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196 Ring Change

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RamblinMan63 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote RamblinMan63 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: 196 Ring Change
    Posted: Dec/26/2018 at 12:30pm
Alright guys this ones been a long time coming.

In 2016 I drove my 63 Rambler wagon on a 300 mile trip to see my grandmother. Ive finally got down here once more to diagnose the 196 I6 in my rambler. Spark plugs 1-6 all had plenty carbon deposits which doesnt surprise me because this car has done lots of sitting. Spark plug for #5 had insufficient gap. Compression  test got me

Cyl. 1  150pds

Cyl. 2. 80

Cyl. 3 151

Cyl. 4 130

Cyl. 5 27

Cyl. 6 75

I poured some ATF into Cyl 5. Cranked it and re ran the compression test which gave me 220 pds AFTER ATF. Compression doubled in cyl 2 as well. 

So I know the engines tired and probably needs a rebuild but I cant really do that right now. I can however pull the head and oil pand and replace the offending rings. I suppose I should do the whole ring set and maybe the bearings too.

The original break down/symptom was sudden loss of power on the highway, the engine sorta moving back and for as if it was missing really bad and LOTS of blow by venting its way out of the oil filler neck. I have the TSM and I will be asking for clarification on this procedure. Not scared, this is a simple engine and Im sure I can do this.

It also appears that some of the push rods are loose and I can apin them around while others are tight

Thanks in advance!


Edited by RamblinMan63 - Dec/26/2018 at 12:35pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote farna Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Dec/26/2018 at 12:44pm
Sounds like it might have a cracked head or blown head gasket -- and the pushrods definitely need adjusting.  Just re-ringing it will likely get you a few thousand more miles, hard to say. Depends on how much wear is in the bore. Regardless of what it has on top it will be 2-3 times that much near the bottom of the bore. The rings may be gunked up and just stuck, so replacing them and cleaning the pistons may help. You must cut the wear ring on top (if there is one) or you will break the new rings. The blow-by could be from the rings, could be from a blown head gasket. You'll have to pull the head and replace the gasket to do the rings, and adjust the valves when reassembling.
Frank Swygert
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote RamblinMan63 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Dec/26/2018 at 1:23pm
What makes you think the head might be cracked?

When all this happened it would still fire up and run. You could give it throttle and it would respond, even out a little

If the head is cracked there are four to five 59-62 195.6s for parts on the property i live on. IIRC  the heads only are interchangeable. Theres also a 327 2V V8 out of a "66 ambassador with the trans still attached to it.Smile

I already have a head gasket on hand from galvins. 

So if the head is cracked would it be really obvious? Where would it fail?

Could be gunk. Car did a LOT of sitting then I got it going and it got put in service as my daily. I will pull the heads 
and pan. Ill post pictures of it.



Edited by RamblinMan63 - Dec/26/2018 at 1:38pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pacerman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Dec/26/2018 at 3:27pm
I would make sure the carb is tuned properly and then add a can or two of something like Techron or Seafoam to the next few tanks of gas to dissolve the carbon in the tops of the cylinders and run it hard for a while.  Re-ringing an engine properly is a lot more work than you think and unless you are very careful you can get into a cycle of "might-as-well" and do other things while you are in there.  Check for water in the oil and oil in the coolant.  Drive it.  Joe
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ramblinrev Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Dec/26/2018 at 5:10pm
I seriously doubt new rings will solve your problem. If ring seating is the issue (and your adding oil to the test might confirm that it is) that engine will almost certainly need cylinder bored, and oversized pistons and rings.
Good luck!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote RamblinMan63 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Dec/26/2018 at 5:58pm
It would be necessary to hone the cylinder  wall as well. 

I just want to get it on its feet if I can and learn something. I do gave the TSM as well.

It did not loose any oil and there is/was not any water in the oil or oil in the coolant. Ill pull the head tonight. 


Edited by RamblinMan63 - Dec/26/2018 at 6:01pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote FSJunkie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Dec/27/2018 at 12:40am
Adding oil to the cylinders during a compression test will always raise the test pressure because the oil takes up space and is non-compressible.

An engine with the compression ratio of a 196 should make less than 150 PSI of compression pressure. More than that is because something non-compressible is taking up space in the cylinder.

I think the rings are fine. More likely the valves or head gasket ae shot. Time to forget the compression tester. Put the suspect cylinder on TDC compression stroke and pressurize it with an air gun while listening for where the air escapes. Probably excapes out the exhaust past bad exhaust valves.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote farna Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Dec/27/2018 at 5:28am
The 195.6 OHV is notorious for cracking heads. Mainly because the head runs hot even with the engine in perfect condition. Typically people don't know that the head must be retorqued every 10-12K miles (TSM says every 8K, but newer gaskets seem to last longer -- I retorqued my daily driver every other year and put 5-7K a year on it -- for 14 years). The first sign of the head bolts working loose is the engine running hot. By now most have been run hot several times over their lifetime. Coupled with the age and just the mass of brittle cast iron they crack relatively easy -- much easier than you'd expect from a cast iron head. They usually crack around the exhaust valve, which is the hottest area (might be thinnest also). You will have to have it magnafluxed to check for cracks. They will be fine -- most likely too fine to see. They only open up just enough to suck a little water in when the engine is at operating temp. If they were big enough to see you'd be blowing coolant out as compression would leak into the water jacket.

I've had one with multiple cracks around the exhaust AND intake valves, all cylinders. It still ran fine -- until the cracks suddenly opened up. That engine had lost a little water (about a quart every 4-6 weeks) all along, I just never found a leak. I was living in Mtn. Home Idaho (AF base) at the time and just assumed it was evaporation from the desert. Was in my early 20s, and had never been in a dry climate before. Found out it was the head when it suddenly gave way on a long trip.  It was run hard enough on that trip (pulling a trailer, going back to SC from Mtn. Home) that the cracks opened up enough to leak compression into the water jacket and blow water out as soon as it got up to temp. After it cooled it idled just fine, ran for about 10 minutes on the highway before it started blowing water out the radiator. Expensive trip back home! I had run the car for three years in Idaho, taking a couple day long trips (Denver and Seattle) with no issues. It lost a little water all the time. Figured out it had cracks all along on that final trip. Replaced the head and drove it a few more years before rebuilding. And yes, the heads will interchange 56-65, except for the aluminum block head -- it's different.

Rings may help simply because the car sat up a long time and the rings may be stuck. If they don't flex they don't seal. That and it could have been run hot a few times over it's life, which could take the temper out of the rings.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote vinny Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Dec/27/2018 at 9:38am
When I took mine apart for the first time at 120k miles the top ring groove of the pistons had to be re-cut and a spacer added. The valves also needed to be re done and they used some kind of device to broach the valve guides before reaming back to standard. I suspect that timing by ear to just before hearing the ping might have contributed to the ring groove wear. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote RamblinMan63 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Dec/27/2018 at 10:42am
Ill run a cylinder leakdown test as I did not end up takind the head off yet FS. 

I will call around and see if any shops can magnaflux it when I pull it off. If it is cracked I have a large selection of long retired blocks the owner would gladly give me a head to get this wagon going again. 

Time to go borrow a cylinder leak down tester from o reillys!
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