The set of bigger rings arrived in the mail and they’re so oversized they’ll have to be filed to fit in the bores. Just couldn’t talk myself into messing with them this weekend, so instead I cleaned engine parts and put my new press to work.
The Quad has a power steering pulley on the intake cam shaft. I’ve read that it’s a real bear to try to remove with a gear puller, so I tried using my DIY press and it worked great. Should’ve built this thing long ago.
[This message has been edited by Quadfather (edited 01-11-2021).]
Today I learned how easy it is to grind too much material off oversized piston rings.
I watched a bunch of YouTube videos about making a DIY ring grinder and came up with this rig that worked great.
Unfortunately, I took too much material off the first couple of rings and the gap is too big, so tonight I ordered yet another set.
The internet says it’s ok to have gaps that are a little too big, but these are so cheap I might as well get another set and get the gaps just right. Loads of other work to do while I’m waiting for the new set.
[This message has been edited by Quadfather (edited 01-16-2021).]
Finally got back to the shop. The deep freeze/ice/snowfalls are finally over here in Oklahoma.
The pistons in my reman engine are .5 mm oversized. I know this because each one has “.5” stamped in the face. That means I needed rings that are .020” oversized. I ordered a set of Mahle rings through Summit and they fit. Only had to file a couple out of the whole set.
I had trouble installing the pistons in the cylinders and keeping the rings compressed, but I think I got them to go ok.
[This message has been edited by Quadfather (edited 09-13-2021).]
Next up is cleaning up the head. As I’ve mentioned, this engine bent four intake valves when the timing chain tensioner broke. Years ago I ordered four new ones, but take a look at how they compare with the valves that came out of the head.
This head had two different shaped intake valves installed in it. One type has a dimple in the middle, the other is domed. The four new valves I bought are flat. As long as the two valves are the same in each cylinder, does it matter?
I bought the four new valves so long ago, there’s no guarantee that if I buy four more, they’ll all be flat, too.
[This message has been edited by Quadfather (edited 02-21-2021).]
I checked the head from one of my spare Quads and was surprised to see different types of intake valves. This head is also an 086 head, though the engine itself is not an HO.
The intake valves for the cylinder closest to the camera are domed, while the rest are dimpled. Probably means that this is an aftermarket head, but who knows, maybe it came from the factory that way.
This head looks like it's in very good shape. I'm thinking about using it instead of the one that was in my GTZ. The head that was in my GTZ was bought from Cylinder Head International in DFW, so it was perfect when I installed it in the Beretta in 2008. The downside is I put 100,000 miles on it and bent four intake valves when the timing tensioner broke in 2012.
This head is from a salvage yard 1989 Grand Am. The engine had a blown head gasket, but everything else looked fine. So do I reuse the head whose history I know or one that looks good but whose history is a mystery?
[This message has been edited by Quadfather (edited 02-24-2021).]
Spent time in the shop cleaning engine parts this weekend. Took me about two hours using small brushes and brake cleaner to get the head mostly clean. Then I spent time on YouTube looking for a better way and decided to try the cheap oven cleaner route.
I heeded the warnings not to leave the cleaner on the aluminum too long, and used a pressure washer to blast it off
The head came out great, though there's still some carbon in the exhaust ports. I also cleaned the spare head just to see how it would look and it's pretty clean considering the valves and springs are still installed.
For the intake manifold and the timing cover the cleaner would need to stay on for two or three hours to get the oil and dirt off, and I just didn' have that kind of time today.
[This message has been edited by Quadfather (edited 02-28-2021).]
More progress. But first, the last update about my press. I ended up drilling holes through the uprights, instead of using the holes from the Soloflex pieces. Also, parts of a broken floor jack worked great to make it possible to roll it around the shop.
[This message has been edited by Quadfather (edited 03-29-2021).]
Now that the cleaning is finished, the process of reassembling the head has begun. As I mentioned, this head was a reman bought from Texas. I put 100,000 miles on it but it still looks pretty good.
It was also pretty flat, less than .003” out of true, if I measured correctly. Knowing how finicky the Quad 4 head/block relationship is I wanted to get it as clean and flat as possible, so I did the right thing and watched some YouTube videos on how to resurface it myself.
I bought a glass table at a garage sale Saturday for $5. The glass is a quarter inch thick, so I taped some 225 grit sand paper to it and got to work.
Turns out just two pieces of sand paper worked best. Overall I spent a total of about 5 minutes actually sanding the head. Here’s video I shot of myself.
The results appear to be excellent. This first pic was about halfway through the process.
It still has some faint divots around the last combustion chamber, but overall it looks and feels smooth.
As you can see I got half the valves reinstalled. I lapped the valves using the electric drill/vacuum hose method, and leak tested those two sets by screwing in a spark plug and filling the combustion chamber with brake cleaner. No leaks that I could see.
Took me three hours just to get those eight valves installed and tested. Hopefully I can finish the rest this week. I’m also trying to resist the temptation to disassemble the rods and pistons to make sure I got the rings installed correctly.
[This message has been edited by Quadfather (edited 03-29-2021).]
Well, another setback. Finally got back to working on the head, and noticed a crack in the number 1 combustion chamber between the intake and exhaust valves.
It actually looked worse when I first noticed it. Somehow spraying it with brake cleaner made it harder to see. Not to worry, I thought, I’ll just grab my spare 086 head. Of course, it has a similar crack, in the combustion chamber for cylinder #2.
Bummed. Cylinder Head International has Quad 4 086 heads for $225, the same price I paid for this head in 2008. Now to talk my wife into letting me buy one.
[This message has been edited by Quadfather (edited 04-10-2021).]
Haven't done any work on the car because I've been distracted by other projects. Trying to rehab my old Gravely mower instead of just storing it in my garage. Also working to replace another old air compressor. It's the compressor I keep at my house.
I had another old compressor I bought at an estate sale years ago and over the weekend bought two more "used" ones, hoping to be able to make one good compressor.
Hope to get back to rebuilding the Quad 4 in a week or two.
While I was in the shop working on various air compressor parts, the frustration really started weighing me down. I looked at the car and realized how much work I still have to do and the frustration took over.
Then, last night I dreamed I was out driving it. Somehow it had the original Iron Duke in it and I'd driven hundreds of miles from home yet that old engine was just purring. I woke up with a feeling of joy.