I just got a 1926 engine "short block" that was rebuilt. It is so tight I can not get it to spin at all. Is this normal? I was thinking of loosening up the caps and adding a little compound to burn in the bearings a little. Ideas?
Travis, make a 2 foot long bar, either with a crank yoke welded on or turn on a couple of bolts in the fly wheel flange, if you can't spin it then, then it's to tight. Don't mess with it your self, take it back to your re-builder.
in many cases the piston and ring combination is where the too tight feeling will occur ...if you do loosen the bearing caps , do them 1 at a time and check to see if the tightness is eliminated ...also do a visual check for high spots on the bearings ...assuming the bearings were bored with proper clearance and lubed this should not be a source of too tight ...also check rods for alignment ...a bent rod can also cause a too tight condition ...always an optimist gene french
Our 1926 rebuilt block was too tight. So, I put assembly lube on the cylinder walls, tried the long pipe but was still tight. Then the main bearings and connecting rods were loosened until I found the culprit myself. It was solved by fixing the shims on a rod, way off. Everything was re-torqued and now turns with a little effort.
Thanks for the info. Unfortunately I have no clue who the rebuilder was - it came from New Mexico and the rebuilder was said to be a well know guy in Colorado. I'll make a 2' bar and check it. I bought the engine for 2300 off a Facebook model t group.
^ found the original ad, that's the builder.
you might contact Steve Becker at Berts early Ford in Denver ...Antique Automotive Engineering was associated with Bert's in the past ...I think they split off several years ago ...always an optimist...gene french
You shouldn't need a 2 foot bar to turn the engine that will prove nothing, you will have to find where it is tight. Each rod should wiggle freely if one or more is tight you may have to install shims. If they are all loose then check the mains, loosen each one and try to turn it. It shouldn't take any more than a regular socket bar to turn it. It should be free and easy, no 2 foot bar. If the mains and rods are all free, then check each piston. Undo one rod at a time and see if the piston moves freely in the cylinder. Eventually you will find where it is binding. It should turn over free and easy.
I would reach out to the rebuilder as something obviously wasn't done right. If the pistons were fitted to the bore correctly along with the proper bearing clearances this would not be happening.
I re-build nothing but T engines these days, boring, babbitt, the lot, if I had a assembled block that I could turn with out a turning bar, I would be looking for what was or had to much clearance.
Travis, I assemble all my engines tight, if you was to look at the finish under a microscope you would see high and lows from the turning tool, an old friend told me years ago when you fire a tight engine up the first time it will open up .001 form the tool. I did not believe that till I had a noise in an engine after its first fire up, I plastic gauged everything and sure enough they had opened up a .001, ended up being the .060 over piston was hitting the new head gasket, they have also cured that problem with the new pistons rounded off on the side now.If you can turn it with a bar like last picture, fire it up!
The fellow that owned Antique Automotive Engineering, Ed and I believe his last name is Martinson, has long since retired and closed up shop. Trying to connect with Ed will be, I suspect, a wasted effort.
For what it's worth, Ed rebuilt several Model A Ford engines for me and each one was quite fine and they are all still running strong today 25 plus years later.
My experience has been that how tight or not newly rebuilt engines should be is a bit like religion and politics. Everyone has their own views.
I have read several accounts of firing a tight engine whereas the vehicle had to be towed on the pavement for blocks just to get it to turn over as the starter wouldn't touch it. That to me is somewhat excessive and something is binding some where. I recently assembled a Studebaker V8 and during assembly each component was rotated to assure free turning. Each piston was inserted with a light tap of a hammer handle only about an 8oz tap until it was seated on the crankshaft. As each piston was inserted and connected to the crankshaft the assembly was rotated to assure no binding. When all 8 were installed the engine was rotated with an 18 inch socket bar it turned over freely. With the starter installed it turned over and started up smartly. With each main bearing and connecting rod bearing having the appropriate clearance and the correct weight of oil, and all the rings have the correct gap or overlap style and each piston having the correct clearance in the cylinders nothing should be binding and the engine should turn over free and easy with minimal effort.
All bearings, rods and mains should be set to .001-25, to .001-50 on a Model T. Anything smaller, they have to struggle to free them selves.
Piston to cylinder wall clearance should be .003-50 to .004-00 thousandths.
Babbitt should be a Mirror finish.
If you are getting a grooved, or threaded surface, the cutter is not sharpened or shaped right. If the cutter leaves a groove, the cutter in one revolutions width, is not cleaning the area of the bars one revolution advancement.
So if the bar moves .006-00 forward, you can't use a cutter that only covers .004-00 thousandths of the revolution
Yes, with threads in your Babbitt, the clearance will open up as the thread tops wear, fast, and leave excess clearance. If you compensate for threads in the Babbitt finish, with less clearance, you aren't doing the Babbitt surface any good.
I'm with David. When I assemble an engine, every time I add an item I turn the engine over. If after installing a part the drag increases dramatically, I investigate to see what the problem is. That said, I would hope that a new engine would be fairly tight.
Herm, Great looking work.
Hi Travis - I got my 1913 build engine/transmission back from overhaul and it's so tight, I can't turn the crank. When I get the carcass back from the paint shop, I'll install the motor and tow the car to get it started. It's typical. I'm told a little driving will loosen things up just right.
If I read all of the messages correctly the person that rebuilt this is long retired..... so it sounds like it was rebuilt and sitting on the shelf for a number of years. There is nothing wrong with that if it has been properly stored.
Pull everything apart, inspect and measure everything, then use assembly lube when you put it back together, measuring as you go.
2,300 is a good price if everything is in good condition, and unless you personally have the work done from a professional you know that built it ( like Mike or Joe or Herm) you should expect to take it apart and measure everything anyway. It's well worth the time to do that now!!! Accepting someone's word that they did it right and not checking, then having to tear it down again when you hear a knock or rattle is a lesson you can avoid, but if you do learn that lesson you'll never forget it.
I think it's the assembly lube that has hardened from years of storage. Some types of lube may clog up the oil holes in the main bearings, so new oil can't enter - then it'll be a problem. Best to disassemble, clean, relube and assemble (I would check bearing clearance with the go - nogo newspaper test ) Then it should be fine to go
Unless the engine is totally locked up you should be able to turn it with a 2-3 ft. bar.
I have a feeling that the lube that was used has dried up and the engine is simply seized.
Like someone has stated everyone has there own views about what to do.
If it were mine I would get an oil can and squirt some kerosene in the cylinders and bearings, let it sit overnight and then try to turn it with a long bar. If it breaks loose then squirt some more in it to free it up.
If that doesn't do it you'll need to take start pulling it apart and see what the issue is.
Others will have different ideas as stated.
In the Ford service picture above must be an error, with the crankshaft alone fitted to the block via the main bearings should not need a long bar to turn it, it should turn freely just by turning the front gear. Every engine I have ever assembled I could turn the crankshaft freely when it was bolted in with out any bar. Am I missing something in the picture??
David, it's from page 68 in the Ford Service Manual, showing how to scrape in new main caps, so the turning bar is needed.
Thanks Roger that explains it a bit better, it is inferred by the text that a bar is needed to turn the crankshaft.
The true reason that a bar like that was used at that point in time the bearings were burnt in, or should say, burnt up and they had to be tight to soften the Babbitt metal in the first .010-00 of the surface.
One of the main reasons that it was a bad way of doing a job like that is, that all three mains were tight, and when the one that was out of alignment was not the first to loosen up.
Wilson didn't come along until some time later for rebuilding main bearings, and as Wilson said, when they were finished burning in, they were wore out.
On page 69 of the Ford Service, it shows a bad picture of one such machine .