I never installed the shrouds on my grinders, they always seem to get in the way. I just make sure I always wear gloves and respect the tool.
Your work is looking good so far. Your amount of patch work makes mine look minimal.
Coiz your build is one of several special builds on here that inspired me to do my own. So thank you for that.
good start, just a suggestion sense you said you bought a welder, that hinge you cut off, if you have something like that and don't want to cut it up, you can weld a nut onto that stripped bolt(sat it on there and weld it on the inside) then you can use a wrench on the nut to maybe get it out. just an idea if you need it for the future. and i'd listen to all on here about tools, one use tools usually good at like harbour, but on the everyday use type stuff go good, it's worth the money...
Great idea on the nuts, and as far as good tools--I completely respect that. When I say I have no tools, I guess that is a little deceptive. I mean that I had no tools for working on cars. I do have some special tools for electrical work and for prototyping computer chassis. I learned the hard way buying cheap tools or the "lite duty" name brand ones was just a big waste of money in the end. I went through several sets of wire strippers before I ended up buying real MOLEX stuff for a huge amount of money...and it was worth every penny!
Anything that I remotely plan on using after I get done with the Jeep I will buy quality stuff...maybe not top shelf, but at least decent. The welder...I can see it being useful...but not Lincoln Electric $$ useful. If this one gets me through my Jeep I will be very happy. It seems like many people have had success with this model on the net, so it made me feel confident.
Anyways, I respect your advice and will take it where I can. Thanks.
Since I last posted I have put in some solid hours, and have seen little success. At one point last night I was so frustrated I felt sick to my stomach. Before I get to that, let's catch up:
To get my engine cleaner and free of the sand and grit that was inside it, I hit it with four cans of brake cleaner. Then, against all common sense, I wheeled out my dirty block and powerwashed the crap out of it with my new powerwasher. I didn't smash the stuff that looked new like the timing chain and cam, and I avoided stuff like the crank...but the cooling holes? You bet I hit them up real good. I'm glad I did, a never ending stream of chunky rad fluid and gunk seemed to pour out. After 20 mins I started to see clear water:
When I was reasonably satisfied I wheeled it back into the garage, and used the air compressor with the air stream attachment to blow off and out the water. When it was somewhat dry, I stuck a windex squirt cap on my oil bottle, and then coated everything that wasn't the outside of the block with it. I wanted to make sure and displace EVERY bit of water I could:
This actually worked, by the way, and I don't regret doing it. I was able to get the block clean while avoiding rust. There still was a tiny bit of water on places, manifested in little bubbles displaced by the oil. This will get turned into steam later, but I don't think it is near enough to damage anything, from the research I have done. If anything it might clean the engine up a little bit more.
The heads were a bit harder to clean. I used lots of brake cleaner on them (four cans) but didn't seem to get anywhere. Then I used a 1.1 ratio of purple power and a scrub brush...which also didn't seem to get them clean. Finally, I hit it with the pressure washer on full 1600PSI power. It helped, but the place where the pistons made contact was still black...even though you could run your finger across it and have it be clean. I went inside and did some googling...alot of people like to get this clean, but from what I read it doesn't really matter so long as its not caked up with carbon.
Now is the part where evil reared its firey mane...I was able to get the piston rings out with no problems. I had no frame of reference on what they should look like, so I called Jeff and he came over. He said they looked pretty good but I should replace them while I was in there cleaning. I had bought a kit from summit with all the gaskets I needed and it came with main bearings, rod bearings, and the rings anyways (all for 84 bucks) so I stuck in the new ones and was good to go:
...or so I thought
First piston took about 5 hours to go in. Jeff was really banging on it, which made me uncomfortable, but I had zero experience with this and he had alot. He didn't think it was normal by any means, but sometimes you just want something to work. We broke four hammer handles using the wood to knock it out.
I got out my digital calipers (another nice tool I already own) and measured everything again and compared it to the set I asked for on Summit...yup, everything seemed to be in order?
Finally, I got to comparing the rings...the second groove rings seemed to be smaller than the top groove rings on the Summit set. It was really hard to actually measure them and account for the compression, but anyway you looked at it they seemed bigger. I compared them to the old set, and yeah, they also looked bigger. I concluded for better or worse that Summit had mixed up a package of rings and gave me top rings for a bored over cylinder.
So I went to OReilly and bought a Sealed Power ring kit for a STD 350. Got them back, and they went in MUCH easier. So at that point I was convinced that Summit did send me the wrong top ring pack (hey, it happens).
Now when I say they went in much easier...I mean that it was still rough. When I got #1 in and the cap hand tightened on there I could turn the crank a LITTLE bit, but not much before it would seize in one direction. Then I could turn it back with a bunch of effort and it would seize in another direction.
OK so I did some more research online...which might have been a little helpful but no epiphany-inducing materal: make sure pistons facing the right way, caps on the right way, rod bearings have right tolerance, etc etc.
I quintuple checked the piston and cap direction on #1...check...its right.
Then I banged it out, and decided to freak out about measuring tolerances, whatever that meant, on the journals and rod bearings. Did more reasearch, which told me I should have plastiguaged them before I took the old ones out....
Went to OReilly again bought some plastiguage and measured the tolerance on the journals (which was kinda confusing for me at first but eventually figured it out how to TAKE the measurement). #1 measured .051
Okay so what the heck did that mean? I went back to the internet. The internet was super non-helpful this time around. Every performance, engine, and car forum all had the same response: GO GOOGLE IT YOURSELF. Well, I eventually figured out that I was looking for STD Chevy 350 Journal Oil gap Tolerance. Unfortunately, same thing on the internet--a bunch of ASK, Wikianswer, Yahoo Answers that were ALL over the place and couldn't be right (or all of them, at least) and a bunch of guys on various forums telling people to Google it.
EVENTUALLY I found out...or rather took for canon, that the tolerance I was looking for was .002
Now I was freaking out at this point because mine measured .051. I didn't know if I needed to be under, over, or dead on, had VERY little information to go off of, and was starting to feel overwhelmed.
I sat down in defeat on the garage floor, and looked at the plastiguage one more time....then I noticed that it had mm printed very small on one corner of the repeating paper logo. Then I was like...oh snap! Everything makes much more sense when you have units! I figured that the tolerance for the STD chevy (.002) was in inches...and then converted .051mm to inches and you will never guess what I got.
So then I stopped worrying about that. Afterall, knowing that didn't solve my problem. It just told me something, which I didn't really understand (that I didn't need to get my Crank machined I guess).
I decided to employ old fashioned troubleshooting.
1. Everything was put in the right direction with plenty of lube.
2. I knew the second set of rings or bearings were not right and causing the pistons to seize.
3. Took out the piston, put on the old bearings, stuck it back in. Seized.
4. Took out piston, put on old rings, stuck it back in. Worked PERFECT!
5. Took out piston, put on new bearings (with old rings). Worked PERFECT!
I think I had found the problem at this point...the rings. Again. But why were they wrong? They were a namebrand this time, everything was marked well on them, they were the right size (or so I thought). I was stumped and aggravated. I was ready to light everything on fire and use my feet as a Flintstone alternative.
I went back to the internet...nothing...nothing...nothing...noHEYwait . This one guy who had been rebuilding engines for years had several of my same symptoms. Everyone told him the same thing--you're an idiot, you have something in backwards, google it, etc. Well, the problem was resolved because he found out that some 350 pistons used a different depth of oil ring grooves. He ordered shallow ones and bingo, was perfect.
This of course prompted me to search for 350 4.000 shallow oil ring and got some diagrams. Any piston .190 or over is deep, and any piston .170 or under is shallow. I measured my pistons oil ring groove and it read .165. Had I found my problem? I HOPED SO!!!!! I went back to google to search if this was a 92 thing. This is where I felt more frustrated because I couldn't find a 92 350 that was manufactured with shallow oil ring grooves. Did this mean that the guys who rebuilt the engine before me used a new set of pistons??? I highly doubt it...I mean, the cylinder walls are standard tolerances, and from the plastiguage that tells me the crank is standard too?
All I know is that the shallow ring set is three times as expensive as the normal set...and I ordered it...I guess I will find out today. This is my last hope before I have the darned thing bored over and buy parts for a stroker 383.
.....I feel that this was an unfair curve ball to a beginner.