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Old 03-16-2014, 08:30 PM
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kevinp661 kevinp661 is offline
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Spark plugs closed! Help!!!

I have a slightly modded GW and now have a big problem. The engine is a S&J long block with an RV cam. Stock intake. Long tube headers with air. HEI ignition. I had Bosch double platinum plugs in and it used to run great. Lots of power even with the 2bbl.

My problem screamed at me when I was traveling up a steep grade recently. Started losing power then it died. Had it towed home. Assumed it was a bad ignition module so changed it. Changed the cap, rotor and coil too. Still didn't want to run so I started changing plugs (a nightmare with the Thorley air tube headers). My number 1, 5, 6, 7 and 8 plugs had all completely closed. No gap. New Bosch double platinums installed, gapped to .045. Started right up but is knocking and pushing oil up the dipstick tube. What in the world have I done? I'm trying to get this this about perfect so I can sell it but I'm thinking that will never happen. Please help me!
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1990 Resto Mod Grand Wagoneer, S&J long block, stock intake and carb, Proform HEI, Elgin RV cam, Doug Thorley long tube headers, Magnaflow 3" cat, 3" Flowmaster 40, Nations 170 amp alt, Rough Country 3" lift, BJ's brake lines, Katzkins leather seats, 1200 Watt/12 speaker Soundstream audio system, sunroof.
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Old 03-16-2014, 08:58 PM
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1975_jeep_j10 1975_jeep_j10 is offline
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Are your plugs too long?
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  #3  
Old 03-16-2014, 09:01 PM
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Very strange. I think your next step is a compression test on a few of those cyls.
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Old 03-16-2014, 09:04 PM
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Hate to be the bearer of bad news, but if it happened on a steep grade...

Detonation likely caused piston damage, and now you need a rebuild.
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Old 03-17-2014, 02:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by babywag
Hate to be the bearer of bad news, but if it happened on a steep grade...

Detonation likely caused piston damage, and now you need a rebuild.

X2.....take carb off and look down the intake. probably pieces of your piston in there.
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Old 03-17-2014, 05:29 AM
Ristow Ristow is offline
 
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top of the piston is breaking off. you won't see it in the intake. they'll have good compression,the rings are fine for now.
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Old 03-17-2014, 10:19 AM
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kevinp661 kevinp661 is offline
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Thanks for your input guys

Thanks to all of you for responding. I'll plan a rebuild. Couple of follow-up questions:

Do you think this may have been caused by a bad ignition module in the HEI throwing my timing way off?

Is it likely all I'll need to do is replace the pistons and rings?
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1990 Resto Mod Grand Wagoneer, S&J long block, stock intake and carb, Proform HEI, Elgin RV cam, Doug Thorley long tube headers, Magnaflow 3" cat, 3" Flowmaster 40, Nations 170 amp alt, Rough Country 3" lift, BJ's brake lines, Katzkins leather seats, 1200 Watt/12 speaker Soundstream audio system, sunroof.
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Old 03-17-2014, 10:45 AM
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Timing out of whack(too much advance @ high engine load), or really bad gas can also cause detonation.
Did you happen to just fill the tank before all this happened?

Impossible to say what all it will take to fix it.
Could also have head & valve damage, piston damage, cylinder damage...

Pull the heads and you'll have a better idea.
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Old 03-17-2014, 10:56 AM
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This is probably similar to what you're going to see...
A fresh rebuilt 360 that PO obviously had some detonation issues.

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Old 03-17-2014, 11:27 AM
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DO you know if the long block came with forged or cast pistons?
Did you hear a lot of detonation going up the hill?

I would:
Do a compresstion test. A good number is encouraging (but doesn't mean you are fine) a bad number means you have a problem for sure.

Pull the head on one side. I forget which side is easier. If one side had bad compression do that side first.
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Old 03-17-2014, 11:54 AM
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The block came with cast pistons. I did fill up right before everything started going haywire. And as soon as I started the climb I started hearing the detonation (knocking). I'm thinking that since 5 of my plugs were closed that I have piston pieces in at least those 5 cylinders. I'll try to get the heads off this evening and see what is happening inside. Expecting to see something like babywag posted. Probably valve damage too. I'd love to know what exactly went wrong to cause this; would suck to rebuild it and have the same issue.
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1990 Resto Mod Grand Wagoneer, S&J long block, stock intake and carb, Proform HEI, Elgin RV cam, Doug Thorley long tube headers, Magnaflow 3" cat, 3" Flowmaster 40, Nations 170 amp alt, Rough Country 3" lift, BJ's brake lines, Katzkins leather seats, 1200 Watt/12 speaker Soundstream audio system, sunroof.
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  #12  
Old 03-17-2014, 11:59 AM
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I'm guessing cheap Chinese pistons. Add in detonation from too much timing, running too lean, lugging the motor etc and it can't end well.
No problem though. Refunds cheerfully given please apply in person at our Hong Kong office.
I'd skip the comp test. Even if you find crap comp a bad ring or valve isn't going smash your plugs closed, and go directly to pulling the heads unless you have/rent/buy a bore scope.
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Last edited by joe : 03-17-2014 at 12:03 PM.
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Old 03-17-2014, 12:06 PM
Ristow Ristow is offline
 
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valves and cylinders are usually fine. if a piece gets jammed between the piston and bore it can crack the cylinder wall.

you've likely had detonation a while,just didn't notice it. if you never dialed the distributor in that's what did it.
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... like the little 'you know what's' that you are.




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I LOVE how Ristow has stolen my comment about him ... "Quoted" it ... and made himself famous for being an ***hole to people. Hahahahahahahahahha!


→ Where the kids hang out...

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  #14  
Old 03-17-2014, 12:29 PM
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I will skip the comp test.

When ordering pistons, which I'll likely do tomorrow, is it worth the $600 to go with forged? No forced induction or NOX planned. Actually going to sell it once I'm satisfied it's 100% cured.

I'll be replacing the intake and carb too since I'll have it all off. I think it may have been running a bit lean. Just a smog legal Edelbrock intake and probably a cheap Summit 4bbl. Would like to eliminate all possible sources for the detonation and I may get half that money back in the sell. Amazingly, it recently passed CA smog with flying colors.

This thing is a shame. I have a hair over $25,000 in it already. Will probably be spending another $2000 or so in the coming weeks and will be lucky to sell it for $15k. Cheaper to buy them than build them I think.
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1990 Resto Mod Grand Wagoneer, S&J long block, stock intake and carb, Proform HEI, Elgin RV cam, Doug Thorley long tube headers, Magnaflow 3" cat, 3" Flowmaster 40, Nations 170 amp alt, Rough Country 3" lift, BJ's brake lines, Katzkins leather seats, 1200 Watt/12 speaker Soundstream audio system, sunroof.
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  #15  
Old 03-17-2014, 01:23 PM
joe joe is offline
 
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Personally I wouldn't be buying pistons till you get it apart and know what's going to take to clean up the bore. On a rebuilt from a commercial engine assembler outfit you never really know what's been done till you dive in. Better wait till you "know" what the final bore is going to be before buying expensive pistons you may not be able to use or return.
For a street non-race motor I prefer cast pistons but it's been so long since I've bought car pistons I don't have a clue on who sells quality cast pistons anymore. Just cause it's a US company don't mean it was made in the US. Mike Ristow in another thread mentioned Wiseco forged pistons. I'd trust his opinion and anything I've bought in the past from Wiseco has been quality.
While you're rebuilding thoroughly check out the mains and rod bearings and journals. Expect to do a full rebuild. If you've been running with detonation for awhile you've also been hammering the bearings. Sucks what happened for sure but at this point of money invested there's no point in trying save a couple hundred bucks now. If you're expecting to sell it for 15 grand when you're done it'll have to be in absolutely excellent condition. That saving money ship has long ago sailed over the horizon.
Best of luck.
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Old 03-17-2014, 04:02 PM
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Thanks Joe. Yeah, definitely don't want to skimp on anything. You're right; I'm in way too deep at this point. I know I called the Summit carb a cheapie, but I don't really look at it as skimping. If I go forged I think it will be Wiseco, cast pistons would probably be from Keith Black. I will not order pistons until I know what I need, which I hope will be tonight, but if there is some cylinder damage I'll wait until that is repaired to place an order. I'm still trying to come to grips with this and was just working on my mental budget when I tossed out the piston question.

This is going to be very expensive. And a lot of work. This may be a good time to revisit the powertrain swap. LT1s are pretty.
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1990 Resto Mod Grand Wagoneer, S&J long block, stock intake and carb, Proform HEI, Elgin RV cam, Doug Thorley long tube headers, Magnaflow 3" cat, 3" Flowmaster 40, Nations 170 amp alt, Rough Country 3" lift, BJ's brake lines, Katzkins leather seats, 1200 Watt/12 speaker Soundstream audio system, sunroof.
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Old 03-17-2014, 04:08 PM
Ristow Ristow is offline
 
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keith blacks are not a well regarded piston,and you will need to bush the rods to run them,which is added cost.

ante up for wiseco.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hankrod
Ristows right.................again,




Quote:
Originally Posted by Fasts79Chief
... like the little 'you know what's' that you are.




Quote:
Originally Posted by Fasts79Chief
I LOVE how Ristow has stolen my comment about him ... "Quoted" it ... and made himself famous for being an ***hole to people. Hahahahahahahahahha!


→ Where the kids hang out...

fsjbuilder.org come for the mindless chat,stay for the hand drawn emoticons.

It's like you're unraveling a big cable-knit sweater that someone keeps knitting...and knitting...and knitting...and knitting...
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  #18  
Old 03-17-2014, 04:09 PM
Ristow Ristow is offline
 
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or go LS1....
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hankrod
Ristows right.................again,




Quote:
Originally Posted by Fasts79Chief
... like the little 'you know what's' that you are.




Quote:
Originally Posted by Fasts79Chief
I LOVE how Ristow has stolen my comment about him ... "Quoted" it ... and made himself famous for being an ***hole to people. Hahahahahahahahahha!


→ Where the kids hang out...

fsjbuilder.org come for the mindless chat,stay for the hand drawn emoticons.

It's like you're unraveling a big cable-knit sweater that someone keeps knitting...and knitting...and knitting...and knitting...
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  #19  
Old 03-17-2014, 04:24 PM
joe joe is offline
 
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Just a thought have you talked to S&J? They have a pretty good reputation and a crazy long warranty. I wouldn't expect them to make good on a motor that's improperly tuned and destroyed from detonation or lugging. Nor would I expect them to fess up to using China/India pistons but they still might throw you a bone that'd make shipping/hauling it back to Spokane the money wise plan in the big picture. Don't know if Forward air has a terminal at both ends but by todays standards it's pretty cheap for heavy pallet items.
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Old 03-17-2014, 05:37 PM
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Thanks guys! And thanks for the input on the KB pistons, Ristow. This is such a valuable forum for me.

So now comparing all of these costs with the LT1 and LS1 options. Lots of benefits to the swap, but I'll see what's under those heads and report back. There are a lot of LT1 and LS1 packages on craigslist in LA right now if I go that route. I know the LS1 is a better performer, but the LT1 is still good and very affordable. Can be had for the cost of a set of forged pistons too (I do realize there will be plenty of added costs to the swap).
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1990 Resto Mod Grand Wagoneer, S&J long block, stock intake and carb, Proform HEI, Elgin RV cam, Doug Thorley long tube headers, Magnaflow 3" cat, 3" Flowmaster 40, Nations 170 amp alt, Rough Country 3" lift, BJ's brake lines, Katzkins leather seats, 1200 Watt/12 speaker Soundstream audio system, sunroof.
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