Rebuilt engine issuses

Discussion in '6.9L IH & 7.3L IDI Diesels' started by ifrythings, Oct 14, 2013.

  1. ifrythings

    ifrythings Full Access Member

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    Well small story behind this, I got a 7.3L IDIT engine rebuilt at a machine shop in town pretty much 2 years ago and its been outside under cover for a year, well I decided to put it in a truck I got a few months back instead of waiting for my slow working frame off project. Popped off the valve covers expecting a bunch of rust seeing as it wasn't even ran yet, but it looked like it just came out of the machine shop;Sweet

    So I got the engine in, filled it with oil and cranked it over with no injectors in it just so I could build oil pressure and make sure the oil pump primed and keep no load on the bearings, got 30 psi oil pressure just cranking it over (figured that's got to be a great sign) and then preceded to put on the rest of the accessories on and prime the fuel system.

    So problem one, got the coolant in it and the head gaskets seem to be leaking around the rear of the block, will these leaks stop after running the engine and getting up to operating temperature or is there a bigger issue I'm not aware about? I don't think they should be leaking but this is my first engine rebuild and swap.

    Next is it wasn't blowing any smoke out the exhaust for the first few minutes of running, but now its making smog clouds that look like theres some blue and black and more white too it (hard to tell exactly cause its cold outside and dark), figured not seeing any rust under the valve covers that the cylinders should be rust free also, I may be wrong on this, also with the oil fill cap off its puffing white-ish smoke out, looks like what the 6.9 I just pulled out that has horrible blow by.

    I have the timing set to 6 degrees at the moment, having a hard time turning it with the injector lines hooked to it, not sure if that's out enough to cause the smoke/smog issue, also I have the wrong flywheel on it as of this moment, its shaking a fair bit so ill have to change it out and try the one off the 6.9.

    Few other details, the turbo is not on the engine as I'm waiting to figure out what to do with the down pipe, so its just the regular NA exhaust hooked up at the moment. The rad doesn't blow bubbles so I'm guessing the head gasket isn't leaking. The injection pump was swapped over from the old engine as it was working just fine and the injectors are brand new G codes (not remans) with a fresh install kit. Oil pressure is 40ish psi at idle and 15 psi hot idle (just incase that may mean anything), also has a freshly cleaned and tested CDR valve that's hooked up in the NA spot.

    I'm not sure what to do now, I'm at my wits end with this being a "new" engine and is running worse then the one I just pulled out. I'm also not sure how your supposed to break in a new engine either, I'm hoping that's all it needs and it will stop smoking (or its just smoking cause I have the wrong flywheel on it?) and I'll have a good running engine.

    Sorry for the long winded post, just trying to make sure I have all the info that may be helpful.
     
    bad67ford likes this.
  2. Wicked97

    Wicked97 Full Access Member

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    If your sure its leaking coolant at the headgaskets I would stop now and pull the heads.
    Its very possible your smoking is caused by some bore corrosion.
    You can go through all the usual checks ie fuel pressure timing etc but for me the deal breaker is the coolant leaks.
     
  3. chris142

    chris142 Full Access Member

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    A freshly machined cylinder will rust real fast. Imo there's a good chance that it has rusty walls.
     
  4. icanfixall

    icanfixall Official GMM hand model

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    Wel I need to ask how was the engine kept all the time it was not running after the rebuild. did you put the engine together or the shop. The flywheel will not make the engine smoke. A leaking head gasket is never a good sign of workmanship no matter who does it. A new bored engine wil not smoke like you have poted either but rings and cylinders do need to breakin to. As for the pump being tuff to move cause the lines are caising resistance. Just loosen the lines at the pump and then adjust the timing. Loosen as many of the lines you can easily reach will be enough. If you pull the heads you best figure on removing the pistons if the bores look like they may have rusted up. the rings will be loaded up with rust causing them to not seal on the cylinder walls very well. That causes big blowby too. What was the block bored out too or was the bore just honed and the old pistons reused. How much of a rebuild was done like bore, pistons, grind crank etc.
     
  5. ifrythings

    ifrythings Full Access Member

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    Well for the first 6 months of its life, it stayed at the machine shop all wrapped up and kept inside till I was able to finish making payments, then for the next few months (spring/summer) I had it at the place I was living at in the garage that wasn't heated, but I took off all the plastic wrap that was around it so it could breath, then I had to move and it got put into a barn for about a year but was under cover but not heated.

    The engine was completely done by the machine shop, assembly included. The engine was originally a 91 7.3, but I was able to get the rods and harmonic balancer from a dead turbo engine, being that the cranks are all the same and the machine shop gave me one that just needed a polish instead of mine which needed 10 or 20 thou grind on it. They put in new pistons with the larger wrist pins, and the turbo rods, they had to bore out the block 30 thou to fix the cylinders. Cam was reused along with the lifters, push rods, and rockers as they were still good and reused the head bolts. Heads got a valve job done and checked for cracks and as far as I know I think they just skimmed the head to clean up the gasket surface, I'm not sure if they decked the block, they may have just skimmed it to clean it up. The heads got all new turbo version exhaust valves. Also got a new oil pump, I put on the oil cooler with oem O-rings and felpro gaskets (which looks like one of the gaskets is weaping) I also put in a new oem thermostat from Ford. The engine gasket set was from felpro also.

    As of starting it up today, the engine needs to be pulled :mad: its defiantly burning coolant, it's pure white exhaust and makes a puddle of coolant on the ground (see pic) and I have the wrong flywheel/flexplate on it so best to just pull it.

    Also, I checked a few of the head bolts just incase maybe they mite have missed the last torque step, but my torque wrench just clicked at 110ft-lbs and they didn't move. I don't see any relevance this may have but they did switch the heads (left to right) as I had to move the pipe plugs around for the sensors and water inlet from the heater core.

    If the cylinders have rusted a bit, is it possible to just get it honed out and maybe need new rings, or is it going to need a complete bore and new pistons?

    Going to see if the machine shop will help me out, they do warranty it for a year, but that's been past now :(

    P.s. It seems to have stopped leaking coolant externally now since I had it up to operating temp, weird cookoo

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    Last edited: Oct 15, 2013
  6. ifrythings

    ifrythings Full Access Member

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    Also, how do you break in a new engine and get the rings to seat?
     
  7. Wicked97

    Wicked97 Full Access Member

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    There are billion different ways people have come up with to do it and no one is bad but some are pretty involved.
    I just drive it for 50 miles or so and change the oil. Then I'll go drive it normally and forget about it.
     
  8. icanfixall

    icanfixall Official GMM hand model

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    Don't baby the engine. Put a load on it like a ton in the bed and run it but keep changing the engine rpm. don't get on the freeway and drive a couple of hundred miles. The rings and cylinders take around 10,000 miles or more to be correctly broken in. What your trying to do is heat up the rings enough that the oil burns off of them and the cylinders. Just pussyfooting round town will load up the cylinders and rings with a hard varnish like stuff. Then your probably going to burn oil and need 20,000 or more miles to break in if even that will do it. These engines are designed to work from the start. Look at any big rig. They start working the first day but they may be loaded light for the first few miles but they go to work earning their keep right away. I'm hoping the shop didn't install new intake valve seats. Usually that cuts into a water passage and the heads become junk. You will know when the heads come off by the appearance of the seats. The exhaust are replaceable too. Thats a normal wear item. Maybe they didn't clean the block threads and the bolts bottomed out before they clamped down the head properly. Maybe the heads were milled but the precupd didn't get milled. The cups can be plus or minus 2 1/2 thousands from the head deck. Thats above or below the deck. If you don't have the use of a depth mic you will have to ask for it to be done and believe the person doing it. Please keep us posted.
     
  9. riotwarrior

    riotwarrior Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    To the OP ifrythings, I see you are in BC where abouts are you?

    Where did you get the work done, what shop?

    I know of some good shops and others well if I havent heard bad I can't speak to them LOL

    Sounds like it's just been left unused for too long and maybe that bores took on rust from condensation and so forth however without actually seeing the bores it's very hard to say.

    Gary has some measurements/dimensions min/max one can check and make sure things are ok like head thickness and valve depth and so forth.

    If you don't have the tools, someone close may hard to say, or invest in them!

    Well I'm going to watch this thread closely.

    Oh and as for break in, I'd suggest investing in a box of oil filters, cause if that engine sat and got any rust in it, you'll want to swap oil filters frequently for a bit.

    I'd suggest 20 min run oil/filter change, run it and drive it, 500-1000 miles never any idle more than a short short bit varying the RPM and load on engine constantly and change oil/filter at 500-1000miles, then keeping same pattern increase to 3K oil/filter change and start routine at this point of what you normally run for mileage or hours for oil change.

    That is just my suggestion others may have a different opinion on this.

    Now if you can, invest in a good bypass oil filter and this engine will last a lifetime and then some!

    Nuff said for now

    Al
     
  10. icanfixall

    icanfixall Official GMM hand model

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    A good bypass filter system would be the toilet paper Frantz or the Amsoil bypass filters. If you are not running a turbo then I would pull the bypass oil from the bell housing flange port to the main oil galley. There are three main oil galley ports on the drivers side of the block and one block coolant drain plug. Know the differences too.
     
  11. TahoeTom

    TahoeTom Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    It seems risky to bore a 7.3 .030 as the cylinder walls are pretty thin already.
     
  12. ifrythings

    ifrythings Full Access Member

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    I'm in Prince George, as for the machine shop, I don't think its right to mention who it is yet, they haven't thrown me to the curb and sol me yet, I talked with the guy today and it doesn't make much sense to him why it was leaking externally out of the heads then "fixed" itself and started to burn coolant, he said they would of decked the block and heads to make sure they were clean and flat(keep in mind they built this about 2 years ago so memory does get foggy) one thing he thought mite of been is if one of the guys put in too long of dowel pins for the head, it mite be hanging it up (I do remember when I pulled the head the po before me flattened the bowel pins by miss alignment) I don't ever remember him saying they replace any valve seats and he doesn't remember off hand but I'm going to put that in the low possibility 2% range.
    As for it sitting, neither of us can see the head gaskets going bad. He would like me to fill it up with coolant and bring it down to the his shop so he can take a look, and he recommended that I try pressuring up the cooling system with the glow plugs out and leaving it over night, then cranking it over to see which cylinders are leaking, other then that, its pull the heads :( sucks but we need to find out what happened before we can proceed. I also asked about the pre-cups and he said when they resurface these heads, they pull all the pre-cups out and deck the head, then check and if need be shave the pre-cups down on the lathe, so I don't think the head is hanging up on those either.

    I know what you mean, but every 7.3 block they bore out, they pressure test them to make sure no pin hole leaks pop up, doesn't tell you much about longevity but its what I have to work with.


    For all the follower, this is going to take a bit of time as during the week I can't do much to it, but the weekends are dedicated to figuring out what's wrong and fixing it.
     
  13. wildman7798

    wildman7798 Full Access Member

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    I doubt very much there is bore rust after seeing the photo of the top of the cylinder head. Oil and assembly lube is an engine assemblers best friend. As long as it didn't take any water directly while sitting and there is no internal head gasket leak I think the bores should be fine.

    Break in - lots of rpm and load changes and build heat in the engine when you run it. And don't be afraid to run it like you plan to use it, don't baby it too much but don't run the crap out of it either. Monitor your water temp and oil pressure closely and watch for changes in them.
     
  14. riotwarrior

    riotwarrior Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    Sounds like the shop is willing to help you figure this out that's great!!!!

    I'm definitely not in the KNOW of shops in PG but my area yes, thus I understand not wanting to mention shops name.

    too long of dowel could cause some issues for sure.

    Hopefully you can get this all sorted out and quickly..

    Good luck with it!
     
  15. icanfixall

    icanfixall Official GMM hand model

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    I'm not seeing a dowel being too long as the problem because they are not something that comes as a common box load of dowels that you choose the correct one for. They are specific to an engine group. They really don't have to be so long that they bottom out either. Being just about 1/4 inch above the gasket into the head is all that's really needed. Now because the precups were pulled and turned in a lathe "IF" they need to be tells lots. I'm going with that being the problem. A depth gauge block is needed to determine if that the problem now. No other accurate way to know if that the issue. Removing the heads and having the shop check the protrusion or recession is the next thing to be done. Trusting the shop to tell you or show you the truth is important too. Not knowing the shop I can see them covering their ass by "fixing" the precups and telling you nothing was wrong. Then you pay for the gaskets and time for their problems they made for you. Most shops can't afford the cutting tool that can cut the cast iron heads and the precups at the same time. The precups are an Inconel material and its very hard plus its bullet proof around heat. Before I retired from the machine shop I was very good at tig welding Inconel. We used it to repair steam erosion cuts in the steam path on the big steam turbines in power plants.
     

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