AMC 327 - 443 XRV8

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amcenthusiast
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Re: AMC 327 - 443 XRV8

Post by amcenthusiast » Thu Nov 16, 2017 6:40 am

Is the glass half full, or is the glass half empty?

Depends on one's philosophy?

As I understand it, that is a trick question; it's always full because the glass is nevertheless filled with vapor wherever there is no liquid (air + water = full glass of air and water!)

In my opinion, with it's 10" deck height, all the empty space seen in a Rambler V8 crank gallery seems to beg for stroker crankshaft:
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XRV8 Race Parts > for AM's '56-'67 Rambler V8: http://amcramblermarlin.1colony.com/favorite_links.html

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Re: AMC 327 - 443 XRV8

Post by amcenthusiast » Thu Nov 16, 2017 7:03 am

All '56-'67 250, 287 and 327 stock CID Rambler V8s came with an internally balanced forged steel 3.25" stroke crankshaft from the factory (no exceptions)

When placed side by side on a workbench, a Rambler V8 crank at first appears to be identical with a Chevrolet big block 396 crank... ('minor' differences can be noticed by making a closer visual inspection)

Here's a pic of a stock Rambler V8 crank:
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XRV8 Race Parts > for AM's '56-'67 Rambler V8: http://amcramblermarlin.1colony.com/favorite_links.html

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Re: AMC 327 - 443 XRV8

Post by amcenthusiast » Thu Nov 16, 2017 8:52 am

'How'd you learn how to weld a crankshaft?'

Another long story.

Once upon a time there was a boy... (oh no, here we go again...)

I'm not self-taught to weld; I learned by taking 'Metal Shop' in high school, I've earned a living as a professional journeyman welder-fabricator and of course (?) I studied every article I could find on welded crankshafts for many years.

Moreover, I enjoy learning about metallurgy.

After all, over seventy-five molecular structures listed on the Table of Elements are metal; why not learn more about the material world we live in?

So yeah; I studied as much as I could find about welding crankshafts before ever attempted to make one on my own.

...there's not really much specific information 'out there' to be learned though... and there is no 'How to Make a Welded Steel Custom Crankshaft' book, as far as I know.

So much of the information is gleaned from other sources -I learned about carbon stirring rods by studying jewelry making... I learned about making fire pits by working as a mason's apprentice for a mason who specialized in fireplaces... nearly all my knowledge about metallurgy is 'book smarts'; I didn't make it all up out of my own head!

What more to say... I'd be an ingrate not to declare my appreciation of all those philosophers, psychologists and spiritual motivators from whom I draw much inspiration.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

So the stroker crank for this engine, how it's done, is a long story.

So far, I've only had two inquiries from people who'd like to know the cost.

To whom it may concern, here is a breakdown of the costs:

It takes me one full day, start to finish, to add 1/8" layer on each crankpin. I takes me about one week to do all the clean up, grinding and preparation/follow-up work: $250 -self sacrifice.
(I did three layers on this crank to build up all crank pins 3/8": $750 -negotiable, self sacrifice)

Through much inquiry, I found 'Milo', a master crankshaft grinder, at "E & E Engine and Machine" San Antonio, Tx. who has incredible experience re-grinding welded stroker crankshafts: My cost, made in smaller payments, came to $1500.

"Duffin Machine Shop" San Antonio, Tx. will run my crank on their balance machine and mark it, and tell me how much and where I need to add or subtract weight. At $75 a pop, I paid Duffin $225 for their work is this regard. (x3)

At this point in the process, I finish the static internal balance of the crankshaft and do all the detail grinding and polishing work prior to the last dynamic balance procedure. This takes me about a week and a half: $300 -'a labor of love', negotiable type price.

Now "Mission Auto Parts" San Antonio, Tx. currently employs an excellent machinist who does dynamic crankshaft balancing (sorry I don't know the man's name; he deserves credit though for his excellent work) $120

The end result: about $2500

Not including transportation costs -'doing all the footwork' to and from the various businesses.
(about $280 for gasoline!)

So no; It ain't cheap, the price approaches the same cost of a custom billet crank, and the risk of human error working on a rare vintage forged steel crankshaft is rather high.

Honestly? It took two years to make this; a ton of work, not cheap at all & loaded with risk.

One could have a custom billet crank made in six months time for about the same cost?
XRV8 Race Parts > for AM's '56-'67 Rambler V8: http://amcramblermarlin.1colony.com/favorite_links.html

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Re: AMC 327 - 443 XRV8

Post by amcenthusiast » Thu Nov 16, 2017 8:06 pm

Now if the fear of the unknown hasn't turned people's interest away from making their own custom welded stroker crank, I expect these following pictures most certainly will.

Absolutely nowhere did I find any information advising to use carbon plugs to preserve the factory drilled oil passageways: there is no Internet article telling about this anywhere as far as I know.

So I am self-taught in this regard.

The 1/4" diameter carbon rods we see in the following pics are sold as 'jeweler's crucible stirring rods'.
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XRV8 Race Parts > for AM's '56-'67 Rambler V8: http://amcramblermarlin.1colony.com/favorite_links.html

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Re: AMC 327 - 443 XRV8

Post by amcenthusiast » Thu Nov 16, 2017 8:08 pm

As one might guess, the factory drilled holes are at an angle, so I individually sanded each carbon plug for snug fit with a taper... how to say it right...
XRV8 Race Parts > for AM's '56-'67 Rambler V8: http://amcramblermarlin.1colony.com/favorite_links.html

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Re: AMC 327 - 443 XRV8

Post by amcenthusiast » Thu Nov 16, 2017 8:22 pm

There's always a lot of clean up work that needs to be done in between welding sessions.

I'd say it takes me about one week labor to clean and detail the crank each time, not wanting to do any rush work, to get the best possible outcome in the end result.
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XRV8 Race Parts > for AM's '56-'67 Rambler V8: http://amcramblermarlin.1colony.com/favorite_links.html

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Re: AMC 327 - 443 XRV8

Post by amcenthusiast » Thu Nov 16, 2017 8:29 pm

Sorry for reversed order again...

Here's a few pics showing the crank on the pit for welding etc:
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XRV8 Race Parts > for AM's '56-'67 Rambler V8: http://amcramblermarlin.1colony.com/favorite_links.html

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Re: AMC 327 - 443 XRV8

Post by amcenthusiast » Thu Nov 16, 2017 8:45 pm

The purpose of the firepit is to bring the temperature of the crank to be welded up as high as possible, so the super hot welding process is less stressful to the structural shape ...for less thermal shock than it would be to a cold crank.

Here's a few more pics of my fancy set up:
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XRV8 Race Parts > for AM's '56-'67 Rambler V8: http://amcramblermarlin.1colony.com/favorite_links.html

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Re: AMC 327 - 443 XRV8

Post by amcenthusiast » Thu Nov 16, 2017 11:36 pm

A good article explaining heat treating and welding 4130 steel is found here:

http://lawires.com/4130-vm-per-ams-6457/

I tried to follow this process the best I could within my own means.

This required much work to stoke the pit full of hardwood everytime & letting develop the hottest possible bed of burning coals inside. Working on a hot day is desired.

Truth be told, the total amount of heat the welder feels is intense to say the least. (by the end of the day, welding like this leaves a person feeling exhausted, never mind all the sunburn caused by the arc.

Here's a quote from the article acknowledging the severe human condition:

"PREHEAT

The ideal preheat temperature is about 50 degrees F above the temperature at which martensite starts to form on cooling. Holding at this temperature for a sufficient time after welding will result in a bainitic structure in the weld and heat-affected zone and permit dissolved Hydrogen to escape from thin sections. The volumetric expansion that takes place during transformation to martensite will not produce localized peak stresses at this temperature that may lead to cracking. However, temperatures of 550 degrees F or higher contribute to welder discomfort and promote the formation of a thin oxide layer on the joint faces which may cause unacceptable discontinuities in the weld. From a practical stand point, it is desirable to use a lower preheat temperature. "...

~YOU GONNA GET HOT, BOY!
XRV8 Race Parts > for AM's '56-'67 Rambler V8: http://amcramblermarlin.1colony.com/favorite_links.html

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Re: AMC 327 - 443 XRV8

Post by amcenthusiast » Fri Nov 17, 2017 6:09 am

Here's a group of pics showing work done after second welding session...

I chose to use Lincoln E6013 for it's multi-position ability and lower psi tensile strength, juxtaposed to E7018 which works better on flat surfaces and has higher psi tensile strength -the goal being to avoid adding harder metal to a softer crank base metal...
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XRV8 Race Parts > for AM's '56-'67 Rambler V8: http://amcramblermarlin.1colony.com/favorite_links.html

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Re: AMC 327 - 443 XRV8

Post by amcenthusiast » Fri Nov 17, 2017 6:27 am

Please excuse the double pic... Here's pics after the third welding session which was mainly to build up the sides of the crankpins and several other low spots on the journals:
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XRV8 Race Parts > for AM's '56-'67 Rambler V8: http://amcramblermarlin.1colony.com/favorite_links.html

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Re: AMC 327 - 443 XRV8

Post by amcenthusiast » Fri Nov 17, 2017 6:32 am

After 3rd session with more shaping with variety of abrasive disks on an angle grinder:Image
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XRV8 Race Parts > for AM's '56-'67 Rambler V8: http://amcramblermarlin.1colony.com/favorite_links.html

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Re: AMC 327 - 443 XRV8

Post by amcenthusiast » Fri Nov 17, 2017 10:33 am

Sorry for the double pics.

So at this point, by measuring I knew I had enough meat to get the desired stroke; more than 3/8" built up on each crankpin.

The main worry in my mind was for the angle drilled oiling passageways underneath the journals because the stock 3/4" crankpin overlap would be reduced to 5/16"...

= would the crankshaft grinding 'break through' into the oiling passageways?

So after meeting Milo at E&E Engine and Machine San Antonio Tx and discussing everything the next step in the process for me was to wait for the phone call... to hear a 'yes' or a 'no'...
XRV8 Race Parts > for AM's '56-'67 Rambler V8: http://amcramblermarlin.1colony.com/favorite_links.html

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Re: AMC 327 - 443 XRV8

Post by amcenthusiast » Fri Nov 17, 2017 10:46 am

...I'll never forget hearing the tone of his voice as he said "...I've been working ten hours on it so far and there's a lot of metal coming coming off this crank..."

But the answer was 'YES!' everything came out ok! (what a relief, literally)

We agreed to cut the journals larger than their final size to allow for more touch up welding.

He cut them oversize and left a 3/16" radius. (I have no idea how many times he needed to stop and re-true the grinding wheel on his machine, replace it, or whatever)

Here's a few pics of how the crank looked after Milo re-cut the rod journals to the new stroke:
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XRV8 Race Parts > for AM's '56-'67 Rambler V8: http://amcramblermarlin.1colony.com/favorite_links.html

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Re: AMC 327 - 443 XRV8

Post by amcenthusiast » Fri Nov 17, 2017 11:10 am

At this point, I had measurements to believe it would fit into the block... but no proof!

Still, with the journals cut oversize I could not yet dummy it together but I'd already paid $1500 to have it cut! ...suspense...

Very anxious about the protecting the journals during touch up welding ~finally~ I found two or three welder's type articles telling about using 'welder's tape' to protect other surfaces from welding splatter. (about time I learned huh?)

Some one I talked to suggested using electrical tape... I knew it wouldn't last a minute on the fire pit.

Come to find out, non-adhesive backed aluminum tape is especially made and sold to welders for this purpose... I wanted to try it.

-since an adhesive would pollute the weld nearby, the aluminum tape is more difficult to manage without using tie wire wraps to hold it in place...

So I went through the whole process just to try aluminum tape to protect the new cut journals.

Failure: aluminum does not stand up to hot steel welding splatter; the molten steel spatter burns right through, easily... = nope, not good enough, but the failure taught me a lesson: try sheet steel wraps... there is no adhesive to pollute the weld and a much higher melting point to guard against spatter...
XRV8 Race Parts > for AM's '56-'67 Rambler V8: http://amcramblermarlin.1colony.com/favorite_links.html

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