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#4077032 - 09/08/20 08:40 PM Cam bore wear
Joebob Offline
n00b

Registered: 12/01/19
Posts: 23
Loc: CA
Forgive me if this seems like a silly question, or if it has been addressed in the past. I found nothing in the Body of Knowledge, and nothing with a search. Google searches, wandering about Youtube, and searching my small library, some books going back nearly 100 years, hasn't answered this question adequately.


Due to rusted out freeze plugs (which resulted in water pouring into the oil), low compression on six cylinders, and No compression on one, pulling the heads and finding that a previous owner repaired the rear freeze plugs with JB Weld, and there are two more freeze plugs on the back of the motor, I've decided to pull the engine and replace all the freeze plugs, rings, bearings, lap the valves, and so forth.

Now to why I'm writing all this. When I pulled the camshaft on the first head, I found that a couple of the camshaft bores were a little less than perfectly smooth. I can just feel a little roughness, barely noticable. I've included a photo. This is the bore next to the timing chain sprocket.

When I was a kid, 40+ years ago, when I could take a pair of heads to a machine shop and they'd refurbish them for $25 plus parts (usually they'd find a valve or two). If it was still that price range (about $160, adjusted for inflation) there'd be no question...I'd just turn them in. But the last time I had a head worked on (for a three cylinder Geo Metro) it was $300 plus parts. So how much damage to the bore surface is acceptable? Camshaft journals are within spec, if what is shown in the photo is acceptable, then I'll get some plastigauge and verify the bore diameter. Thank you in advance.

[img]https://ibb.co/f02GjkK[/img]


Edited by Joebob (09/08/20 09:34 PM)

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#4077038 - 09/08/20 09:18 PM Re: Cam bore wear [Re: Joebob]
professorP7B Online   content

Member

Registered: 04/02/20
Posts: 270
Loc: Rhode Island
Well, per specs I found on Identifix the cam journal should be as follows:

Journal bore inside diameter (cap assembled) 27.01-26.99 mm (1.0635-1.0625 in)
Camshaft journal-to-bearing clearance 0.076-0.025 mm (0.0030-0.0010 in)

As far as the grooves, typically if I can catch a fingernail on it I'm inclined to replace it. Just my $.02.

Honestly I'd be looking for junkyard units. After all the work the heads might need, not even taking into consideration what the block looks like, you're probably in it for a heck of lot more than a used engine, plus all the labor (even doing it yourself, time means something to me anyway.) In my area a quick search on car-part.com shows the averages between $400 for a high mileage unit to about $700 for around 100k.
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Current vehicles:
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Purchased 3/27/20 w/51K, 819 idle hrs.
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#4077086 - 09/09/20 09:19 AM Re: Cam bore wear [Re: Joebob]
2011LX Offline
Over the Hill

Registered: 08/31/13
Posts: 1391
Loc: SE WI
^^^That, absolutely.

Get yourself a warrantied junkyard engine and be on your way. I wouldn't bother trying to salvage what you have.
_________________________
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currently @ 100k miles
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#4077164 - 09/09/20 10:35 PM Re: Cam bore wear [Re: Joebob]
Joebob Offline
n00b

Registered: 12/01/19
Posts: 23
Loc: CA
Yeah, that's what I was thinking also, but I was kinda hoping I MIGHT be able to get away with running it as-is. This has been an engine full of secrets. ProfessorP78, engines here in So Cal seem to be somewhat better priced...I'm seeing some with just under 100k for around $450 to $550. Still want to change seals, freeze plugs (those little buggers are what started this mess!), motor mounts, and so forth. Anyway, guess I'll call tomorrow and see what arrangements I can make for shipping...

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#4077216 - 09/10/20 11:32 AM Re: Cam bore wear [Re: Joebob]
professorP7B Online   content

Member

Registered: 04/02/20
Posts: 270
Loc: Rhode Island
Quote:
ProfessorP78, engines here in So Cal seem to be somewhat better priced


They don't call it "Tax-achusetts" for nothin'...
_________________________
Teacher/Technician. First-time Ford owner. ASE-certified Advanced Level Specialist.
Current vehicles:
2011 Crown Vic P7B (SAP, former campus police vehicle)
Purchased 3/27/20 w/51K, 819 idle hrs.
The garage queen...
2011 GMC Sierra 1500 SLE
Purchased 2/23/17 w/57K
5.3L LC9 V8 4X4 Ext. Cab
The trusty steed...
2009 Buick Lucerne CX, AKA "Moby Dick"
Purchased 3/23/21 w/91k
3.9L High Value V6
The Great White Whale...

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#4104494 - 04/08/21 07:57 PM Re: Cam bore wear [Re: Joebob]
Joebob Offline
n00b

Registered: 12/01/19
Posts: 23
Loc: CA
ProfessorP78 suggested car-part dot com. Tried it. Got an engine from one of their affiliates. First, started getting calls at f***ing 6:00 am. I am a full-time unpaid caregiver for my wife, who is bedridden, most nights I get to bed around 3:00 am. So I was not a happy about being woke up a couple hours later.

Got lots of quotes, mostly between $700 and $1200 shipped. Some wanted extra to deliver to a residence, some did not. I chose one that was $700, and said they could deliver to my home.

A few days later, the affiliate called back and wanted an extra $100 to deliver to my home. I told him no, we agreed on $700, and I had made it clear from the outset that this engine was being shipped to my home. They finally agreed to honor the original agreement.

Shipping took nearly a month. From northern to southern California. But eventually, the engine arrived.

A couple days later, I had the opportunity to get the engine on a stand and begin to prepare it to put in my car. I had to replace some of the parts since the engine they sent was a '97, while my car is a '95. I pulled the intake manifold so I could replace it with my aluminum unit. I removed the flex plate so I could replace the freeze plugs with new brass plugs. I pulled the motor mount and AC compressor so I could access the RH side freeze plugs. When I pulled the compressor I discovered cracks in the block, which were hidden by the compressor.

I called the vendor. They wanted photos, which I happily sent. They then claimed that the engine was damaged in shipping. We went round and round on this, and finally, two weeks ago, they said they would ship another engine. This past Tuesday, I called them. Evidently the engine w as a never shipped. So I asked for a refund, given that I had purchased the engine at the end of January, and it's now April. They again insisted that it was either shipping damage, or that "my mechanic dropped it".

Since I have been unable to resolve this with the vendor, I have now opened a case with my credit card company.

Today, I looked at the reviews for car-part dot com. Most of the reviews, which go back over the past several years, are one-star. So evidently my experience is not unique.

I was a retail manager for various stores in a nationwide chain for 20 years. A buyer told us at our annual meetings that "a happy customer will tell one other person. An unhappy customer will ten people". This was a couple decades before the internet became popular.

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#4104496 - 04/08/21 08:25 PM Re: Cam bore wear [Re: Joebob]
TheCableGuy Offline
Climber

Registered: 04/08/19
Posts: 963
Loc: Far Northwest AZ
Holy crap mannnn. I am sorry. That’s gotta be the worst thing I have heard about car-part.


Edited by TheCableGuy (04/08/21 08:28 PM)
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2001 Durango R/T 5.9. 230K. SOLD 5-1-19

I’m a classical textbook over-thinker.


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#4104530 - Yesterday at 01:20 AM Re: Cam bore wear [Re: Joebob]
TheShadow Offline

Over the Hill

Registered: 05/01/07
Posts: 1734
Loc: SoCal High Desert
Sorry to hear about your engine shipping fiasco.

If you are thinking about keeping the original engine, I have a couple of thoughts...
Have you even looked at the bottom end bearings at all? Maybe pull a rod cap or two to inspect, to give you a better idea of what other damage the water lube might have done.

If you don't have any more damage aside from the cam bore wear and freeze plugs, I'd say keep that engine and smooth out the cam bearing surfaces a little with crocus cloth if they have any ridges, and slap it all back together. From what I see in the pic, the problem is a few small grooves, not chunky stuff that would wear the camshaft surface. Looks like nothing to do damage, especially with real oil lube. the camshaft will just ride on top of the grooves.
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'95 P71, 5xx,xxx miles, Rebuilt tranny, 2.73. Lives as a cab, and will die as a cab. (Died-FrontEnder)
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