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Jaconense777

Rebuild current SBC 350 engine or go different route.

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.Hello guys, I’ve posted the same topic on S30 forum and I won’t to see if here can also get some information. 
I have my S30 and it already has a 350 in it, I found out some milky ( hard to see) stuff on the radiator cap so I assume it’s a blown head gasket, it has a custom driveshaft, turbo transmission, it has an Edelbrock  6073 aluminum heads conversion kit and performer manifold, 1406 carburetor , hooker headers, ceramic coated twin Anasa exhaust system... my concern here is that I might be in the need to rebuild the whole engine, and hope the heads aren’t cracked as aluminum heads tent to crack, and if that’s the case I am wondering if it’s cheaper rebuilding the current engine or buying a new one, and if the heads are reusable use them on the new or rebuild engine, or should I go a different route, with a different swap, I was thinking about a RB25, I’ve seen some around $2500 with Transmission online (but I’ve heard that parts are a pain to get them), if so do I need special modifications? In the conversion to a V8 350 I noticed  it was spent over $3300, i don’t want to complicate things and make it easier  with your advice and suggestions, I don’t want to get ripped off by a mechanic so I’ve been doing some research and what better place that with experienced Z drivers. Thanks for your support.

( I already spent many months in bed, about 8 months for cancer then 6 months in a hospital  so now that I can walk want to fly on my Z lol) 

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3 hours ago, Jaconense777 said:

 I found out some milky ( hard to see) stuff on the radiator cap so I assume it’s a blown head gasket,

 

No offense intended, but this is (a terrible way) not a good way diagnose an engine problem.  The engine barely cares what's in the radiator.  What's in the oil?  How does the dipstick look?

Edited by NewZed

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  IMG_20200408_095322_179.jpg.e457fc718e97d4d9094677267220d9a2.jpgWhen I bought the car I was running,  but then I changed the valve covers gaskets and header gaskets so it was smoking and I thought it was because of that.

But when I removed the valve covers I  noticed like milk or coffe color with the oil, the oil on the dipstick is clean, I wonder if is because the guy who sold me the car changed the oil to cover up any problem it might had, I did not have the chance to run the car enough after acquiring it as I was il ,   I also found antifreeze once by one of the intake manifold bolts, so I am trying to fix it now and a street mechanic i was told that it could be a blown head gasket  for the radiator cap. but once they start saying of it might be this or that and their prices it's hard to trust.  

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Possibility of head gasket issue:  perform a compression test on the motor.

 

"Smoking problem":  where is it smoking from....tail pipe or engine compartment?  (Edit:  your videos weren't loading for me earlier; but they seem to be now....I'll go back and review now that they're working.  I agree with NewZed's assessment for smoke in the engine compartment; as well as coolant sitting on top of intake manifold.)

 

(Another) engine swap:  How are your mechanic skills?  If you're doing the work, it can be done affordability or expensively, depending on how wild you get with it.  If it's a high-end swap like an RB, it will be expensive (quite a bit more than $3300).  If you're paying someone else to do the work, it will be WAY more expensive.

 

Goals for the car:  what are they?  You haven't mentioned why you bought the car or what you plan to do with it (I.e. Intended application), but that should guide all your decisions regarding mods and upgrades.

 

Budget:  unless you're Bill Gates, decide now what you want to spend on the car, and moderate your goals based on that budget.  Engine swaps and performance builds will go through cash like you wouldn't believe, and a lot of people unfortunately don't learn this until they're deep into the build....and end up selling the project, half-finished and torn apart st a huge loss.

Edited by jhm

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Smoke coming from the engine bay, assuming that the car has a full exhaust system on it, is usually from oil on the headers, from a leak or from recent work.  Headers get hot very fast and the oil will vaporize almost as soon as the engine starts.

 

In your second video whatever you were scraping at is barely visible, and the oil on the rocker arm and top of the head doesn't look bad.  It might be that you're just not familiar with what you're seeing.  If the engine has been sitting a long time there might a small amount of condensation that will burn off as the engine runs.  If you're really worried about coolant in the crankcase just drain the oil and see what comes out.  If there's a lot of water it will separate from the oil.  You'll get a layer of water then the oil.  Or the oil will look milky because the water has been whipped in to it by the crankshaft.

 

If you think that you might have coolant leaking in to a cylinder, just pull the spark plugs and examine them.  Coolant is a great cleaning agent in a hot combustion chamber.  You'll either have fouled plugs because of loss of compression and/or water, or clean plugs next to normal, or they'll look okay.  But there will be signs if you have a problem.

 

Coolant on top of the manifold probably has nothing to do with coolant inside the engine, unless the manifold i not seated properly.  But if that were the case you'd probably have intake vacuum leaks also, causing problems with the engine running.  Separate those two things in your mind. 

 

Good luck, the engine sounds pretty good, at least as far as phone cameras go.  You might create a youtube page and load your videos there.  Easier to share and they'll play faster.

 

 

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12 hours ago, jhm said:

Possibility of head gasket issue:  perform a compression test on the motor.

 

"Smoking problem":  where is it smoking from....tail pipe or engine compartment?  (Edit:  your videos weren't loading for me earlier; but they seem to be now....I'll go back and review now that they're working.  I agree with NewZed's assessment for smoke in the engine compartment; as well as coolant sitting on top of intake manifold.)

 

(Another) engine swap:  How are your mechanic skills?  If you're doing the work, it can be done affordability or expensively, depending on how wild you get with it.  If it's a high-end swap like an RB, it will be expensive (quite a bit more than $3300).  If you're paying someone else to do the work, it will be WAY more expensive.

 

Goals for the car:  what are they?  You haven't mentioned why you bought the car or what you plan to do with it (I.e. Intended application), but that should guide all your decisions regarding mods and upgrades.

 

Budget:  unless you're Bill Gates, decide now what you want to spend on the car, and moderate your goals based on that budget.  Engine swaps and performance builds will go through cash like you wouldn't believe, and a lot of people unfortunately don't learn this until they're deep into the build....and end up selling the project, half-finished and torn apart st a huge loss.

Thanks for your reply, I love Datsun s30’s so I got this one to keep it, well cancer had me in bed for over 8 months so my wife and some friends helped me out getting this car to keep my mind busy and to get up from bed, I started working on it, cleaned the under carriage and painted all the wheel arch’s, then again,  honestly I almost didn’t make it out alive form the hospital, many times I was told that I wasn’t  make it, internal bleedings, hoses in the chest (ports), intestines paralyzed, they said problems with the brain, like a stroke but is a new disease call Miller fisher syndrome and was diagnosed with guillian-barrel etc,   This was my 2018 and 2019 then you know what was 2020 for everyone else lol, I might sell it in the future, but I was told that the smoke is normal for the new exhaust gaskets to smoke, as they’re getting cured, I changed all the exhaust system gaskets from the the engine to the tail pipe, I changed them because smoke was coming out of the left side header by the gaskets and I had misfires, I replaced the spark plugs but one thing I noticed is that the engine had some spark plug Foulers , then the car was kinda weak, I didn’t found any oil on the spark plugs but the car was running kinda weak,  maybe like you guys said to check the compression, I also changed the power wires to the distributor as thy has some rust on them, and we’re lose. I had a “professional “ from Bristol audio to come and install a new alarm in my car, he broke the steering wheel column cover and after that the car’s battery dies very fast, I ever had this problem before. (I cleaned the fuel lines and rebuilt the fuel tank even it got ceramic coated inside and the fuel pump is a loud Holley red, there is fuel in the carburetor , ) what is the best tool to check the compression? And if that’s the case what can I do to fix that problem? Is it expensive? Man looks like I have time to write big essays lol

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6 hours ago, NewZed said:

Smoke coming from the engine bay, assuming that the car has a full exhaust system on it, is usually from oil on the headers, from a leak or from recent work.  Headers get hot very fast and the oil will vaporize almost as soon as the engine starts.

 

In your second video whatever you were scraping at is barely visible, and the oil on the rocker arm and top of the head doesn't look bad.  It might be that you're just not familiar with what you're seeing.  If the engine has been sitting a long time there might a small amount of condensation that will burn off as the engine runs.  If you're really worried about coolant in the crankcase just drain the oil and see what comes out.  If there's a lot of water it will separate from the oil.  You'll get a layer of water then the oil.  Or the oil will look milky because the water has been whipped in to it by the crankshaft.

 

If you think that you might have coolant leaking in to a cylinder, just pull the spark plugs and examine them.  Coolant is a great cleaning agent in a hot combustion chamber.  You'll either have fouled plugs because of loss of compression and/or water, or clean plugs next to normal, or they'll look okay.  But there will be signs if you have a problem.

 

Coolant on top of the manifold probably has nothing to do with coolant inside the engine, unless the manifold i not seated properly.  But if that were the case you'd probably have intake vacuum leaks also, causing problems with the engine running.  Separate those two things in your mind. 

 

Good luck, the engine sounds pretty good, at least as far as phone cameras go.  You might create a youtube page and load your videos there.  Easier to share and they'll play faster.

 

 

Thanks for your reply I don’t have much experience as a mechanic, everything I am doing is based on research and google, I had made many mistakes using you tube as sometimes they explain things as if you were knowledgeable of mechanics, I got the idea of the coolant in the engine as in the video if you look at the left lower corner of the heads looks like there is some coolant or water with the oil, and base on what I was told in the past I assumed antifreeze was getting in the engine mixing with oil, I’ll check the oil and see if there’s any mixtures, it still has the oil the previous owner put into the car, when I looked in to the oil it was good texture and color but he could of have changed the oil to sell the car for a higher price. Also I moved the distributor and it might be out of time as I watched a video on YouTube on scratching the distributor rotor makes better contact and better spark. But my main concern is the engine and the mechanics that always try to rip you off.

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24 minutes ago, Jaconense777 said:

. Also I moved the distributor and it might be out of time as I watched a video on YouTube on scratching the distributor rotor makes better contact and better spark. But my main concern is the engine and the mechanics that always try to rip you off.

 

The engine sounded good but it did sound like the timing might be retarded a bit.  Invest in a decent timing light, they're easy to use and not too expensive.

 

Since the engine ran well with no major knocking noises and the oil did not look bad I'd say don't do anything drastic until you know more.  Don't let anyone, or a youtube video, convince you that you need to replace head gaskets or manifold gaskets or whatever.  Engines can have many small problems and still run well without doing more damage.  Your main concern should be that you have good oil pressure, I'd assume that there is a working gauge, and the oil stays clean.  Low oil pressure is the main killer of all engines.  Most will survive the other stuff, but just run poorly in the meantime.

 

Your title says "rebuild" but there are no signs that you need to rebuild anything.  Besides oil pressure though, your other big concern is that that engine in a Z is just itching to get sideways and leave the road.  Be careful.

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10 hours ago, Jaconense777 said:

Sorry for the Newby questions. Could you please tell me what is that and the purpose? 

 

Very sorry to hear about the health problems.  Big props to you for pushing through all that and continuing to do the things in life you love.

 

Hard to tell from that picture....but I'm guessing it's just a fuel pressure gauge.  You shouldn't really need a fuel pressure regulator with a carb'ed system.  Take a closer picture and post it, if you have the chance to do so.  Mr. Gasket stuff?  My personal opinion is that it's mostly junk; but if it's working for now, I'd leave it until it fails.  I'd recommend sticking with major reputable companies like Holley, Edelbrock and Russell Performance when it comes time to replace components in the air and fuel system.

 

I would recommend changing that small air cleaner at some point, if you have the room to do so.  It's amazing how restrictive an inadequate air cleaner/air filter can be on the engine's performance.

 

For repairs and modifications that you're not comfortable doing yourself, stay away from shady mechanics and repair shops (and there's a million of 'em.)  Go to some car shows or "Cars & Coffee" events, to find out where local car enthusiasts take their cars to be worked on.  Once  find a good mechanic/repair shop, you'll never want to take your car anywhere else.

 

Keep the questions coming....that's what this forum is for!

 

 

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Where do the wires go?  It looks like a stock part with the cover removed.  I have vague memories of a part with a fuse inside, like that one has.  But the wires will tell you what it does.  Follow them out.

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