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Big cam 1 cpl 393 I need of a inframe at minimum

Posted By 3sisterstransport Monday, November 19, 2018 6:22 AM
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3sisterstransport
 Posted Monday, November 19, 2018 6:22 AM
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My 79 western star finally had its last run with the big cam 1 cpl 393. I’m looking at a inframe at minimal. It has a injector knock that comes and goes, oil leaking out the #3 exhaust port (I’m %99 sure it’s not fuel), stinky white/grey smoke, low oil psi (went from 60 psi to 40 psi), and about 2 gallon a day oil lose (from Nogales AZ to Houston TX, then empty to Fort Smith AR) and a very slight about of antifreeze on my oil fill cap. I suspect all of the oil was going into the exhaust and I don’t think I had blow by, and my power never changed and never heard a miss fire. So if the crank checks out I’d like to get away with a inframe rebuild, I’m a broke old produce hauler lol. I’ve been in the process of gathering up a fan clutch, pulse manifold and Ht3b turbo. But how much will I be shooting myself in the foot if I don’t have it rebuilt as a big cam 3? I’ve heard lots of folks online say to rebuild to a big cam 3, and in specific cpl 625. After this rebuild I’m going to stop going west because of the wear and tear along with poor fuel mileage from all them pulls, and just run between Arkansas and the Florida Georgia area. Will I be OK just keeping it a cpl 393 or will this be flushing money down the toilet? How reliable would a cpl 393 be with the stock internals? I keep regular on services, oil changes at 10k miles and overhead every 100k miles. Thanks much in advance for the advice.
Geoff Weeks
 Posted Monday, November 19, 2018 8:46 AM
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Until you get it apart you don't know what you have. The thing that concerns me the most is coolant showing in the oil or oil filler. I currently am running a CPL 324 that I changed externally to Big Cam 3. All that means is the oil pump, oil cooler and exhaust manifolds have been changed.
If you need counterbore work, you would in my opinion, be throwing money away if you didn't have it machined for LPF liners.
If you are getting coolant in the "basement" (pan) than it will quickly wipe out your bearings.
You might want to consider a used engine from a yard with a good rep that will stand behind the engine. Yours could have multiple problems that go beyond what an inframe will fix
Your oil out the exhaust could be a cracked piston, or it could be coolant mixing with combustion gases and looking like oil.
Sudden drop in oil pressure is also concerning.
All in all, if you are facing a time constraint, a good used engine could be your best option. Inframes can fix worn out bores, but they will not fix cracks and worn counter-bores or crank issues.
Talk to several yard, and see if you can upgrade to Big Cam 3 in the deal. There isn't a lot of demand for any of the Big Cam's any more, or at least not as much as there used to be. The earlier Big Cam's (1,2,3) are even less in demand.
I will mention that I picked up that aforementioned Big Cam 1 as a "running core" for $1300. I will admit, I was in the right place at the right time and the people selling didn't known what they had. I would expect a "good used" could be had for around $3500 and try and get them to replace the rods and mains with that. That is an exchange price, meaning you don't get to keep your old engine. I would want some sort of warrantee, but if it makes 6 months, you should have something to work with.
In may case I got lucky, that running core was a good engine with low hrs that only needed a rebuilt fuel pump, which cost more than the engine did! Still I got a good engine and with the new fuel pump it runs excellent.
The problem is the old engine has to come out, all the accessories changed over and the new put back in. If you don't have the facility to do that yourself than you have to figure paying for that into your engine cost.
Given that, you may decide to change trucks or occupation!
3sisterstransport
 Posted Monday, November 19, 2018 9:24 AM
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I’m so far deep into the truck that I can’t walk away from it now. I put a new 16913a in it, converted to 12 volt starter, new batteries, tires all around, new ac system, stretched it out a bit for ride quality, not to mention the beer money it took to make all that happen lol. And I’m a paper weight outside the truck, I’d be fired the first day if I was a door greater at Walmart. That being the case it’ll be a inframe, or a different motor. I haven’t looked far and wide but I’ve got a lead on a 444 cummins. I’ve sort of considered it but I’d have to swap it over to high flow to even justify it, and I don’t know how much of what’s on my bc1 will swap over and how much of a headache it’ll be to do so. I’ll look around in my local area for a bc3, hopefully I can luck out and find one.
Newto
 Posted Monday, November 19, 2018 9:30 AM
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Well here's my input as well.

If you have signs of coolant on the filler cap & a drop in oil pressure it usually means you have, at minimum, leaking liner seals allowing coolant into the pan which has then mixed with the oil and gone through the oil filter & plugged the paper media.

First job!!.....Change the oil filter and you should.....I say should if I'm correct.....get your 60 lbs oil pressure back.

If you don't then the coolant has already done bearing damage and I'd do as Geoff says and look for a replacement engine.

If you get the 60 lbs back then the cause is definitely liner packings so you are going to need an in frame build.

Lets worry about that after you change the filter.

Another thing you can try to prove the point is after the engine has been sitting say overnight and is cold....loosen the oil pan drain plug a few threads...if you have coolant in the pan it will settle to the bottom when cold and run out along the thread.....if that happens then its rebuild time again.

hope this helps...let us know what you find and we will add more after that.

Newto
Geoff Weeks
 Posted Monday, November 19, 2018 9:46 AM
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How much will change over depends on if it is an early Big Cam 4 444 or an NT88 Big Cam 4 444. Where as you don't have a Big Cam 3 to rob the oil cooler from, you might be money ahead having a low flow radiator fitted. The 444 has STC injectors and needs Big Cam 3 oiling.
I have one low flow and one high flow Cummins. My low flow is an NT88 fixed time turned up to about 425 hp. Even being over fueled, with a big enough radiator, the low flow doesn't have a problem pulling Parley's fully loaded. The trick is big enough radiator, mine cost $2100 for a re-core!
I guess I'm saying I wouldn't rule out a low flow as long as you have a big radiator built for low flow. The tubes are different and it is a double pass core, so it takes a rad shop that knows them to build them correctly.
I've been where you are now, and if it were me, would be looking for a complete engine it good shape. You can then decide to eat the core charge or not. If you do, you can repair what is wrong with your old block, and build it as you see fit.
I would even consider a "diesel re-con" 400 small cam if I could find one. They are a small cam block updated to big cam 3 spec's and externals (oil pump, manifolds and turbo). They were quite popular for a while when Cummins was trying to use up all their small cam blocks.
Geoff Weeks
 Posted Monday, November 19, 2018 10:10 AM
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If you are really lucky, all you have is liner cavitation damage, leaking into the cyl and down into the crankcase, but you can't count on that.
3sisterstransport
 Posted Monday, November 19, 2018 10:26 AM
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I bet that was a cool motor! That sounds a lot like the small cam magnum 420. I’ve got one place I can think of to look in town, it’s Arkansas Truck center in Alma AR. But there older stuff is very little to none. I may have to buy the motor out of state, as the company I’ve got my truck leased to is letting me drive a company truck to keep some money coming in. I’m definitely going to swap them filters and let y’all know what’s going on. That would be nice if I just needed a inframe and injectors. Could the liners cause the oil to come back up through the exhaust?
Newto
 Posted Monday, November 19, 2018 10:56 AM
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If the pan is over full because of the added coolant then the crank can throw excess oil up the liner bore and flood the oil control ring so it is possible.

Are you sure its oil out the exhaust and not diesel??

Diesel mixed with carbon will look & stain black like oil but it burns off immediately....oil usually leaves a film that you can feel.

If you're having injector issues with white smoke I'd think its more likely unburnt fuel mixed with carbon.

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3sisterstransport
 Posted Monday, November 19, 2018 11:05 AM
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I’m pretty sure it’s not diesel, I’ve tried smelling it and it don’t smell like diesel. And I got home and cleaned everything up real good and I’ve got no signs of blow by. Just oil coming out of my exhaust at every possible joint all the way to the elbow. And my oil is not coming up on the dipstick, if anything on my way home it kept going down and I had to keep adding oil. It’s got me completely lost. The oil is also really black and sticky. And the amount of coolant I’ve lost is fairly low, but I can definitely see it in the oil filler cap and a bit at the number 2 head gasket.
Geoff Weeks
 Posted Monday, November 19, 2018 1:08 PM
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3sisterstransport (11/19/2018)
The oil is also really black and sticky. And the amount of coolant I’ve lost is fairly low, but I can definitely see it in the oil filler cap and a bit at the number 2 head gasket.
I'm guessing your getting more coolant in the oil than you think.

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