Engine Rebuild - Tales of Caution and Woe

356 Porsche-related discussions and questions.
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David Jones
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Re: Engine Rebuild - Tales of Caution and Woe

#16 Post by David Jones » Sun Nov 04, 2018 9:50 am

If you use a torquemeister you do not need a flywheel lock as if you place the wrench in opposition to the turning force applied you cancel out the vectors.
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Re: Engine Rebuild - Tales of Caution and Woe

#17 Post by Dennis Vogel » Sun Nov 04, 2018 11:14 am

Vic Skirmants wrote:I would caution AGAINST a flywheel lock that bolts to the case.
Thanks for the suggestion. Never having purchased a flywheel anything before, is this what you're cautioning against?

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Stoddard T55-215-001 Flywheel Lock works on 356 911 912 and 914
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Re: Engine Rebuild - Tales of Caution and Woe

#18 Post by Al Zim » Sun Nov 04, 2018 12:05 pm

Vic: on the shelf I have an engine case with the bolt area broken off and have wondered how that happened. Now the truth is known. We have used the locking clamp for years without any problems. I can remember as I started 356 work in the early 60's we used a link of chain or sometimes a short box end wrench on the bottom stud. I know we did not have a torque wrench that would measure 500 ft. lbs. so we probably used a breaker bar and a piece of cheater pipe. Things were just crude then.
It is hard for me to realize that someone at "home" can successfully rebuild any engine. It takes a dial bore gauge to check the diameter of the crankshaft holes in the case and to check the size of the big end of the rods. Perhaps your machine shop can rebuild your rods, but there are no specifications in the shop manual for the center to center length of the rods. You still have the situation of clearance between the piston pin, the piston and the small end of the rod. It is a simple matter to check your cam followers to see if they are flat, usually if they are flat the cam is bad. At the factory each part was measured before it was installed and then a person trained to be a mechanic with a lot experience put the engines together. I would live to find some of those people in their forties.
Soon we will be publishing information about front end service. al zim 2018/11/04 800.356.2964
 

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Re: Engine Rebuild - Tales of Caution and Woe

#19 Post by Adam Wright » Sun Nov 04, 2018 12:17 pm

Al Zim wrote:
It is hard for me to realize that someone at "home" can successfully rebuild any engine. al zim 2018/11/04 800.356.2964
Al-
I think the thousands of successful home engine re-builds will prove you wrong on this one.
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Re: Engine Rebuild - Tales of Caution and Woe

#20 Post by Al Zim » Sun Nov 04, 2018 12:44 pm

Adam: I would appreciate it if you would define successful. Is that and engine assembled according to the shop manual or something that runs. For instance when you install Webber or Delorto carburetors the engine will run but one side of the engine will always be leading the other in throttle openings. When you switch your 356 to 12 volts and only change the starter solenoid how long does it take before the teeth are ripped off the flywheel? Fly cut the head 10.5MM what happens to the head seal? How do you adjust the valve guide for proper fit without a lathe. How much taper is in the valves before you start really burning oil. al zim
 

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Re: Engine Rebuild - Tales of Caution and Woe

#21 Post by Al Zim » Sun Nov 04, 2018 12:52 pm

Adam: I would appreciate it if you would define successful. Is that and engine assembled according to the shop manual or something that runs. For instance when you install Webber or Delorto carburetors the engine will run but one side of the engine will always be leading the other in throttle openings. When you switch your 356 to 12 volts and only change the starter solenoid how long does it take before the teeth are ripped off the flywheel? Fly cut the head 10.5MM what happens to the head seal? How do you adjust the valve guide for proper fit without a lathe. How much taper is in the valves before you start really burning oil. My favorite which I have almost never seen accomplished has to do with the setting of the angles of front wheels. al zim
 

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Re: Engine Rebuild - Tales of Caution and Woe

#22 Post by Adam Wright » Sun Nov 04, 2018 12:59 pm

Al Zim wrote:Adam: I would appreciate it if you would define successful. Is that and engine assembled according to the shop manual or something that runs. For instance when you install Webber or Delorto carburetors the engine will run but one side of the engine will always be leading the other in throttle openings. When you switch your 356 to 12 volts and only change the starter solenoid how long does it take before the teeth are ripped off the flywheel? Fly cut the head 10.5MM what happens to the head seal? How do you adjust the valve guide for proper fit without a lathe. How much taper is in the valves before you start really burning oil. My favorite which I have almost never seen accomplished has to do with the setting of the angles of front wheels. al zim
Al, most of us just want to enjoy our cars, and if an engine is re-built and running well, there you have it. I like to live my life much like Salvador did, minus the moustache.

Have no fear of perfection - you'll never reach it. - Salvador Dali
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Re: Engine Rebuild - Tales of Caution and Woe

#23 Post by David Jones » Sun Nov 04, 2018 2:20 pm

Al, I have to disagree with you. I raced Formula Vee for many years and built my own engines and was more successful with my own engines than many people with professionally built engines. I did not grind my own cranks but did porting, balancing and tuning on my own dyno including building my own carbs. I have also built many 356 engines and I am by no means a professional but I maintain that anyone with the aptitude and an ability to read and understand engineering concepts can build a good reliable 356 engine because I am living proof that it is possible. Attached picture is not photo shopped and the engine would run to 7K rpm though I did not do it often. It is still running after 10 years and burning virtually no oil between changes. That particular engine had heads built by Vic Skirmants and I would defer to a professional for 356 head valve guides as they are not as simple as VW guides but valve grinding is not a particularly difficult task.
Assembling an engine is just attention to detail and a degree of patience in the actual assembly. There are many people who cannot and should not attempt to build a 356 engine but there are many who can, will and should be encouraged to do so. There is a great deal of satisfaction to be had for building your own engine and driving a car with motive power that was assembled with ones own hands.
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Re: Engine Rebuild - Tales of Caution and Woe

#24 Post by Dan Epperly » Sun Nov 04, 2018 2:57 pm

I've been building my aircooled engines for years. I built the engines in my B coupes and have logged thousands of miles. I've had failures, like a goand but they failed, but everyone's build is dependent upon the quality of the parts they use..and quality these days is inconsistent.
A good machinist is key, they do the real hard work that Al mentions.
When you drive a car that you built the engine for it takes the whole experience up another notch.

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Re: Engine Rebuild - Tales of Caution and Woe

#25 Post by Al Zim » Sun Nov 04, 2018 5:30 pm

I was always intrigued by the craftsmanship involved with the 356. It seemed to me that other makes of vehicles lacked engineering competence in design when they were assembled. As my experiences with the 356 Porsche's expanded the cars became more interesting probably because of their complexity. I have had good fortune to be able to turn my interests into a profession. More so now because of my experiences I can ask questions! My pursuit of when the trailing arms were made of a lighter welded tubing instead of a heavier tubing has caused me to look through all the Porsche and VW literature from the 1950's. No answer is available. Recently we finished measuring the torsion tubes to see if they were correct. During the assembly of the front end the question of how, at the factory during assembly, did they determine where to set the stop for the steering. I am sure measuring tool existed but it was only used in the assembly line. How fortunate I was to enjoy doing this for the last 57 years. al zim
 

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Re: Engine Rebuild - Tales of Caution and Woe

#26 Post by Ron LaDow » Tue Nov 06, 2018 12:09 am

Ignoring for now whether an owner should do a rebop (and there are questions):
1) You got the flywheel story.
2) First time? 10mm hex key for head nuts, 16mm socket for case acorn nuts.
3) The rear pulley needs care; make or buy some sort of rotational lock. Tim Berardelli makes a wonderful piece:
TBR wrench 001.JPG
After removal of the bolt, still be careful; I like the little 'wonderbars' to get it off:
https://www.amazon.com/Titan-Tools-1700 ... ar+pry+bar
4) Removing the oil system valve caps can be a pain; you can fake it with this (upper concoction a captured circlip):
Pres_Rel_Tools.JPG
5) Ditto getting the lube system pistons out, get something like the lower tool just above.
6) Splitting the cases, if they're in good shape, can be 'fun'; use a piece of hardwood between the hammer and the case, work on the edge of the sump plate 'hole' below, two extended 'tabs' above, back and forth.
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Re: Engine Rebuild - Tales of Caution and Woe

#27 Post by John Brooks » Tue Nov 06, 2018 2:57 am

Ron is correct, just the special tool collection is considerable But it's your car, you can fix your own car. Go get a shop manual, read the book, follow the book, and ask the members when you have a question.
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Re: Engine Rebuild - Tales of Caution and Woe

#28 Post by Vic Skirmants » Tue Nov 06, 2018 8:45 am

Ron; 15mm socket for the case acorn nuts. Have you been wondering why you sometimes rounded the nut?
And something I've noticed years ago; when splitting a virgin case, it makes a scary cracking noise when it first lets go.

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Re: Engine Rebuild - Tales of Caution and Woe

#29 Post by C J Murray » Tue Nov 06, 2018 10:02 am

Vic Skirmants wrote:I've noticed years ago; when splitting a virgin case, it makes a scary cracking noise when it first lets go.
Next time remove ALL of the acorn nuts! :P
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Re: Engine Rebuild - Tales of Caution and Woe

#30 Post by Al Zim » Tue Nov 06, 2018 10:20 am

John: I noticed that you had no measuring instruments. Neither did you have a file that would be necessary to set the piston ring gap. al zim
 

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