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  • UPDATE on my engine troubles

    Update for those who have helped with suggestions on my overheating problem:

    I took the block and pistons into Portland Engine Rebuilders today and told them they needed to hone to .0045. I explained that it all seems to have come down to the issue of the sleeves not transferring heat like a simple bore of the block, combined with the already questionable water distribution in the block. They posited the idea that the overheating may never be solved because of the sleeves. I've sleeved one other engine back to standard, and the builder claims he set the piston clearance at .003. That engine has never locked up, broke in like normal, and runs great.

    At this point I am out of options. I'm going with the .0045, new rings, clean block, and new radiator, and if that doesn't solve this, I'm done.

  • #2
    Are your pistons and rings OK to still use?

    Comment


    • Ray Horton
      Ray Horton commented
      Editing a comment
      Pistons are OK in the opinion of three local respected rebuilders. They mic out the same as new, and the scuffing was only superficial burnishing, no grooves. I've got new rings because the cylinders will be honed.

  • #3
    I think you will be fine. Sleeves will cause harder heat transfer but you should be fine with .0045 clearance. My 28 sport coupe had 25,000 miles on the engine after I rebuilt it. It had a sleeve on number 3 cylinder, because of a crack in the cylinder wall.plus a valve seat. It never gave any trouble and ran great.
    Last edited by George Miller; 07-14-2017, 11:49 AM.

    Comment


    • #4
      Ray, Hope this eliminates the problem or something during re-assembly shows any other potential causes. Just out of curiousity have you tried a different carburetor. The one you are currently running, possibly lean? How do the plugs look. I am sure with your experience you have checked or questioned these things. Rod
      Much of the social history of the Western world, over the past three decades, has been a history of replacing what worked with what sounded good.

      Comment


      • #5
        Originally posted by Purdy
        Ray , I went back and looked at the pictures of the pistons . I didn't see an expansion slot on the pistons . I read your post on the ***** **** and some think the pistons are the trouble . The pics may have all been of the same side of the pistons . I would think at this point that you need every advantage that a good piston could offer . If the pistons don't have some type expansion slot , I probably wouldn't re use them . Just a thought . ***** .
        Thanks *****. After consulting with Steve at Bert's, Bill Barlow, Tom Godish, my own rebuilder at PER, and Dave Whitaker, I have decided that the pistons from Snyders, which are solid skirt, are serviceable, and am going to stay with them. I tried to get SilvoLites, but that just was not feasible. So I cross my fingers and away I go...

        Comment


        • #6
          We might have our wires crossed. Those pistons have exceeded their design temps. They are not the higher quality hypereutectic alloy that I get custom made from Egge. . I would not re-use them; too much at stake. In fact they look rather nasty.
          A fresh honing and cross hatching deserves new

          good luck, tho

          write back after break in and a couple thousand miles later.
          Use your IR temp gun and get some readings on the driver's side cyl walls and let us know. Get many sets of readings, and record them, about every 200-250 miles. Look for trends. Should not exceed 180-190. Personally I do not care for a thermostat. If you use one, I would remove it for break-in. Cyl 4 gets almost no water flow, you don't need a thermostat to reduce the flow even more. Call us OCD, but when we build a motor, we put the first 200 miles on ourselves, so that we can monitor temps closely and re-torque often. We cannot trust every owner to do everything our way, and we stand behind the build 100%
          Dave W
          Last edited by tbirdtbird; 07-14-2017, 05:44 PM.

          Comment


          • #7
            Hi Ray,

            All of our hearts go out to you in trying to resolve these engine troubles.

            It took me a life time to learn and offer this one (1) suggestion based on thousands of past experiences when asked often to resolve expensive problems:

            A. The most complex, unsolvable problems encountered "on the work site", by learned, experienced technicians visiting "on the work site", are always resolved later by people with the most simple minds who do not trust what the other "on site", so called experts are saying or assuming.

            B. Simple minded people begin to investigate with "hands on", and thoroughly investigate everything that was told, or said, or "supposed" or "assumed" to be 100% perfect.

            C. Saying this engine was rebuilt and boiled out by the very best company on the planet means absolutely nothing at all to a simple mind until further investigated. Measuring cylinders with proper telescoping measuring tools and measuring diameters of pistons at 90 degrees, top, and bottom as suggested by a very intelligent Mr. tbirdtbird is a good start ...... and how about diameters of "compressed" new rings in new pistons? Everything Model A made with metal was touched by hands of humans, some maybe with severe hangovers.

            D. Your mentioning overheating at 45 mph, (with more heat causing combustion explosions and friction), but not overheating at 35 mph, (with less combustion heat and friction heat), appears somewhat normal ...... as well as the engine binds "after" the engine stops, along with the water pump that stopped, where much cooler water from the radiator is no longer flowing as fast to remove heat from the block at pistons 3 & 4.

            E. A slim possibility, (maybe 2.39 in 197.83), could be some interior metallic item blocking the muffler .... after 4,000 miles, rat poop would have toasted, crumbled, and would have blown out like bread crumbs, but old rusty metal blockage could possibly still be there causing heat.

            F. Providing piston sleeves are many times successful, but with larger engine companies with more employees, who knows ...... I just ordered a bathroom curtain rod from the enormous Amazon Co. and I received a vacuum hose attachment for a model vacuum cleaner that I do not own.

            G. Many previous wonderful Forum suggestions from Model A guys who are sincerely concerned have been kindly offered.

            H. All above may be of no help, but appears the problem always lies where we never investigate with our own hands and eyes.

            Just hope this can help a little to try to find your engine heat causing source.
            Last edited by H. L. Chauvin; 07-14-2017, 08:15 PM. Reason: typo

            Comment


            • #8
              Originally posted by tbirdtbird View Post
              We might have our wires crossed. Those pistons have exceeded their design temps. They are not the higher quality hypereutectic alloy that I get custom made from Egge. . I would not re-use them; too much at stake. In fact they look rather nasty.
              A fresh honing and cross hatching deserves new

              good luck, tho

              write back after break in and a couple thousand miles later.
              Use your IR temp gun and get some readings on the driver's side cyl walls and let us know. Get many sets of readings, and record them, about every 200-250 miles. Look for trends. Should not exceed 180-190. Personally I do not care for a thermostat. If you use one, I would remove it for break-in. Cyl 4 gets almost no water flow, you don't need a thermostat to reduce the flow even more. Call us OCD, but when we build a motor, we put the first 200 miles on ourselves, so that we can monitor temps closely and re-torque often. We cannot trust every owner to do everything our way, and we stand behind the build 100%
              Dave W
              You make me nervous Dave! :-p (I don't run a thermostat).

              Comment


              • Mitch
                Mitch commented
                Editing a comment
                Dave is correct about the pistons, i would also get new ones from Egge. This is one of the critical issues with your problem IMO.

              • BNCHIEF
                BNCHIEF commented
                Editing a comment
                concur with T-bird those make me nervous.

            • #9
              Ok. I'll order new pistons Monday morning. I don't wanna take this engine out again!

              Comment


              • Mitch
                Mitch commented
                Editing a comment
                That will be a well spent 150.00

              • Ray Horton
                Ray Horton commented
                Editing a comment
                Will Hastings rings fit Egge pistons? I have a new set of Hastings, but I'll buy a different set from Egge if that's best. Also, I note on the Egge site that they recommend .0025 clearance. We have been talking about, and zeroing in on, .0045 clearance. This is confusing. Some direction here, please. If my cylinders are already honed to .003 with the old pistons, how do I accommodate new Egges? Is their diameter larger than the Snyder's piston?
                Last edited by Ray Horton; 07-15-2017, 10:17 AM.

            • #10
              IMO this is an excellent thread. I think there is a lot here that everyone can learn from, including myself. That is why some follow up later would be an enormous help to all.

              Comment


              • Greynomad
                Greynomad commented
                Editing a comment
                I've been lurking on this thread and can only second what tbird said about keeping us informed please.

              • Mitch
                Mitch commented
                Editing a comment
                I guess we will eventually need to combine the two threads

            • #11
              Hi Ray,

              FWIW:

              1. Last Model A pistons I installed were Silv-O-Lite, 00.125 oversize. On my accurate digital gram scale, all four (4) of these pistons weighed "exactly" the same.

              2. Next, all four (4) new Hasting ring sets weighed "exactly" the same.

              3. Piston/Ring/Connecting Rod w/Shims Balancing:

              A. I had some used castellated connecting rod nuts from 50 years ago, plus ordered some from different Model A parts places, plus bought some locally, and also bought some SS washers, (non-lock-washers, same outer diameter as nut).

              B. By weighing different weight castellated connecting rod nuts & weighing washers, and adding different numbers of washers under different weight castellated nuts, I was able to make all four (4) piston/ring/connecting rod w/shims assemblies weigh "exactly " the same for trying to achieve a better balanced engine.

              (Counter weighted crank, lightened flywheel, new clutch and clutch plate were formally balanced as an assembly by Mr. Ron Kelley who advertises in "The Restorer Magazine".)

              C. Hope this can help anyone in the future trying to assemble a long lasting balanced Model A engine .... "once".

              Comment


              • #12
                Originally posted by Rowdy View Post
                Ray, Hope this eliminates the problem or something during re-assembly shows any other potential causes. Just out of curiousity have you tried a different carburetor. The one you are currently running, possibly lean? How do the plugs look. I am sure with your experience you have checked or questioned these things. Rod
                Thanks Rod. I think my carb is OK. The plugs are a light brown.

                Comment


                • Rowdy
                  Rowdy commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Sounds good. Being a maintenance tech, I tend to question everything, especially when there are problems that there is no simple answer to the possibly connected problems. Spent nearly all of last Monday night working on an intermittent problem with one of our center rider fork trucks. It has been in the shop 6 times since early May for the same problem. This was a problem we have not seen before, so we had no real solution. Had to first establish perameters of what was normal, them swap known good parts from one lift to the problem child til the lift operated in the normal perameters that I established was normal. Them replace the faulty part and verify. Long night starting from scratch and unknown normals. Rod

              • #13
                Ray, the manufacturers do not know the peculiarities of an A motor. It is best to not follow their suggested clearances. You are headed for big trouble if you do. This has been discussed, i think.
                If you want Egge, we may have to get them from my NM contact, in order to get the pin in the right place.
                As I spent a lot of time talking to Steve at Bert's about your problem, evidently the problems with the Snyder pistons have been corrected, and he has used about 200 sets of them in the motors he has built for customers. He has been building inserted motors now for 4 yrs. Your Hastings rings will fit those. Your best bet IMO is to get a fresh set of Snyders.

                I personally still prefer the special custom pistons I get from my NM contact, because they are modern design all around. They have short skirts and narrow rings and thus have way less friction. There is a reason all the car manufacturers abandoned the archaic design of stock A pistons. It so happens an A motor and chevy 283 motors (which are modern design) have the same bore. The pin is in the wrong place, tho, on the 283 style pistons, so my contact has Egge make them with the pin in the correct location. They are a really nice high quality USA made piston. George Miller has also used these same pistons.

                I am working on a late '40s Stude motor right now and I face the same issue: archaic piston design. I am gonna have modern short skirt narrow ring pistons custom made. I can't stand the thought of shoving archaic pistons back in the holes

                Comment


                • Ray Horton
                  Ray Horton commented
                  Editing a comment
                  "Your best bet IMO is to get a fresh set of Snyders."
                  Yes, that is where I thought we left our conversation, but then people started talking about Egge's. I'll go back to Snyder's on Monday.

              • #14
                So the Egge pistons that Egge shows on their website are not any good? They have the expansion slot in them that I was under the assumption were the best way to go. Noticed they also carry the brand Best for gaskets.

                Comment


                • #15
                  Surely not a whole advice to give but I said a prayer that your torment on your beloved car ends.. God speed on this, truely.

                  Comment


                  • #16
                    Originally posted by Dennis View Post
                    So the Egge pistons that Egge shows on their website are not any good? They have the expansion slot in them that I was under the assumption were the best way to go.
                    Dennis, I am wondering the same thing. Need to order a set of .060 pistons this fall. Planning on 283 style pistons and don't have money to wait on junk. Need to know who to talk to and what to ask for. Follow up on comments made by tbird above needed. Rod
                    Much of the social history of the Western world, over the past three decades, has been a history of replacing what worked with what sounded good.

                    Comment


                    • #17
                      "It so happens an A motor and chevy 283 motors (which are modern design) have the same bore. The pin is in the wrong place, tho, on the 283 style pistons, so my contact has Egge make them with the pin in the correct location. They are a really nice high quality USA made piston."

                      Rod, let me know if you want the contact info for the guy I use in NM,
                      Dave

                      Comment


                      • #18
                        What about small block Ford V8 pistons? Seems I read a loooong time ago those were used.

                        Comment


                        • #19
                          MORE UPDATE: Six or seven engine rebuilders whose expertise I admire stated that my piston clearance was too tight at .003, and suggested at least .004 to .0045. Also, that I should replace the old pistons because they were likely heat damaged. So I ordered new pistons from Snyder's. They arrived today. The label on the box specifies that the clearance should be .002-.003 (!) which is what I previously used and and what apparently has been causing my overheating problems. So now what? I need a definitive answer on this. .003 obviously seems too tight, but that's what the manufacturer specifies, and that is what my engine rebuilder went by the first time. You experienced builders say otherwise, and I'm inclined to take your Model A experience over my builder, though he is highly regarded, but not extensively experienced with the Model A engine. He went by the manufacturer's specs, which was a reasonable thing to do. But how do I reconcile the manufacturer's specs with the advice I've been given here?

                          This is making me crazy!

                          Comment


                          • DaWizard
                            DaWizard commented
                            Editing a comment
                            Ray, since it is obvious that the mfgr. recommendations are off due to you having a problem, I don't think THAT is the way to go.

                            There is no reason for you to get crazy. It won't hurt if you go with .004 or .0045, but you have seen that it WILL hurt if you go .003.

                            So, go with .004/.0045 and run the hell outa it.

                            Personally, if I was having all the problems you are, I would go .005 on #3 and #4 and .004 on #1 and #2.
                            Last edited by DaWizard; 07-21-2017, 09:50 PM. Reason: twinky fingers

                        • #20
                          Ray, if the experts are saying .004 to .0045, I would go with that. Chances are they have dealt with the the brand you are using. Have only used Silvolites in the past and always used .0035 with them, so I can not speak to anything regaurding your pistons. Next 2 engines will be using the 283 style pistons. Rod
                          Much of the social history of the Western world, over the past three decades, has been a history of replacing what worked with what sounded good.

                          Comment


                          • #21
                            Ray, if you sent your engine to one of the respected rebuilders do you think they would go by what the instructions page said? I doubt they would and would do what past experience has been for them in the past. It not their first rodeo. Just my 2cents.

                            Comment


                            • #22
                              Ray, the manufacturers little slips of paper are pure quicksand, this has been discussed. I have already thrown you a lifeline to pull you out. All you have to do is grab it.
                              Last edited by tbirdtbird; 07-22-2017, 09:43 AM.

                              Comment


                              • #23
                                Originally posted by Ray Horton View Post
                                MORE UPDATE: Six or seven engine rebuilders whose expertise I admire stated that my piston clearance was too tight at .003, and suggested at least .004 to .0045. Also, that I should replace the old pistons because they were likely heat damaged. So I ordered new pistons from Snyder's. They arrived today. The label on the box specifies that the clearance should be .002-.003 (!) which is what I previously used and and what apparently has been causing my overheating problems. So now what? I need a definitive answer on this. .003 obviously seems too tight, but that's what the manufacturer specifies, and that is what my engine rebuilder went by the first time. You experienced builders say otherwise, and I'm inclined to take your Model A experience over my builder, though he is highly regarded,but not extensively experienced with the Model A engine. He went by the manufacturer's specs, which was a reasonable thing to do. But how do I reconcile the manufacturer's specs with the advice I've been given here?

                                This is making me crazy!
                                This is a key statement in your post.. All we can do is suggest and hope one takes the advice of folks very experienced in building Model A engines. The recommended clearance spec has been mentioned probably a dozen times between all the threads and posts.
                                So to recap,, get the best pistons you can Egge would be the place, set the clearances as mentioned, and install a new radiator.

                                No need to go crazy over something so simple to resolve

                                Keep us posted so others can learn from this adventure!
                                3 ~ Tudor's
                                Henry Ford said
                                "It's all nuts and bolts"


                                Mitch's Auto Service ctr

                                Comment


                                • #24
                                  Thanks again, everyone. You all pretty much restated your original good advice, and I appreciate the reassurance. The manufacturer's specs spooked me. It should be simple, Mitch, and has always been so on my previous engine rebuilds. Dave, I'll take the lifeline.

                                  Comment


                                  • #25
                                    Let's see your engine never had this over heating lock up before the rebuild... And now it does... If the builder returned the cylinder diameter and piston to toleralble specifications, one could only guess the materials of the sleeves or the rings/pistons are not optimal for the model A engine.. Regardless, I hope the engine builder does the right thing and does right with you, for it will be in your and their best interests to do so.

                                    Comment

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