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Old 03-22-2013, 12:29   #1 (permalink)
DJT
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Making Progress 03 Expy (Project Make'r run and Shine)

Here’s the latest and greatest! I have the whole thing stripped down, well as far as I need to. On Wed I am going to be setting up my new Mobil Garage (tent/canopy thing). It’s about 10x20; I am going to use this as a blasting and spray booth for this project. Okay now here are the questions:
First, when I took the timing cover off the R side (passenger) had more play in it than the L. The L actually had no play. The R was tight along the shoe side with the tensioner but the top along the straight guide was loose as shown in one of the pictures. What could this mean, should I replace anything/everything?
Second, there is a lot of carbon build up on top of the pistons, what is the best way to get these things to shine again?
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Old 03-22-2013, 17:51   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Making Progress 03 Expy (Project Make'r run and Shine)

It might be easier going in if you pull the radiator, not sure how much of a pain it was, but I helped a buddy swap a 5.0 in a 90's vintage F150 last fall and that made such a difference, particularly going back in.

As for the timing chain, that kinda looks like the right side of the engine has an extra link or two, they should be about a match. That much slop can cause damage. A new timing set will run you about $150.00 online and about $200 retail.

For the carbon, we used to use either stainless or brass wire brushes, the small ones. The metals fairly soft and it does a number on the carbon.
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Old 03-23-2013, 16:29   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Making Progress 03 Expy (Project Make'r run and Shine)

Radiator, check, it was pulled. I agree, it would have been terrible with it in. wouldn’t even have attempted it. Here is a heads up for anybody else that might have to pull this engine (hope not, God willing). You don’t have to drain your ac lines or mess with the heater core. I was able to unbolt the ac compressor and leave it right where it was. As for the heater core, when I was going by the manual it said to disconnect the hoses and such. I looked at it carefully and could not see the point. So I did what I usually do and went with my gut. With a wiggle a push, a pry and a yank she came out no prob. Well except for the new beauty mark on my bumper from the damn cherry picker. Still not sure what I am going to do about that. Oh BTW a 1 ton picker does not have a long enough reach to pull this motor, the 2 ton had an additional 16 inches which was just long enough. About the cylinders and pistons, I am leery of taking a wire brush to them, I just can’t see how it won’t scratch a machined surface possibly causing problems down the line. Please know I will be driving this truck until the wheels fall off, actually I will probably just fix that too if it happens. I haven’t given any pictures of the actual truck yet (sorry) but I will. She is actually quite special, a one of a kind, no really. She is a concept vehicle that I was lucky enough to get my hands on back in 05. She won the award for “Excellence In Design” at Sema in 03. She is called the Summit Edition, they were supposed to go into production but then the economy crashed, the rest is history. They did an Expy an F150 and a 250, just one of each.
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Old 03-23-2013, 17:30   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Making Progress 03 Expy (Project Make'r run and Shine)

Are you not doing anything with the pistons or the shells / bearings while you have it out ?
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Old 03-23-2013, 17:34   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Making Progress 03 Expy (Project Make'r run and Shine)

Earlier I was told to replace the bearings if I mess with them. It doesn't seem like I need to. Should I just replace them anyway? What are Shells?
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Old 03-23-2013, 17:42   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Making Progress 03 Expy (Project Make'r run and Shine)

Oh, and what do you suggest with the pistons? If there is something I should do while I have her taken apart I am all ears.
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Old 03-23-2013, 17:44   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Making Progress 03 Expy (Project Make'r run and Shine)

Shells / bearings just the same .All depends on how far you want to go and how much wear on engine whether you replace big end / main bearings , deglaze bores , fit new rings etc . If not going that far I was taught to just clean the centre of the piston tops and leave the outer edge as a seal and not to disturb .Dont know much about that engine but that chain does look bad . You could go on and do a complete overhaul .It's a question of knowing what's really needed and when to stop .
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Old 03-23-2013, 17:51   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Making Progress 03 Expy (Project Make'r run and Shine)

She didn’t burn oil or smoke at all so I think the rings should be fine. I am replacing the chains, guides, shoes and tensioners. I am still confused as to whether I should replace the bearings or not. What would be the deciding factor for you? If I understand you correctly you are saying to wire brush the pistons, but just stay away from the cylinder walls/edges of the piston?
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Old 03-23-2013, 18:15   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Making Progress 03 Expy (Project Make'r run and Shine)

It all depends on mileage and whether you remove the sump and drop a cap to check the bearings or not .But if everything was o.k before might not be needed .If the piston tops have heavy deposits you can raise to top of bore and clean centre but if not just leave alone .I used to lightly scrape off any heavy carbon and then blow out with an air line .Just thinking when you got the engine out is it worth doing now or leave alone Hard decision .
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Old 03-23-2013, 20:44   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Making Progress 03 Expy (Project Make'r run and Shine)

A master rebuild kit will cost you $500 and up. And you'll probably not be happy with the $500 kit, the better one costs closer to $700.You have it out, I'd at least take off the oil pan and visually inspect everything. If you actually pull the pistons, you really should replace the rings and knock the glaze off of the cylinders. Pull the bearings, replace them, etc., etc.

Since this was an evolution built on a shoe string budget, it's a tough decision whether to do a full on rebuild or not. If you have access to a dial indicator, I'd at least check radial and thrust play of the crank. Using a brass or stainless wire brush won't touch the base metal of the block or cylinder walls, and it really won't make a difference on the tops of the pistons if they get a few minor scratches. Green or brown scrubbie pads work also work well. It's a tough call, but being it's an '03, you've probably got close to 100K on her, it's a wise move to rebuild, but I know full well that you can't spend what you ain't got.
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