400 engine build/Arkansas Machine shop who has Torque plate

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Re: 400 engine build/Arkansas Machine shop who has Torque plate

Postby hester6787 » Tue Nov 03, 2009 3:17 am

Ok, I've got everything off the old engine in my car and the only thing holding it in is the motor mounts and the trany bolts. I was planning to unbolt the engine from the trany and just remove the engine by itself. I can get to all the trany bolts ok, but I'm wondering if I am making a mistake by doing it this way.

Is there some reason that I am not aware of as to why I should pull the engine and the trany together?

I've never done this before and it just seemed like it would the easiest way, but I'm not sure???
I'm pretty confident that I could pull the engine this way, but I'm a little concerned about getting it bolted back in properly.

Any suggestions??

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Re: 400 engine build/Arkansas Machine shop who has Torque plate

Postby raybs » Tue Nov 03, 2009 4:31 am

Access to the Torque Converter bolts is one reason a lot of folks pull engine and tranny together (from what I remember). That said, it can be done - you'll just have to reverse the process upon reinstalling the engine.
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Re: 400 engine build/Arkansas Machine shop who has Torque plate

Postby critter » Tue Nov 03, 2009 9:10 am

I've done it both ways. Honestly, I found it easier to pull the transmission with the engine. trying to get the bell housing bolts on my automatic transmission lined back up after dropping in the motor took some grunting. It wasn't that bad, just a bit more difficult than stabbing the whole assembly back in the car.

BTW, are you sure you got all the ground straps loose on the motor? I lifter the whole car by one ground strap the first time I pulled a motor. Lesson learned that day. LOL.
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Re: 400 engine build/Arkansas Machine shop who has Torque plate

Postby lmd » Tue Nov 03, 2009 1:21 pm

It depends on the car, there is enough room on a first gen to get to the trans bolts pretty easy. If you pull just the motor, you need to run a bar (meta, wood, etc) across the fenders and use a chain to hold the bellhousing up. If you pull them both together, take the torque converter bolts out while it is still in the car, much easier then when its on the motor/trans is on the ground.
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Re: 400 engine build/Arkansas Machine shop who has Torque plate

Postby hester6787 » Tue Nov 03, 2009 8:30 pm

Thanks guys, I think I'm going to try and just pull the engine by itself. I got all the trany bolts off and it already seems loose, so hopefully it will go smooth. I think I can just pull all the spark plugs and turn the engine over with a wrench so I can get the torque converter bolts off. I think there shouldn't be any problems.

I'm a little concerned about the home-made motor mounts that the guy I bought the car from made. They look pretty solid, but I'm not sure about them. I'll be able to get a better look at them when I get the engine out, but they look pretty strange.
I don't remember if I posted this before, but my car originally came with the 230 ci six-cylinder and so I'm not sure how the V8 engines are supposed to fit in the car, but now that I've looked at it closely, it doesn't look like the engine is in the factory position. It has 3 tube headers, but I'm not sure they were made for a 67 firebird because the middle tube on the drivers side is dented in a little to clear the steering box, and not only that but the motor mount on the drivers side has what looks to be a half inch spacer that tilts the engine to the passengers side to also help out with the headers clearing the steering box. I hadn't notice that slight tilt before until looking at it close last night.

I don't know for sure because I haven't ever seen another 67 firebird with a 400 engine before in person, but it seems like to me that the engine in my car sets back towards the rear farther than it should. The reason I'm thinking that is because the motor mounts aren't setting centered on the cross member, they are bolted half way on the back side of the cross member and half way on the home-made brackets. Is that where they are supposed to be? I'm wondering if maybe my car has the original drive shaft or something like that and that is the reason for the engine setting farther back in the car?
Im just assuming that the V8 models used a different drive shaft but I may be wrong.
When I get the engine out, I'll try to post some pictures of the motor mounts on here for yall to take a look at, maybe next week.

I think there is about 2 inches from the firewall to the back side of the engine block, does that sound about right for that car?
I guess really the farther the engine is to the middle of the car the better, but I would like to get the engine secured as best as possible while I have it out.

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Re: 400 engine build/Arkansas Machine shop who has Torque plate

Postby RamAirDave » Wed Nov 04, 2009 1:27 am

I've always thought/found it to be easier to pull the eng/trans all together. Especially on stick-shift cars.

I'm not familiar with the 1st gen Fbird engine mount setup. You should be able to find the correct parts. The later blocks need some type of adapter for the motor mounts to fit the earlier cars. I don't know what the cutoff years are, but my 69 GTO with a 77 400 has adapters. But that engine was built/installed in an early 'Bird nearly 20 years ago, so there might be a better setup now.
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Re: 400 engine build/Arkansas Machine shop who has Torque plate

Postby hester6787 » Wed Nov 04, 2009 1:51 pm

Thanks RamAirDave, I think the 73 block I'm going to use should go in the car fine, I'm just worried about the position that the engine mounts are in. I just don't think they are right and I don't know how to find out where they are supposed to be.
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Re: 400 engine build/Arkansas Machine shop who has Torque plate

Postby lmd » Thu Nov 05, 2009 4:56 pm

hester6787 wrote:Thanks RamAirDave, I think the 73 block I'm going to use should go in the car fine, I'm just worried about the position that the engine mounts are in. I just don't think they are right and I don't know how to find out where they are supposed to be.
Thanks


The motor sits "back" pretty good, you should be able to get a wrench on the top two bolts without pulling the distributor. Even tho, the subframe is shared the firewall must sit forward more with the ventura as I have to pull the distributor to get to the bolts. If the rear trans crossmember/subframe has not been re-drilled, you with in a half inch or so of stock (probably stock tolerance if I were to guess).

Here are a few pics of the stock "frame stands".

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I wouldn't worry too much about the headers being dented, the 68 had a set of cragar 3 tubes on it and the center tube was bashed in pretty good to clear the steering box as well. Yeah, the car is a mess, but I'm working on that.
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Re: 400 engine build/Arkansas Machine shop who has Torque plate

Postby hester6787 » Fri Nov 06, 2009 11:13 pm

IMD, thanks a lot for the pictures, that really helps me a lot!! I looks like from the pictures that my engine is in the right spot, my motor mounts are just weird looking since they are kind of home made.
I got the engine out yesterday, so I'm a little closer to getting this thing to the machine shop.
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Re: 400 engine build/Arkansas Machine shop who has Torque plate

Postby lmd » Sun Nov 08, 2009 8:53 pm

hester6787 wrote:IMD, thanks a lot for the pictures, that really helps me a lot!! I looks like from the pictures that my engine is in the right spot, my motor mounts are just weird looking since they are kind of home made.
I got the engine out yesterday, so I'm a little closer to getting this thing to the machine shop.
Thanks


You can buy the correct pads reproduction now. I have the ones out of the ventura (same as first gen), but I'm not sure where I them now, lol.
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Re: 400 engine build/Arkansas Machine shop who has Torque plate

Postby hester6787 » Mon Nov 09, 2009 5:32 pm

Yeah, I found some on e-bay for $20. but I don't have the original motor mounts so I would have to buy those too.
I think I'm just going to make the ones I have work, I think they will be fine.
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Re: 400 engine build/Arkansas Machine shop who has Torque plate

Postby hester6787 » Tue Nov 10, 2009 9:39 pm

I got the Steering box and the pitman arm off my car today. I have to say I'm a little nervous about taking that steering box apart and replacing the gaskets. I've never took one apart before, is there any kind of spring loaded parts or gears that are going to go everywhere when I start unbolting it that I should know about? lol I'm sure its not that big of a deal, but seriously any tips on this?
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Re: 400 engine build/Arkansas Machine shop who has Torque plate

Postby RamAirDave » Tue Nov 10, 2009 9:52 pm

Good luck if its a PS box. I know of some that will take the manual boxes in for rebuild all day long but don't want to touch the power boxes.
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Re: 400 engine build/Arkansas Machine shop who has Torque plate

Postby Sam I Am » Wed Nov 11, 2009 12:16 am

Usually the steering box itself won't leak, it's the hoses that leak.
If the steering box itself is that bad off, replace it.
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Re: 400 engine build/Arkansas Machine shop who has Torque plate

Postby hester6787 » Wed Nov 11, 2009 5:28 am

I don't think the steering box itself is bad at all, it works perfectly and there is very little play in it, if any. Its just my exhaust headers run right beside it and all the seals are literally getting fried from the heat. The complete seal kit is only $35 from auto zone, so I'm going to at least give it a try.
You guys wish me luck, it may never work again by the time I get through with it. lol
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Re: 400 engine build/Arkansas Machine shop who has Torque plate

Postby lmd » Wed Nov 11, 2009 10:38 pm

hester6787 wrote:I don't think the steering box itself is bad at all, it works perfectly and there is very little play in it, if any. Its just my exhaust headers run right beside it and all the seals are literally getting fried from the heat. The complete seal kit is only $35 from auto zone, so I'm going to at least give it a try.
You guys wish me luck, it may never work again by the time I get through with it. lol
Thanks


Its pretty straight forward, the only thing to watch for is the flat on the splined end, try to get it to go back together how it came out as that will line up you rag-joint followed all the way back to the steering wheel.
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Re: 400 engine build/Arkansas Machine shop who has Torque plate

Postby hester6787 » Thu Nov 12, 2009 11:17 am

I'm going to give it a try today, I finally got all the grease off the outside of the box, so I can finally keep everything clean. I'll let yall know how it goes.
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Re: 400 engine build/Arkansas Machine shop who has Torque plate

Postby hester6787 » Wed Nov 18, 2009 5:04 pm

I've been real busy here lately with school, so I haven't got to do much work on my car. I did start taking the steering gear box apart, and that is going to be horrible. I'm going to have to wait until I have several hours straight to spend figuring that one out. Last week I got my Intake manifold cleaned up, it was pretty dirty from not being cleaned very well in the car all these years. I used some Eagle 1 aluminum wheel cleaner the kind with the etchant in it and it worked very well. I went to blocker yesterday in Vilonia and picked up a 2200 to 2400 stall converter I also ordered a new pitman arm and idler arm from Classic Industries, they should be here on the 23rd. I think I almost have all the money I need for the build, I've just got to get a few other things ready to go under the hood while the engine is out. Next week I'll have a few days off for Thanksgiving so hopefully I'll be able to get lots of things done then. And Christmas break starts on the 15th, so for sure then.
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Re: 400 engine build/Arkansas Machine shop who has Torque plate

Postby critter » Wed Nov 18, 2009 5:11 pm

God, I remember when I could count on a break at Christmas to work on things. Oh wait, no I can't. It sucks being old. :)
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Re: 400 engine build/Arkansas Machine shop who has Torque plate

Postby jeffhall » Thu Nov 19, 2009 1:53 am

if you need to replace the water pump ever? be sure you get the correct pump for the yr series the engine was built, also be sure to install the rubber seals for both ports also inspect the the timing cover for any deteriation and mostly besure if you do disasemble the water pump? be sure to inspect for rust on the plate that goes on between the cover and pump, and dont forget the little rubber seal that goes from the intake and the cover aswell. ps i think the pontiac v-8 from 63-and into the earlier seventies had at least three differant timing covers but , the differance was one had no timing marks where the other one did and one i think even thoe the bolt patterns were all the same , heck just dont mix match be correct some yrs had a long shaft and some had short shafted pumps some timing covers had round water ports and i know of at least one type of cover was not so round . all this attention to detail will pay off in the long haul and youre wallet. another thing is that i ran 6x heads on my 400 72 model and couldnt even turn a tire and even thoe i swapped blocks due to a overheating rash becouse of the issues above i mentioned. i got a hold of a block btween the yr 67 and 69 and installed 092 heads , continuing with a a rodney red radiator, a 18 inch black magic fan, decent ignition upgrade and a few others. im able to idle at a stop at around 160-180 for temp. and turning the tires? hah how about the entire length of my 170 ft fence roll and thats not using any braking and i have highway gears 15inch 10 rims with 60 series tires and a 350 turbo tranny. now ive heard people say the 6x heads are great heads "but of a certain type 6x heads" i think i read on on wallaceracing , one of the charts gave where a certain 6 head had only 170 hp and perhaps them were the ones i was running. i too am running an edlbrock carb "a 750 "not a double pumper thoe and the cam they put in was what i was told the strongest "stock "pontiac cam available. i push this engine sometimes up tp 5500 or maybe more, and its just fine for my likings im very satified and my freind good luck with youre ride. ill see yah on the road. jeff ps if you ever over heat the motor? be sure to replace the coolant it could turn to rust. ben there done that "brickwall"
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