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dead engine, limited funds. ideas?

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by vortec, Jul 3, 2005.

  1. vortec

    vortec 1/2 ton status

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    a few weeks ago, after a full day of wheelin, my '82 350 locked up. pulled the oilpan and found the broken rod. the rotating assembly looks solid and well lubed until cylinders 7(broken) and 8. the crank and rods have almost no oil on them back there. my assumption is that something blocked oilflow, a bearing spun (i found what's left of it in the oil pan), and eventually trashed my rod. the rod cap jammed between the crank and block. i couldn't move the crank more than 10* or so. took me a while to dislodge, but now things move freely 360*. my cheap side says replace #7 and maybe #8, since it was right next door to the problem. but, i've never replaced just one or two rods at a time, so i don't know how reliable that would be. i feel like i'd just be asking for 1-6 or the rear of the crank to crap out on me.

    i'm looking at junkyard engines some. there's a place here that sells them as-is for $60. i'd probably tear one of those down and replace anything that even might be a problem. also, tbi might be nice, but i've never done a carb motor to tbi motor swap before. this forum seems to have mixed opinions about how tricky that is.

    last resort is just plop in the parts it needs to run well enough to sell it, then eventually get a late 90's jeep or something. i much prefer k5's, but a jeep could get me back off the pavement and maybe be reliable because it's newer. i take good care of my trucks, but unfortunately, a 23-year old vehicle is just going to have some issues. i realize that, but i can't always be prepared for every one of them on the trail.

    lots of choices, but none i'm too crazy about, at the moment.
     
  2. resurrected_jimmy

    resurrected_jimmy 1/2 ton status

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    get a junk yard engine that will spin 360 and rebuild it for cheap, do what you want later
     
  3. Mad-Dog

    Mad-Dog 1/2 ton status

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    Rup a penny across the journals on crank if it leaves copper in the grooves then the crank must be turned...if not you can replace the bearings and a pair of rods then slap her back together with a new oil pump, 2 hail mary's and a shot of whiskey.... :D
     
  4. LongIslander26

    LongIslander26 1/2 ton status

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    Amen

    With that broken rod, I'd at least want to get an eyeball on the walls of that cylinder first before I did anything. :waytogo:
     
  5. vortec

    vortec 1/2 ton status

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    ok, is the penny thing just to find out IF there are any grooves? or more about how bad they are? either way, it goes along with my cheapness thing. ha.

    as far as the cylinder walls, the day i pulled the pan, i was expecting some nasty gouging. but since it broke at the bottom of the rod, and stayed down in the crankcase, the cylinder(s) look great. i was happily surprised.

    i doubt the oil pump is an issue. no visible external damage, and the cam and other 6 cylinders have plenty of oil on them. clogged oil passage is my guess.

    too bad this thing didn't happen a few months ago. it was 102* outside, today. not really great truck work weather.
     
  6. diesel4me

    diesel4me 1 ton status Premium Member

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    try another...

    I'd get one of those $60 specials and throw it in!--some of the best chevy smallblocks I've had came from 50-100 buck beater cars I bought for parts!..they rot out so soon here a lot of times you can buy a "granny's" car for next to nothing and get a sweet motor and tranny with fairly low mileage..look for older Caprice's and Impala's from 79-88,or Malibu's,they seem to be the most popular with older drivers who dont beat their cars to death...but avoid any yellow ones with a white lamp on the roof!! :haha:

    Once a motor throws a rod,and it locks up,its usually junk--its likely it cracked the block or a cylinder wall,and it might not show up until its all back together...it can crack the crank or throw the main bearings out of line too...its cheaper to start with a motor you can hear run...like I said--the greasy old 350's I pulled from some junkyard cars turned out to be some of the best running motors I've owned. :crazy:
     
  7. Mad-Dog

    Mad-Dog 1/2 ton status

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    the penny thing as you call it will determine if the grooves are deep enough to prevent from replacing the bearing shells w/o machining the main journals.
     
  8. R72K5

    R72K5 Banned

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    find good used engine and toss it in

    can find 350's for low bucks running complete

    dont try fixing blown up one it aint worth it, sell the block if its not damaged from broken rod, sell the heads too, or stash them away along with intake and pan and balancer and such

    go run around town and buy an unwanted old van or car or something with an old sbc in it for around 50 or 150 bucks that runs but may be rusted or wrecked or just unwanted and there you go

    start leaving notes at every place or house you see with a chevy something sitting
    the old 70s vans are good because virtually all of them were 350 equipped, if werent 6 cylinder but those were mainly 79''s but tons of them were 350 or 400 too though

    this is how you score engines and trannies and axles and radiators and such for cheap

    done it for years, it works and so well that i cant find anything anymore like that, its rare now, all gone, cant evne find an 80s 305 engine or heads now, nothing, had to go to junkyard and buy 305 heads i need right now, the junkyards are getting the last of the old chevies right now, bastards,, and making a killing, if they evne keep them long enough before crunching them, and also ppl with trailers are hauling them to shredder, been for years now,
    very low numbers left now,



    and most all of the ones i scored over the years were reliable runners for a short time before i tore them apart for the drivetrains and such,

    its just how it was, they were almost everywhere then, but not now, i already saw it coming and knew it, im not surprised one bit,
    and its not gonna get any better, and fast, old beater chevies and engines and such will be basically imposssible to get soon, in alot of regions, cept for like AZ, WA, etc where billions were sold and still survive and are still driven and etc,




    good luck
     
  9. vortec

    vortec 1/2 ton status

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    so, when you get these cheap engines, do you replace all the gaskets, bearings, etc? even though that can get pricey, it seems wise to me. would suck to put a "new" engine in and have a blown head gasket a week later.

    as far as mounts go, could i use a 350 or 396 (probably not) from some wrecked chevelles i've seen? how about 4th gen f-body motors? i've only done truck-truck and car-car motor swaps. haven't done a car-truck, so i'm not sure.
     
  10. diesel4me

    diesel4me 1 ton status Premium Member

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    Chevy motors interchange easily..

    A chevy motor is a chevy motor--both passenger car and truck motors will swap with no trouble...some had 4 bolt mains,etc,but the mounts and such are either the same,or you use your old brackets off the block...swapping a big block in place of a small block is not difficult,but you will need many of the big block specific parts to do it...

    Its best to buy a whole vehicle as suggested (usually cheaper than buying just a motor alone from a salvage yard)..that way you have all the "trinkets" at your disposal ,and after its all done,you can stuff all the crap you dont want like the old dead motor and cash it in for scrap!--I got my van motor free that way--bought a 73 Chevelle,gutted the motor,sold the tranny and some other parts,then stuffed it with all the leftovers and scrapped it for 175 bucks!.. :D

    Its probably a lot easier to install a motor of nearly the same vintage..newer EFI and computerized stuff is complicated to get working in an older truck,and can be costly..older motors seem to have more power and last longer than many of the newer designs,at least when installed in older trucks.. :crazy:
     
  11. 72k5chicago

    72k5chicago Registered Member

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    busted chevy motor debate

    I agree with diesel4me, buy a junk car/truck and pull the engine. chances are if you get another 350 in whatever you buy, between the parts you can salvage on busted motor, and parts you get with used car purchase, you can build a halfway decent replacement motor. even if the used car engine is a smaller v8, alot of chevy parts will swap right out. I once broke down while driving my 72k5 from atlanta to chicago, turned out was a stuck valve/ bent rod. my options while halfway home were limited not only by budget but also parts availability, and time. The cost of new heads/ and rods ect. were alot worse than the 74 chevy impala i bought to remedy the problem. i think i paid 400 bucks for the used car, and after pulling the parts in front of my roadside motel, was able to have the impala junked for a return of 100 bucks! good luck!
     
  12. MTMike

    MTMike 1/2 ton status

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    If something in fact did block oil flow to the back 2 cyls of the engine, I'd also be worried about the cam & valvetrain on that end of the engine as well.

    If it truly locked up while it was running, the amount of stress that some parts of that engine went under during the lock up would really deter me from not pulling the whole thing apart and having the crank & block inspected thouroughly.

    Just my $.02 :D
     
  13. vortec

    vortec 1/2 ton status

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    that's the way i'm thinking, also. even if i did get it running with just minimal parts, i'd just drive around wondering what would break next. not much fun. i'm not in the habit of doing things halfass like that, anyway. if i go junkyard, i'd be inclined to replace most of the gaskets on the "new" motor, just to be safe, while i have it pulled out. the peace of mind will be worth the money spent. head gaskets, for example, are so much easier with the engine out.

    i came across a caprice with a 99 vette engine, today. so much damage in the front, i don't think i'd trust the engine. shame.
     

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