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Discussion Starter #1
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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You would be certifiably insane to try it


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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Discussion Starter #3
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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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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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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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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Discussion Starter #8
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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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.

Jody
 

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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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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.


-Mark.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
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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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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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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Originally posted by ohcscott:
you can run the engine without the converter or flexpate (or transmission) attached.
You might be able to run it without the converter but I'm not sure that running without the flexplate is possible. You would probably have a difficult time getting it started. :D

-Mark.
 

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Originally posted by stingr69:
</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Originally posted by ohcscott:
you can run the engine without the converter or flexpate (or transmission) attached.
You might be able to run it without the converter but I'm not sure that running without the flexplate is possible. You would probably have a difficult time getting it started. :D

-Mark.
</font>[/QUOTE]Just cut a notch in the pully on the dampner and you can pull start it with a rope loke a lawnmower!! ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Okay, sorry I didn't have time this weekend to really mess with the car. Law school sucks up alot of time, apparantly. However, a couple of observations: Pulling one wire off at a time does not make any difference. This leads me to believe that it is not a rod bearing.
I am going to pull the oil filter off as Jody suggested to look inside. If there is no metal and no difference between running up and down hill, then this would lead me to believe that it is the oil pan. It is a cheap-o milondon oil pan. Any way of checking this? What should I look for in the pan? Also, will block contact be really obvious? Will pulling plugs change the sound of bad wrist pins?
Thanks all.
I will keep you posted.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I looked inside my oil filter...
Jody was right, the metal of a cut filter is sharp. Ouch.
Aside from blood I added, there are small specks of barely visible shinies in the webs of the filter.
It is in every web of the filter. The specs are nearly microscopic, maybe slightly larger than a grain of baking flour.
Occasionally there would be a larger spec of metal. I will try to take a picture so you guys can see it (and for future referance), but I am guessing that while it could be "break-in" metal, it is probably indicative of a bad bearing.
The pan is not off right now, but it will be off this weekend.
The puzzling thing to me is that there were no specs in the oil as it drained from the pan.

I had at one point removed the pan to look underneath, but I had no idea what to look for. So I put it back and started driving around. A least this has been a learning experience.

Here is my analysis, tell me what you guys think.
Because pulling a spark plug wire alone on any cylinder was not availing, I conclude that this is not a bad or spun rod bearing problem. I believe that it is likely to be a main bearing. Probably either the one in the front, or the one in the rear (Thrust bearings?). The crank counterweight is probably hitting the block. Would this explain why it is rapping only at certain RPMs? (1500+)
How do I tell with the cap off if a bearing is bad?
Perhaps the machine shop put the wrong size bearing on somewhere.

What could cause a bad bearing on a newly machined long block (~300 miles)? I did not pre-prime the oiling system as I should have. Could this have done it?
I don't want to whip this engine out, remachine my crank, put it back in, only to have another bearing fail.
Could some oil passages be clogged? How do I check?

From the back top oil pressure tap, the PSI was a consistant 40-50, maybe just a tad less at idle.
This seems high. Could the passage have been clogged in the front leading to higher pressure in the rear?
The pan is still on at this point, so if there is anything I should do to try to discover the reason for failure, please let me know.

At least I know what I am dealing with now.

So I need to buy all new bearings and have all journals turned now, but should I replace the oil pump just to make sure? It was put on less than 300 miles ago.

Once I have the engine out, will I need to remove the heads/pistons?

Would I just be better off buying a remachined 350 shortblock on e-bay?
 

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Ryan,
Slow down a little. Since it is a 327 not a stroker, I highly doubt the counter weights are hitting the block. Did the machine shop assemble the engine? If so how much of it did they do (complete, short block, long block, oil pan)? In my experience if it was a bad bearing you should have seen it in your oil. Is this the original oil filter from the rebuild? The metal in the filter could very well be from break in. Will the pieces stick to a magnet? If so I don't think it is bearing related (unless it is REALLY worn). Unless you ran this thing out of oil at some point I think there may be a simple fix. I would just hate to see you take the thing all apart and find out it was just a rocker arm hitting the valve cover or something like that. Do you know for sure it is coming from the bottom end? Who installed the engine to begin with? Have you tried to get a second opinion? Don't take that the wrong way I am not doubting your skills. I just know sometimes we start thinking down one road and never look at anything else. Machine shops can make mistakes and you may be exactly right on what the problem is. I can't hear the noise so it is hard for me to say what I think it is. Do you have an oil pressure gauge? Has the oil pressure changed since it was built? Lower or higher? What is the oil pressure at idle? Does the noise go away at higher RPM's? Does the noise increase with RPM? What are you using to listen to and locate the sound? If you have a safe way to get under the car with it running have a listen to the oil pan. Listen to the valve covers and timing chain cover. Does it have roller rockers? What kind of valve covers (tall, short, stock?) Is the oil pan stock or aftermarket?

Pre-lubing is a good idea and I recommend it but, if the machine shop assembled the engine I am sure they used assembly lube (of some sort) on everything. If not then you could very well have a problem. Have you talked to them at all about this? Maybe drive it down there and let them have a listen.
 
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