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Thread: Main and rod bearings

  1. #1
    President Member Ron Dame's Avatar
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    Main and rod bearings

    The R2's iffy oil pressure though theoretically acceptable at 10 lbs/1000 RPM was heading me close to disaster. A few more miles and I'd have reap problems. The car sat for 17 years before I got it, and apparently in dirty, acidic oil. All were brinnelled, many were way down to copper. Three rod bearing were just starting to turn in the rods and were getting no oil. Yet the engine sounded fine.

    Anyway, the crank is being checked at the shop to see if it can be polished, or how far it must be turned.


    There has been some talk here about some US bearings that aren't any good and no Chinese bearings are any good, and so forth. For you veteran builders, who makes good bearings for the 289? ( and I am changing cam bearings as well)
    Ron Dame
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  2. #2
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    Why were the rods not getting oil were the mains turned.
    Hawkowner

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    President Member Ron Dame's Avatar
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    I don't know yet. Mains were in place, three rods were starting to turn, which shuts the flow off to them. The history of the car is vague, it seems it sat in poor conditions for 17 years. The guy I bought it from got it started by dribbling gas down the carb, but I don't think he did a thing before he did that. I'm seeing scores in the cylinders that are consistent with an engine that was dry-cranked, and compression was not what it should have been. I'll do the full Monty on it at this point. What is interesting, is that in 59,000 miles, it appears to have been rebuilt with few miles. It certainly has been balanced and is clean inside. Then maybe driven a bit and parked?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hawkowner View Post
    Why were the rods not getting oil were the mains turned.
    Hawkowner
    Ron Dame
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  4. #4
    Golden Hawk Member StudeRich's Avatar
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    That sounds like a case for the often talked about here, MAJOR Oil Passage Roding, Rifle or Engine Brush Cleaning etc. AFTER turning the Crank and Boring and Tanking the Block!

    I do sell the Tri-Metal H.D. Avanti (like Original) Clevite 77 Rod Bearings in my full Rebuild Kits.
    StudeRich
    Second Generation Stude Driver,
    Proud '54 Starliner Owner




  5. #5
    President Member Ron Dame's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by StudeRich View Post
    That sounds like a case for the often talked about here, MAJOR Oil Passage Roding, Rifle or Engine Brush Cleaning etc. AFTER turning the Crank and Boring and Tanking the Block!

    I do sell the Tri-Metal H.D. Avanti (like Original) Clevite 77 Rod Bearings in my full Rebuild Kits.
    Check your PM
    Ron Dame
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    Quote Originally Posted by StudeRich View Post
    That sounds like a case for the often talked about here, MAJOR Oil Passage Roding, Rifle or Engine Brush Cleaning etc. AFTER turning the Crank and Boring and Tanking the Block!
    Each time engine cleaning is mentioned, it's mandatory I remind that the rockers must be disassembled, the soft plugs in the ends of the shafts removed and the shafts rodded out with solvent and a long brush.

    jack vines
    PackardV8

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    President Member Ron Dame's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PackardV8 View Post
    Each time engine cleaning is mentioned, it's mandatory I remind that the rockers must be disassembled, the soft plugs in the ends of the shafts removed and the shafts rodded out with solvent and a long brush.

    jack vines
    That's in the plan. Question: I assume rockers should be put back in order much like lifters and push rods?
    Ron Dame
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  8. #8
    President Member TWChamp's Avatar
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    Yes, I always try to keep valve train parts in the same location.

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    Lots of good advice but you need to "Resize" the rods, they are probably out of round. Luck Doofus

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    Golden Hawk Member jclary's Avatar
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    Way back in the 1980's, I did a complete rebuild of a 259. Armed with not a lot of experience, but a shop manual and an eager spirit for the adventure. I probably spent more time making fixtures to keep things in order than actually mechanic work. I bought some old wooden military Ammo boxes and used them for organizing parts. Each head was placed in a box and marked left & right (even though they are interchangeable). I had a local machine shop prep the heads and they promised to keep all components in order. New valves, but the lifters, pushrods, rockers, springs, etc., were cleaned and reused. I did the block work, like main, rod, and cam bearings, rings, timing gears, etc.

    I have a good friend who is one of the best mechanics I have ever seen. He would come by in the evenings, look over my shoulder, offer encouragement, and on the cam bearings, he was really a big help by giving me hands-on assistance. Where he made the biggest impact, was in using the measuring tools, like micrometers, and calipers, etc., to confirm what was OK, and what needed tweaking or replacement. If I recall correctly, he even gapped some of the rings when installing them on the pistons. Something I would probably never done on my own. Back then, I was self-employed, and after completing the rebuild, I reinstalled that engine in my '60 four-door Lark and proceeded to drive it as my business car. I airconditioned the car and put over 40,000 miles on it before retiring it back to cruise-in status, and finally, retired it to "needs, upholstery, paint, body, & suspension work status. After sitting for years, the engine will need a good tune-up, but not a rebuild.

    So, Ron, I'm not sure of your skills, but if you have a competent local machine shop that is willing to take on the machine work at a reasonable price, let those guys do the precision work. I don't even know if the shop I used is still in business. If they are, probably the folks that did my work are retired now. If you want to expand your regional search for a shop, let me know and I'll ask around.
    John Clary
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  11. #11
    President Member Ron Dame's Avatar
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    Doofus, resizing the rods is in the plans too. I borrowed a bore gauge, and while there was only a carbon ridge and there is virtually no taper (under 0.001") at least one cylinder has scores that I am afraid will not hone out.
    John, I finally found a good machine shop, though it's about 25 miles away in Hendersonville. They will tank the block, hone or bore it, resize the rods, install cam bearings, fit the rings, and turn or polish (I hope) the crank. Basically any skills I am uncertain I have, or that I don't have the equipment to perform. I'll mostly be cleaning and reassembling. I've not assessed the heads yet, but I know I'll gasket match the ports (boy are these bad), and if the valvles can just be lapped and the guides are OK, I'll do that. I still think this is a low milage rebuild that sat too long and maybe wasn't that clean when rebuilt, so the heads may need nothing but cleaning and seals.
    Ron Dame
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    Your engine, your decision, but FWIW, hand lapping valves is way old school CASO. Very few shops today let grinding compound anywhere near a valve job. It's almost impossible to get it all rinsed off both the valve and the seat and the head.

    Since you have no way of knowing what was done to the valves and the guides in the previous rebuild, have your machine shop check the ID and OD carefully. We've seen reused valves in knurled guides when both were worn past reusing and both should have been replaced.

    jack vines
    PackardV8

  13. #13
    President Member Ron Dame's Avatar
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    OK, thanks Jack
    Ron Dame
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    I could never understand the merit of valve grinding compound, when a valve and seat are perfectly ground with a perfect finish then destroying the surface with a compound that just scratches both surfaces and destroys the ground surfaces. There are some different theories about valve grinding surfaces some are ground at a 45 degree angle only and some are at three different angles, two of the ground angles clear the seat and only one portion (45 degree) does touch the valve seat. The part that does touch the seat is a band of only about 1/16 - 3/32. To destroy that ground surface with valve grinding compound would be somewhat counter intuitive.

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    Quote Originally Posted by altair View Post
    I could never understand the merit of valve grinding compound, ... etc.
    Agreed if you have like new performance and long range use in mind. The canister of grinding compound should have the letters "CASO" on them because, yes, then it is applicable.

    I typically buy the $1,000 car and then drive it less than 1,000 miles in 10 years. And I own a number of these cars. Therefore the price of a decent valve job just doesn't factor into the cost equation. The last time I did one of my dare I call it "valve jobs" I used a gasket punch on wet/dry paper (about 180 to start but going progressively finer) and made a bunch of tiny discs. I used spray adhesive to hold three equally spaced discs to a sacrificial valve. I then oiled the guide well, place it in the head and use a drill to spin the valve and clean the seat. I then chucked the valve in a drill press and and use a file to clean the worn area of the valve.

    I then bring these two “prepared” surfaces together and lap the valves. This typically indents the valve so that goes back to the drill press and at a slightly different angle above and below the seat area I use the file to remove the effective “ridge.” At times the margin gets thin so I’ll take the file there, enlarge it and round it off to prevent edges that can get hot. In essence I’ve put the three angle cut on the valve, rather than the seat. And while addressing the margin the valve has actually gotten smaller but never to the point that it is below the seat. (Side comment here. I find it interesting that people often talk about going to larger valves but if one does not modify the ports throat area then you are just creating a larger obstruction for the incoming air/fuel mixture to go around.) Therefore the smaller the valve (with sufficient margin and covering the seat) might actually be considered a ‘performance enhancement’ in a stock sized seat. It theoretically compensates for the performance stealing wide seats, which by the way transfer heat exceptionally well and make burned valves a thing of the past. LOL

    Anyway, if your thinking what kind of CRaZeY person does this, well a CASO crazy person. I just kind of mindlessly work this into my free time waiting for dinner or other time delays in my life. Why at say $250 per valve job after four cars I’ve save $1,000 to buy yet another $1,000 car! And the more cars I have the less I use any one of them so the more applicable a CASO valve job becomes. Why it is almost a perpetual motion machine that becomes a self fulfilling prophesy. Laugh, shake your head, whatever. But, hey, “it works for me.”
    '64 Lark Type, powered by '85 Corvette L-98 (carburetor), 700R4, - CASO to the Max.

  16. #16
    Golden Hawk Member jclary's Avatar
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    My take on lapping compound is that, like many other tools, there is a time and place for it. In addition, as in most things touched by human hands...there is a degree of ART and SKILL in its application. Hand-lapping on a small engine can work well to merely resurface and match a valve to its seat. In the hands of a skilled practitioner, a valve and its companion seat can be fine-tuned. For someone with little dexterity, inattention to detail, and no patience, the match, and angles could be made worse.

    I have used lapping compound to match spray gun needles and nozzles. I understand Jack's concern regarding introducing a grinding compound into an engine. However, all machining processes involve either cutting, grinding, and polishing. All of these processes require thorough cleaning and then keeping the entire workspace free of dirt, debris, and any abrasive contaminant while assembling. What good would it be to place any critical machined or bearing surface where a breeze could blow fine sand onto it while awaiting assembly? It is a matter of attention to detail and good housekeeping.

    I have not been around a valve grinding machine in years, so I'm not up on the latest technology, but it seems to me that even the latest and greatest would still require a thorough cleaning of the block once the process was completed.
    John Clary
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    Quote Originally Posted by jclary View Post
    My take on lapping compound is that, like many other tools, there is a time and place for it. In addition, as in most things touched by human hands...there is a degree of ART and SKILL in its application. Hand-lapping on a small engine can work well to merely resurface and match a valve to its seat. In the hands of a skilled practitioner, a valve and its companion seat can be fine-tuned. For someone with little dexterity, inattention to detail, and no patience, the match, and angles could be made worse.

    I have used lapping compound to match spray gun needles and nozzles. I understand Jack's concern regarding introducing a grinding compound into an engine. However, all machining processes involve either cutting, grinding, and polishing. All of these processes require thorough cleaning and then keeping the entire workspace free of dirt, debris, and any abrasive contaminant while assembling. What good would it be to place any critical machined or bearing surface where a breeze could blow fine sand onto it while awaiting assembly? It is a matter of attention to detail and good housekeeping.

    I have not been around a valve grinding machine in years, so I'm not up on the latest technology, but it seems to me that even the latest and greatest would still require a thorough cleaning of the block once the process was completed.
    Yes, machining creates grit and iron debris. The blocks have the mains line honed, cylinders bored and honed and the block surfaced. The guides are honed, the seats cut and the head surfaced. Typically, we run heads and block through a professional spray wash cabinet at least three times before assembly. It has 185-degree water and industrial detergent being sprayed 360-degrees while the parts are on a rotating turntable.

    jack vines
    PackardV8

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    President Member Ron Dame's Avatar
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    OK, guys, I'll not lap!. I've not removed the valves yet, so maybe they are fine as-is. I thought maybe that would be OK for a light touch-up, but I guess not.

    In other news, I pulled the very new looking core plugs, and though they are new, no one bothered to clean the cooling passages. And in looking at the head gaskets and mating surfaces on the block and heads, this thing was loaded with stop-leak. I am already having the radiator re-cored since it looked pretty weak.

    Now what was John Polous's saying?
    Ron Dame
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  19. #19
    Golden Hawk Member jclary's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Dame View Post
    OK, guys, I'll not lap!. I've not removed the valves yet, so maybe they are fine as-is. I thought maybe that would be OK for a light touch-up, but I guess not.

    In other news, I pulled the very new looking core plugs, and though they are new, no one bothered to clean the cooling passages. And in looking at the head gaskets and mating surfaces on the block and heads, this thing was loaded with stop-leak. I am already having the radiator re-cored since it looked pretty weak.

    Now what was John Polous's saying?
    Have you found a local old-school radiator repair shop? Most of the ones around here seem to have either died off or the throw away types have obsoleted their business. If you have, I'd like to visit and perhaps have them to evaluate one or two of my Studebaker radiators.
    John Clary
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  20. #20
    President Member TWChamp's Avatar
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    I agree. If the radiator doesn't have an aluminum core and plastic tanks, most of the shops around here don't know what to do with the radiator.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Dame View Post
    OK, guys, I'll not lap!. I've not removed the valves yet, so maybe they are fine as-is. I thought maybe that would be OK for a light touch-up, but I guess not.

    In other news, I pulled the very new looking core plugs, and though they are new, no one bothered to clean the cooling passages. And in looking at the head gaskets and mating surfaces on the block and heads, this thing was loaded with stop-leak. I am already having the radiator re-cored since it looked pretty weak.

    Now what was John Polous's saying?
    Yep, nothing so expensive as thinking it will just be a CASO look-in-and-reseal. With all that crud in the cooling passages, it's decision time. We spend a full day disassembling and cleaning crusty, rusty old cores. The latest took three trips through the pressure washer to get it clean enough to begin machine work; with flushing and rodding out between each wash.

    The two screw-in plugs in the back of the block must be removed to clean the oil passages. Heating the plugs with a torch is often required to loosen them.

    FWIW, get on the same price point page with your machine shop before any work begins. We recently had to give up on one CASO. We disassembled his engine and showed him what needed done. He argued with every step of the process. He wanted to regrind worn valves and knurl worn guides. He didn't want to pay to have the rocker system reground and cleaned. I opened one end of one rocker shaft and showed him it was plugged with crud. He didn't want to pay to have the block cleaned. I ran a brush down one oil passage and pulled it out solid with crud. The last straw was wanting to save the cam bearings; we won't try to clean the block with cam bearings in place and they were so worn it would have affected the oil pressure. Finally, we loosely reassembled his engine, loaded it back on his truck and had to eat the day's wasted effort. He called back a few days later and said he now wanted it all done right. We told him we were booked up for the next six months; find someone else.

    jack vines
    PackardV8

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    President Member (S)'s Avatar
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    Wow! Save the cam bearings? Of the last 4 or 5 we have done, the cam bearings were 'acid etched' from old oil sitting in there. It only takes a little time to do it right, and a lot more time to do it twice. At the first sign of low oil pressure on a V8, its the bearings.....

  23. #23
    President Member TWChamp's Avatar
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    It's amazing how tight some people are. About 20 years ago a body shop painted a 1928 Model A Special Coupe, then wanted me to install the engine. Of course we know the engine should have gone in before the body was painted, but I agreed to do it. This was an old as is engine that sat in a shed for many years, and the shop told me to install it as is. I told them I won't do it without at least removing the manifolds to check for mouse crap. Well, when I removed the manifolds all the ports and pipes were filled with mouse turds, grain seeds and dirt. I clean it as well as I could, then oiled the stems and poured some oil down the cylinders. Surprisingly it finally did run OK, but sure would have been a mess if I hadn't removed all the crap.

    After installing the engine, the hood gap changed, and got wider at the bottom due to frame flex. The fool shop owner tried to blame me for that, but I told him the cause and how to fix it. I never helped out that fly-by-night body shop again.

    Trying to save too much money usually costs more in the end, than if the job was done right to begin with.

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    President Member Ron Dame's Avatar
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    Rest assured, I want it built correctly. I want to do as much as I competently can. The machinist I found a couple of years ago in an adjoining town prefers old engines and is meticulous, but I don't know if he has done a Stude V8 before. I will copy the appropriate pages of the shop manual for him.

    At present, I've borrowed a bore gauge and have about 0.0010" -0.0015 taper on some bores. Fortunately and opposite of what I first thought, only one bore has scores that I question if they will clean up with honing. Even though the last build was not good and contributed to it's failure, it appears it was balanced, so I hope I don't have to bore and replace pistons, because then I'll need to balance it again.
    Ron Dame
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    Rest assured, I want it built correctly. I want to do as much as I competently can. . . . it appears it was balanced, so I hope I don't have to bore and replace pistons, because then I'll need to balance it again.
    Yes, in theory.

    No, in practice, here's one area a CASO can get by. Since the bob weights used to balance the crankshaft are based upon an arbitrary formula averaged across the entire RPM range, new pistons if they're slightly more or less weight, will not affect the smoothness enough to notice.

    The new pistons all should weigh the same within two grams and most times they do right out of the box; if not, easy to make it so at home. A gram scale can be borrowed if one asks around.

    jack vines
    PackardV8

  26. #26
    President Member Ron Dame's Avatar
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    Good to know. Now my reason for why I think it was balanced, all of the rod caps have been ground upon, the counterweights on the crank have been ground on the circumference and the.. (Sides?), and two holes have been bored into one counterweight. OTOH, the number 444 is stamped into one throw...what does that mean?

    Today, I gasket matched the intake side of the heads and will do the same on the exhaust manifolds. Valve faces look good, and the guides are tight and not knurled.
    Ron Dame
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  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Dame View Post
    OTOH, the number 444 is stamped into one throw...what does that mean?
    That's most likely a late long-snout 289" forging number.

    jack vines
    PackardV8

  28. #28
    President Member Ron Dame's Avatar
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    New bad news. The machinist thinks I am better off replacing all of the valves rather than grinding, but I don't think he knows how much they are ($15.50 each). I'll ask tomorrow. But I remember there is some conversion to maybe a Chevy? that might be better and/or cheaper if these valves are beyond hope.
    I've not had luck in the searches for this.
    Ron Dame
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  29. #29
    Golden Hawk Member DEEPNHOCK's Avatar
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    Couple of weeks ago I was at an event and was talking to an engine builder, and there was a conversation about some
    offshore boat racers and their 900+cid race engines...and valve leakage.
    He told them to ignore the minute fuel leakage at the valve seat, as it did not hurt horsepower and trying to fix it caused more problems than it solved.
    Jon Kaase has a little bit of experience in that area..



    Quote Originally Posted by PackardV8 View Post
    Your engine, your decision, but FWIW, hand lapping valves is way old school CASO. <snip>
    jack vines
    HTIH (Hope The Info Helps)

    Jeff




    Note: SDC# 070190 (and earlier...)

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Dame View Post
    New bad news. The machinist thinks I am better off replacing all of the valves rather than grinding, but I don't think he knows how much they are ($15.50 each). I'll ask tomorrow. But I remember there is some conversion to maybe a Chevy? that might be better and/or cheaper if these valves are beyond hope.
    I've not had luck in the searches for this.
    The Chevy valve conversion is old school CASO performance dating back to Dave Lavesque, Tom Covington and Dick Datson. It's easy to do until you get to the part about needing to mill .250" off the rocker stands and make or buy shorter pushrods. We do these regularly for about the same cost as new Stude valves and springs. Bottom line is better valves and springs for the same cost.

    Get a quote from your machinist and then PM me.

    jack vines
    PackardV8

  31. #31
    Golden Hawk Member jclary's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Dame View Post
    New bad news. The machinist thinks I am better off replacing all of the valves rather than grinding, but I don't think he knows how much they are ($15.50 each)...
    Well...I've been up since a little before 5:am, I've had supper, don't know if my insulin has kicked in yet, it's getting late for me, I'm not good with numbers, and I might be just a little foggy...but at $15.50 each, two valves per cylinder means 16 valves = $248, right? I don't know what the additional machinist charges will be to refurb your heads, but does the extra $248 put the total price out of reach??? Even if you found a great deal on an arm load of Chevy valves, would labor charges required for the modifications and fiddling around to accommodate the bastardized valves offset any benefit? Then, later on another future owner get totally bummed out about the whole mess when it needs another valve job?

    I hate that you have encountered this mechanical setback because I was enjoying your initial enthusiasm about getting the Avanti and its possibilities. I hope you see a way forward without getting too discouraged and get it up and going. If you don't see it through to finish it for your own enjoyment, hopefully get it in good enough shape to pass it on to another owner without losing your shirt in the process. I'm glad you got it to the Maggie Valley meet. Perhaps next year, there will be no hurricane and you can lead the parade through the valley!
    John Clary
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  32. #32
    Silver Hawk Member
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    And yes, the machinist is probably being conservative, recommending replacing the valves. He's thinking the labor of R&R, disassembling, cleaning and reassembling is the same, so it should be put together with new parts. But then, after all, CASOs have reground worn valves, knurled the guides and reused the springs and the engine does run, after a fashion. These cars don't get a lot of miles and a patch job will get it to and from shows. It's Ron's money, Ron's car, Ron's decision.

    jack vines
    PackardV8

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