Engine Autopsy! Tearing down our stuck Ford 351 Cleveland

Reading Time: 13 minutes
Posted: 2023-11-20 16:00:16
Author: Hagerty
If you’re struggling, consider therapy with our sponsor BetterHelp. Click
https://betterhelp.com/Hagerty for a 10% discount on your first month of therapy with a
licensed professional specific to your needs.

We tried to get this 1972 351 Cleveland running last time, but hit a wall when it wouldn’t spin over. So, we pulled it from the barn find Pantera it was in and this week we’re going to find out why it wouldn’t budge.

#RedlineRebuild #BarnFindHunter #neverstopdriving #hagertydriversclub

If you enjoy our content and would like to support its creation, join the Hagerty Drivers Club: https://bit.ly/Join-HDC-WillItRun —- Already a member? THANK YOU!

Subscribe to our channel and turn on notifications! http://bit.ly/HagertyYouTube

0:00 – Intro
0:50 – Why won’t it turn over
2:15 – Unboxing
3:15 – Teardown begins!
5:00 – Rocker arm reveal
6:25 – Intake manifold removal
8:45 – What’s under the heads?
11:45 – Will it rotate now?
13:04 – Ad Break
14:20 – On to the oil pan
17:00 – Rod assessment
18:46 – Hammering out pistons
20:55 – We found our culprit
21:40 – Is the timing chain supposed to look like this?
22:40 – Crank and cam removal
23:40 – How to remove a broken bolt
25:20 – Head teardown
27:58 – Outro

Visit our website for daily automotive news, cars stories, reviews, and opinion: https://www.hagerty.com/media

Stay up to date by signing up for our email newsletters here: https://www.hagerty.com/media/newsletter/

Follow us on social media:
Facebook | https://www.facebook.com/Hagerty
Instagram | https://instagram.com/Hagerty
Twitter | https://twitter.com/Hagerty

If you love cars, you belong with us. Hagerty Drivers Club is the world’s largest community for automotive enthusiasts. Members enjoy valuable automotive discounts, exclusive events and experiences, roadside service created specifically for collector vehicles, and a subscription to the bimonthly Hagerty Drivers Club magazine. Join Hagerty Drivers Club here: https://www.hagerty.com/drivers-club

Like what you see? Watch our other series including:
Redline Rebuilds | Time-lapse engine rebuilds from start to finish http://bit.ly/RedlineRebuild
Barn Find Hunter | Tom Cotter searches the country for abandoned cars http://bit.ly/BarnFIndHunter
Jason Cammisa on the Icons | The definitive car review
Revelations | Untold Stories About Automotive Legends with Jason Cammisa

Contact us:
Suggestions and feedback – videoquestions@hagerty.com
Press inquiries – press@hagerty.com
Partnership requests – partnerships@hagerty.com

Hagerty Video Transcript

It’s like the Holy Grail we have to open it up see if it’s real you look in first in case your face melts well there’s there’s a problem see look at this yeah that’s not as bad as I thought oh yeah that’s why it’s stuck though let’s resume the Beating hey this is David with Hagerty in our Redline rebuilds I’m here with Tom Cotter in our Mystery Box well it’s not exactly a mystery box right cuz the last time you saw this Mystery Box engine box it was down in North Carolina and we box it up we pulled the engine

Out of the panta and boom it’s here in Trevor City and now we’re going to do the honors get it pull it out of the box put it on engine stand and we’re going to figure out why this thing won’t turn over you know I’m curious I’ve been

Thinking about this how many things will stop an engine from turning over or locking up so I’m thinking I mean the easy thing is Rusty cylinders right Rings yes Rings spun bearing yes broken valve that’s locked up in a cylinder correct give me give me some more but

Usually if it’s a broken valve you usually can go 180 or you know somewhere around 360° both catch yeah you catch in One Direction this won’t budge either direction so that tells me it’s a crankshaft or the uh Rings or Pistons cuz your aluminum Pistons could be

Swelled up they could be you know caught in the boar uh the other thing is is what we have in the great white North is cold so if it froze you can always BR you know bring in a cylinder wall and it’ll pinch the do the same thing it’ll

Pinch pinch the Piston camshaft broken not usually you would have gotten a little wiggle out of the crank I think yeah okay so I mean I had a huge breaker bar on it and it wouldn’t budge now one of the things we did do right we sprayed

It down with some um Cory Y and maybe over the past couple months that’s freed up so we might find that we are like oh yeah hell there’s no problem at all I’d like that I bet you we don’t though all right let’s get this on Wrap bring it right to the back here hey look at that so this is when we were optimistic and we thought like points and going run and and wires would have started it we quickly learned they Wouldn’t hey if you like what you’re watching do me a favor go check out the Hagerty Driver club 24/7 roadside assistance with flatbed towing subscription to our Ward winning magazine and more sign up today links right down here in the Description all right let’s get into this so methodically here let’s pull the distributor out of the way get our fuel pump out of the way so we’re not fighting this stuff and then go after the valve covers intake manifold and start getting into the guts of this and

Uh maybe we’ll see ugly can can I help or do you want me to just stand back and watch well I mean I know you got your gloves on and I hate to have you get those dirty uh why don’t you start with a distributor I’ll do it you pull the

Distributor and then we’ll go from there good keeping it together I try to keep the bolts and everything for now so the last Ford motor you did was that Brad Phillips yeah the 289 he said it’s too much horsepower good we did our job perfect

This look at the they can put the oil pump on the right yeah put the distributor and the distributor’s in the front all that that’s where it should be no adjusting the points on a g car chrysa can’t figure it out can’t decide where to put it they put it on every end

I’m surprised they don’t have under the car oh yeah how about that GM cars the starter motor under the intake manifold not GM oille toy Ile mmobile Ile had to start a motor under the Val under the intake manifold what car was that tornado oh where’s oel

Now see if they had starter Motors in traditional position they’d probably be still in business maybe jeez what baits wow that is a deep pan wow I guess so wow doesn’t look as bad as I was expecting there pretty clean and what this car have 45,000 miles yeah pretty low

Mileage so with looking at the top side here with the with the Rockers um and how clean it is there’s no builtup Gunk uh it kind of surprises me where I mean it’s going to be really interesting to see it’s got to all be in the crank

So rotating if this had a blown head gasket would you not see evidence yeah you should see evidence in the exhaust Port is this rust yeah H you know it could have been uh just just moist air over the decades just going in there yeah condensation in the cylinders

Is is still what I’m expecting but I’m really surprised at how clean it is up top yeah I mean it looks like it was running two days ago and on a fresh build y it’s actually just as clean too so here’s Wonder deadly but this cylinder

Has a little bit of rust and and that cylinder has a little bit of rust I wonder if those two valves are open uh yes this one is uhhuh you want to lift that off of there probably only 70 lb o well there’s there’s a problem see

Look at this it’s blowing head gasket isn’t it yep that’s sure what it looks like so this cylinder is going to look ugly yep that cylinder’s going to have all the yep that’s where it’s stuck so far we have obviously the intake off we didn’t take this cover off yet

Because we’ve already discovered that that we have uh this cylinder and this cylinder definitely has a blown head gasket or has been leaking because there is a coolant sitting on top of the intake valve here and the intake valve on this side and like you had mentioned Tom those two exhaust valves exhaust

Ports were cleaned so basically if your head gasket blows you steam clean the carbon out of that hole because it’s hot steam coming out of the out of there and peels it all out um looking further though we have this hole you can see the intake um valve is sure looks like it’s

Rusted to the seat now that’s not necessarily going to stop it from rolling over meaning you can overcome it and bend the push rod granted it’ll take a lot of effort to do that um but I’m still betting we have a stuck when we get this off I I bet we’re still going

To have just a nasty cylinder with rust and a piston that needs to be beat being that the early pantas had a extreme overheating problem does this make sense yeah especially with how clean it is from an oil standpoint right it didn’t it didn’t

Cook it that way so it was early on it was you know and it only had wait you said 30 something, miles on 42 42 so you know low mileage and and but a blown head gasket definitely puts it in the garage for a while do you think you’re

The first one to take this motor apart since it was assembled looks like it uhhuh yeah this looks like a factory tin uh-huh well let’s proceed with getting this Valley pan out of the way and then we’ll take the rocker assemblies all off and get the heads out yeah so this is

This is going to be pretty exciting this this number two cylind here I think mhm what’s going to be really exciting is when you’re slamming the Pistons out of with a hammer I got to go uh I don’t know if I told you that yeah that’s when the fun really is going to Occur yeah s bad I thought oh yeah that’s why it’s stuck Though okay so our initial thought here was that we would have a blown head gasket specifically on this cylinder uh because of all the corrosion and and water junk that’s in that intake port this doesn’t mean well looking at the gasket I’m going to say the gasket is

Intact it didn’t the gasket didn’t fail but that doesn’t mean that that head’s not cracked or the cylinder block is cracked basically doing the same thing mhm effectively um and if it did overheat that head potentially warped and lifted up and then it was sucking fluid in that that’s probably not I mean

Wouldn’t you see evidence of that here well you would you would think so yes you would think you know just like here where the water was you know that’s a blockoff port where the water was sitting against it and you have rust you would think you would see a line sure or

I would expect to see a line of of corrosion there too even after it you know failed obviously as we continue and we go through and clean the motor up we’re going to mag check it um so we’ll be looking for cracks in the cylinders

And of course on the head let’s get the other head off first and uh and then see what we got with both of them at the same time [Applause] [Applause] [Applause] yeah we have this other head off kind of seeing the same issue this ER certainly has a lot of rust in it more so than just condensation so this must have been leaking as well our um gry is still on the top of this piston so evidently it’s

Not uh Broke Free either but anyhow uh at this point I don’t have anything in the way except for the crank and the Pistons so I want to see if I can turn this over by hand at this point maybe there was enough of uh resistance with

The valves that that was causing a problem but quite frankly why not you know I’m wondering uh we thought blown head gasket in one cylinder could have done this but now we’re seeing a problem on several s and no signs of head gasket failure I have a hard time believing

That we’d have that many cracked cylinders or valve that’s I’m I’m I’m thinking it it I’m thinking it overheated because you could War both cylinders yep yeah you got to bend your bar there oh really I I tightened it I just tightened the bolt more it did move

But it means I hit about 120 Fons of torque and that is not moving it well uh Here’s my thought Tom I think you should take it right from here cuz this is where all the fun really begins get that Sledgehammer out and some

Heat did I tell you I got to leave early it’s a long drive back to North Carolina do it well obviously this engine’s been neglected for a long time and you know what else is bad to neglect for a long time your mental health in today’s sponsor maybe exactly what you need

Better help better help connects you with a licensed therapist who is trained to listen and give you helpful unbiased advice like getting an old engine running starting therapy can be hard finding a therapist in your area might even be tougher and maybe a face to-face interaction isn’t your thing but that is

Where better help comes in with better help you can have your therapy session at your own home can be conducted over the phone a video chat or text messaging whatever version of therapy is comfortable for you simply go to betterhelp.com haery fill out the questionnaire that questionnaire will be used to assign you

To a therapist usually within 48 hours if your first therapist doesn’t fit they have 30,000 in their Network you can easily switch to a new therapist at no additional cost and no worry about whether they’re in or out of some insurance network if you think you might benefit from therapy then consider

Better help clicking that link helps support this Channel and gives you 10% off your first month of betterhelp go to betterhelp.com heagerty yeah no we’re not going anywhere so I guess let’s flip her over get the pan off start pulling caps and well beating the Daylights out of the back side of the

Pistons all right so while Ben has me taking my sweet time putting off these pan bolts while the camera goes clickity clack over here slower looking see what I mean so we have uh I’m looking right here at our block numbers so this is

Block D is in dog two a is an apple e is in Edward Dash C is in Charlie a is an apple but then the all knowing and all telling when was it built it does it numbers match all that good jazz so date code is two C is in Charlie

Six so in fordland uh the first digit is the last digit of the year so 1972 of course oddly enough I think this is always funny you have to at least know what decade is from cuz could be 62 right but anyhow so 72 c is the third month of the

Year which would be March and then 16 obviously the date or the day of the week or day of the month I should say which would be 16 so March 16th of 1972 is when this block was cast not to be confused with built I’m betting we’re not going to see

Any rust back here cuz it it’s all in the other side I think I know why there’s so much oil everywhere that was not held on by anything G yuck that’s disgusting kind of have to pull a stand over here do you see that nastiness in the pan that’s gross uh think

Think I can get these two out I might be able to get that one out basically what I’m looking at is if can I access the nuts on the rods guess I’ll have to get a crunch no oh you know what I probably should label these okay well we have our pan off

Pulled our oil pump out of the way we’re about ready to start beating the Daylights out of these Pistons to get them out um but one thing I want to I’ll say stop right here make sure all my rods and caps are are numbered CU I all

Need to go back into the same hole if we were use the rods and sometimes they’re labeled sometimes they’re not sometimes they’re in order and sometimes are not because we’ve ran into both so in this case so far looks like I’m assuming right straight from the factory these

Are all labeled so here’s here’s One which should be in one so that’s good right here yeah one and there’s two here’s three and here’s four and then 8 7 6 then five so because if this is rotated the right way up Ford labeled started with number

One over here 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 opposed to different firing orders like all the rest of the world Ford’s other way this is the easy one there’s that one that one’s in there and those are the ones we didn’t think we’re Stuck Till There Hey I just broke a loose look at that Yeah that one was not so good okay well right there was 100% the culprit but it was locked in you can see white corrosion from the Piston aluminum rotted in and there’s a ridge in here I took off with some sandpaper from the barar all right let’s get uh let’s get

This pulley out of here I had plenty of torque on it right in the soup look oo the original nylon nice look at this holy smokes can you say chain stretch still has the plastic teeth I’m surprised they’re on there given how sloppy that is it wore right out

Weird pretty sure this will come off she’s so sloppy yeah this thing would have ran like a turd with that being so sloppy [Applause] got a big main C wide it’s nice it won’t come out there it is woo now mind you using a MIG welder to

Tear down an engine isn’t the typical tool you used until you run into a spot where a bolt has broken off this timing cover bolt has has uh broke off or was broken off actually when we got there so I’m going just going pull the gasket back a little

Bit and be able to get to that but what I’m going to do is take a happens to be a 7/16 nut but then take a nut weld it onto that it’s going to stick to the steel bolt before it sticks to the block being cast iron and if I get enough heat

Penetration in there it’ll loosen up that bolt and uh turn it right out with the hex sometimes it works on the first try sometimes on the 20th try but I’ve never had it fail me from taking one out so here we roll look at that first Try there it is problem Solved well block is apart and now we’re going to move onto the heads and pull out the valves and the springs and the keepers and retainers this could be interesting just because well there’s a lot of rust and could be froze up so we’ll see how it goes might have

To give it a little wackity whack yeah tight and we don’t need to stretcher that far either that’s okay yeah work a little deposits on the back of that that’s so Good we have valves out of the first head and that’s a couple of them Pretty stinking ugly what’s interesting is how much crud oily crud is in whichever hole this was but on the intake side so I don’t know what ever poured down through that was still there this is probably

Mostly condensation or a a mouse house that uh added a little uh moisture to the tops of the back side of those Valves and rusted up all the cylinders um this was never really burning all that grand cuz it’s carbon up like Crazy both cylinder heads are completely tore apart and um a couple things you always want to look as you tear things down is you know it gives you some indicators of condition of the motor obviously and a couple things I find that are interesting is a there’s a lot

Of carbon in the cylinders but these there’s two there’s a cylinder on each head that are across from each other ironically that have like a growth like better way to put it you’ll see that there’s not only growth that it was around the valve but then down the port

Um there’s some stuff coming out from the wall that could be a crack um but that is certainly where we’re going to be a little sensitive when we’re going through things and make sure we really mag flux these uh these heads and here’s all the pieces out of this

Motor we’re pretty much all apart except for what I can’t do which is like pull the Pistons off but uh I’m going to take all these run them through the Gladiator Parts washer and then get them over the machine shop but hey while I’m cleaning up parts and enjoying that fun stuff uh

Get out in the shop go get some work done see You