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Engine 'testing'...

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by 90blzr, Dec 14, 2004.

  1. 90blzr

    90blzr 1/2 ton status

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    Here is the situation. I have a '91 V3500 crew cab 4x4 SRW with a 454 in it that I am gonna get started on redoing little by little. I've had the truck for a good year or more and its just been sitting. Motor is all stock. It has some oil leaks here and there. It starts up, and runs (loud...dual 3" ehxaust all the way back). Doesnt seem to smoke, etc. I havent driven it on the street other than real quick back and forth. The radiator was shot.

    I am gonna pull the motor out to replace the rear main, and other gaskets, etc.
    My question is, what tests can I do to see if the engine is in fact good? Anything I can check or pull part to check I dont mind. I dont have the $$ right now for a full on rebuild of the motor, so if its bad, it will sit for a while. I just dont want to dump $$ into it replacing gaskets and the time to put it back in if its got issues.

    I may have too just put it back in and run it, but if there are some tests/checks I can do to help eliminate some possible problems, it would ease my mind.

    Since I got it I have tossed the idea around and would love to convert it to diesel as Cam was thinking about, but the funds arent there right now, so I am gonna have to take the truck down and redo it and run the big block for a while

    Thanks!
     
  2. nvrenuf

    nvrenuf NONE shall pass! Premium Member

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    Do a compression test before you pull it out (so you can benefit from using the starter to turn it over). Once out, since you'll have the oil pan off you could pull one rod and one main cap to inspect the bearings (pull the forward most caps since they're furthest from the oil pump). I would suggest maybe installing new freeze plugs while it's out and easy in case the old ones are rotten (you can look for corrosion in the water jackets then too).

    That's all I can think of right now.
     
  3. bigburban383

    bigburban383 1/2 ton status

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    You should also check your bearing clearances w/ plastiguage. Its really easy, just a lot of tightening the bolts. Your bearings revolve around if your engine is going to last since thats where most of the moving parts are. I don't know what the specs are for big blocks, but you should be under .005 clearance at the most. You could maybe replace the oil pump too while your in there, preferably a higher volume for those larger clearances. You can also inspect the cylinder walls, a well maintained engine should still have the factory cross-hatch on the lower half of the cylinder wall. You can even replace the rings if you got the motivation since you will already be taking off the rods caps and main caps. Hell, if your doing all that replace the bearings. Although all that stuff does add up (bearings, oil pump, rings). You can do with out some of that, just check your clearances and you'll be golden...assuming you put everything back together correctly :)
     
  4. SUBFAN

    SUBFAN 1/2 ton status

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    How many miles are on the motor? Was the oil pressure good? Has it led a rough life, lots of towing running hot and such? Plenty of power?

    I agree with the compression test....If that comes out good, and the oil pressure was good, all I would do is drop in a cam and timing chain. If there aren't to many miles on the mootor and you don't get carried away with the cam then you can re-use the valve springs.

    A few new gaskets and a fresh coat of paint ENJOY....
     
  5. 90blzr

    90blzr 1/2 ton status

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    I havent had the truck on the road, so I am not sure what the oil pressure was. There is no battery hooked up to it now. I am thinking of rigging a good radiator up to it to let it run for a while to check oil pressure, etc.
    Not sure how many miles are on the engine. Its not 'clean' but that doesnt mean anything really. I got the truck at auction, so dont know much history on it. It does start right up though.
    I'll get an oil pressure guage and do a compression test and report back with numbers before I tear into it though.
    Thanks for the help.
     
  6. camiswelding

    camiswelding 1/2 ton status

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    let me know mike... we have sister trucks... and I have done some of what you are thinking of doing... gaskets etc...there I can be a help since I have been down that road...
    cam
     

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