What you don't want to see in the bottom of your oil drain pan

The distributor drive gear is brass/bronze. In the 70’s, there was a problem with the metallurgy and they tended to wear out. If this had been replaced at that time, it could be the source of brass like metal. However, the gear is relatively small and the wear is over a long time. There was a good bit of metal in the pan from the picture. Valve guides are sometimes of this material. As we built the head, the guides are bronze. With this kind of wear residual, the engine would probably not run if this was the source. Kind of brings us back to the copper backing on the bearing shells. Lots of bearing surface and the other sources of brass would not cause a low oil pressure problem.

Could you pull dist and check it’s drive gear ?

'66 FHC

crank/trans pilot bearing.

IIRC the dizzy drive wold have to come out from the sump and the pilot bush is outboard of the sump.
I do recall my brothers SP250 Daimler used to back fire on the overrun due to excessive wear of the dizzy drive gear.

I was wondering if with a digital scope he could see brass filings through the open dist opening.

And that’s why I’ve decided to just go ahead and pull the engine (my next step is to break the front suspension apart and remove the reaction plate) and just have everything professionally redone.

Well, that’s done. Next, get it in the truck and take a drive.
Anybody know how much the engine and transmission together weigh?

About 650 lbs. Don’t forget to bring the shift lever.

That’s all? I’d have thought about 150-200 lbs more than that. I’ll send a private message about other stuff.

You got that out the top? With the stands under the forward A arm mount? In only 5 days? (removes hat)

I must have the only hoist that won’t fit under a jag.

Anyway, IIRC the 4.2 weighs a little more than a SBC so 550lbs? And having just picked up a trans recently, I guess another 75 lbs.

Happy to report that auto spell did not let “recently picked up a tranny” go through. First I can remember auto correct actually was beneficial.

confused. Doesn’t the Reaction plate have to come out before the engine/rans?


Sorry for any confusion. I broke the front suspension apart and removed the reaction plate. Then dropped the engine out the bottom. Thursday we took it to Coventry West and got back yesterday.

While we had the engine on the tire and pallet Dick sat it on their shipping scale. Assembled engine and transmission with bell housing and clutch without intake, carbs and exhaust weighed in at 671 lbs. It’s a light pallet and a 235 70 16 tire so probably 25 lbs.


Dick at Coventry West sent me a picture of a badly grooved main bearing; down to the copper. Trash from the crank got loose and did the damage. The good news is the crank will clean up nicely.

Good news John! So are you going to go ahead with the total rebuild? What
was “the trash”?

Yes, total rebuild of engine and transmission. Dick believes it had to come out of the sludge the crank collects over time. No other likely source.

Is this it’s first rebuild, how many miles ?


No really correct answer Patrick. Miles on the engine? Who knows it’s a 48 year old car with a 5 digit odometer and who knows how many previous owners. 55,540? 155,540? Service prior to my ownership? Again, who knows. Dick’s probably going to be able to tell if the bottom half of the engine has been opened up prior to now.

I’m curious what was done during the head rebuild and subsequent installation? Seems like a heck of a coincidence…

Look at crank, forward web should have its engine number stamped on it. Also. Check block between middle two liners for two small coolant holes and companion hole on head . I mention this as my '66 4.2 block had the two holes in the block but the original head lacked the two holes. Dick M fixed issue on head as head was coolant damaged perhaps due to lacking the two small holes between them middle two liners. Some 4.2 heads lacked the two inner coolant holes…



Bad luck. The head received a complete rebuild, all new stuff and machining, 3 angle valve cut, essentially a new head. Installation was done by your’s truly. About 500 miles and 3 months between the head installation and the loss of OP.

The head matched the gasket which matched the block. I’m assuming the crank is original to the engine. Can’t verify that as we are physically separated by about 600 miles at present.

Dick sent me some pictures of the components:

The main bearings, down to copper. This is the center main.

The crank. Copper transferred to the steel crank journal. Looks to be salvageable.

Thrust bearings, the one on the left is a new one for comparison.

Crank with one of the sludge plugs removed. You can see the buildup of sludge.

Everything else looks like normal wear.