Time for a long overdue update.
Work got hectic for awhile there. I ended up dragging a job in NC to go to VA for a few months, and basically lost all free time in the exchange of some money. The 97 sat at the house for quite sometime just gathering dust and brewing terrible foresight as the time grew closer to yank the newly trashed a 2nd time motor out of the truck again. I ended up taking a layoff in December, got engaged, and took the next month and a half off work to spend time with my new fiancť as well as catch up on some personal time. I finally made some calls to get back to work and figured, now would be the time to pull the motor. Luckily this time, a family friend who owns a reputable shop down the mountain graciously offered us a bay with a 15k lb 2 post lift to pull the motor and work on the truck as long as we needed. I had the truck towed down to the shop on a Wednesday and proceeded to tear it down Thursday.
Our friend, the shop owner, was pretty excited to see what the heck went wrong with the truck, and basically spent the whole day helping my Dad and I tear the motor out. Let me tell you, itís a lot easier to pull the motor if you drop the transmission and transfer case, and even more so when you have a lift available to you! Within 3 hours, the motor was pulled and we started tearing into it to see what went wrong. After pulling the oil pan off we were greeted by large pieces of bearing material scattered around a glittering sea of oil and metal. Some pieces were as large as my thumbnail, if not bigger. After inspecting all 6 rods and caps, none of the rod bearings spun to everyoneís surprise. The #1 and #7 main were in great shape, however 2-6 were all wiped, with 3 and 4 being the worst of the lots.
Immediately we thought the crank had gotten bent somewhere in the process of machining and install, but the machine shop said the crank was fine. I had my machinist go ahead and balance the whole rotating assembly this go round, from balancer back to the clutch. Everything was within spec up until the pressure plate and clutch were installed and spun. 70grams out of balance, or as Ashley had told me, ďenough to do some serious damageĒ
The crank had to have mains ground another .010, bringing the bearings to a .020 total size over, and the rod journals stayed at .010, and the main bore did need a hone to relieve some of the damage from the large pieces of bearing and rotational mass damage.
I figured while I was here, Iíd send off the p pump to be flow tested, and have the injectors pop tested as well. 3 out of 6 injectors popped bad, and 2 of the bad ones did nothing but leak fuel with a steady drip. The p pump, much to my relief, was functioning just fine.
Flash forward to here now in April, and Iíve been piecing together all the essentials slowly but surely. Upper and lower gasket set with a .010 head gasket, polydyn coated clevite rod bearings, clevite mains, I found new ARP main studs $200, went ahead and bout ARP balancer bolts, flywheel bolts, and rod bolts as well. Iím planning on using billet piston oilers this time round, Iím replacing the oil pressure regulator valve in the oil cooler/filter housing unit, and trying to get DAP to replace the injectors that tested bad with only 6k miles on them for a new set. Iím sure thereís a few other things Iím missing off the top of my head, but itís a start.
Not all is lost with the 97, but damn this thing is expensive!
97 2500, NV4500, 4wd. Rebuilt at 400k, .020 over, .010, .010 crank, A1 studs, AFC live, K27, DAP 5x.012, BHAF, 4k gsk, Hamilton 178/208, Air Dog, Valair Ceramic 12.5", Boost, EGT, Fuel Pressure