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Unclejake

Unclejake's '95 Chevrolet C3500

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Dear readers, things are not going entirely to plan, but the good news is that I have access to a shed next week, and the weather has been amazing, so I've spent the last couple of afternoons lying on hardened sheep shit and thistles, whilst dropping rust flakes in my eyes, in an attempt to get the motor ready to remove next week.

Once the motor is on a pallet and the heads and sump are off I'll make a decision as to what to do next. The big unknown is the transmission. I'd hate to spend three or four grand sorting the motor to find the trans or 4x4 system was no good, but at this stage I have no way of checking.

I do have what may be a dumb question wrt removing the torque convertor without draining the transmission, which I'll ask on the discussion page. Be gentle. I know petrol, carbs and manual gearboxes. This diesel/turbo/automatic malarky is new to me.

 

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The first problem found (apart from the normal exhaust studs snapping etc) was this. It's hard to say if the accumulated crud was actually blocking the thermostat when the engine was operational or not, but still...ha!

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Then I got a bit confuddled by this rotated injector spray guide thingy (whatever they're called) which doesn't seem to lock into the head very well, and by the strange burn pattern on it might have been rotating when the engine was running? Dunno really. I would have thought the head would have clamped the thing down enough to stop it rotating, but it was half out of the head when I lifted the head off the block

 

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By the time I got the sump off I was too dirty to touch my phone so no crank photos (sorry), but I found no sign of anything getting very hot, no huge cracks anywhere, no snapped bolts, the pistons slide up and down the bores just fine (albeit with a bit of a ridge at the top of the bore), but almost all of the main and B/E bearings had been spinning.

There's bits of bearing jammed inside the crank oil galleries and I'm having trouble lifting out the crank on my own (mainly due to spun bearings I guess), but it was getting dark, the shed has no lights or power and the flies kept landing on my sweaty bald head, so I will pull the crank tomorrow.

There may just be more life in the engine yet! I am pretty happy to have found most of the internals intact.

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If it looks like the engine is recoverable I might just splash out an a caliper rebuild kit too.

 

Oh, and about a kilometre of brake line, some flare nuts, a few balljoints, a Pitman arm with a BJ that activates the drag link after less than half a rotation of the steering wheel, a hell of a lot of POR15 and about 100 other things. LOL

Freight will be a killer, but stuff for these full-sized GM pick-ups is easily available and usually remarkably cheap (compared to Lexus bits anyway).

 

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Three of the five main bearings looked like this. It's the reason the motor was so tight to turn over, and probably caused by an oil line falling off a couple or months before the vehicle got parked. There's no blueing on the crank but the crank journal is slightly scored, as is the crank.

The three mains that spun bearings are the three centre ones. These blocks are known to crack at the crank webs of the three central mains, but with a visual inspection I can't see any cracks. I'm pretty sure the bearings are original size (I need to look up the numbers to be certain)

I'm off to find a 1,000 litre water container and a petrol water-blaster to try an clean the block up a bit more.

The headgasket where the pre-combustion chamber had rotated shows milds signs of soot past the fire ring. I know the previous owner changed the heads some time ago. The engine bolts were either so tight I needed a trolley jack handle over a strong arm to budge them, or were finger tight. There was no in-between. Ha!

I need to decide if I'm going to fix this properly (which means sending the disassembled long-block to either Napier or Timaru for a line hone, crank grind, head job and re-bore), or if I'll risk just chucking a fresh set of bearings at it (and not even bother plasti-gauging it) and re-use the existing pistons and rings.

I'll ponder than over a beer later in the week

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