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Vindictive

Chasing a Noise

45 posts in this topic

Got it out. Removed the temp line clips, pulled the head off, turned it 90 degrees, set it on a piece of plywood on top of the valley cover, slid a block between the inner fender and front of the head to keep it from sliding, then beat the freeze plug out. After I pulled the plug out, I poked at the temp bulb with my finger and it popped right out. I guess the blows from the hammer knocked it loose. 

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Well the seat under #7 exhaust is shot. The guide is worn quite badly and the valve really cut into the seat.  IMG_4252.JPGIMG_4250.JPG

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I'd be very happy if that were that case.  There's damage to the seat probably 240 degrees around its circumference and there's a lot of material gone on the one side.  I'm still looking for a local machine shop that knows anything about Nailheads. So far all have failed my "pre-screening" and immediately suggested putting in a hardened valve seat. I contacted the local BCA chapter to see if they had recommendations on who might be a reliable source for decent head work. I got a response last night with a couple of leads. 

 

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Yeah, any mention of hardened seats...RUN!   I do not know much about reconditioning heads and what constitutes a serviceable seat but it appears there may not be enough material to correct the offset impression created by the valve.  

 

Need Willey to take a look at your picture here.   

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Any machine shop should be able to do the work.  Just take the specs from my previous post and also tell them to install the guides the same way as the existing ones.  

No seats necessary.   On a 55 you can use (and cut the seat to match)  the larger exhaust valve from an early 364 nailhead.  In your case maybe a valve from a 55 which I think is larger than 54.

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Thanks Willie.  While researching yesterday, I had read on Russel Martin's page that he recommends replacing exhaust valves with those from a 55 or 56 as they are larger. I looked up the specs this morning 1.375'' vs 1.25''.  So, 1/8'' larger diameter. Would it be ok to change just the one bad valve with the later/larger valve or would they all need to be changed? 

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Sadly, this is not going to be a one valve "on-the-cheap" fix. When I pulled the rest of the valves out of the heads, almost all have pretty significant wear on the stems. There's maybe 2 or 3 that I'd feel comfortable putting back in service, but the rest are pretty well worn, guides too. So, I'm looking at guides and valves all the way around. 

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If the machine shop replaces the guides tell them to be sure the replacements are exactly the same diameter as the old ones.  If even slightly oversize the installation might crack the head leading to coolant leaks.  Also ask them about knurling the existing guides or installing a sleeve.

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1 hour ago, Vindictive said:

Sadly, this is not going to be a one valve "on-the-cheap" fix. When I pulled the rest of the valves out of the heads, almost all have pretty significant wear on the stems. There's maybe 2 or 3 that I'd feel comfortable putting back in service, but the rest are pretty well worn, guides too. So, I'm looking at guides and valves all the way around. 

Bummer.  

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Anybody know what size the freeze plugs are that go in the back of the heads? My heads are at the machine shop so I can't go measure and the plug I pulled out is a little mangled. I think 1.125'' but need to verify.

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Order a full set from Rus Martin,  and you can pull the ones in the block and flush the water jackets while they are out.

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17 hours ago, Vindictive said:

Anybody know what size the freeze plugs are that go in the back of the heads? My heads are at the machine shop so I can't go measure and the plug I pulled out is a little mangled. I think 1.125'' but need to verify.

Russ Martin has them.  http://nailheadbuick.com

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18 hours ago, Vindictive said:

Anybody know what size the freeze plugs are that go in the back of the heads? My heads are at the machine shop so I can't go measure and the plug I pulled out is a little mangled. I think 1.125'' but need to verify.

Local machine shops should not have a problem with those plugs.  The only problem was when they installed plugs in both ends :o .

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3 hours ago, old-tank said:

Local machine shops should not have a problem with those plugs.  The only problem was when they installed plugs in both ends :o .

I had to install my own.   Used a socket the same circumference as the freeze plug.   Easy enough.  If your machine shop can not get a set you can install yourself.   Willy is right, the end of the head that faces the radiator do not receive the plugs.  Your water crossover/thermostat housing bolts up to those holes.     

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I should have updated this a while back. New valves and guides all the way around. Re-ring cylinders 1, 7, and 8. New rocker shafts and pushrods. New rope seal at the rear. Got rid of the alternator and put a generator back in. Cleaned the mesh in the valley cover and filler cap with a solvent bath. There was some sludge in the pan  but not too bad, and lots of crud in the water jacket. Scraped all the grease and gunk off of the motor, cleaned it really good and gave it a fresh coat of paint. Pretty sure I spent way more time cleaning than actually turning wrenches. Anyway, it runs great, no leaks. Been back on the road for a while with no issues other than a voltage regulator that wouldn't cooperate. 

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Man she looks beautiful.  Glad all worked out.  Nothing like the feeling when an engine is working great after working on it with your own two hands and using your noggin to get it done.  Great job!

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