Leroy the EK Ute

Post photos of your pride and joy, or updates on your rebuild!

Moderators: reidy, Thommo, Blacky, SunnyTim

User avatar
thebrotherj
Posts: 171
Joined: Wed Aug 21, 2013 4:09 pm
State: NSW
Location: Sydney

Re: Leroy the EK Ute

Post by thebrotherj » Fri Dec 22, 2017 5:50 pm

Ripped out the motor & gearbox last night. Before backing Leroy out to line him up under the block and tackle, I took him for one last spin and finally gave it a bit of stick up the back lane way. I was surprised at how well the old Grey pulled and once back in the garage I had a play with timing and mixtures trying to get the idle smooth, but couldn’t. It’s definitely running a warm cam. Also: no oil smoke whatsoever out the tailpipe, or any notable fumes from the breather pipe.

My bro rocked up to help, so we ran a compression test. I couldn’t believe my eyes. Numbers I saw (psi) were:
130 - 125 - 123 - 130 - 132 - 130

So I turned my attention to the ‘old’ Grey, wrapped up under my workbench since 2013, from a car that was parked in 1999. Filled the cylinders with WD40 and oil and gingerly turned it over by hand until it stopped and the push rod on no.3 exhaust valve kicked off at a big angle: the push rod is very bent, and the valve is stuck in it’s guide.

Image

Soaked the valve stems also and waited then turned again by hand. With a loud crack, the valve went down but never came back up. Dang.

With the motor at least now spinning free, I hooked up a battery and jumped the starter solenoid for a compression test on the garage floor:
78 - 105 - 0 - 55 - 80- 120

So. My original impressions were wrong. Just because I can spin Leroy’s motor over so easily from the fan belt, doesn’t mean it has low compression... I’ll now get that one up on a stand and dismantle only as far as I need too. Probably leave pistons in their bores and just lift the crank to do rear main seal. Suss out bearing condition and evidence of oversizing etc.

Image

Image

Image

Image

Meanwhile, I also have the driver’s door off and stripped for a look at “just one 20c piece sized rust bubble” as all the ads on Unique Cars say. Surprise surprise, I could almost put my fist through the hole I cut it back too.

At least the door liner provided some evidence that the windscreen seals were replaced when the hood lining was done :)

Image

Image

hehe got yas ;)

More updates soon.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

User avatar
Blacky
Posts: 7492
Joined: Tue Jul 20, 2004 8:58 am
State: WA
Location: up in the Perth hills

Re: Leroy the EK Ute

Post by Blacky » Fri Dec 22, 2017 8:34 pm

so often the case with rust isnt it ..... what you can see is 10% of what is actually there :econfused:
There are two golden rules for success -
1) Never tell everything you know


Foundation member #61 of FB/EK Holden club of W.A.
Member of Cranksters Rod and Kustom Club

User avatar
Devilrod
Posts: 7286
Joined: Fri Apr 30, 2004 12:55 pm
State: VIC
Location: Cranbourne North, Vic

Re: Leroy the EK Ute

Post by Devilrod » Wed Dec 27, 2017 11:16 pm

Blacky wrote:
Fri Dec 22, 2017 8:34 pm
so often the case with rust isnt it ..... what you can see is 10% of what is actually there :econfused:
Just like the tip of an iceberg....

Churning through it, Leroy will be like new soon.
Speed and Style........... One day I'll get the speed bit.

User avatar
thebrotherj
Posts: 171
Joined: Wed Aug 21, 2013 4:09 pm
State: NSW
Location: Sydney

Re: Leroy the EK Ute

Post by thebrotherj » Sun Dec 31, 2017 10:41 am

Devilrod wrote:
Wed Dec 27, 2017 11:16 pm
Blacky wrote:
Fri Dec 22, 2017 8:34 pm
so often the case with rust isnt it ..... what you can see is 10% of what is actually there :econfused:
Just like the tip of an iceberg....

Churning through it, Leroy will be like new soon.
gotta admit, I'm always in a slight state of internal conundrum over this whole build. There's a decent amount of cosmetic cancer and some structural. I've done my best to repair the structural stuff as solidly as possible, but I'm cutting corners with the cosmetics because, let's face it. Leroy's a workhorse with all the usual scars of a life spent scraping through rego each year with quick fix repairs.

All I'm doing is cutting back to good metal, treating/sealing as best I can and re-doing with more considered patch jobs that will get us back on the road sooner rather than later. And for very little $$. He's gonna be garaged and only driven when the sun's out, so who knows, my work might last a decade.

As I always say to my brother, I just wanna hit the road, iron out all the mechanical bugs then save some pennies toward paint and panel later on.

ardiesse
Posts: 57
Joined: Thu Jan 19, 2017 8:57 am
State: NSW
Location: Sydney

Re: Leroy the EK Ute

Post by ardiesse » Sun Dec 31, 2017 5:20 pm

Joe,

You're having some fun with motors, I can see.

Don't toss the bent pushrod, just straighten it. The donor motor has had water get in, sadly. If the stuck valve is still open, you can make it shut by a fairly butcherous method: get a couple of cold chisels and introduce them between the coils of the valve spring. Tap them in, the coils will bottom, and force the valve up. Just don't put the chisels straight in, or you'll nick the valve stem. Repeat many times, with lots of WD-40, and the valve will free up.

Your compression test suggests that you have badly seating valves, and, I fear, stuck piston rings in the 50 and seventy-something cylinders. A valve grind and new rings are indicated here. That means a few dollars and a lot of effort, better put into your current motor.

Leroy's motor is very healthy. Since it's out of the car already, and you have to pull the crank out to fix leaks at both ends, my suggestion would be to pull the head off, and regrind the valves. Work out which is the most-worn bore, pop the piston out of that bore, and remove the top compression ring without breaking it. Put the ring back in the bore, and using the piston, push it down into the bore, just to the top of its travel where the bore's most worn. Measure the ring gap. With a good bore and a new ring, the gap should be about 0.015". If the ring gap's 0.040" or more, you'd be best off with a new set of rings.

Grey motors are very hard on main bearings, and more so if the oil hasn't been changed as often as it should. The motor's going to be in pieces anyway, so give it a new set of bearings. And - the lower the main bearing clearances, the better your chances of getting the rear main bearing oil seal not to leak.

The leak at the front of the motor is because the front engine mount plate's loose, or bent, or both. The poor gasket has to seal up against oil pressure. When you've taken the front engine mount plate off, check the back face for flatness with a straightedge. Concave is bad. Slightly convex, with the high spot around the oil passage, is better.

Enjoy (if such a thing is possible),

Rob

User avatar
thebrotherj
Posts: 171
Joined: Wed Aug 21, 2013 4:09 pm
State: NSW
Location: Sydney

Re: Leroy the EK Ute

Post by thebrotherj » Wed Jan 03, 2018 10:51 pm

ardiesse wrote:
Sun Dec 31, 2017 5:20 pm

Leroy's motor is very healthy. Since it's out of the car already, and you have to pull the crank out to fix leaks at both ends, my suggestion would be to pull the head off, and regrind the valves. Work out which is the most-worn bore, pop the piston out of that bore, and remove the top compression ring without breaking it. Put the ring back in the bore, and using the piston, push it down into the bore, just to the top of its travel where the bore's most worn. Measure the ring gap. With a good bore and a new ring, the gap should be about 0.015". If the ring gap's 0.040" or more, you'd be best off with a new set of rings.

Grey motors are very hard on main bearings, and more so if the oil hasn't been changed as often as it should. The motor's going to be in pieces anyway, so give it a new set of bearings. And - the lower the main bearing clearances, the better your chances of getting the rear main bearing oil seal not to leak.

The leak at the front of the motor is because the front engine mount plate's loose, or bent, or both. The poor gasket has to seal up against oil pressure. When you've taken the front engine mount plate off, check the back face for flatness with a straightedge. Concave is bad. Slightly convex, with the high spot around the oil passage, is better.
Hi Rob,
Thanks again for the words of advice. These tips (particularly regarding the front mount plate and your previous rear main advice) will be referenced.

Indeed, it is my intention to throw a set of bearings at it, I'll be looking for oversise markings and measuring everything closely. Likewise, I also figured tighter clearances would aid rear main sealing.
I am actually in two minds re: removing the head to measure bore taper & ring gaps... given the great compression test and minimal apparent blow-by observed so far. I'm sort of inclined to leave well alone. But I understand that there have been issues identified with blow-by and chronic oil leaks in these old things, so I'll keep it in mind. Definitely beginning to think the motor had a rebuild not so long ago.

I've been busy with other stuff but I reckon tomorrow I'll have the engine up on the stand and begin the tear down.
Stay tuned. Cheers, Joe

ardiesse
Posts: 57
Joined: Thu Jan 19, 2017 8:57 am
State: NSW
Location: Sydney

Re: Leroy the EK Ute

Post by ardiesse » Thu Jan 04, 2018 9:20 am

Joe,

There's a quick test you can do to see how well your valves are sealing (and it's way more sensitive than a compression test): the kerosene-in-the-ports test.

Inject about a spoonful of kerosene (or similar) into the inlet and exhaust port of each cylinder as it starts its compression stroke. Then turn the engine over. Badly seating valves will hiss and bubble.

If you get a negative result for all twelve valves, then you can leave the head on. But I figure, even if you only have one or two badly sealing valves, it's worth pulling the head off and doing a valve grind, on the affected valves at least.

One of the FE-FC guys is having similar rear main bearing oil seal troubles, and wanted to know how to pull the crankshaft out of a grey while leaving the head on. Here's the link -

http://forum.fefcholden.club/index.php?topic=20305.0 (page 3)

Rob

User avatar
thebrotherj
Posts: 171
Joined: Wed Aug 21, 2013 4:09 pm
State: NSW
Location: Sydney

Re: Leroy the EK Ute

Post by thebrotherj » Thu Jan 04, 2018 10:21 am

ardiesse wrote:Joe,

There's a quick test you can do to see how well your valves are sealing (and it's way more sensitive than a compression test): the kerosene-in-the-ports test.

Inject about a spoonful of kerosene (or similar) into the inlet and exhaust port of each cylinder as it starts its compression stroke. Then turn the engine over. Badly seating valves will hiss and bubble.

If you get a negative result for all twelve valves, then you can leave the head on. But I figure, even if you only have one or two badly sealing valves, it's worth pulling the head off and doing a valve grind, on the affected valves at least.

One of the FE-FC guys is having similar rear main bearing oil seal troubles, and wanted to know how to pull the crankshaft out of a grey while leaving the head on. Here's the link -

http://forum.fefcholden.club/index.php?topic=20305.0 (page 3)

Rob
Huge. Thanks. The Grey motor-specific detail in your description fills in some blanks I haven’t found in my shop manuals. Truth be told, I’d be mad to leave the head on/pistons in and to do this.
I have done a pistons-in crank removal on a 186S before and don’t recall it being this difficult. You’re starting to scare me off this damn Grey motor! Image

Yes, I remember using the kero method to diagnose the demise of my old 173 LJ Torrie’s head.

I’ll head over to Private message, I appreciate all your effort Rob Image


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

ardiesse
Posts: 57
Joined: Thu Jan 19, 2017 8:57 am
State: NSW
Location: Sydney

Re: Leroy the EK Ute

Post by ardiesse » Thu Jan 04, 2018 11:07 am

A red motor is sooo much easier to pull the crank out of. You can leave the camshaft and valve train untouched for starters.
In a grey the front engine mount plate has to come off, and in order to pull the front engine mount plate off, you have take the camshaft out, which means the rockers, pushrods and cam followers.

User avatar
thebrotherj
Posts: 171
Joined: Wed Aug 21, 2013 4:09 pm
State: NSW
Location: Sydney

Re: Leroy the EK Ute

Post by thebrotherj » Thu Jan 04, 2018 11:29 am

ardiesse wrote:
Thu Jan 04, 2018 11:07 am
A red motor is sooo much easier to pull the crank out of. You can leave the camshaft and valve train untouched for starters.
In a grey the front engine mount plate has to come off, and in order to pull the front engine mount plate off, you have take the camshaft out, which means the rockers, pushrods and cam followers.
EXACTLY :ughh:

User avatar
thebrotherj
Posts: 171
Joined: Wed Aug 21, 2013 4:09 pm
State: NSW
Location: Sydney

Re: Leroy the EK Ute

Post by thebrotherj » Sun Jan 07, 2018 10:06 am

Catchup post: I finished the drivers door repairs over the Christmas break, hung it back on the car and set it all up with a mix of NOS and best original parts for hinges/door release/window mechanisms. All sealed up inside and out, fish oiled and all access holes covered up. Everything works beautifully, panel fit is as good I can get it...

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image


I also prepped & repainted the (non original) door cards in dark blue VHT Vinyl spray, extremely impressed with the end result. I will try to rescue my grubby black & grey bench seat with this paint too I reckon. And then only wear dark blue or black clothes when driving it... haha
That stainless trim strip is from a Special sedan that was in the parts stash that came with the Ute, added for a bit of bling :)

Image

The doors lock buttons both rattled in the door and I remembered an old trick I used on previous Holdens to kill the rattle on rough roads: heat shrink. Works a treat Image

Image

Engine tear-down updates soon.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

User avatar
Errol62
Posts: 1121
Joined: Sat Dec 06, 2014 1:44 pm
State: SA
Location: Adelaide

Re: Leroy the EK Ute

Post by Errol62 » Sun Jan 07, 2018 10:10 am

Good work j. That vht vinyl paint is brilliant. It won’t come off on your clothes mate.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

User avatar
thebrotherj
Posts: 171
Joined: Wed Aug 21, 2013 4:09 pm
State: NSW
Location: Sydney

Re: Leroy the EK Ute

Post by thebrotherj » Sun Jan 07, 2018 10:21 am

Errol62 wrote:Good work j. That vht vinyl paint is brilliant. It won’t come off on your clothes mate.
Thanks mate. I’ve not used it before and gotta say, I’m mighty impressed! I’ll definitely try it on the seat.

I tried to repair a set of nice blue-on-blue EK Special door cards I have in my stash, pulling them tight over repaired card, but I wasn’t happy with the end result.
The ones fitted to Leroy are near new, musta been made by a trimmer. Terrible colour choice though! So I’m happy that this vinyl paint saved them.

Image


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

User avatar
FireKraka
Posts: 436
Joined: Fri Jan 24, 2014 10:12 am
State: WA
Location: Serpentine, WA

Re: Leroy the EK Ute

Post by FireKraka » Sun Jan 07, 2018 11:23 am

Hi J
Looking good mate keep going you are really knocking off your list of jobs.
I understand what you said earlier about your conundrum but when building on a budget sometimes it is hard to know where to stop once you start, how many times do we read "oh I was just going to give it a quick freshen up" that turn into big dollar total ground up rebuild.
Only reason I am and went so deep was that I purchased an incomplete body mate so decided I really had no choice.
Looking forward to more photos.

Regards
FireKraka
Member #57 of WA FB/EK Car Club
Driving V6 FC Sedan
Building Frankenstein FB/EK 227hp V6 Ute
1950's Commer Light Truck (2.5 Ton)

User avatar
thebrotherj
Posts: 171
Joined: Wed Aug 21, 2013 4:09 pm
State: NSW
Location: Sydney

Re: Leroy the EK Ute

Post by thebrotherj » Sun Jan 07, 2018 6:42 pm

FireKraka wrote: Only reason I am and went so deep was that I purchased an incomplete body mate so decided I really had no choice.
Looking forward to more photos.
Thanks bud!
And yeah, building up an incomplete project car is a huge undertaking. I only take on cars that are complete, or damn close to it myself. Kudos to you.

Leroy is like a surprise pregnancy haha.. he wasn’t planned but he came my way at the right time and very much for the right price.

I’m a bit tired of building, as the last project I started left me half way through... which felt like a failure. The first car I’ve ever NOT finished.

So now I just wanna get the Ute driving, iron out the bugs and enjoy it. :)


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Post Reply