351 Cleveland Issue

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clevelandcoupe

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Guys,

Having a major, (I think, but hope not) issue with my 351 Cleveland in my Model A.

Its a 73 short block .010 bore, edelbrock aluminum heads, air gap intake, quick fuel 650 carb, roller rockers with about 20,000 miles. No real issues to speak of prior to this. I have had a little oil showing up on 3 spark plugs since last summer. I have had an eye on them while getting the jetting dialed in. After my trip to York, Pa in the beginning of June, I did some research and decided that it maybe an issue with the intake gasket. I disassembled it an found the gasket to be compromised in a few areas. I then figured that I had installed the edelbrock gaskets previously and would give the felpros a shot. I cleaned everything up, dry fit the intake and checked gaps for consistency, which proved out well. I then used a type of spray adhesive to glue gaskets to heads & let set overnight.

I reassembled in the am & let set again overnight to assure RTV at ends set up properly. I started the motor and it ran perfectly. Reset the timing & went for a spin. It ran well except for a little ping, but nothing a couple of degrees set back wouldn't cure. I stopped to pick up a coffee & shut off motor. Came back out & was hard to start and once started a huge cloud of blue smoke came out and ran really rough. I instantly thought it was a stuck PVC valve and replaced it with no change. I continued about 8 miles home watching oil pressures, etc which were fine. By the time I got home many lifters were clacking loudly, again I didn't lose oil pressure, but used almost 2 1/2 quarts of oil. Knowing that something was wrong, Again I pulled the intake and the gasket was entirely compromised leaking / sucking oil into most cylinders. I assumed that the spray adhesive may have had something to do with it. I ordered the edelbrock gaskets, cleaned up mating surfaces, measured gaps again and reassembled with new spark plugs. Car started right up didn't smoke, but did not run well. I took it for a ride and it wasn't running on all cylinders and a couple lifters were a little noisy. Lifters did quiet a bit in the driveway and all the sudden it started to smoke on & off blue and some gray smoke. It didn't overheat, but did run a little warm, 200 plus in driveway. I am looking for opinions on the next step. I was thinking about a compression & leak down test this week. Its amazing on how it can turn to shit so quickly !!! I am baffled and am looking for advise.

Sorry for the long winded episode !!!

Thanks, Jay

 

rocket366

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Well I'll start this reply and others will chime in I'm sure.

There are no oil passages in the intake manifold so a bad seal there is a vacuum leak and that's that.

Unless the carb is picking up oil via the PVC or whatever you're running I would look at the valve stem

seals IMO.

The noisy lifters and oil getting into the cylinders are two separate issues and not related.

Paul

 
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72HCODE

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oh man jay I'm so sorry :(.

I had a major issue with valve stem seals on my motor that was a fresh rebuild. you are finding the gasket to be compromised so that would take away from them being an issue.

I've had issues before using that gasket Shellac to hold the gaskets in place and went to using RTV in spots to hold gaskets instead of totally covering the mating surface.

i had another issue once with not tighten down the lifters enough and i had bad clacking on my lifters and i was also hitting my valve cover baffle and had a mechanic look at it and he had to tighten everything another 1-2 turns to make clearance.

a compression and leak down is good, but if the gasket damaged again that can mess with the results.

lots of thoughts running through my mind but nothing is matching whats going on with your cleveland.

did you notice any damage to the piston tops from ping?

 

Don C

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Getting intake manifolds straight and level onto Clevelands can be challenging and is helped by using studs in the four center bolt holes to act as guides.

 

c9zx

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Guys,

Having a major, (I think, but hope not) issue with my 351 Cleveland in my Model A.

Its a 73 short block .010 bore, edelbrock aluminum heads, air gap intake, quick fuel 650 carb, roller rockers with about 20,000 miles. No real issues to speak of prior to this. I have had a little oil showing up on 3 spark plugs since last summer. I have had an eye on them while getting the jetting dialed in. After my trip to York, Pa in the beginning of June, I did some research and decided that it maybe an issue with the intake gasket. I disassembled it an found the gasket to be compromised in a few areas. I then figured that I had installed the edelbrock gaskets previously and would give the felpros a shot. I cleaned everything up, dry fit the intake and checked gaps for consistency, which proved out well. I then used a type of spray adhesive to glue gaskets to heads & let set overnight.

I reassembled in the am & let set again overnight to assure RTV at ends set up properly. I started the motor and it ran perfectly. Reset the timing & went for a spin. It ran well except for a little ping, but nothing a couple of degrees set back wouldn't cure. I stopped to pick up a coffee & shut off motor. Came back out & was hard to start and once started a huge cloud of blue smoke came out and ran really rough. I instantly thought it was a stuck PVC valve and replaced it with no change. I continued about 8 miles home watching oil pressures, etc which were fine. By the time I got home many lifters were clacking loudly, again I didn't lose oil pressure, but used almost 2 1/2 quarts of oil. Knowing that something was wrong, Again I pulled the intake and the gasket was entirely compromised leaking / sucking oil into most cylinders. I assumed that the spray adhesive may have had something to do with it. I ordered the edelbrock gaskets, cleaned up mating surfaces, measured gaps again and reassembled with new spark plugs. Car started right up didn't smoke, but did not run well. I took it for a ride and it wasn't running on all cylinders and a couple lifters were a little noisy. Lifters did quiet a bit in the driveway and all the sudden it started to smoke on & off blue and some gray smoke. It didn't overheat, but did run a little warm, 200 plus in driveway. I am looking for opinions on the next step. I was thinking about a compression & leak down test this week. Its amazing on how it can turn to shit so quickly !!! I am baffled and am looking for advise.

Sorry for the long winded episode !!!

Thanks, Jay
Were the heads and intake re-torqued after it was heat cycled a few times? Your instincts are correct, start with a leak down test and inspecting the oil for coolant contamination. Have the radiator cap off and watch for any air bubbles. Leave each cylinder pressurized for about 10 minutes while watching for bubbles. I've found small head gasket failures this way a couple of times. Repeated intake gasket failure on a Cleveland usually means the intake needs to be milled to account for block being decked and or heads being milled or different than OEM. The running warm and grey or whitish smoke may mean a second problem, like a head gasket. Let us know what you find. Chuck

 

mycoses

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A bad seal on intake manifold gasket can cause intake port to suck oil into cylinders. You did not say if you use the valley pan and gasket. These come in a set and the gasket is paper thin to account for the thickness of the valley pan. If you use the pan you must use the paper thin gasket it comes with. I tried the edelbrock gasket once but it was way too thick and lifted up the intake causing bad seal. Also, if the heads or block were milled the intake will sit up higher with a bad seal and you will have to mill some off the surfaces of the intake. You will have to play around with an old valley pan and gasket to check the mating of the ports. I cut the heads off 4 three inch 5/16 bolts to put in the center area of the intake too use as a guide when dropping the intake down so that it lines perfectly the first time. Use your favorite gasket glue to place the paper thin gasket on the heads. I use gasgacinch which looks a lot like rubber cement. I also use a very thin bead of rtv or permatex form-a-gasket #2 around the ports on the valley pan both sides. Also a thick bead of rtv along the front and rear intake seats on the block. The valley pan does not fit well out of the box so I bend up the sides to create more of a U shape and less of a V shape in the pan. So , rtv the pan, and the rails on the block, glue on the paper gasket, drop down the pan then the intake and bolt up. IF it still smokes the problem is elsewhere.

 

clevelandcoupe

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Update on my issues;

Well first I found the culprit of the smoking issue. It seems that when I changed the intake gasket, I inadvertently swapped the valve covers from side to side. This actually changed the way the baffle directed the oil away from the PCV and the oil was sucked right through the valve and into the intake. Oil issue resolved !!! So I got the oil issue resolved, restarted the motor and it was missing badly on a few cylinders. Checked the rockers and realized that I had a few that were not opening as much or at all as they should be.

So I decided after a couple weeks, how the time flew by that it was time to open it back up.

Well I am glad I did and found three lifters worn out and one pounded.

Once I pulled the cam out, the cam material was clearly worn out and misc material was in the oil pan. So, I have decided that it's time to pull the motor out & take it to my motor guy so it can be inspected and let me know what the extent of the damages. I am hoping a clean up rebuild is all it needs. A conclusion and warning to all, please use the zinc additives and quality oils like brad penn, amsoil, royal purple so this doesn't happen to you.

Thanks for letting me ramble. The saga continues !!!

Thanks, Jay.

 

c9zx

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Thanks for posting what you found, it will help others. Good luck on the rebuild. Chuck

 
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I don't know how radical a cam you are running but I hear guys at shows that have the engine idle way too low for a high lift cam. You will eat the lobes off a cam and the lifters will go fast if you keep the idle too low. Sounds good but cam hates it. Racing cams are for racing and not for slow street driving and will not last like a stock or milder cam will. Heavier spring loads also contribute to the wear.

It would not have been anything with the cam or oil but is important on a Cleveland. The thermostat is special for a Cleveland it has a hat on the end of the part that moves that closes off a port inside the block when it opens changing the flow of water in the engine. If you do not have the right thermostat or if someone has removed the ring inside the block under the thermostat your engine will not last too long. It might not seem to run hot but will have hot spots in the block. You can Google it and you should find lots of info showing what I am talking about.

A properly built Cleveland should run as long as any other engine. Racing components are for hard use over short periods of time not cruising around town. Don't blame the oil just use a good one.

Remember what Einstein said " Doing the same thing expecting a different result is a sign of insanity".

Just my thoughts,

David

 

afeng79

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72HCODE

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you have to be careful with zinc additive.

the zinc can throw off the mixture in the oil and cause a drop in the pressure point protection.

there is “Oil Extreme concentrate” that can be added to oil just like the ZDDP(zinc) additive and it also can either massively increase the oil protection or drop it due to throwing off the chemistry of the oil.

its a real problem searching for that perfect oil.

you can read up on testing here

https://540ratblog.wordpress.com/2013/06/20/motor-oil-wear-test-ranking/

Oil companies keep changing formulas and diesel oils that people swear by are actually not that great for gasoline powered cars.

then there are oils that provide protection but are not designed for daily drivers these oils are racing only and are suppose to get changed every 250-500 miles or so.

 

MeZapU

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x2 .

 
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Am I wrong to think that his oil was not an issue with 20,000 on an engine NOT built to stock specs.?

When you start putting different cams, springs, lifters, and pumping up the HP you should expect an earlier failure than with stock. How many race engines have you ever hear of that went 20,000 miles? They usually have to back off and detune for the endurance 24 hour races and many have some issue spending millions to run one race. Even back in the 60's using only "stock parts or factory supported parts" we never ran engines more than 2,000 miles before taking them down to change bearings, rings crisp up the valves change valve springs, keepers and such.

I think he did great getting 20,000 out of his car. How many of you have 20,000 on your engine build? A stock base engine will always last more miles than and engine with high lift cam, triple vale springs, forged pistons and all the expensive parts. The stock engine will not outrun it in competition but will last longer regardless of the oil you use.

I have seen no testing of oil that has been done according to the rules of probability. Which requires at least 30 tests to obtain a real sample not just one test with each oil. When they make the parts for your car today each part has to have statistics ran on the dimensional stability of the part to see what to expect. You cannot just measure one part and say it is good. You cannot do just one test sample on oil and say it is the better one.

I will always stand by a stock engine going more trouble free miles than any built engine using racing parts.

I have a friend that will swear on a bible that he never changed his oil in his Ford pickup for 160,000 miles only changing the filter and adding oil with no failure.

This thread started out asking why his engine might have issues. Oil is not the issue but building it in non stock is the issue. You have to accept less engine life when you spice it up. No magic oil or additive will make it last.

I put 467,000 miles on a 240 ci ford engine in a E-100 69 van. All parts were stock and I tore it down every 100,000 and freshened it up. I broke a fiber timing gear was the only failure it ever had except when I tried synthetic oil in a brand new rebuilt and it wore the valve train out in less than 10,000 miles.

My experience, all I ask is that you show me a none stock engine built to racing specs regardless of what oil that goes even 100,000 miles.

David

 

clevelandcoupe

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Guys,

Motor Issues Update:

Just received the call from Joe @ Danbury Competition Engines and my motor will only need a clean-up, hone, new bearings and rings. That's good news !!!

Now just have to make a decision on the camshaft, that will come later today.

Thanks for listening, Jay

 

barnett468

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it sounds like you lost oil pressure for a while after your pcv valve sucked 2 1/2 qts of oil out even though you didn't see a drop on the gauge.

the biggest concern with the cam metal is scoring the crank journals and cylinders and pistons . . all easily fixable but the block needs to be hot tanked then pressure cleaned and the cam oil feed holes need to be cleaned out.

has anyone ever told you that roller cams are kinda nice? ::thumb::

 
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