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To Teardown Or Not To Teardown

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Post  stevesgarage August 1st 2022, 11:02 pm

To Teardown Or Not To Teardown 480f2a11

So, after working with my SoCal "performance engine builder" for 3 years, I finally get my 501 out of his shop almost a year ago, dripping with black silicone from all gasket joints. I was so disgusted I just let it sit while I worked up the courage to redo the mess. I drained the oil, pulled the filter and started scraping away the mess around the pan. I then took a peek at the filter inlet holes and saw all these little chunks of black silicone trapped there! Picked out what I could with tweezers and now I have a decision to make. I got the pan off and the bottom of that looks like a neglected 50-year old 300,000 mile engine and not a freshly-built 20-minute run-stand engine! The decision is getting simpler to make. To teardown or not to teardown? I'm a 50-year career professional mechanic. Why the hell did I trust someone else to build my street rod engine?
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Post  cool40 August 2nd 2022, 12:51 am

What are you waiting on?
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Post  hbstang August 2nd 2022, 12:59 pm

now that you have the pan off,i would check some rod bearings,and the oil pump for sure.if everything looks good you can clean out and test fire again.
maybe bore scope the cylinders to see how things look there.
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Post  stevesgarage August 2nd 2022, 5:25 pm

hbstang wrote:now that you have the pan off,i would check some rod bearings,and the oil pump for sure.if everything looks good you can clean out and test fire again.
maybe bore scope the cylinders to see how things look there.

Good advice, my friend, but it gets worse. Now I find that a stud for #4 main cap (also holding the bracket for the oil pick-up tube) is snapped off in the block. Those are the studs that came with the PRW main stud girdle. How the heck do you snap one of those?! I have pretty much lost ANY faith I had left in anything that was done by this 'engine builder' and am moving towards complete DIY teardown, clean-out, and clearance check. Oh yeah, I also see that a con rod was hitting the oil pick-up tube because 'they' had to alter it's bracket location because of the girdle. I may not be the best mechanic around, but at least my eyes are connected to my brain!
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Post  dfree383 August 2nd 2022, 6:48 pm

Just saw a “big dollar” stroker Chevy at another shop with a similarly story, came from a big time builder in Cali…… something like $25g for a $7500 build and it was all junk and nothing was right.
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Post  stevesgarage August 2nd 2022, 9:25 pm

It's small comfort knowing that someone else is as dumb as I am, but hey, thanks for trying. (But anyway, it was only a Chevy!). And speaking of having my eyes connected to my brain; my brain finally kicked in and solved the mystery of the snapped main stud. The connecting rod bolt hitting the oil pump pickup tube must have been enough to snap the stud that was also holding the pickup tube bracket! Duh! So, on to more teardown and discovery.
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Post  Paul Kane August 3rd 2022, 12:30 pm

Hey Steve, sorry to hear about the outcome of your build with the SoCal engine builder. I still travel regularly between NorCal and SoCal, in fact I was in Santa Fe Springs just yesterday.  So if you would like me to take your engine to my shop in NorCal, have a look inside, and straighten out whatever your SoCal engine builder did, I’ll be happy to help, and most likely for less than any other knowledgeable BBF engine builder on the planet.  Call if interested
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Post  stevesgarage August 3rd 2022, 1:00 pm

Paul Kane wrote:Hey Steve, sorry to hear about the outcome of your build. I still travel regularly between NorCal and SoCal, in fact I was in Santa Fe Springs just yesterday.  If you would like me to take your engine to my shop in NorCal, have a look inside, and straighten out whatever your SoCal engine builder did, I’ll be happy to help, and most likely for less than any other knowledgeable BBF engine builder on the planet.  Call if interested

Now THAT is an offer beyond my wildest dreams! (A little too dramatic?) Seriously, I'll be calling you later today. Thanks Paul, you rock!
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