Guys I recently purchased a 23 running NH and timer that has sat for 8 yrs.
Cleaned out the fuel tank, fuel lines and carby, fitted new battery, rear wheels jacked up.
Put a small bit of oil in each pot then hand cranked a couple of times to ensure it was lubed. Compression checks first by hand crank and then after a few days gave another 10 checks via the starter and got 42 to 48 psi. No cylinders showed signs of valve problems.
Pulled plugs and lay on head, all four spark correctly to the eye.
This is what happened -
After about 8 cranks it fired on about 1 cylinder maybe 2. I let it run for a few minutes and it filled my garage with smoke, heaps of smoke.
I tried several times and always the same huge amount of smoke. The oil added a few days earlier I thought should have burnt away by now.
I tried another time after sitting for an hour and it revved out much better for a bit then died and I noticed I had turned off the fuel so I thought maybe the carby was flooding during the prior runs. I tried the fuel tap off again and couldn't get the high rev again.
I noticed some smoke chuffing out the exhaust manifold so I removed that and resealed ( I realise this wasn't a cause)
Next day got it running again on a couple of pots and left it running for a bit and noticed a water leak from the front drivers side (for you us guys) of the head gasket.
So took the head off and cleaned it up and I'm taking it to town for a shave tomorrow while I have it off.
Here is a couple of pics of what I found. It didn't look like the water leak was getting in but its hard to see as the gasket was stuck to the block and had to be scrapped off.
Timing - While head off I checked and the number 1 plug sparks just as the piston starts to lower on the compression stroke (so thats correct).
I've removed the exhaust manifold and will get that checked for a shave plus a spare I have just because I can.
Plan is to remove the inlet manifold and check for blockage etc and ensure a nice seal.
What I'm seeking is anything else I can look for and check before I refit the head etc.
I have cleaned the block/pistons/top of valves up nice.
Its a 23 with coils inside a wooden firewall, the spark looks to be correct as I crank I haven't played with the timer except to clean it out and oil, is there a potential issue in the timer even though the plugs fire correctly?
Maybe the cause was the cylinders were that oily, wet or gunked up but my gut feeling is its something else. Any advice would be much appreciated.
Your water leak is an easy one, the head gasket is on backwards, the larger water port through the gasket should be the rear one. As for the running, #2 hasn't been firing.
Thanks frank, yes someone picked up on the backward gasket when I first listed a pic of the engine when first purchased.
Not sure why No 2 isn't firing but you can see the buildup in the pics.
Don't mean to be a prophet of doom, but those two piece valves are a time bomb. As for the not firing, If the plugs are black with carbon they will not fire under compression.
Kevin, you may have considered these already but--try a richer setting on the carby,-- remove the valve side cover and view the valve action for problems,-- replace the spark plugs with a KNOWN good set,-- could you have a plugged up exhaust, --put in a KNOWN set of working coils from another car, --swap out the carby from a KNOWN running car, --I would put in new valves while you have the head off--seat them in properly,--take the time to check and clean ALL electrical connections. Good luck and let us all know what you find--I KNOW you can fix it!!! Regards. Joe
Suspect a vacuum leak where the intake meets the block.
You might consider ignition and carb function. Theres way too much carbon on the valves and pistons indicating too rich a mixture or cylinders not firing properly.Since you`ve checked the plugs and compression, looks like you might have a sticking choke or running too rich --I`d also get those coils checked and setup properly. Good luck---paul
Kevin,As others have told those two pice valves need to go! Look at that engine! Look at all the carbon! I think it's time to get it cleaned and the bore checked and also the valve guides!! Everything in that engine/trans is full of dirt and carbon so do it now and do it right!!!!!!! Bud in Wheeler,Mi.
This has nothing to do with running smoothly, but while the head is off you can make sure all the little water holes are clear.
Do you know how the engine ran before it was parked? That might be why it wasn't driven for 8 years. Do as instructed above. Use known good plugs, coils, and carburetor.
Your engine has a lot of carbon inside which might be an indication that it is an oil burner. Could be time for a complete rebuild.
At least it needs rings and valves, maybe much more. Check out the cylinders for taper and out of round, hone them first before installing rings. If they are worn beyond limits, re bore and replace the pistons. While it's apart check the rod bearings for out of round or taper and if it is beyond limits, you should take the entire engine out of the car and take apart and rebuild. While it's our check the transmission and magneto and rebuild if necessary. It is much cheaper to fix everything at once than to do a partial rebuild and then find out it needs more work so take it down again and again. I agree that the valves should be replaced because you have the kind which are known for breaking valve heads off which will cause much damage to the pistons and maybe even to the head.
Once you get the T into good running condition, it takes very little maintenance to keep it up.
So don't get discouraged.
The head had a decent bow and needed 18 thou planned to get straight.
Steve I have cleared the water holes.
Norman I was told it ran before the owner died and this was the T he used the most. The other one I purchased off them runs fine after sitting the same time.
The oil level is full, could have been changed just prior to storage/topped up or didn't burn much oil who knot sticking, looking at the coil effect on each plug they look fine to the eye but I do have a set of new ones at the local auto sparkie so I will get hold of them and try for next crank up.
The block and head have cleaned up well, exhaust manifold was planned but I didn't take the inlet with me. I will remove that and ensure sealing right.
Will remove the valve cover and have a look, I havent done valves before but I think I have a full set of one piece valves in my parts bits. What all do I need to change to one piece?
When you say the two piece valves are a time bomb what happens if they fail?
Bob maybe i didn't get enough carbon out of the plugs so I will try some different ones.
Norm nice thought but with 3 T's in the shed this one is the lowest priority at the moment and wont be getting a engine rebuild. I will try most the things mentioned first and see how it goes.
Joe I will try one item at a time once the head is back on.
The valve head pops off while the motor is running. Gets bumped around by the piston, making some nasty noise as it knocks holes in the head , piston or cylinder walls.
To do the valves right, you need a seat grinder. You grind 3 different angles so that the actual seat is 45 degrees but narrow, about 1/16 inch. New valves don't need the head ground, but might be good to put in a grinder to be sure. With the original solid lifters, you will need to grind the stems to fit. This is done with the heel of the cam up toward the lifter so that the lifter is at it's lowest travel. Then grind so that you have about 10 thousandths clearance. Start there and then grind more to set by the piston height method. You need the booklet "Engine" published by the club so that you can follow the instructions for setting the valves by piston height. The actual clearances between the lifter and the valve stem will vary for each valve if you use this method, but with an older camshaft it will give the smoothest running engine. If you set the valves by the clearance method, set at 12 thousandths for all valves. it will be quieter, but not necessarily run the smoothest. Especially true with an older worn camshaft. Anyway, the details are too big to post here, but the book has a very good easy to follow instruction. If you don't have the grinders, you might find someone in your local club who can help you, or even tow the car into a shop who can do the grinding for you. The grinding can be done with the engine in the car.
While the 3 angle valve seat is a good idea, I don't know that the T ever had that configuration for the seat. After I read the comments and gave the dial up time to down load the photos I went back and looked at them. I expected to see really nasty carbon build up, I really don't think it is as bad as the all that. Yes on replacing the valves and yes clean it up. No 2 might be pumping a bit more oil then the rest. The No 1 exhaust valve is about the color I would expect and the rest should be about the same. Could have been running a bit on the rich side.
Bob, I see it is a bit of a time bomb, so nobody runs 2 piece valves anymore? Even the die hard keep it standard guys?
Thanks Norm some good advice.
Mark that sounds a bit more positive. If there was a poor interface between head & block could this cause some of the problems and findings?
I am wondering whether the oil I added to help lube up a few days prior to first fire up has exaggerated any issues.
Kevin, although a photo every now and then turns up of someone having the cast iron valve break, I've never seen one do it, the T engine has other risks as well, you probably have just as much chance of doing a big end or breaking a crank shaft, so just starting and running a T has a time bomb for tomorrow or in another 50 years.
The only time my Coupe has failed on the road in the past 40 years, actually into Craig French's driveway, was when a two piece valve decided to become two pieces.
So it does happen and Bruce's (RIP) comment at the time, was that two piece valves were only good for throwing way.
The two piece valves worked fine back when they were new, but now some 90 years later they may have corroded at the connection between the valve stem and the cast on valve head. Metal fatigue follows soon right at the joint when the corrosion has given a starting point for a crack to form.
New valves are so cheap it's not worth the risk using old ones. You may even find usable used Chevy V8 exhaust valves really cheap if you ask at some local engine rebuilders shop.
Considering everything I think I might clean everything up, refit the manifolds correctly and refit the head and try again.
If no luck I will try coils, Carby, timer etc 1 by one and narrow it down that way I can drive it and see if I enjoy the Depot hack first.
Maybe it will become a winter project to change the valves.
I'll let you know the result, might take a few days.
Thanks for your comments Guys
Well guys considering I don't know anything for certain about the engine condition and its best to have the block out to do all the valves correctly and potentially other work I reassembled everything as it is.
The rear of the block was well pitted, cleaned that as best I could. I only had composite head gasket on hand so used that.
When filling with water I noticed a water drip from the rear of the gasket where the block was pitted, I flushed the block/radiator for about an hour then refilled it and the dripping had stopped?
So connected everything up and tried to start it up and the same black clouds of smoke and running on a few pots problem hadn't gone.
I took the carby off and made another up from bits I had lying about and it worked, runs much better. So it was the carby all the time causing the problems.
I had it running for about 15mins on a few occasions so it got well up to running temperature., the more I ran it the smoother it ran, it was purring away nice at low idle in the end. I re torqued the head while it was warm.
The Radiator looks to be working fine, no water leaks, no major engine smoke, generator works and moving forward and back the trans feels very nice.
I'm waiting on a fuel connection so I made up a hose with a funnel attached to the steering wheel to start it up and test run (had to keep topping it up with fuel) hence I haven't driven it on the road yet however at fast idle there is a noticeable bottom end knock. It goes away completely when timing is retarded about halfway between starting position and normal running position.
I'll know more after a decent test run next week but bottom end work is unkown territory for me.
Long term the engine will need an overhaul but in the meantime is it possible to pack or adjust the bottom end play while the engine is still in the car?