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Success of a 361 “quickie” refresh?
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   Forward Look Technical Discussions -> Engine, Exhaust, Fuel and IgnitionMessage format
 
LostDeere59
Posted 2018-08-08 10:26 PM (#568101)
Subject: Success of a 361 “quickie” refresh?



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Location: Hilltown, PA
So I have discovered a bit of a “situation” with the 361 in my ‘60 Desoto.

While my long term plan is a driveline update there are a number of things I would prefer to do to the car before that - things like disc brakes, restoring the interior, non-tapered axle rear, etc. With that plan in mind I started looking into doing some basic performances upgrades to the 361 to make it sound and run better until the time comes to replace it. I’m talking electronic ignition, 4bbl carb, and a bit of a cam.

After doing some research, but before ordering any parts I thought it would be a good idea to qualify the engine. Much to my annoyance I found low compression in 3 cylinders, with substantial leak down through the exhaust valves, but also significant leakage into the crankcase on at least one cylinder.
I’m annoyed at myself because I took the necessary tools with me when I looked at the car, but was so smitten by the looks that I failed to do a proper inspection - I can only blame myself.

Anyhow, I really don’t want to pull the engine, so I’m considering doing a quick and dirty - pull the heads and correct whatever I find with them, honing the block and replacing the rings and bearings, as well as the cam and intake.

I know this isn’t the “right” way, but I have done engines similarly in the past with good results. Supposedly the engine has about 90K on it and the heads were done about 12-15 years ago.

My question to the guys who are familiar with these 361’s is this - how likely is it that a hone and re-ring will work on this engine? Are the blocks generally decent, or do the cylinders tend to taper or go out of round?

I know it’s a gamble, but I hate to get partway in and discover its trash so I’m trying to hedge my bets . . .

Gregg



Edited by LostDeere59 2018-08-08 10:29 PM
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58coupe
Posted 2018-08-09 10:00 AM (#568124 - in reply to #568101)
Subject: Re: Success of a 361 “quickie” refresh?



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Every engine is different. The 361 is a good engine but any engine that is over 50 years old and 90+ thousand miles will have wear. I have also had good results with a "quickie" rebuild. The difference is you may only get 50 thousand miles or so before it needs more work. It all depends on how much taper is in the cylinders.
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Powerflite
Posted 2018-08-09 11:36 AM (#568126 - in reply to #568101)
Subject: Re: Success of a 361 “quickie” refresh?



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Really, the big pain of an engine rebuild is in the labor. If you are going to do all that labor, just do it right! You will regret anything else later because you will be doing all that labor again! If you want a quick and dirty, swap a new motor in there. Get a good running 383 or 400 motor and swap the crank out on it with new bearings. That is about the best you can do unless you can find a good running motor from '61-down to swap.
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LostDeere59
Posted 2018-08-09 2:01 PM (#568131 - in reply to #568126)
Subject: Re: Success of a 361 “quickie” refresh?



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Location: Hilltown, PA

Since I'm not looking at this as a "permanent" solution the durability isn't a huge concern. As a toy car the Desoto will probably only see a few thousand miles a year (if that) so in the time it takes to do the other updates I figure I might put 20-25K miles on it. And while pulling pistons in the car isn't fun, it avoids the hassle of pulling the engine, so I could manage it at home (I think). I could pull the engine at work on a lift on a Saturday, but then the car is outside on the lot until I have an engine to go back in - which could be weeks.

I do have a 1964 Dodge 880 with a 383/2bbl motor in it. The engine is supposed to be free, but I've never tried to spin it, and obviously haven't had it running. Considering the overall condition of the car I would be surprised if the engine was in useable condition - but as we all know, you can never tell til you get fuel and spark into it. I plan to cut that car up and the engine and trans are destined for a storage shed, along with anything else useable.

So if I understand your comment correctly I could drop the crankshaft out of the 361 and it would fit directly into the 383? If that's the case it might be tempting to get the 383 running to qualify it, and go from there. The 20+ extra cubic inches and I believe bigger valves do have merit. But then I'm back to pulling engines, which I'm trying to avoid.


Gregg

Edited by LostDeere59 2018-08-09 2:16 PM
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Powerflite
Posted 2018-08-09 2:24 PM (#568133 - in reply to #568101)
Subject: RE: Success of a 361 “quickie” refresh?



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Yes, the cranks interchange between "B" blocks.
Definitely give that motor a try as you never know. This picture is how my '58 Coronet motor looked before I got it. I took a chance and just put it back together without doing anything to it. The lifters were shot, and I had to take the intake back off to replace them, but this motor has been a daily driver for quite a while now and runs awesome. My '57 Windsor had sat in a field near the Mexican border since 1979 with no windshield in it. I got the 354 running on that one and it runs really strong too. There was a lot of nuts stored down inside the carburetor from some squirrel, but I swapped it out for a 4bbl intake. Neither of these motors leak any oil either. I think that sitting so long seals them up to a large degree. But you are taking a chance on it, so check it out ahead of time.

Edited by Powerflite 2018-08-09 2:29 PM




(58LancerMotor.jpg)



(57Windsor 354Poly.jpg)



Attachments
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Attachments 58LancerMotor.jpg (168KB - 36 downloads)
Attachments 57Windsor 354Poly.jpg (182KB - 40 downloads)
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ttotired
Posted 2018-08-09 5:52 PM (#568150 - in reply to #568101)
Subject: Re: Success of a 361 “quickie” refresh?



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You have an engine sitting in a car and you havnt tried to start it, my god, whats wrong with you

I find that part to be the most fun bit of playing with cars, making them fire into life, even if its going to come apart anyway, you just have to do it

If you pay my flights, I will come over and get it going for you

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LostDeere59
Posted 2018-08-10 8:38 AM (#568187 - in reply to #568150)
Subject: Re: Success of a 361 “quickie” refresh?



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"You have an engine sitting in a car and you havnt tried to start it, my god, whats wrong with you?"

Lololol . . . .

Oh, don't get me wrong. I hear the siren song every time I walk past that car, but I'm usually involved in some other project when that happens. Like mowing the lawn, or something for my wife . . .




Gregg
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ttotired
Posted 2018-08-10 5:59 PM (#568208 - in reply to #568101)
Subject: Re: Success of a 361 “quickie” refresh?



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Your wife and mine may be related.

I am sure once she get yacking, you guy up north would be able to hear her clear as a bell

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Richbo
Posted 2018-08-25 9:58 AM (#569001 - in reply to #568101)
Subject: Re: Success of a 361 “quickie” refresh?


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I bet just a valve job and that engine will be good-to-go !!!
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60 dart
Posted 2018-08-25 3:13 PM (#569005 - in reply to #568101)
Subject: Re: Success of a 361 “quickie” refresh?



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lets say you don't pull the motor to re-ring . you do seven slugs and on the 8th you find the crank is scored pretty bad . then you end up pulling the motor anyhow . i'd say pull the motor . do what ya gotta do. in
the end you'll see why , it's a hundred times easier . by the time ya pull the top end apart , you could pulled the whole motor and have it on a stand----------------------------------------------later


Edited by 60 dart 2018-08-25 3:16 PM
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Stroller
Posted 2018-11-02 4:25 PM (#572814 - in reply to #568101)
Subject: Re: Success of a 361 “quickie” refresh?


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Ok I again know this is an older post, but here is my 2 cents. Ok I know alot will pull heads, drop the crank and take a lead ball hone or sand paper hone to the bores and put it back together. Firts I would never hone a mopar engine without the mopar honing plate. I ask machine shops if they have it have them show it to me. As to building engines I go by the mopar engine bible. As to heads if they were made before '72 or so they need hardened exhaust seats simply because of the crappy gas we buy now and it does not have lead in it. A good machinist will know as soon as the stone hits the seats whether or not they are hardened. If the bearings are way into the brass, emery cloth may not clean up the crank.

But if it's been sitting I would oil the holes up and spin it then check compression. I have a 340 that had been sitting on an engine stand for over 30 years. I pulled the oil pan on it and the rear main seal was hard as a rock. It simply is not worth it to me to spend a few hundred bucks just to fire an engine up and hope it runs for awhile. the work is wasted to me as well. I have a 360 I built about 12-14 years or so ago. I pulled it and the trans I built after it had maybe 1,000 miles on it, story behind that. Any way when I got ready to put it back in where it came from I tore the entire engine back down to put in all new gaskets, assembly lube for rods and mains as well as cam, cleaned out lifters and re-primed them. The white coating on the bearings had not even been wore off. Plus an old engine with maybe 90k on needs to come apart any way.

But hey it's your dime and your time. I'd be willing to bet if a valve job is done and the old timer is fired up, only time will tell soon the lower end gives up the ghost.
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mikes2nd
Posted 2018-11-02 5:50 PM (#572817 - in reply to #568101)
Subject: Re: Success of a 361 “quickie” refresh?


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Lead doesn't matter unless your putting 200k a year on a car. Per the post office. They did the test on their post office trucks.

I refreshed my 392 hemi with a ball hone and didnt go crazy, i will be fine without a honing plate.

It was in good shape, crank was beautiful... new bearings, rings, seals all around. Heads cleaned up and nice, new lifters...


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normsclassicradio
Posted 2018-11-02 6:23 PM (#572819 - in reply to #568131)
Subject: Re: Success of a 361 “quickie” refresh?



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Gregg, sorry to hijack this thread. Looking for a decent steering wheel and fender fratzogs for my 64 880. Any chance you may sell any parts?
Norm

LostDeere59 - 2018-08-09 12:01 PM


I do have a 1964 Dodge 880 with a 383/2bbl motor in it. The engine is supposed to be free, but I've never tried to spin it, and obviously haven't had it running. Considering the overall condition of the car I would be surprised if the engine was in useable condition - but as we all know, you can never tell til you get fuel and spark into it. I plan to cut that car up and the engine and trans are destined for a storage shed, along with anything else useable.



Gregg
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local2Ed
Posted 2018-11-04 8:52 AM (#572884 - in reply to #568101)
Subject: RE: Success of a 361 “quickie” refresh?


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I would change the oil and drive it.
I've had engines that started out smoking and after several thousand miles of driving both highway and around town it appears that the rings may have become unstuck and the smoke and oil consumption has gone way down.

Keep in mind this will not happen over the course of a few weeks but if you could live with oil burning then I would then I would just drive it and see how it does.
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