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Thread: SBC 350 for the 58 Willys

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    Default SBC 350 for the 58 Willys



    So I am working on bringing a 78 SBC350 back to functional life. It is the classic 'was running when pulled' and supposedly only has 12k miles on it after a rebuild - how much of a rebuild, I don't know. I would generally consider any engine I couldn't hear and see running as a rebuild core, and that may be what this one is. But I know the seller as they have helped me out with my cj5 quite a bit, and so I paid a bit more than core with the idea that this should not need a full, machine shop rebuild, but rather, a minimal disassembly with cleaning, near seals and gaskets, and get it back running mostly as is....I also got a rotating engine stand, floor engine stand/cradle, alternator mount, shorty block hugging headers, and probably a useless late generation Q-jet carb saddled with emissions and EGR stuff....so, maybe I basically paid core price....


    So I pulled the valve covers, and it was a bit sludgy, and more concerning was having trouble getting oil to flow up the pushrods and onto the rockers....But in theory, that should be taken care of with some cleaning etc.
    Next up - pulled the intake and heads, and found a lot of hard carbon build-up on the combustion side of the valves:


    That lead to enough concern to pull the valves (disassembly of the heads was not in the original plan, but getting new valve seals can happen now), and finding more carbon build up. This stuff is not so easy to clean off, and not sure how 'aggressive' I can be with mechanical cleaning, abrasives, etc?


    For those of you familiar with old SBCs - how salvageable is this with just some cleaning and putting back together? Or am I beginning to see a valve job from a machine shop?
    Still have to drop the pan and take a look at the bottom end.
    ___________
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    1970 CJ5
    1958 Willys Wagon
    2010 Tacoma TRD

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    Default Re: SBC 350 questions



    Good margin on the valves, and they sit proud in the chamber. Clean it up and continue inspection.
    ___________
    The Lost Boys motto: We don't know where we're going, but we'll be there for awhile. :)

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    FINOCJ (October 10th, 2020)

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    Default Re: SBC 350 questions



    Well, I clean up #1 valves a bit to see how it would look. My biggest concern is some pitting on the valve seats and some wear where the valve seats. I don't have any experience with what is 'catastrophic' and what is not ideal, but for this non-performance usage, might be acceptable for use....It was suggested I should lap the valves....


    Here is the intake valve cleaned up about as much as I can do with the tools I have....good enough to work I hope?
    ___________
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    Default Re: SBC 350 questions



    Making some progress - mostly just doing a lot of cleaning of all the valve train parts....Here was the worst valve in terms of carbon build-up....I think this was #5...


    But a lot of cleaning and lapping - I like how the intake valves look, and I think I got the seats looking better. The exhaust seats were better than the intake seats to start, and look pretty good now, but the intake valves are still rough even after a lot of compound work. But at some point, seemed it was as good as it was going to get and decided to test them....hard to see it, but the closest combustion chamber (#2) here is full of water....its not perfectly water tight, but its only a couple seepy 'drips' over 10 min or so...I think (hope) its good enough...still have the driver bank to lap, but all the cleaning and prep work is done....
    ___________
    James Orofino
    1970 CJ5
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    2010 Tacoma TRD

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    Default Re: SBC 350 questions



    The carbon on that valve is crazy thick! I've never seen anything that bad.

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    Default Re: SBC 350 questions



    That donít look like 12k worth of carbon. That much looks like it need valve guide service.
    rhat will include a full valve job which will include a full head rebuild.
    or just find a good set of aluminum heads.
    ___________
    In a never ending search for the proper mix of dirt & rock !

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    Default Re: SBC 350 questions



    The StRanger previously posted:
    "That much looks like it need valve guide service."

    My check of the valve guides clearances suggest they are okay....one suggestion is that the valves were never properly lapped during the previous work. The really bad carbon build up pictured was also immediately adjacent (and connected) to the passageways associated with the EGR valve plumbing....Some of the EGR stuff in the intake is also completely stuffed with carbon build-up - this is outside of my knowledge, but guessing something with the EGR was causing issues? My hope is going with the older style (no EGR) q-jet and intake that is on the 283 will help alleviate the issue?

    The StRanger previously posted:
    "rhat will include a full valve job which will include a full head rebuild.
    or just find a good set of aluminum heads."

    Not in the budget for this project...The sad part is you can buy an all new crate engine for less than you can have all the machine work done for a rebuild....I am channeling all my redneck heritage and slapping this thing together while drinking Budweiser...SBCs are supposedly a forgiving engine and will hopefully run ok at 70-80% function. I don't need the power, just need it to run like a used engine with 100k, and not puke oil everywhere. With a little luck, maybe it will only consume a quart of oil every 3k miles - although even if its a quart every 1k miles, I could live with that for now. The current 283 is consuming a quart every 250-300 miles.
    ___________
    James Orofino
    1970 CJ5
    1958 Willys Wagon
    2010 Tacoma TRD

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    Default Re: SBC 350 questions



    The StRanger previously posted:
    "That donít look like 12k worth of carbon."

    that's what I was thinking.

    J.
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    Default Re: SBC 350 questions



    I have seen carbon like that before on a Mercury V6 outboard many years ago. The guy I got it from tried to get more performance out of it by putting some very wrong jets in the carbs and raising the floats so high that it was dumping more fuel than it was burning, and he got rid of the oil pump and ran thick premix. The whole thing was black inside but worked well after two rounds of seafoam. I mention it because of the weird Qjet it came with, the emissions stuff is likely the nightmare stuff from the 80s and could lead to a lot of bad combustion. You might have a decent engine and a crappy carb.

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    Default Re: SBC 350 questions



    FINOCJ previously posted:
    "My check of the valve guides clearances suggest they are okay....one suggestion is that the valves were never properly lapped during the previous work. The really bad carbon build up pictured was also immediately adjacent (and connected) to the passageways associated with the EGR valve plumbing....Some of the EGR stuff in the intake is also completely stuffed with carbon build-up - this is outside of my knowledge, but guessing something with the EGR was causing issues? My hope is going with the older style (no EGR) q-jet and intake that is on the 283 will help alleviate the issue?


    Not in the budget for this project...The sad part is you can buy an all new crate engine for less than you can have all the machine work done for a rebuild....I am channeling all my redneck heritage and slapping this thing together while drinking Budweiser...SBCs are supposedly a forgiving engine and will hopefully run ok at 70-80% function. I don't need the power, just need it to run like a used engine with 100k, and not puke oil everywhere. With a little luck, maybe it will only consume a quart of oil every 3k miles - although even if its a quart every 1k miles, I could live with that for now. The current 283 is consuming a quart every 250-300 miles."

    That works....
    my last rebuild was a can of krylon
    ___________
    In a never ending search for the proper mix of dirt & rock !

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    Default Re: SBC 350 questions



    It took a bit of time, but the heads are all cleaned up and out, and all 16 valves have been hand lapped....its mostly the #3 cylinder that is a problem in terms of getting decent valve seats sealing. I feel like if I lap them anymore, I am going to cause a problem with the valves themselves. And I could possibly consider new exhaust valves - all the intake valves came out nice - But going to go with it as is. Once you start changing valves, then you probably should grind the valve seats, and thus deck the heads and...etc....there is no end without just doing it all. So it stays as is, cleaned up and ran a tap through all the threads etc, and since I don't like painted gaskets, I am going to try painting as many of the pieces individually as I can each step of the way before assembly. Even though its a chevy engine....didn't feel chevy orange was right. Went grey....


    after getting back from Moab next week, will try to re-assemble the valve train with new valve seals etc...then I can think about the bottom end (the timing chain looks pretty loose to me?) and see if I can get that cleaned up, and check the lifters etc....
    ___________
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    1970 CJ5
    1958 Willys Wagon
    2010 Tacoma TRD

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    Default Re: SBC 350 questions



    Finished putting the valves and springs back in the heads...guess I could put the rocker arms on now as well, but seems its much easier to access the head bolts for mounting back to the block without them...so about to put these aside for a bit and get the bottom end cleaned up and ready...

    I used these umbrella seals for intake valves:


    and these for the exhaust valves:


    Put o-rings on the second (lower groove) for all the valves, and then put the retainers in the upper groove with the help of a valve spring compressor:


    Finished up:
    ___________
    James Orofino
    1970 CJ5
    1958 Willys Wagon
    2010 Tacoma TRD

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    Default Re: SBC 350 questions



    FINOCJ previously posted:
    "Put o-rings on the second (lower groove) for all the valves"

    Why?

    (I'm about to learn something!)

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    Default Re: SBC 350 questions



    The retainer clips use the upper groove...
    ___________
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    Default Re: SBC 350 questions



    Why are 0-rings even involved?

    I'd question how well the rubber would survive on a hot exhaust valve.

    Did you only have them to hold the valve closed and you then cut them off when the retainer was seated - or are they still there?

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    Default Re: SBC 350 for the 58 Willys



    They are permanent...both the oring and umbrella style seals help control the flow of oil that lubricates the valve stem movement in the valve guide hole. A little oil needs to seep down the valve stem, but its then either sucked through the intake valve and combusted, or partially burned and carried out with the exhaust outflow. Both seals are above the valve guides in the top of the head and thus are not directly exposed to intake and exhaust gasses.
    ___________
    James Orofino
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    1958 Willys Wagon
    2010 Tacoma TRD

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    Jim (October 29th, 2020)

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    Default Re: SBC 350 for the 58 Willys



    So the question now...what are the next steps? Time to work on the block and bottom end.....I pulled the oil pan, timing cover etc....
    It is only a 2 bolt main - based on the casting number it had a chance to be a 4 bolt main - not that I am going to be hot-rodding this engine and don't have any need for the extra strength per se:


    I am thinking I should pull the main bearing caps and take a look?....if those look ok, then leave the crank in place as well as the connecting rod, pistons etc...I'd like to replace the RMS of course....What to do with the oil pump - probably replace it? Some have suggested I use plastiguage to check clearances on the main and rod bearings....mmmm, not sure I want to go that far if the surfaces look ok - TBD.

    Here is the timing chain....Its the plastic/nylon coated gear teeth...I guess my first thought was that it seems too loose, and will likely be replacing the entire timing set (quite cheap, so no reason not to).




    No current intention to pulll the camshaft at this point, but I will inspect the lifters to see how much wear they show....I'd like to start degreasing and cleaning a bunch of the block, but am concerned about using the typical harsh cleaners with the camshaft and camshaft bearings in place?
    ___________
    James Orofino
    1970 CJ5
    1958 Willys Wagon
    2010 Tacoma TRD

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    Default Re: SBC 350 for the 58 Willys



    Got all the lifters out - that was little bit more of a pain than I expected....the bottoms were not mushroomed or anything (although at first I was worried) - just needed quite a lot of penetrating oil to free stuff up. The shape of the bottom of the lifters seems very nice - most seem like they haven't seen much wear at all. There are a couple that might be concerning as there is some corrosion on the bottom of the lifter - better to replace or leave as is?



    the bottom of #2 exhaust is the one that is most concerning....the dark is corrosion into the polished/chrome coating....
    ___________
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    1970 CJ5
    1958 Willys Wagon
    2010 Tacoma TRD

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    Default Re: SBC 350 for the 58 Willys



    FINOCJ previously posted:
    "the bottom of #2 exhaust is the one that is most concerning....the dark is corrosion into the polished/chrome coating...."

    ...and they're supposed to slowly rotate at each cycle, yes? If yes, this one isn't rotating.

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    FINOCJ (October 29th, 2020)

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    Default Re: SBC 350 for the 58 Willys



    Hmmmm....didn't check that before pulling. Maybe I should put back in and check. The lifters were pretty gunked up in their bores and not free to rotate....wondering if the wear you see is from the recent turning it over by hand during the various testing and what not. Clean out bores and reinstall and check for rotation....would help identify if there is an issue with cam.
    ___________
    James Orofino
    1970 CJ5
    1958 Willys Wagon
    2010 Tacoma TRD

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