Two questions - Clutches and Engines

Hey Gang,
It's been a couple years since I've visited this NG, but I'm back!
My first question is simple enough. I have a 1998 TA that I bought used in
1999. It's got about 63,000 miles on it and it's in need of a clutch. I hit the internet and started looking up info on clutches and none of these sites explain the differences in clutches. What's the difference between a centerforce clutch and whatever's in there now?
My second question should also be simple for you guys, but it's got an entertaining story behind it. Here's the question and if you want more info, read on... What's the biggest/best engine I can easily cram into an '82 TA?
But here's the story on the '82...
I have an 82 TA that my dad bought new. He didn't drive it much and even though it's almost 23 years old, it's only got 41,000 miles on it. He stopped driving it completely in the late 80's or early 90's. I was 12 or 13 when the car disappeared from the driveway and I thought he'd sold it, but I just found it! He had it stored at my grandfather's old cottage in Michigan. There's some good news and some bad news.
A little history: the cottage used to be my grandfather's house. He was a mechanic for the little town and did the work out of his garage. Eventually, he built it into a 5 car garage. Then he met my grandmother and they moved into her parents' house in Chicago and his house became a cottage.
But here's the good news. My uncles use the cottage all the time and they store two show cars up there (a forty-something Cadillac and a fifty-something Chevy). They'd put my dad's car up on blocks and it SEEMS that they stored it properly. It's been climate controlled since it was stored (and there are THREE dehumidifiers in the garage). I even looked underneath and I only see a couple tiny spots of surface rust on the frame). All in all, the car looks beautiful.
The bad news: I changed all the fluids (most had been drained). I put in a new battery. Everything lights up, things make dinging noises, and all's well. But when i went to turn it over, absolutely nothing happened. No clicks, no ticks, no whirring, no grinding. I trailered the car back to Chicago after this and one of my friends put in a new starter. We tried to turn it over. Startter buzzed, but the engine wouldn't turn. Again, I'm not very knowledgeable about cars, so I called a mechanic. he wants to put in a new engine for like $5600. I called another guy who came to my house, tinkered, tried to turnt he engine manually, and he said it's locked up tight. He said he teaches an automotive class at the local community college and could have the students rebuild it for me (for only the cost of parts), but it would take several months. He said he could put in a brand new engine for $3600. He could rebuild it for $2800.
FIRST, I just signed up for 4 different automotive classes at the community college. So, I'm learning. The first thing i learned was that I'm not going to trust students to rebuild my engine. My classmates are the most brainless slack-jawed cretins I've ever met.
Second, if I'm getting a new engine, I'm going to shoe-horn the biggest thing I can find into it.
So, my second and third questions: Can you think of something else that I can try before swapping an engine? AND what's the biggest engine I could fit in there?
Also, i already checked the VIN and poked around to make sure it's not some special edition. I still don't know why he stored it instead of selling it, but it's just your garden variety TA.
Thanks for any help you can offer on both the engine and clutch topics.
Myz
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If the egine has seized (depends on how badly) remove the plugs and spray a load of penetrating oil into the cylinders and leave overnight...
Then try (lightly) rocking the motor with a long bar. I had a 280ce twin cam Mercedes seize up. A socket on the crank pulley preferably with a solid drive (i use an old welded up ratchet) with a long bar over the end. This way you can _lightly_ rock the motor. Use plenty of oil and _don't_ force it.
When it frees of (shouldn't be too bad if its been stored well, this merc was sat outside with no bonnet on for 10yrs in England (v wet)) just rotate it a few times using the oil just to make sure it doesn't bind again in the same spot!
HTH
--
T.C. - 1995 Z28 LT1
terminal snipped-for-privacy@sand-hill.freeserve.co.uk
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Stock clutches vs aftermarket high performance clutches comes down to Racing Certified, friction material, spring stiffness, and pressure plate type. Factory clutches are a softer compoundwith less spring and pressure plate tension. Made for some transmissions from dead stops, and from gear to gear. Aftermarket high performance units sacrifice some of that for all out grab, and less chance of slipping under full power.
Don't go listening to this andthat person about your engine. There are things to do and check before calling it toast or locked.
First is to consider how long it has sat, with out being turned over. The piston rings may just be lodged to the cylinder walls. Remove all 8 spark plugs, label each plug wire. Using PB blaster fill the cylinders until the stuff is flowing out slightly. Loosely install the plugs. Let it sit for a week. Remove the spark plugs, remove the valve covers, and spray the valves with PB blaster. Remove the belts. Attempt to spin the engine over with a breaker bar. Working slowly back and forth. You may have to repeated set one a few times, and try it every day for a while, yet if the rings are seizing, this method will normally free them. The PB blaster will not harm barring, unless you mix it with your motor oil.
Next on the list to attempt to turn the engine via the flywheel with either a flywheel turning tool, the end a a 5/16 blade or 3/8's blade screw driver, or a prybar. If the engine will not rotate at all, then it is time to pull it.
Get an engine stand, secure the engine to it with the bellhousing bolts, remove the oil pan. Turn the engine top side down on the stand, and look for the mains or rod barring to be seize to the journals. If so, you may just need to have the crankturned .10 under at a machine shop, and get main and rod barring that are for a .10 under crankshaft.
A good book for you would be HP Books, How to Rebuild a Small Block Chevy. It will give you the knowledge specific to your engine that *YOU* will need to know.
After you get her going, we can talk about building a bad ass engine later. Charles
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[SNIPPED FOR BREVITY]

Thank you for the explanation. I appreciate it. I don't do much racing or anything, so I'll either go stock or maybe a light upgrade. This is not for the 82 TA we were talking about.

Yeah, I'm pretty leary of mechanics once a warranty is up... LOL... That's why I figured I'd ask you guys.

My best guess is probably about 15 years. If I recall correctly, my father stopped driving it in probably 1989 or so because I remember he had a 1990 Eldorado and that's when the TA disappeared from the driveway. I always figured he traded it in.

Done. I did this the day you replied.

I yanked the valve covers and it looks like a brand new engine. Everything's clean as a whistle and the polished surfaces are still beautiful (no rust, no pitting, etc.)

I took them off and tried to turn by hand (because I'm antsy), but nothing moved at all (not even a click, tick, or millimeter of jiggle), so I'll wait it out for another few days.

The oil's been out of that engine for a LONG time. I actually just put the oil pan back on. I had pulled it off to check it out and clean it up. I don't think it was cleaned by my dad or my uncles, but it was pretty clean when I pulled it. My dad and my uncles aren't around anymore, so I can't ask.

I've got a few engine stands from out at Grandpa's cottage. So, at least I'm a leg-up there.

I just ordered it off AMAZON along with a few other books that might help.
Thanks for the advice and I'll let you know what happens in a few days after the PB has worked it's way down.
Myz
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OK, so, it's been 9 days since I filled her up with PB Blaster...
I bought a Flywheel Locking/Turning Tool. After reading the instructions about 80 times, I still couldn't get it to stay on tightly. With a few pounds of force, it would pop off.
So, I whipped out the pry bar and using an old belt, I fashioned a sort of "oil filter changing tool" that held on damn well.
It rotated about 2 inches (silently - so squeaks, gurgles, sliding, nothing). I looked in the spark plug holes and the PB Blaster was still up to the rim on 5 of them. It hadn't trickled down at all. After that 2 inches, absolutely nothing. It wouldn't even turn back the other way. No Wiggling... Nothing.
Now, I didn't want to do this before asking, but I was surfing the net this last week and someone said the stick wooden dowels down the spark plug holes. Then tap on the dowels to loosen the cylinders? The theory seems sound, but my thoughts are... First, if the dowel splinters, that couldn't be good having wood shavings down there. Second, pressure on one cylinder with a thin dowel isn't going to move the other 7.
Those books I ordered (at your suggestion) haven't arrived from Amazon yet. I ordered several others too and it looks like a couple are backordered.
I'm at a standstill at the moment, but at least I've got all winter to mess with it.
Any other suggestions before I rip this thing out?
Myz

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Myzyri wrote:

My $0.02: Pull the heads. Then soak the pistons all the way around. Use a 2x4 and a sledge to give the pistons a good whack. On the 350 I had would do this every other day for about two weeks... then we put a breaker bar on the crank pulley nut and rocked it back and forth. Eventually it started to move then it "broke free" and turns over ok. Unfortunately my engine's going to at least need a hone job - there's rust in one cyl...
Ray
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LOL. True. I did this with a small engine that was supposedly seized and it came back to life.
My friend is a small engine dealer/salvage/parts guy in the Columbus, MS area and he's sent me a few "DOA" machines to NYC. With some TLC and a 1/2 hour of time, many have come back to life with nary a spark plug and fresh oil/gas change :).
Joe--ASE Certified Parts Specialist & 10th Ann.Club Tech Director '80 Carousel Red Turbo T/A, 27k orig. '79 "Y89" 400/4 speed 10th Ann. T/A, 57k orig '84 Olds 88 Royale Bgm 2 dr, 307 "Rocket" (lol), 143k and still going....
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Use Oak or Maple dowels:
The trick isn't to turn the engine by hitting each piston. The trick is to shock each piston enough to loosen the rusted rings from the cylinder wall. But, at this point. It sure sounds like you're going to have to rebuild it, and will need a slight overbore and new pistons anyway.
Refinish King
PS Loosen up the rockers, to make sure the valves aren't rusted open either.

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If pistons are siezed you should first take the crank shaft out before trying to turn the whole assembly. You could do more damage than good if you try to turn the whole thing. Hope this helps. I had one stuck cylynder and used a 2x4 and sledge to slowly get it out like someone said in a thread before but took the crank out first.
Cyberdiver

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Had to bring a 79 TA with a 301 back to life after 5 years. Spent three months putting a combo of liquid wrance, Marvel Mystery Oil and 5W motor oil into each cyl., then with all the plugs out, put a bar and socket on the balancer and SLOWly turned it over by rocking it. DId get it started and then sold it. Good luck.
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