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Old 05-27-2013, 09:57 PM   #1
kellyron500
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Join Date: Jul 2012
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Default FE290 Engine Rebuild - Too tight to Turn Over

Happy Memorial Day All...As a former Jar Head, I look forward each year to the country, and myself, honoring our fallen heroes.

These are probably more ramblings and typings of my thoughts than anything else because I could have done a dozen things wrong...just not sure what yet.

Setup...I am not an expert but grew up with an old man owning gas stations/garages back when they were both one in the same. I just never got the taste of turning wrenches for a living...only for a hobby.

I cut my teeth on golf carts back when someone was going to throw away a Yamaha because it was smoking like spraying for mosquitoes. Today it is a wonderful cart enjoyed daily by my abusive 16 year old boy and just takes everything he has to give and keeps on going...except for a recent head leak caused by a bolt stripping out of the wonderful use of aluminum in high heat environments. On the brighter side, I got my first taste of "Helicoils" and the savior they bring to thread repair.

To the point I run, not own, a company where we own and use over 50 golf carts, all Club Cars. We have a local provider we buy from and they service very well too. But recently, because of age I guess, we have had four in a row burning oil and blowing smoke all of a sudden and the shop said a minimum of $1,200 each to pull the engines and service.

I said heck with that and had my fleet manager (who also tends to 60+ trucks and only knows how to trailer carts to service) bring them one at a time to my house where I have a nicely set up garage I am rather happy with and the wife is not (definitely goes in line with the old saying "I hope when I die my wife does not sell my tools for what I TOLD her I paid for them"). I actually enjoy pulling these motors, fixing them up and seeing them back in service again. We have spares so downtime is not too crucial.

Anyway, all just needed rings....cylinders spec'ed out fine so I just honed them out lightly and I swapped out valve seals, oil seals, gaskets, etc just because I was in there. But again, I humbly state I certainly am not an expert, yet I did successfully handled my own Yammy G22, an Fe350 and two other FE290s before my recent rebuild...I've downloaded service manuals from internet sites and following directions is following directions - not rocket science (at least not until now, maybe).

So this last 290...When I was putting it back together, just lining up the timing marks on the crank and cam felt a little snug when turning the gears by hand. I had to use a rag on the crankshaft to turn it, versus just being able to grab it and turn it. The piston rod is not even there at this point. I use "Lucas Assembly Lube" on most moving parts and grease where the cam fits into the flywheel side of the case....no bearings on this side of the engine but as I said earlier, I did pull and replace the oil seal.

I should add here that during the disassembly the engine seemed to turn fine if I spun the main clutch or flywheel...only a little resistance during the compression stroke, of course. But by the time I had this engine completely bolted back together, everything torqued to specs, the only way to turn the engine over was with a wrench on the flywheel nut. My spider sense was tingling but I recalled the other two 290's being somewhat tight after assembly but even then I could grab the main clutch with mechanics gloves on and turn the motor. I did not have to crank it with a wrench.

Against my better judgement I threw the engine in, remembering how I was worried on the other 290s about being tight, than hooked everything up and tried to fire her. Sure enough, step on the pedal (maint mode) and the engine would turn until it got to the compression stroke and seized. I put a wrench down on the primary clutch bolt and manually turned the motor a bit and hit the pedal again...spun until it hit the compression stroke, I assume. I did this a dozen times or more hoping the starter would spin it beyond the sticking point, but no...I gave up for the week and relegated it for next weekend...which is where I am now.

One oddity I can think of with this rebuild is on the flywheel side of the case where the cam shaft fits in there is a key that I believe comes out of the oil pump. It mates up with a grove cut in the cam which, I assume, which turns the oil pump. It was a non-issue on the first two 290s...I mean I really didn't even notice it. The cam went in when I lined up the timing marks on each of those and off I went. This time, the cam would not seat and I could not figure why until it pulled it back out and noticed the key for the first time. So I used a pair of needle nose to manually turned it to align with the cam and all seemed okay.

The bearing on the main clutch side seemed just fine...it spun well and I packed it with grease before reassembling it. I put the clutch on first and was able to turn the engine by hand but things really, really got tight when I put the flywheel on. So tight that I got the puller back out and once I had the wheel off again, was able to turn the motor via the main clutch by hand...tight, but I could turn it and not hear any noise, other than the compression hiss. I checked my service manual...made sure I had the right washer and put the flywheel back on...she was damned tight but I threw a breaker bar on her and turned it and she turned...and felt smooth.

Again, against my spider sense, I put her back together...battery had been on the charger and was full (along with trickle charges throughout the day after it was full) and the starter/generator belt was tight and not slipping.

Oh well...enough rambling...just throwing it out there for thoughts...I will pull it next Saturday morning and go step by step while I break it down and reassemble...stopping this time when it gets to tough to spin...Happy Memorial Day again to all. Share thoughts if you have them!!!!
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Old 05-28-2013, 11:05 AM   #2
Kevin37B
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Default Re: FE290 Engine Rebuild - Too tight to Turn Over

Do you need more shims on the crank main bearings . Just a thouight .
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Old 05-28-2013, 03:32 PM   #3
kellyron500
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Default Re: FE290 Engine Rebuild - Too tight to Turn Over

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin37B View Post
Do you need more shims on the crank main bearings . Just a thouight .
And a good thought...It does have just the single shim but the whole thing was tough to turn once I put the cam back in...long before I out the case back together.

IMPORTANT...I fired up the service manual this morning and was reading about the forced oil pump and the cam shaft and read something very important that I did not know - it states in both sections in bold letters that putting the cam back in without removing the oil pump first could result in damage to the engine.

I did that without knowing I even had to on the first two 290's...not on this one. I put the pump back together before I put the cam in....and turned the pump key with needle nose pliers match the groove in the cam end. I have a serious suspicion that my problem rests right there and damned happy it would not turn over...Even if that is not the main problem, I am still happy it would not fire up.

There was one other issue I have run into on all three...the main bearing on the clutch side...On the first 290 rebuild when I got the crank case off, the bearing was stuck to the crank...it had come out of its whole and could not be pulled off the crank by hand.

I had to tap it back slightly toward the center of the crank, use fine steel wool to clean the buildup on the shaft before I could remove it. On these last two, it did not stick to the crank but when I got the cover off, the bearing was only halfway down into the where the bearing is supposed to be seated....at least as far as I know. In all three cases the bearings proved to be in good condition, were packed with grease and I sunk them flush with the shop press.

Although no problems with the first two, is there any chance it am pressing it too deep (flush with the walls of the bearing housing) and maybe this is crimping the bearings? I don't know...just a thought...

Thanks for you reply.

I did look in the manual but it says very little on the bearings...do you agree, or anyone on the boards, that the bearing should be seated flush in the in the crankcase cover?
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Old 05-31-2013, 05:37 AM   #4
clubcarjeff
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Default Re: FE290 Engine Rebuild - Too tight to Turn Over

The bearing should be pretty flush. For your next build, after you remove the clutch for engine disassembly, emery cloth the crankshaft between the seal and where the clutch was. Lube it and the crankcase cover comes off alot easier. The bearing WILL occasionally stay on the crank due to the cover expanding and contracting thru the years. Upon final assembly, add some loctite to the area in the cover before tapping in. I usually use blue loctite, however I believe they make loctite specifically for bearing seats. While assembling the engine, things happen and sometimes you need to back the cover off. Adding loctite prevents the bearing from sliding out of the cover.
I've never had to use a press to seat the bearing and would be hesitant to because the cover is soft. Usually a mallet will do. Preferably a bearing installation tool of the correct size or a really big socket that sits on the outer race. Always install a new crank seal as well. Good luck...
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Old 06-02-2013, 06:02 PM   #5
kellyron500
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Default Re: FE290 Engine Rebuild - Too tight to Turn Over

Quote:
Originally Posted by clubcarjeff View Post
The bearing should be pretty flush. For your next build, after you remove the clutch for engine disassembly, emery cloth the crankshaft between the seal and where the clutch was. Lube it and the crankcase cover comes off alot easier. The bearing WILL occasionally stay on the crank due to the cover expanding and contracting thru the years. Upon final assembly, add some loctite to the area in the cover before tapping in. I usually use blue loctite, however I believe they make loctite specifically for bearing seats. While assembling the engine, things happen and sometimes you need to back the cover off. Adding loctite prevents the bearing from sliding out of the cover.
I've never had to use a press to seat the bearing and would be hesitant to because the cover is soft. Usually a mallet will do. Preferably a bearing installation tool of the correct size or a really big socket that sits on the outer race. Always install a new crank seal as well. Good luck...
Thank you sir...I like the Emory cloth idea...very nice.

Well, she is up and purring like a big cat...not sure what it was...pulled it, tore it down, cleaned all, pulled out of the old clutch side oil seal, tapped out the bearing and replaced (old bearing still seemed great...and put new oil seal in too) and put it back together.

Nothing hung and she turned over by hand during the whole rebuild. Maybe the old bearings were bad but only showed it after the cover, clutch and flywheel were put back on.

Who knows....Regardless, thanks all for the outlet.
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Old 06-03-2013, 05:24 AM   #6
clubcarjeff
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Default Re: FE290 Engine Rebuild - Too tight to Turn Over

It happens to all of us. Sometimes ya just gotta start over. Glad you got it going. Enjoy!
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