Crank removal while in car... am I crazy? - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 47 (permalink) Old Oct 21st, 03, 04:46 AM Thread Starter
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I have a 68 with a 327, I am pretty sure that the crank needs to be turned. I removed the pan to look underneath, but I have no place to hoist out the engine and flip it over to remove the crank. Would it be insane of me to remove, grind, and install the crank while the engine is in the car?
Is this possible, or even heard of?
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post #2 of 47 (permalink) Old Oct 21st, 03, 06:56 AM
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You would be certifiably insane to try it [img]tongue.gif[/img]

Have you thought about what it would be like to try holding a 55lb crankshaft over your head with one hand while keeping the bearings clean, correctly aligned, rods out of the way, and installing a main bearing cap . . . while the engine is jacked up and dangling from a hoist with the other? Don't know about your situation, but it only takes me about 2 hours to pull my engine and 3 or 4 hours to put it back in.

Seriously though, I don't think you could physically raise the engine high enough for the crank to clear the crossmember - its hard enough just to get the oil pan off with the engine in the car.

. . . and if the crank needs to be turned the cylinder bores are probably in rough shape too.

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post #3 of 47 (permalink) Old Oct 21st, 03, 07:15 AM Thread Starter
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The engine has less than 500 miles on it. I believe this was either poor craftsmanship, or some other problem. I am still not sure that it is the crank that is causing my problem (rap rap rap on the bottom end). Thing is, the machine shop warrantee ran out.

I was thinking that if it comes to it, I could use something similar to a transmission jack to put the crank in place, then I could attach the 3 middle journal caps. The crank should be supported enough to remove the jack at that point, right?
Then with luck I will place on the front and rear caps + seal.
It sucks to be young and poor without a nice garage to do your work in.
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post #4 of 47 (permalink) Old Oct 21st, 03, 07:17 AM Thread Starter
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post #5 of 47 (permalink) Old Oct 21st, 03, 07:58 AM
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You will definately regret doing it that way if you try! I am the king of shortcuts and I wouldnt try it!!
Milan

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post #6 of 47 (permalink) Old Oct 21st, 03, 08:38 AM
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For the amount of work it would take it is not even close to being worth it. If you can even get the crank out to beging with, putting it back in would be close to if not impossible (to do it coreectly). Along with the problems Eric mentioned, you will probably have to pull both heads so you can get the pistons up high enough (probably out of the bore) that the rods will clear the crank. If you were to manage it, that crank would be so dirty and knicked up by the time the job was done it would need to be turned again. Save yourself the trouble and don't even try it.

Check a few other things before you assume it's the crank or a rod. Are you sure your flexplate/flywheel is tight? Torque convertor bolts tight? "Balancer" (Damper) is fully seated and tight (not hitting the timing pointer or cover)? Is there a windage tray or scraper in the oil pan? If so make sure the rotating assy. is not contacting it. Does your dipstick have the lower tube on it? If so make sure it is not interfering with anything.

You have to know someone that has a lift and an engine stand you can borrow or pay to help you. You don't have to have a garage (though it makes it a lot nicer), if you are willing to lay on the ground and try to pull the bottom end, then standing up out side with the engine on a stand is a cake walk.

I won't answer the question you asked "Am I crazy" at this point. Get back to me if you actually try it, I will have an answer for you then, LOL

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post #7 of 47 (permalink) Old Oct 21st, 03, 10:19 AM
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Since the pan is off, what about pulling the main caps one at a time to check the bearing. Same for the rods... Might not be able to see the block side of the bearings but if it's a knock caused by an oil starved bearing or detionation damaged bearing I would think the cap sides would show it.

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post #8 of 47 (permalink) Old Oct 22nd, 03, 03:57 AM Thread Starter
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Sounds like a good idea (the pulling off of the caps, not the installation of the crank). I'll have to get to it this weekend. I'll keep you guys posted.
Also, what is a windage tray? How would I tell if there is contact there? It is strange. The clanky-clank only comes after 1500 RPM, not at idle. Plus the engine has plenty of power. It is not anything to do with the top end (everything but the heads has been replaced. There are no apparent shinies in the oil, either.
What causes oil starvation? Clogged galley?
Oh, and what does a bad bearing look like?
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post #9 of 47 (permalink) Old Oct 22nd, 03, 04:15 AM
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Ryan,

A real simple check for bearing damage is to remove your oil filter and cut it apart. I have a cutter made for this, but a pair of tin snips work fine also. Just be careful as the metal is very sharp. Cut the bottom end off and pull the filter out. Spread apart the pleats in the filter and look for debris. If the bearing(s) are gone you'll have visible metal in the filter.

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post #10 of 47 (permalink) Old Oct 22nd, 03, 04:34 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks, Jody.
If I do not have metal in the filter, can I assume the bearings are OK?
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post #11 of 47 (permalink) Old Oct 22nd, 03, 05:22 AM
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Not positively, but I've never seen a clean filter from an engine with a bearing problem, especially if it's making audible noise. What it will do is confirm major damage if it's full of metal and eliminate any more screwing around with it in the car. At that point it needs to come out.

If it's completely clean you'll still have to keep looking for a problem somewhere. Loose convertor bolts can knock, changing with rpm, cracked flexplate makes some weird noises that come and go with rpm, etc.

Jody


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post #12 of 47 (permalink) Old Oct 22nd, 03, 07:26 AM
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If you have a flexplate/converter, look there at the bolts. If you have a stick, there ain't any way to get the crank out as the tranny pilot will still be inside the end of the crank. It is not that difficult to pull a motor if needed but lets try to minimize the effort.

I would be checking the easy stuff first as the guys advise. [img]smile.gif[/img]

-Mark.
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post #13 of 47 (permalink) Old Oct 23rd, 03, 03:31 AM Thread Starter
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Can I remove the converter/flex plate and then run the car to check?
Also, what if the engine is relatively new, doesn't some metal end up in the filter during the break-in period?
Thanks,
Ryan
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post #14 of 47 (permalink) Old Oct 23rd, 03, 05:50 AM
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Believe it or not, guys, I have seen this procedure done, out & in, in one day. Back in college, the mechanic at the station, pulled out the crankshaft with flex plate, had it turned at the local shop, and car was running at 4 PM. This was a full size 68 Chev Impala.

He started at 8 AM., unbolted the t/conv, shoved it back, blocked up the front of engine, I think he used a 4X4 plus a 2X4 per side (for the height, car was on a drive-on hoist), unbolted the rod caps and shoved all of the rods up to TDC, removed the h/bal & timing chain, removed the main caps, tongue in left corner of lips, crank was out. Installation was reverse.

Machine shop turned it, fit a set brgs, and crank installed that PM. Like I said, running at 4 PM.

I was amazed. But, yes, as with others here, I'd check the small (easy) stuff first. If no metal in pan and/or filter, it could be piston slap. But this most definite at cold start-up. If you were to disconnect a cylinder at one time, does the knock go away? Is oil pressure good? Fifteen lbs @ idle and 40 lbs at 2500 rpm? Rocker arm clatter?

Keep us posted.......

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post #15 of 47 (permalink) Old Oct 23rd, 03, 05:56 AM
 
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with bearing damage you will most likely see alot of metal, and it may be flaky. break-in metal will be difficult to detect, i think. with bearing damage, you also may see metal flakes in the oil from the pan.

i have seen my brother do "the crazy thing" on a '69 mustang 4 speed, but he wishes he could've pulled the engine to do it. we were living in an apartment and had no $$, so it was his only option. his problem was low oil pressure due to worn bearings.

you can replace both upper and lower bearings without removing the crank, but if the bearings are damaged, the crank will be too. you can run the engine without the converter or flexpate (or transmission) attached. you can also disconnect the rods one at a time and move them to check for play and sticking at the wrist pin. it's not a good test, but with that much noise, you may be able to detect something.

i would also check the converter, bolts, and flexplate first as others said. also since you already have the pan off, look inside it for anything which would cause interferrence, and would have a shiny spot from rubbing. also look up at the engine and spin the crank to observe any clearence problems with the dipstick tube or pump pickup-again-shiny spots from rubbing.
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