A Sad Tale

356 Porsche-related discussions and questions.
Message
Author
User avatar
Patrick Ertel
356 Fan
Posts: 73
Joined: Wed Jul 09, 2008 11:07 am
Location: West Central Ohio

A Sad Tale

#1 Post by Patrick Ertel » Sat Jan 08, 2022 12:03 pm

In the Spring of 1987 I put together an engine for an epic trip Jerry Keyser and I had planned through the upper reaches of the Canadian Rockies. I had a good 1960 crankcase and a '64 C motor with a broken case. I basically put the C engine in the B case, and I put it together for the long haul. I gave everything a thorough cleaning, had the main bores checked, balanced the rods and the rotating assembly, put in a new set of NPR 86mm P&Cs. I thought I had an engine to last a lifetime. We drove the 6000 mile route that summer with no problems, and I drove it regularly for a few years after that. But I started a new business that took up 110% of my time and the car sat a lot. Finally, about 13 years ago it developed a fuel leak at the pump and I parked it.
It sat until last winter (2021). With my business sold and Vicki and I both in retirement I finally had time to work on it, and I pushed it into the shop to see what needed to be done. Between what the mice had done to the carpet and what the fuel did while sitting in it for 13 years, it was a sad mess.
I went through the entire fuel system, sending the tank to a specialty place to have it boiled out and relined with the ethanol-proof stuff they use these days. This turned out to be a disaster, but not the worst that would happen.
I did a clean and reseal on the carbs and fuel pump - taking them apart, giving them an hour each in the ultrasonic cleaner, flattening the mating surfaces, and assembling with new gaskets. I rebuilt the fuel tap.
The car ran great and I enjoyed driving it for about 500 miles. However, on several occasions while walking through the shop I noticed a faint odor of gasoline, but checking the usual suspects under the car and under the lid showed no leaks. One afternoon in November I got in the car for a drive. I turn the key and BANG!! an impact caused the whole car to shudder.

I knew immediately what had happened. Hydrolock. One of the carburetors was leaking internally when the engine was shut down. The spring in the fuel pump emptied the contents of the pump into the carb, which went into the engine.

I took out all the spark plugs - number 4 was soaked with gasoline. Turning the engine over by hand revealed a slight drag at one point in the rotation, but otherwise was smooth. A compression test showed 140 psi at all cylinders except #4, which was 110. A leak down test showed leakage of 3-4% on all four cylinders.
The chances were good I still had a solid engine - except for a bent connecting rod.
I've torn it down now and I do indeed have a bent rod. I'm on the hunt for rods to make up a matched set. In my stash I have two (2) .101 rods made by JGSB and three (3) rods by the company with the S over W trademark. The JGSB rods are the kind with the oil hole in the rod beam. I'm not afraid of them and would use them if I had a set. So, shoutout to anyone who has rods to help me make up a set. Once I have a set of rods I'll have them and the crank magnafluxed and hope to be back on the road soon.
The top photo is one of a pair of rods I have. I need two more to make a set. The center photo is the bent rod, I need one like this to make a set. Either way is fine by me as long as they match and can be balanced. The numbers are the weight of the rods.
The bottom photo shows the bend in the rod.
Attachments
Rod - Good.jpg
Rod - Good.jpg (377.69 KiB) Viewed 1782 times
Rod - Bent.jpg
Rod - Bent.jpg (353.22 KiB) Viewed 1782 times
bentrod.jpg
bentrod.jpg (563.83 KiB) Viewed 1782 times
Last edited by Patrick Ertel on Sat Jan 08, 2022 5:04 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Patrick Ertel

User avatar
Don Gale
356 Fan
Posts: 864
Joined: Wed Jul 26, 2017 6:27 pm
Tag: Black A's Matter
Location: Albuquerque
Contact:

Re: A Sad Tale

#2 Post by Don Gale » Sat Jan 08, 2022 12:39 pm

Ouch! at least it's repairable. "If it can be fixed with money, it's not a problem" Sounds like the exact same thing that happened to my '58 normal, similar build with a counter weighted crank, 1720 NPR's, 30 degree flycut heads, SC cam, 9.5 c/r. Has about 30k miles on it, goes (went) like stink. Drove it from SoCal to Charlotte. Put a few thousand more miles on it back there. Took it out for a day trip, parked it, came out later to go to dinner and smelled raw gas and saw a 6 foot puddle spreading out from under the garage door and gas running out of the 3-4 valve cover vent. It has an electric fuel pump and the mechanical pump blanked off, so I figure either the float valve stuck open or the float sank (Zeniths). Gas was siphoning so I shut off the petcock and walked away and ordered new carb kits. Luckily I never tried to crank it over so no bent rods. It has been sitting for longer than I care to mention and has since frozen, probably rings rusted to the barrels. I haven't torn it down and decided to put my money into a 912 engine instead.
1958 356A 1600 Super Sunroof Coupe
former 1966 Euro 912 Sunroof
former 1978 Intermeccanica Speedster w/'68 912
Member Since 1983, #4039

"Nostalgia isn't what it used to be"

User avatar
Martin Benade
356 Fan
Posts: 8913
Joined: Wed Nov 23, 2011 10:52 am
Location: Cleveland, Ohio

Re: A Sad Tale

#3 Post by Martin Benade » Sat Jan 08, 2022 12:42 pm

I’ll check my collection of rods, I may have something.
The fuel siphons or feeds (not sure which) from the tank so it’s lots more volume than the pump spring would provide.
Last edited by Martin Benade on Sat Jan 08, 2022 2:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Cleveland Ohio
62 Cabriolet
56 VW
02 IS 300
04 Sienna

User avatar
Phil Planck
356 Fan
Posts: 1924
Joined: Wed Mar 26, 2008 7:21 pm
Location: NE Michigan, lower penn.

Re: A Sad Tale

#4 Post by Phil Planck » Sat Jan 08, 2022 1:53 pm

Pat
When I rebuilt my last engine it had a mixture of rods. I sent them to Walt at Competition Engineering and he made up a matched set for me.
Phil Planck

User avatar
Bruce Smith
356 Fan
Posts: 1311
Joined: Sun Jun 19, 2011 9:47 am
Location: Rochester, NY
Contact:

Re: A Sad Tale

#5 Post by Bruce Smith » Sat Jan 08, 2022 1:57 pm

Patrick - A sad tale indeed, but the sunny side is that you've gotten back to working on your car!
Bruce Smith

User avatar
Wes Bender
356 Fan
Posts: 3760
Joined: Wed Aug 27, 2008 10:54 am
Location: Green Valley, AZ

Re: A Sad Tale

#6 Post by Wes Bender » Sat Jan 08, 2022 3:31 pm

This is the primary reason that I shut off the fuel petcock about four blocks prior to arriving back at the house. The engine is just getting ready to stall as I pull in. There's a secondary reason too. I don't like residue from evaporated fuel in the carbs. I suppose a third reason is that I get to burn all of my expensive gas in the engine rather than letting very much of it evaporate.
Some days it's just not worth chewing through the restraints.....

User avatar
Patrick Ertel
356 Fan
Posts: 73
Joined: Wed Jul 09, 2008 11:07 am
Location: West Central Ohio

Re: A Sad Tale

#7 Post by Patrick Ertel » Sat Jan 08, 2022 5:01 pm

A part of this debacle that I only mentioned was the adventure with the fuel tank. I took it to my local radiator/fuel tank cleaning and repairing place where I was told the only place even close that relines tanks with the good stuff was 75 miles away. The "good" news was he takes his tanks there and he would take mine over for free. Avoiding two 150 mile round trips sounded like a good idea. It wasn't.
We both took pictures of the tank and I turned it over to him.
A month later I got a call, "Your tank is back - but you aren't going to like it. The put the coating on the inside AND the outside. I think it looks like crap."
It did. And I told him to send it back.
They had to bake the tank to get the goop off of it, and the baking process melted the solder that held the vent tower and the tabs that hold the fuel tank wires down. Without consulting anyone they soldered the vent tower back on, but ignored the tabs. The vent tower was installed with the outlet pointing toward the driver's side of the car. (!!!)
So after waiting for it for another month, back it went again, with pictures and dimensions for the tabs and marks on the tank where the tabs go (" make the tabs 1/4 inch wide, 1 1/2" long, and put them here and here").
Another month went by and they returned it with the tower on correctly, but they ignored my measurements for the tabs.They were positioned kind of close to where they should be but they were 1/2" wide and far too long. They were made out of copper, so trimming them down wasn't a problem. This isn't a show car, so it doesn't have to be perfect. But the next time I get a tank done I am dealing directly with the technician.
Patrick Ertel

User avatar
David Jones
Classifieds Moderator
Posts: 6735
Joined: Tue Mar 25, 2008 6:32 pm
Tag: I wish I knew as much as I think I know.
Location: Kentucky

Re: A Sad Tale

#8 Post by David Jones » Sat Jan 08, 2022 5:18 pm

I have sort of a remedy. I have my maintainer pigtail attached to my regulator so my engine lid is always open which reminds me to check the oil before I leave. This way I caught my RH Zenith leaky float valve early enough not to have issues.
If I had known I would live this long I would have pushed the envelope a little harder.
Cymru am byth
David Jones #9715

User avatar
Don Gale
356 Fan
Posts: 864
Joined: Wed Jul 26, 2017 6:27 pm
Tag: Black A's Matter
Location: Albuquerque
Contact:

Re: A Sad Tale

#9 Post by Don Gale » Sat Jan 08, 2022 6:44 pm

I did some minor repairs on my Alfa Spider this summer and found the gas tank badly rusted and crudded up inside. It had been etched once before with a mild muriatic acid solution but not lined. This time I bought 8 gallons of Evaporust and let it soak for 10 days, rotating and sloshing it around several times a day and drained and flushed it every day and filtered and reused the solution. Day one, no obvious difference, day 2, some improvement, day 3, obviously working. After 10 days, the inside was spotless, bright shiny metal and no pinholes. Then I followed with electrolysis with an iron rod and a 12V battery charger with a wash soda electrolyte for 2 more days and it pulled off a token more bit of rust particles. After a detergent rinse and repeated flushing with water, I blew it out and let it bake in the sun for another day, a job best done in the summer. It did flash-rust lightly but that serves to give it more "tooth" for the liner to adhere. I used the Caswell 2 part epoxy, great stuff. It flashes in about 15 minutes so have to work fast, rotating the tank numerous times and blew out all the nipples. It cured rock hard overnight. I saved what was left in the mix bucket in several pots for samples and filled each with an assortment of solvents, one with camp fuel, one with lacquer thinner, one with acetone, and one with ethanol gas and non of them had any indication of softening after sitting a few days, so I installed the tank, filled it with 5 gallons of premium 10% ethanol pump gas and added 3 ounces of ethanol sequestering 2 cycle oil. Excellent results for less than the cost of a shop doing it.
1958 356A 1600 Super Sunroof Coupe
former 1966 Euro 912 Sunroof
former 1978 Intermeccanica Speedster w/'68 912
Member Since 1983, #4039

"Nostalgia isn't what it used to be"

User avatar
Martin Benade
356 Fan
Posts: 8913
Joined: Wed Nov 23, 2011 10:52 am
Location: Cleveland, Ohio

Re: A Sad Tale

#10 Post by Martin Benade » Sun Jan 09, 2022 2:37 am

Patrick the return email in your PM doesn’t work.
Cleveland Ohio
62 Cabriolet
56 VW
02 IS 300
04 Sienna

User avatar
Harlan Halsey
356 Fan
Posts: 1625
Joined: Fri Mar 02, 2012 2:05 pm
Location: No Cal SF Peninsula

Re: A Sad Tale

#11 Post by Harlan Halsey » Sun Jan 09, 2022 5:29 am

Patrick,
When Carrillo rods first came out they wouldn't work in cylinder #3. So race car people put the Carrillos in 1 and 2 and continued Porsche rods in # 3 and 4. You have 2 partial sets.
Enough said?

User avatar
John Clarke
356 Fan
Posts: 1587
Joined: Wed Aug 27, 2008 6:38 am
Location: East Sussex, England
Contact:

Re: A Sad Tale

#12 Post by John Clarke » Sun Jan 09, 2022 8:20 am

Hi Harlan,
Why would they run with just 2 Carrillo Rods, making the engine half bomb proof :D and what was the issue with Cyl 3 and the original Carrillos
Cheers Jay
 

User avatar
Vic Skirmants
Registry Hall of Fame
Posts: 8803
Joined: Tue Oct 27, 2009 5:02 pm
Location: SE Michigan

Re: A Sad Tale

#13 Post by Vic Skirmants » Sun Jan 09, 2022 8:39 am

History on Carrillo rods:
The first ones interfered with the camshaft on #2 and 4 cylinders. I believe the first set was tested at the SCCA Run-Offs at Road Atlanta. Since only one set of the newer style was available, Robert Overby got two and John O'Steen got the other two. Of course the later ones were used in all four cylinders as soon as they were available.
PS. How did we get on the subject of Carrillo rods?

User avatar
Martin Benade
356 Fan
Posts: 8913
Joined: Wed Nov 23, 2011 10:52 am
Location: Cleveland, Ohio

Re: A Sad Tale

#14 Post by Martin Benade » Sun Jan 09, 2022 10:03 am

Carillos were mentioned as part of a suggestion for Patrick to use two pairs of rods he already has.
Cleveland Ohio
62 Cabriolet
56 VW
02 IS 300
04 Sienna

User avatar
Vic Skirmants
Registry Hall of Fame
Posts: 8803
Joined: Tue Oct 27, 2009 5:02 pm
Location: SE Michigan

Re: A Sad Tale

#15 Post by Vic Skirmants » Sun Jan 09, 2022 10:13 am

Martin Benade wrote:
Sun Jan 09, 2022 10:03 am
Carillos were mentioned as part of a suggestion for Patrick to use two pairs of rods he already has.
I missed that; which post?

Post Reply