds pretty appalling if you don't know what it is. We'll see when I get it further apart.
The bottom looked clean:
But found this in the oil pan:
Before I did anything else, I pulled out the stamping kit and labeled the rods:
When wiggling the rods, I found this. Number five pushed down:
Number five pulled up. Seems a little loose:
Look at that crack! This engine was literally minutes from catastophic failure:
The crank doesn't look so hot either:
Nominal is 2.000 and you can get .040 under bearings, but since most of the wear is in the thrust side I'm betting this crank would need to be built up to be saved:
The timing chain is also a little loose. Oddly, the 350 doesn't have chain guides to rattle against like the V6 does:
Here's how close the clearances are to get a 3.85: stroke in this block. See that cam lobe? It's not going flat:
That amount of slop in the rod big end was enough for it to hit the cam lobe:
And also enough for the piston to kiss a counter weight at the bottom of the stroke:
Now it's all apart while I figure out next steps:
There is no sign why it spun the rod bearing. The engine obviously had regular oil changes, the oil passages look clean, the oil pump looks good, the other bearings look good (including the other one on the same jouranl), and there is no sign of heat at the spun bearing. Very strange. Seems like it may have simply been a faulty bearing.
At the very least I need to source a connecting rod. I guess I'll drop the crank off at a machine shop to see if it can be saved and put this on the back burner for now.
Back to the transmission.
Well, this has been sitting on the bench so long it's covered in dust. Time to put it in the Jeep (and make a crossframe/floorbaords):
Floor mats pulled up. Plenty of dog hair and dirt:
Vacuumed so I can see my nemesis the bedliner:
After pulling up the easy panels they linered separately, it was time to start cutting and scraping. The first piece removed:
Working on the upper floorboard:
And it's out:
It's really slow going. It was a couple hours of work to get there. The screws look like this or worse when you start:
The fastest method seems to be hitting them with the heat gun until the rubber starts bubbling:
And then scrapping it off around the screw head:
After the screws are out, you need to cut the edges of the panel with a box knife and they pry it up. I made it about halfway through pulling the screws up on the main panel before giving up for the night.
I also noticed this:
The factory nylon fuel feed line was touching a ridge on the body and wore a pinhole in itself. If you touch it, you can smell gas on your fingers. NiCopp tubing ordered. I'll use the opportunity to route the lines so they don't go over the top of the engine. I have no idea why Jeep decided on that vapor lock inducing path. This does mean I'll need to drop the tank. Sigh.
So there's a whole 'nother project to add to the pile. The cascade begins.....
I thought the fuel lines were steel that went up and over the engine. Maybe prior to 71?
Definitely steel in the 69.
Could you get some good before and after pics of the fuel line route? Very interested for the family's 69.
I wish I had considered rerouting the fuel lines on my project before ordering the $200 inline tube stainless versions. I'm hoping that vapor lock won't be an issue, but that will be a painful mistake if it is.
Looks like my guess of Nylon was right. From the 1971 parts book:
Good idea. I'll take a bunch of pictures.
The nylon lines run along the right frame rail from the tank, cross over the transfer case, pass next to the transmission, and run up the firewall behind the intake. There are metal lines parallel to the left valve cover over the top of the engine and down to the fuel pump.
I need to look good and hard at all the obstacles along the way. My two options are crossing right to left behind the transfer case and coming up the left frame rail past the master cylinder or coming all the way up the right frame rail and crossing over under the front cross frame. I think I'm leaning towards the latter. Since I'm doing this with the body on the Jeep, I suspect I'll need two piece lines at the very least with couplers somewhere under the Jeep. Next I need to decide if I'm doing AN 37° single flare fittings or 45° double flare fittings for the couplers. I already have a double flare tool but AN hose barb fittings are much more common.
The secondarily annoying thing is fuel injection is in the plans for the future, but I don't have the $1K+ to drop on it right now. Maybe I'll have couplers for the under hood sections so I can reconfigure them later as needed.
Man......Me thinks that the " AN " is the way of the future, even though I haven't learned what the abbreviation is for ? It's a good system , though. Good Luck on your project.
My jeep still has the nylon. The route over the transmission has not been a problem, but there are some factory sheet metal loops under the tub that retain the tubing to keep it away from sharp edges. I suspect this routing was done for manufacturing convenience. When the tubing was run in the factory it would probably have been before the body of the jeep was in place, so routing the tubing over the transmission would have been a natural route to the back of the engine.
AN = Army/Navy
Oh, Right.....What's the Score ?
If FI is the plan, buy all the fittings and lines now and install since youre already going to replace them.
I used NiCopp for my lines. I used AN compression fittings as well from the Fuel pump to the back of my 4.3.
It needs to run at a minimum of 58PSI fuel pressure or it worn run, so I am expecting some fuel leaks. It seems that the kits all use flex hose and barbed fitting. If I run into issues, expected, I will just throw money at it and buy kits and maybe make a custom tank to accept it all.
What are you planning to use to FI this thing?
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