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waynos 521 work truck


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Damn dude, that's a sh!t ton of wood you got there! I remember chopping up 4 trees worth of wood, but it was all Alder wood, you know the kind you look at wrong and it just explodes? Either way, that is impressive!

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  • 6 years later...

Well I lost a head gasket in this truck a couple days ago, I originally planned to put a fresh LZ23 in it but decided to see what happened, here are the photos, I lost #4 cylinder.



Here is the head gasket, that is a stock hole that comes in a Z24 head gasket, it is not one of the holes I had to put in the gasket to mount an L head on to the bored out Z22 block with Z24 pistons.





I bought a Z24 head gasket today, I will likely modify it tonight or in the morning and put it back together after I check to see how flat the head is.

By the way, I used my Milwaukie M12 fuel ratchet tool to remove everything and none of the intake/exhaust bolts were tight, they were not even snug, I looked at the intake/exhaust gasket and it doesn't appear to have leaked coolant into number 4 cylinder via the intake runner, it also didn't have any exhaust leaks which is a freaking miracle in my opinion as the bolts were that loose, but it has a L16 exhaust manifold now, maybe that is the reason it didn't leak. 


What can cause this failure, I re-curved the distributor because of knocking/pinging a while back(long story), but whenever it gets warm outside I think I hear knocking sometimes, it is a lot better than it was before as I had it timed at 0 degrees before I re-curved it and it still knocked slightly on warm days when going slightly up hill on the freeway, it is now timed at around 7 degrees.

The pistons appear to look perfect, the steam cleaned one looks great, but if all 4 had been steam cleaned I would not have made it home, I did not over heat this engine.

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I checked the head studs, they were all moving at around 55lbs.

There is no coolant in the oil either.


After I timed my cam properly I had a really bad knocking issue(I burn regular), I had the distributor turned all the way back to 0 degrees to stop most the knocking, then I re-curved the distributor and have it at around 7 degrees BTDC now, that was a while ago now, when warm out I sometimes think I can hear knocking, so I was wondering if knocking could have caused this failure.


It always started out the same, freeway speeds and then I come to this hill, buy the time I get to the top of the hill(almost floored) it acted weird but when I let off it quit feeling weird(loss of power), this time it did the same thing, and it went away like normal when I let off at the top of the hill, but I came to another hill on the exit I took and it started again but it never went away, I pulled into a shopping center parking lot and it was missing bad, it would barely idle, so I lifted the hood and everything was soaked with coolant that I suspect came out the over flow reservoir, keep in mind that I do not run a pressurized coolant system, so the piston pushing air into the water jacket forced coolant out the coolant reservoir.

I didn't over heat this engine, I bought 2 gallons of distilled water and I made it home and still had 3/4s of the second gallon left and my temp was still normal, but when I removed the radiator cap no coolant in the radiator, but the engine didn't sound hot nor did it smell hot and it was not steaming even though everything was soaked with coolant, and on the way home when I stopped to add coolant it didn't boil over/out, it just steamed a little until it was full, but when I started the engine it was hard to start, and steam came out the exhaust, at one point I thought it was not going to start.


In the parking lot when I started it without the radiator cap coolant came out the cap hole like the end of a hose, so I shut it down, filled it and then put the cap on, started it and got stopped at two different signals, by the time I got thru them I had to stop and fill it again as it was starting to get warmer than normal(past the half way mark on gauge), it went down below normal and I made it the 3 miles home without stopping to fill it again.

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I have no idea what caused this, that is why I asked.

I made it around 8 years maybe more after I installed the ARP stud kit on this LZ23 without any major issues, I am going to try and make another head gasket for it and see if I can get more time out of it as it hardly uses oil, it works best for my pressure washing business of all the trucks I have, I can get by using my other trucks temporarily, but I don't really want to destroy them as they are not built for what I do, they will rust away in no time with wet debris in there beds all the time, and they are not built to use them the way I use this work truck, I just throw stuff in the bed without a second thought, I cannot do that with my other trucks.

I have the gasket, I will try to put the holes in it without destroying it tomorrow.

I still can hardly believe that the intake/exhaust manifolds did not leak, I have had other stuff get loose on this engine also, but I am the type that gets everything tight when I do the intake/exhaust as i hate exhaust leaks, that they were that loose baffles me, and the gasket was dry when I installed it(no sealer), I can still see the "this side towards head" on the gasket.

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Well I made a head gasket and put it back together today, it ran good but idled like shit, I checked the compression with a hand held gauge that I could not keep air from getting by, I was holding it as hard as I could, it was making a small gun sound when air got by, it was 175+psi across all 4 cylinders, I had checked the valve lash earlier and it was not tight, so I started looking at the carbs(dual SUs) and that is when I found the problem, I forgot to connect the vacuum line to the power brake booster, it had a massive vacuum leak, it ran great when I connected that line.

I have yet to actually drive it, it is smoking a lot, I am hoping it is coolant in the exhaust system and it will go away when I drive it and blow it out or it turns to steam from the heat of the exhaust, if it don't quit smoking I am not going to be happy.


It idles way better than it has for a long time, maybe this head gasket issue has been the problem the whole time and it finally got bad enough and just gave up, or maybe it was because none of the exhaust/intake bolts were tight, I reused that intake/exhaust gasket dry again as it looked that good, it's hard to check all the intake/exhaust bolts after it is together as the engine compartment is tight on the drivers side, I just cannot get my arm under/past the heat shield to check the bottom bolts, maybe I can check them from under the truck in a few weeks or month with a flashlight, if I can see it I can likely check it, or I will just check them if the idle gets weird again.


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I don’t have SUs but I use the box end side of a 12mm and flip it so it angles more towards the block for the lower bolts with the washer


i recently did the Y pipe gasket and had me 3 studs installed 

rad fluid was everywhere and I said crap I have a loose intake was was just residual.Even dough I have done this dozens of times your just never sure sometimes.But rim it a half hour or so it cleans up and goes away

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I warmed it up again today after I found the oil filter I needed, then I changed the oil/filter, it was still smoking badly afterwards, so I drove it across town to look at a deck job that I decided I didn't want, by the time I got to that address it was not smoking anymore, I believe all the coolant was burned out of the exhaust system on that drive.

It appears to be just fine again and it idles way better than it has in a long time, I suspect it was loosing that head gasket for a while and that last drive was the straw that broke the camels back, I will never know if the idle issue was the head gasket or the loose nuts/bolts holding the intake/exhaust on the head, since only #4 cylinder was steam cleaned I suspect it was not the loose nuts/bolts as both #3 and #4 cylinders would have been steam cleaned if it was sucking coolant thru the intake/exhaust gasket from the coolant jacket in the intake manifold.

I made the head gasket differently this time, I used my dremel with a pointed grinding tip instead of a drill bit, I put it on highest RPM it had and pushed it thru the gasket like a drill bit, but the drill bits would catch on the metal inside the gasket, but this grinder tip just bored right thru, once thru I just ground around the edge of the hole it made to make it larger/the size I needed, I made 9 holes total of which the last 2 holes I ground out till they were one big hole, I didn't damage the gasket, normally in the past when I drilled the holes I had to press down really hard on the gasket to not let it move if the drill bit caught, well when I removed my hand from the gasket some of the gasket material would stick to my hand, this is why I hated making these gaskets, I was never sure that the gasket would good enough to use when I was thru drilling the holes.

All is well again with Waynos work truck. 

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Have you thought of pulling the head off with the manifolds attached? Did a head gasket on my 620 that way. I admit it was awkward but one person can lift it away. Put it back on also but you could take it apart further when it was off like for milling then assemble and put on.

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I have ARP studs, it was a pain to get that head on them studs without the intake/exhaust connected to it.

Also that would mean I would have to disconnect the head pipe from the exhaust manifold, that is not something I am interested in doing, when I took everything apart the exhaust came off and just dropped out of the way, this engine also only has studs on the 3 upper exhaust holes, this made it easy to remove the intake, normally I like studs in all the holes but I was liking how easy the intake was to get off and put back on, it only takes me a couple hours to remove the head and a couple more to put it mostly back together(able to start it), it's not like my diesel engines, it takes me way longer to remove and install the manifolds with the turbo connected, it is very hard to get to them lower bolts with that turbo in the way, I can remove the SUs/heat shield and check them lower bolts on this LZ23 in maybe an hour or less even with the air filters on this engine, they are a pain because the brake master is right there.

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Well I understand what your saying, but I went thru 2 head gaskets when I first built this engine, the ARP head studs stopped that issue I had around the thermostat area in #1 cylinder, it is why I hate making head gaskets, I had to make 2 of them in a couple months, but I did it with a drill bit back then and that is a major pain also, that was when Sealik was around, he made some kind of jig and squished the gasket in between it to drill the holes, I never figured out how squishing it like that didn't ruin the gasket, but I did not dwell on that or ask about that part either, if it worked for him then great.

8 hours ago, Stoffregen Motorsports said:

The main reason I don't like head studs.


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I pulled the threads out of the block on the head bolt closest to the thermostat housing, the machine shop fixed it with some kind of coil and I bought ARP head studs.

8 hours ago, Stoffregen Motorsports said:

I've never had problems using OEM head bolts.


I noticed something today, when ever it was warm outside (for the last several years) whenever I exited the freeway and came to that stop light on Mill Plain/205, when I would start again the engine would start bucking/cutting out, since my temp always rose when I took that exit and had to sit at that light I figured it was because the SU bowls were boiling, it was kind of a tunnel in there with that modified 510 air filter housing, I got rid of that and put pancake filters on it(dual SUs), it really didn't get much better though, normally when I got moving and started hitting the lights green it would smooth out, I thought the cooler air getting in there cooled the bowls, the last month or two the cutting out/bucking got really bad(not even hot outside), well I have drove it 2 days now, today with the trailer and it has not had an issue, it also runs cooler, I am wondering if this head gasket thing has been the issue all the time, I don't hear any knocking/pinging anymore either, but I have the side window down when it is warm outside.

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I guess this is as good of a place to ask this as any as it is about this truck, a little history, keep in mind that I have always ran regular gas in this truck, also for the first several years(maybe 6 years) I ran the LZ23 engine in this truck with the cam off a tooth and I never had any issues, I had the cam lobes exactly at 10am and 2pm, it had this sound when running but it ran fine without knocking/pinging, then one day I looked at a photo Datzenmike posted of a cam timed properly and had nothing but issues after putting it the way it was supposed to be, it knocked something terrible, to stop it from knocking I had to time it at 0 degrees.

My next mod was to the distributor, I had some dealings with the "distributorguy" on here, I asked him about re-curving my distributor and he told me what to do and I was able to run the engine at around 6 degrees BTDC but sometimes I would think I could hear it knocking/pinging on hot days, I then lost the head gasket last April 10, 2020, I replaced the head gasket and have been driving it since then.

Well last Saturday I thought I had some issues, I found my coolant reservoir full and antifreeze all over the engine compartment, I pulled the radiator cap and revved the engine and some coolant came out(but not gushing out), so I pulled the spark plugs to see which one was wet, they were all dry but they were also a tan/white, this confused me so I did a compression test(the block was cold), I came up with #1 at 180psi and the plug gap was 60, #2 was 185psi with a 54 plug gap, #3 was 185psi with a 54 plug gap, and #4 was 190psi with a 50 plug gap, I put it back together as that seemed fine to me, that coming Monday I drove 40 miles to a job.

I finished the job, the truck had drove fine most the way there, but when I started it it was missing again, I started heading home, but I had to get out of the rural development(dirt roads), I got out the gate and it was running awful, I pulled over, checked the coolant, while it was idling it all of a sudden had coolant gush out for no reason like the thermostat just opened, I pulled the valve cover and made sure the missing was not caused by tight valves, they were all fine, while I was there I removed the thermostat cover and took out the thermostat, I filled the radiator with water and started it which it barely wanted to do, I started driving and it had no power but I kept going, after a couple miles I had to start driving on the side of the road as I was on a 2 lane country highway and I was way below the speed limit by then, I was on this slight incline and I was floored and going under 10mph, it came to a stop but I pushed in the clutch and kept it running, floored in neutral it was running about 2000rpms, I had only a 1000 feet to go to get to the downhill part but I did not have the power to move the truck and trailer, my trailer has $10,000 worth of equipment in it and it is not going to be left on the side of the road out of my sight, I was floored but every time I let the clutch out it would almost die and I would actually roll backwards before I could get it out of gear and my left foot on the brake as i was floored with my right foot, the fact is the engine would have to blow up before I would leave that trailer on the side of the road, and the trailer would get towed home first, while floored(2000rpms) it all of a sudden would miss less and after maybe 10 minutes I got to the down hill section, the faster I went the better the engine ran, after about a mile I came to a country store and pulled in and it was running and idling fine, I was baffled by this, I looked in the radiator and I could see coolant flowing but I could see the fins also, so I added water and left the radiator cap loose started for home, well it started running bad again and I had a steep hill coming but it was two lanes(passing lane), by the time I got to the top I was under 20mph again but lucky for me I hit the light in the uphill section green and I kept moving, about a mile ahead it started running good again, I figured out once the coolant level got below a certain point it ran good but still flowed without the thermostat in it and it did not overheat either, I made it the 40 miles home without any more issues, I added a little coolant once as the temp gauge started creeping up but when I added that water it did not spit back out like what happens when metal gets hot, nor did it make any of them explosion noises when cool water hits hot metal inside the block.

So I pulled the head that afternoon/evening, the head gasket looked fine, there was this one spot on number one cylinder that did not look good near a block coolant passage, but the head had no coolant passage there, it was a dead end, that was it, no major issue.001.JPG.c61ab32688231594f52ca5159f62ab72.JPG






So I checked the head to see if it was warped and i could barely see the sun between the straight edge and the head, I took it to the machine shop as he said they could do it right now as the machine was set up for heads, I called a little later and asked about the head and they said the head was junk, so I went down to find out why it was junk.





As you can see when they started machining the head one could see there was an issue, the one groove is over 30 thousands deep, he said this engine was running lean and hot although I never over heated it except maybe the head could have gotten very warm on that drive home, so i asked could this damage happened in an hour and he said NO, I asked if it could be milled down and the guy said no the compression would be thru the roof although there is still at least a 1/16" between the bottom of the head and the letters W53 cast into the head.


I had a fresh LZ23 block I built 6 or 7 years ago as I had no extra head around ready to be used, I suppose I could have taken that head that has 44mm intakes off and put it on the block, but I decided to just change out the engine, it had been sitting for several years, I thought about it while I was installing it, I decided to squirt quite a bit of oil into the cylinders, cover the cam lobes with engine assembly lube, I filled the new oil pump with oil before installing it, I filled the engine with 10/30 and I turned that engine over without spark plugs in the holes till I had oil everywhere, while it was turning over at one point the rpms sped up and continued that rpm after that, I figured that was when everything had fresh oil, I pulled the valve cover and it was soaked with oil, by the way I turned the engine over by hand 2 turns before using the starter to make sure the valves cleared and nothing else was binding, this engine started very easy, I never had a fresh engine start this easy before, it did smoke a little(not a lot) burning that oil I squirted into the cylinders, it had a squeak somewhere but I have not started it yet today to see if it is still there, I did a lot of upgrades, I made a new power steering mount assembly and used another pump because the other one had an RPM related noise, that noise is gone now and I am very happy with this new mount assembly I made.

Anyway we are finally to my question, in the photo below you can see I have a saw tooth timing plate, but I also have a pulley with the timing marks on it, now I have assumed that the big notch is 0 degrees on the pulley(painted yellow), but I do not know if where 0 degrees is in the saw tooth plate is where 0 degrees is on the pointer made for that pulley, I do not want too screw this head up like I did the other one even though I was fine till I timed the cam properly, and it ran that way with the cam timed wrong for years without an issue, so is 0 degrees on the saw tooth plate in the same place as the pointer?



I do not want to get this wrong, I do not hear as good as I used to, I cannot tell if it is knocking unless it is really knocking bad, fairly soon I will likely start burning non-ethanol premium gas when I retire from pressure washing, but until then I use regular pump gas that I can get at any gas station.






Edited by wayno
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Wayne the problems you describe about the cam timing being of one tooth and running fine for a long time and the you re-timed the cam an you had issues.   This would lead me to believe the pully with the yellow notch and the saw tooth timing plate are not a matched set.  I think I would spend the money and get a degree wheel and go from there.

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Doesn’t even matter if they aren’t matched? I mean if you find TDC while building it and marked the pulley accordingly then wherever the timing plate pointed would be 0 right? 

Edited by d.p
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