: Should I use this engine or not?



miwise
08-30-10, 08:14 PM
I'd really like to use this engine as I've already spent more than this car is worth on repairing what began as a head gasket fix. Here's the deal. I bought an engine. Lets say it will bolt up to my car with a little work. I was pretty much given this engine (picked up for 50 dollars). He originally wanted 600 and said it ran great but I did a compression test on it and the numbers were as follows:

30-60-85-120
210-210-210-175

Of course these are rounded and approximate but you get the idea. I pulled the heads today and found the cylinder with 30psi had badly blown. The metal ring was obviously bent out of round. I don't want to unbolt any of the pistons. I want them to retain the factory torquing. I will have to unbolt the lower girdle b/c this is a 96 engine and I'll be putting it in a 99 sts if all pans out. The problem is I don't want to build a bad engine. Is there a way to make sure the lower end is good? I took pictures and will post of the cylinders. Notice the back cylinder (this is the one with appx 175 psi) It looks like it has some marks from the piston moving up and down the cylinder but all the cylinders feel smooth. I sprayed carb cleaner to try and free some of the carbon and trash around the pistons. Should I scrap this engine?

If I build here's my plans:
1. install jake's kit
2. install msl cometic gaskets
3. have heads remanufactured and cleaned/valve seats worked over
4. Have block and head surfaces prepared by machine shop ready to install heads

This will not be a cheap fix but I want it as strong as possible. I was quoted about 1500 to 2500 dollars for a used northstar engine (cant afford that and the right stuff to install jakes kit). I may be able to get one for around 1250 if lucky. I'd rather use the 96 block though and modify it as I already have it if it will work. HELP! I need guidance. Thanks! :-)

miwise
08-30-10, 08:33 PM
67916
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Here you can see the Mark on the cylinder with 175psi of compression:
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Notice that it looks like the cylinders are laying down on the engine and not perfectly centered. You can see the factory cross hatch.
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Ranger
08-30-10, 10:47 PM
That thing looks questionable to me, but I'd wait to see what more informed guys like Sub, Ewill, AJ & Jake, just to name a few, have to say. I see what appear to be rust in at least one cylinder wall.

miwise
08-31-10, 12:12 AM
That just started today. after I opened it up.

ewill3rd
08-31-10, 08:08 AM
AJ is your man on this one, if you can find him.

miwise
08-31-10, 09:44 AM
Here's the sound my current engine makes:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ixUST-uSffk

<object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/ixUST-uSffk&hl=en&fs=1"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/ixUST-uSffk&hl=en&fs=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></embed></object>

Just wanted yall to know what I'm up against here. This is the engine in the car. IDK why my video didn't embed correctly.

tateos
08-31-10, 04:14 PM
Micah - some of those cylinder walls look a little scuffed up, so it's not an ideal engine. If you want to use it, if it were me, I would put the minimum investment into it - stud the block, clean the mating surfaces, inspect the cams and lifters, and if OK, assemble as-is with standard gaskets.

Richard Moore

Submariner409
08-31-10, 04:50 PM
If the rust just started, coat the bores with engine oil to prevent further rust - and the eventual pitting which is the end of the block. Another problem is that you can't see the rings - if they're rusted and/or stuck in their grooves you're into an expensive ring/new piston job along with the associated bearings.

I don't like that vertical line in the one 175 psi cylinder. (210 seems a bit high, the other 4 were low.)........and low compression is either rings or valves.

Mark C
08-31-10, 06:25 PM
Your going to be drilling the block for new motor mount holes. Motor mounts are totally different in post 98 cars than pre 98 cars.

miwise
08-31-10, 08:25 PM
Update: I found an engine for $525 a few hours away from here. It was involved in a engine compartment fire (it toasted the coils and wiring around that, intake I was told is still good. . .not that that matters). I'm hopefully having it compression tested Friday. I'll purchase it if compression readings are good. Still plan on doing valve job on it along with having a machine shop install jake's kit into it. I can get both heads redone for 400 plus about that much for installation and gasket surface prep. Anybody need any northstar parts? I have 3 engines. LOL

johnny kannapo
09-10-10, 12:51 PM
Engine oil is not Ideal for protecting surfaces from rust and may trap moisture. Many spray lubes have chemicals that dissipate moisture Like WD40 but I would recommend a better quailty spray lube JB 80 or Blaster ect... I don't think the bores look that bad. All you can do is a comparison to the original motor & judge how that performed/consumed.

johnny kannapo
09-10-10, 12:56 PM
Notice that it looks like the cylinders are laying down on the engine and not perfectly centered. You can see the factory cross hatch.
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Gravity

Submariner409
09-10-10, 07:31 PM
Engine oil is not Ideal for protecting surfaces from rust and may trap moisture. Many spray lubes have chemicals that dissipate moisture Like WD40 but I would recommend a better quailty spray lube JB 80 or Blaster ect... I don't think the bores look that bad. All you can do is a comparison to the original motor & judge how that performed/consumed.

Remember that WD-40 dries to a sticky solid - not what you want in the ring grooves.

miwise
09-10-10, 11:04 PM
I wound up buying a motor from a salvage yard from a car that was involved in a fire. I took a gamble but should be able to get it running with minimal effort. Maybe it will buy me some time, enough to save some more money up and take it to someone for the stud job.

miwise
09-10-10, 11:55 PM
Ok, I pulled the engine out of my car. The one that was rebuilt. I haven't dismantled it yet but I did notice it had a large leak around the rear main seal (which was replaced with felpro brand). This could have been a large part of my oil loss in my engine. I'll know more after I have time to take it apart. If I ever find time. LOL