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Crank removal with engine in the car


Cooper40

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Wondering what the steps would be to remove the crank with the engine in the car. I'm reconsidering pulling the engine and just doing honing and valves with the engine in the car. 

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That's what I did when we first got our D24.  That was over 30 years ago when I was much more flexible, I would not attempt to do that nowadays.  I had all the body forward of the firewall off already, which made it a tad easier.  Same basic procedure if the engine was on a stand, but you'll also have to get anything crossing under the oil pan out of the way, which isn't much.  

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3 hours ago, Cooper40 said:

Wondering what the steps would be to remove the crank with the engine in the car. I'm reconsidering pulling the engine and just doing honing and valves with the engine in the car. 

 

Sounds like the overhauls that routinely occurred in the grease bay of gas stations back in the day. It worked then, it can still work. :)

 

The transmission will need to be pulled so you can remove the flywheel if you decide to pull the crankshaft. But valves and cylinder honing can be done with the crankshaft in place if the pistons can be pulled out the top of the cylinders. A tool is available to remove a ridge at the top of the cylinder if that prevents piston removal.

Edited by Sam Buchanan
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I've been working on cars/trucks/engines since I was 15.  I'm now 81 and have never, nor would  I ever, attempt that.   Way more work and time than pulling the engine.   Just list the steps for each and it will be apparent that the labor is similar, but some tasks are so much harder on your back with a big weight overhead.   Bench pressing the crank while simultaneously installing the main bearing cap bolts doesn't appeal to me at all, and the probability of damaging the thrust surface of new bearings is real.  Same weight and bolt alignment issue  with flywheel.   Radiator has to come out either way.  

 

And the cleaning steps to do a first class 'overhaul' are much more difficult.   Cutting the valve seats, removing/installing springs etc leaning over a fender also.  then there's the possibility of scratching the finish on the body parts.

 

 

 

 

Edited by kencombs
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I agree pulling the engine is the optimum path for overhaul. My point was that if an engine pull is not an option then a "service overhaul" is still possible that will extend the life of a tired engine for a reasonable length of time. An overhaul is a big job regardless of the method used.

 

We do, however, have to recognize how the mechanic's age impacts decisions. Tasks that are challenging for my present self were not the case for the 20-40 year-old version of me.....but hopefully I now work smarter, not harder! Motivation is also greatly shaped by age. One size does not fit all......  ;)

Edited by Sam Buchanan
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4 minutes ago, Sam Buchanan said:

I agree pulling the engine is the optimum path for overhaul. My point was that if an engine pull is not an option then a "service overhaul" is still possible that will extend the life of a tired engine for a reasonable length of time. An overhaul is a big job regardless of the method used.

 

I've done 'in-frame' overhauls, but draw the line at pulling the crank.

 

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I bet the main issue is worn out piston rings. Pull the head, pistons and rods, shove a bunch of rags on top of the crank at the bottom of the bores and give it a hone. Clean it well. Put the pistons and rods back in with fresh bearings. Crank bears can be done one at a time by rolling them out and back in. Loosening all the main caps will help with that. But I do agree, to do it "right" you should pull the engine. Quick and dirty is the method I described, and it works for what you want.

Edited by D35 Torpedo
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I just removed my transmission, clutch, flywheel, and engine oil pan. The tranny and flywheel can be done solo if you are in decent shape. (Muscles).  Flywheel was easier than I expected. The hardest part was the starter mounting bolt. 
 

You could just pull the cylinder head and oil pan. Remove rod caps. Push pistons out the top. Hone. Wash vigorously. Perform valve grind by hand. I’ve done that. The hardest part might be leaning over your fenders doing the valve grind for all those hours.  Definitely do-able. 

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Many, many years ago I had bad compression in #6 cylinder at 72,000 miles. Pulled the head and could see a burnt intake valve. Pulled oil pan. Slight ridge at top of cylinders. Removed with ridge reamer. Took caps off connecting rods. Pushed pistons out the top after putting rubber tubing over rod bolts to avoid crank damage. Cleaned up pistons and installed new rings. Honed cylinders with cloths over the crank. Lapped all other valves after replacing the burnt one. Plastic gauged rod bearings which were right in the middle of factory specs so they were re-used. Reinstalled pistons and buttoned everything up. No need to remove crank if no obvious damage. Many years and 30,000 miles later car still runs perfectly. It idles so smoothly, I sometimes think it has quit running. SO…….you can do a quick and cheap refresh and get many miles out of it. This winter I replaced water pump and fuel pump to keep the old girl going. Even threw a little paint on the engine to spruce up the appearance. Compression down some now but no smoking and it runs great. Car is a survivor including original paint. 
 

IMG_5834.png.c1a475f73076d5f48233a8b3abf5e464.png

 

IMG_2989.jpeg.d3f30299913f807b52da66cc4c3fc6ba.jpeg

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Thanks for the comments guys. Can anyone link a good ridge reamer tool to get? I know for a fact that I'm going to have to get one in order to get the pistons out. 

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Can't help on a ridge reamer suggestion I've had mine since the 80s and I don't remember who made it lol. However I would cost you to be careful using it because you don't want to go overboard and gouge up the cylinder walls which is a possibility if you get carried away trying to do too much in one turn.

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Lisle makes a couple of good styles.   The best is an older one that cuts sorta like a lathe, cut depth adjustable and cuts from the bottom of the ridge upward.   I don't think they are available new, but used ones can be found online.   The new ones really just scrape off the ridge, not cut like the better ones.   Those are the kind that are most likely to cause damage as Sniper mentioned.   Cheaper though, and available new.

 

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Ok, I was looking at new lisle ones and there were mixed reviews. Found this old snap-on one on ebay. What do you guys think about it. Ive heard they're a good brand. 

This is the new lisle one I was looking at. I could do it but some of the reviews weren't as good.

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I read some of the reviews. this one stood out.

 
"Works just fine.

Ignore the 1-star reviews. It is difficult to keep centered and one has to have the skill necessary to use it which is no different from any ridge reamer.

Those who complained about it should seek professional help with their engine work."
 
Most of the negatives are due to fact that this type of reamer is somewhat dependent on operator skill.   Controlled leverage while turning it etc.  You have to hold it down while turning or it may catch and tip.   Some mentioned tapered cuts that could damage rings.   that is impossible IF one stops cutting with the ridge is gone.   It may taper (slightly) the area above the ring travel.
 
that said, the lathe type is better, if one wants to spend the extra money.
 
 
Edit:   that old Snap-On is a good tool but usually used ridge reamers have a badly worn cutter which needs replacement before use.   Not always, but often.

 

 

 

Edited by kencombs
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I highly recommend thinking carefully about using a ridge reamer.  I've had two experienced machinists from two different machine shops, 20 years apart, who told me not to use a ridge reamer, as those reamers will remove the only remaining unworn material that is square with the crankshaft, making it much more difficult to get the newly bored cylinders square to the crank.  Also, it is difficult to avoid removing too much material, even if you watch closely and think you are stopping as soon as you have removed only the ridge.  When I took one of my engines to one of those machinists, I was certain that I had been very careful and that the cylinders could be cleaned up by going no more than 0.020" oversize, but since I had used a ridge reamer, the machinst said he had to go 0.030" over.  Not a huge deal, but I would rather have kept it to 0.020" in the interest of future rebuildability.  And just as a matter of principal, I prefer not to waste material.

 

I asked these machinists what to do if I need to remove the pistons and don't use a ridge reamer, and they both said I should have just pounded the pistons out, either through the top or through the bottom of the block.  It would destroy them, but that's not a big deal, since they won't be reused anyway.  The only downside is that I wouldn't have had any show pieces to hang on the wall.

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@Matt Wilson Ok thanks for the info. I understand what you're saying. I'm still going to try it anyway. If I mess it up, there are more engines out there to replace it. 

Im not planning on taking the block to a machine shop. I want to leave the engine in the car and remove the ridges and put the pistons back in with new rings in them. 

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