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Hi all, I'm back after a long hiatus. 

I covet your opinions on my latest issue on my 50 Meadowbrook.

the original 230 on it has developed a sudden clattering noise that shows up when I rev it and goes away at idle. 

I have performed a compression test and although all pistons hovered around 100 to 85 psi, # 4 since the noise started can't go over 35 psi. I performed leakdown test and the hissing I hear comes from the crank case as I remove the oil fill cap. 

Engine still starts and runs fine and oil pressure is perfect but the compression loss tells me I either broke a ring or the piston cracked. 

So, here is the question.

Is it doable and worth it to pull the pistons with the engine in place and assuming I need just a hone or a bore, to do so there by covering up the crank to avoid contamination? 

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I agree with PA,  pull the head and pan and remove #4 and see what you've got.   There is a very good chance the top ring has broken, chewed up its groove and is letting small fragments into the combustion chamber which makes a lot of noise.    If it is feasible to put a new piston in that hole, then remove the rest of them and see what you have.

 

Used to be, you would take the pistons to a machine shop and have the top grooves trued up and a (Hastings) GL spacer put in, restoring the groove.  New rings all round, and put it back together.   Quick, relatively cheap  and will give good, if not lasting , results.       Might run for years .

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Have you had any overheating issues? I have seen more than one piston that looks like this pictured below on high mileage engines. Usually this sounds like a ticking noise and  after the engine is running a bit hot.

 

 

 

 

bustedpiston.jpg

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As long as I have owned it it has never overheated

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I don't know how many machine shops you'll find that are willing to cut ring lands and find spacers and then warranty the work.  If you do find one, labor and parts may exceed the cost of new pistons and rings.  Check the valve seats as well.  Since you've got a hardened seat, it could have come loose or cracked and will also make a bunch of noise.   If you find a broken ring, especially if the engine was locked up at one point in it's life, replace them all.  A rusted ring is a weak ring and won't apply proper tension against the cyl wall and may break shortly after you fix one  piston.  They may have also cracked the ring lands if the rust was severe enough.

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 Could a valve be stuck and the lifter is rattling. You have to remove the front wheel and inner fender to get to the valve covers, but you would see if thats the problem before more disassembly is needed.

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That’s the first thing I did and the valves appear to be ok.

i will pull the pull the piston and check.

As far as parts, would Rock Auto be a good source of new rings and pistons if needed? They have them.

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For engine parts I go to Vintage Power Wagons. They have treated me well. I figure since they are a major source to the power wagon crowd, they must be good for a small truck as well, besides a 218 is a 218 regardless of what it is in. 

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It's a car, and it's a 230. :)

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I second the Vintage Power Wagons idea.  Lots of good prices there....

 

Sometimes you can find deals on eBay, but not often....

 

I am bummed to hear about your troubles.  I hope that after you repair it, it will give you many years of good service.

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Thanks for your concern. I am actually looking forward to opening her up. Never opened up a flathead beyond the oil pan.

And she has gone some 20000 miles since it got her for free. Including a trip from Michigan to Pa. 

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  While you've got it apart be sure you address everything else in

there too, (wrist pins, rod & main bearings). If you take the piston/rod

assemblies to your machinist he should be able to dress everything

up for you. That being said, don't know if any shop will still come

out (house call) like in the old days & mic & hone everything for you.

 Had this done more than once "back in the day". I believe that's

what Plymouthy referred to as a short overhaul. Hope you're back

on the road soon.

 

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