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Post Info TOPIC: Engine Refresh & Upgrade


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Engine Refresh & Upgrade


Decided the other day not to drop the 283 back in without a full refresh.  When I took it out, without having driven the car, compression was 130ish after 30 yrs in storage and a real bad timing chain, it ran quiet and didn't smoke so I was going to run with it for a couple of years.  In the end, it has 130,000 miles and is out of the car, just makes sense to at least give it a refresh.  I'll hone the cylinders, give it new rings, all new bearings and oil pump.  Since I have a new 4 BBL to go on I thought I'd do something about the 170 hp the 1962 283's with 2 BBL had compared to the 230 hp they had in 1961 with a 4BBL.  Based on what I can see in comparing cam specs in 61 they seem to have used one very similar to a Melling CCS2.  I checked Rockauto and they are out of stock and I have no idea on the price.  I also called a local engine machine shop and they recommended a cam from a 305HO, the Melling CCS37.  The specs for the 2 of them are marginally different, lift is very slightly higher in the CCS37 and I can use the current OEM valve springs etc.  If I can get the finished product to be in the 230 hp range you won't see the car driving down the road for the big smile on my face.

Has anyone else gone this route?



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Poncho Master!

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I have the Melling MTC-1 in a 283, little bigger than stock, 204/214 dur, 0.420"/0.443" lift. Works great, nice vacuum and idle quality, little more burble to the exhaust. I did have TH350 behind it though pulled nice through all the gears.

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Stony Mountain, MB

65 Impala SS 2dr HT
65 Impala convert.
59 Impala 2dr HT
67 Acadian Canso 2dr HT

 

 

 



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Does it have to be period correct for 1962? If not I'd find a 1967 Quadrajet intake and run a Quadrajet off a 1967 car. And use the GP hydraulic cam that was used for many years.

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HK1837 wrote:

Does it have to be period correct for 1962? If not I'd find a 1967 Quadrajet intake and run a Quadrajet off a 1967 car. And use the GP hydraulic cam that was used for many years.


 I already have the period correct Quadrajet so will role with that.  Originally, I wasn't going to do anything but it makes sense to do something to get the benefit of the 4 BBL



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DANO65 wrote:

I have the Melling MTC-1 in a 283, little bigger than stock, 204/214 dur, 0.420"/0.443" lift. Works great, nice vacuum and idle quality, little more burble to the exhaust. I did have TH350 behind it though pulled nice through all the gears.


 Interesting the CCS-37 is 202/207 duration, .403/.414 lift. compared to the stock lift of .330/.330 in 62.  The 1961 the 283 4BBL was labelled Super Strato-Flash and had lift of .3987/.3987  I don't think I want to go much higher than the CCS-37.  The 283 is never going to be a power house and I don't want to sacrifice much gas mileage.  I was able to get 22 - 23 mpg with 1966 Laurentian 283/2BBL and don't want to stray to far from that, hoping for north of 20 mpg.  Any idea what you are getting for mileage with your cam?  What heads are you using?



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Glenn Musgrave wrote:
DANO65 wrote:

I have the Melling MTC-1 in a 283, little bigger than stock, 204/214 dur, 0.420"/0.443" lift. Works great, nice vacuum and idle quality, little more burble to the exhaust. I did have TH350 behind it though pulled nice through all the gears.


 Interesting the CCS-37 is 202/207 duration, .403/.414 lift. compared to the stock lift of .330/.330 in 62.  The 1961 the 283 4BBL was labelled Super Strato-Flash and had lift of .3987/.3987  I don't think I want to go much higher than the CCS-37.  The 283 is never going to be a power house and I don't want to sacrifice much gas mileage.  I was able to get 22 - 23 mpg with 1966 Laurentian 283/2BBL and don't want to stray to far from that, hoping for north of 20 mpg.  Any idea what you are getting for mileage with your cam?  What heads are you using?


 It was the original 283 in my 65, all stock except for the cam swap and an Edelbrock Performer intake and Q-jet, still got 22-24 mpg when driven nice...



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Stony Mountain, MB

65 Impala SS 2dr HT
65 Impala convert.
59 Impala 2dr HT
67 Acadian Canso 2dr HT

 

 

 



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DANO65 wrote:
Glenn Musgrave wrote:
DANO65 wrote:

I have the Melling MTC-1 in a 283, little bigger than stock, 204/214 dur, 0.420"/0.443" lift. Works great, nice vacuum and idle quality, little more burble to the exhaust. I did have TH350 behind it though pulled nice through all the gears.


 Interesting the CCS-37 is 202/207 duration, .403/.414 lift. compared to the stock lift of .330/.330 in 62.  The 1961 the 283 4BBL was labelled Super Strato-Flash and had lift of .3987/.3987  I don't think I want to go much higher than the CCS-37.  The 283 is never going to be a power house and I don't want to sacrifice much gas mileage.  I was able to get 22 - 23 mpg with 1966 Laurentian 283/2BBL and don't want to stray to far from that, hoping for north of 20 mpg.  Any idea what you are getting for mileage with your cam?  What heads are you using?


 It was the original 283 in my 65, all stock except for the cam swap and an Edelbrock Performer intake and Q-jet, still got 22-24 mpg when driven nice...


 Nice!!!  I misspoke earlier, I have the 4GC Rochester not the Quadrajet.  I put a lot of carb kits in the Quadrajets over the years and got into the bad habit of calling every Rochester 4BBL a Quadrajet.



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So much for a simple engine refresh.  Once I tore it down I could feel the walls in cylinders 6 & 8 were out of round.  I took it to Nova Automotive to have it bored.030" but they checked and it had too much wear and bored it .040".  Turns out the old girl already had rings and bearings replaced at some point.  The crank had to be turned down as well.  The power pack heads I bought now have new seats.  Heads had been planed and guides knurled not many miles before they came to me.  Even though the push rods spent a good deal of time in the parts cleaner and had a lot of air blown through, there was still dried oil on the insides so I went with new ones.  The only factory engine parts being reused are the block, connecting rods, crank and all pans.  I now have all the pieces and will start the build once the Christmas lights are all up.  Really excited to get at it! 

Even though the block was soaked twice while at Nova the journals didn't come as clean as they wanted.  The attached photo will show what I got out of the water journals after getting the block back.  I took several hours of prodding with a 4" nozzle on my air gun at 120 psi to get this crap out.  It was time well spent, some of the chunks were the size of my little finger nail and would have undoubtedly plugged some of the small ports in the block and heads causing me no end of problems.  I will put the heads through the same process before installing them.



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Canadian Poncho Superstar!

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Wow, that's a lot of junk ... it's good to be persistent!



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Prince Edward Island

'64 Parisienne CS "barn find" - last on the road in '86 ... Owner Protection Plan booklet, original paint, original near-mint aqua interior, original aqua GM floor mats, original 283, factory posi, and original rust.



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I bought the power pack heads first and since they are a higher compression head I thought it wise to take a deeper look at the bottom end to make sure it could handle it.  It's been expensive but turned out to be a good thing.  It likely wouldn't have lasted long and I wouldn't have been a happy camper.  Should be a decent little motor when it gets on the road.



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Interesting build. Could you take some shots of the progress Glenn?

On the scale and rust in the block; I went through a similar issue (though not a bad as yours) on my 454 as it was a freshwater marine block. I used a product called lime-a-way from Ecolab. Blocked off the water pump passages and frost plugs. One bank at a time, I propped the block up to make the head surface level and filled that sides passages up with the solution to the brim. Within a hour it began to foam out the top. Left it a day, drained and rinsed it out. Repeated for the other bank. The passages came out absolutely spotless.



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cdnpont wrote:

Interesting build. Could you take some shots of the progress Glenn?

On the scale and rust in the block; I went through a similar issue (though not a bad as yours) on my 454 as it was a freshwater marine block. I used a product called lime-a-way from Ecolab. Blocked off the water pump passages and frost plugs. One bank at a time, I propped the block up to make the head surface level and filled that sides passages up with the solution to the brim. Within a hour it began to foam out the top. Left it a day, drained and rinsed it out. Repeated for the other bank. The passages came out absolutely spotless.


 I must not have hit submit yesterday when I replied. I've heard of lime-a-way but have never used it.  In the old days they use to use Gillett's Lye.  Last night I installed the crank.  The engine won't be started for about 2 years so I am using cam lube to coat the internals instead of oil which would simply drain off.  I do have an oil primer but want to do everything possible to protect the internals until I can run it.  I also adopted a change in the install procedure for the rear main seal.  I always use to mount them flush like everyone else and use a little dab of silicon on the backside of the joint to help prevent leaks.  This time I offset it 3/8" as recommended on the package of the new seal.  I really like the idea and think it should help.  This time around I put a dab of silicon in a different place, see photo, in case oil gets by the seal.  As you can tell, a leak would drive me crazy.

I know there is a temptation not to use plastigage since the block was bored, crank ground and bearings ordered accordingly but if an issue identifies after the engine is running you need to know was it a machine shop error or assembly error.  There's a lot of money and pride on the line, take the time and do it right.  It's not likely I will get back at it for a week as it's time to decorate for Christmas.  When posting these photos I realized I didn't have the new pistons in themBearing Prep.jpgChecking Ring Gap.jpgDab of Silicon.jpgMain 1-4 Checked Out.jpgPlastigage Checked Out.jpgRear Main Bearing .010.jpgSome New Components.jpg



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It's been awhile since I last posted but the engine rebuild is complete.  I read my previous post and should clarify, while I coated as many moving parts as possible with engine rebuild lube I did not coat the cylinder walls or pistons with it for fear of contributing to glazing of the cylinder walls.  I used oil instead in this area.  I coated the lifters, lifter journals, balls of the push rods and top of valve stems with Melling cam lube that was left over after coating the cam and cam bearings.

I should mention prior to the final cleaning before any assembly, I used a large flat sharpening stone to all mated surfaces.  Typically, you'll find rough edges on the casting that can affect the surfaces and gaskets from mating evenly.  Rubbing the sharpening stone over them will take care of this issue and serve to provide a better seal and prevent leaks.

I use a skim of high heat silicone on all gaskets except the head gaskets.  I know some of you may thing I'm crazy and yes I know the danger.  A good number of years ago a customer came to me after a local garage installed a new oil pan on the 350 in his Surban 2 months prior.  The engine had a bad knock.  When I tore it down I found silicon had plugged the sump and you know the rest.  I have always put a very thin layer of silicon on both side of gaskets to avoid leaks in the future and it helps protect the gaskets when you remove the valve covers for any final adjustments that may be necessary.  I pay particular attention to make sure it is on very thin and no silicon gets on the inner edge of the gasket and able to make its way through the engine.  As you can see in the photos this time I only coated one side of the intake gaskets, the side facing the head, but I coated the intake itself.  The thought being it would take care of the pitting imperfections in the casting.

I also included a photo of the clear plastic sleeve I slide over the valve stems to protect the seals while they are being installed.  The photo only shows the umbrella seal but I also installed the GM style O-ring seal, simply sliding it down past the groove for it, removing the plastic sleeve and sliding the O-ring up in place.  If you look carefully at the photos of the pistons you can see I used gas line on the rod bolts to protect the crank.  I know a lot of guys prefer to use 6" long hose, I couldn't have had a lot of extra hose around when I first cut these and simply got use to using this length.

For guys who may have never done this type of work before, when torquing head and intake bolts you can cover the treads and under the head bolts with oil or a mild lock tight.  I always snug them in sequence and then using the torque wrench set to 10 - 15 lbs below spec and following the sequence, I tighten them down.  Then I set the torque wrench to the final setting and go through the process again. I keep going through the sequence until I don't get any more movement, it may take 3 trips through before this occurs.

I attached a photo of our first attempt to use a stencil for the Pontiac identification on the value covers.  It didn't work out because the orange painted lived off the valve cover when we removed the stencil.  This time I glass blasted the valve covers to remove anything that might be preventing the paint from adhering to them.  I then took a sanding pad followed by 3,000 grit sandpaper to remove any roughness caused by the blasting process.  Looking forward to getting new stencils:)  Using the stencil with GM black engine paint will avoid any issues of colour matching the various orange engine paint with the vinyl letters that are out there.



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Nice work Glenn, forgot to ask, when do you need that carb back, plus generator and VR?

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63 Parisienne sport coupe (The Big GTO), black, maroon interior, 409 4 speed; former owner of a 59 El Camino, 63 Corvette SWC, 62 Chev Bel Air SC. 

Mahone Bay, NS Still not old enough to need an automatic



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DonSSDD wrote:

Nice work Glenn, forgot to ask, when do you need that carb back, plus generator and VR?


 Thanks Don.  No rush on any of that stuff, whenever you no longer need them is fine.  Whenever I get the chance to  post a few body progress pic you'll understand my response:)



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Over here I just have to ask..Did you drill and tap your crank snout?? LOL

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otus wrote:

Over here I just have to ask..Did you drill and tap your crank snout?? LOL


 No sir, I remember reading on this site that some guys are highly recommending it.  I have never experienced any issues in any of the other motors I built over the years.  As you know, in the case of a 283 the balancer is a solid piece so no need to worry about separation like the 327, 350's etc.  I simply make sure there aren't any burs on either the crank or the balancer, apply a thin coat of white lithium grease to all mating surfaces and tap it on.  Vaseline/petroleum jelly would also be good to use.



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To add to the recommendation for drilling the crank, the main reason is to avoid damage to the crankshaft thrust bearing by pounding the balancer on. Personally I have pounded many on without doing damage, but never did check the crankshaft end play after installation.

Paul

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Prefectca wrote:

To add to the recommendation for drilling the crank, the main reason is to avoid damage to the crankshaft thrust bearing by pounding the balancer on. Personally I have pounded many on without doing damage, but never did check the crankshaft end play after installation.

Paul


 I agree but also recognize there is a difference between tapping something in place and pounding/forcing it to go.  Brut force can damage anything but I found with thought out preparations and tapping something in place you generally won't have any issues.  Admittedly, most of my engine work has been on small blocks of all sizes and a few big blocks and most were predrilled from the factory.  I will take advantage of a drilled crank where possible but I have never shied away from the ones that were not drilled and with careful persuasion, as my Dad use to say, I've not had any issues.



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