GM Futurliner Engine
The power plant is a 145-horsepower, 302 cubic inch GMC gasoline engine. It not only is called upon to propel the massive Futurliner over the highways and byways but to turn a huge generator for electricity during the show.
Compression ratio is 7.3 to 1. Bore and stroke are each 4 inches. It produces 262 foot pounds of torque at 1,400 revolutions per minute. The engine is serviced through a large access door located at the left front of the vehicle.
To say the Futurliners were underpowered would be an understatement. But remember, superhighways were not yet in existence and 45 mph speeds were probably adequate.
This particular engine was seized and needed to be rotated in order to get at the torque converter bolts. Del Carpenter removed four pistons before it could be rotated. Don disassembled his engine hoist and reassembled it inside the Futurliner. After making a rigging that balanced the engine they were able to drop it onto a Jalopy Dolly and roll it out from under the Futurliner.
The engine itself looks great. The piston walls are smooth, the crank looks good, and we found nothing wrong that was major. There was no sludge in the engine and everything was clean (inside).
ENGINE REBUILD -- as of 9/4/00
This engine is slated to be completely overhauled for free by Bill Bicknell Engine Company, located in Dayton, Ohio.
We received an e-mail from Jack Halton (belongs to the 302 Inliner Club) in Winter Park, Florida offering new parts for our engine overhaul after he had looked at our web page. After our engine builder, Bill Bicknell and Jack talked, we found out that Jack had a source to buy NOS (new old stock) 302 GMC OHV 6 cylinder short block engines in California. This is the same type of engine in our Futurliner. The price was so good that Bill said we could not get the machining done at that cost. Considering other problems like the block could be cracked and whatever, we decided to order two NOS short blocks and they will arrive at Bill's place this month. We had always planned to do two engines. One engine is for the Futurliner and the other a spare to be used as a backup as well a static display since you cannot see the drivetrain once the Futurliner is restored.
Engine rebuilder Bill Bicknell (pictured) suggested we hand off the original engine to him in Auburn, Indiana. He needed the original engine for the purpose of unbolting various parts (for example the head) that is not on a NOS short block engine. We slid the engine from my pickup (right) to his pickup (left). Actually, the operation proved to be fairly simple. Don lifted the engine with his engine-hoist at home and turned it sideways so it would fit into his pickup with the cap on. At Auburn, Bill and Don backed their trucks up to each other and wrestled the engine from one truck to the other.
ENGINE REBUILD -- as of 2/19/00
Fom Bill Bicknell -- I have finally gotten those other nuisance projects (1953 Skylark and 1937 Cord) out of the way and started on the Futurliner engine. I have one of the NOS shortblocks stripped down to the bare block and I am starting to clean parts. What I found interesting is a quality problem from the factory. The machining chips were never cleaned out of this shortblock. So there are 50 year old rusty metal chips stuck in several cavities in the block. When I get them cleaned out there will be no problem. However, if this engine had been installed without a teardown like I an doing and the chips were left in, the engine would likely have had major wear problems in just a few miles once the chips got sucked up into the oil pump. The other shortblock does not have this problem.
COMPONENTS NEEDED FOR 2ND ENGINE We still need to find a 302 GMC OHV 6 cylinder engine to remove the components front to put on the NOS short block that will be arriving at Bill's house. Anyone out there happen to have one of these?
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