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40 Ford SBC Engine Repair 06/01/05
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On May 26, 2005 I started out to drive my 40 Ford Tudor Sedan to the NSRA Mid-Western Nats, but about 10 miles south of town the 350 SBC powering the car started making deathly noises and lost power. Fortunately I was coming up on an exit of the Kansas Turnpike and managed to limp the car off the Turnpike and slowly drive it home under it's on power.

The engine had been having a persistent miss for the last few months and I was slowly going about tracking it down. I did a compression check and all the cyls were up to 110 to 125.

I replaced the spark plugs, ignition wires, dist cap and rotor to no avail. I pulled the valve cover from the side of the engine with the miss and couldn't find any mechanical components out of order visually. (obviously I didn't look hard enough)

So now I have a real problem and will start dismantelling the engine to find the source of the problem. I plan to take pics of each step and post them here.

My friend Roger Mingle has graciously agreed to assist in the engine work. ;-)

So here's the engine as it sits after limping home 05/26/05. SBC 350 V8

SBC 350 V8

So here we go starting to analyze the problem engine on 06/01/05

Begin disassembly

Checking compression on 7 of the cylinders show 110 to 120lbs. This kinda implies that the pistons, cylinders and valves are good in those.

Compression Check

But checking compression on #7 cylinder shows no compression. The valve cover is removed for a visiual inspection of the rockers and pushrods.

Valve Cover Removed

Cylinder #7 shows the intake pushrod is bent and the rocker is loose.

Bent PushRod Loose Rocker Arm

Heres Roger Mingle prying loose the intake manifold.

Pry Intake Manifold Loose

The intake manifold is removed to view the damage of the bent pushrod on cyl #7.

Bent PushRod View

Looking at the locknut on the exhaust rocker arm it appears to have loosened up.

Loose Rocker Arm

#7 intake pushrod bent like an S.

Bent PushRod

Roger and I discuss the possible causes of the bent pushrod and loosened up rocker. We agree that it was probably negligence on my part for not checking the valve adjustment sometime after the original adjustment 15,000 mi ago when I originally assembled the engine.

After removing all the pushrods we ran a compression check again and all the cyls come up near to 115lbs. The new compression check allowed us to believe that all the engine internals were still in good shape and sealing as they should be. So we have decided to just replace the bent pushrod and all the lifters. I've been running Rhoads vari-duration lifters and have been wanting to replace them anyway because I wasn't real comfortable with their operation. Don't really know if they may have contributed to the #7 problem or not.

Prepare For New Lifters

New lifters installed.

New Lifters Inserted

Removed engine parts awaiting reinstallation.

Removed Parts

Intake manifold inprocess of being cleaned for reinstallation.

Intake Manifold Cleaning

Valve covers with gaskets awaiting reintstallation.

Valve Covers

Reinstalling pushrods and rocker arms.

Reinstall PushRods

Valves are adjusted cold.

Valves Adjusted

First day is done.

More to come, we may be removing it all again if we guessed wrong on the engine internals.
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George Carnut McDowell
est. 1996