Not a Broken Rod or a Broken Valve, But Maybe a Screw

Saturday July 2, 2016 Guerneville CA.

Taking the van engine apart

Today my job was to see if I could get the head off the van engine to see what’s causing my loud clack and the crank to stop turning when I bring the fourth cylinder from the engine front to top dead center. I suspect a broken valve is jamming the piston.

To get the head off, I need to take some other stuff off first.

TBI off first

Here’s my work area in the van as I started out today. I will start by taking off the TBI unit on the left side. That’s the fuel injection thingy that replaces a carburetor.enginevan


This is where I started taking all this stuff off the manifold. This is the TBI unit.tbi


The TBI unit is leaking gas

When I got the connectors off, I could see the injector pod on the right was leaking gas pretty bad which it isn’t supposed to do. It was brown with old gas so I suspect I’ll have to replace the pod. The intake manifold was also wet with gas from this.injectorleaks


Oh oh, here’s a problem

I was taking the fuel lines off that connect to the pods when I noticed the whole pod was moving which it should not. And worse than that, I noted there was a hold down screw missing on the right side. There should be a screw in there like the one at the bottom.screwmissing


Where’s the missing screw

There’s supposed to be three screws that hold the pods in. One is missing and two are loose about a sixteenth of an inch. Do you know what that means? Not good.

That means the screw has  gone down into the engine and is likely causing this problem.

Didn’t need to take off the manifolds

I put that aside and took off the manifolds and went in for a break. Checking my email, Steve says I don’t need to take off the manifolds. Too late, oh well.manout


This is my work area.vanwork


While messing with all that, I noticed something else. My pulley on the engine damper was broken loose and would also have to come off so I had to remove the radiator and all the fan stuff to get it off with a puller.

The shroud and the fan stuff has to come


Pulling the damper pulley

Once I had the radiator out there was enough room to install this puller and remove the broken damper pulley as you can see in this photo.damper


I’m glad I discovered the broken damper pulley now as it’s used to time the engine and I would have discovered it when I put the engine back together and it wouldn’t time.

Ready for tomorrow

So I got it down to here, ready to unbolt the head and left it out.headpull


The TBI unit seems to have caused this problem

Here’s the TBI unit again with the missing screw bolt on the right side. The fact that all three bolts where loose with one of them missing sorta indicates whoever put this unit together forgot to tighten the screws down.tbiscrews


This unit came from Howell Engine Developments Inc. . They built this unit for a TBI kit I purchased from them, so I will contact them about it and see about getting a new pod for the unit from them.

I think one of these screws is inside the engine

I removed one of the other loose screws to show the size of this thing, about an inch long.screw


So here’s what I’m hoping. That when I pull the head off, I find the screw in the fourth cylinder and it hasn’t messed things up too bad and I can put things back together and get going once I get a new TBI pod and new damper pulley.

It’s hard to say how bad that screw may have messed things up until I get it apart which I plan on doing tomorrow.

I worked on the van on and off throughout the day and did a lot of just puttering around in the yard too as I’m in no hurry as I can’t do much to get this going until after the holidays anyway.

That was my day.

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2 Responses to Not a Broken Rod or a Broken Valve, But Maybe a Screw

  1. ken says:

    Happy Fourth of July.
    I enjoyed reading your blog today almost as much as reading about the river. I’ve gotta hand it to you on this endeavor. I owned a 1970 Chevy van with the doghouse which I hated to work on.

    • Bob says:

      Hi Ken,
      I bet this brought back memories. I thought one would take the dog house off to replace an engine, but I see mine is still sealed so I didn’t do that last time. I’m looking at putting a V8 in there and I hope it fits through the dog house opening.
      Did you have a V8 in your van?

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