Initial Findings

What the hell did this thing go through?  The insides look as though it was set on fire and then submerged in a lake!

The lifter valley was full of oil/charcoal deposits the size of golf balls!  The liquid sludge was thick, and covered everything inside valve train as well as caked the exterior.  I can’t wait to pressure wash it and then have a machine shop tank it.

It is a 4 barrel and the intake appears to be in reusable condition.  We were able to get the engine to rotate manually so nothing was seized.  We discovered a flat tappet cam so we will be inspecting and measuring the cam thoroughly.  The rockers and pushrods appear to be fine, but we’ll confirm the geometry upon re-installation.  The spark plugs all yielded nothing but more sludge 🙁 We will do as much degreasing and cleaning ourselves as possible, but we plan on taking the block and heads to a machine shop to have it hot-tanked to ensure all the oil passages are cleaned.

New Family Member

Tyler and I wanted another project, so we found a used, 350 small block. We drove to Woodland and neither the owner nor myself had a hoist so it was quite the interesting task getting the bed of the truck at the perfect angle so that the engine stand could properly detach and attach.

The block is a high nickel cast from 1976.  It has the uber-smog-friendly 882 heads, so I’ll be sure to check for cracks.  We’re going to hopefully keep these on during our first rebuild as I want to keep things under a $1k budget and vortec heads just are too much.  We are going to try and do everything by the book, ensuring a good learning experience for Tyler.  This will include measuring the bore, crank, valves, pistons, journals, etc; to ensure within specification.  Assuming everything checks out, judging from the sludge that spilled out of the exhaust ports, we will keep the replacement of parts to the usual list: New piston rings, timing chain and gear, distributor (hei), valve springs, oil pump, lifters, harmonic balancer, and gaskets.  I don’t plan on replacing the cam unless it’s a flat tappet and the lobes are worn. In which case we’ll go for a mild roller cam, being 882 heads, something with <= .500 lift.