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  • valve job/piston ring work average price

    After the rebuild of my carb it was still running rich so got the metering rods changed out and jets. I decided to change my plugs thinking they would be pretty fouled from last season as well as the couple of times I have driven it this year. Been a busy summer that has gone to quickly. I pulled the plugs and my #5 was fouled with a bit of oil the other ones were fine with no oil on them. Which brings me to how much would a valve job run on a 430ci? Possibly piston rings? I figure it will be a good thing anyway so I'm not wondering if it had been changed over to be able to run unleaded and won't have to buy anymore octane boost in it which I keep a supply of in my trunk.

    Another question I have is where is the PCV at? might it be this odd item in the rear valley? A crankcase ventilation tube? ive been told 430cis didnt have one and a few staid this shouldnt be there.I have seen in a couple pictures at least a hole.

    Rob
    Attached Files
    Rob
    1959 Thunderbird J-Code
    Tbird registry
    #15794

  • #2
    Right no PCV valve just a road draft tube and yours looks to be blocked off. This is very bad. I would install a PCV to clear the internal engine vapors and burn them thru the carb. Right now you are building sludge inside the engine on all surfaces.

    Engine will be much cleaner if you run a PCV valve.

    Valve job will be much cheaper as you can just pull the heads. Unless you have done a compression check I would do the heads first and see how it runs and drives. Yes install hardened seats (Good idea) but really focus on the valve guides and valve stem seals. Install bronze guides and DO NOT knurl the guides as that is a short cut and not worth it even though it will be cheaper than a new set of guides.

    Be sure and cut the head surface to make sure it's strait. It's nice to also surface the intake manifold surfaces but that gets expensive to do and I usually don't unless I have really shaved the heads and the alignment is off.

    You really don't need the hardened seats unless you run the car hard which us Tbird guys don't. We are cruisers!
    .
    .
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    Comment


    • #3
      It appears that someone put a pcv valve coming off the back of the carburetor. If that's so then it's on backwards. That's what that hose connection looks like to me. Where is the other end of the hose connected to.

      John
      John Pizzi - Squarebirds Administrator

      Thunderbird Registry #36223
      jopizz@verizon.net 856-779-9695

      http://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm

      Comment


      • #4
        Right low and slow is the way I roll haha. So are you saying that I should remove that tube and get a PCV valve hooked up to it?



        Originally posted by Tbird6 View Post
        Right no PCV valve just a road draft tube and yours looks to be blocked off. This is very bad. I would install a PCV to clear the internal engine vapors and burn them thru the carb. Right now you are building sludge inside the engine on all surfaces.

        Engine will be much cleaner if you run a PCV valve.

        Valve job will be much cheaper as you can just pull the heads. Unless you have done a compression check I would do the heads first and see how it runs and drives. Yes install hardened seats (Good idea) but really focus on the valve guides and valve stem seals. Install bronze guides and DO NOT knurl the guides as that is a short cut and not worth it even though it will be cheaper than a new set of guides.

        Be sure and cut the head surface to make sure it's strait. It's nice to also surface the intake manifold surfaces but that gets expensive to do and I usually don't unless I have really shaved the heads and the alignment is off.

        You really don't need the hardened seats unless you run the car hard which us Tbird guys don't. We are cruisers!
        .
        .
        .
        Rob
        1959 Thunderbird J-Code
        Tbird registry
        #15794

        Comment


        • #5
          Hey John I have been told that it's a one way check valve for the power brake booster which is where the line goes.
          Originally posted by jopizz View Post
          It appears that someone put a pcv valve coming off the back of the carburetor. If that's so then it's on backwards. That's what that hose connection looks like to me. Where is the other end of the hose connected to.

          John
          Rob
          1959 Thunderbird J-Code
          Tbird registry
          #15794

          Comment


          • #6
            It's difficult to tell exactly what is going on and how your engine is set up. Definitely needs a breather tube or PCV system.
            If you're only seeing oil fouling on #5 cylinder, you might try changing the valve seals on that cylinder. You can do that without pulling the head. I think there is a procedure in the TRL. Just a thought as this could be a minor fix instead of a major one.
            Nyles

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Djweaz View Post
              Hey John I have been told that it's a one way check valve for the power brake booster which is where the line goes.
              That makes more sense. You definitely need to remove that tube on the back of the manifold. You should be able to install a pcv valve without too much difficulty. Your carburetor has a vacuum fitting on the front that will work fine for hooking one up. You can also remove the plug in the back of the carburetor and put a fitting there.

              John
              John Pizzi - Squarebirds Administrator

              Thunderbird Registry #36223
              jopizz@verizon.net 856-779-9695

              http://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Tbird6 View Post
                ...I would do the heads first and see how it runs and drives. Yes install hardened seats (Good idea) but really focus on the valve guides and valve stem seals. Install bronze guides and DO NOT knurl the guides as that is a short cut and not worth it even though it will be cheaper than a new set of guides.

                Be sure and cut the head surface to make sure it's strait. It's nice to also surface the intake manifold surfaces but that gets expensive to do and I usually don't unless I have really shaved the heads and the alignment is off.

                You really don't need the hardened seats unless you run the car hard...
                This is a 430 MEL with slanted block deck.

                Normally, I would agree but in this case I will respectfully disagree for the following reasons:
                [LIST][*]The block bores need to be measured before ANY work is done.
                • New rings exert lots of sidewall pressure but they cannot flex in a bell-shaped bore. They will break.
                  • Old rings still work because they are worn and most of their spring-seal is gone. So, new rings need straight bores.

                • If the bores are out of tolerance, the options are few because OEM-type pistons are NOT available. They are domed and come in sets of 4-RH and 4-LH. Otherwise, flat pistons must be used at a drastically reduced compression ratio. So, there goes your HP. <--THIS determines if you should spend any more money on your 430.
                • If newly rebuilt heads are mated with old piston rings, the old rings will fail very soon. (Been there.) When all the parts are new, they seal well but they also wear together, which is why old engines still work.
                • If you're rebuilding heads, I mean if you go through all the trouble to get them to a machine shop, let the shop install hardened exhaust seats. The job doesn't cost that much more and the fear of receded valves will be gone. I would also install stainless valves and new valve springs.


                Personally, I would shelve the 430 and build a 390 (FE) because all the parts are supported at reasonable prices. - Dave
                My latest project:
                CLICK HERE to see my custom hydraulic roller 390 FE build.

                "We've got to pause and ask ourselves: How much clean air do we need?"
                --Lee Iacocca

                Comment


                • #9
                  O.K., here goes another opinion from the peanut gallery: first, before any disassembly, I would do a compression and more importantly, a leak-down test, in an attempt to establish a somewhat better understanding of the current condition of the engine. With the leak-down test one may establish how great and from where the bulk of any cylinder leakage is emanating from, thereby determining whether just pulling the heads alone is of value in the overall situation.

                  As far as recommendations of specific processes in the rebuilding machine work, that should be left to the machine shop holding these applicable components, as it would require observation/inspection of their condition.

                  Not to be at odds with anyone, but since it was mentioned, I prefer to use bronze guide liners (vs. complete guides) in restoration type (old car, "cruisers") guide repairs. This process consists of boring the valve guide bore +.060"+/- pressing a .030" wall bronze sleeve (cut to length), an expanding process, reaming and or honing to size; this removes less original parent material from the cylinder head, leading to less tendency for valve face displacement and is indefinitely replaceable in the future with no further machining of the cast iron. Oh, and it costs less!

                  As far as hardened exhaust seats, one should look at the existing condition of the cylinder heads. If the seats are "beat-out" then replacement seats it is, but if they're not sunk badly, then for the "cruiser" or show car, I generally agree (Tbird6), that incurring the cost, and, realizing that the manufacture did not intend such a process being executed, therefor did not intentionally provide excess material within the casting for such, and therefor realizing (and experiencing) that not all cylinder heads survive such efforts, it just ain't worth it,..... just to do it.

                  And, for my other two cents: NOOOO! do not remove and replace the 430 MEL with something else!

                  Scott.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by pbf777 View Post
                    O.K., here goes another opinion from the peanut gallery: first, before any disassembly, I would do a compression and more importantly, a leak-down test, in an attempt to establish a somewhat better understanding of the current condition of the engine.

                    And, for my other two cents: NOOOO! do not remove and replace the 430 MEL with something else!

                    Scott.
                    Agree with compression and leakdown. besides fixing PCV, and maybe doing valve seals. Nothing else on engine should be done without both tests above.

                    I also agree on keeping 430. maybe it's not the easiest or cheapest, but if we all really wanted that, we could drop in 400 HP EFI LS motors for way cheaper than you can build a 390 (or even an injected smallblock ford).

                    Not sure if they are done yet, but this guy claims they have wedge pistons in the works.
                    http://www.ebay.com/itm/1958-1959-19...1VvU5m&vxp=mtr
                    59-430-HT

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                    • #11
                      All these opinions are healthy to examine and compare. If money is no object then certainly, an overhauled 430 would be a real treat. Just about anything can be made for a price, but hang on to your hat IF you can find someone to make proper parts.

                      Pistons top the list of rare parts and we have lots of posts regarding that. Here's a post from 11-10-2010 about a 'marine 430'. He mentions Photobucket pictures that have been removed long ago:

                      Originally posted by P Jardine View Post
                      There has been a lot of discussion on pistons on the MEL engine forum, I have been part of that discussion. Although a number of manufacturers did make stepped pistons for the MEL series engines, most of them stopped based on demand. The pistons available from Kanter, Egge, and a few others are flat tops. This reduces the effective compression ratio from roughly 10:1 to about 7:1 and destroys the swirl in the combustion chamber further reducing performance. The 430 in particular was a VERY high performance engine with a short, yet fabled history. Ford paid particular attention to combustion chamber design, and piston style was big part of it.

                      In my particular build, which is a marine one, I ordered WISECO forged aluminum pistons with a 9.6 to 1 compression ratio. $1400 dollars. It was a fairly big investment, but overall in the big scheme of things.... not so much. My engine has been renewed completely with a 3 angle valve job, seats, new guides, crank was turned, Wiseco pistons, An original Mercury marauder intake with the 3 holley 2300's, Edelbrock M4 water cooled exhaust manifolds, Moon valve covers, etc etc. While cosmetics are important, a fresh engine costs for things you don't see, but they are the heart of the car/boat etc. I am looking forward to having an engine with a long life ahead of it, and no surprises or downsides.

                      If you visit the MEL engine forum, you will see a LONNNG thread on piston design etc.

                      Here are my Wiseco's and a couple of other pics of front and rear cover and polished manifold. Hours, I tell ya Hours.

                      The 430 MEL also used a special oil pump with a vacuum pump integrated on the bottom of the casting. Curiously, it was made by Delco-Remy.

                      The 430 never used an exhaust heat riser valve to warm the engine but they did have two thermostats, mounted into the block. I haven't seen these thermostats in many years at any price.

                      Soooo much discussion regarding heads... While it's true that heads are the heart of any engine, aluminum heads are far superior for transferring heat and shedding weight. I've never seen even a picture of an aluminum head for a 430.

                      Squarebirds came with two engine choices, the FE and MEL. Since FE engine sizes can not be readily identified from the outside, a 390 looks the same as a 352. Edelbrock offers aluminum heads and intake manifold for the 390 at a reasonable price. Edelbrock heads include bronze guides, Viton seals, Stainless valves, hardened seats, new springs and tapped holes with Helicoil inserts. They bolt-on right out the box.

                      I'm coming from a practical standpoint, in moderation. The 390 FE w/aluminum heads will solve heat problems whereas the finest cast iron heads lag far behind with a heat transfer factor of FOUR. Want high compression? Edelbrock added 5/8" of aluminum to the bottom of their heads so they can be shaved clear down to the valve seats (or not, your choice).

                      By contrast, the 430's combustion chamber is IN THE BLOCK. Sorry for yelling but nothing can be done about that. Any metal removed to clean up the heads or block will only make combustion chamber swirl and compression ratio matters worse.

                      The FE can easily produce more HP and torque than the MEL because of modern aftermarket choices, at reasonable cost. To top it off, savings in weight is well over 100 lbs. Swapping an FE in your SB for that MEL still keeps it 'Ford' and is a believable move, in keeping with the traditions of 'stock' parts. - Dave
                      My latest project:
                      CLICK HERE to see my custom hydraulic roller 390 FE build.

                      "We've got to pause and ask ourselves: How much clean air do we need?"
                      --Lee Iacocca

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        For the price of alum heads for a 390, I can get a 514 stroker kit for a 460. If I'm going to kill the uniqueness of the 430 for anything else, it might as well be something with some killer torque.
                        59-430-HT

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          O.K........O.K., stop yelling at me! Just kidding .

                          Yes, rebuilding the 430 MEL will cost more than the FE, but not significantly.

                          Pistons yes, but they are readily available from the custom piston manufactures, with some delay (3-4 weeks) for production.
                          We're not dealers for Wiseco, (who make a fine product), and costs for pistons will vary from each supplier and options selected (one can run the costs up here), but this price consistently bantered about in this specific example is not typical of the cost one would anticipate incurring, just for pistons.

                          Yes, the original oil pump application in the MEL is unique, but, since often the windshield wipers are, or will be, converted to electric (or in some cases, the vehicles will just not be operated in the rain), the standard FE oil pump is substituted, and the vacuum wipers will still operate, just not as reliably under varying throttle application, when sourcing only manifold vacuum, accompanied by storage devises.

                          As far as thermostats: note that the water flow routing in the MEL is a little different from your other Ford products, and the two thermostats mounted in the block was an excellent engineering endeavour, for a more equal control of the temperatures of the opposing cylinder banks, particularly during warm-up, which was also added; but, proved to be somewhat excessive, and therefor discontinued, both in later production units and typically at rebuilding.

                          I have already commented on the aluminum vs. iron cylinder heads previously, so we won't go there again. But, I would like to clarify that the major lost value (other than compression ratio) within the cylinder when the "flat-top" pistons vs. properly designed dome configuration units are utilized would be described as "quench" vs. "swirl".

                          The quench area within the cylinder produces an effect that is often described as high velocity turbulence within the atmospheric environment on the compression stroke, particularly as the piston nears the cylinder head and during initial ignition, vs. swirl a generally lower velocity motion in which values are exhibited particularly during the inlet stroke and earlier in the pistons upward movement process before area is lost and things become more violent (atmospherically).

                          As far as to the better(?) engine(s) available for "hop-up", well, let's leave that for another thread.

                          Scott.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by pbf777 View Post
                            ...Yes, rebuilding the 430 MEL will cost more than the FE, but not significantly...
                            Scott, we have many Bulldozer owners who would like to know how much a major overhaul will cost. They are looking for standard machining services, using OEM-type parts including domed pistons.

                            In short, what is a fair price to bring a 430 MEL back to its original glory, and where can our members go to get it? This information should include the name and number of a reputable engine builder who is familiar with MEL 430 engines.

                            Thanks in advance, because 'theory' is wonderful but we are looking for tangible help. - Dave
                            My latest project:
                            CLICK HERE to see my custom hydraulic roller 390 FE build.

                            "We've got to pause and ask ourselves: How much clean air do we need?"
                            --Lee Iacocca

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              If and when I need 430 machine work, I would look for a guy who specializes in Chevy 409's. At least they should know how to machine the block.
                              59-430-HT

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