Engine Drama Continued (From Sluggish Starting Issue) (R)

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Engine Drama Continued (From Sluggish Starting Issue) (R)

Postby TonyC » Sat Mar 06, 2021 7:40 pm

Hi, all,

As some of you know, Frankenstein went comatose last week. I drove him to a gas station to fill up and couldn't get the engine to fire up again without jumper help; then, on the way home, the engine ran very rough and sputtered out on me about a mile from home. This was part of a long-lasting starting problem since the deep freeze in Kansas last month. Everything I did with fuel and fire amounted to nothing, so I had to have the car dragged back home.

Today, on a hunch, I decided to tear into the front of the engine to see if the problem may lie deeper. Here is what I noticed when I finally got access to the timing components:

20210306_165409.jpg
Timing Gear Alignment (or lack thereof)


It may not be noticeable at first, but upon close examination you can see that the gears are not properly aligned. Before tearing the front apart, I placed the crankshaft exactly at 0º, exactly at TDC. The crank has not been shifted. It may not seem like a whole lot of deviation, but 462s are interference-configuration engines, so that to me is a lot of deviation. A little over a year ago, when I replaced the camshaft, I made redundant checks to make certain the gears were 100% aligned, and they were (I also checked the alignment of the timing ring on the balancer, which we all know is notorious for needing servicing, and it too was dead-on-balls accurate). This tells me the timing chain stretched out, causing this misalignment...and could be the root cause of my starting issues and subsequent engine failure. Luckily, it didn't jump a tooth, otherwise that could have caused a time-ram, which I certainly never want to experience.

I have new components, which I bought a couple days ago based on this hunch. I measured the two timing chains, and I can see that the old one (new in 2004, when I replaced the original components as part of an extensive surgery then) is at least 3mm, possibly 4, longer than the new one. Again, doesn't sound like much, but since valve timing is a critical precision part of the engine, I'd say that is significant. Here are visual aids:

20210306_173400.jpg
Timing Chains, Old and New, Length Comparison

20210306_173410.jpg
Timing Chains, Old and New, Length Comparison Close-Up


Tomorrow I'm renting a puller to remove the crank sprocket. It will still be several days before I can put the engine back together, as I'm waiting on a new front gasket set to come in; O'Reilly does not have a listing for front-cover gaskets, so I had to get a set from an E-Bay seller. So, maybe this could have been the immediate problem; it certainly explains why I had to retard my distributor to the end of its travel just to get the rotor lined up to #1 terminal with the 10º mark on the balancer, which was not the case before all this drama occurred.

Input is welcome, and I'll post updates when I have updates to post.

---Tony
Last edited by TonyC on Thu Nov 04, 2021 12:45 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Engine Drama Continued (From Sluggish Starting Issue)

Postby Mike » Sat Mar 06, 2021 8:38 pm

You've defiantly found something. If you turn the engine the other direction the dots would line up.
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Re: Engine Drama Continued (From Sluggish Starting Issue)

Postby TonyC » Sun Mar 07, 2021 4:26 am

Well, actually, no they wouldn't, not with everything still in place. Now, I could straighten the camshaft to line the gears up together, but since I have evidence of the chain stretching, that would be pointless. I did notice that the old chain did feel a bit slack even when it was still new; it was almost tempting to re-use the original chain which was significantly tighter, but I didn't. I wasn't sure how long it would last like that. Now I know: 16 years and 300,000 miles, give or take a few months and a few hundred miles.

Hopefully these new Cloyes parts will last even longer.

---Tony
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Re: Engine Drama Continued (From Sluggish Starting Issue)

Postby Dan Szwarc » Sun Mar 07, 2021 8:29 am

Chain is stretched. With the driving Tony does, I'm not surprised.
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Re: Engine Drama Continued (From Sluggish Starting Issue)

Postby tomo » Sun Mar 07, 2021 12:40 pm

Maybe it is the angle of the photo, but it looks like some of the teeth on the cam gear, in the left side of the photo are severely worn.

a bad timing gear.jpg
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Re: Engine Drama Continued (From Sluggish Starting Issue)

Postby action » Sun Mar 07, 2021 1:22 pm

I would assume both gears and chain will be replaced. But it is worth inspecting the gears for excessive wear.

If the cam gear has issues, the cam shaft thrust plate should be looked at or cam shaft end play should be measured. Excessive camshaft end play or cam walk can cause a number of issues. However to measure, the pressure has to be relieved from the lifters.

Excessive camshaft end play can cause excessive wear to
Cam lobes
Distributor gear
Lifters

And valves that do not fully open. The lifter is designed to ride on the center of the lobe not on the edge or side of a lobe.

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Re: Engine Drama Continued (From Sluggish Starting Issue)

Postby TonyC » Sun Mar 07, 2021 2:51 pm

Tom is right; the cam gear does have a lot of wear on the teeth. I think I even noticed a degree of bending on a few of them when I did a closer exam. I wouldn't doubt there is similar wear on the crank gear, which I still have to remove. Plus, that side is the side where the slack in the chain is most noticeable. Being that it spins clockwise, just imagine the effect of that slack when the engine is spinning. I didn't check the deflection per the manual's guidance, but based on this picture I don't think it necessary at this point; it looks significantly more than the 1/2" maximum the shop manual states. I'm lucky I didn't shatter the front cover. Here is another visual aid to show how much slack there is on the old chain:

20210306_165640.jpg
Timing Chain Slack


This was what gave me pause in 2004 when I last changed those components; this chain had a good amount of slack when it was new (although likely a little less than it does now). The new chain doesn't have the same length, as I showed in the other visual aids, which is a good thing; that tells me the deflection will be within specs for many years to come.

And yes, Action, all three components are being changed out. I'll also remember to check the camshaft end play; I know there is no walk, but I'll check the end play. I will have plenty of time to do these checks, as my new front-cover gasket set will not arrive until Thursday...and since the puller I rented happens to be too small, I have to bring it back and get my mitts on a bigger puller, one that has a 5" reach. That may mean buying one, but oh well...I need one, and that will be one less tool to get for future projects.

---Tony
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Re: Engine Drama Continued (From Sluggish Starting Issue)

Postby elcad70 » Tue Mar 09, 2021 8:37 am

Now I know: 16 years and 300,000 miles, give or take a few months and a few hundred miles.

I thought they came with a lifetime replacement warranty. Have you thought about taking it back to the dealer and complaining?
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Re: Engine Drama Continued (From Sluggish Starting Issue)

Postby TonyC » Tue Mar 09, 2021 1:09 pm

Well, I bought that old set from RockAuto in 2004. Being that it's been so long ago, considering the number of miles I ticked off since then (as Dan so accurately indicated :D ), and considering that I don't have anything saved to indicate proof of my purchase, I felt it best to just buy a new set from O'Reilly, which could get the parts in faster. These Cloyes parts are really nice, and the cam sprocket is all-metal like the old set, not the aluminum-nylon construction of the original. Plus, the chain is shorter than the one I got from RockAuto, which should guarantee good deflection for many years to come (which could be longer than I have left).
20210308_171359.jpg
New Cloyes Timing Components (available thru O'Reilly)

I finally got the right-size puller yesterday and managed to take off the crank gear and press the new one in place. This time I pressed the new gear in place, using an adjustable press which I concocted from PVC pipe fittings I found in the local hardware store. Today, after I clean off everything I took off, I'll try lining up the gears and installing the chain...and also tweaking the alignment of the distributor shaft, which now looks like it's gone too far ahead. Setting it back one tooth should bring it back into ideal alignment.

On an additional note, I got my front-cover gasket set this morning, and I was really impressed with what I got! The set I ordered has the correct front oil seal for our MEL engines, not the '58 design that Fel-Pro's gasket sets have! There was one concern I had with the set I got, however, which I brought to the seller's attention: There was only one water-pump gasket in the set, not the two that are required. But everything else was there—the gasket for the cover itself, the fuel pump gasket, the section for the oil pan, and the aforementioned correct front oil seal. I brought the issue of the missing water-pump gasket to the seller's attention, which is not really an issue for me; I have a spare pair of gaskets to use, and I also have a small roll of gasket material to cut my own, which I can do with the one gasket they sent as a template. I strongly recommend this set to everyone here who will be in need of a front-cover gasket set. The brand is Bestgasket, and the ID is GS 12076 X.
20210309_112950.jpg
Bestgasket Front-Cover Gasket Set

The seller I got this from is Cars, LLC, located in Branchburg, NJ (http://www.oldbuickparts.comon the web). I also found another source for this same set, so there are options out there for Forum members. Considering that the parts-store chains do not carry listings for front-cover gasket sets, this info should be a must for Forum members.

---Tony
"Don't believe everything you read on the Internet, just because there is a picture with a quote next to it." (Abraham Lincoln, 1866)
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Re: Engine Drama Continued (From Sluggish Starting Issue)

Postby frasern » Tue Mar 09, 2021 6:55 pm

That Cloyes set is the one I put on my '62, nice fitting part. Interesting fact, the chain is the same one used on the 460, and Buick nailhead, just the gears are different.
( I said it was interesting, not relevant )
I'm sure you know this, but when you remove the distributor, check the roll pin. I have never seen one shear, but have heard it can happen.
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Re: Engine Drama Continued (From Sluggish Starting Issue)

Postby TonyC » Wed Mar 10, 2021 12:00 am

I'm sure the distributor is intact; it turned smoothly when I rotated the camshaft. With all the yanking and reinserting I had to do to finally get it at the right angle and fully sunk into place, I'm sure I would have noticed if the roll pin had sheared.

Well, with the timing gears secured and the distributor realigned, I'm over the halfway mark. I have to say, the chain is clearly so much tighter between the gears than the old chain was when it was new! I'm sure I will not have any more physical-timing issues for a long time.
20210309_160603.jpg
New Timing Set In Place

I'm waiting on a couple of sets of steering pump rubber mounts to replace the ones that were clearly worn out, at which point the job can be completed (I got two for good measure, although I need only one). Assuming that this operation is a success and the engine comes out of its coma, the next surgery will be the heads. I have one question for the vets. When I yank off the heads, I also would like to replace a freeze plug on the right side that sprang a leak a few years ago. I did manage to stifle the leak to some extent, but the real answer will be to replace it. Due to its location, it's a bear to get to with the engine in the bay; but I'm thinking that, with the head and exhaust manifold off and out of the way, and raising the engine a bit, I may be able to get to it. I have a complete set of freeze plugs that I bought shortly after I first noticed that leak, and this is my question: The shop manual says to apply sealant to the new plug before driving it into place. What kind of sealant would I need for a freeze plug? I want to know whether I will need to buy something, or if it's something I have already on hand. Thanks, all.

---Tony
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Re: Engine Drama Continued (From Sluggish Starting Issue)

Postby action » Wed Mar 10, 2021 2:06 am

The sealant does not have to be a special kind. There isn't that much pressure (20 psi at tops) and the sealing properties are more of a back up as the plug does the heavy lifting or sealing. It does have to stand up to may be 250 to 300 degrees of temp. Be resistant to petroleum which most are. The sealant would be the same you might use on the head gasket or any metal to metal sealant. The other charastic is a lubricant during installation. I would avoid silicone mostly because the stuff is nasty on modern car sensors. Not much to worry about on a MEL but I don't buy any silicon based sealant so it never is used accidently.

Likely you have some stuff on hand.

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Re: Engine Drama Continued (From Sluggish Starting Issue)

Postby TonyC » Wed Mar 10, 2021 3:45 pm

Good, thank you, Action. :smt006 With that in mind, I am thinking that a copper spray-type sealant may do the trick. I used to have a can of that, when I first replaced a head gasket in 2004; but with the last job I had done the instructions that came with the new gasket warned not to use any kind of sealant on it, so I didn't bother buying another can. The head gaskets that are part of the total-gasket set I have don't have any such instructions included, so I'm wondering whether I should use that spray on the new heads when I get to that (which should be soon). But it sounds like a good deal to at least use that on the freeze plug.

I also have a can of The Right Stuff (I know, silicon-based, but should not have an issue with this engine) and JB Weld on hand...but if it's advised to use the copper sealant on the head gaskets, I can just buy a can of that and use it on both heads and plug.

---Tony
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Re: Engine Drama Continued (From Sluggish Starting Issue)

Postby LithiumCobalt » Wed Mar 10, 2021 5:01 pm

Never knew the head gaskets required any kind of sealant. I don't remember reading that in the service manual. At any rate, I put the gaskets on dry on both of my 67's without adverse effect.
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Re: Engine Drama Continued (From Sluggish Starting Issue)

Postby action » Wed Mar 10, 2021 5:23 pm

Some people use sealer. And it depends on application
I prefer dry as well but have used engine oil on an older application. (NonFord)
And would defer to shop manual.
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