Another update. My more mechanically versed friend spoke with the engine rebuilder yesterday on my behalf since he's more familiar with the symantics. The engine rebuilder has also been thinking about this. He did agree that the timing marks "could have been" aligned dot-to-dot and not offset like the manual states, since the majority of motors are set dot-to-dot. He's in agreement that it appears that cam timing is off.
I wasn't able to follow up with him on Saturday after my friend spoke to him. I plan to stop by his shop on Monday to ask him how he plans to rectify the situation since someone will have to do the work again. I'm not looking forward to pulling the engine out again if that's needed, nor do I plan to. I'm also not looking forward dealing with the mess of draining the coolant and removing the radiator. I already spent enough money on this problem this week since my buddy doesn't work for free. Plus, if the rebuilder won't fix the issue himself, then I'll need to get my buddy to do it. Again, he doesn't work for free. However, I would prefer the rebuilder to perform the fix so that the "warranty" still remains with him.
I had a simalar issue with my 215 after I went through it. Never thought anything of aligning the timing marks like I have on many other engines. No matter what I did I could not get it to fire. Looked in the shop manual to find I had set the timing incorrectly. Corrected it and it started right up. The good news is the engine DOES NOT need to come out. It is not easy but you can do it with the engine in. If I remember correctly the radiator needs to come out along with the fan. Then the front engine mounts need to be disconnected, carefully jack the front of the engine up and remove the damper. Then remove the front cover. There maybe a few other small things along the way but it is totally do able (however it is a pain in the.....). My suggestion is to load the truck on a trailer and take it to the shop that assembled the engine and let them do the work.
Glad to hear that someone else had that same issue on the same motor.
We've actually replaced the timing chain in this engine before when it began to backfire (before the rebuild). I'm familiar with how pain in the **** it is of a job. I just don't like messing with the coolant residue and cramped space. It just would have been so simple to do it right the first time, especially since I gave him the shop manual to reference.
Unfortunately, he doesn't have the space in his shop to house my Panel and he's not a "mechanic" per se. He's a machinist and a rebuilder. I will ask him, however, to have him foot the bill for someone of his choice to do the work. If not, then I'll ask him to reimburse me for the money I have into it currently, plus the new gasket kit and the time it'll take to fix his mistake. I prefer him to do the work just because I don't feel like messing with it anymore. Who knows what else will go wrong next. I'd rather have him deal with the headache. I've had a big enough headache this past week trying to find the problem.
I'd be real cautious about having the shop work on a finished (painted) truck. Better your friend does it and the shop authorizes him to do it (and pays him). The shop isn't in a position to argue IMO.
I know you don't want to or feel you should have to mess with it, but in the long run it would be best if you pulled the engine back out yourself and took it to him to find the problem and fix it. Won't take that long to get it out, and the mess can be contained if you go to your DIY store and buy a plastic concrete/mortar mixing tub to catch all the liquids, they are large enough to catch and hold everything in the engine, heavy enough to stay in place.
I don't know what equipment you are using to pull your engine Ilya (a rope and an Alabama shade tree like me? ) but if you can't get your machinist to do anything else maybe you can get him to rent you a good engine hoist?
Just a thought to make life easier and less chance of damaging that nice panel truck.
I don't see any need to spend the time pulling the engine, it's very do-able with just the fan and shroud out of the way (maybe the radiator). Maybe not luxurious room, but compared to the time it would take to pull the hood, disconnect the exhaust, cooling system, electrical, etc., I'd gladly suffer the cramped space.
If the shop insists on the engine being brought to them, they should be willing to pay for someone pulling it. I'd take it to the Airflow guy!
Just met with the rebuilder. He's sorry that this occurred. He admitted to never referencing the shop manual because all engines have the timing marks aligned. He said that he only references the manual when something goes wrong. Given the choice of having someone of his selection do the job or have my friend do it, he chose to have my friend to get it done. He will also pay for the new timing cover gasket kit. He will also reimburse me for the time spent (and paid) to my friend last week when trying to find the issue.
Ross is right. The motor doesn't have to come out. It's just a very cramped space. The radiator needs to be pulled, as well as the dampener, fan and the timing cover. We did this same procedure once before on the same motor before the rebuild when we repalced the timing chain. The engine needs to be lifted slightly since the front motor mounts are cast into the timing cover, but I'll use a jack with blocks of wood under the oil pan. I just need a little clearance. If I use the engine hoist, it'll just be in the way. I may pull the grille to give us better access.
Hopefully, the timing marks are the problem. We'll know more next week when we're able to get to it again.
Thanks to everyone for the outpour of suggestions. They really helped.
Everything is sure pointing to the timing marks being off. Thats real dissapointing that the builder didn't reference the manual you lent him. Its good that he's stepping up to get it corrected though. Hang in there, take it step by step and before you know it you'll have that beauty of an engine purring like a kitten and this will all be a bad memory.
Good thing your rebuilder is reputable. It is such a pain to pay somebody to do things because they can do it right and quickly and then go through the grief that you have! In the long run, it will just be a bad memory and one that you will have learned from. Not sure what the lesson is, but never the less it will be a memory.
Last edited by topmoo; 06-26-2012 at 10:15 PM.
if you do the prossess that i refered to you will know wheather or not the timing on the cam/crank is off without pulling anything but the valve cover i have done this many times and its works but you do as you want its your engine
Hang in there Ilya, that engine is just too nice to switch out for a newer one. Sorry you're having such problems starting the old girl, but it sounds like you're on the right track . Lucky the rebuilder is honest.... look on the bright side, he's gonna pay for his mistake. This will just be another bump along the road in retrospect, and you'll be glad you didn't sell it. I understand the frustration, but it's part of this madness we all love. Good Luck Dean
It sounds as if you now know what is wrong and the builder seems to be taking responsebilety, that has to releive some of the frustration. Under the circomstancis it seems to be the best outcome one could hope for. Yes its a real drag, and an unneccesary disapointment and alot of extra work, but you should be up and running with a stunning truck befor long. Im sure sorry that your having to go thru this.