Valve Train Problems  10            4-29-14

Almost There


While I'm waiting for more parts to arrive, I kept myself busy with a few other things. Spark plugs come in many flavors but after using E3 plugs once before I decided to go with them again.



I've seen different shows using these plugs and they made more horsepower with them than with other top brands. I know it's hard to believe that you can make more power with just a plug change but that seems to be the case here. I don't know if the reason E3's make more power is from the unique electrodes or something else, but I find it very interesting that they work that much better.

There is one downfall with these plugs, there's no way to adjust the gap. With conventional plugs you can have just about any gap you want by bending the electrode. Not the case with these because the gap is preset and that's it.



One other thing I found is that my valve cover gaskets were now hitting my new rocker arms. The area between the red lines had to be trimmed away so I could get them on the engine. No big deal as a razor blade make quick work of the unwanted area and they went right on. This will be something for me to remember if I change gaskets in the future.



This was very unexpected to see when I was in the process of taking the car apart. What you see here is a worn spot in the shell of my radiator. I made some clamps to hold the radiator from going forward years ago and over time they almost wore a hole through this area. Both sides were like this so it was time to make some new clamps.



My old ones are made from steel (top) and the new ones are made from aluminum. As you can see, the new ones are twice as wide and I glued rubber to them this time so there's no more metal-to-metal, just for a little insurance. Maybe it was a good thing I had to take the radiator out as this was just another place to make things better. And if this problem had gotten unnoticed, I'm sure I would have wondered why my temp gage was telling me the engine was overheating one day.



When I was putting my top radiator hose back on, I noticed something odd inside it. I tried installing it anyways but when I filled the radiator with water, it had a slow drip. Right then I knew I was in trouble because if this leaked without any pressure, what would it do with some?

My radiator hoses and clamps are made by Coolflex and one thing that came with the kit were some adapters. These adapters are used if you have a setup where the radiator is 1 1/2" and the hose is 1 3/4". This happens to be what I have which means I needed to use the them. I tried to find this part elsewhere but was unsuccessful which meant going back to the manufacture for a new one. The parts don't cost much so I bought two but the shipping cost more than both put together as they came from the other coast.

Once I had the new one installed the leak was gone which meant I was ready to fire up the engine.



One last item that I bought was a new K & N air filter element. My old one was over 10 years old and looks every bit of that in this picture. I know they make a cleaning kit for these filters but I figured that I'd just get a new one and be done with it. Wow...what a difference.



It's Alive



Well how about runs again...yeehaa.

When I started the engine I set the timing at 32 degrees and let it run for a few minutes. I had a minor water leak that seemed to be coming from the water pump to block area but I couldn't tell for sure. I took care of the problem with some Bar's Leak, which is a product that I recommend using if you tear a motor down like I did. This is just a little insurance that you can leave in the cooling system for as long as you want. And it can be mixed with any type of antifreeze out there.

After my first test drive it runs really good and everything went very well. I've also noticed that the engine starts easier too. I always keep my eyes on the gages when I'm on the road but this time I watched them for what seemed like every few seconds. That's not surprising after doing a rebuild this like because you're just making sure the vitals are okay. Another thing I'm doing is listening for anything out of the ordinary (and I mean all ears here). The gages only tell you so much so everything else comes from your ears while you're cruising. I didn't hear any weird sounds so that was a relief.



On Friday, May 2nd, Larry and I went to a car show in Yucaipa, Ca. hosted by he Past Pleasures Car Club. I'll have to say it felt pretty good getting out after almost two months of me working on it. The car ran great and I'm very happy with the end result. But the best thing about this rebuild is that it's behind me.

Oh one more thing, anyone that has rebuilt an engine or has done something similar to what I've done here always has something in the back of their mind...did I forget something? Well I'm no different than anyone else and have been wondering that until I fired up the engine. But once you hear the sound of that V8 symphony, all is right in the universe once again.

Now I'm looking forward to driving the car, attending a few shows and just having fun with it again because this was pretty stressful and I don't want to do this again for a long time (as I shake my head up and down ready to grab some gears)!!



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