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Old June 25th, 2011, 01:08 PM   #1
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Unhappy Drain hole locations for 7A heads?

Well this morning I made the mistake of pulling a valve cover from a perfect running 72 350. This is what I was presented...
Click the image to open in full size.
Are there supposed to be drain holes in here somewhere?
Where??

I chisled around the edges and unearthed two holes, but do not go all the way through - the bottoms are metal.
Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.

The crap that was removed was like modeling clay mixed with hard crunchy chunks and other carbon grit.
Click the image to open in full size.

I was amazed at how well the engine ran and how clean the oil would drain from it.

So now I am up against a wall at what to do. It either needs to be rebuilt now or I just clean the crud out as best possible, drive it until it breaks (who knows when) then take it somewhere to have it rebuild it then.
Rebuilding (or even pulling) it myself is way out of my realm.

Geez...
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File Type: jpg IMG_2272.jpg (90.0 KB, 326 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_2273.jpg (89.8 KB, 326 views)
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Old June 25th, 2011, 01:48 PM   #2
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Rob I would clean it as good as possible and run a bottle of Marvel Mystery Oil in it get the engine to operating temp and change your oil AND filter and repeat one more time. You should be good. Don't fix it if it ain't broke. Run it until you start smoking real bad, knocking or using more than a quart or two between oil changes. IMO.

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Old June 25th, 2011, 03:03 PM   #3
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That does look ugly but I've seen wose Rob Kinda hard to get a good picture without the shadow of the camera blocking the view, but I've tried and attached them below.

The hole you found is the drain hole but you need to go at an angle upward into the roof of that hole at the 12:00 position to find the actual drain hole. I've got some 7A's but they're buried, imagine that, so here's a couple pictures of a Ka head. I believe they are the same. Try taking a stiff wire like a coathanger or a small but long screwdriver and working at the top of that blind hole at an angle upwards. After you get them open I'd do what Scot suggested and just keep driving it! John

Click the image to open in full size.

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Old June 25th, 2011, 03:16 PM   #4
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Oh, I see - they go in and UP...
I only found one at the back and one at the front like that. Any others that are lost?
How in the world did oil even get through that thick packed muck? How much oil actually goes through those push rod holes? Wow...

I looked at my front one and it is there. I lightly scraped around and some pea-sized chunks o' stuff fell out of that 1200 hole and now that one is clear. I now need to do the back one AND looks like for the engine's sake, pull the other VC and clean it as well.
I will try to scrape out as much of that as I can, and run with it.

Is crud accumulating there an Olds tradition or just on poorly maintained engines? This one had been highly abused in its past...
She burns about a quart between changes, but so do all the rest of my cars (less the 86 which is none). By that time it is changing time, so I never really have to add any.
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Old June 25th, 2011, 04:19 PM   #5
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Yeah....... if the drain holes were completely blocked how much oil had to pool under the valve cover before it reached the holes around the pushrods
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Old June 25th, 2011, 07:21 PM   #6
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I too would recommend frequent oil changes (500 miles with BG MOA) It will clean but not flush all the sludge at once. But slowly dissolve it away .
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Old June 25th, 2011, 08:30 PM   #7
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What ever you do don't pull the intake
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Old June 25th, 2011, 08:47 PM   #8
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I too would recommend frequent oil changes (500 miles with BG MOA)
She will surely be prescribed some frequent ones and hopefully more miles, too.
What is BGMOA?
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Old June 25th, 2011, 08:52 PM   #9
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What ever you do don't pull the intake
Best advice I've heard yet...
It aint leaking, so I will let the rebuilder do that.
But you shoulda saw the pushrods!
I'm gonna have nightmares about all that crap tonight......

I got most of the crud scraped and vacuumed away this evening. I did not bust anything else, either...
The rockers and p-rods were pulled and cleaned up. I will pull the springs later and clean them and around there as well as change valve seals.

This car had been driven a lot in dusty roads/climates. The undercarriage shows it. There was red dirt in there, too.
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Lady's interior makeover Rally Pac stuff
Front end job Underhood resto
1986 Cutlass Supreme Coupe - "Pristine"
1978 Ford Pinto (Old Faithful) a.k.a. "the Tramp" - in the family since new.
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Old June 25th, 2011, 09:15 PM   #10
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A little late now if you didn't but did you make sure to keep track of each part with the other parts that were mated with them? All are going to have very established wear pattens with each other.
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Old June 25th, 2011, 09:31 PM   #11
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What ever you do don't pull the intake
Spoken for truth...

Luckily most of my intake jobs, the chunk of coked up oil broke loose in one piece and I didn't have to fidget much with the cleaning. I had an old Lewyt canister vacuum cleaner that all it was used for was engine work and cleaning furnace burners. That damn vacuum cleaner had whitewall tires...
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Old June 25th, 2011, 09:36 PM   #12
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A little late now if you didn't but did you make sure to keep track of each part with the other parts that were mated with them? All are going to have very established wear pattens with each other.
Yes, I did do that, OCD style... I cleaned the parts one by one, and marked the top of each bolt-on bracket. Even the pushrods are in order!


I am guessing all that crud is what is sealing my intake so well, so i will leave it alone!
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Old June 26th, 2011, 05:01 AM   #13
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She will surely be prescribed some frequent ones and hopefully more miles, too.
What is BGMOA?
It's an oil additive that is mainly sold to increase the viscosity and reduce the friction of the oil. It sold at many auto parts stores and at lots of repair shops. It'll add $10-12 to each change. I haven't used the mystery oil that was recommended earlier, it may do the same thing.

http://www.bgprod.com/products/engineoil.html
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Old June 26th, 2011, 07:27 AM   #14
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I will start with some Berrymans B12 in the oil when i am done, as it is due for a change now. After then diesel oil since it has more zinc and detergents.

Or at this point, are extra cleaning additives just going to break off big chunks that will do damage else where?

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That damn vacuum cleaner had whitewall tires...
Just like the ones on my mom's big Tonka brand charcoal grill...
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Old June 26th, 2011, 08:19 AM   #15
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Engine flushs will. Need to do it slowly.
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Old June 26th, 2011, 09:17 AM   #16
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Make sure the inside tube portion of the push rods are clean, 1 gallon of carb DIP will work wonders. Clean the dip stuff out with carb cleaner spray, and compressed air.
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Old June 28th, 2011, 11:09 AM   #17
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That Saturday evening I tackled the crud.
Click the image to open in full size.
Armed with screwdrivers, scrapers, a small wire brush, and a vacuum, I got most of the crud scraped and vacuumed away. I did not bust anything else, either...
Click the image to open in full size.

Hopefully the little push rod plugs kept crud from clogging anything down there.
I will pull the springs later and clean them and around there as well as change valve seals.

The rockers and p-rods were pulled and cleaned up with carb cleaner. Big difference.
Click the image to open in full size.
Each set is in it's known order in every orientation.

While I was at it I cleaned up some hardware and the steering shaft. Another 2 hours gone…


Attached Images
File Type: jpg Crud_closeup_2276.jpg (144.8 KB, 535 views)
File Type: jpg Getting_better_2281.jpg (106.1 KB, 280 views)
File Type: jpg Clean_rockers_2280.jpg (71.4 KB, 280 views)
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http://www.flickr.com/photos/robsalbum/sets/
Lady's interior makeover Rally Pac stuff
Front end job Underhood resto
1986 Cutlass Supreme Coupe - "Pristine"
1978 Ford Pinto (Old Faithful) a.k.a. "the Tramp" - in the family since new.
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Old June 28th, 2011, 11:19 AM   #18
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High as a kite…

So Sunday was used to recover from the past few day’s hard work in the heat. Tendonitis returned again (as expected) so this was RX painkiller day, too. That and a beer made me sleep half the day on and off in air conditioned comfort. It felt good though – the purpose of meds, eh?

So that evening I decided that the right side valve cover needed to come off and the drain holes cleaned out for the engine’s sake.

I found that this side has the rare “Rocket-Red-Rocker” option!!
Click the image to open in full size.
What’s up with this?

Click the image to open in full size.
“I see red….. and it hurts my head…….”


As on the other side, there are clogged drain holes also.
Click the image to open in full size.
I really like how old gasket scraps were left in place by a bad ‘mechanic’…
Click the image to open in full size.

The plus side to doing this is that the A/C compressor brackets and the other valve cover go to the bead-blaster at the same time as the other parts – get ‘em all done at once!!
BTW, there are brackets under all that caked on dirt!
Click the image to open in full size.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Red_Rocker_option_2294.jpg (111.8 KB, 1178 views)
File Type: jpg I_See_Red_2299.jpg (73.0 KB, 280 views)
File Type: jpg Rt_Ft_drain_2295.jpg (94.2 KB, 279 views)
File Type: jpg Rt_Rr_drain_2297.jpg (73.1 KB, 278 views)
File Type: jpg Dirt_with_brackets_2302.jpg (55.5 KB, 278 views)
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1972 Cutlass Supreme Convertible- (442 clone) -"Lady" (My mistress...)
http://www.flickr.com/photos/robsalbum/sets/
Lady's interior makeover Rally Pac stuff
Front end job Underhood resto
1986 Cutlass Supreme Coupe - "Pristine"
1978 Ford Pinto (Old Faithful) a.k.a. "the Tramp" - in the family since new.
1997 Cadillac STS
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Old June 28th, 2011, 11:43 AM   #19
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Hey Rob, are you going to use a valve spring compressor to get those pushrods and rockers back in? I'm thinking of cleaning out my valvetrain, but not sure if i have the required tools. Also, which valve seals are you getting and from where?

Thanks and cheers,

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Old June 28th, 2011, 12:04 PM   #20
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Hey Rob, are you going to use a valve spring compressor to get those pushrods and rockers back in? I'm thinking of cleaning out my valvetrain, but not sure if i have the required tools. Also, which valve seals are you getting and from where?

Thanks and cheers,

Tony
Rockers and pushrods come off after pulling all those bolts (which were hard to see under all the crud!)
The spring compressor will be used when the valve seals come in, hopefully today. I got the Felpro valve seals at rockauto - I will see what they look like. Hopefully they will be better than what's down there. I cannot see anything in there being touched any time recent...
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http://www.flickr.com/photos/robsalbum/sets/
Lady's interior makeover Rally Pac stuff
Front end job Underhood resto
1986 Cutlass Supreme Coupe - "Pristine"
1978 Ford Pinto (Old Faithful) a.k.a. "the Tramp" - in the family since new.
1997 Cadillac STS
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Old June 28th, 2011, 12:12 PM   #21
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Awesome! Thanks for the response Rob, i'll be anxiously awaiting some pictures of that process of putting in the valve seals/assembling the valve train. Let me know how they turn out when you get the shipment in.

Cheers,

Tony
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Old June 28th, 2011, 04:04 PM   #22
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Well the valve guide seals and valve cover gasket came in...
Valve seals are stock umbrella type that (supposibly) require no machining.
Rockauto sent me ONE valve cover gasket for a late 80's Chevy V8, so I called them and they are sending the correct set of two for the Olds...
This valve work will be tedious, since I will have to specially clean each part and under the spring...
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http://www.flickr.com/photos/robsalbum/sets/
Lady's interior makeover Rally Pac stuff
Front end job Underhood resto
1986 Cutlass Supreme Coupe - "Pristine"
1978 Ford Pinto (Old Faithful) a.k.a. "the Tramp" - in the family since new.
1997 Cadillac STS
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Old June 28th, 2011, 09:15 PM   #23
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Rob, not to be a jerk or anything but are you sure that all of this cleaning is a good idea?

It sounds like your engine is running well. Why on earth rock the boat, move things around, risk damaging or improperly reinstalling parts that are working, etc.?

Clearing the crud out of the two drainback holes in each head is functional and a good idea (as is making sure the pushrod passages are all clear). Pulling every piece you can get toward you is of course the best way, but pushing the rest down and through should be fine - it will either sit in the valley or drop down into the pan, where it will stay, as it is too big to go through the strainer. I would respectfully disagree with anyone who says that benign aftermarket substances will dissolve the hard stuff - that stuff is baked solid, and very hard to dissolve with anything that you would be comfortable circulating through your engine. Also, who's to say it will dissolve, rather than just disintegrate into smaller hard pieces that WILL pass through the strainer and then go through the oil pump?

What you have in there is a bunch of unimportant surfaces covered with inert grime that is minding its own business and not hurting anything. The actual bearing surfaces are all clean, and are getting fresh lubricant as they are designed to. The grime WILL hold onto some oil and delay its return to the oil pan, but that's not important in this case (you're not a racer running at 6,000 RPM).

I guess I'd better put my flame suit on now, but I'd really just put the thing back together after making sure the appropriate passages are clear.

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Old June 28th, 2011, 09:30 PM   #24
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The Marvel Mystery oil is a good idea but I would use Sea Foam in the old oil run it till hot and the change the oil with 4 quarts of oil and 1 quart of Marvel. I have used this combo on a motor that was not quite as dirty as yours and it was amazing how clean it was under the valve covers after I did. Both are great products
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Old June 29th, 2011, 05:41 AM   #25
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Rob, not to be a jerk or anything but are you sure that all of this cleaning is a good idea?

It sounds like your engine is running well. Why on earth rock the boat, move things around, risk damaging or improperly reinstalling parts that are working, etc.?

Clearing the crud out of the two drainback holes in each head is functional and a good idea (as is making sure the pushrod passages are all clear). Pulling every piece you can get toward you is of course the best way, but pushing the rest down and through should be fine -
So you think I am going too far?
The only goal I had is to change the ancient valve guide seals, which could be a reason she is burning a little oil. So while I am doing that, might as well clean up the worst of it.

This crud on the head is rather loose - a simple touch breaks off a lot of harder chunks. A very light pass with a scraper removes a lot of it.
Click the image to open in full size.
I would rather not have big chunks reclogging the oil drains again. This is the last time I want to pull the valve covers. A rebuilder will be the next one to do so.
If it was like the hard-packed carbon on the inside of a head, I probably would not mess with it.

I may not go the chemical cleaning route, as who know what could happen then. Actually, this crud is hard to disolve in anything less than pure carb cleaner. The chunks come off easily but do not dissolve well with other cleaners. I will probably just stick to detergent motor oil like I have been doing.

No flame suit required - all mature comments are welcomed... I have not been down the cruddy engine path before...
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http://www.flickr.com/photos/robsalbum/sets/
Lady's interior makeover Rally Pac stuff
Front end job Underhood resto
1986 Cutlass Supreme Coupe - "Pristine"
1978 Ford Pinto (Old Faithful) a.k.a. "the Tramp" - in the family since new.
1997 Cadillac STS
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Old July 18th, 2011, 12:58 PM   #26
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What ever you do don't pull the intake
I laughed hard when I read that!

Here's an example of what happens when you DO remove the intake!

.
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Old July 18th, 2011, 02:20 PM   #27
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Yup .

And I bet that engine was running okay, too.

Notice the chunk of rust that fell into the #5 cylinder from the head when it was removed - that's the junk that makes your engine overheat (there've been a few recent threads on this), that you've got to flush out with acid.

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Old July 18th, 2011, 02:32 PM   #28
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I laughed hard when I read that!

Here's an example of what happens when you DO remove the intake!

.
Can you say Quaker State or P*$$ poor maintenance? Pull the intake, then you better be prepared to pull the oil pan at the very least. Probably wouldn't be a bad idea, because you wouldn't want this gunk in the oil pump's pickup screen. But I'd leave well enough alone like MDchanic said.
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Old July 18th, 2011, 06:33 PM   #29
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I laughed hard when I read that!

Here's an example of what happens when you DO remove the intake!

.
That's the ashpit - I would just leave it alone - it's not full yet.

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Originally Posted by GAOldsman View Post
then you better be prepared to pull the oil pan at the very least. Probably wouldn't be a bad idea, because you wouldn't want this gunk in the oil pump's pickup screen. But I'd leave well enough alone like MDchanic said.
Mine had the oil pump and screen replaced before I bought it. Makes me wonder why.............

I am starting to think I should not have removed the pushrods. I bet a bunch of crud fell back down in there.
Can you run the engine with the vavle covers off to check for proper oil delivery to the rockers? Or will I have oil coming out fast?

<EDIT> Well, I had to go out and see what I could see inside there. With the help of my SUPER power LED floodlight, I peeked inside some of the pushrod holes. I could see the lifter cylinders and they looked pretty clean. I even saw the shiny rings on the edges.
I think i can sleep better tonight now...

This car has a dark history...
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Old July 19th, 2011, 05:00 AM   #30
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Actually, yes, that engine did run pretty good, and could have run better with a timing chain swap. It had roughly 250k miles on it, fyi, and could have went to 300k I bet.

That chunk/rust in the cyl was mainly because it sat in the driveway for a couple years before I tore into it.

This is typical of a number of manufacturers of the day, with poor drainback and stop & go driving. Yes, the type of oil too, Quaker State was notorious for deposits. Why do you think so many oil commercials these days talk about deposits? Heeere's your sign.

The cash for clunkers thing is a perfect example, in order for recyclers to get credit, they had to ensure the vehicle would run ever again. many drained the oil and water and put a brick on the gas pedal. Problem was, all the crud would liquify under heat, and provide lubrication. The engines would get hot, stop running, and once cooled off, would run again. True story.

Honestly, the correct way to fix this is a teardown, no two ways about it. There's truth to just leaving it alone until you have to, since it becomes a full blown rebuild the moment you do tear into it, and an engine can go like that for years and miles still (might as well get use out of it). Once you do a rebuild though, you KNOW the history of the engine, and what to expect. That's hard to put a price tag on. I know with a couple timing chains and a couple simple valve jobs, the engine I did will go 250k+...

Thanks for making me choke on my coffee with the ashpit comment! Heh-heh!

.
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Old July 19th, 2011, 05:00 AM
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