345 is shot - rebuild? or Find another?

Discussion in 'Hill Country Binders - Central TX' started by Gimlet, May 16, 2019.


  1. Gimlet

    Gimlet Farmall Cub

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    Howdy folks. So, I've been having a coolant leak for a long time. I was going to address myself, but just haven't found the time to do so. Took it to the kind folks at Dripping Springs Automotive (formerly Pro-tech) and had them run a compression and leak down. Turns out, 4 of the 8 cylinders have very low compression (cyl 6 @55). They also found the culprit of my coolant leak - a freeze plug near the headers.

    So, I can fix juts the freeze plug and leave her as is. Or, I can have a machine shop do a rebuild... or, I can try to find a good 345 or 392 to swap in there.

    TBH, I've got a lot of money in this rig and don't use it nearly as much as I want to. I hate to spend $3-5k on her, when I'm honestly thinking about selling it next year. I would feel guilty selling it with a low compression motor however, and that would put me even farther away from trying to recoup some of my investment (I know there is no chance in hell I'll make it all back).

    What would y'all do in this situation? Anyone got a lead on a good running 345 or 392 (with intake and carb) that I can swap in?
     
  2. walkersscout

    walkersscout High Wheeler

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    I would redo the compression test, first dry, then wet. This will determine if it is valves or rings. If it is valves I would just have the heads rebuilt and be done. If the rings are shot I would consider a used motor, but I would want to see it run with a pressurized cooling system. Even then I would strongly think about pulling the heads and having a valve job plus a gasket set and freeze plugs.
    Also, I would not consider a used 392 and would be very leery of a rebuilt one. They have overheat issues that can plague you for a long and expensive time.
     
  3. Randall Barringer

    Randall Barringer Y-Block King

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    There is a 345 (from a good Scout person) on facebook in/near Madisonville, LA.
    Good luck
    Randy
     
  4. Darrel

    Darrel Dreams of Cub Cadets

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    A leak down would be even better. If a head rebuild wouldn't do it then a complete engine from S&J is less than $3,000.
     
  5. walkersscout

    walkersscout High Wheeler

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    You are probably right. I tend to fall back onto the tools I own, and I do not have a leakdown tester.
     
  6. Gimlet

    Gimlet Farmall Cub

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    Leakdown was done as well and we determined the rings are shot. Haven't opened up the engine yet to see if there is scoring on the cylinder walls, but regardless, a small bore should likely be done. Essentially at that point a full rebuild.
     
  7. Darrel

    Darrel Dreams of Cub Cadets

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    List it with the known issues and see if you get any bites?
     
  8. Gimlet

    Gimlet Farmall Cub

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    I don't think I want to sell it right now, as it still has some other minor things that can be addressed. At this point, I'm either going to rebuild it or stuff a new one in there. I will update this thread with the resolution-
     
  9. Gimlet

    Gimlet Farmall Cub

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    I've purchased a used 345 (thanks Sammy) and have taken it to a local machine shop to be built - JD Machineworks here in Dripping. I won't have the engine back until later in the Summer as the builder is back-logged a bit. As noted in Rob's thread, I'll be attempting the swap myself, and hope to learn from Rob's experience and the guidance of the folks here along the way.

    With that, I plan to address quite a few of the other minor issues too and get her back into top-notch condition to use her as intended for years to come.
     
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  10. Hueste

    Hueste Farmall Cub

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    what are the plans for the old motor?
     
  11. Gimlet

    Gimlet Farmall Cub

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    Once it's pulled it will be up for sale..
     
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  12. Gimlet

    Gimlet Farmall Cub

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    New engine is complete and I'm going to pick it up on Friday. I've been working on tearing down the old one in prep for the swap. Front end is off, radiator removed, pulleys off. Just gotta do the carb and various hoses and lines. If I have time I am going to perhaps tackle this on Sunday... If anyone is interested in helping out, has some experience, or just wants to come watch let me know and I'll PM you my address. Wish me luck!
     
  13. Gimlet

    Gimlet Farmall Cub

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    Got the old mill pulled yesterday. Now I got to take off all the accessories I'm going to re-use and build up the new engine. I'm returning the POS engine hoist I rented today for the weekend which did not make the job any easier. Hopefully in the next couple of weekends I'll have her all buttoned up!
     
  14. rustfreeTX

    rustfreeTX Binder Driver

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    Getting further than me! I'm toying with the idea of taking my front end apart to inspire me to push ahead with the swap. At this point it looks like I'm on my own. I may be able to convince one friend to help with the manual labor, but no one that knows what's going on.
     
  15. Gimlet

    Gimlet Farmall Cub

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    I didn't mean to suggest I know what's going on, I'm just diving in! Actually, it's all pretty basic which is nice and a good way to learn. I just made sure to take lots of pictures so I know where everything goes. And label everything (I use lots of Dixie cups to keep everything organized piece by piece).

    You are welcome to come take a look at where I'm at on it at any time; I'll update this post once I know when I'm dropping the new one in.
     
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  16. Gimlet

    Gimlet Farmall Cub

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    New engine in! I've got to button up the various lines/connections, reinstall the pulleys/belts, then radiator... but the engine is in the truck! 20191116_181718_resized.jpg 20191124_171803_HDR_resized.jpg
     
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  17. rustfreeTX

    rustfreeTX Binder Driver

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    That's a nice looking motor. During the long weekend I'm going to have a friend help me pre-oil my engine to make sure all the oil passages are working and I'm also picking up a loaner engine hoist. When you removed the old motor I assumed you had the tranny on a jack or braced somehow? Did you also disconnect anything within the tranny like the pressure plate before pulling the motor? I was thinking of taking the whole front end apart to have more room and maybe paint stuff, but I may just do what you did.
     
  18. Gimlet

    Gimlet Farmall Cub

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    You've got plenty of clearance to pull out the old and in with the new torn down to this level. I kinda wished I pulled the fenders only to clean and paint them (they look terrible next to the new engine). I did not remove or even loosen the clutch/ pressure plate. I did have to remove my tight steer bracket, as you need to pull the engine forward about an inch before you can go up with it. Guess if I had removed the clutch that would have been a non issue. I did put the tranny on a floor jack. I popped it back in the same way in reverse, and had to jack both the tranny and the motor up and down to get it "just so", hand turning the rank to align the output shaft with the splines on the tranny. Otherwise, I couldn't get all the main bolts to line up perfectly.
     

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