Catastrophic engine damage..due to installing trans/conv wrong

turbo nasty

Turbo Dojo / MNTR
This was a stroker forged bottom end 109...was...

Guy gets transmission somewhat on dowel pins then bolts convertor to flywheel and then pulls the trans up to block with the case to block bolts:eek::eek:.

Then wonders why the starter wont turn the engine over?...HMMM:confused:

Then gets a 1/2 drive socket and pull handle and a long pc of pipe puts on balancer hub bolt and is darn near swinging from the pipe on the cheater bar and the engine still wont turn.

Someone tells him to R&R the trans/conv correctly that the engine is seized due to teh trans/conv installed wrong.

He does and then starts the engine and the bottom end is knocking. So he just drives it around and jumps on the interstate after consuming "A few" and is rolling 70 plus and a rod breaks and knocks a hole in the side of the block.

Teardown revealed the thrust bearing screwed from the crank being in a bind that entailed lube circuit through bottom end issues and of course driving with it knocking like crazy.....Finished it off.. the end result. Expensive lesson

Tisk tisk tisk :rolleyes:

Pics...:eek:
 

Attachments

  • DUH1.jpg
    DUH1.jpg
    70.9 KB · Views: 904
  • DUH2.jpg
    DUH2.jpg
    61.7 KB · Views: 895
  • DUH3.jpg
    DUH3.jpg
    67.3 KB · Views: 901

Real-T

Member
Did you ever figure out the root cause of this?

I can share a story that ended up differently.

After installing a stroker 109 into my T, we went ahead and proceeded to bolt up the transmission.

Upon getting the tranny housing near the block, it seemed very tight up against the converter.

Removing the trans we made sure the converter was properly seated and it was. So attempt #2 showed the same thing. Converter was snug up against the flywheel and the housing was not fully on the dowels.

Luckily we had a the old stock 109 on the stand. We measured the distance from the edge of the tranny mating surface to the face of the flywheel. We did the same for the stroker.

We found that the stroker was almost 1/8" further, and this was causing the bind up.

We called the converter company and asked if it was wrong to shave the mounting pads down. A small amount wouldn't hurt so we did that and the trans and engine mated properly and there was enough clearance for thrust.

Has anyone noticed that on their strokers?
 

bison

Moderator
Staff member
Did you ever figure out the root cause of this?

I can share a story that ended up differently.

After installing a stroker 109 into my T, we went ahead and proceeded to bolt up the transmission.

Upon getting the tranny housing near the block, it seemed very tight up against the converter.

Removing the trans we made sure the converter was properly seated and it was. So attempt #2 showed the same thing. Converter was snug up against the flywheel and the housing was not fully on the dowels.

Luckily we had a the old stock 109 on the stand. We measured the distance from the edge of the tranny mating surface to the face of the flywheel. We did the same for the stroker.

We found that the stroker was almost 1/8" further, and this was causing the bind up.

We called the converter company and asked if it was wrong to shave the mounting pads down. A small amount wouldn't hurt so we did that and the trans and engine mated properly and there was enough clearance for thrust.

Has anyone noticed that on their strokers?
An experienced machinist of Chinese cranks would have measure the flange and turned it as needed. Ive seen things like this before. Ive seen the flexplate centering hub on crank be too large a diameter also. Everything has to be verified on any new crank. Especially the Chinese forgings
 

Real-T

Member
Are the dimensions for the crank available? Like is there a spec that draws specifically what the distances are like overall from front to back or something of that nature?

This was definitely a lesson learned for me. Even though we got through it by removing material from the converter, the proper way would be to remove the crank and have it turned to remove material off the hub face.
 
You have to check everything as soon as bone stock oem stuff is replaced with aftermarket items. I had a similar issue with a mis machined roller cam blank that was .040 too thick on the thrust surface. It was causing lifter to adjacent lobe interference with the roller lifters. Thank heaven I caught it before throwing the motor back into the car. If not, I would have been wondering why my newly done motor spit parts all over creation, too. Thanks, Rudy.
 

ZNix

Young-Gun
The problem was the crank was too long? Could you have the problem installing your completely stock motor into your compeltely stock trans? Sorry if its an easy question.. But Ill be doing my first engine pull/tear down sometimes next month. These images scare me so im hoping its just the aftermarket parts...
 

Boost231

What's An Intercooler
Staff member
Znix, just when you reinstall the trans make sure the converter is fully seated on the trans. Put the trans on the motor and make sure its all the way down on the dowl's. You shouldn't need to use the bolts to get it flush on the dowls. once that is done put a few bolts in and bolt up the coverter. You never want to force things to go toghter.
 

Nick Micale

Tech Advisor
Staff member
That is the worst story of incompetent work I have ever heard on a turbo Buick in the 24 years i have dealt with them. :mad:

I really feel for you, and hope you can get some kind of recovery.

First, a complete lack of knowledge and common sense was absent when the engine was installed. When engine/trans are mated, and a couple bolts installed, the NEXT thing to do is see if the converter will spin free and easily pull up to the flexplate with at least 1/8" play.

To FORCE the engine to rotate after it is mated is down right stupid. The engine must have rotated freely after assembly, so it would be obvious there is a problem when it does not turn in the car. :confused:

As far as the crank being "off", it is a replacement and aftermarket item. Even stock replacement parts are not always a proper fit, and close tolerance critical parts must always be checked before use.

We have found cranks may need work, and even replacement torque converters that do not fit properly.

When installing an engine with a new crank, forged from China, billet from USA, or just not the original, we fit the flexplate and then the converter on the engine [crank] while it is still on the stand.

This way we are sure the engine trans will mate properly in the car.

I am sure we all feel your pain.

If there is any way I can help you with this, please let me know.
 

getchasum

MISSING 2 CYLINDERS???
When installing an engine with a new crank, forged from China, billet from USA, or just not the original, we fit the flexplate and then the converter on the engine [crank] while it is still on the stand.

Nick, Never thought of checking the convertor like that, I like the idea...I''ve checked flywheels but never converters.

I guess when doing this...You have to somehow reverse the engine on a stand to get room to put converter in place Or I'm I missing something? (I know I couldn't pull this off with my $69 auto parts store engine stand)
 

Nick Micale

Tech Advisor
Staff member
Nick, Never thought of checking the convertor like that, I like the idea...I''ve checked flywheels but never converters.

I guess when doing this...You have to somehow reverse the engine on a stand to get room to put converter in place........

You are correct Scott, actually when the engine is on the hoist you can check the converter.

Also, during the engine building process I will mate the converter with the crank on a bench before it is installed in the engine.

This is especially true if it is not a stock converter, but a good idea to check any new crank
 

Mike Licht

I was here first
Hard to believe that the engine failed that bad and the trans pump did not fail first. This type of thing can happen with any parts no matter where they are from. I had a very famous well respected engine builder build me a stage 2 engine years ago. when we installed it we discovered that the converter pilot hole was too small in the BMS crank. The converter would not go in the crank. We ended up taking a freshly built engine apart, taking the crank to a crank guy getting it fixed and putting it back together ourselves. We also missed talking the car to BG that year because of it. Was I upset? Sure, but frankly I had never checked the size of a pilot hole before I put a motor in before that, I sure do now. Bottom line, the guy putting it in the car is responsible for checking things to make sure they are OK.
Mike
 

turbo nasty

Turbo Dojo / MNTR
Hmmm.....indeed. These pics were passed onto me I see the rods now. Im gonna ask and see whats up.


Just called and yepper it has factory rods.....was asked to start the thread to show the damage and I posted forged bottom end based off what i was told.

Correct info ......It has Stroker crank, factory rods and custom forged pistons.

There is another GN running around with the same setup by the same builder and it's doing fine.


Either way still a putz move with the trans install/uh ohh forged or not. End user error
 
Top