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Unread 08-10-2010, 09:58 AM   #1
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Default 1997 FE290 Rebuild

I'm in the process of rebuilding this engine. I checked with Tom @ CPP and he suggested replacing the rings and honing the cylinder if it's not too badly worn.

This engine blew a head gasket from overheating so, I'll get the head milled too.

Question: Should I be replacing anything else while I'm in the case? Anything else to look for? I was surprised to see that there are no bearings in the connecting rod. The main bearings seemed good and tight so...

Thanks in advance.
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Unread 08-12-2010, 05:59 PM   #2
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Default Re: 1997 FE290 Rebuild

Well, I've got the case apart, piston and rod out. I admit that there are more moving parts in there that I originally anticipated. The piston came out tight, even after the rings were past the cylinder ridge.

I plan on replacing the piston rings and honing the cylinder. Should I be concerned with removing the ridge? I don't have the reamer tool to do this.
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Unread 08-13-2010, 05:35 AM   #3
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Default Re: 1997 FE290 Rebuild

If you have decided to go this far into the engine I would suggest that you have a reputable local shop re-bore the cylinder and go for a new, over-sized piston and rings. You will appreciate the peace of mind and it really isn't much more $ than you will have spent on honing and rings.

Chris.
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Unread 10-05-2010, 09:09 PM   #4
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Default Re: 1997 FE290 Rebuild

Update: I honed the cylinder and replaced the rings. bought new gaskets and the CC timing advance key. Had the head milled down. Put it all back together and it runs great. Put a 200rpm clutch spring in and reinstalled in the cart. Runs great but I swear I hear a "tick" and its got me concerned that the head is leaking again. It may just be an exhaust leak? I took all the cooling shrouds off the head and can't seem to distinguish weather its something or nothing. Classic engine rebuild paranoia maybe?

When I took the cart in it was loud as heck with the blown gasket. It seemed to be loud on acceleration and got quiet on deceleration. Now I only notice the "tick" on deceleration and it sounds fine on acceleration. Is this indicative of exhaust leak, head leak or just plain paranoia? I checked the torque on the head and checked the exhaust gasket and torque.

Can I take the head off again and inspect the surfaces and gasket or will it ruin the gasket? Are there better gaskets out there than the OEM steel shim type i installed?

Please help if you can.
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Unread 10-05-2010, 10:37 PM   #5
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Default Re: 1997 FE290 Rebuild

does it make any difference if it is cold or hot? exhaust leaks and sometimes head gaskets will leak more when cold and quiet up when they get hot.
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Unread 10-06-2010, 07:52 AM   #6
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Default Re: 1997 FE290 Rebuild

Strictly speaking, you should not re-use the head gasket and imho it's unlikely to be the cause of your "tick" anyway (assuming that the head was milled flat).
Under acceleration you will have higher compression due to the intake air / fuel being pulled into the cylinder, deceleration on the other hand creates more vacuum so I would lean towards an exhaust gasket or intake gasket issue.
Is the "ticking" sound metallic in nature ? Head gasket leaks sound more like a hefty fart or like a holed / blowing exhaust pipe type noise but usually not mechanical in nature.

Chris.
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Unread 10-06-2010, 08:56 PM   #7
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Default Re: 1997 FE290 Rebuild

It really reminds me of an header leak on a small block chevy...but much less if that makes any sense. I guess it could be mechanical. The head wasnt acually precision milled, it was put on some kind of flat surface sanding machine a local garage had. I was referred to him by a small engine shop so...

With extreme humility I will admit the following and I suppose it could be the issue. After I had reassembled the top end and put the case back together...i had a bunch of leftover nuts and bolts...kidding, but seriously, there is a 50% chance I put the scraper (middle) ring on upside down. I didn't realize there was a freakin bevel on it untill well after the engine was put back together.

So the question is...how bad is it if it is upside down? Seems like it could have this ticking effect with cylinder pressures and what-not.

What do you guys think? Do I need to tear this darn thing out and down again? That will suck!
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Unread 10-06-2010, 10:33 PM   #8
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Default Re: 1997 FE290 Rebuild

Quote:
Originally Posted by kimmer71 View Post
It really reminds me of an header leak on a small block chevy...but much less if that makes any sense. I guess it could be mechanical. The head wasnt acually precision milled, it was put on some kind of flat surface sanding machine a local garage had. I was referred to him by a small engine shop so...

With extreme humility I will admit the following and I suppose it could be the issue. After I had reassembled the top end and put the case back together...i had a bunch of leftover nuts and bolts...kidding, but seriously, there is a 50% chance I put the scraper (middle) ring on upside down. I didn't realize there was a freakin bevel on it untill well after the engine was put back together.

So the question is...how bad is it if it is upside down? Seems like it could have this ticking effect with cylinder pressures and what-not.

What do you guys think? Do I need to tear this darn thing out and down again? That will suck!


A belt sander ? Not the most accurate method of leveling a cylinder head and for sure it will not take into account the amount of material removed.
Cheap is as cheap does

Chris.
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Unread 10-07-2010, 06:08 AM   #9
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Default Re: 1997 FE290 Rebuild

Quote:
Originally Posted by jiminpa View Post
does it make any difference if it is cold or hot? exhaust leaks and sometimes head gaskets will leak more when cold and quiet up when they get hot.
Hi Jim - no, doesn't seem to change at all with engine temp. cold or hot - it's there. I don't think most people would notice it but you know how the head gasket leaks are...start small and get big.

I guess ill bring it back and let the kid have it back and just keep tabs on it. I've rebuilt it as a favor for a friends kid. The kid has been hard on the thing anyway. I've got the governor adjusted way down now and am in the process of installing a self fabbed cooling fan intake screen. That was the weak link in this instance. Fan sucked up all the tall grass he was driving through and overheated the engine.
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Unread 11-26-2010, 09:13 PM   #10
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Default Re: 1997 FE290 Rebuild

Just a follow up to this re-built motor.

Like Invalidsession said...belt sander not precise enough. The motor has developed a headgasket leak again. Should have gone the extra mile and had the block bored, and milled along with the head milled. It would have been way worth it in the long run even if I had to ship the darn things out to have it done.

For what it's worth...you were right Invalid!
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