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Unread 11-23-2009, 03:22 PM   #1
CaliDaze
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401 Bored .060 over $250

Ive been looking for a 401 to rebuild over the next few years. I want to really take my time and probably end up dumping a ton of money into it. My question is would it be worth it since its already bored so much I wont be able to do it again if the time came that it needed another rebuild. I really really want this thing.What do you think.

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Unread 11-23-2009, 03:32 PM   #2
ARJeepNerd
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$250 is cheap, but... Why are they getting rid of it? You almost have to wonder if it isn't a little hammered, or if they haven't detected some problems (or heard about a problem from the machinist on the last rebuild) that makes them willing to unload it.

I'm with you on the nervousness about the overbore. Since you're just buying the block, I would hold off and give this one the . I've seen entire running, driving 401 cherokee chiefs with unbored factory motors for less than $1k. Granted, this is in Arkansas, but still- even though the 401s are getting rarer, don't feel the need to compromise.
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Unread 11-23-2009, 03:53 PM   #3
CaliDaze
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The only parts missing are the intake and exhaust manifolds, So I was thinking even if the block is bad I could sell the crank/rods/heads for at least that much or save them for another cheap block I might run across.
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Unread 11-23-2009, 04:30 PM   #4
Area.3.Fiftyone
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Have the block sonic checked for wall thickness if you are worried about it.

You could also have it Magnafluxed to check it for cracks.

.060 over is no big deal IMO and it can probably go a lot further. Only problem is you will not know for sure unless you have it sonic checked.
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Unread 11-23-2009, 08:58 PM   #5
Waderacin
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I thought you can only go .030 on a 401. I have to start building mine soon.
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Unread 11-24-2009, 04:08 AM   #6
PavementPounder
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0.060 is getting into sleeve territory on a 401 if the motor needs to be done again.
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Unread 11-24-2009, 05:54 AM   #7
Area.3.Fiftyone
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No two engine blocks are the same due to core shift.

I have been building racing engines nearly all my life and like I said, the only way to tell for sure is to have a simple sonic check done on the cylinder walls.

The most important area that will need the most material is the thrust side of the piston (towards the outside of the block - looking at it straight on from the front). That is where most of the force is generated from the piston/rod angle on the cylinder bore.

You would be amazed on how different two otherwise identical blocks can be due to cores shifting during the casting process. One block may have .200 thousandths and another might have .060 and there is no visual check.

Any competent machine shop can sonic check the bores for a small fee and that is the only way to know for sure.
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Unread 11-24-2009, 06:14 AM   #8
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I had a 401 in my CJ. When we tore it down, to find out why a terrible vibration had developed, we discovered that the previous rebuild job was very shoddy. It was so bad, that we decided not to put it back together.

It had been bored to .060 over. The cyl. walls were slightly scored, so more boring would be necessary, or sleeving was another option. I didn't want to do either.

Other than that, the block was clean, no cracks, and with a 3-row radiator w/clutch fan, and no fan shroud, it didn't overheat.

I told about it on a few different forums. I was willing to give the block to anyone who wanted it, for the cost of shipping. Different guys on these forums were interested, until they recieved the actual shipping price. After that...no dice.

I listed it on ebay and craigslist, a few times. Again...no dice.

That block is now in the scrapyard.

Here's a 401, not too far away from CA....
AMC 401 Engine Block, Crank, Rods, Pistons, Heads, Pan:eBay Motors (item 260511327279 end time Nov-29-09 13:58:04 PST)

I am temporary running a sweet 360, but have since bought another 401 to install at a future date. Once you have a 401, you always want one (...mostly for braggin' rights...)

Rich
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Unread 11-24-2009, 06:27 AM   #9
CaliDaze
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Yea I got it. It looks to me like it was starved for oil. I can see areas on the piston and the cylinder walls where it looked like it was welding itself together. Two pistons have cracks in those areas. One journal bearing? ( the bearing between the crank and the rod) has half welded itself to the crank. The one closest to the rear of the motor. The cylinders need to be bored. I might have it sonic checked. I might just start piecing together a 401. So right now Ive got a set of Immaculate heads(from what I can visually see) Eight forged rods, 6 Good pistons, Possibly a repairable crank, and some miscellaneous parts I could put on my 304 if I liked. And I didnt want to buy it due to the scoring on the cylinder walls so he offered it to me for $125 and and extra $25 if I wanted the engine stand it was mounted to. So for $150 I got a 401 block on a stand thats only missing the cam. I feel like I came out alright.
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Unread 11-24-2009, 06:29 AM   #10
JeepHammer
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OK,...

I'll address the pink elephant in the room.

0.060" is a VERY LARGE overbore...
That is a ton of material taken out of the bores, and you will want to have the block checked for cylinder wall thickness before you run that engine.

We use a ultrasound device to check for thickness, and if we find a flaw in the casting (inclusion, air bubble, thin spot where the sand core wasn't lined up correctly, ect.)
We usually SLEEVE that cylinder(s) for safety.

Don't think this is a 'Patch' for a defective block.
Many of the racing engines you see on TV have all 8 cylinders sleeved even though the block material was plenty thick enough anyway...

The reason the serious racers do it is the sleeves are a KNOWN QUANTITY and Known Strength, where the casting of the engine block might not be...
And the sleeves will usually take more use/abuse than the factory blocks will.

Sleeves aren't very expensive, are ready to run when they are pressed in, and will outlive the engine it's self.

Sleeves also reduce the overheating problems you often have with large over-bored blocks... Another reason many racers sleeve the bores.

This is all assuming the block NEEDS it, which it probably doesn't.
I would have the wall thickness checked, witch runs about $50, and relieve your mind on inclusions or wall thickness before building.
-----------------------------

401 cranks are forged steel,
That means if you have a Journal that is screwed up,
You can WELD it up, turn it back down to any size you want, and run it without problems.

Racers often build the weld up on one side, then offset grind the crank to make it a 'Stroker' crank.

You can also 'Hard Coat' weld the crank journal surface so it doesn't scratch up as easily.
(harder to polish, but MUCH harder than the factory mild steel!)
--------------------------------

I would have a GOOD machine shop, one familiar with sleeving racing engines and capable of crank resurfacing (welding) and grinding take a look at those components.
If you make a deal with the guys to do the work on 'Off Season', or in their leisure/slow times, they will give you a MUCH better deal on doing the work.

Never, EVER assume a block is junk until you have investigated sleeving the block!
I ran a 9 Second car that had all 8 cylinders sleeved for more than 8 years with no problems,
Sold the engine to a guy that is still running it today with no issues, and this is 11 years later...

You have to remember that every heavy diesel engine,
Every aluminum block engine,
Virtually all marine engines are sleeved today,
Sleeves are perfectly acceptable as a repair for a bad/oversize block!
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Unread 11-24-2009, 06:33 AM   #11
Area.3.Fiftyone
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^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Uh, that's what I said.

Twice to be exact.

Sleeving is not always an option either if the cylinder walls are already thin due to core shift and the even bigger outside diameter of the sleeve. You could end up boring right into the water passages to get the bore big enough to be able to press the sleeve in.

Racing engines that are sleeved generally have more material already cast into them for the added diameter of the sleeve. Most racers that run sleeves do it for ease of tear down and re-assembly.

If you score a wall, you pull the sleeve, install a new one, hone it and throw it back together for the next race. It's not a band aid for a bad block (most of the time).
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Unread 11-29-2009, 05:50 PM   #12
CaliDaze
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Well thanks you guys for your very helpful information. Im now building My First 401, haha, actually my first complete rebuild ever. So Im sure Ill ask for more of it in the future. Thanks again.
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Unread 11-30-2009, 06:25 AM   #13
Area.3.Fiftyone
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Did you have the block sonic checked for wall thickness?

I would also have it magnafluxed and checked for cracks before spending any money on it.
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Unread 12-02-2009, 01:27 PM   #14
CaliDaze
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No, I haven't done anything with it yet. It's in my room on a stand and my girlfriend is Pxxxxx. Haha. I don't make a ton of money so it will be a long dragged out process. I'm planning on getting it to the shop by January at the latest. But I'm not in a hurry, I want to do this the right way, not the easy way.
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Unread 12-02-2009, 01:28 PM   #15
CaliDaze
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Plus I've got an old cj7 that always needs a little love.
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