Mystery Engine

SC-AL

SCCoA Member
I bought this complete 3.8 SC engine, years ago, and I am finally going to install it in my 1989 white, 5 speed SC, with a bad rod knock. The story when I bought it, is these airplane guy's bought 6 of them on pallets, that were from the factory, and never used. I pulled all the plugs, and the pistons looked near new, except cylinder #4 piston was black. The plugs look like new, and all the same. Even have the dab of silver paint on the terminal. There is some florescent pink marking paint on the crank, and water pump pulleys, and the main engine wiring harness has been cut off also. I did a leak down test, and number 4 was 16%, and number 2 was 6%. I'm now thinking this engine failed the assembly line "Hot Test", and was rejected. Anyone ever heard or something like this? I'm going to install it anyway, and see what happens.
 

SC-AL

SCCoA Member
I couple of pictures.
 

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DOUG H

SCCoA Member
I'm not aware of them doing a "Hot Test" anywhere. Essex did a spin test for balance, oil & coolant leaks, then they were shipped to Loraine where they removed the heater port caps from spin test & they were "dressed" - added the alternator, p/s pump, a/c compressor, belts & harness's. I think the harness would then be plugged into a tester/analyzer to verify the integrity of all the circuits in the harness & ability to communicate with all the sensors.

I don't think they would've ever run it in the form you have in your pic-they would have to have p/s pump plumbed to something or it would be burnt up. Harness being cut, it must've been in a car, just not long. Maybe 1 submitted for crash testing or?
 

SC-AL

SCCoA Member
Great information, thanks. On a closer inspection, it has been run, but not a lot. Really makes me mad they cut the harness. I'll now have to pull the blowers on both engines, to swap them. I don't know how to identify the new engine, but it was from a 5 speed car, (has pilot bearing). Came with engine mounts, which is a plus. They didn't paint the block in those days, I see.
 

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KMT

Registered User
I don't know how to identify the new engine
Looks to be an early engine. EGR bits, and pass. side early style exhaust manifold (late is better if you can find one).

Can you tell if the intake/plenum-to-supercharger port is...

Early:
1667343911894.png

Late:
1667344081740.png
 

DOUG H

SCCoA Member
That is strange that the block wasn't painted? I think early engines had the rear cam cover painted blue so Essex workers could identify it was built for a 5 speed & put on a flywheel, instead of a flexplate. Different cam, although I dont know what was different about it.
 

SC-AL

SCCoA Member
The intake port is the early oval one. I have an extra supercharger off a 91-92, SC, automatic car, but doesn't have the intake/supercharger plenum, not that it would help. Thanks for the input. I also plan on just leaving the trans in the car when I pull the old engine, and drop this one in complete.
Should I take the mounts off the block, and put them on the K member?
 

SC-AL

SCCoA Member
Does anyone know how to read engine date codes. I know I have to pull this engine back out because of a rattle@ 2,500rpm, along with a vibration at the same rpm. I'm thinking this might have a duracast crank. It came without a flywheel, so I used the one off the original 1989 engine with a vin of 100597.
PA110005 (2).JPG
 

XB-70

SCCoA Member
Interesting and likely an early one? 9K503 indicates it's a 89 engine for a 5-speed configuration. The AA indicates the first version of such. No date on that label is not what I have seen in dozens of these motors. A 'K506' indicates the engine would be mated to an Auto transmission. The 9 digits in groups of 3 are some sort of serial number but I can't confrm how the sequence is indicated. On an '89 engne the other valve cover should have a label with same info on the top of the valve cover but the digets maybe larger font and it may have the engine build date in (MM/DD/YY). Hope that helps you somewhat?
 

SC-AL

SCCoA Member
@XB-70. Thanks for the information. I don't doubt this engine is an early production, and might even have a duracast crank. I haven't pulled it out of the car yet, but will know for sure, when I do. Also, the harmonic balancer/pulley assembly has part number, E9SE-6312-CA, that I assumed was the early balancer used with the duracast crank. The strange thing is, the original, ( spun bearing), engine that came with the car has the same E9SE-6312-CA part number on the pulley, but isn't counter weighted. The production date of this SC is 2/89, but appears to have a forged crank.
IMG_20230226_150719160 (Small).jpg
 

XB-70

SCCoA Member
@XB-70. Thanks for the information. I don't doubt this engine is an early production, and might even have a duracast crank. I haven't pulled it out of the car yet, but will know for sure, when I do. Also, the harmonic balancer/pulley assembly has part number, E9SE-6312-CA, that I assumed was the early balancer used with the duracast crank. The strange thing is, the original, ( spun bearing), engine that came with the car has the same E9SE-6312-CA part number on the pulley, but isn't counter weighted. The production date of this SC is 2/89, but appears to have a forged crank.
View attachment 97947
@SC-AL. I agree that very much looks like a forged crank in that picture.
 

MadMikeyL

SCCoA Member
The harmonic balancer is going to be the giveaway. If it has the cast crank, then the balancer will have less material on one side to give it the proper imbalance. That would be the easiest way to tell, without pulling the oil pan off to physically look at it.
 

SC-AL

SCCoA Member
I'm going to be pulling the engine back out because of a rattle/clatter, that I'm suspecting is a bearing issue. I wish I knew then, what I know now. I would have inspected everything a lot more. Maybe I will try and take a peek at the balancer today, and confirm my suspicions.
 
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