58 Special resurrection adventure.

58Coupe

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Thought I’d start a thread to document my progress. If this isn’t allowed please let me know and I’ll delete.

Picked up a 58 Special two door sedan. Motor is locked up. Bought a 59 LeSabre for the free spinning motor thinking I could simply swap the engines out, but turns out the block from the 59 is seriously cracked. But it has a free spinning rotating assembly.

I’ve soaked the 58 in 50/50 ATF and acetone since July, and it is still stuck. Took the heads off and one of the valves was broken off. With the heads off I’ve soaked the cylinders for a week I Kroil. Been working on the crank pulley with a 24 inch chain wrench. Welp, today it bent the wrench, bent my piece of conduit I had laying around, and broke the chain but it still didn’t budge.

I think this engine must have a spun and seized bearing, or several stuck pistons. Was hoping to free it up to get it out of the car without the transmission, but it’s looking like I’ll have to take them both out together. With a HOA that’s already made me get rid of the 59, I’m skeptical I won’t get another letter. May have to sneak it into the back yard under the cover of darkness lol!!!
 

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The passenger side head of the 58 had a broken valve on cylinder number 2. Took a wire brush to it today to see exactly how bad it is. I thinks it’s not useable at this point, but I think the 59 heads will work. Need to disassemble, clean em up and check em out.
 

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Acetone dissolves urethane and other types of paint. ATF can probably dissolve sludge, but I only see rust in your images. I would probably try something else for rust like rust catalyst, WD40, Evaporust, solution of naval jelly and distilled water, and or OXPHO.
 
Acetone dissolves urethane and other types of paint. ATF can probably dissolve sludge, but I only see rust in your images. I would probably try something else for rust like rust catalyst, WD40, Evaporust, solution of naval jelly and distilled water, and or OXPHO.
Thanks GL03. I have been soaking the top of the engine in KROIL for the last few weeks. About half of the cylinders leak it down. I'll try the evaporust too.

I really don't want to have to remove the engine and transmission together so I'll try to weld a plate with a nut welded to it onto the crank pulley and try to break it free. I mean if it wont break fee it wont and I'll remove the engine and transmission together, but I'd rather not have beat the pistons out on my garage floor if I don't have to.

Here's some pics of the engine with the heads off. I'm hoping I can get the engine apart and the block is usable. The heads from the 59 look good but I need to disassemble them.
 
I have turned my attention to getting the 59 engine with the cracked block operating. Did a lot of research on welding cast iron. Mostly learned that it might be successful, but most likely won’t be. I discovered cast iron metal stitching - something that’s been done for many many years. Bought a kit and stitched up the crack and I’m happy with how it turned out despite how ugly it looks. Gonna give this a shot and clean out the water passages real good, new gaskets, new timing chain, new freeze plugs (one was missing - hence the crack in the block), new water pump, and roll with it. Had about an inch of lead sludge in the oil pan I cleaned out. The heads look great, rotating assembly looks great, cylinders look great, rotates nicely. I have the transmission that it was mated to and marked where it was in relation to the flywheel so it should drop into the 58 when I get the locked up engine out.

As for the 58 engine, several times I’ve welded up a 3/4 inch nut to a plate and bolted it into the harmonic balancer and each time have either stripped the nut or broken the weld. That engine is good and stuck.

Now I have to figure out what is cooler - clearing over the patina’d engine and leaving the engine bay patina, or painting the engine to look new and painting the engine bay. The car body is 50/50 black paint and rust. Not sure what I’ll do there, but I’m leaning towards cleaning and painting the engine bay and painting the engine, while keeping the body rat rod patina.

Some pics:IMG_6370.jpegIMG_6374.jpeg
 

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