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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A guy brought an non roller 5.0 into us to install in his Mustang. He said it had just had the heads done and should be good to go. Several days later Jay was checking it out and found he couldn't rotate the crank 360. It stopped real solid like in each direction. Today we pulled the heads out of curiosity and while removing the head bolts found one that had a different size head on it. Hmmm. When we pulled the head guess what we found. Surprize! The missing head bolt. I wonder how long he looked for that bolt.
 

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A friend of mine years ago had a guy build him a small block Chevy for his 74 Nova. At the time he could not afford an aluminum intake for it so he just went with a stock cast iron one. When he finally got an aluminum intake we went to switch it. Popped the cast one off and found a 3/8" drive Snap on ratchet with a 9/16" socket on it. Never even had a scratch on it after about 6 months inside the engine. I don't think my friend ever returned it to the engine builder or even said anything to him about it.
 

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A buddy of mine back in college had a little machine screw back out of a goofy air cleaner he had mounted on his '67 Camaro, and drop down into the carb. He actually ran it quite a while before finally giving in and tearing the engine apart.
The domes of several of the pistons looked like someone had taken a ball-peen hammer to them, and there were literally thousands of tiny little pieces of super-smooth metal in most of the cylinders that almost looked like little drops of mercury, they had been pounded so severely! :crazy:
 

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Recently a buddy was working on his modern VW when an upper intake nut went missing. He started it up to hear quite a clatter and immediately shut it off. I came over and yanked the head. The nut had been crushed flat sideways and there were several impressions of it in the piston and the head. We decided to put it back together since the impact was for literally seconds before he cut the engine off. The motor grenaded itself about a half mile down the road. He needed a new car anyway. The rod bottom had taken the most damage. Oblonged it before it simply came apart. I have seen many dropped valve motors soldier on for years with cratered pistons. This thing died because of a 10mm nut and 10 seconds of operation. I'll stick with cast iron, thanks.
 

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Bolts and fasteners inside an engine? PPTTttfff!

The engine that came with my car sat in the P.O.s garage for 18/20 years in Texas. Taking it apart, we found what looked like a bunch of white jelly beans sitting on top of No. 7 cylinder. A bit odd, but when we went to remove them 2 burst open and baby geckos went running across the block and onto the floor. Motor looks fine and turned freely before dis-assembly. Can't wait to see what we find when we take out the core plugs! :p
 

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While tearing down the 390 out of my 67FB I found 7 mummified mice in the oil pan with a heavy coating of thick black oil. 4 of the smaller ones were stuck to the oil pickup screen with the screen pattern imprinted on them. Later while pulling the intake manifold I found 1 large mummified mouse and a 3 foot long snake skin, minus the snake in the lifter valley.
 

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Well probably not strange finding, but I am replacing the rear main seal on the 67 right now and there was about 2 pounds of gasket sealer in the oil pump screen. I guess the po wanted to make sure it was sealed up....lol Oh and yes I am replacing oil pump and screen now.
 

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On the rebuilt 5.0 I built, I took it apart to find it still had original worn out bearings, rings, etc installed. That was strange..

ANd then there is the case of last year where I snapped a wrench and couldn't find it anywhere, and then I couldn't rotate the engine, only to find out a piece flew into my spark plug hole and was smacking the head.
 

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A friend and I raced a Corvette in SCCA B Production Class a lifetime ago and when we pulled the engine to refreshen it after the first season we found a shop towel wrapped underneath the cam sprocket. I guess the guy that put it together couldn't afford a thrust plate or something. The really funny thing is that the motor never ran as strong after we removed the towel.
Rich
 

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Some great stories here. Wish I had one as good. The best I've found were the valve retainers laying in the head of a 289. The block looked perfect when I brought it home but while taking it apart, that was the first sign. The #1 piston was completely melted/exploded in the bore and another piston had a hole in it. The block also had a hole in it, but it couldn't be seen from the outside. The valve retainers being "misplaced" was the first sign.
Grant
 

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Went to prime the first engine I ever rebuilt and the socket came off of the oil pump shaft and fell into the oilpan. All of the "experts" said it would be fine down there but I might actually hear it rolling around when going through corners. I could not take the thought of that so I jacked the engine back up, dropped the pan enough to get my hand in there and fished the socket back out.

Lesson learned - Always make sure the socket is securely fastened to the extension! I duct taped the next one I primed.
 

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Stored a 351C in a barn. Thought I had it completely sealed. When I pulled the oil pan it had a couple of hundred weird little flying bugs in it.

When I pulled the pan off the 351C in my 73 vert (original engine, looked like the oil pan had never been off of it) it had these weird aluminum flakes in it. They were VERY thin and were about the size of corn flakes. Never did figure out what they were from but the engine runs just fine and doesn't burn any oil.
 
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