'66 401 with Russ Martins 425 cam...Grrrrrrrr!

Discussion in ''Da Nailhead' started by UntamedKitty, Oct 30, 2014.

  1. telriv

    telriv Well-Known Member

    Another BIG mistake that many make is installing the rear cam snap ring WRONG!!!! It should be installed with the flat side to the rear & the rounded side to the front against the cam. When put in wrong they will usually bend the snap ring & it will try to come out of it's groove. Seen many like that also.

    Tom T.
  2. UntamedKitty

    UntamedKitty Janitor

    Time to dig into this. Spoke to Russ Martin today, discussed my concerns over the balancing, timing chain slack, and rod cap grinding then sent him pics. RM felt the TC slack was not a huge issue for a basically stock engine and most likely the result of the line boring as we have all concluded. RM also noted the caps are not under any tremendous load so the grinding is not an engine kill situation either, again noting the build is relatively sedate. But he did note if the balancing was incorrect it would be better to dis-assemble it than take the chance. Better confirm with the builder. So I did.

    Gathered some more info today speaking with the builder.

    If anyone was lead to think I was sure the flywheel was not installed when the balancing was done, that is my mistake. Sorry. I was not 100% sure of how it was done.

    Speaking to the builder today, he confirmed the HB and flywheel were installed when balancing. We also discussed that he found the new pistons were lighter that the ones that came out and he was familiar with these rods from doing several 455 Buick engines over the years. He assured me the rod cap grinding would not be detrimental to the engine.

    So, in my opinion, it is time to finish the assembly/installation and fire it up! I will post pics as we go, maybe even a startup video. Wish me Luck! :rolleyes:
  3. 8ad-f85

    8ad-f85 Well-Known Member

    Even shotpeening a rod throws it out of round. Balancing is often after honing. Being that the assembler verifies this, your machinist is in the clear. Will your shop guarantee against oiling or rod failures?
    I hope you don't take this as criticism, as my perspective is coming from being a machinist. I'm reeeeally picky.:)

    It doesn't sound like a good idea to know about Buick rods, then choose to do it a different way, I call BS on that one. I know this is a stock build, you'd been better off not rebuilding the rod or balancing it, as that type of grinding doesn't ever help the rod. I assure you that it is quite likely detrimental. There's only a chance it isn't, if you never rev it up. It MIGHT hold up.

    Comparatively speaking, a Ford 460 rod has a real thin strap for a rod cap, a heavier piston, and a longer stroke, soooo....:pray:

    How much was he trying to remove from the rod? 25 grams removal would affect the balance 1% or so, never even feel it.

    This might be your misunderstanding as well, if the new pistons were lighter you would take material from the crank not the rod, unless the rods were off that much to start. If that were true, you would have noticed some probs with vibration and bearings. Is there one rod not heavily ground?

    I never relied on luck with mine. I don't mind tearing them back down. I also don't have build related failures. I often catch many rookie as well as shop mistakes at this stage. I'm most certainly not comparing my rep, or skills to RM, or anyone else on the board. Just my opinion. I also don't know if RM builds 9000 rpm engines either.

    You're possibly fine. Good luck.:)
  4. doc

    doc Well-Known Member

    Well,,,, I kind of agree with RM,,,,, if all you are going to do is street drive the car... then the engine will probably be fine.... just dont hang the carb wide open and hold it there...:laugh: but,,, I always take the position that too strong is just right....:laugh: and I almost never, align bore the mains.... :Brow:
    before putting the pan on,,, double check the torque on the rod and main bolts.... and the oil pump bolts... WITH A TORQUE WRENCH.... NOT JUST BY HAND....
    drive the engine like normal,,, change the oil & filter at 500 and then 1000 miles..... good luck.....
  5. 66BulldogGS

    66BulldogGS Platinum Level Contributor

    Not trying to be a pessimist, and I am keeping my fingers crossed that this works out for you. But if he were "familiar" with these rods, then he should have known to take away from the weights on the side of the rod and not the cap.

    It's just like I kept reminding the shop that was working on a friends 455 when I would stop in to check on its progress. "You know all that stuff that you do to a small block Chevy??? Forget all of that!! This isn't a SBC. It's a Buick and they are NOT the same".
  6. telriv

    telriv Well-Known Member

    Buick made the rods the way they did for a REASON!!!. It's your $$$$, your engine & your piece of mind. Like I said previously, "I hope all works out well for you". Another note: check for rod clearance on the oil pump. The rod bolt does & sometimes will make contact with a replacement oil pump. Did you check & make sure the oil pump shaft is not binding???
    Just some more thoughts. Been there, done that.

    Tom T.
  7. UntamedKitty

    UntamedKitty Janitor

    This is a great thread for me as I am learning stuff! Thanx to all involved!
    And I am a novice, not expereinced, but mechanically inclined on average. No arguements from this end.

    But one of the things I have learned along this "Gold Bricked" road, (because of all the :dollar:s wrapped up in this now), is that not all Buick guys should call themselves Buick guys. What got me questioning the balancing method in the first place was a "Buick Guy" telling me the flywheel can be balanced on its own! Which I now know is not how these nailheads were intended to be balanced. Anyhow, it is what it is at this point.

    As I see it, my choice is to tear it down again to correct the marginal chain slop and ground rod caps, which could mean other issues and would require a re-balance. Probably up to another $1000 out of pocket there. Or, run it as a stocker and hope for the best.

    So that is where I am at!

    TelRiv, I did check the oil pump rotation after it was installed and it felt nice and smooth.
  8. 8ad-f85

    8ad-f85 Well-Known Member

    I understand where you are coming from. Right now you have several opinions, including your machinist.
    Most of this info is conflicting because of the way things are simplistically written for a brief informational post, and how it's understood. Posts are also in response sometimes to misinformation, so patience should go both directions.
    I would say that most generally agree that something might be awry.

    Forget brand names and opinions. There are some glaring red flags with your machinist here that calls this whole build into question. I think the various members don't want to see the next post from you say "my engine blew up".

    At this point it's not even about who to trust, what their backgrounds are, or the effectivity of communication.

    You're at a pivotal point where YOU can make sure, without it costing much $$. It won't hurt a thing to tear it down and take a closer look. If something is wrong, your cost should be negligible. If you put it together, it's on you. You might learn more, too.

    You should ask for the balance sheet, stating that you might later change to a stick. Could come in handy. Make sure your torques and clearances are good, it should run OK.

    FYI...External flywheels can be balanced separately, how do you think an ext. bal. one is made? What happens when a custy brings in both flexplate and flywheel and the imbalance is off on one? That said, in a rebuilder environment you're not supposed to make corrections on the dampner or flywheel. One problem with balancing is that you could mount everything up on another guy's machine and it might be different....:confused:, It's somewhat subjective.

    Good luck.:)
  9. telriv

    telriv Well-Known Member

    Just another iron to add to the fire. If you look closely at ANY NailHead harmonic balancer or flywheel/flexplate you will notice that they are mostly ALL different. Before the engines left the assembly area they were ALL fine balanced. The reason for additional drill holes in the harmonic balancer or added pins to the outer ring in the holes provided. For the flywheel/flexplate a welded on weight or holes drilled in the unit. If a customer wants to use his old harmonic balancer I ask him if he has another just in case his goes bad so that IT can also be balanced with the assembly. I sell BRAND NEW SFI approved balancers for the "Nail" so this problem can be eliminated. I personally don't like the rebuilt units. I feel they are done improperly or to my satisfaction & the rubber & bonding are not the same as original. In my experience they only seem to last 5-8 yrs. By the time you end up with shipping & the rebuild your talking $250-$260+.
    Again, just my thoughts on the subject at hand.

    Tom T.
  10. lapham3@aol.com

    lapham3@aol.com Well-Known Member

    Is there somebody reading all this with nailhead knowledge/experience that is close enough to kitty to be able to 'put some eyes' on this and give him some help?
  11. Starc Traxler

    Starc Traxler Well-Known Member

    I will give my engine builder a call tomorrow mourning, we live about a hour or so from untamedkitty
  12. UntamedKitty

    UntamedKitty Janitor

    Thought you folks might like to see the latest picture.
    Looking for a rod to do preoiling today, then dist drop in, water for cooling, and then........ :pray:

    Wish me luck, I hope to video the start if we get to it today. Need that darn rod......
  13. UntamedKitty

    UntamedKitty Janitor

    Oops, the picture...

  14. doc

    doc Well-Known Member

    That air cleaner is wayyyyy restrictive.... you need to either alter it or get another one that is more open.... that engine cannot breathe thru a 1.5 in. hole.....
  15. UntamedKitty

    UntamedKitty Janitor

    '66 401 Rebuild - Got it Started, sounds nice!

    Hello all,
    It took a while, but my son and I finally got this Wildcat 445 assembled, started, and broke in the cam. Everything seems to be working out OK and the next step is to replace the break-in valve springs with the new dual springs that came with the cam.

    Of course today is the worst blizzard of the season, so we'll wait for the salt to get washed off the roads before driving around.
    Thanx for all the advice along the way!

    Here is a private YouTube link of the start up:

  16. Bib Overhalls

    Bib Overhalls Well-Known Member

    Gave you a "Thumbs Up." Well deserved.
  17. 66BulldogGS

    66BulldogGS Platinum Level Contributor

    Great job!! I can't wait until I am able to fire mine back up. Hopefully by summer.

    Looks like she is Astro Blue. That is the color my car is supposed to be and will be again one day. Seeing your car fire up and that gorgeous color may give me the bump I need to get back out in the garage and get some things done.

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