Engine Exposed to the elements - Team Camaro Tech
Engine General Engine Discussion.

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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old Dec 14th, 04, 06:31 PM Thread Starter
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Location: KS
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Can an engine block (actually a rotating assembly or at least it used to) be salvaged after sitting open to the elements? I have a '68 396 that was left outside without heads or an intake. The good news is that it was stored upside down and off the ground... bad news it was in the humid Kansas weather...for who knows how long (I'm guessing 8 years at least.) Any chance it might still be good? or should I pitch it (recycle it)without bothering with it? It's supposedly a 68 Chevelle 396 (and it is marked pass on it) but I haven't bothered with the numbers yet.

Any insights would be great (yes I understand it'd have to be checked out in any event, I'm just looking for prior experiences good or bad) My only prior experience was that the block cracked from sitting on the ground. It was reasonably well-sealed (and still turned)and I salvaged everything else.

If I CAN salavge it, should I just pour old engine oil down the cylinders every so often... Tear it apart and whack the pistons out with a good sized hammer? Drop it on a busload of nuns?
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old Dec 14th, 04, 06:44 PM
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I would guess it'll be ok. Cast iron usually just gets surface rust, it doesn't penetrate deep into the metal. Look at a set of manifolds, the rust is only a coule thousandths thick.

Most likely, the bearings and journals will still have oil on em and be fine. Tough part is gettin the pistons out. Ya, oil em up and let em soak for a while, then just beat the suckers outa there. Running a ridge reamer around the top of the bore'll help some.

I did one once, had been sitting ina boneyard for god only knows how long with the plugs out... squited can after can of liquid wrench ti in, for a couple of weeks. Finally got it to turn with a really big wrench (bout 4 foot!) kept squit oil in and turning it, finally got it so the starter would crank it, all the oil squirted out, put the plugs back in, vroom!

Takes a lot to kill a chevy.

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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old Dec 14th, 04, 07:11 PM
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Send it in for a good cleaning,mag and bore. Get it home clean it up with brushes and tide then build your self a big block.

If they use any kind of media to clean it, shot or walnut be sure it's cleaned very well. Check all the oil galleys with air and brake cleaner to make sure they have the media cleaned out, then clean it again with brushes, then bore etc.

It will not be a problem you just have to use caution.


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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old Dec 14th, 04, 07:56 PM
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The biggest thing I think you'll have to worry about is the cylinder walls. Trust me...they can rust bad enough that even a standard bore will just barely clean up at .060 over. Thats why I have a 388 in my nova...it was a standard bore block that was sitting outside at the boneyard (I also had to beat several of the pistons out) and even at .060 over still has a few small cosmetic imperfections in a few of the cylinders. You cant feel them with a fingernail...but you can see them.
Years ago, this guy I worked for had a 325hp 396 that he had been moving around for at least 3 years. It always sat outside...mostly under a sheet of plastic. Mostly. When the 454 in his dually was about to start spitting parts out on the ground, we just rolled that 396 around to pour the water out of the exhaust ports, and swapped motors. Changed the distributor, carb, plugs, wires, and oil/filter, and the dang thing fired right up. Smoked for a few days, then cleared up. A couple of oil and filter changes over about a week period, and it ran great. Heck, it ran better than the '78 454 that was in there.

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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old Dec 15th, 04, 09:13 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks! Sounds great! I figured I'd tear it apart for fun anyway (what a warped sense of entertainment huh?)...now I'll be a bit more careful.

The bores may not clean up...but I haven't lost anything considering it came with the car free.

Again, thanks to all I'll try to post my results later.
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