#21  
Old 01-14-2022, 02:53 AM
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Do you think maybe your clearances were too tight? Clevite does seems to run tight usually. Looks like the crank can be polished . Not to bad.

Depending on what you are willing to do at this point , You could give the block a good cleaning , polish the crank and get a good set of new bearings and put it back together. I personally like the speed pro 113M 3/4 groove mains . I rev my motors to 6800 to 7200 . I never have any bearing issues.

I wouldn't rush into it. Think about it for a few days.. You will figure out what you want to do.. Thats what i do anyway..

Good luck...

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Old 01-14-2022, 04:24 AM
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Might want to start with a good look at the crank.
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  #23  
Old 01-14-2022, 08:53 AM
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Ouch - these much better pics point towards a minimum of polishing or turning the crank .010 and new rod/main bearings, including R&R on the cam bearings.. What we are not seeing is what is the cylinder bore wear given whatever happened in this engine that scored the bearings. (Dirty or wrong oil, what was found in the oil pan?)
If this was my engine, I would have it at a good machine shop, turn the crank, hone or bore the cylinders, new pistons/rings if necessary, and as long as it is disassembled, get it balanced. Then you have piece of mind and a reliable motor going forward. Yeah - this costs much more $$ than just bearings, but eliminates spinning a rod or main bearing, or god forbid throwing a rod. That was exactly happened to my Bro when we cut corners on his rebuild
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Old 01-14-2022, 11:36 AM
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I agree with Lust4speed. Hard to tell in the pics but that caught my eye first.

Couple of the journals also look pretty scorned to me. Much more so than journals right next to it. Enough to make me think the crank may need to be turned. But I'd have what ever it is showing up in the picture checked first, it might be done anyway.

Certainly appears the engine had some trash running through it. From the way the mains look it also gives me the impression that the main bore alignment needs to be revisited again.

Upper rod bearings do have some wear, but not as bad as some I've seen with engines that had known detonation. If this is just basically a stock engine that could most likely be dealt with in the tuning or maybe fudge around with camshaft selection a bit, but I'd be more concerned with the other problems at this point.

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Old 01-14-2022, 12:55 PM
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When I was dissecting things last night I found a tiny piece of blue material in one of the crank oiling passages. At first I thought it was gasket sealer, but this morning it clicked and I think I know what's responsible for most of the damage. Early in this engine's life the valve spring retainers destroyed most of the valve stem seals because the valve guides weren't cut down far enough. The valve stem seals were blue.

I found a lot trash in the head when this happened, but obviously not everything. I was expecting to find some of it in the oil pump pickup, but I think it was obliterated into tiny pieces and passed into the oil. I think there's even an old thread about here somewhere, the pic below shows how hammered the seals were. Totally makes sense now. That little blue piece I found in the crank looks almost exactly like the piece sitting above the right guide in the pic.

The bores aren't horrible but have some scuffing. Pistons look a little worse on the sides than I expected. A good block cleaning is obviously in order, maybe a hone, and definitely some machine work to the crank. I reused the stock rods when this was built in 2011 and always regretted it, so I'm about a step away from ordering up a stroker kit and starting over.










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  #26  
Old 01-14-2022, 01:51 PM
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Looks like a ford that has too much clearance, seen a lot of fords that look the same as this does. All the bearings, rods and mains down to copper. To repair them it always took a crank kit, with new bearings to get everything back to spec.


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Old 01-14-2022, 02:07 PM
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"I believe my block was line honed or bored".
Bro - you take good pics which helps analysis. Not surprised of the piston wear versus the bore wear, looks like a little piston slap was going on, more common with forged pistons being a little "loose" if the block was honed/bored and not clearanced correctly (forged pistons expand more than stock cast). And the Valve stem carnage - that is a machining and set-up oversight With bad valve seals, maybe some oil/smoke blow-by was going on?. Not at all trying to throw darts here, just some input based on experience.
You mention maybe going the Stroker route. What else is currently on/in the motor - ie carb, cam, rocker arm type and ratio, valve springs, etc? Was it all stock, or some different stuff when and if it was rebuilt?
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  #28  
Old 01-14-2022, 02:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Verdoro 68 View Post
The bores aren't horrible but have some scuffing. Pistons look a little worse on the sides than I expected. A good block cleaning is obviously in order, maybe a hone, and definitely some machine work to the crank. I reused the stock rods when this was built in 2011 and always regretted it, so I'm about a step away from ordering up a stroker kit and starting over.

]
Yeah, while I'm sure this isn't what you wanted to find or wanted to hear from others, when something like this starts it usually ends up going down a rabbit hole LOL

Probably the next worry will be how long the wait is to get the parts you want.

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Old 01-14-2022, 02:24 PM
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The valve seal issue happened in 2012. I pulled the heads, had the shop fix the guides, put new seals on, cleaned it out as best I could, put it back together and have been running it sense. Clearly the damage was done. Knowing what I know now, I should have pulled the engine back then.

The last incarnation was pretty stock - unported #16 heads, Lunati 702 Voodoo HFT, matching springs, 1.65 stamped rockers, '68 cast iron intake, '68 Q-jet, HO manifolds. 2.5" exhaust, 3.55 posi, TH400 w/13" Continental stall.

The bottom end currently has stock rods, ARP rod bolts, ARP studs, dished Ross pistons and a stock crank.

This all started because I was going to refresh the top end with the following:

Ram Air II heads
Kauffmann hydraulic roller 224/230 .502/.510 112
1.5 roller rockers
'68 Q-Jet
Repro '69 Ram Air IV intake
HO manifolds

Quote:
Originally Posted by Formulajones View Post
Yeah, while I'm sure this isn't what you wanted to find or wanted to hear from others, when something like this starts it usually ends up going down a rabbit hole LOL

Probably the next worry will be how long the wait is to get the parts you want.
Yep, it's a slippery slope but it always pays to do things right. It took me over 3 months to get the new cam from Kauffmann and now I'm not sure I'm even going to use it. Reminds me of the phrase you see a lot on for sale parts "Going in a different direction..."

No rush on any of this work. We're only working against my wife's patience of having an immobile car to dance around in the garage.

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  #30  
Old 01-14-2022, 03:06 PM
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OK, I'm confused. The photo in post #25 shows retainer to seal interference, but you say that was corrected back in 2012?

I'm working on a '69 RAIII engine right now where a lifter link bar rivet came out and the lifter turned sideways and plowed a nice furrow into the roller cam before being pulverized into pieces. I'm seeing less carnage on the RA engine than in these pics. For whatever reason his oil filter did a much better job of catching debris. His pistons were in good shape and we had the machine shop do a very light hone to get the walls cleaned up. My machinist is usually good but this time I'm thinking he could have been a heart surgeon - bores came back perfect and were less than .001" larger. You do need some exact measurements of current bore size vs. piston skirt size to see if there was a problem.

I think the crank journal ridges won't polish out and it will need to go another ten -- and it sure looks like there is a casting flaw present where the crank shouldn't have been put back in service the last time. I agree with not seeing any detonation signs and don't really see signs that the line bore was off. I'd expect to see some block upper caps worn and some bottom caps worn, but the wear looks fairly distributed. Might again point towards a crank that isn't running true in the bore either because of being bent or ground wrong.

You want better rods, I think the crank is junk, and the pistons don't look super but could be reused -- I'd go with a stroker kit and simply hone cylinder bores to the next .005" since you should be going with a custom dish size anyway. A good machinist can also measure and give you an exact compression height for the piston pin for the order.

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Last edited by lust4speed; 01-14-2022 at 03:15 PM.
  #31  
Old 01-14-2022, 03:35 PM
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Quote:
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OK, I'm confused. The photo in post #25 shows retainer to seal interference, but you say that was corrected back in 2012?
That's right. The engine was built in 2011, I noticed the seal issue in 2012 and fixed it then, but trash was probably floating around the engine for a while. I changed the oil frequently and generally babied the engine over the last 10 years but it didn't seem to matter.

There are probably some other issues that contributed as well, like clearances. Will take a closer look at the crank, but considering the overall shape of things it seems like a kit of fresh parts is the way to go.

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  #32  
Old 01-14-2022, 04:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Verdoro 68 View Post
The valve seal issue happened in 2012. I pulled the heads, had the shop fix the guides, put new seals on, cleaned it out as best I could, put it back together and have been running it sense. Clearly the damage was done. Knowing what I know now, I should have pulled the engine back then.

The last incarnation was pretty stock - unported #16 heads, Lunati 702 Voodoo HFT, matching springs, 1.65 stamped rockers, '68 cast iron intake, '68 Q-jet, HO manifolds. 2.5" exhaust, 3.55 posi, TH400 w/13" Continental stall.

The bottom end currently has stock rods, ARP rod bolts, ARP studs, dished Ross pistons and a stock crank.

This all started because I was going to refresh the top end with the following:

Ram Air II heads
Kauffmann hydraulic roller 224/230 .502/.510 112
1.5 roller rockers
'68 Q-Jet
Repro '69 Ram Air IV intake
HO manifolds



Yep, it's a slippery slope but it always pays to do things right. It took me over 3 months to get the new cam from Kauffmann and now I'm not sure I'm even going to use it. Reminds me of the phrase you see a lot on for sale parts "Going in a different direction..."

No rush on any of this work. We're only working against my wife's patience of having an immobile car to dance around in the garage.
I was going to ask if you had that cam already because if you decide with the stroker kit you'll want a little more cam than that. But I decided not to ask because I figured you were already in price frustration, lol.

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Old 01-14-2022, 05:23 PM
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I was going to ask if you had that cam already because if you decide with the stroker kit you'll want a little more cam than that. But I decided not to ask because I figured you were already in price frustration, lol.
Yep - that risk crossed my mind when I ordered the cam knowing there could be issues on the bottom end. We'll see where I end up. It's only time and money.

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  #34  
Old 01-15-2022, 12:43 AM
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"Align Bore" I get nervous when its mentioned as doing it "correctly" on a Pontiac is Not the same as a Cheby.
Often the rear cap and or block is NOT "finished" where the seal is and bam you have a leak.
Also, on ANY block that is "Aligned" Bored I would plasti-gauge the mains, And Rods. I have the correct tools to check, but across
the WHOLE width of the bearing surface is a biggie.
I believe your clearances were too tight when assembled.
A Hypereutectic piston would cause you MUCH less block wear, give you much longer longevity.
>> Hesster77 << above makes a EXCELLENT point about Forged pistons.
Your rods may be ok.. make SURE the assembly is balanced, not "they ship those pistons within half a gram" I have heard a bunch of times. ( BS)
I am Not a fan of scat rods, but if they are round and true at the big end, they are cheapest forged.
Your crank should be checked.
Oil pump needs to be blueprinted and do NOT need 80 psi pump, maybe higher volume, but not high pressure.
I have seen blocks Ruined doing an "Align bore" incorrectly.......Hows the front seal workin' in the timing cover with the crank up 5 thousandths in that hole?
Usually they leak too.
Good luck with your project, hope for an inexpensive fix......But on a bright note its all Learning..

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Old 01-15-2022, 07:26 AM
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Unfortunately that short block in my opinion now needs a complete rebuild with oversized pistons again and a cut crank that is polished the right way!

Cast cranks due to there nodular carbon content need to be rotated in the right direction so these nodules do not stand up and slowly grind up the Bearing surface and itself from the grit that gets put out.

This added level of fiction also heats up the oil locally and can break down the oil film in that high load critical area!

Some shops leave the crank polishing work to the low knowledge shop helper who does not know the proper way to polish a cast crank, ( no less one that has been cut also! ) and then results like yours take place , or even way more Bearing damage from the much higher rpm and loading of a race motor.

Please also post up a few pictures of the rod caps without a Bearing in it and the back side of the Bearings that came out of it,

Here is what the Ferderal Mogul Bearing catalog instructs about polishing a cast crank.

PS.
This time use a one piece rear seal!
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Old 01-15-2022, 08:18 AM
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Also it’s no wonder that you drove the bottom of the exh retainer into the top of those positive valve guide seals with the lift of that Cam even with just stock 1.5 rockers, no less the 1.65 ratio ones!

The tops of those valve stems look beat, did a shop set those heads up for you?

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Old 01-15-2022, 03:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steve25 View Post
Also it’s no wonder that you drove the bottom of the exh retainer into the top of those positive valve guide seals with the lift of that Cam even with just stock 1.5 rockers, no less the 1.65 ratio ones!

The tops of those valve stems look beat, did a shop set those heads up for you?
Just to reiterate, the seals got trashed in 2012. At the time I was running a Crower 60916 with the 1.65 rockers. The shop set up the heads and assembled the engine. The guides were sloppy and uneven. IIRC, they had anywhere between 1/16 and 1/8 of a gap between the seal and the head. Ones that were higher obviously got more hammered. The valves have a little more history on them. They're Ferrea stainless valves that I bought for a 1998 rebuild and reused them with this build in 2011. I swapped to a Lunati 702 about 6 or 7 years ago and kept the 1.65 rockers.

Really appreciate all the insight and knowledge you all have provided. I feel like I've got the Pontiac A-Team on this.

You never stop learning on these things. A rough measurement of the bores with my cheapie HF caliper has them at 4.15 which would mean it's .030 over, correct? There should be some meat left to clean things up.

Regarding a Butler or Kauffmann stroker kit, any recommendations for what to shop for? It's another exercise in learning for me. I'm assuming I'll need -24cc pistons since I'll be running the iron RAII heads. I know they come balanced, but are all the rod and main bearing clearances set up as well?

On the flip side, is there any reason I wouldn't want to build a stroker if I'm getting all new bottom end parts anyway?

More pics of the dissection. Even after 9+ years, there are still tiny pieces of blue valve stem seal in the pickup...
















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  #38  
Old 01-15-2022, 03:50 PM
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Wow pics!
Ya know, since the block was "Align" bored, I would FIRST get some new bearings and RE install Just your crank with lube and torque it down.
Then install the timing cover with a good front seal, and balancer . Don't need a chain. put small light near crank and see if you can see light at bottom side of your front seal shining on the balancer. Be tough to check the rear main seal this way with the width of the seal area.
( engine being upside down on the stand)
You MUST verify that the block will be able to run with No leaks.. You would not be happy to be back where this thread started, at a OIL Leak seal replacement.
IF ,and when, you rebuild this, or ANY Pontiac you MUST get it "Smoked"
Ask the machine shop for You to be PRESENT when the engine is smoked. You will see ANY and ALL possible Leak areas at the "smoking" session.
I have seen in person engines that were align bored and all assembled on the engine stand and FAILED a Smoke test....
Just hoping it turns out right on this build so you can enjoy it again.

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Old 01-15-2022, 05:12 PM
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I see a lot of specs of crap on the back side of those rod bearings that would have effected the local clearance, and the bearings look like they where wrongly assembled with oil on there back side.

The detail I am looking for in those rod cap and big end photos is the impression from the numbers and lettering on the back side of the bearings.

If that impression is not clearly readable in the cap or the big end, then the bearing was moving, which is not good!

The only reason to not go with a stroker other gas usage is your stock heads.
If you’d making more then enough torque you will only havd more , and if you don’t then also add a bigger Cam then your HP peak will be attained at a even lower rpm then before.

Stock iron heads used on a street type motor of 455 cid or larger are done to the point of sticking a fork in it by 5200 rpm.

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And he was not talking about 1/8 or 1/4 mile ETs!

Last edited by steve25; 01-15-2022 at 05:30 PM.
  #40  
Old 01-15-2022, 09:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steve25 View Post
The detail I am looking for in those rod cap and big end photos is the impression from the numbers and lettering on the back side of the bearings.

If that impression is not clearly readable in the cap or the big end, then the bearing was moving, which is not good!
I think that was ok, I can see the impression on most of the big ends.



Quote:
Originally Posted by steve25 View Post
The only reason to not go with a stroker other gas usage is your stock heads.
If youd making more then enough torque you will only havd more , and if you dont then also add a bigger Cam then your HP peak will be attained at a even lower rpm then before.

Stock iron heads used on a street type motor of 455 cid or larger are done to the point of sticking a fork in it by 5200 rpm.
Will the round port heads make use of the extra cubes and give me a little more rpm? Most of my driving is around town cruising. With the 3.55s and the TH400 I'm around 3-3500 on the freeway. However, if I'm going to build this thing from scratch again, it will see some occasional Wednesday night drag action. I've been avoiding the track (and the drive there) because of the oil leak.
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