So here is the update on my old gal. I decided if I have to take the whole engine out a sbc is going back in. I went ahead and used the old wet sandpaper and shoestring trick on my rod journal to polish it up up. I mic'd it all over and it turned out nice and round and within spec to use an undersize bearing. Put on an undersize bearing and got my clearance within factory spec. Replaced entire rod that was spun with new one. Replaced all pistons and rings, and wrist pin bushings in all rods. Replaced pistons because of excessive ring land wear. Some rings were broken too. Found minimal wear and cylinders where in spec for standard replacement pistons. Also replaced all other rod bearings with standard size bearings and replaced #3 main bearing with a standard. Plastigauged rod bearings at .0015 clearance. Plastigauged main bearings #2, #3 (replacement), #4 and all were at .002 clearance. #3 (original that was replaced) was the only one that was over .002. I read on here that there is mixed opinion on bearing clearance, with some opting for .002 and others tighter. Figured I will try it. Didnt check #1 main since I would have to have the timing cover off and all the things associated with taking the cover off. Cleaned up and de-carboned head and painted it. No burnt valves all seem to seat well. Decided to just clean them up and not do a full valve job.
She now has 1,200 miles (and many oil changes and filters) since I did my shade tree rebuild. Oil consumption is now almost nothing and her new rings seem to be seating well. I think any oil dripped now is from timing cover. No knocking and oil pressure has been 40 - 45 lbs at 30 mph+. After a run at 60 mph she has about 38 - 40 lbs at 50+ miles an hour and 25 - 30 at 30 mph. After leaving the freeway and driving at lower speeds oil cools and she goes back up to 30 - 40 lbs at 30 mph and 40 lbs at 40+ mph. I am using 10w 40. Have tried 15w 40 and pressure is about the same.
If she blows up again I may actually decide to keep her flatty and do a proper rebuild since I now have experience rebuilding her but who knows..May still go for more power.. For now she will not be run as hard as I used to run her. I know this isnt the proper way to do things but I am already happy I got 1200 miles out of her and she may or may not get many more. Some people on here are lucky to do 500 - 1,200 miles in a year..
Forensically, I found a piece of piston skirt in the oil pan. It is possible that tiny metal pieces from the skirt caused the failure in rod #4s journal. Piston #1 had the broken skirt. I still havent had a chance to check the clearance of my old oil pump to see if it was out of spec but hope to do that when I have time.