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Beautiful day today, so I thought I'd take the convertible out to a vehicle inspection in Van Nuys. Low 80's, perfect convertible weather. Bumping along on the 210 headed back home, doing about 65 with no worries, I suddenly get knocking which gets worse very quickly, then a temperature gauge and a Batman worthy plume out the rear of my car. Not exactly cool. Pulled off only a mile and a half from home, cooled the car for 45 minutes, restarted and limped it into the garage. Probably spun rod bearing as oil light came on at idle. So, mort d' Six.

Good news is I purchased a 6 cylinder engine, less manifolds, carb and distributor, from a member about 5 years ago. The engine had been pulled out of a running car that was getting the V-8 treatment. The owner said it had been rebuilt at a pretty hefty expense, and he just couldn't bring himself to let it go, but he had to move out of state. It's a 194, so that's what I'm after.

My question is: after sitting for 5 years, should I pull pan, front cover, side covers, front and rear seals and re-seal the engine before I put the rest of the engine together and install? Is 5 years of sitting enough to make it need new gaskets, rear main seal, etc., or would the prevailing opinion be to try to run it as is?

Also, after some searching, I haven't seen the definitive video or step-by-step method for doing the rear main seal correctly so that there's no issue with leaks. Now's the time as it's on the engine stand if I'm going to do that. Any members do a rear main on a 6 recently or know of the definitive guide to doing that correctly? It almost matters more to me that it doesn't leak than it runs perfectly.
 

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1969 Nova . . 2dr . . Chino Valley,Az USA
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I kinda hear you ..... was a nice day here in Chino Valley , yesterday.

but, "knocking is no fun" . Cool that you do have another engine on hand. So, for your question about "gaskets & seals" ......

Frank , I'd go look (unless you're the guy that built/assembled the motor), now would be the time to do just that , 'it's - out' & waiting.
By far , you'll hate yourself more --- If It Leaks.

I'm there with you - My 67 - 327 has been together & on the stand for many years (the Model A .. is pushed even father back now ..).
But, that's what I'd do with it - if it were gonna get used - clean-it-up-and-check/install new gaskets now.

no answer for the rear main seal ...


Like that ol' line : " pay-me now or pay-me-more later" .. cheap insurance.


:waving: ....... be care-full out there ....... jim
 

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Think it should be ok

I think it would be ok togive it a try, you can always take it back out if there is a problem, a rebuilt engine should be good for years if its well oiled. Hope you have good luck with it. Sorry you had the trouble.
 

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1969 Nova . . 2dr . . Chino Valley,Az USA
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OK .... a few years ago, I saw an early (62 - 63 VERY Clean 4dr) Chevy II sitting at a small shop in Prescott. I even whipped-around pulled in and looked the car over. Someone at the shop said, it was being fixed ?? and was a family car. They were doing some engine work ?? and, I thought right then (the owners were fixin - up this very sharp Nova) But, leaving the stock 194 in place.

Well, you guys know me ...... I'm all for the 'six engines' .... but not too much for the 194ci. For that story --- I never saw that ChevyII again, nor -- did I ever hear it run. (may-be just fixed-it to-sell-it, I think).

Then, for my 69 ---- THIS Nova (when I bought the car - back in late '95) was such a solid car ... (grand-pa's car , bought new in Phoenix, I'm the second owner) ... that I 1st thought the miles 'Had Not Rolled-Over' ... that's how solid the Nova was. Engine had been rebuilt (but, Grand-Pa made them keep the original parts - head, pistons, ect - and put them back in place.
That said, it was / is still a very solid car ... only, in the last 3 years , have I started to change things (doing up-grades : complete new front bench seat, new carb/intake, change tranny, front disc, ect).


Now, this takes me too ... Frank :
This would be the perfect time to up grade your motor : from the 194 to the 250 engine. Now in your case -- you already have a spare 194 sitting there, and, I DO understand "Keeping it Original" .

(I went out of-my-way to keep my 69 original for 18 - 19 years .......
I get it ). So, I'm just talking here : by going to the bigger six, you sure would make your car much better performance wise .. like taking it out on any 'Nice Sunny Day Drive' ... and keep up with todays traffic.
Plus, just for the 'cool factor' you could dress your engine out to look just like original : make your new 250 look like your older 194 .

Make sense too me ................... hey ...... I'm just thinking out-loud.
And, I do understand the 194 thing .... maybe, just not my cup of java ..

No problem, Frank ....... I know you'll do it right.

.................. later, jim
 

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Reseal it while it's out and accessible.
If you don't, it will certainly leak. That's how life works. :rolleyes:


I've had a new oil pump sitting here for the 350 for about two years (ironically enough, to reduce the oil pressure). ...Because the engine needs to come out, or at least be unbolted from the transmission and lifted about three inches, in order to do the job.
It'll finally get done soon. ...When the engine comes out to be set aside for the next project. :rolleyes:

Like most people that I know, I fix daily drivers fairly quickly. But non-essential vehicles often have maintenance deferred if it isn't life-critical.
 

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Could you call around and see if a shop will let you hook it up to a test stand and run it for a small fee? Maybe someone with a dyno would be willing to help.

Kev
 

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Just did the rear main seal, oil pan, and timing cover in my 230. I did it all with the engine in the car on my back. It went more smoothly than I anticipated but I would strongly recommend doing it now before you install the engine.

My 230 didn’t leak before I pulled it from it’s original car. I had it sitting only 2 years on a stand and when I reinstalled it in my Nova, it leaked and annoyed me to no end.

Rear main was very easy once the pan was off. Remove rear main cap, use small diameter punch to push old main seal out and around through its groove and push new seal in place. Just need to make sure the new seal is installed in the correct orientation. I watched a couple you tube videos and had the shop manual. Only trick is some main seals require some trimming depending on the year and style. The seal came with instructions. Go for it, not hard, not expensive and totally worth a non-leaking engine.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for the responses. I'll seal it while it's out, rather than trying to read the tea leaves of what might have leaked (it looks dry). None of it seems all that difficult, but the rear main seal is notorious for being a pain to get right. And yes, my luck is to get it in there and to have it run fine but weep out the main.

And Jim, thanks for the advice. I have a 250 sitting out that's complete as well, just not rebuilt yet. Unknown condition, and was said to be taken out as a good runner, but you never know. Maybe the best thing to do is to get an engine run stand together and start both of them up before they go in so I know what I'm getting beforehand.
 
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