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Username Post: Small block 400        (Topic#355524)
Mister 
Poster
Posts: 7

Reg: 03-07-19
03-07-19 07:35 AM - Post#2761517    

Question....I have a rebuilt SB 400 motor that has been sitting for about 10 years...it hasn’t been turned over or crank since it was rebuilt...my question isn’t, should I break it back down or would it be ok as is? Thanks



 

Chevs of the 40s

DZAUTO 
Senior Member
Posts: 8646

Loc: Mustang, OK, USA
Reg: 12-25-99
03-07-19 08:05 AM - Post#2761519    
    In response to Mister

First of all, you make NO MENTION of what kind of environmental conditions it has been in for the past 10yrs.



 
Mister 
Poster
Posts: 7

Reg: 03-07-19
03-07-19 08:27 AM - Post#2761522    
    In response to DZAUTO

It’s been sitting covered in a garage. It’s been out of the weather...



 
Mister 
Poster
Posts: 7

Reg: 03-07-19
03-07-19 08:28 AM - Post#2761523    
    In response to Mister

Covered in heavy plastic...



 
rrausch 
"15th Year" Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 13995
rrausch
Loc: L.A, Cal. & St. Louis...
Reg: 04-07-03
03-07-19 10:56 AM - Post#2761532    
    In response to Mister

Can you turn it over by hand? Can you pull the heads and see what shape the cylinders are in? What about pulling a spark plug and putting a borescope down to take a look? Was your garage damp? What part of the Country do you live in? A dry area or wet area?

1953 210 Convertible, 261 with dual Carter YF 966S carbs, P.S., Remote Bendix P.B. Booster... shade-tree restoration about done.




 
Mister 
Poster
Posts: 7

Reg: 03-07-19
03-07-19 12:32 PM - Post#2761539    
    In response to rrausch

The garage is dry..with no moisture. I don’t have access to a scope but I can turn it by hand and the spark plugs have a little rust around the exposed edge...but they weren’t seized and were easy to remove. There wasn’t any rust or evidence of any water past or present in the heads....I definitely appreciate your suggestions and input...any and all help is appreciated



 
Mister 
Poster
Posts: 7

Reg: 03-07-19
03-07-19 12:33 PM - Post#2761540    
    In response to rrausch

Lastly I’m n the west Tennessee area...thanks



 
DZAUTO 
Senior Member
Posts: 8646

Loc: Mustang, OK, USA
Reg: 12-25-99
03-07-19 01:41 PM - Post#2761544    
    In response to Mister

If it were my engine (and it is not), and had sat for 10yrs as in the condition as described, I would pull the plugs, fill the pan with oil, squirt plenty of oil through the plug holes, remove the distributor (if a distributor is in) and use something to spin the oil pump over and over and over, as you occasionally rotate the crankshaft 90deg.

This is what I use, with a drill, for turning an oil pump shaft. I made it from an old Chevy distributor. I've picked up several old distributors at swap meets for free to $5.








Oh ya, I forgot to mention, anyone using a SB400 is a man after my own heart. I love 'um!



 
Mister 
Poster
Posts: 7

Reg: 03-07-19
03-07-19 05:37 PM - Post#2761561    
    In response to DZAUTO

Thanks for the suggestions.... I will take your advice and give it a try. I have a old distributor laying around I can use, wish me luck.....u really can’t beat those old engines...I will be putting it in a 72 cst....



 
DZAUTO 
Senior Member
Posts: 8646

Loc: Mustang, OK, USA
Reg: 12-25-99
03-07-19 08:49 PM - Post#2761571    
    In response to Mister

A well built SB400, with good breathing features (cleaned up intake runners and bowls and bigger valves) and a healthy cam, will match many big blocks------------------- --AND IT'S 150lbs LIGHTER!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This is our 70 Chevelle with a healthy SB400. Rob got me out of the hole with his freshly restored 66 SS396, but I got him about half track.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nQsiTfWCLvc



 
Mister 
Poster
Posts: 7

Reg: 03-07-19
03-08-19 09:18 AM - Post#2761589    
    In response to DZAUTO

This is a very nice ss....



 
lobucrod 
Contributor
Posts: 643
lobucrod
Age: 67
Loc: Springtown Texas
Reg: 10-01-07
03-08-19 10:24 AM - Post#2761594    
    In response to Mister

I bought a 283 that had been rebuilt and sitting for only a couple of years and I decided to open the bottom end and take a look. Sure glad i did. The lubriplate that was used as assembly lube had dried and turned to a pasty like substance. I ended up tearing it down, cleaning it up and reassembling it. Due to that experience I no longer use lubriplate as an assembly lube.

'38 Chevy Coupe Gasser 409 powered
'50 Sedan Delivery 401 Nailhead powered
'62 Buick Electra original survivor


 
beagrizzly 
"10th Year" Gold Supporting Member
Posts: 1984
beagrizzly
Age: 68
Loc: south texas
Reg: 08-04-12
03-08-19 10:34 AM - Post#2761596    
    In response to DZAUTO

If I could add a little to what DZ said.

You have to grind the gear teeth off the distributor so it will spin.

Put a pressure gauge on it, then do what DZ said. At this point, I would pull the valve covers and, watch to see that the rockers are all getting oil! Then spin it with the starter to check that all the lifters pump up.

I would do this a couple of times over the next couple of days. Let set a few more days, then change the oil to remove any debris (or crusty Lubriplate!) that ended up in the bottom.

Griff

if you're gonna be a bear..................

1960 Biscayne (the 6T)
2005 Yukon XL
2007 GMC Sierra Classic 8.1
2009 Silverado
2011 Escalade ESV


 
rrausch 
"15th Year" Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 13995
rrausch
Loc: L.A, Cal. & St. Louis...
Reg: 04-07-03
03-08-19 05:57 PM - Post#2761621    
    In response to beagrizzly

Since this is in the '49 to '54 forum, I'll post this picture of a dist. I modified to spin the oil pump. I drove the pin out of the gear on the bottom of the shaft, removed the gear and took off everything above the plate. I can just barely chuck up the end of the shaft in a close-quarter drill and spin it. I think I'll extend the shaft tho, by welding a bolt onto it so I can chuck it up easier.



1953 210 Convertible, 261 with dual Carter YF 966S carbs, P.S., Remote Bendix P.B. Booster... shade-tree restoration about done.




 
GreatNorthWoods 
"5th Year" Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 956
GreatNorthWoods
Age: 76
Loc: Littleton, New Hampshire,...
Reg: 03-31-02
03-09-19 06:44 AM - Post#2761640    
    In response to Mister

Years ago I bought a 71 Chevelle that had hit a utility pole very hard. So hard,in fact, it broke the water pump and I was not sure there was not further damage. The 307 had only 50K miles on it. I bought it as a replacement engine for my 67 Camaro for a time when the engine wore out. That engine sat under my work bench for about 5 years with a plastic cover. When it came time to use the engine I did nothing but install it in the car. It ran like a top until it died with more than 150K miles on it. So, from my experience, I highly doubt if sitting would hurt it as long as it was covered.

Vern

1953 Chevy Belair Sport Coupe - 355 Blueprint Engine, 700-R4, Vintage Air, EZ Wire, Ididit column, Cruise/Tilt, 59 Vette Steering Wheel, 4-Wheel Disc Brakes, Posies Springs, Coker Radials, Nova 10-bolt, Mustang II front, Continental Kit


 
2blu52 
"18th Year" Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 18816
2blu52
Age: 85
Loc: Montana
Reg: 03-12-02
03-09-19 07:03 AM - Post#2761642    
    In response to rrausch

Nice but I am a simple person and just cut the shaft of an old screw driver near its handle, chuck it in the drill and it works fine.
Must add, that this worked for the 216/235 engines.

"PEACE IS THAT GLORIUS MOMENT IN HISTORY WHEN EVERY ONE STANDS AROUND RELOADING"

THOMAS JEFFERSON


Edited by 2blu52 on 03-09-19 07:05 AM. Reason for edit: No reason given.

 
cbmkr56 
Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 1138
cbmkr56
Age: 63
Loc: Basehor Ks
Reg: 02-11-13
03-09-19 07:22 AM - Post#2761645    
    In response to Mister

I just tore down a 54 235 to inspect the work from a 10 year old build that was never finished. The assy lube used was white lithium which is common. The engine had not been primed after it was assembled. The white lithium was dried so hard even after hot tanking parts i had to scrape a lot of it off. I would like everyone else pour some lube down the cylinders let it set and then add some engine oil and prime it. A good look inside will tell you a lot.



 
rrausch 
"15th Year" Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 13995
rrausch
Loc: L.A, Cal. & St. Louis...
Reg: 04-07-03
03-09-19 10:38 AM - Post#2761650    
    In response to 2blu52

  • 2blu52 Said:
Nice but I am a simple person and just cut the shaft of an old screw driver near its handle, chuck it in the drill and it works fine. ........



I know... I know. But I had a few extra distributors laying around and couldn't help but fiddle with this one.

1953 210 Convertible, 261 with dual Carter YF 966S carbs, P.S., Remote Bendix P.B. Booster... shade-tree restoration about done.




 
56sedandelivery 
Dedicated Member
Posts: 5590
56sedandelivery
Age: 67
Loc: Everett, Wa.
Reg: 02-26-08
03-09-19 12:22 PM - Post#2761656    
    In response to rrausch

  • rrausch Said:
Since this is in the '49 to '54 forum, I'll post this picture of a dist. I modified to spin the oil pump. I drove the pin out of the gear on the bottom of the shaft, removed the gear and took off everything above the plate. I can just barely chuck up the end of the shaft in a close-quarter drill and spin it. I think I'll extend the shaft tho, by welding a bolt onto it so I can chuck it up easier.





Why not just take an angle grinder to the housing and cut it off above the breaker plate; unless maybe you still want to keep that "distributor". I had bought one of those engine (V-8) pre-lubers, mostly made of aluminum, and it basically did't survive the first use; it just wore itself out and I had to check everything out to make sure no aluminum particles had gone down into the engine (did't). So, I have an old distributor also, looks terrible, but it works. I am Butch/56sedandelivery.




 
DZAUTO 
Senior Member
Posts: 8646

Loc: Mustang, OK, USA
Reg: 12-25-99
03-09-19 06:00 PM - Post#2761676    
    In response to rrausch

EXCELLENT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!



 
2D51STYDLX 
"9th Year" Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 992
2D51STYDLX
Loc: So. Prairie Washington
Reg: 03-03-11
03-09-19 08:45 PM - Post#2761687    
    In response to 56sedandelivery

Looks like a drill bit extension might fit that shaft, lot less work.

Roger
1951 2 door Deluxe Bone stock, well not quite, bucket seats.
Broken hearts and dirty windows
Make life difficult to see
Thats why last night and this morning
Always look the same to me
John Prine



 
Mel Foye 
*VIP* Founding Member
Posts: 4715
Mel Foye
Reg: 09-29-00
03-09-19 09:44 PM - Post#2761690    
    In response to DZAUTO

We have 3 400 sbs, 1 in a street 62 vette, another in our road course 67 Camaro --nascar set up and last in tow suburban. All with different engine set ups and we are happy with all. Camaro is 641 hp NA.



 
Bel Air kiwi 
"4th Year" Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 4558
Bel Air kiwi
Loc: New Zealand
Reg: 04-24-14
03-10-19 06:00 PM - Post#2761773    
    In response to Mel Foye

Hi Guys, The problem with an engine just sitting is the only place where atmospheric moisture is not an issue is at the poles.

Unless the valve gear is completely relaxed you are risking bore rust. If you are storing a petrol engine remove the plugs, squirt diesel down the bores and tip some in the inlet manifold. Spin it over to coat all the valves and bores. Put the plugs back in and release the valve gear.

Tape everything up and it should be good for 25 years under the bench inside.

Cheers Kiwi




48 3100 RHD, 51 Deluxe 4DR RHD, 51 Bel Air parts car, 52 Bel Air P-Glide LHD. Others 23T, 32 Tudor, 58 Edsel pacer 4DR HDT, 79 F250 351C RHD. 69,70,82 Capri. No mobile, no TV, and no Jap cars.

"They made a desert and called it peace." Tacitus


 

Chevs of the 40s

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