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I know aluminum heads save weight but as far as adding power is there enough bang for the buck to justify it?

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04 Wrangler Unlimited, 67 F100
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I know aluminum heads save weight but as far as adding power is there enough bang for the buck to justify it?

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Imo it depends on cr. Swapping aluminum heads house with preventing detonation and increasing horsepower.
 

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Discussion Starter · #303 ·
I think power numbers can jump pretty high, on the scale of 100-200 hp over stock with the right combo of head assembly, piston geometry & cam.
Regardless, in my very mild build, i'm still faster than my buddy so all is well.

In other news, I dropped off the engine at the shop (thanks for the recommendation, Tank) and I got a call back this morning.
The bores are out of round. 2 thou over on the top and 1 thou on the bottom.
Their plan is to bore it again, which would put me at .040 over (it was 30 over already). Fun fact, that makes my new engine size a 468.8

Any theories on why that happened to my bores though?
 

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2 thou over on the top and 1 thou on the bottom.
normal to get 5-7 thousandths of taper before it'll start burning oil from that alone, just normal for the top to wear more as it's fuel washed.

How far out of round were they? A couple thousandths isn't all that terrible, but a machine shop will trump it up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #307 ·
^thanks for the tip, Tommy.
I'll keep it in mind if I ever get a bug & want to upgrade my heads.
I asked the shop what could possibly cause the bores to be all wacky like we were seeing and he said "this one I'm not sure... it looked like the last shop bored it but didn't hone it or something"

Anyway, I got my engine back from the machine shop. Bored 10 over, re-honed. hot tank. all new bearings & seals, new oil pump. Same cam, crank and rods though. Pretty fresh little short block now.

Started putting the heads & valvetrain back together last night & dropped my intake manifold off to get bead blasted so it looks nice & clean again.

 

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Discussion Starter · #308 ·
The engine is back together, I started the first cuts on the engine cage in advance of installing the motor this weekend.
Tried to cut the minimum I think is required as it's always easier to remove more metal. More of this will probably end up coming out but I wanted to attempt to preserve as many of the fender mounts as I could while making space for the new radiator.

 

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Discussion Starter · #310 ·
Universal. Bought a big Griffen that is about as wide as my frame rails so the front end of the cage had to go.
 

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Discussion Starter · #311 · (Edited)
Well here I am sitting at work on the 31st while most of you are still in the dez.
May as well upload a few pictures from the sprint I had recently to attempt to make the JV new years trip (& failed)

First, some notes. The *reason* I had to cram all this work into a small amount of time was because it took longer than expected to get my motor back. Then on the weekend when I had planned to install it with help from Leal, we discovered that the shop had forgotten to give me back the block plate/spacer plate & my flywheel. which meant there was no point to installing the engine & trans when i was just going to have to pull them on the following week. That ate a whole weekend of progress and forced me into late nights during the week.
//endComplaining

I'm really glad mitered tube work is acceptable now because I don't know how else I would have pulled off this engine cage fuckery with the existing stuff, short of an even larger overhaul.

started with figuring out the radiator mount. Tight fit considering it had to sit above the power steering box, but below the hood and not get chopped up by the fan.
Running 1/4" neoprene rubber between the rad & the steel.


dented from shipping, new replacement backordered but in-bound.


Then moved on to figuring out how the eff to make the cage fit around this new monster.
A few miters, and a commitment to an asymmetric cage & we're all good. The driver's side needed a little bend in the down-tube to clear the power steering pulleys where-as the passenger side wanted to be straight to clear the filler hose & to be stronger.




Then I had to figure out how to clamp down on the radiator with the low head-space. I put the hood back on and noted that I have nearly zero room above the radiator cap to the hood, but it does slop upwards back towards the cowl.
This threw out all plans for a vertical-mounted bolt/rod end setup.
I doodled for a few minutes & figured that I can probably do a rocker-style clamp mechanism that would require low head space.
I'm not thrilled on the execution of this... but it seems to work. Happy to hear more ideas from folks.


Then a misc job, I had to add another full-manifold vacuum port to my engine somehow. My intake manifold is dual plane and I think one of the problems I was having was the PCV valve was only getting a 1/2 engine's worth of vacuum since I had it run to a port on one of the runners. The brake booster took the only full-vacuum port on the carb.
Solution - take the carb spacer that I already need to have my carb linkage clear the manifold and add an 1/8" NPT port to the side wall. 1/8" NPT to 3/8" hose barb and hopefully that helps the motor breathe better.
Problem - the spacer is only 1/2" thick and the nominal OD of 1/8" npt is like .366 or something like that. Meant i needed to locate the port pretty perfectly centered on the spacer to avoid going through the wall.
Next problem: the mill that I have access to is sometimes occupied by normal work. I got there towards the end of the guys' shift and asked about their setup. I couldn't break it down, but they were gracious enough to help me figure out a way to jimmy a little setup so I could drill my hole square. this was the solution:


With all that done, I tried to get the motor running.
I got it started with a wag at timing the distributor but it didn't stay running for very long (no choke, cold, bad timing set).
I wasn't getting oil pressure - checked the sending unit & found that I think I tore the diaphragm. It's an autometer unit so no late-night off-the-shelf solutions were available.
Continued trying to get it to stay running, difficult by yourself, and was snooping around looking for leaks & i found one. Coolant coming from between the intake manifold & the block. Didn't seal that well enough, apparently.
Also sounded like it had a wicked exhaust leak.
Found those problems at ~midnight before we were leaving for the lakebed & had to cut my losses.

The hustle isn't over though, I still have to scoot to get this thing ready for Baja in 3 weeks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #312 ·
goll-dang, ya'll. Sorry for the lack of updates, I didn't realize it had been this long. To be fair, I can't post on pirate from my work computer anymore, so that really hampered things since I don't actually own my own laptop either. //end excuses.

Let's get up to speed, shall we?

Christyle said:
Sooooooo, how about the next updates.

Seems like decent old shops are only ran by senile old guys who forget things...haha
Yeah, that was a fun discovery.
So after JV I pulled my intake manifold off to deal with the leak issue. I figured it was worth a little investigating to try and double check that I was indeed getting oil pressure despite having a fubar'd sending unit so I hooked up my drill to my oil pump priming tool and ran her for a few seconds to find oil gushing out of the tower inside the lifter valley. Check the pic below.
Not entirely sure what that tower is for (oil crossover something something) but all sources indicate that there are supposed to be 2 little plugs in it.
Went back to the machine shop, wagged my finger at the dudes, they gave me the plugs, got those installed, new intake manifold gaskets, rejiggered my RTV method & got it all sealed up.

Then Andrew came by and helped me get the thing running. So much easier with a 2nd person being able to watch timing & run the starter, etc. We were able to confirm oil pressure before installing the dizzy, then find TDC & set the dizzy roughly and get it started.
Got the timing dialed in with a vacuum gage, sitting at right on 20 degress before TDC at like 500 rpms.
(note: i fix this coming up shortly)

Still need to run it a bit & see what more I can dial in on the carb but at least we're running now!
Next up: re-do hood pin mounts, grill mounts, trailing arms, then general prep items.
 

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Discussion Starter · #313 ·
After getting reamed by my buddies on our club's forum for being an idiot with my carb, I went back and did a bunch of reading, then got to here:
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Everything is painted now. Or at least as painted as I could get it with the engine & radiator in the way & fully filled up with fluids.

Reset base timing to 10 degrees last night.
Also hooked up my vacuum gage and dialed in the idle mixture screws. Ended up adjusting them in roughly 1/4 turn each to hit max vacuum, which is ~17-18 inHg. Idle at 800 rpm park. Real fun dance balancing the idle speed, versus timing, versus mixture. Went around to each of those settings 3-4 times last night until I got everything stable.
Andrew is coming by tonight to help me investigate max timing & finish honing in on the final set points.
Then I gotta drive it and iterate a few times on the jet sizes by checking the plugs.

I was going to test drive it last night but I discovered that neither of my headlights want to work. They're getting 12 volts but not igniting the HID bulbs.
I suspect either the igniter or the ballast took a dump at some point during the downtime or during disassembly.
Going to replace with some standard LED bulbs to take some more parts out of the equation.

also starting on the new trailing arm build this weekend. small amount of lathe work, 2 bent tubes, and then hopefully all my nc plasma cut parts fit nicely. fingers crossed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #314 ·
theeeen this update from early january.
You'll see that I had been scrambling to get things done and the reason was because a buddy had an offroad bachelor party planned in baja that I sorted out the route for. I really wanted to do it in my truck, so you do what you gotta do.
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Big weekend.
I welded up the main structure for my new trailing arms. Tonight i have to machine a couple little steel sleeves that will reinforce the shock bolt bearing area & also help set the right spacing to the shock.
Then on the truck i'll have to setup the new arms, cycle & figure out where the new limit strap tab wants live & then burn those on. Prime & paint.

not sure if I ever mentioned this before, but we discovered a serious problem with my distributor. The mechanical advance mechanism wasn't working so i was running only base timing at all RPMs for who knows how long. This explains why I had evidence of running rich & the resulting blowby caused by, we suspect, fuel washed cylinders.
Our first indication that something was wrong - I had rejetted the carb during the rebuild from a 74 down to a 72. During our attempts at checking total advance we started seeing red exhaust pipes - a clear sign of lean conditions.
A timing light confirmed the advance wasn't working.
pulling the cap off the rotor & the top plate popped right off. It isn't supposed to. There are 2 pins that hook the springs & mount the top plate of the advance mechanism, and those pins are meant to be pressed/fixed to the baseplate below them. mine were blown out & came right out.
New, better billet HEI distributor ordered next day from Summit. that'll be here Tuesday.

Also got some help from Leal & Andrew.
Leal got my replacement steering box installed. The old one was leaking a bit out of the sector shaft (i think?) but more importantly the mounting threads got all chingered up somehow. so new box & new bolts was the fastest method to fix all of those issues simultaneously.
He also got rid of all the crud related to my busted HID headlights & installed my new LED bulbs & their sockets. new weatherpacks & bam.
Also got my front turn signals / parking lights operating. The old 1969 socket was completely rusted solid to the point where it was impossible to get the bulb out since it was frozen solid with rust on the little springy doodad. He punched the old ones out & we zipped on some new sockets that I picked up from amazon. new led bulbs there too & we're back in business.
Andrew came by & re-jetted my carb, pulled the other trailing arm + shock off the truck & got koren bbq with me, haha.






 

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Discussion Starter · #315 ·
So I did eventually make it for the baja trip. this one was a ton of trucks and people and we smashes around on the east side of the peninsula.
I came back with transmission cooling problems and i still can't idle for very long but I sort of expected that. I need a fan shroud to go with my new big radiator. Percebu did not disappoint yet again.









 

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Discussion Starter · #316 ·
Then I went for a quick weekend trip to Rasor Road OHV ahead up near the lake bed on Mojave road.





In mexico i realized that something was seriously wrong with my headlight situation. Water intrusion through the crappy aftermarket headlight buckets w/ replaceable bulbs. Swapped for a sealed LED light assembly. havent tested them yet, but i'm hopeful.


 

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Discussion Starter · #318 ·
nice update and jealous of the trip pictures as always :rolleyes: so did the motor over haul fix the blow by issues you where having with pushing oil out everywhere ?
oh yeah, it did.
The cylinder walls were a few thousandths out of round.

I ended up discovering that my old distributor's mechanical advance mechanism was broken so I was only running static timing at the upper RPMs. That would lead to some fuel washing on the cylinder walls and thereby prematurely wear it out & start blowing by.
New dizzy is a billet more gooder one and I didn't see any signs of oil leaks out of the old holes on that last mexico trip.
 
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