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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
So I figured I would start a thread about an engine swap I have started as I have some questions and would love some input.

My work 94 3500 truck has a bad block (leaking H.G. carved out deck) and I bought a donor 01 3500 HD that has 116k on it and ran great minus the stock PMD starting to fail, owner stated, I drove it for weeks without issue. Seems to have plenty of power, no excessive smoke etc.

So I am halfway through the engine removal, I bought a cheap compression tester that did include the check valve but the glow plug adapter needed cutting to fit (I chucked it in a drill and cut it off with a carbide blade on a multitool to ensure a square cut and then beveled the edge as a seat. Worked well, can add some pics later).

So I had first just unplugged the fsos and it seemed to be able to still sputter so maybe the fsos is slightly leaking, I had not removed all glowplugs as another post said was not absolutely required. when it sputtered I saw >400psi in the gauge , I then unplugged the ecu fuse and proceeded with the test. 7 cranks batteries on charger spinning regular speed glowplugs in, motor slightly warm (could not drive it and its cold out!) the gauge read from 220-260. More cranking and it would increase but I limited to 7 turns. I have read that I am looking for numbers closer to the 400 range? Motor ran fine...

Anyways, once I have the exhaust out of the way I can pull the #6 glowplug and rerun the test. My main question is being that I am fairly cash strapped, what would be a good amount of things to do while it is on the engine stand? Rod & main bearings sound like good insurance. A re-ring kit is not much more not including the work but at that point I would likely need a ball hone and it is getting into time and money that I am not sure I want to/am able to afford. The details really start to ad up. My next step is to verify the gauge for accuracy. Remove the motor and get it on the engine stand and then redo the compression test and perform leakdown test somehow (need to figure out how to pump in 400psi?)

Thoughts? Thankyou. I will take some pics including the compression tester and the modified GP adapter.
 

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The higher the compression numbers, the better.
If you see 350 and below your engine is pretty tired....

First and foremost inspect the bottom end mains and webs for any cracks, condition of the crank, etc.
Brake cleaner can help expose the smallest cracks.

If the block is good then work on upgrades.
ARP studs and gaskets, rocker retainer upgrade since you in there, New timing chain,water pump, Harmonic Balancer and Pulley, etc..
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thankyou, I will get some pics when it is out and on the stand. Hopefully the bottom end looks good, if it is marginal I will likely have to throw it in and limp along until I can find something else. I can't wait to see how my jbweld deck repair looks after I get it out. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Oh boy, so I have some questions and some pictures. I hope my questions do not come off as dumb but here goes. I am pushing my sick motor to the bitter end here while I sort out a new one. I have installed a coolant pressure gauge that I can watch as I drive and have been able to baby her pretty good with that. The truck has been venting after relatively short drives and things were getting worse and she started hydrolocking again until I learned to vent ALL the pressure after parking to prevent the pressurized coolant from being pushed back into the bad cylinder. Fun times!!!

So, knowing I will have to time a new IP as my old one is suffering from the 36 code (pulse width too long) I went ahead and got GMTD scantech ready to go. I noticed I can shut off cylinders. Now I am thinking.... other than losing 1/8 of my power, what if I shut off the offending cylinder(#2). something tells me that I would have to drop 4 to keep it rotating right.... probably 2,3,5,8.... I think I can make it without this but it was just a thought and thought I would ask.

Ok, next is the IP on the donor. I can see from the badge it is a DTech DT650003R (per website it is for 1994-2003 GM 6.5L Turbocharged Diesel*) and the * says 1994 owners must match OE number.

Being that i happen to have the 94 c3500 at a best glance I can see that it appears I have a standyne 5521.

From what I gather that would mean that I CAN run the ip on the donor motor, correct? I am sorry about the pics, I was trying my best with a scope, I can get better pics if proper ID is still not doable with these.

That said, it is a lot of work parting out a truck! Being that I am strapped for cash I thought this would be the best way to try and get a decent motor and be able to recoup my investment in the truck. The truck had pretty worn suspension and the tranny was just starting to signs of needing an overhaul. I should post some of the parts in the marketplace...

I pulled all the accessories on the stand and removed the glowplugs and did another compression test finding some cylinders would sometimes show better numbers (340+) than others but some would not so at this point I will go two ways with it... as OKDually advised (after a leakdown test) inspect the main webbing etc and if it is showing signs of old age I will be forced to clean it up and throw it in but if it still looks good I guess I ought to do all the bearings and rings and use my studs and heads from my old motor (only 10k on heads).

One final question, I redid all the plastic retainer buttons on my old trucks heads when I replaced them 10k ago but what are upgraded rocker assemblies and really I don't think the wallet will allow them unless they are worth a kidney somehow.
 

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The less you operate the engine until it gets fixed, the better.

1994 was the transition year for the IP. and went to a 5521 pump.
You should be able to just swap the IP over with info you posted.

Harland Sharp makes upgraded rocker assemblies for the 6.5L but is pricey at $600.
You can view them on the Leroy Diesel website
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I know about driving less but the current engine is not slated for fixing. And the more I drive it (more time I have to properly address the "new" donor motor).

I will hopefully figure out if it is rings or valves today and get some pictures of the bottom end and post em.

Thankyou for confirming the pump info. That is great news for me :)

Watched a vid on the rockers. Looks like I would have to wait until later down the road, maybe on the next IP install. Given the power the donor truck seemed to have it was plenty enough for me, power wise it would be great to see if I could get a chip tuned to what the donor was tuned to stock.
 

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I know about driving less but the current engine is not slated for fixing. And the more I drive it (more time I have to properly address the "new" donor motor).

I will hopefully figure out if it is rings or valves today and get some pictures of the bottom end and post em.

Thankyou for confirming the pump info. That is great news for me :)

Watched a vid on the rockers. Looks like I would have to wait until later down the road, maybe on the next IP install. Given the power the donor truck seemed to have it was plenty enough for me, power wise it would be great to see if I could get a chip tuned to what the donor was tuned to stock.

You should contact Kennedy Diesel or Quadstar Tuning for any EPROM tuning needs.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)

Great info....while I replaced all of my retainers 10k ago this looks like a nice and affordable mod that will help prevent any runaway rockers. Quick question as far as if I were to go this route.... looks like you remove the buttons, drill the holes in the shaft all the way through, shear button tab off and drill out the tab, then bolt em in with nylocks and loctite. Being that this is done out of the motor, is there any reason not to use normal nuts and zap them with a mig (with gas no slag) and then give each weld a quick dunk to prevent any disc melting? Easy enough to grind away a tack when/if needed.


Anywho, got enough of a leakdown done to know that it is not only my exhaust valves but also the rings that are leaking. So I proceeded to pull pan and inspect. It was getting late but I found a few cracks passenger side on webbing @ bearing #2 (bigger crack) and #4 at least. The bigger of he two is somewhat frightening.... so tell it to me straight doc, how bad is it? I will clean it up a bit more and inspect bearings tomorrow. 506 block fwiw.

The leakdown showing valves and rings = less compression, worn engine, which = less stress on bottom end.... if I spruce this thing back up with rings and heads, I would imagine it would just exacerbate the situation? less money = more miles?

I am tired (its late, read through some of the threads about cracks. How is your motor holding up with the cracks glagulator?

I will be taking one more good assessment of things and then either address only leaks or go with a ring kit and use my newer heads/studs. Out of curiosity I requested a quote for the lock and stitch repair kit.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
So an interesting thing I thought I would mention....I started tinkering with GMTD ScanTech now that I have it and I noticed my timing was in the positive by 1 degree. Not bad enough to throw a code but I went and adjusted the ip over and reset it to -1.76(which seemed like a good enough spot to be) and WOW what a difference in starting. Cold starts are night and day better and hot starts are improved as well. I wish I had ponied up and got this a long time ago.

That said, I think I have a gameplan with the donor motor. I am going to go with a rering kit, tear it down, lap the valves(assuming heads look ok, maybe do valve seals), hone the bores, new oil pump, and add a stud kit for the heads. I read a bunch and at this point I am going to avoid any girdle or fix for the cracks and just cross fingers and not hotrod it. I seldom tow with it but I do drive loaded to just under #8k as far as the truck goes.

With the way my current truck is going now that I am venting the built up coolant pressure after every trip I think I have at least a month to do it but money is still tight :/
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Had a little more time to make progress, all that remains is the cam and lifters in the block, no ridges in the bores, most crosshatching is present, some scoring but nothing too scary for what I am after. No measurements taken yet. Heads look great for a quick spitshine and go. Really a bummer about the cracks at the webbing.

Anywho, here are the main bearing pics. Rod bearings were worn well and did not show anything worth lifting an eyebrow. Maains however.... I am not an expert but my best guess based off of google searches is overloading/lugging motor? Anyone here know any more? Crankshaft journals look great-goodish.

I will have a bit more time to clean things up some more and take measurements on bore.
IMG_20200219_194853.jpg

IMG_20200219_194901.jpg

IMG_20200219_194905.jpg

IMG_20200219_194911.jpg

IMG_20200219_194917.jpg

IMG_20200219_195433.jpg
gotta love metric :)
 

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Discussion Starter #12
some more pics

Maybe this is usual wear but for 116k I am pretty surprised as I thought the rings and cam bearings would not look so bad. While I have put together some gas motors that have run well, I am in no way an engine builder and am open to input and feedback. Main bearing combos worked out to be front and rear at std -.0005" (-.013mm, std combo) and 2,3,4 at -.001" (both -.013mm bearings)

The main bearings from what I could gather show signs of lugging/ overloading and maybe some balancer going bad symptoms? The cam bearings are all evenly worn, dirty oil? The rings flaking and pitting.... I have no idea. Probably the origin of some of the cylinder wall scoring though.

If my pics are too big let me know. Any advice I am all ears, again I am trying to do a budget rebuild without going to a shop as I am pretty tapped for funds. Would be happy if it went another 50-100k in spite of the two cracks at the #2 and #4 webs.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Slowly making progress, parts are coming in and I wanted to ask about a ring set I acquired for a modest price. Packaging appears to be a set of "gm oem replacement rings" look decent, moly coating. Curious as to whether there is a chance anyone is making knockoff rings or should I take this set at face value? Will check end gap tomorrow.

With a bit of cross referencing here and there on bearings etc I managed to stay with top quality parts that didnt hurt the wallet too much. Now if only I could find a cheap set of studs!
 

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Post#9 - you're not building that block are you??

There is no way of telling bearing wear without inspection of the crank itself otherwise looks pretty normal for what I find when I remove bearings (once a week at least)

You should have measured rod side clearance with a feeler before removing rods. Likewise with crank, should of left it in block and used a dial indicator to find runout and end play. Then removed crank. Most definitely do that on the way back together. Dont just assume the crank is good by eye.

Need to measure crank journals individually and record findings. Center and each side, then 90degrees measure again. This will tell you the condition of the journals and bearings pulled.

These should help (unit repair manual pics) :thumb:
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Post#9 - you're not building that block are you??

These should help (unit repair manual pics) :thumb:
Believe me, I am not happy about it. I could have just swapped the motor and be done with it for who knows how long but I thought this would give me more time before I have to find another solution, Kind of like JB weld on a deck... I am knowingly putting my money into a stopgap repair. Silly but if you looked in my wallet you would see it makes sense. At the least it will be educational for all others foolish enough to tread down this path :rolleyes:

Crank journals had measured fine but I will do some more thorough measuring and applying plastigage everywhere on assembly for necessary adjustments.

I did not have my dial for runout but I will have it today and check in block with the old front and rear bearings. Thankyou for the pages.

If all goes well it will be interesting to see how long the sleeping dog of a crack will lie. Maybe my existing block will look like something I can work with in the interim. Or it will get me looking at sourcing another motor. If anything I did get a lot of great parts that will stay with the truck. (airbox, dual thermostat and upgraded pump, spare parts galore... and a good IP etc) If it blows up maybe I spring for that GEP engine in marketplace.
 

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It's too bad cause I just scrapped a 599 that had minor cracks on the starter ear but otherwise was fine. Would have just given it to you. If I come across another I'm going g to scrap I'll send you a pm.

To be honest I'd just hold out for a better block because you're spending $... and alot of time. I'd hold out for a better block.

If the crank you're using came out of that engine likely the runout is out of spec unfortunately.

Be sure to pay attention to the #s on the pan rail and markings on crank for correct bearing sizing. Also be sure to pay attention to the stamping on the rods for OS if present.

Measure journals on crank with calipers before install. 3 points - middle and sides. Then 90 degrees do the same.

When the crank is set with new bearings then use the plastigauge. The point of the plastigauge is to check new bearing clearances when torqued.

Be sure to measure side clearance with feelers when rods are installed.

I was gonna say something else that was fairly thee important but I forgot lol. If I remember I'll post it up.

Good luck. :thumb:

(Oh and no problem on the pages. If anyone needs something I dont mind providing) :thumb:


Edit: oh yea... I remember now. I'm not sure how familiar you are with assembling the bottom end... but I'm just going to assume I should say this...

When installing the new bearings be sure the block and cap side (where the bearings mount) are clean and DRY. Use brake cleaner etc... never install bearings with any assembly lube on the BACK SIDE of the bearing. ALWAYS DRY.

The bearing side (part that comes into contact with journals) of course gets assembly lube or a dab of oil.

Seems to be a common mistake. If you let any grease, oil, assembly lube enter the area in which the BACKSIDE of the bearing comes into contact with the block or caps it WILL result in a spun bearing.

:thumb: hope this helps.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I appreciate the time and honesty here. The reason I am going to reassemble is that I believe it will go for another 20-50k. Even 10k before letting something fly would make it worth it in my situation. The motor felt fine before and while I may be wrong I am willing to bet that it makes it at this point. I am not going to be able to make it to the motor today to measure runout but I will consider myself very lucky if it is straight then.

I marked all main and rod bearings and have kept all assemblies in proper order. While rod bearings were all standard and all showed Very even wear, the mains were configured so the center (2,3,4) was all a mixed set with std/ .013 making it slightly tighter. I will let plastigauge let me know if moving to std is OK. I will not only test the existing old bearing clearance but what the change will be moving to all standard will be in comparison. No OS bearings found.

Will definitely take the 6 measurements per journal when I am back where the project is and thanks to you I now have a spec to look for on side clearance.

Thankyou for the reminder on lube and which side it goes on, I am very well aware of that and appreciate the redundancy as it is very worthwhile to mention. I have a good feeling that the motor will run for a while and knowing the crack situation to me just means take care and do not tow with the motor. That is fine and if it runs it will live a relatively pampered life and if it doesnt it will serve a good tale for the kind folks here. I will absolutely share the outcome and ask some questions on the way.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
So I got a few things done today... I measured runout on the crank (.0005) which is a gnats *** above what your spec says replace. I am inclined not to in keeping with the intent of this build. Old bearings were giving .0035 which is a tad loose except for the front which was loose at .004. Will see what a fresh std set puts things at tomorrow.

So I found the engine mechanical pdfs here for all of the different years! :eek::thumb: Awesome! Something that caught my attention was the change in main cap torque over the years from 111lbs to 55/48 + quarter turn. Is the latter more accurate or are they a tty bolt and need replacing? (this detail is not mentioned in the 99 manual).

Another interesting thing to note is that I noticed that in the 99 manual the compression test procedure has changed from 6 puffs to 10 puffs per cylinder!:confuzeld
 

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Lol I see you found the stickies sir... :thumb:

The pics I posted were out of my 94 series unit repair manual.

As for the TTY bolts I honestly have no clue. I always use studs if I end up going into the bottom end. Same with heads (which ARE tty bolts).
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Slowly.... but surely.

Deck showed signs of HG weeping here and there, measured within spec of warpage but was made perfectish with some #100 grit lapping(should be close for desired RA maybe a touch too smooth, next time I will do #80) (I have a large 1'x3'x3/4" float glass. No haters please, I only took off ~.003 on high spots tops and chamfered bolt and water holes prior.) and triple checked with good straightedge, only found one spot that a .0015 will even try and sneak through in the middle of the length. Honed bores to #320 and gave it a bath.

Cam bearings back in, slightly tight, going to use an old cam and make a reamer out of it. All journals on crank checked out and new clearances are within spec at .0028 and #1 at .003.

The mystery about the ring face I posted earlier was answered. I emailed federal mogul and the guy did say that they were legit but was unsure of the face. I put it in the freshly hones and oiled bore again and found in magically fit better. Well, the black spatter was an anti corrosion film I guess as it wiped off with some wd40 and a rag pretty easily. All ring gaps were measured and found to be right where They should be with only 2 cylinders showing only .001 top/bottom deviation in end gap.

Crankshaft spins like butter and soon I will have the shortblock done. Progress may slow down as I need to focus back on work for a bit and to do that I need to swap out the flywheel in my current motor as the hydrolocking has knocked down some of the teeth. Fun times :) I Found I can prevent any hydrolocking by running the radiator cap COMPLETELY loose so the built up radiator pressure will not squeeze the coolant back into the cylinder when not running.
 
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