The New Engine! - Part 4 - 04/14/2007

Yet more progress on the new engine. Now that paint has been stripped, it's time to get to proper business such as dealing with the stripped oil drain plug and verifying the valvetrain and bottom end stability.

Stupid crappy pan. A new one is ordered from Ames for $175. Screw digging in the piles for a good one, I don't want to deal with this problem again. Me and oil pans just do NOT get along considering my track record...

Remove a rod cap to check the bearings. Steve ran this engine when he first got it and it sounded good, but we're not taking chances. A rock test will reveal any obvious weakness in the bearings.

GM rod bearings...

Going to remove these drain plugs to allow easier drainage of the block when we get it REAL hot on the test stand.

Removed plug. Drain was completely plugged with gunk.

Use a tap to clean the threads up!

Passenger side is done too. Petcocks are installed to allow easy draining.

We're this far in, might as well remove the valley pan! It's liable to be a scary sight...

...and yeah it's bad!

This valley pan is disgusting. A 1/2" bead of silicon was used to seal it by some moron somewhere...

A little cleaning begins with WD-40.

It's helping...

More cleaning! Gotta keep the crank throws nice and clean.

Black goop is running out of the engine. Better here than in the oil pan clogging the pickup screen!

Hey, it's getting cleaner!

Cleaning out the cam area, lots less sludge now. WD-40 works miracles at dissolving old oil sludge.

Remove the cam plate...

...because there is a wiped cam lobe! The #7 intake lobe was down to ~.180" of lift. The cam measured out at 0.330" lift, I have no idea what cam this is as it has no part number on it.

Cam bearings are nice and clean. A couple more hours with WD-40 should get this thing ready for reinstall! A new cam will be procured from the local CarQuest. It's going to be a stock replacement, none of this 3/4 race cam garbage.

You may ask yourself why all this effort for a 350? I like to consider this practice for the big 455 that has the death rattle on startup. Better to do it on an engine that isn't anything special and is quite common than on a 455 that people pay good money for. And I like to have a hand in my projects!

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Last updated April 14th, 2007