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Old 11-17-2001, 01:43 AM   #1
Supreme Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Springfield, MO, USA
Posts: 1,536
Car: 1986 Trans Am, 1991 Firebird
Engine: 355 TPI, 3.1L V6
Transmission: 700R4 in both

Classifieds Rating: (0)

Loud squeal and then the engine dies while idling..during first 15 minutes of startup

Ok, here's the deal. I got my new engine started today. I let it run for a couple minutes, oil pressure held fine, then I shut it off. Started it again and let it run for 2 or 3 minutes while attempting to set valve lash. No luck on that and I had water in the oil (accident during radiator fill-up) so I decided to stop. After my friend got here I drained out the old oil and put new oil in and started it again. Ran it for about 5 minutes while my friend set the valves on the driver side and I watched the oil pressure (held at nearly 60psi idling). After that was set we shut it off and let it rest. Then started it again, good oil pressure this time too... he check the passenger side valves... all were good so he went back to the drivers side... he was just about to tighten another rocker when the engine squealed... REALLY loud and then died quickly. So I was thinkin' the engine siezed. I was pretty pissed. I turned the key just to bump it over and it bumped over. I was shocked. So I started it again. It started right up and ran for a couple more minutes with no problems at all before I shut it off again. I don't know what the hell that squealing sound was... at all. Anybody got any ideas at all?? I'm still curious as to what the hell it could have been.. it scared the **** outta me.

------------------
1986 Trans AM
305 TPI
Well over 200,000+ miles (speedo/odometer non-funtional! Odometer reads 142,000)
4 Wheel Discs
9 bolt Borg Warner Rear (2.77's....oh joy) :P
Completely Stock
Current Project: upgrade to a 355 TPI, 6" rods, 9.7:1 Compression, Stock TPI ported, 24#/hr LTI injectors (cleaned and flowmatched by Cruizin Performance), Hedman Shorty Headers, 3" exhaust with 80 series flowmaster, SBC 993 heads completely redone and modified for 1.6 RR, Comp Cams XE262-14 TPI Cam, Holley AFPR, TPIS airfoil, MSD wires, MSD 6-AL Ignition, Hypertech hot coil.
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Old 11-17-2001, 05:46 AM   #2
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Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Perth, WA, Aus
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Ok, I am going to take a stab in the dark at this one.

Eliminate the following possibility..
- Belt on Alternator. May have been loose and after idling it warmed up and stretched a little and slipped on the alternator (squeal) and the alternator stopped charging the electrical system, causing the engine to cut out?? Then you allowed it to cool enough while checking oil/valve lash etc.. so when you restarted it, it was cooler, and didnt squeal.. Maybe you dropped some coolant on the belt also??
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Old 11-17-2001, 08:35 AM   #3
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Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Someone owes me 10,000 posts
Posts: 7,157
Car: 1987 IROC
Engine: 350 or 305 not sure yet
Transmission: 700R4
Axle/Gears: 3:23

Classifieds Rating: (0)

Yep, sounds like the alternator to me. Definately check the alternator belt to make sure it is totally tight. I usually just take a long wrench to pry(sp) it tight. How does someone adjust the rocker arms with the motor running, or am I missing something.

------------------
"Putting any amount of money into a RICE BURNER is like wiping your a$$ with a turd. "
'86 IROC
T-TOPS, TINTED WINDOWS, BRAKE LIGHT BLACKOUTS
GM GOODWRENCH 350
EDELBROCK TES HEADERS
3" Hooker CatBack w/Aero Chamber muffler
EDELBROCK 600CFM CARB.
KN AIRFILTER
ACCEL HEI DISTRIBUTOR
160* Stat, just switched to 180* b/c of winter coming and going to college in the mts.
3:73 Posi
Rebuilt 700R4
B&M Megashifter, 5" Autometer Tach w/shift lite
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Old 11-17-2001, 08:40 AM   #4
Supreme Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Someone owes me 10,000 posts
Posts: 7,157
Car: 1987 IROC
Engine: 350 or 305 not sure yet
Transmission: 700R4
Axle/Gears: 3:23

Classifieds Rating: (0)

Yep, sounds like the alternator to me. Definately check the alternator belt to make sure it is totally tight. I usually just take a long wrench to pry(sp) it tight. How does someone adjust the rocker arms with the motor running, or am I missing something.

------------------
"Putting any amount of money into a RICE BURNER is like wiping your a$$ with a turd. "
'86 IROC
T-TOPS, TINTED WINDOWS, BRAKE LIGHT BLACKOUTS
GM GOODWRENCH 350
EDELBROCK TES HEADERS
3" Hooker CatBack w/Aero Chamber muffler
EDELBROCK 600CFM CARB.
KN AIRFILTER
ACCEL HEI DISTRIBUTOR
160* Stat, just switched to 180* b/c of winter coming and going to college in the mts.
3:73 Posi
Rebuilt 700R4
B&M Megashifter, 5" Autometer Tach w/shift lite
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Old 11-17-2001, 11:02 AM   #5
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Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: Hayward, CA
Posts: 893
Car: 91 camaro
Engine: 383
Transmission: T56

Classifieds Rating: (1)

Here's a third vote for the alternator.
And Mark, yes, you must be missing something. Adjusting the rockers with the engine running is the most accurate and proper way to do it, since the lash changes when the engine gets hot, and a lot of people can't get it perfect during the initial setup. You just take off the valve cover and tighten up whichever rockers are ticking. Very simple and common practice.

------------------
91 Z28
Come see The Vicious...
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Old 11-17-2001, 11:49 AM   #6
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Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Springfield, MO, USA
Posts: 1,536
Car: 1986 Trans Am, 1991 Firebird
Engine: 355 TPI, 3.1L V6
Transmission: 700R4 in both

Classifieds Rating: (0)

wrong, wrong, and wrong.... try again. I'm POSITIVE it wasn't the alternator belt. I did use a pry bar to tighten the belt and it is plenty tight.. trust me on that one. This squeal lasted about 2 seconds if that. It was quick and it killed the car. If it were the alternator belt squealing... 1. it would have squealed longer than 2 seconds ... and 2. it would have taken more than 2 seconds to drain the battery enough to kill the car. Plus it started right back up. Now, on the other hand, my power steering pump was bone dry. But again, I figure if the bearing in the pump seized enough to cause the engine to die then it wouldn't have turned when we filled the pump with fluid and started the car again. I'm hoping that's all it was... an accessory or something. I just can't understand it being some sort of internal problem and then the car starting right back up and not doing it again. Of course now I'm gonna be paranoid every time I start my car... lotsa money went into this engine.

------------------
1986 Trans AM
355 TPI
4 Wheel Disc Brakes
9 bolt Borg Warner Rear (2.77's....oh joy) :P
6" rods, approx. 9.7:1 Compression, Stock TPI (soon to be ported), 24#/hr LTI injectors (cleaned and flowmatched by Cruizin Performance), Hedman Shorty Headers, 3" exhaust with 80 series flowmaster, SBC 993 heads completely redone and modified for 1.6 RR, 1.52 RR (for now), Comp Cams XE262-14 TPI Cam, Holley AFPR, TPIS airfoil, MSD wires, MSD 6-AL Ignition, Hypertech 53,000 volt coil.

Track times to come.
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Old 11-17-2001, 11:49 AM
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