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Engine Rebuild Part 2

  #61  
Old 02-27-2016, 03:20 PM
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Bronco, the EFI head (but not the 240 head, obviously) was designed to increase performance and mpg over the smog head while still being able to pass emissions regs. I heard the same stories about cracking, asked about it, and was told by Flyer and others that the story has been somewhat over-stated, and that for good mpg get an EFI head and get it pressure-tested (and maybe dye-checked) before you overhaul it. In other threads here, guys are bragging about their super high-miles 300s, which indicates that the known problems of this engine (the phenolic cam-drive gear and the factory pistons) are not so terrible, given regular maintenance and a sane driver.

How many of those "crack-prone" heads were on engines that got run low on water or oil at some point? My auto machinist sends out his finished heads with little stick-on telltale tags; if the engine is overheated, the center of the tag melts out, so the guilty owner can't blame the shop. When we buy used vehicles or parts, the seller's stories are not to be trusted.
 
  #62  
Old 02-28-2016, 10:34 AM
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Yeah, Smitty, I'm not sure what the deal was with the EFI head getting the rep of cracking. My thought is there's some truth to it since I've read it dozens of times, and never heard it mentioned about a non-efi head. Dunno. My guess on it was that since they added 3 more bolt holes for the manifolds, they had to rework some of the inner water jackets, which wasn't as strong as a design. No validity to that, just a theory I came up with.

As for a 240 head vs what I have now, I think I'd probably place that in my "it would be cool" category, but not something I'll worry about too much. (Thanks for the offer though FordMan.)

I think with a good port and polish and larger valves, it'll be more than plenty for me.
 
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Old 02-28-2016, 12:45 PM
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Just noticed this, is the car the '81 Bronco listed at the bottom of your posts? And you're in Boise? I'm surprised you have to meet any emissions specs with a vehicle that old (and glad that I don't).

I have long had a 240 head all prepped for an engine. But having read enough on this subject from our esteemed Flyer, especially now with his post on page 3 of this thread, and wanting to maximize fuel efficiency with my next 300 I've acquired an EFI head, and will save the 240 head for something else. Thanks for the tip about intake lift in an EFI head, FF.

My hunch is that the various interested parties, all of whom possess enormous power although they do not all agree on everything, are not going to let oil/fuel prices stay this low for much longer.
 
  #64  
Old 02-28-2016, 03:54 PM
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You'll be happy with the power gain from the porting and larger valves. Are you also adding a mild cam?

So, are you helping it breathe, and then constricting it with efi mannies? That seems counter productive and waste of money. I know the manifolds are great, but 1.75" tube pretty much sums them up. One hedman tube is 1.5". One Cliffy tube is 1.62".
 
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Old 02-28-2016, 06:26 PM
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Originally Posted by F-250 restorer View Post
So, are you helping it breathe, and then constricting it with efi mannies? That seems counter productive and waste of money. I know the manifolds are great, but 1.75" tube pretty much sums them up. One hedman tube is 1.5". One Cliffy tube is 1.62".

The EFI manifolds are still more reliable on the street. With the mods he has mentioned porting the EFI manifolds is a good idea. Open up the outlets as much as possible. The manifolds are pretty short. So if they open up into a nice free flowing exhaust system, the choking down can be minimized. Sometimes a compromise between reliability and all out performance is just the way to go.
 
  #66  
Old 02-29-2016, 12:23 PM
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Originally Posted by seattle smitty View Post
Just noticed this, is the car the '81 Bronco listed at the bottom of your posts? And you're in Boise? I'm surprised you have to meet any emissions specs with a vehicle that old (and glad that I don't).

I have long had a 240 head all prepped for an engine. But having read enough on this subject from our esteemed Flyer, especially now with his post on page 3 of this thread, and wanting to maximize fuel efficiency with my next 300 I've acquired an EFI head, and will save the 240 head for something else. Thanks for the tip about intake lift in an EFI head, FF.

My hunch is that the various interested parties, all of whom possess enormous power although they do not all agree on everything, are not going to let oil/fuel prices stay this low for much longer.
Yeah, we're the only area in the entire state that has any emissions regulations. We're a large metro area up against the mountains, so air likes to stick around. As such, any pollution can really suck. And just my luck, it's 1981 and newer. Fortunately, I don't have a visual of any kind, so as long as I pass the sniffer, I pass. Usually takes a couple tweaks of my idle mixture and a jet change every two years, so it's not too big of a deal. But still, if I get myself in a position where I can't pass, I'm in trouble.

I agree on the gas cost issue, too. I have no delusions that our current gas prices ($1.89 here) are going to remain. It was $4.50 only a short time ago, and there's no reason that it couldn't be that way again soon.

Originally Posted by F-250 restorer View Post
You'll be happy with the power gain from the porting and larger valves. Are you also adding a mild cam?

So, are you helping it breathe, and then constricting it with efi mannies? That seems counter productive and waste of money. I know the manifolds are great, but 1.75" tube pretty much sums them up. One hedman tube is 1.5". One Cliffy tube is 1.62".
I'm debating between a few different cams, but yeah, I'm going to go with something a bit more than stock. Comp 260/268, or there's some Crane, Crower, or Howard ones I've been looking at as well. Haven't finalized on one yet though.

I understand on the headers. Who knows, maybe that'll be in the cards some day in the future. But not at the moment. My main goal is to rebuild the engine, and build it up while I'm at it. A good set of headers, along with the exhaust work to change my pipes, is going to probably run me a quarter of what the engine rebuild will cost and I just don't have that right now. As discussed previously, sometimes you need to figure out where to draw lines.

Originally Posted by fordman75 View Post
The EFI manifolds are still more reliable on the street. With the mods he has mentioned porting the EFI manifolds is a good idea. Open up the outlets as much as possible. The manifolds are pretty short. So if they open up into a nice free flowing exhaust system, the choking down can be minimized. Sometimes a compromise between reliability and all out performance is just the way to go.
This is my primary thought. They still flow really well, and I have a nice 2.5" exhaust out the back. I also appreciate their durability and the set/forget. I'm building a daily driver, off-roader, so reliability/durability is definitely a factor.
 
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Old 02-29-2016, 12:43 PM
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Originally Posted by AbandonedBronco View Post

I understand on the headers. Who knows, maybe that'll be in the cards some day in the future. But not at the moment. My main goal is to rebuild the engine, and build it up while I'm at it. A good set of headers, along with the exhaust work to change my pipes, is going to probably run me a quarter of what the engine rebuild will cost and I just don't have that right now. As discussed previously, sometimes you need to figure out where to draw lines.

This is my primary thought. They still flow really well, and I have a nice 2.5" exhaust out the back. I also appreciate their durability and the set/forget. I'm building a daily driver, off-roader, so reliability/durability is definitely a factor.
Yes. I often fail to consider, living in S.Cal as I do, with access to a wire feed welder (anyone can weld, right, Smitty?! ha ha), the cost of building an exhaust system, or the durability factor, since mine seldom experience much temp variation nor rain. You are building a fine engine.
 
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Old 02-29-2016, 02:12 PM
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  #69  
Old 02-29-2016, 04:09 PM
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Please forgive the hijack!

Originally Posted by seattle smitty View Post

I hope somebody will like this little story...

Years ago, I purchased a 1962 Pontiac Tempest from the original owner. The car had been stored for about 8 years and of course, the fuel system was all gunked up. The gasoline was red [remember leaded fuel?]. As I dropped the fuel tank for cleaning, I noticed it was not corrugated like is normal. On the bottom of the tank, where apparently it had once rusted, was a 3/16" thick stainless steel sheet which was flat and had been bent by a press break to follow the contours of the tank. The welds were absolutely gorgeous and looked like they could have been on an airplane or submarine. Later, I found out that the older gentleman from whom I purchased the car had worked at a nuclear power plant. I imagine that gas tank was somehow carried into that plant and worked on in the welding shop.

$2000 car with a $5000 gas tank!
 
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Old 03-01-2016, 11:06 AM
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That is a good story, but . . . so?? I bet 98% of us here, including you, will spend most of a day and $23 to repair an old part in preference to spending half an hour, and $29.99, to go to the store to buy a new part. We're fixers here, it's what we do!

I'm OLD, and I was indoctrinated in this "Don't buy new if you can fix what you have or can salvage" way of thinking by my dad, who grew up during the Depression. And of course, his father, born in the 1860s, came from a time when stores with shelves full of cheap new consumer products didn't exist, so people kept mending what they had. Dad died a few years ago, and I ran across a note he had written to remind himself to quit wasting time straightening bent nails that he had pulled out of whatever he might have dismantled. I waste a lot of time, but even I don't save and straighten bent nails. Then again, is it such a waste of time, saving some old thing that others would throw out (or HAVE thrown out), if it makes you feel frugal and virtuous??

Have you got that old Tempest fixed up? Cute little cars. I recall them having a weird transaxle and a flexible driveshaft.

(FWIW, anybody who wants to try welding stainless to carbon steel should use 309LC wire . . . ).
(Also FWIW, if anybody here has bought a little wirefeed welder, and is getting welds that look like the bad examples in my first link above, at a quick glance I would say that most of those guys are using wirefeed, and most of them need to turn up the voltage to get the bead to flow out better. They also need to take a night class in welding . . . ).
 
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Old 03-01-2016, 01:27 PM
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Originally Posted by seattle smitty View Post
That is a good story, but . . . so??


Have you got that old Tempest fixed up? Cute little cars. I recall them having a weird transaxle and a flexible driveshaft.

Fixed and sold, many years ago. 194.5" 4 cyl. [right bank of 389 V8] engine; "rope" or torque shaft drive; rear mounted transaxle, IRS, 15" wheels and the lugs on the driver's side were reverse thread. Yes, an unusual car and it had independent rear suspension 2 years BEFORE Corvette Stingray!

End of "hijack".
 
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Old 03-01-2016, 11:36 PM
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More engine pr0n and turbos please.
sub'd.
 
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Old 03-02-2016, 01:10 AM
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Originally Posted by seattle smitty View Post

Dang, Smitty, how did you find photos of my welding skill? It took me years to perfect that technique. I practiced long and hard to weld w/o melting the metals to be welded. Anyone can weld a normal old bead, but me, I'm an artist!
 
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Old 03-02-2016, 11:56 AM
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The little Tempset was also available with a, I believe 326 V8. Might have been 63 or 64 before birth of the GTO.

Aquired a Homelite generator, circa WWII. Painted silver back then, not the green we would know. Pancake gas tank had hundreds of pin holes. Stripped the bottom and with a large spool of leaded solder, I tinned the whole bottom of the tank. Still runs great and lend out during extended power failures.
 
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Old 03-05-2016, 09:29 AM
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Originally Posted by AbandonedBronco View Post
Yeah, Smitty, I'm not sure what the deal was with the EFI head getting the rep of cracking. My thought is there's some truth to it since I've read it dozens of times, and never heard it mentioned about a non-efi head. Dunno. <snip>
I am rebuilding a used '88 efi engine I picked up off CL. I took the head in to my local Napa store auto machine shop. When I got it back, the machinist said it was good, no cracks and that most of them these days that come in are cracked, so I got lucky (his words).

Like you, I have no personal experience other than what I've read or heard, but figure someone that does this for a living has some credible input. Regardless, checking for cracks is something that is part of the rebuilding process and would make me wary of buying an efi head used.

I am using this head with stock pistons, a little bit heathier cam, efi exhaust manifolds with the walker Y pipe, and a CL Offy intake with a 1.14 2150. Should be good in my '85 F150 4x4.
 

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