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76 Laguna progress

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Post by bigredlaguna on Wed Apr 29, 2020 11:41 am

Actually it was very smooth. No indication of a problem at all. The car just had an irritating exhaust noise due to a split muffler and an intermittent clinking noise that I attributed to a loose dust cover.
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Post by Limey SE on Wed Apr 29, 2020 12:27 pm

Wow with the Crack and missing bolts you would think it would, BUT good thing you wanted to upgrade motors or who know how much Longer it would have lasted

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Post by bigredlaguna on Wed Apr 29, 2020 1:58 pm

I have a buddy that rebuilds these things. He has plenty of cores so it isn't a problem getting a new transmission. He upgrades at least one of the clutch packs with an extra clutch and whatever shift quality I want for a VERY reasonable price.

The part that sucks for me is that the original trans had a dual pattern bellhousing. It just takes away part of the uniqueness of this generation of vehicle.
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Post by Limey SE on Wed Apr 29, 2020 8:22 pm

Very Nice thats a good friend to have, Maybe he has a dual pattern for you ??

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Post by bigredlaguna on Wed Apr 29, 2020 8:54 pm

He might, but unlikely that I would get one. He is a little bit of a hoarder for weird stuff like that. He might surprise me though, because unlike the typical hoarder, he will sell whatever you see that isn't already committed to someone for the right price.
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Post by Limey SE on Wed Apr 29, 2020 9:07 pm

Man I hope so Red would be cool to be at least be what was in there Or can yours even be fixed or too far of a break

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Post by bigredlaguna on Wed Apr 29, 2020 10:36 pm

If it broke anywhere else but the dowel pin hole, I would consider having someone weld it up. TH350's are just too common to worry about fixing a bellhousing.
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Post by MaliCrusier / Mitch on Mon May 04, 2020 12:21 am

If you can't keep the dual pattern then why not swap a 700r4? It's a really easy swap.
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Post by bigredlaguna on Mon May 04, 2020 9:43 am

I already have a 2200/2500 stall convertor for the th350, and I also have a pair of 2004r transmissions that I am going to upgrade the internals on. Even easier and I like the gear ratio spread better.
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Post by g3chevy on Mon May 04, 2020 12:10 pm

bigredlaguna wrote:I already have a 2200/2500 stall convertor for the th350, and I also have a pair of 2004r transmissions that I am going to upgrade the internals on. Even easier and I like the gear ratio spread better.

The 200 4-R is the way to go. I did this swap on my 76 Laguna back in the early 90's when I had no idea what I was doing. Even then it bolted right in with minor mods to make everything hook up properly. If i remember correctly I had to massage the cooling lines a bit to get them connected and had to grind out the holes a little larger on the mounting bracket for the shift cable and had to move the crossmember back a few inches. Otherwise you can use your existing driveshaft without and mods which is a big plus. The most important thing is getting the TV cable adjusted properly so the trans doesn't burn up. But when these are built properly they can withstand 500+ horsepower. About to do this swap for my 75 Laguna and then hopefully do the Power Tour next year.

76 Laguna progress - Page 3 Img_2013
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Post by thatfnthing on Mon May 04, 2020 12:59 pm

X2 on all of that. I love mine. The biggest issue was grinding a new detent plate for the shifter for 7 positions instead of 6.
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Post by bigredlaguna on Sun May 31, 2020 5:44 pm

I finally got a transmission back from my friend. The original was on it"s last leg. The forward clutch pack was roached.

76 Laguna progress - Page 3 Img_2023

Also found some wear on the detent that may explain why my factory ratchet shifter wouldn't work properly.

76 Laguna progress - Page 3 Img_2024

The detent to the far left is supposed to be straight across and the points on the rest are supposed to be sharper. He didn't have a spare one from a th350 for me to photograph, but he did have one from a th400 that illustrates the difference pretty good.

76 Laguna progress - Page 3 Img_2025
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Post by bigredlaguna on Sun May 31, 2020 6:01 pm

I have yet to hear back from the machinist about the condition of the original engine, but after unloading it, his tear down guy came back after just 10 minutes and said it would need a new crank at the least. This was due to him being able to pull the harmonic balancer off by hand. I neglected to take a pic of the flex plate, but on my way out he showed me that it was cracked almost all the way around the bolt pattern. I did take a pic of the top of the head. I don't know if this block will be viable.

76 Laguna progress - Page 3 Img_2026

The forward passenger side oil return hole was completely blocked

76 Laguna progress - Page 3 Img_2027
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Post by Hs1973 on Mon Jun 01, 2020 11:08 am

man i have never seen a trans damaged like this without making all kinds of noise. And also a cracked flexplate plus a bad crank on top makes me think you just dodged a major bullit. Hope you get it back on the Road soon.


Last edited by Hs1973 on Mon Jun 01, 2020 11:09 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : typo)
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Post by Limey SE on Mon Jun 01, 2020 11:41 am

Wow HS1973 is right you dodged a very big Bullet with Laguna motor printed on it .... Hope everything can be saved for you sir

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Post by Hs1973 on Tue Jun 02, 2020 12:36 pm

Im guessing po did not do much in oilchange, at least not on a regular basis. Its funny though that some of these chevy motors can actually be running Real good. And hen you take them apart some day everything just disintigrades and falls apart. I saw a 350 one time that was running ok, and when we took the valvecover off it was so caked you could not see the valvetrain.
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Post by bigredlaguna on Sat Jun 06, 2020 12:57 pm

This car was first purchased by a mature female. I don't know if it was the last car she ever bought, but she kept until she passed away. Her daughter acquired the car from her estate and during her ownership, the car was changed from its original blue/white to the color it currently is. If you buy in to the stereotype of a female car owner, well-- it's no surprise the engine ended up as coked as it is.

It might be just a symptom of the time this car was built also. Oil technology, mass production tolerances, fuel distribution issues inherent with carburetion were all stacked against this engine. This is what I am going with.
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Post by bigredlaguna on Sat Jun 06, 2020 1:18 pm

I spoke with the machinist yesterday, and he said the engine would clean up at .030 overbore. I asked what the bill was for the inspection, and he said 200 would cover it. I was expecting an overcharge for cleaning, but oh well.

So I get there this morning, and he tells me the engine sat in the tank for 4 if not 5 days, and there is still spots of crud stuck to the parts. He also figures the crank is still good and it was the harmonic balancer that was worn out. I look the parts over and decide to turn back the heads and intake because I don't ever see myself building a stock 400. This whole time, I am looking around the shop for my block that he hasn't shown me yet. I finally ask where my block is, and he's like "it's in the boring machine". His guy just took it upon himself to go ahead and bore it .030, because he figured whether I build it or sell it, the engine was going to need this anyway. The light finally came on for me that this was the real reason for the bill.

So now I have a good foundation for a future build. I'll get some pics up in a bit.
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Post by bigredlaguna on Sat Jun 06, 2020 6:00 pm

Found the old flex plate while I was there.

76 Laguna progress - Page 3 Img_2028
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Post by bigredlaguna on Sat Jun 06, 2020 6:05 pm

The crank snout doesn't look bad. Didn't measure it, but he said it could be repaired if it is worn anyway.

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Post by bigredlaguna on Sat Jun 06, 2020 6:12 pm

No core shift. The engine builder isn't worried about the cylinder walls being too thin at .030 due to the core looking good.

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Post by bigredlaguna on Sat Jun 06, 2020 6:22 pm

Some evidence of just how hard the engine was coked up. This is after soaking for a few days.

76 Laguna progress - Page 3 Img_2031

76 Laguna progress - Page 3 Img_2032

76 Laguna progress - Page 3 Img_2033
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Post by bigredlaguna on Sat Jun 06, 2020 6:24 pm

For now the 400 is bagged and resting in the garage until I am ready to either build it or sell it.
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