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#474365 09/20/22 07:18 AM
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I have noticed the phrase "turn the engine by hand" is used to reposition an engine's innards. Even shop manuals say to do this. dance

Question: How in the h--l is one going to turn the engine by hand?

Best,

Charlie computer

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On the early cars use the crank handle, later cars a wrench on the crank bolt I would assume.

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Pull the spark plugs and it's fairly easy Charlie.


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on my 1929 i can turn it via hte hand crank. remove hte plugs and 10x easier to tune
this is how i set the initial timing and such

on newer cars after the hand crank went away many use a long ratchet and socket to turn the crank or they make a tool that bolts on for certain engines :)


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With the plugs out, simply grasp the fan belt and pull. Make sure you don't get your fingers between the belt and the pulley though.

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I don't want to turn the engine with grabbing the fan. I may get the blades out of alignment and cause the fan to look like it's fluttering.

As for turning it with a wrench and socket, it's kind of hard to get the tools down there.

I suspect that most just grab the fan. Not me. But it is tempting.

Thanks for all the replies.

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Charlie computer

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What engine are you wanting to turn by hand and why? crazy


Russell #38868
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Originally Posted by 41specialdeluxe
I don't want to turn the engine with grabbing the fan. I may get the blades out of alignment and cause the fan to look like it's fluttering.

As for turning it with a wrench and socket, it's kind of hard to get the tools down there.

I suspect that most just grab the fan. Not me. But it is tempting.

Thanks for all the replies.

Best,

Charlie computer

If you really need to turn it for a specific purpose that doesn't involve the engine running you could make a simple plate that bolts on in place of the fan. Have a handle that sticks out to turn. Maybe a 10 minute project with a 10 buck piece of steel from home Depot.

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Take the plugs out, put it in gear and roll the car by grabbing the front tire. That's what I do.

Does your car have a crank hole? My Pontiac crank nut (that accepts a crank) has a female hex-shaped hole in it. I am not sure if Chevrolet did it that way but it's a good guess. Chevrolet had to provide some way to get the crank nut off for service, and a crank would just disengage in the reverse direction. If it is built that way, a piece of hex-shaped bar stock and an open end wrench should do the trick. Still take the plugs out.

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Thanks again for all the helpful advice.

The question is prompted by my grey 41 not acting right lately. Read on

(Russell, I want to turn it a bit for getting the lobe on the distributor in just the right place for opening and and timing.)

It does have an access through the grille and to the balancer/crankshaft but I don't have a crank. I haven't tried to run an extension or a set of extensions to that nut. Maybe I could but haven't got that desperate yet. You know.

The dang thing ran just fine while at Bowling Green but after letting it roll off the trailer it wouldn't. crank no matter what I tried. Haven't had the time to mess with It yet. Im thinking weak coil (it does spark at the points with the switch on), points, condinser or it may have developed a hatred for me that it just can't shake. I've blown my thumb off no. 1 spark plug hole so many times I can't count. Mercy! I'm about ready to grab my 45. Which one of us it will be pointed at has not been determined as yet. hood willy dance

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Charlie computer

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You don't need to grab the fan... to turn it.... He said pull on the fan BELT.. I have done it and it works... reach down by the generator, grab the fan belt and pull.... it will rotate the crank some.... be sure to have all the plugs out to release compression.. or it will be real hard to turn....


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Okay, I tried that. Lost the use of two fingers before remembering to take the plugs out. Just kidding.

Right now I'm real busy getting ready to go the Carlisle and Hershey. That always takes presidence over anything else for at least a week in advance. Loading the trailer and trying to not over load it is a pain. I'll get back to the 41 when I get back. It can wait. dance

You should've seen me getting the nonruning 41 up the floor lip and into the garage. I used a come-along and some lengths of chain anchored to a 65 235 and a 41 216 and had to still add on some transmissions to overcome the weight of the 41 cabriolet. The two engines weren't heavy enough so I had to keep adding on. If I were watching someone else I would have had a good laugh. Oh well, I don't profess to be the sharpest knife in the drawer. hoodYou know.

Thanks for the reply.

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Charlie computer

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HMMM, a 1965 235? Can we see a picture of that rare gem? I knew they cast 4 cylinder replacement heads as late as 1930 so you never know.

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Get this tool: https://www.amazon.com/Performance-...3&hvtargid=pla-570750850978&th=1, jack up the car, install jack stands, remove flywheel dust cover and find an assistant to observe the rocker arms.


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Fan blade can crack. Looking for a replacement can be difficult. Engine friction after sitting for a while makes turning by fan hard. A crank is the easiest. Pushing the car in gear requires space to move and again force to break static friction. I think cast iron piston engines have more static friction. You can crank the engine with the plugs still installed.

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Bill, Now that too is a good way to nudge the engine just a bit. dance I hadn't thought of that either. hood I guess it would be best to have the transmission in drive. Is that right?

After I retired from army back in 76 I made a trip out to Wy. to see my sister. Threw a fan blade while driving west near Rawlings, WY. Talking about shaking the engine! I suspect it decided to leave the other three was owing to the fan blade having been cracked possibly by someone using it to turn the engine. Owing to shaking of the engine, I just took the fan with its still intact three blades off and drove on. I found one and a water pump (out of balance caused the shaft to start leaking) out of a junk yard. Later, back home in NC, when I removed the engine I found the broke off blade lodged between the starter and the block.

Thanks for all the replies and your good solutions to nudge the distributor.

Best,

Charlie computer

BTW: If you are at Carlisle or Hershey stop by my spaces. K 13-16 at Carlisle. Been there except the first two years. I have to look up my Hershey numbers and let you know before I leave what there are. They are in the south chocolate field. I'm also listed in the programs. If I'm not there my son can contact me vis mobile phone. I'll probably be over near Chip's spaces watching for him to leave his significant luv2other for a little while. You know.

BTW2: All in all, I think maybe that when the maintenance manual mentions "turn the engine by hand" it meant to use the engine crank (through the grille,) etc. What do you think about that?

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Charlie, I have lost blades on two fans also. A 1977 pickup and a 1953 pickup. Put the transmission in neutral.


Bill Masters
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Sorry Bill, I was on the wrong track here. I completely inadvertently ignored the tool and thought that if one rear wheel was off the ground then one could use the radios of the wheel to turn the engine with the transmission in drive, of course.

Tool is a strong suggestion that would accomplish the same things but would need someone to watch the position the distributor points and lobe as the wheel is nudged.

I think I'll be in the market for an engine crank whilst at Carlisle and Hershey. dance

Thanks again,

Charlie computer

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That tool is a handy one to have. Tool vendors at Hershey have them for around 10 bucks; that was a couple years ago though.


Bill Masters

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