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Discussion Starter #1
I bought this engine a year ago and it has sat on the engine stand while I've been accumulating parts for both it and my tranny swap. I was told it was a low mile '87-'92 bottom end that came with some decent GTP heads. When I took the oil pan off, it looked pretty decent. Nothing stood out and it built good compression when turning it over by hand. I finally got around to buttoning everything up and was going to put a FRPP windage tray on. Since you have to replace the main bolts so you can bolt the tray in, I figured I'd knock the main caps off to see what kind of shape they were in. Good thing I did because I don't think it would have lasted very long.

This is the worst main bearing. You can see there's a melted piece of bearing in there.


Main #2


Main #3


Main #4


Main #5


The rod bearings weren't much better. Rod #1 was by far the worst.

Rods #1 & 2


A close up of the bearings on #1




Rods #3 & 4


Rods #5 & 6


Rods #7 & 8


Not sure if this was part of the problem on the #1 rod and main, but you can see the balancer is missing a good piece of the rubber ring.



The moral of the story is, if you're planning on buying a used engine, make sure you take the time to thoroughly inspect it. I'm not looking to lay any blame on the seller as there are some variables he may not of known about before selling it. I'm to blame for not doing my due diligence sooner. So, looks like I'm going to visit Al Hubbards next week.
 

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What does the crank look like? I bet it doesn't look good. #1 main journal looks like a chunk of metal went through it.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
What does the crank look like? I bet it doesn't look good. #1 main journal looks like a chunk of metal went through it.
I can't feel any ridges in it, but it looks like it is scored. It's probably going to have to be cut 10 under. That was the worst main on the crank. Everything else looks fine.
 

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Looks like the 'rebuilt' 89 engine I bought.. Could almost be the same one. :D I said screw it, bought a cheap rebuild kit with bearings and rings and just threw it back together. Plastigage said it was alright, but who knows.
 

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Ouch, that's exactly why I keep putting off buying a motor. I've seen several on corral that I would have liked to had, but i'm worried about getting something like this.
 

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hmm it seems like you wernt as fortunate as my friend when he bout his used engine. he has a 63 chevy truck and he bought a 250CI I6 at a junk yard listen to it then checked it out bought it for like 200 bucks and brought it home and droped it in. 15 years later it works just like the same day he bought it.
 

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I talked with a person about an engine he had for sale recently and asked if we could pull the pan and check the bearings as well as the lower part of the cylinders. I would provide gaskets and if it is as he says, I would gladly pay his price, which seemed a little high anyway. He got all mad and everything. I explained situations just like this and wanted him to know after I left with the engine, there would be no coming back with complaints and he still was very upset so I am still looking. He could give the engine away or sell it for scrap now and I would not care one bit.
 

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Only bought a used engine for a truck of ours once.. and it was a Junk yard engine lol.. never bothered to look at it too close.. just got it up and running to sell the truck and boy am I glad we did.. that's all I can say..
 

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IMO a non-running engine is worth about 25% more than the total value of parting it out. It does not matter how many receipts the guy has - it does not mean the motor is any good.
 

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Ive been there as well. I went through 3 blocks before I found one worth rebuilding. The good thing is they were all free off craigslist.
 

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Yeh, unless it's smoking, knocking, or leaking bad, for the amatuer guy it's pretty hard to know what you're getting.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Well, I dropped the shortblock off at the local speed shop. Will probably have a refreshed bottem end back in 3-4 weeks.
 

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Sure they don't look new or "low mileage", but those bearings look pretty normal to me.

I bought a used 302 long block for $75 once to use the rotating assembly in my 289 block. The bearings looked pretty much like that. Unfortunately the crank journal was too worn down to be of much use other than as a big oily paperweight.

I was rebuilding the 289 that came with my car after a failure of a new camshaft (put in after replacing a failed plastic tooth camshaft sprocket). I knew the engine had a few miles on it, but people who knew more than me were suprised that the bearings looked as bad as they did, but even they did not have other bits in them.
 

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Sure they don't look new or "low mileage", but those bearings look pretty normal to me.
Exactly the same as I was thinking. That surface coating does wear away and leaves the darker material you see there. Deep grooves or other imperfections are certainly cause for concern and/or replacement.
 

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I just picked up a 302 that was for sale on Craigslist. The heads and pan are off. It was supposedly rebuilt for a 26 Ford, but they went with a 350 instead...

Ford Small Block Engine

I got the rebuilt 1974 block, rebuilt 1969 heads, new Edelbrock 289 intake, new Edelbrock Elite valve covers, new Schneider 262H camshaft, new Edelbrock Elite air cleaner, new oil pump, new oil pump shaft, new pan, new air cleaner, used flywheel, 1970 C4 that was supposedly rebuilt too (appears to be), and a bunch of other stuff too for $350...

My question is what should I do to check that the bottom end is solid before I put it back together? Should I remove the crank and rod caps to inspect the bearings? The motor turns freely and the pistons and bores look new. It also has new freeze plugs all around too. The crank still has the assembly grease on it as well...
















 

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I picked this CL find up for $300, with AOD. Runs great, good oil pressure, but I didn't do a visual on the bearings. I took a chance and it turned out well.

 

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Discussion Starter #19
My question is what should I do to check that the bottom end is solid before I put it back together? Should I remove the crank and rod caps to inspect the bearings? The motor turns freely and the pistons and bores look new. It also has new freeze plugs all around too. The crank still has the assembly grease on it as well...
Looks like a good deal. Looks like it's all brand new. You'd probably be okay not checking it, but if it's all apart, it'd probably take you about a half an hour to check them for extra piece of mind.
 

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Looks like a good deal. Looks like it's all brand new. You'd probably be okay not checking it, but if it's all apart, it'd probably take you about a half an hour to check them for extra piece of mind.
The bearings are all new!...I'm pretty stoked..:thumbsup:







 
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