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V8 strip down


Fish13
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Hello,

Not sure about this one! I'm stripping down an old 3.5V8 on carbs. Took off the rocker covers and the valley gasket and I've never seen anything like it! :(

What was once I guess oil was caked on to the valley and around the lifters and push rods and it literally looked like something large and black had melted in there! When prodded and scraped with a finger, it breaks off in lumps and can be 'crumbled' between your fingers.

Just how bad can these things (V8's) be abused before you should let them die? I've no idea how to start cleaning this, any ideas?

Slightly more worrying was the block at the base of the lifters (where you can see them contact the camshaft) looked to be chipped and uneven? Can this happen or is it the shape of the block? It's so hard to make anything out at the moment that I'm not sure. Something tells me it shouldn't be like that. There were no obvious bits of metal, although they of course could have migrated down to the crank...

I plan to of course renew cam, lifters, pushrods etc etc, but I'm wondering now if this one is too far gone.

I'm pretty dissapointed, I was expecting crud, but nothing like this!

Any thoughts or experiences welcome!

Cheers,

Fish.

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What was once I guess oil was caked on to the valley and around the lifters and push rods and it literally looked like something large and black had melted in there! When prodded and scraped with a finger, it breaks off in lumps and can be 'crumbled' between your fingers.

I guess this might just be because it's been sat around? Just the regular oil that's been left in it to age? It might even have been tipped up with oil in it that's run up from the sump. I'm guessing you don't really know the history of this engine?

Just how bad can these things (V8's) be abused before you should let them die? I've no idea how to start cleaning this, any ideas?

Well they'll certainly carry on running when they're in quite a state - as to when they're no longer worth rebuilding I'm not so sure. I'm far from an expert on the subject... I'd at least clean it up before you decide. From a purely financial perspective they're probably almost never worth rebuilding - cheaper to just keep buying second hand engines, if you're doing the work yourself.

From the sound of it scraping the worst of the crud off is probably a good place to start, then use a solvent to clean it properly. Brake cleaner is the dogs wotsits for this, but the fumes are nasty, it's none too good for your skin (wear gloves) and it'd cost a fortune to clean a whole engine with it. A bucket of petrol and a paint brush will probably do the job nicely.

Slightly more worrying was the block at the base of the lifters (where you can see them contact the camshaft) looked to be chipped and uneven? Can this happen or is it the shape of the block? It's so hard to make anything out at the moment that I'm not sure. Something tells me it shouldn't be like that. There were no obvious bits of metal, although they of course could have migrated down to the crank...

I seem to recall the castings at the bottom of the valley on mine were pretty rough, so I suspect this is normal. You won't be able to make a decent assessment of it until it's clean, though.

I wouldn't give up on it just yet :)

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Hmmm, that's not so good. According to that, mine is in the 'dead on it's feet' category.

Does look a lot like the picture showing the crud in the timing chain a bit further down the page (although I haven't taken the cover off mine yet)

By 'dead on it's feet' do they mean don't bother and bin it?

Thanks as well Geoff, I'll give it a good clean to get most of the surface stuff off. I do believe it's just hardened oil, just doesn't look very inviting! Head bolts seem to be nigh on impossible to get loose! Am currently leaving them overnight having given them a good soaking in WD-40.

Crankshaft pulley is causing probs. What size socket is it and does it need to be a very deep one to get over the dog tooth for the starter handle?

Cheers for the replies gents,

Hugo.

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Thanks as well Geoff, I'll give it a good clean to get most of the surface stuff off. I do believe it's just hardened oil, just doesn't look very inviting!

Just take heed of Deano's warning about the oilways.

Head bolts seem to be nigh on impossible to get loose! Am currently leaving them overnight having given them a good soaking in WD-40.

They're fairly hard to shift anyway. Just hope you don't shear any off. How secure have you got the engine? When I did mine the engine was in the truck, and I was hanging on the end of a torque wrench with both feet braced on the bumper...

Crankshaft pulley is causing probs. What size socket is it and does it need to be a very deep one to get over the dog tooth for the starter handle?

That'll be fun with the engine out... they're a bugger to undo anyway. Do you have a flywheel on the back so you can wedge a screwdriver in the teeth for the starter motor?

Can't remember what size it is, but nothing huge, at least on mine - it's a later one without the starter dog though.

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Hugo!

I've got a deep socket if you want to borrow it for the starter dog... I can also lend you my Dewalt 18V Rattle gun which might get it or a long breaker bar..

As for the engine, keep stripping it down because you'll learn loads. You really need to see the state of the bores before deciding what to do. The crud might be because the bores / rings are shot, alternatively it might be because the previous owner just never changed the oil :(

For cleaning, get it into its component parts and roughly clean.... You could consider taking them down to the Bridge of Dee garage on a quiet evening where they have pay and play hot pressure washers. I'm sure they have interceptors that get emptied by Taylors so the oil won't get to the river, it will be removed properly. :)

Oh and I just saw your old Range Rover this evening..... :(

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I saw a similar tale of woe on Difflock a while ago. The V8 was entirley encrusted inside, as you describe. Various things were used to clean it, including Mr Muscle oven cleaner!

I'd say clean it up, and if you strip the block, get it acid dipped or similar, you ned to be sure that crud is not in theoilways or your freshly rebuilt motor will be lunched within a very short space of time. Good luck and let us have some pics?

Jim

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To be fair, I have rebuilt one that looked just like the one in the pics. Even with some special offers from Chris at RPi, the price for parts and head skim still topped a grand! And as for cleaning it took days and days including steam cleaning. Mind you that was probably 15 or more years ago and it is still going strong in Shed.

See for yourself...

th_shedtabletop.jpg

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Slightly more worrying was the block at the base of the lifters (where you can see them contact the camshaft) looked to be chipped and uneven? Can this happen or is it the shape of the block? It's so hard to make anything out at the moment that I'm not sure. Something tells me it shouldn't be like that. There were no obvious bits of metal, although they of course could have migrated down to the crank...

that's ordinary, once they cast the block they literally chisel the casting flash out of that region, I kid you not!

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:(:o:( - My old Rangie! I miss it heaps! (I miss my old heap, heaps?) Sad day that was.

Anyhoo, :ph34r:

Donald has offered to come round with the right tools (f*&%ing big hammer) and get the head and crank pulley bolts off, so that'll be the next stage forward I guess. Be good for an experienced eye to have a nosey round this one and save me hours of cleaning if it's a dud.

I will keep taking it apart no matter what so I can learn. I agree that it would be cheaper to buy a known runner, but if I got this rebuilt properly, then it'll last me a good while hopefully like yours Deano. Plan is to put it into my Series 3 which is going on a galvanised chassis. :blink:

I'll wait for the missus to go to sleep and lob this thing in the dish washer! :lol:

I'll take some photos when I get home and post them up here if I can work out how to do that!

Cheers for the help, encouragement and advice so far! Will keep you posted.

Hugo.

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I'll wait for the missus to go to sleep and lob this thing in the dish washer! :lol:

Be warned that:

1) You need to get the heavy dirt off first - it won't shift that.

2) The dishwasher and anything washed in it will stink for at least a week afterwards...

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If it still runs then add 2 tins of FORTE engine cleaner to the oil, run it up so it gets hot (blast around the roads), then come home and empty the oil out, you'll be amazed how much it will remove, refilling with new oil and another tin of 2 and repeating can mean you have a clean engine to dismantle, I kid you not its amazing stuff.

The downside is it will also remove crud that when gone may make the tolerances worse, ie knocking in a bearing or 3 starts, so be wary doing on a heavy crudded engine that you do not intend to take apart / rebuild.

Nige

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To be fair, I have rebuilt one that looked just like the one in the pics. Even with some special offers from Chris at RPi, the price for parts and head skim still topped a grand! And as for cleaning it took days and days including steam cleaning. Mind you that was probably 15 or more years ago and it is still going strong in Shed.

See for yourself...

th_shedtabletop.jpg

Deano, do we need a password to view that Photobucket video?

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Yes it certainly floats right well!

Pro Comp +2" springs with ES9000 dampers on std rubber bushes. Despite the horror stories of using rubber bushes off road, I only now after 3 years need to change the front end rubbers. You might say I am not seriously offroading it but it does get abused once a month.

The exhaust is made up with a custom front end with the std box chopped in favour of a straight through rear while a std single exit rear section is cut and angled to the outside (there is just room for the silencer in there).

Front box

Rear box 1

Rear box 2

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well, here is an update after stripping down some of the V8 and getting it on an engine stand (very cool 360 degree spin :D )

You can see what I mean when I say full of crud. It actually looks worse than it is due to me picking at flakes of oil and some dropping into the cam and onto the lifters.

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Surprisingly, the bores don't look too bad. The ones on my 89 Rangie were in worse nick with regards to pitting and ridges, these are surprisingly free of both. Better idea though when I've cleaned and stripped a bitty further!

Will post more pics as I go.... :ph34r:

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Hello again,

First thing, got a tip to use Mr Muscle oven cleaner and it works and absolute treat! Engine defintiely looks A LOT better! Well, cleaner anyway.

Question I have is what size/type are the bolts that attach the oil pump to the front cover? They are quite small and the heads look 12 sided? Can't seem to find anything to fit them.

Cheers,

Hugo.

P.S. Will post more pics of slightly cleaner block when I'm happy with it.

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Cheers Deano!

Will go out and buy one as looked and currently don't have any that small (good excuse for some tool buying!)

Took out the pistons tonight and found a small chip on the back of liner no.2 where it protrudes into the crank area. :( It's a small semi-circular 2mm chip on the opposite side to the bore so the bore itself is smooth and unaffected but it's worrying me all the same. It looks old and doesn't seem to have caused any ill effect to the movement of the piston.

I'm going to remove the crank tomorrow and I'll take a close up piccy or two of it an post on here to get opinions :ph34r: .

I'm hoping it'll be no ill effect. I'm going to take the block, crank and pistons to the machine shop to get looked at and I'll point it out to them.

Sleepless night......

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Right!

Next installment....

Block is now bare and looking a good bit cleaner! Still not finished but what it left is now getting remarkably hard to get off! :angry:

The crank bearings were all down to the copper as were most of the big-end bearings.

I'm going to keep cleaning for a while yet and then hand the crank, pistons and block over to the machine shop and get their verdict (now that I've come this far with the cleaning, I'd like them to make it sparkly in the chemical cleaning bath too! :D )

I've enclosed pics of the chip on the liner that's worrying me a bit, sorry one of them isn't that great focus.

Can you guys let me know what you think with regards to this? Ok? Block is a write off? Etc....

Cheers,

Hugo.

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