Disappointed - R112 (long post)


IHC in the early to mid-fifties.

Rusty Driver
Rusty Driver

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Post Tue May 14, 2019 9:08 am

Disappointed - R112 (long post)

I knew what I was potentially getting myself into with this truck but I'm still disappointed. Any help, whether motivation or my current issues, is appreciated. Since this truck came off the family farm it is my goal to keep it as original as possible. Sat for 35 years. I have a lot of money in the engine for what it is. It fires up extremely easy and it seems to run well. I haven't taken it down the road yet as I have a couple other things to work out.

Most Concerning - now that I have it able to run on its own I believe I have what sounds like a rod knock. From what I'm reading online this is really hard to diagnose, especially for someone like me. It's definitely lower on the engine and it sounds like a knock, not a tap. Rod bearings seems to be affordable but the main bearing I've found are $350 for a set. Crazy. I really don't see myself pulling the engine and doing a full blown rebuild. The pistons are already stamped 30 over. The oil pan is very easy to drop and it looks like everything is right there. With not wanting to go with full blown rebuild, can I change the bearings with the engine in the truck? I've seen online where a lot of people have done it with success and where a lot of people don't recommend it. Honestly, this truck will be lucky to hit 500 miles per year. Most likely will only be 300 or so per year. I will have to have a couple more knowledgeable people listen to see if they think it could be something else.

There is a lot of smoke coming out the exhaust and I'm thinking it's oil. Blowby from the pistons? While not desirable this really doesn't bother me as long as it's not too extreme. With driving it so little I'm fine with dumping a quart in here and there.

It's only idled in the garage for an hour or so total and there is oil at the clutch housing weep hole. Rear main seal leak? I assume I can just let this one go as long as it's not too extreme since the oil should let itself out and not contaminate the clutch.

We set the valves cold. After having let it run a couple times now I pulled the valve cover the other day. Re-torqued the head bolts and checked cylinder 1 valves. They had to be a good 1/4" clearance. Not really sure how they could have changed from .020 to 1/4" but maybe there was just a bunch of gunk that cleared itself out and everything is seated better now. ???

Just rewired the truck. Battery doesn't appear to be charging. New voltage regulator. Generator was rebuilt. As far as I'm aware I've followed the instructions on how to polarize the generator. Ammeter gauge shows fluctuation for turning lights on but nothing happens when starting the truck and increasing rpms. I've also put a multimeter on the battery itself. It didn't change at all when starting and it only changed by about .04 volts when I increased rpm. Should this be charging all the time or is there something that triggers it to charge?

Water pump is like a water hose. Reached out to a couple places that haven't returned my call yet about rebuilding it.

Driver side rear axle is bent badly. I can tell it had been driven this way for some while because of the brake pad wear.

Had another hole show up in my gas tank even after having the shop fix it. It was right on the bottom so I drained the tank and put some JB Weld tank repair on and that seems to have worked for now.

Other smaller things too but that's all for now. End of rant.

Yard Art
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Post Tue May 14, 2019 11:23 am

Re: Disappointed - R112 (long post)

Its not clear to me, but the way I read your post is that the motor only has 1 hour of run time on it after a rebuild?
Rod knock. This is generally associated with a worn out motor that has an oil pressure problem. The oil flow is low for whatever reason, thereby starving the bearings of oil, so they wear faster. Eventually the bearings wear through to the copper, and now there is lots of clearance between the rod and bearing. So its 'loose' As the piston/rod go up and down the rod this rod movement is what makes the 'knock' noise. Do you have any shiny sparkles in your oil indicating abnormal bearing wear?

Smoke from the exhaust. There are 2 main pathways for this to happen. One is the rings as you suggested, the 2nd is the valves or more specifically the valve stem seals. Was the 'head' rebuilt? Did they grind the valves? The reason why I ask is that the rubber valve stem seals would have been replaced and therefore can be ruled out, at least initially. Rings, if a new motor is not broken in correctly the cylinder walls will glaze over and the rings will not seat, allowing oil to blow by. The easiest way to check for this is to perform a compression test.

Oil from the clutch hole. That is most likely the rear main seal. So based on this, my new interpretation of your post I think you have spent money on the motor but did not rebuild it. The 30 over pistons were installed before your time?

So, if this is the case, think of it this way. Everything that is rubber needs to be replaced. My s132 was like this, low mileage truck. I spent 2 years replacing everything that I could in the way of rubber bits and pieces. I have not replaced the rear main seal, which is leaking because it requires engine removal and teardown to get to the seal. I have however replaced the valve stem seals.

Valves, 1/4" clearance. Something going on here. It should not be that loose. The valves should be set hot and If my memory serves me right, at 0.26" The way I understand it, you are supposed to set them with the motor running as well. I have tried this in the past, and have never felt that I did it right. So, I would warm up the engine, and turn it off and set the valves quickly before the motor cools down.

You should see a voltage change at the battery when the generator is charging. You said you have an ammeter? Is this aftermarket? My S132 had one, and I took it out. It was causing issues (I don't remember what) and everything works now. You did not say if this is a 6v positive ground original setup or if it has been changed? Generators always charge unlike alternators.

If the motor is running well as you state, then the rest of your concerns should be minor and fixable.

These old trucks are simple and can be fixed. I am a high tech guy but have absolutely no interest in working on my modern car, too much technical stuff. I do enjoy working on my old binders as a hobby. Stay positive, its very rewarding when it all comes together.
56 S-120 4x4 started the whole mess.
S-132 dually longbed,
S-120 4x4 Travelall,
S144 Forestry truck,
S160 Holmes tow

Rusty Driver
Rusty Driver

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Post Tue May 14, 2019 12:10 pm

Re: Disappointed - R112 (long post)

Thanks for the reply.

To clarify on the “rebuild”. The only thing rebuilt by me was the head with all new parts by a very reputable shop. The 30 over pistons were already in it. So I don’t know how many miles are on them or anything else as far as that goes. Oil pressure is 40+ on cold start and 20 when warmed up low idle. When throttle applied it shoots up 40+ again. The oil that came out of the truck was 35 year old muck and I haven’t analyzed any oil I’ve put in it yet.

All I can assume is the shop did what they were supposed to on the head rebuild. They have a good reputation. Again, all parts were new with the exception of the head itself.

Yes I have spent money on the motor such as the head rebuild but I did not have a full blown motor rebuild done. 30 over pistons were on pappy’s time.

I think I will worry about the rear main seal later if it becomes too much of a problem.

Valve clearance. I remember before the valve train was back on, some of the push rods when I would stick them down in and then pull them back out they had “debris” on them. Possibly working the engine with oil in it cleared out all the debris. At any rate, at least cylinder 1 is off bad. My buddy said he might be able to help check/adjust these tomorrow evening.

With the generator having been rebuilt I’m gonna go with the new voltage regulator being junk. It is 6v positive ground. It has the original ammeter. If I turn the lights on it goes to the negative side. Turn them off and it goes back neutral.

Whatever the knocking is worries me the most.

Golden Jubilee
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Post Tue May 14, 2019 12:13 pm

Re: Disappointed - R112 (long post)

It is not clear you spent your money on. New parts into an old engine is a guaranteed failure if the engine is worn out. A machine shop may be able to true the engine and then buy parts that fit.
I worked with a bunch of red seal mechanics. Maybe 10% could rebuild an engine after the engine came out of the machine shop.
Maybe this truck is not for you. You should be having fun and clearly you are not. You may need to spend a couple of grand on a rebuild or sell the truck.
These old IHC trucks are a high maintenance. Back in the day when money was short the truck would have been driven until it dropped.
I have had 14 of these old Binders and every one was well worn. There is no easy and inexpensive fix.
My guess is that you may have to spend $10,000 on machining and parts to make the entire truck as good as it ever was. Even new, these trucks needed lots of TLC many never got it.
I would rather have tools I do not need than to need tools I do not have
“Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience.”
Mark Twain

Rusty Driver
Rusty Driver

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Post Tue May 14, 2019 1:07 pm

Re: Disappointed - R112 (long post)

nikkinutshop wrote:It is not clear you spent your money on. New parts into an old engine is a guaranteed failure if the engine is worn out. A machine shop may be able to true the engine and then buy parts that fit.
I worked with a bunch of red seal mechanics. Maybe 10% could rebuild an engine after the engine came out of the machine shop.
Maybe this truck is not for you. You should be having fun and clearly you are not. You may need to spend a couple of grand on a rebuild or sell the truck.
These old IHC trucks are a high maintenance. Back in the day when money was short the truck would have been driven until it dropped.
I have had 14 of these old Binders and every one was well worn. There is no easy and inexpensive fix.
My guess is that you may have to spend $10,000 on machining and parts to make the entire truck as good as it ever was. Even new, these trucks needed lots of TLC many never got it.


I probably have about $2000 in the head, rocker assembly, gaskets, carb rebuild, rebuilt generator, rebuilt starter, rebuilt water pump, fuel pump, distributor parts, radiator, etc.

Saying that I'm not having fun is incorrect. I'm in a moment of frustration, which I'm sure we've all had. I'm getting to the point where things are beyond my capabilities. I've done about 95% of the work so far myself. I was hoping once the truck fired up the motor would be good enough to "putt" around in. I'm not comfortable doing that with a rod knock if that's what it ends up being. Another thing is I have an impatient characteristic that I have no control over. That's why I decided not to do a frame off restoration which was my original intent. I would have lost my mind by now if I did that.

Yes I am having fun. I thought I was being close to driving this truck for the summer and it seems I have major internal engine issues. Frustrated.
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Golden Jubilee
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Post Tue May 14, 2019 1:51 pm

Re: Disappointed - R112 (long post)

when you had the head off did you run a deglazer tool down cylinder walls with each piston at bottom stroke,

didn't say what color smoke is, blue=oil, white=coolant, black=too rich fuel, blue black and white all together=boat anchor,

even totally rebuilt motors still drip a bit at rear, see posts about it,

you Can replace rear main seal in the truck with proper tool, not always successful but might be better than what you have,

re adjust the valve train, adjusting them running is a pain, get motor hot and do them with with it not running, make sure each cylinder is at top dead on compression stroke when adjusting,
Gentle Men! you can't fight in here! This is the war room!

Rusty Driver
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Post Tue May 14, 2019 2:14 pm

Re: Disappointed - R112 (long post)

bedrockjon wrote:when you had the head off did you run a deglazer tool down cylinder walls with each piston at bottom stroke,

didn't say what color smoke is, blue=oil, white=coolant, black=too rich fuel, blue black and white all together=boat anchor,

even totally rebuilt motors still drip a bit at rear, see posts about it,

you Can replace rear main seal in the truck with proper tool, not always successful but might be better than what you have,

re adjust the valve train, adjusting them running is a pain, get motor hot and do them with with it not running, make sure each cylinder is at top dead on compression stroke when adjusting,


I did not use a deglazer tool. I'm familiar with it as I used it on a tractor once. But no, I did not on this truck.

Smoke appears to be very light blue in color.
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Golden Jubilee
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Post Tue May 14, 2019 4:15 pm

Re: Disappointed - R112 (long post)

I'd start by just pulling the oil pan and taking a look at what you've got. If there are chunks of metal in the bottom, or the copper flecks in the oil, then you'll have an idea. And I'd pull a rod and main cap to see how much undersize the bearings are. At least you'll know what you might be looking for if you replace them. Keep an eye on Ebay. There's a set of main bearings on there now for $56.00. They're .060 under, but you won't know whether that's what you're in the market for. Rod bearings wouldn't be a problem to replace, but you would have to know size, and if the crank needs to be turned, it would have to come out. The rear main bearing cap holds the rope seal, and that would be the bugaboo. I wouldn't scrap the project yet without digging into it enough to know what you really have. Then decide if it's worth it to fix it. A cylinder leak-down test would probably give you a good idea whether you have ring blowby or some other cylinder issues.

Rusty Driver
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Post Tue May 14, 2019 8:08 pm

Re: Disappointed - R112 (long post)

It sounds like you have a truck with alot of family history. Well worth the money to get it fixed even if you have to pay someone to either fix or diagnose it. If you have it fixed right and maintain it then it will outlive you and my opinion you will will never regret it. Keep having fun with it.

Golden Jubilee
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Post Tue May 14, 2019 8:47 pm

Re: Disappointed - R112 (long post)

If it is a bearing knock, and it is audible, replacing the bearings may be good enough for 50 miles a year, but beyond that, the engine will need crank work.
Bearing replacement is generally done as a preventive measure. If it has progressed to a problem, then crank grinding or a replacement crank AND new bearings are needed.
You can get away with a lot if your expectation are low, but if you choose to operate with knocking bearings be prepared that a rod could go through the block ruining the engine.
Not being there and hearing the knock, I can only guess based on what you report.
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