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The 440 that was in my 70 V-code Roadrunner won't be down for breakfast...

biomedtechguy

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9 years or so and she has been a good mill. 71 440 block, with 6bbl internals.
Of all the crappy times for my 440 to "give up the ghost" 2023 Cruisin the Coast is pretty bad.
Crazy thing is, I had absolutely NO warning. I just did an oil and filter change on my Roadrunner and my wife's GTO, routine maintenance before Cruisin the Coast.
Same oil I've used from the start, VR1 Valvoline Racing oil with zinc and more for flat tappet lifters.
I wasn't even on the loud pedal hard, just driving modestly, especially so.
Oil pressure has been fine, no knocks, rattles, NOTHING!
I was turning onto the Bay St. Louis Bridge, after driving on the highway almost an hour. I stopped briefly to show a friend our place near the beach, and then we drove at about 35 MPH for less than 10 minutes, then about 20 MPH for less than 5 minutes, and then CLUNK-CLUNK and that was a wrap! I pulled over and the oil and water poured out on the side of the road. Catastrophic engine failure. Although I monitor my oil pressure, my Dakota Digital guage system is set to audibly alarm at extremes of water temp, low oil pressure, etc.
NOTHING but that horrible CLUNK-CLUNK.
It looks like a connecting rod's hardware gave way, and it pushed out where the oil pan meets the block.
20231002_213555.jpg

Yeah, that gap between the pan and the block apron isn't normal.
I guess I should be relieved that no one was hurt, other "stuff" didn't get damaged, and that I have already paid for and my builder has received the majority of the components for my 572 Bill Mitchell aluminum RB block based build.
I'm still mystified that there was absolutely NO warning signs.
 
That sucks Bio....I hope you got the car home OK. I hate it when a break-down happens on an event like that.
 
Thanks guys...
I made a nice cruise Sunday with my wife and her grandson, I even got on it a few times, did a burnout for some spectators along the route, all good, same as always.
Everything on the highway and slow in town was fine, until it wasn't.
Even crazier, I knew the day we test drove my wife's 421 Tripower GTO that it was going to need a rebuild, extremely low oil pressure at normal temperature at idle, and I heard rod knock in a RPM range about 1½ years after we bought it.
The big end of a connecting rod bearing half was literally cracked into 2 pieces but it was running when I brought it in for the rebuild.
My 440? No notice, AT ALL, just a sudden and unexpected "SEE YA!"
 
sorry for your loss....... my sister in law had a lincoln, garage kept and always maintained; one day she put the key in the ignition in her garage, and it was locked up. weird.
 
Oooof. Bad news, man.
I had a 440 crap out in 2004. The engine was a fresh rebuild with under 400 miles on it. I was rolling down the freeway doing about 3700 rpms when it started rattling, then knocking and B-A-M ! The start to finish of the noise was less than a minute. #4 rod snapped between the piston and big end . It bent valves and cracked the cylinder. It still ran though! I threw the rod in a bad part of town so I drove it another 5 miles to my Mother's place which was far safer. I towed it home the next day.
How long until the next engine is ready?
 
The start to finish of the noise was less than a minute.
It's amazing it ran that long.
Start to stop was less than 2 seconds for me.
How long until the next engine is ready?
Sooner than it may have been.
I am going to sell off what isn't going on the new BMP 572, which is everything but the starter and the Holley 6bbl carbs and the Wraptor serpentine belt and accessories system, but it depends on work opportunities. If nothing new becomes available, probably January before I can get the money together, and then build time.
 
Sorry to hear about this. :(

When the original engine blew in my 73 Road Runner, my son was driving it back to school on the highway. Like you, he wasn't beating on it, and everything was fine - until it suddenly wasn't.
20170529_160431.jpg


20170529_160529.jpg


20170529_191750.jpg

The numbers matching correct block was toast. Good news was that forced me to build the awesome 416 stroker! :thumbsup:

I'm sure your car will be back better and stronger than it was. Maybe your car was getting impatient for the new engine?!? :poke:
 
Sorry to hear about this. :(

When the original engine blew in my 73 Road Runner, my son was driving it back to school on the highway. Like you, he wasn't beating on it, and everything was fine - until it suddenly wasn't.
View attachment 1534096

View attachment 1534097

View attachment 1534098
The numbers matching correct block was toast. Good news was that forced me to build the awesome 416 stroker! :thumbsup:

I'm sure your car will be back better and stronger than it was. Maybe your car was getting impatient for the new engine?!? :poke:
And it’s a better engine. Way too much is made of “matching numbers” or “numbers matching”. It started in the late 70’s as Corvette owners started bringing their cars back to OEM. All GM cars built during the classic Muscle Car era had no engine designation in the VIN. The sequence number had to match the sequence number on the block to “authenticate” it. It wasn’t until 1972 that a GM car had an engine designation in the VIN. By then the era was over.
 
It definitely sucks when you lose an engine. Good thing you were where you were!

When I was 16, I had a VW Type III fastback. Impeccable condition! Ran like a Swiss watch. One day, I changed the oil and filter in it. Next day, I was on my way to a school event, driving about 60 or so. Then my oil light blinked three times, and then KAPOW! That VW 1600 blew right up in a spectacular final moment! I had enough momentum to coast to my Dad's restaurant. Parked the car, looked underneath, and there was a giant hole in the bottom with a rod hanging out. Nothing was really salvageable but the carbs, intake, and accessories. There was no warning, other than the flashing oil light, which was maybe two seconds before the big kaboom!
 
Sucks! What is the history of the 440? How many "hundred thousand miles" did it have on it? Did it have good oil pressure? Did it knock a little?
 
Sucks! What is the history of the 440? How many "hundred thousand miles" did it have on it? Did it have good oil pressure? Did it knock a little?
I have tried to make it clear that I haven't had any problems with it, there was absolutely no indication of impending doom. Oil pressure was fine, and it's never shown any signs of trouble.
I had the heads off to change out the lifters, and it was stock bore, looked good.
I would be distraught if it was the original block, and if I hadn't made so much progress on the list of things I need for the 572 build.
Still not happy because it's down for the ONE thing I do other than work and that's Cruisin the Coast, but we have my wife's GTO and it's nice, and if anything this will make me move as quickly as possible to get the 572 finished.
20201006_143306.jpg
20201006_143229.jpg
 
Bummer, in the picture it looks like the damage is in the pan and not the block? Did you know much about your old motors internals? If you didn't, it will be interesting to see what is in there. I had a cylinder let go at the track on a mid 10 sec pass at around 100+mph. It went sideways suddenly, i had never experienced spinning out at that speed. I thought I had got out of the groove and spun. Which could have been the cause...but we will never know. I gathered it back up and tried to catch up since I was in the quarter finals at Topeka, but after it let go I had slowed to a 10.70...so my day was done. I had no idea how literally..to the extent I was done..two rods were in pieces, hole in the cylinder wall. But, still I drove on the trailer. We were able to sleeve it and it will be used for street duty. The pan rail of a 440 is pretty beefy, had to be around 7000 w it blew.
 
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I am interested to see what happened on the inside. I guess the reason that I am so interested is because my 440 is stock original std bore factory pistons and rods. Please keep us posted.
 
Screenshot_20231003_102650_Gallery.jpg

This is the only pic I can get for now. Block definitely has a window in it. My best guess is the hardware on a rod end broke? but I'm really not certain. It looks like a rod became detached from the crankshaft.
For now, I have to get through the week of Cruisin the Coast, and then really focus on work. I'll pick at the 440 as time allows.
I notified my engine builder, so he knows the situation. He has been OUTSTANDING working with me, not only on the parts for the build but other stuff I bought from him before.
 
9 years or so and she has been a good mill. 71 440 block, with 6bbl internals.
Of all the crappy times for my 440 to "give up the ghost" 2023 Cruisin the Coast is pretty bad.
Crazy thing is, I had absolutely NO warning. I just did an oil and filter change on my Roadrunner and my wife's GTO, routine maintenance before Cruisin the Coast.
Same oil I've used from the start, VR1 Valvoline Racing oil with zinc and more for flat tappet lifters.
I wasn't even on the loud pedal hard, just driving modestly, especially so.
Oil pressure has been fine, no knocks, rattles, NOTHING!
I was turning onto the Bay St. Louis Bridge, after driving on the highway almost an hour. I stopped briefly to show a friend our place near the beach, and then we drove at about 35 MPH for less than 10 minutes, then about 20 MPH for less than 5 minutes, and then CLUNK-CLUNK and that was a wrap! I pulled over and the oil and water poured out on the side of the road. Catastrophic engine failure. Although I monitor my oil pressure, my Dakota Digital guage system is set to audibly alarm at extremes of water temp, low oil pressure, etc.
NOTHING but that horrible CLUNK-CLUNK.
It looks like a connecting rod's hardware gave way, and it pushed out where the oil pan meets the block.View attachment 1534048
Yeah, that gap between the pan and the block apron isn't normal.
I guess I should be relieved that no one was hurt, other "stuff" didn't get damaged, and that I have already paid for and my builder has received the majority of the components for my 572 Bill Mitchell aluminum RB block based build.
I'm still mystified that there was absolutely NO warning signs.
I had a 1970 Plymouth GTX, 440 six barrel, 4 speed. I was driving on interstate 5 near Seattle, I noticed the oil pressure gauge started to flucuate, and boom, I was running a little hard though.
 
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