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 Interesting failure...
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Mr. P-Body
Running Bear

USA
2258 Posts

Posted - 07 Apr 2011 :  6:11:52 PM  Show Profile  Visit Mr. P-Body's Homepage  Reply with Quote

I thought I'd share this with ya'all (said with best billy-bob accent).

Last year, we freshened Rick Holladay's "old" 421 for the race season. It ran GREAT. Car has been 10.39(?) with it now. Pretty good for a 3,500 lb. ragtop/4-speed 434...

Well, it started getting water in the oil this Spring, when first brought out. Immediate thought is the same as the rest of you, "freeze" crack? Nope. Charlie (Rick's mechanic) put a pressure tester on the cooling system. It sat for three days with 18 lbs., no "change". Still, losing water in cyl #3.

So, I tore the heads off yesterday. Nothing "visual". Pressure tested the heads. Nothing. When pressure testing the block, ONLY with #3 all the way "down", did it appear. And NOT a crack, either.

This block is .060" over, and on it's "third life" at that bore size. There were actually pits leaking into the cylinder. The thing has rusted through rom the inside! This was "in line" with the pin, too, not the "thrust side". And after all this time... The only thing I can "figure" is the rust "grows" during the Winter, since the car sits with no water in it. As a "race" car, it's not allowed to use anti-freeze.

After 145 passes on this rotating assembly, the mains look new. Most of the rod bearings look new. A couple show a bit where the oil was "thinning out" from the water, and started deteriorating. Nothing BAD. We'll be polishing the crank to use in the next block.

The BIG deal here, is the filter. It completely collapsed inside. The water in the oil had a very bad reaction with the paper element, and it couldn't "filter" anymore. I'd heard of this before, but this is the first time I've actually SEEN it. (I have seen two Frams implode, but from poor quality, not water...)

Just sharing!

Jim

Phil
The Great White Buffalo

USA
7274 Posts

Posted - 08 Apr 2011 :  07:45:12 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks for sharing this info Jim. Not good news for the owner, but certainly good information for us. I wonder if running distilled water would be a better alternative than "tap" water.

Since tap water varies so much from place to place, and I've seen well water eat copper pipes in a couple of years!

Bowties are for Pee-wee Herman. "Chevy": even the name sounds cheap, but not as cheap as your Pontiac will be with an LS transplant.
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Chicagogoat
Crazy Horse

USA
823 Posts

Posted - 08 Apr 2011 :  8:47:13 PM  Show Profile  Visit Chicagogoat's Homepage  Reply with Quote
That's an interesting and unfortunate occurrence Jim and yet another reason why people hate Fram oil filters. Yes it may seem "anal" but I've always mixed distilled water with anti-freeze in my 455. I know the importance of keeping corrosion and electrolosis to a minimum.

If I was only running water in a race engine, then it would be more practical to add some corrosion inhibitors with it since it gets drained all the time anyways.

Pure Pontiac: learn it, live it, love it!
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Mr. P-Body
Running Bear

USA
2258 Posts

Posted - 09 Apr 2011 :  10:56:04 AM  Show Profile  Visit Mr. P-Body's Homepage  Reply with Quote


For clarity, the filter that "failed" was not a Fram (in this case). Ot was a Wix. BUT... I don't believe the filter was anything more than a victim.

I agree about rust protection. I advise it, but can't contro EVEYTHING... (:- This particular incident is a "fluke" IMO.

Jim
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Christ
Howling Wind

USA
1808 Posts

Posted - 10 Apr 2011 :  10:36:43 AM  Show Profile  Visit Christ's Homepage  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Mr. P-Body



For clarity, the filter that "failed" was not a Fram (in this case). Ot was a Wix. BUT... I don't believe the filter was anything more than a victim.

I agree about rust protection. I advise it, but can't contro EVEYTHING... (:- This particular incident is a "fluke" IMO.

Jim





When I used to race we had a similiar problem. I would reccomend using anti freeeze in the winter for storage.
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cortcomp
Coyote

USA
5435 Posts

Posted - 10 Apr 2011 :  11:25:05 AM  Show Profile  Visit cortcomp's Homepage  Reply with Quote
So what i'm taking away from this is to not use an oil filter and put as much stop leak into the motor as possible. :-)
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Phil
The Great White Buffalo

USA
7274 Posts

Posted - 10 Apr 2011 :  12:06:14 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
...or just run a stainless steel block! ;-)

Bowties are for Pee-wee Herman. "Chevy": even the name sounds cheap, but not as cheap as your Pontiac will be with an LS transplant.
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Total Jackass
Tribal Scout

0 Posts

Posted - 14 Jan 2014 :  04:11:17 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Q. What did the big firecracker say to the little firecracker?
http://www.coswatches.net/rolex-prince.html

I'm a first class jerk and don't you forget it!
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Phil
The Great White Buffalo

USA
7274 Posts

Posted - 14 Jan 2014 :  6:38:09 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
TTT

Bowties are for Pee-wee Herman. "Chevy": even the name sounds cheap, but not as cheap as your Pontiac will be with an LS transplant.
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Douglas Willinger
Sitting Bull

USA
139 Posts

Posted - 10 Aug 2018 :  2:07:06 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Mr. P-Body


I thought I'd share this with ya'all (said with best billy-bob accent).

Last year, we freshened Rick Holladay's "old" 421 for the race season. It ran GREAT. Car has been 10.39(?) with it now. Pretty good for a 3,500 lb. ragtop/4-speed 434...

Well, it started getting water in the oil this Spring, when first brought out. Immediate thought is the same as the rest of you, "freeze" crack? Nope. Charlie (Rick's mechanic) put a pressure tester on the cooling system. It sat for three days with 18 lbs., no "change". Still, losing water in cyl #3.

So, I tore the heads off yesterday. Nothing "visual". Pressure tested the heads. Nothing. When pressure testing the block, ONLY with #3 all the way "down", did it appear. And NOT a crack, either.

This block is .060" over, and on it's "third life" at that bore size. There were actually pits leaking into the cylinder. The thing has rusted through rom the inside! This was "in line" with the pin, too, not the "thrust side". And after all this time... The only thing I can "figure" is the rust "grows" during the Winter, since the car sits with no water in it. As a "race" car, it's not allowed to use anti-freeze.

After 145 passes on this rotating assembly, the mains look new. Most of the rod bearings look new. A couple show a bit where the oil was "thinning out" from the water, and started deteriorating. Nothing BAD. We'll be polishing the crank to use in the next block.

The BIG deal here, is the filter. It completely collapsed inside. The water in the oil had a very bad reaction with the paper element, and it couldn't "filter" anymore. I'd heard of this before, but this is the first time I've actually SEEN it. (I have seen two Frams implode, but from poor quality, not water...)

Just sharing!

Jim



"As a "race" car, it's not allowed to use anti-freeze. "

Why not? Not even when in storage?

By the way this is an excellent example of why my machine shop told me to return that 1970 Pontiac 400 YZ 9799914 Ram Air III Trans Am block STANDARD BORE! E28 70 that I had purchased in early 2018 on Ebay.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/1970-Pontiac-400-YZ-9799914-Ram-Air-III-Trans-Am-block-STANDARD-BORE-E28-70/302665278345?hash=item467841a389%3Ag%3AYxAAAOSw57xaZSgH&_sacat=0&_nkw=Pontiac+YZ+Ram+Air+III&_from=R40&rt=nc&_trksid=m570.l1313
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tjs44
Crazy Horse

USA
523 Posts

Posted - 10 Aug 2018 :  2:30:25 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
You cant have it in the engine when racing.I guess if you store it and then flush really well its OK.Too hard to clean up on the track.Tom
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Corncob2061
Cochise

USA
222 Posts

Posted - 10 Aug 2018 :  9:13:50 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Douglas you must have found a really nice block to be able to go standard bore. I think it is a good idea to go the min amount to straighten and clean the bore up..It is a interesting problem to have a pin hole leak like what was described. Could have been a combination of some porosity and block flexing with that much power in addition to corrosion. I have seen what I would call spider stress marks on the surface of cylinder walls from running a front motor plate and over 600 hp. Always wondered how much more power was left until wierd stuff like what Jim described would happen. I wonder if they hard block in that engine.

I know of an engine that sat out side for 40 years that the machine shop got a different reading on the line bore every time the torqued the caps down and line bored it. Cast iron has its limits, especially when you throw in some electrolysis.

If you drive a car to the track most tracks would not be concerned with antifreeze. Trailered your not suppose to, but it is up to the particular track to enforce it. I watched a 9 second hemi road runner loose a freeze plug about half track at Kansas City drag strip, just barely saved it from the guard rail. Took an hour to clean it up. I understand why they have that rule. Jay
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tjs44
Crazy Horse

USA
523 Posts

Posted - 10 Aug 2018 :  9:32:47 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
With custom pistons you can get any bore you want,one engine Joe did for me was just 5 over.Tom
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Douglas Willinger
Sitting Bull

USA
139 Posts

Posted - 15 Aug 2018 :  4:35:14 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Corncob2061

Douglas you must have found a really nice block to be able to go standard bore. I think it is a good idea to go the min amount to straighten and clean the bore up..It is a interesting problem to have a pin hole leak like what was described. Could have been a combination of some porosity and block flexing with that much power in addition to corrosion. I have seen what I would call spider stress marks on the surface of cylinder walls from running a front motor plate and over 600 hp. Always wondered how much more power was left until wierd stuff like what Jim described would happen. I wonder if they hard block in that engine.

I know of an engine that sat out side for 40 years that the machine shop got a different reading on the line bore every time the torqued the caps down and line bored it. Cast iron has its limits, especially when you throw in some electrolysis.

If you drive a car to the track most tracks would not be concerned with antifreeze. Trailered your not suppose to, but it is up to the particular track to enforce it. I watched a 9 second hemi road runner loose a freeze plug about half track at Kansas City drag strip, just barely saved it from the guard rail. Took an hour to clean it up. I understand why they have that rule. Jay



The machine shop that I use was adamant about returning it, and stated that they would not stand by a build based upon such a block, which had large flecks of rust coming out of the freeze plug holes when they set it on their shop floor.

I did spend $90 for a pressure test, which it did pass, but they were still adamant I did not want to return it but figured that the machine shop has way way way more background in engine blocks then I do.
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