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Old 07-07-2013, 08:00 PM   #1 (permalink)
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My cheap work/tow/fun project.

Just picked up an 85 Chevrolet K20. The sheet metal is nearly perfect on this, the inner bed is in excellent shape, I think the cab is original and the bed and front clip were swapped. It runs great but needs the heads redone as it burns some oil, I tried some new umbrella seals but it only helped a little. Someone rebuilt the engine at some point but the truck sat for several years in used and it must have lead to why it burns oil now. Compression is still great.

Plans for right now are to get some headers for it and redo the heads, put on a dual plane intake I have sitting in my garage and maybe some roller rockers. It will be getting a cheap rattle can paint job, I sprayed the bumpers flat black today. I am thinking flat white or tan for the color for the body. I left the top of the rear bumper chrome, I sanded it down and painted it flat clear to dull the shine. I figured the flat clear over chrome will be better when it gets marked up from using it as a step compared to the black.







This week I will be fixing the headlight adjusted clips and figuring out what I am gonna do about heads. I found rebuilt factory heads for pretty cheap but will be getting prices from local places to rebuild the ones I have on it. I have heads on a couple other 350's I was thinking of trying but I am not sure if they are any better and I just want to do it once. The truck is a 4 speed with a granny low gear and runs and drives great, I just need to get the oil consumption under control.
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Old 07-07-2013, 08:46 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Sweet little project truck. Looks really clean lota fun can be had there
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Old 07-07-2013, 09:36 PM   #3 (permalink)
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When you say compression is great how great? It is possible for rings to seize inside the grooves and not provide a seal. This can result in burning of oil and low compression on one (or multiple) cylinders. Its not uncommon in engines that have sat. It is possible to oil down cylinders (put oil (some people use a penetrating oil) in through the spark plug hole) and get them to free up sometimes.
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Old 07-08-2013, 04:13 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lohman446 View Post
When you say compression is great how great? It is possible for rings to seize inside the grooves and not provide a seal. This can result in burning of oil and low compression on one (or multiple) cylinders. Its not uncommon in engines that have sat. It is possible to oil down cylinders (put oil (some people use a penetrating oil) in through the spark plug hole) and get them to free up sometimes.
My father checked the compression in the engine, he said they were all the same within a few lbs and where they should be so I am going on his word on that which is good as gold to me. I am ordering some headers and a full exhaust for it to put on while I am doing the heads, the exhaust on it is a bit of a cob job and I would like it to not fall apart at an innoportune moment. Tomorrow I will be calling some local shops for prices, I am going to pull a set of heads off one of the motors I have in my garage and have them done so I can tear it down and fix it on the same day.
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Old 07-10-2013, 09:46 PM   #5 (permalink)
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After pulling the donor heads off my spare engine I think I have decided to just purchase rebuilt heads and then send in a set I have as a core. The spare engine I took these heads off was pretty ugly inside, 4 pistons are chewed up from where someone put in the wrong spark plug and they collided with the piston. Almost all cylinders had the wrong plugs still in them with smashed plugs and one head appears to have a valve in it that's too small. This engine was supposedly running when pulled just with a knock, I am pretty shocked it was running at all with what I found. I am glad this is not the engine that is in my truck or I would be pulling my hair out right now.

I think I am going to go with a 191/810 casting head, its a newer TBI head with swirl ports and should be a slight improvement over the heads I have on it now. I am gonna check my casting numbers on the heads I have to make sure I don't already have something better but I don't think I do.
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Old 07-11-2013, 06:26 PM   #6 (permalink)
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The heads on my motor are 305 heads which are actually a decent choice on a stock motor, they provide great bottom end power. They are the lighter duty versions so they are getting replaced. Bad part about the heads is they have small valve chambers and bump compression up a good bit on a 350 and the added compression (probably 11:1) is not pump gas friendly unless I wanted to run high test, which I do not. I bought some rebuilt TBI heads in the 191 casting, they were put on heavy duty trucks and vans and are a much better quality casting with heavier rocker studs and larger diameter valve shafts, just an all around better quality head from what I have read. They will tame my compression back down and they will flow better so I am hoping I won't loose any power really. Looking forward to slapping everything together and seeing how it runs.
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Old 07-12-2013, 10:24 PM   #7 (permalink)
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New heads will be here Wednesday so hopefully I will be working on getting it all fixed up next Thursday. Might get it torn down Wednesday so I can at least start to reassemble it on Thursday. Would be great if everything goes smoothly and I had it back together by the weekend not blowing smoke. It is consuming a lot of oil, especially when people mess with me in traffic and I manipulate my throttle input to blast them with a large cloud of smoke, haha, not quite as good as a diesel but still fun.
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Old 07-12-2013, 10:39 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Are your running tbi or a carb? I have almost the identical truck in my barn with a 350 in it and 2 barrel carb.
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Old 07-13-2013, 12:00 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Its a 4 barrel carb. If I ever swap the motor I will put in a TBI 350.
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Old 07-19-2013, 03:52 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Here it was ready for me this morning. Picked up most of what I need to finish it last night on my lunch break from work, got it torn down yesterday.



Today I got it all cleaned up and the new heads back on. One header went on reasonably easy but the other was giving me big problems. Turns out I need to notch out my bump stop support, I wish I knew this from the get go it would have saved me a good deal of time and frustration. Gonna work on it tomorrow around having to work, I was mandated, yuck! Hopefully I will have it all back together tomorrow night.
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