Engine Upgrade - Part 2 - 01/29/2016

Continuing the progress, slowly but surely over the last few days.

Intake is removed and reveals the valley pan. The grommet for the PCV is hard as a rock and there's a lovely nest of nuts, shells, and rodent pee underneath it all.

The valley pan is removed to reveal the pushrods, lifters, and lifter valley. Despite someone's preference for an entire tube of orange silicone, it is surprisingly clean down inside here. The cam is stamped "537441" which is a 1966-1969 326-400 2bbl cam. The lifter on the intake of #6 does not spin when the cam is moved. The engine is surprisingly difficult to turn over with the spark plugs, a good sign.

There is this accumulation of sludge right where the oil drains back into the valley from the head, right under the exhaust crossover. Never seen an engine sludge up here before, time is taken to carefully remove it all.

Covering up the lifter valley to prevent crap from getting in.

When I went to pick up the valley pan the other night, it seemed excessively heavy. I turned it upside down and was shocked to find it was completely plugged up with oil sludge and gunk. I ended up beating on it with a hammer to loosen the big chunks, a screwdriver to loosen the smaller ones and scrape them out, and Simple Green to clean it all up. The bucket in the sink is halfway full of the crap that came out, it weighs almost 5lbs. This is the result of lots of short trips around town and never changing your oil. CHANGE YOUR OIL REGULARLY PEOPLE!!! No more sludge is rattling around in the valley pan, so the smaller pieces left will likely break up over time since I use diesel oil with higher detergent quantity.

Valley pan is now ready for some love taps for fitment on the block, wire-wheeling, hitting with brake cleaner, paint, and assembly on the engine.

Since the cam has to come out, I have to pull the engine. To do that I need to remove the hood. Audrey was gracious enough to assist me in this and despite both of us nearly killing ourselves we got it off and stowed safely on the roof. The car will be backed out this weekend to facilitate removal of the engine and replacement of the cam. At the same time the block will be de-greased, cleaned up, and repainted. Wiring that needs it will be fixed and replaced since critters obviously made a nest in this car for some time. The battery cables will be replaced with 2ga ones to prevent hot starts.

Progress is slow but sure at this point. It's been 25-35F outside with snow, and since the car has to be partially outside for part of the work I've been putting that off as long as I can. Now we're ready to do that. Intake and valley pan will be wire-wheeled off the car and painted separately. Engine block will be de-greased with brake cleaner after I scrape as much grime off as possible. Then the engine will be painted, cam swapped, and engine dropped back in for re-assembly. The heads I was going to use are covered in cosmoline and it has since hardened in the 30+ years they've been in storage. Unfortunately this means they won't be going on the engine at this time and I'll be putting in an 068 clone cam in the Melling SPC-7. Once I get the heads ready they will likely go on in a weekend without too much trouble and help the engine out a bit. Not everything needs to be a race car...

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Last updated January 29th, 2016