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(1) 2 »

Head is off on 1931 Packard with poor compression
#1
Just can't stay away
Just can't stay away

Stephen Templeton
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I finally bit the bullet and pulled the head off, after trying to free up stuck valves. Thanks to everyone for their input on my previous thread regarding this issue. Will pull the valves and clean up the valve stems and valve guide passages- may need to grind valves and seats. Hopefully we’ll be able to get compression up to 80-85. Any tips on de- carbonizing while I have the head off? The work is being done by a good friend and master mechanic who rebuilt my Auburn engine a few years back- in good hands. Thanks

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Posted on: 7/12 8:56
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Re: Head is off on 1931 Packard with poor compression
#2
Just can't stay away
Just can't stay away

Stephen Templeton
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More photos:

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Posted on: 7/12 9:02
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Re: Head is off on 1931 Packard with poor compression
#3
Just can't stay away
Just can't stay away

Stephen Templeton
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Nestled in

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Posted on: 7/12 9:03
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Re: Head is off on 1931 Packard with poor compression
#4
Just can't stay away
Just can't stay away

GaryinSC
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Certainly if your guy can do an Auburn, he can surely do a Packard as well. I see a lot of slime in the cylinders and assume it is from your attempts to free the valves. I also observe a lot of gunk in the water passages in the block. The water jacket cover needs to be removed and those passages need to be cleaned out. Fortunately when I did my 32 I removed the block since it needed to be bored and sleeved so putting the block in a soak tank for a couple of days cleaned it all out. I would suggest you take a dial caliber to the cylinder bores to see if they are tapered or out of round like mine were. The valves may not need grinding just a good hand lap in with course and fine compound may suffice. I am always leary of grinding if the angles are still true, you only need the middle 1/3 of the faces to match in order to get a good seal. One thing to do before you remove the head studs and that is to measure the length above the deck. I made that mistake and put the new studs in too far and had to remove all of them and start over when there was not enough thread to catch the acorn nuts properly. Also use Indian Head sealant on the threads as the holes go into the water jacket and could leak on full engine heat. I also put my gasket down with copper spray. Some guys do them dry but I always do mine wet especially if you are not going to deck the block and the head. That is something I am always leary of doing too as you need as much metal as you can get even though this is not a pressurized cooling system. Good luck looks like you are in good hands.

Posted on: 7/12 9:51
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Re: Head is off on 1931 Packard with poor compression
#5
Just can't stay away
Just can't stay away

Stephen Templeton
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Gary- thanks for you input. Yes, I think the slime is due to the copious amounts of WD-40, penetrating oil and Marvel Mystery oil that I poured in each spark plug hole attempting to free the valves. Most of it ended up in the manifold and came pouring out as it was removed! :)

Posted on: 7/12 10:17
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Re: Head is off on 1931 Packard with poor compression
#6
Just can't stay away
Just can't stay away

Stephen Templeton
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Valves are out - all the intake valves are super thin and many were very corroded. Quick clean up of all but three to demonstrate the condition of the valves. Seats also cleaned up pretty good. No wonder I had zero compression in several cylinders. Love the Packard logo on the valve heads.

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Posted on: 7/13 18:42
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Re: Head is off on 1931 Packard with poor compression
#7
Home away from home
Home away from home

PackardDon
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That type and amount of corrosion seems indicative of the presence of water! Did the head show any signs of coolant leakage and is there any water in the oil? Otherwise maybe just humidity but it seems excessive for that. The amount of carbon buildup also seems to indicate a poorly set carburetor and ignition or maybe burning gasoline that is borderline too old.

Posted on: 7/13 20:54
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Re: Head is off on 1931 Packard with poor compression
#8
Just can't stay away
Just can't stay away

Stephen Templeton
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Most valves weren't this corroded. Yes, the rust is worrisome, but no sign of coolant leak. Haven't drained the oil yet, but will be on the lookout for water. These were the original valves from the 1959-61 engine restoration that JB Nethercutt did- likely with one grind since then. While not many miles were put on the car, there have been long periods when the car just sat- since 1961.

Posted on: 7/14 10:01
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Re: Head is off on 1931 Packard with poor compression
#9
Home away from home
Home away from home

Tim Cole
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Given the motor isn't seized I doubt the block is cracked. One of Paul Lamb's cars had a cracked valve seat and it was seized up solid.

Some of those valves have the stellite treatment that Turnquist used to sell. The rusty ones probably were sandblasted rather than cleaned on a wire wheel. Not good. I've never worked on a Nethercutt car so I have no idea what the priorities were. I've worked on Harrah cars and was not impressed.

Given the top is off, might as well drop the pan and Plastigauge the rods. Those cars will run without trouble given 45-50 cruising. Beat on them and you better add a higher speed axle ratio and use the Low gear for starting. Hopefully it has the correct trans in it. Turnquist did that with his 840 roadster and it never wore out.

Posted on: 7/14 10:57
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Re: Head is off on 1931 Packard with poor compression
#10
Just can't stay away
Just can't stay away

Stephen Templeton
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Tim- thanks for your comments. Fortunately, I have a very good deal of documentation regarding the Nethercutt restoration, including the attached engine and trans specs. They apparently upgraded the trans to an early 1932 version. The car was shown at Pebble Beach in 1961, then sold to Bill Harrah in 1963 as part of a 15 car package where it remained until 1988 when it was sold to Chris Bock in 1988. Gene Perkins did a lot to improve the car and he as the next owner.

This was apparently the third complete restoration that Nethercutt did, so it is one of his earlier cars. The original engine block was cracked but was replaced with the appropriate 840 block from the same year. I’ve attached some of the Nethercutt engine restoration photos. You mentioned Turnquist- I’ve added an old letter from him to Nethercutt as well.

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Posted on: 7/14 12:51
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