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Jeep CJ 'Dauntless' Buick 225 V-6 Rebuild

vintage Jeep Jeep CJ-5 Jeep restoration Jeep how-to Jeep forum

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#1 JohnF

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Posted 25 January 2014 - 04:56 AM

There you go, Moses!  It's going to be my first attempt at an engine rebuild...

 

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Starting the tear down.  This Jeep spent most of its driving life on a tow bar being towed to NY for the hunting season. The engine has very low actual miles on it.

 

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#2 JohnF

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Posted 25 January 2014 - 04:59 AM

Some build up

 

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I stamped all parts with a metal stamp so if I reuse I know where they go but I am leaning towards a master rebuild kit which includes new pistons

 

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This is the only damage I found, It's on the cam where the fuel pump rides on it. Not sure why this happened but I am sure this is the "slapping" sound I remember hearing last time I heard it run.

 

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Moses,

 

feel free to jump in with advice and direction :-) if you see something wrong let me know. I plan on having the heads done in a machine shop, also getting the block cleaned and checked and new cam bearings installed. The rest I want to do.



#3 Moses Ludel

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Posted 25 January 2014 - 08:45 AM

John, this engine is in remarkably good condition for the vintage.  Considering the use of paraffin motor oil and popular additives like STP during that period, this V-6 shows very little sludge or signs of "death" by the alchemy of heat and high volatility hydrocarbon molecules in the motor oil.

 

You can have these pistons and pins measured and assessed by the automotive machine shop.  If there is no skirt wear or ring groove/land wear, and if the pins still fit correctly, you could even consider using these pistons again if the cylinders do not require a re-bore.  Take a well lit close-up photo(s) of the piston skirts, I'll provide my opinion.   

 

The head work will include a magnaflux check for cracks, magnaflux the block, too.  I would install hard steel exhaust valve seats to prevent valve seat recession with unleaded fuel.  Stainless or hard steel exhaust valves are recommended, too.  (We can check on the stock/OEM exhaust valve material.  Truck engines of this vintage had hard steel exhaust valves and hard seat inserts in stock form.  Not sure now Jeep/GM addressed this engine, it was Buick Special passenger car derived.)  The shop will want to deck the heads, remove just enough material to square up.  This is all insurance. 

 

Even if the cylinders are still true without a ridge at the top (can't tell from the dark photos), have the block power honed by the machine shop without increasing piston-to-wall clearance beyond tolerance.  If the block requires boring, this will dictate new oversized pistons and rings.  We can talk about my piston and ring set recommendation.  Hot tanking the block and new cam bearings are in order here, regardless of the bore size. 

 

Connecting rods should be "reconditioned" if you change the pistons.  The crankshaft will at minimum require light polishing of the journals if still round and undamaged.  If worn, you can likely get by with the optimal 0.010"/0.010" undersize regrind with polishing for the rod and main journals.  You will want to do the Melling high-volume oil pump that I illustrate in the Jeep CJ Rebuilder's Manual: 1941-71.  This extends the pump cavity depth and spaces for the longer pump gears.  (You must center the spacer plate carefully as I demonstrate in the book.)  Make sure the pump cavity is undamaged.

 

A new camshaft, new hydraulic lifters, and a new timing chain and sprocket set are standard fare.  Like your idea of a master rebuild kit, it should include all of this.  I prefer Felpro head gaskets (included in a complete Felpro overhaul gasket set) to eliminate the need for a re-torque on head bolts after the engine is in service.

 

Given that this engine is odd-firing and inherently "rough as a cob" (Jeep engineer remark from the period), be sure to balance the crankshaft, damper, flywheel (resurface, too) during this work.  It pays to balance all reciprocating mass parts and weight-match these parts as well.  A quality machine shop should have balancing equipment, and this cost is well worth the expense, especially for this engine design.  Install a new crankshaft pilot bearing.  Likely you'll be installing a new clutch disk, clutch cover and throw-out bearing.

 

You have the Delco distributor, a real plus, the Prestolite was terrible.  The carburetor is a 2GC Rochester.  Tuning and clean-up here is straightforward.  The fuel pump needs replacing, especially with the apparent drag and over-tension that caused the cam lobe wear.  Use of modern oil and proper break-in should eliminate risk of premature wear like this.  I'd be happy to make oil recommendations for break-in and afterward.  We can discuss that later.

 

Given the overall good condition of this engine, I would try to reuse all core parts and not "exchange" the crankshaft or other parts for rebuilt or reconditioned parts that have an unknown history.  If your current parts are still standard size, you have pristine core pieces that should be kept and reconditioned.

 

This is a start...I'm opening with an overview, there are more details to share.  I am pleased to discuss the Buick V-6 engine, in odd-firing 225 nail head form or the later 231 and 252 design.  I have the Buick Power Source book, four period shop manuals and period parts catalogs for backup reference material...We're covered!

 

Thanks for sharing your project, John!

 

Moses



#4 JohnF

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Posted 11 January 2015 - 05:04 PM

Finally back at it. All the engine parts are dropped off at the machine shop, so i started cleaning up the pistons.
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Im seeing that this heat riser is one of those obsolete parts you can't find.
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#5 Moses Ludel

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Posted 11 January 2015 - 11:38 PM

Glad you're at it JohnF!  The pistons look okay in pictures, have the machine shop measure for pin wear and skirt size...When cleaning pistons, don't use a wire brush or abrasive near the piston ring lands.  The best material for cleanup would be the modern Scotchbrite pads, finest grit with some solvent will quickly do the trick.  Keep ring lands square if you plan to reuse pistons, make sure pins bores are within spec.  Otherwise, new pistons sized for the finished bore.

 

The heat riser should clean up with glass bead blasting, watch out for shaft/casting looseness after blasting.  Often, the cooked carbon makes these shafts and castings feel snug, even frozen.  Once de-scaled, the shaft may loosen.  Blast gently near the shaft bores.

 

Keep us posted, good time of year for getting the Jeep together!

 

Moses



#6 JohnF

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Posted 08 February 2015 - 05:30 PM

Hey Moses,

Picked up the machined parts. Should get to it soon.

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Looks like the machine shop had a mishap ?
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#7 Moses Ludel

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Posted 08 February 2015 - 10:39 PM

Hi, JohnF...Mishap, indeed...Look inside the block cooling port (the rectangular one) and see whether the piece that broke off opened up the block casting into the cooling passage.  Look down the block deck's cooling port adjacent to the cylinder and in line with the repair section.  Make sure there are no cracks into that cooling area.

 

As for how they repaired this, it looks like nickel rod and stick welding (SMAW) process with what appears to be round-head burr grinder shaping to make the repair look like the adjacent cast iron (rough textured) surface.  Is this what you see?  The original casting piece has been welded back into place? 

 

The front (timing cover) face has been surfaced, which an automotive machine shop can do on a variety of machines, including a head or block deck surfacing machine or even a flywheel grinder if the block can be held securely and fit in that position. 

 

Structurally, this is a rugged iron casting with thick walls, so my only concern at this point would be containing the coolant as the block heat cycles.  You really can't "test" the cooling system without sealing up or assembling the engine and pressure testing with coolant in the block.  I'd want to check for leaks and pressure loss both cold and also when the block heats to normal coolant operating temperature.  (Use care not to scorch yourself around hot coolant when pressure testing at operating temperature!)

 

I have repaired cast iron using TIG process and Weld Mold Company 700 and 750 filler rod.  Here are three examples of my work with TIG iron repairs:  http://www.4wdmechan...estoration.html and http://www.4wdmechan...-Technique.html and http://www.4wdmechan...n-Castings.html.  The first and second link shows the before and after of a transmission with a casting ear completely missing; I "made" the ear with TIG filler rod.  The third video, if you have the time to watch through, was a three day process with elaborate precautions to prevent cracking during the cool down of the casting each day.  In cooling down, it took over nine hours to reach "warm" temperatures when the large axle casting was wrapped in a Kevlar welding blanket overnight...

 

Any comments from the machine shop?

 

Moses



#8 JohnF

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Posted 21 February 2015 - 03:53 PM

I dont see anymore damage. Not sure what they did to damage it, no one was there when I picked it up. The hole is not threaded. I wish the repair looked better though

 

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#9 Moses Ludel

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Posted 21 February 2015 - 07:43 PM

JohnF...This must be a dowel pin hole.  The casting could have broken off or cracked when the dowel pin was removed.  Does that make sense?  Is there a matching dowel hole in the timing cover?

 

What is the repair material?  Has this been welded with cast iron rod as I guessed earlier?  Or is this some kind of metal bonder?  Is the gasket mating surface flat for a proper gasket seal?  (I can't tell from the picture, the surface doesn't look machined.)  Can you safely install a locating dowel pin if needed? 

 

If there's no break into the cooling port, this could be just a cosmetic concern.  You could shape it better with a die grinder and metal burr bit then paint the block with engine enamel after assembly.

 

Moses  



#10 JohnF

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Posted 22 February 2015 - 04:19 PM

Here is a better picture. It is for a dowel pin, I will dig it out of the parts and see if it fits ok. It looks to be a cast iron weld to me. Also I have read that I should remove oil galley plugs and wash the block with hot soapy water. The machine shop said it was not necessary because it was hot tanked and clean. your thoughts.

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#11 Moses Ludel

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Posted 23 February 2015 - 01:07 AM

JohnF...If this is able to take the dowel without stress, that would be sufficient.  Since it does not open into a coolant port and is strictly a casting shoulder for the timing cover, if the weld is good, this should work.

 

In looking at the "weld", I'm thinking this might be spray powder welding, which is powdered iron and nickel (or nickel only) applied with a special oxy-acetylene torch and a trigger operated powder hopper.  I see no "beads" or signs of hammer or air driver point peening.  The material looks layered or sprayed, not like welding beads or brazing "flow". 

 

Here's the procedure I'm describing:   https://www.youtube....h?v=71amiAPXBn0.  This is used for cast iron cylinder head repairs as well, popular for cracked exhaust valve seats in iron heads.  The method uses lower heat than stick or wire welding, more like brazing, this allows easier cool down, which resists cracking if the correct powder material is applied.

 

You might ask the shop about the repair if you're curious.  The main concern is fusion with the iron block material if this is nickel welding or powder spray.  Any weld needs molten fusion to work.  (Brazing does not, and if you listen to the spray weldor in the short video, he's using terms that apply to brazing not welding.  "Wetting" is a brazing technique.)  Spray powder welding looks to me like a brazing method, though the results are impressive and for cast iron seem to work very well if done properly.

 

An alternative would be Weld Mold Company's 85-C brazing rod and use of the brazing technique, this is relatively high tensile and can work on cast iron at a lower, somewhat less challenging temperature than welding.  For iron and a buildup like your block casting, I would likely use Weld Mold 85-C for brazing; for gas welding, Weld Mold 41-B would be a wise choice.  When welding with TIG method on a cast iron repair, I use Weld Mold's 700 and 750. 

 

Here is info on Weld Mold brazing and gas welding materials:  http://www.weldmold....nance-products/.

 

As for pulling the gallery plugs and washing out the block, if the engine block was hot tanked properly and rinsed thoroughly, there should be no need to remove these plugs.  If the shop hot tanked the block without removing the gallery plugs, that's another story.  Even with the block stripped of all internal parts, it's still practical to remove the oil plugs before hot tanking. 

 

You should be able to see whether the oil plugs were removed.  Tanking is fairly effective with just the rods, pistons, crankshaft and camshaft removed; however, the oil galleries could still use cleaning if the plugs were not removed before hot tanking and rinsing.

 

Moses



#12 JohnF

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Posted 24 February 2015 - 03:52 PM

Finally talked to machine shop, they said that repair was under all the grease so apparently it was done in the factory

#13 Moses Ludel

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Posted 24 February 2015 - 08:05 PM

JohnF...That's plausible.  Blocks do get factory repaired.  So where was the dowel?  Did it stay in the timing cover, or did the machine shop remove it and not install a new one?

 

If you're good with all this, engine paint will cover the repair.  The mottled surface of the weld area looks like rough casting.  This can work...

 

Moses



#14 JohnF

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Posted 11 May 2015 - 04:48 PM

Hey Mose's,

finally back at it, wondering what your thoughts are on the rear main seal. I really frayed the ends of the rope seal trying to cut it so I went and ordered a new one. Now I'm thinking I should have gone with the Neoprene one. Thoughts?

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#15 JohnF

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Posted 11 May 2015 - 05:26 PM

I like staying original so this is the rope seal i ordered. If you notice the side seals have 2 different length pins. Do both pins go into each side ? The directions show one pin each seal but both edges of each seal has the groove for the pins.

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#16 Moses Ludel

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Posted 12 May 2015 - 07:33 PM

John, this brings back memories!  Not only the vintage engines with rope seals but the controversy over rope versus neoprene lip seals.  If you do use rope, "packing" the seal into the grooves is essential.  if you fail to compress the rope to get as much seal into the machined channels as possible, you will have a leak.  The factory manual calls for 1/16" of seal above the groove after rolling the material with a round pipe or wooden hammer handle.

 

Mating ends at the cap-to-block should compress against each other while not interfering with the cap fit.  The mating braid must be snugly fitted at the joint, yet the cap must be able to seat against the block completely.

 

If there are two distinct pin grooves per cap side, I would follow the seal manufacturer's aims here.  The stepped lengths of the pins would be significant, too.  (There is no mention of pin placement in the factory Jeep manual.)  Find out who makes the seal kit and get the instructions if possible.  The neoprene side seals do require compression after the bearing cap is in place and torqued.  The pins serve that purpose.

 

Moses



#17 JohnF

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Posted 18 May 2015 - 04:30 PM

I decided on sticking with a new rope seal, Some progress photos

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All the clearances were right on the money

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Purchased the right tools on ebay

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#18 JohnF

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Posted 18 May 2015 - 04:38 PM

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Pistons are in

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Waiting for the new dampers from Napa to come in

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A couple of questions. There was no cam thrust button on this engine when I took the timing cover off, I dont believe there ever was due to no marks or wear on the inside of the case. Where they discontinued at some point around my yr ? (67)

Also your thoughts on soaking the lifters in oil vs not ? factory service manual says not to soak them.

 

Thanks



#19 Moses Ludel

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Posted 19 May 2015 - 07:49 AM

Hi, John...Nice work!  Make sure the rear main cap will crush the rope seal ends together without the seal preventing a clean fit between the cap and block.  I see you used one pin at each side for the side seals, looks sensible and snug.

 

NEVER SOAK HYDRAULIC LIFTERS IN OIL, AND NEVER "PLUNGE" THE LIFTERS TO FILL THEM WITH OIL!  Soaking in oil will fill the cavity to maximum and hold the plunger at the top of the lifter.  When you install the pushrods and non-adjustable rocker arms, if the lifters "hold", the valves will be unseated when you crank the engine over.  Valve-to-piston crown interference can occur.  It takes a number of revolutions of the crankshaft and camshaft to bleed down the lifters to "normal" plunger height.  Until that point, a hydraulic lifter acts like a solid lifter.

 

The best method is to coat the outer body of the lifter with assembly lube and coat the camshaft lobe and lifter foot with camshaft assembly lube or engine lube.  This is critical during initial cranking and fire-up.  Also, on a Buick V-6, pack the oil pump body/gear cavity with petroleum jelly to help pick up oil prime immediately.  (AMC V-8s require this attention, too.)  Otherwise, the oil pump will have difficulty picking up prime, and the engine bearings can run dry.  Of course, it's sensible to also prime the oil system before cranking the engine over, using a priming tool and drill motor, gaining access to the oil pump driveshaft through the distributor opening.

 

As for the camshaft button common to the later 231 (non-nail head) Buick V-6, the 225 odd-fire V-6 also has a provision for a spring loaded bumper.  There should also be a spring loaded damper and a guide alongside the chain.  Right?

 

The camshaft spring and button serves a purpose:  the button helps keep camshaft endplay and distributor gear engagement in line.  There are many aftermarket solutions, including the Kenne Bell bolt approach.  In my Buick Power reference book from GM, V-6 racing engines are built with a steel plate installed against the inner timing cover in line with the camshaft centerline.  A hardened hex bolt replaces the button bolt to attach the cam gear and the distributor drive gear to the camshaft.  The builder then goes to great lengths to trial fit the cover (presumably with gasket thickness accounted for) and grinds the bolt head until a final timing cover-to-camshaft clearance of 0.004"-0.008" camshaft endplay is established.  The bolt head gets curved in the process to provide a smooth, smaller contact surface between the fabricated inner cover steel plate and the bolt head. 

 

This approach is somewhat elaborate (something like I am known to do).  In your case, it would make good sense to find an OEM button and spring designed to properly fit the camshaft bolt recess.  There is a point to keeping the camshaft centered, this helps maintain lobe to lifter stability plus distributor drive gear alignment.

 

JohnF...Please provide photos of your current camshaft/distributor gear(s), the inner side of the timing cover and the camshaft gear attachment bolt.  I'd like to see whether the button and spring were left out by Buick during OEM assembly and also whether the attachment bolt accepts the common spring and button.  Other vintage Jeep V-6 owners comment on not seeing any wear pattern and a "missing" spring and button.  Perhaps Buick omitted the part in production.  Your engine is pristine, and you have a historical record of service.  Was the original timing sprocket and chain set ever replaced?  Was the timing cover removed prior to your disassembly?  The attaching bolt and its bore should hold a clue.

 

Moses 



#20 JohnF

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Posted 19 May 2015 - 01:30 PM

Thanks for the info Mose's to the best of my knowledge the timing cover was never off until I disassembled it. Here are the photos.

 

Cam bolt

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Inside of timing cover

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Cam/distributor gear

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Distributor

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#21 JohnF

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Posted 19 May 2015 - 03:15 PM

Also, waiting for new dampers from napa for timing chain. I didnt forget them

#22 Moses Ludel

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Posted 19 May 2015 - 05:23 PM

JohnF...Thought your engine might be an acid test situation.  There are online comments from owners that the spring and button were not in place on their 225 Jeep/Buick V-6 engines.  I have, however, unearthed a 1965-dated OEM Jeep Universal Service Manual copy from my archives that does show a Thrust Button and Spring at the front end of the camshaft.  Here is the illustration to prove that fact:

 

Attached File  Dauntless V-6 Timing Cover and Cam Button.pdf   565.81KB   29 downloads

 

The thrust button, to add further intrigue, fits over the camshaft gear bolt, with the spring sandwiched between the cup-shaped button and the bolt face.  Was this a hex head camshaft retention bolt like yours?  The schematic parts legend calls it a "Special Bolt".  (Square head?  Hex head?)  This was the button and spring mounting method used with this early V-6 engine design.

 

There clearly are no marks on your timing cover.  However, there is a casting flat on the inside of the timing cover where a button would ride.  Since the spring tensions the button for continual contact with the timing cover, there would be a wear mark.  This leads us to suspect that, for whatever reason, if your timing cover is the original, Buick left the button and spring out.  The only other explanation is that the timing cover was changed at some point, and the button and spring were left out during the cover change.

 

Note: It's not far-fetched for a Buick V-6 or an AMC V-8 timing cover to need replacement.  The oil pump gears ride in the aluminum cover, and any debris sweeping through the oil pump will scour the housing.  The pump gears also wear into the housing.  A timing cover change is often part of an engine overhaul—sometimes sooner.  In my Jeep CJ Rebuilder's Manual: 1946-71, I add a Melling high-volume oil pump spacer plate and long gears kit to an even-firing, later 231 Buick V-6 engine.  One reason was to prevent any loss of oil pressure over time from wearing pump gears or a scoured timing cover pump cavity.

 

Footnote:  For racing engines with fixed camshaft end play stops, the precise camshaft end play clearance is 0.004"-0.008" with the timing cover and gasket installed.  Kenne Bell and others have offered various end play solutions for these V-6 camshafts.  There are also aftermarket needle bearing thrusts available.  The need for either a spring loaded, tensioned plastic button or a fixed needle bearing camshaft end play stop suggests that there's an inherent issue here.  The classic GM reference V-6 Buick Power Source talks about end play and solutions.  One factory aid for OEM camshafts was to grind the lobes with slight side slopes at opposing sides of the block.  This centers the cam and forces the camshaft end play to stabilize.  I'm unclear what year V-6 camshafts have this lobe feature.  Aftermarket replacement camshafts likely don't.

 

So, you're left with these prospects and options...If a factory-type cup button and spring is available as NOS parts somewhere, it could provide some insurance.  There's a needle bearing button kit available in the aftermarket for Grand Nationals V-6 turbocharged engines, and you might see if this works with the odd-fire vintage 225 V-6.  If so, inquire about what bolt it uses.  The even-fire engines have an integral camshaft/distributor drive gear arrangement.  Be sure to get a bolt that works with both the needle bearing and your gear arrangement:  http://www.gn1perfor...?prod=CamButton.  The distributor drive, camshaft, lifters and spark timing accuracy would benefit from a spring loaded cam button and controlled camshaft end play.  

 

I'm just the messenger...Your call, JohnF!

 

Moses





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