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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
Definetly take your time
, double check oil etc. By the way you are using break in oil? If you want to be absolutley sure where your tdc is...use a piston stop. There are youtube videosto help. Not really neccesary to start it but when you do your total timing it will be more accurate. Then check to make sure you got spark at the end of your spark plug wire and have fuel in the carb. Spark, fuel & timing = 馃殌
Funny thing. I checked the weather forecast yesterday and it looked OK for today. I had my oldest in the garage helping prep the engine to try firing it up again. We were just ready to push the car outside and it started to rain. Checked my phone and it looks like it's supposed to rain for the next 4 hours or so. Washed out again. Tomorrow looks clear so prime the oil pump again and try then.

I had the valve covers off and had my son hold a finger over the #1 plug hole. Both say that I am now at TDC.
 

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I just did a break in a couple weeks ago and it is nerve wracking. But all came together for me. Slow and steady always win the race. Patience pays off! Look forward to hearing about your start up. Film it!
 

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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
Jared:"Was not questioning Darrin."

PJ: I was being sarcastic - like Yankees are known for. (y)
We are also known for taking things way to seriously. Some would call it a character flaw. I just call it character. You can move away from New England but you take it with you.

Weather is clear for today so as soon as my sons are up and about, it's go time. My wife is the only one who has work today. She is home office based so this is going to be a loud day for her.
 

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Discussion Starter · #25 ·
Just did the first run cycle. Made a mess with the cut valve covers. Had to shut it off after the first two minutes to avoid a fire. Ran long enough to verify that all the pushrods were spinning. Installed the good valve covers and gave it the spurs. Everything sounds good. I was a bit out of time to begin with so it heated up quick. Once I found the full advance mark I made, it smoothed out and went well. Going to let it cool down for a couple hours and do the next cycle. I'm working inside of my wife's meetings window.

Only issue I have is the vacuum advance on the distributer is interfering with the heating hose when the engine is timed correctly. I'll have to put the advance in a different position for the final tune.

Thanks to everyone for all the help on this.
 

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Good deal. Pushrods all spinning is a good sign. Sounds like you are all set. Retarded timing will cause the engine to run hot, did that myself and then adjusted the timing and it was good.

After your final heat cycle of the engine and let it fully cool down again, go back and re-torque the heads, intake, carb. The heads will most likely be good, but I find the intake/carb will take a little tightening. Just saves having a vacuum leak you have to hunt for or a blown out gasket. (y)
 

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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
Just saw this. I didn't get a chance to check in again yesterday because it was pretty late by the time I was finished and I was tired. I also owed the wife dinner out since I set off the CO monitor during a work meeting. Long story on that one but I'll tell a short version of it. I have an under house garage. The car was outside and the door was closed but I guess the back of the car was too close to the door and I neglected to close the AC vent that's cut into the door so the garage filled with fumes. Fast forward 45 minutes after the first run cycle and the fumes had seeped into the basement and triggered the alarm. Because it is hard wired in, it went off all over the house.

Anyway, I ran it through all of the cycles but didn't check fasteners in between. I'm going to pull the intake anyway so that will get reinstalled with new gaskets. I wasn't crazy about how I blocked off the blind exhaust crossovers. The Felpro gasket set has reinforced plates that can be set to either block off just the top holes or both center holes. Still not sure which way I want to run it. They were completely blocked on the old engine. I'll retorque after the first couple drives. While I'm in there, I may pull the valley pan for when I reset the rockers. I found it pretty easy to do when I could see most of the camshaft. It's a little more work, but it was how I did it the first go around with no issue.
 

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Maybe go to Home Depot/Lowes and buy a stick of aluminum angle over at the metal aisle. Cut it to length to fit underneath the cut-outs in your valve cover. Just rivet them in place. Aim the angle down and it may block the oil shooting from the rocker arms and direct the oil back to the head. Then you can adjust the lifters/valves while running using the "zero lash" method once you install your valve springs, and you won't have to pull the valley pan.

If you check your heads, that small pocket/opening is not part of the exhaust crossover. It is a blind/sealed pocket. The one below it is the exhaust crossover. However, it becomes a problem using the 1971 and earlier heads as the exhaust crossover port is larger, and does not seal correctly with the earlier gasket. If you want to retain the exhaust crossover port ( or maybe just use one side for a little heat) you can fill the pocket in with furnace cement, but you also need a flat/flush surface for the earlier gasket to seal. The below article outlines what to do. I would not dig out the cement if it did not work out to be flat as the article says. I would find some gind of sealant to use instead.

Once you do this, then you could use the "block-off" plate if you wanted to block off the exhaust heat crossover.

Read this:

https://www.gtoforum.com/attachments/pontiac-intake-modifiaction-pdf.103985/
 

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Discussion Starter · #31 · (Edited)
Ah. Interesting. The gaskets I have on the car now, and the second set I have the shelf, both have smaller center holes than what is shown in the article so I doubt I'll have a leak whichever way I go with it. The gasket material hits the head material that is between the top hole and the exhaust hole which is under the intake manifold I am running.

I marked the distributer very close to the correct setting as it was installed in the car and turned it so the vacuum advance is behind the heater hose. If my measurements are correct, it's now going to be pretty close to the firewall depending on how far clockwise it needs to go. I may pull it off again and see if going the other direction looks better. The car had an HEI on it before but the new one doesn't seem to want to line up.

Correction. I moved it over one tooth and it looks like it may be OK. I was focusing on the terminal rather than where the rotor would be when the engine was running. If my measurements are good, I now have room to advance the timing but very little to retard it with the vacuum advance between the intake and the heater hose. I won't find out until I get the valve springs installed and change the oil. Also, I have quite a mess to clean up. I'm pretty sure it's all from running with the cut covers. There's no way I have an oil leak as bad as what I'm seeing under there (and it's all in the wrong place to boot). Fingers crossed.
 

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Just did the first run cycle. Made a mess with the cut valve covers. Had to shut it off after the first two minutes to avoid a fire. Ran long enough to verify that all the pushrods were spinning. Installed the good valve covers and gave it the spurs. Everything sounds good. I was a bit out of time to begin with so it heated up quick. Once I found the full advance mark I made, it smoothed out and went well. Going to let it cool down for a couple hours and do the next cycle. I'm working inside of my wife's meetings window.

Only issue I have is the vacuum advance on the distributer is interfering with the heating hose when the engine is timed correctly. I'll have to put the advance in a different position for the final tune.

Thanks to everyone for all the help on this.
I'm not sure why but I put a vacuum advance on my MSD R2R and it faces the opposite way towards the brake booster, can you get it to do that for more clearance?
 

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Just noticed your interest in camshaft break in. The heart of the matter is valve spring pressure and camshaft material vs. lubrication. Quite a few flat tappet cams are cast iron made in various alloys. While tappets are a different alloy sometimes called "chilled" because it is manufactured with a very hard heat treatment created by a cooling process. Very few flat tappet cams are made from "steel" or anything else - but they are out there if you work on old or odd or race engines so any generic recommendation is at risk of being contradicted. That is why following each camshaft makers recommendations is important. They know their alloy and metal type best. That said; Crane and Comp and quite a few others limit break in pressure measured at the rocker arm short side to 280 lbs over the nose with "correct lubrication" and "correct procedures".

Correct lubrication depends on how long the engine will sit in storage before use and if it will be pre-lubricated again before start up. If it will sit a long time something more greasy is better. If only a few hours are between build up and start up then an oil or fluid is fine. But in either case it needs to be present when the engine rotates between the cam face and tappet - not squished out the side or wiped off from excessive cranking. Spring pressure wipes off the pre-lube if it isn't dripping so the engines lubrication system needs to engage that function rapidly once the engine starts. With high spring pressures it needs to engage within seconds or wear will start to occur. Wear can be thought of as accelerated break in which will eventually shorten the service life of the engine. Excessive break in wear can shorten the life of an engine to a few minutes. It is my opinion many engines experience rapid wear in a less than optimum start up, then a decreased rate of wear when the OEM lubrication system takes over. Overall that is a successful start up, but it isn't as long lasting as it could have been.

Correct procedure encompasses engine running speed and heat management. Most iron cams are "Parkerized" a chemical dip at controlled temperature and time which creates a hard surface on top of the cams ground surface. It activates at operating temperature and rapidly goes away which is a sacrificial aspect of the processes protecting a cam from initial damage. By the time it is gone the tappets will have worn into the cam and should be mated enough not to need further extra protection past what the regular engine oil and supplements can provide. Over the nose load is controlled by engine speed. The faster a cam is spun the lower over the nose pressure is, because the tappet is moving away from the cam as it crests the nose. If the tappets need a lot of metal "removed" to mate to a cam lobe, and the lubrication is marginal, temperature limits for all parts of the break in process will be exceeded resulting in failure. Turning a cam slowly increases over the nose load and oil wipe off. Speeding it up moves the max load point toward the opening flank and ramps where is is better distributed into the camshaft lobe profile. Higher engine speed generally means increased oil circulation, hence better internal camshaft cooling occurs.

Anyway, I agree with many posts here that on a stock engine with modest cranking and some pre-lube and other oil supplements present in the crankcase oil, I doubt troubles will beset you.
The engineering limits built into these OEM Pontiac motors are very safe for most people to work within.

Best regards, Ladd
 

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Ah. Interesting. The gaskets I have on the car now, and the second set I have the shelf, both have smaller center holes than what is shown in the article so I doubt I'll have a leak whichever way I go with it. The gasket material hits the head material that is between the top hole and the exhaust hole which is under the intake manifold I am running.

I marked the distributer very close to the correct setting as it was installed in the car and turned it so the vacuum advance is behind the heater hose. If my measurements are correct, it's now going to be pretty close to the firewall depending on how far clockwise it needs to go. I may pull it off again and see if going the other direction looks better. The car had an HEI on it before but the new one doesn't seem to want to line up.

Correction. I moved it over one tooth and it looks like it may be OK. I was focusing on the terminal rather than where the rotor would be when the engine was running. If my measurements are good, I now have room to advance the timing but very little to retard it with the vacuum advance between the intake and the heater hose. I won't find out until I get the valve springs installed and change the oil. Also, I have quite a mess to clean up. I'm pretty sure it's all from running with the cut covers. There's no way I have an oil leak as bad as what I'm seeing under there (and it's all in the wrong place to boot). Fingers crossed.
? Vacuum advance can on the distributor is located on the driver's side of the engine. Sounds like you have it positioned on the passenger side where the water heater hose is found.
 

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One more thing to check, I wasted an hour trying to figure out why mine wouldn't start after rebuilding. It was the new HEI distributor wires weren't plugged into the bottom side of the distributor. I unplugged it to remove the cap so I could rotate the rotor and forgot to plug it back in......duh.
 

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Discussion Starter · #36 ·
? Vacuum advance can on the distributor is located on the driver's side of the engine. Sounds like you have it positioned on the passenger side where the water heater hose is found.
That would explain it. I was going with how it was installed on the old engine. My guess is they did it the way they did because the lead wire to the distributer only reached there. I ran a new one anyway so that's not an issue for me. I'll correct that after I get everything else done for final tune. Whoever owned this car before me was a bit creative to be polite about it.

I spent some time last night cleaning up under the car. I had a moment of panic because the bell housing access cover was saturated with oil and dripping. I pulled it off and the clutch, fly wheel, etc are all bone dry. Looks like oil leaked down the side and collected there. While I was under there I checked the rear of the oil pan, the front cover, and both main seals. Basically, anything that I touched that could leak oil (which was basically everything except the rear main). All dry. The only real leak I found was the drain plug on the pan is seeping. I need to change the oil anyway so I'll pick up a new one beforehand.
 

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Discussion Starter · #37 ·
Just noticed your interest in camshaft break in. The heart of the matter is valve spring pressure and camshaft material vs. lubrication. ...
This is all good stuff. I spent quite a few years working R&D for a lubricant base stock supplier and got to tour quite a few of our customer (or potential customer) locations. During that time, one of my job functions was to learn as much as possible about the industry including basic formulations etc. Your explanation here is really good.

In hindsight, my original post was a bit of an over reaction. I was pretty upset when it didn't start the first time and was sure I had wrecked something. I always seem to expect the worst, that's just how my brain is wired. This case was an extreme example because of how much time and money I have into this project. I also had a seasonal, but unknown, deadline looming. I live is SE Massachusetts and it can snow here in October (this happened last year) or be 70 and sunny in January. There is no knowing when the winter weather will hit and when it will end. When I was in college, we had a huge blizzard on April fools day. It dropped 2 1/2 feet of snow and lasted for three days.
 

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Jim Hand's solution for mismatched intakes/heads.

"There is a problem that occurs when using 1967 to 1971 manifolds with 1972 and later heads. The exhaust crossover opening on the right side of the manifold is much taller than the crossover opening in the head. Unlike the earlier head, the 1972 and later heads have an additional opening immediately above the small crossover port and this prevents either the early gasket with a large opening or the later gasket with the smaller opening from sealing the crossover. The solution is to use the small opening gasket (72 and later) with a thin stainless steel shim to cover the total area presented by the intake manifold opening. (Only stainless will work; other materials will burn through.) Use copious amounts of high temperature silicone seal on both sides of the gasket and shim. Incidentally, the opening is there only to save weight and does not need to be sealed."

Font Parallel Pattern Electric blue Symmetry
 

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Discussion Starter · #39 ·
Thanks PJ. That was how the old engine was built. I replaced the gaskets that were on the car for cam break in with ones from Felpro that came with reinforced plates with gasket material for the center. Basically, the same idea. I decided to keep the exhaust crossover so I used the plates with the small holes. I'm running a Torquer II intake which has the smaller exhaust holes so this seemed to work fine.


I spent most of the day installing the inner valve springs and putting the engine back together. I pulled the intake and the valley pan for this to make adjusting them easier. It's a good thing I did, it looked like I had a pretty good oil leak coming out of the rear of the valley pan. I have about 1 hour of work for tomorrow, including an oil change, and it should be road ready. Today was my wedding anniversary and I had plans with the wife in the late afternoon. She gave me most of the day for the car and I just ran out of time. She told me to finish and we could switch the plans to tomorrow but I just couldn't do that to her. She's a keeper for sure.
 

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Discussion Starter · #40 ·
Alrighty. I figure I owe you guys an update on how it went. I finished buttoning up the car this morning by about noon. Had a tough time getting it to fire up and stay running. I remembered that the carb that I put on there for break in was set with a fairly low idle so I gave it a little more using the adjustment screw. Fired right up and idled. The timing may need to be tweaked but it is really close to right. At startup it has around 70 pounds oil pressure dropped to just shy of 60 once heated up. The temperature sticks right at 175 so no issues there. I brought it for a quick ride, and filled it with gas. Engine seems to run great. I have a lot of wiring to fix on the car but that looks to be a winter project. One score is my mystery shifter rattle is gone. Funny that the engine wasn't actually making any noise but the indicator that the crank was eating itself was an annoying rattle in the shifter.

I'm sure I'll come back to you guys with more questions, but for now I consider this project to be done. I thank everyone for their help and support through this. I think I aged 10 years in the past week and a half.
 
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