Parts Price List
Ask the Maestro
THE MOTHER OF ALL WHISTLES
One day, as it is wont to do, the Maestro's Hot Line Telephone rang at (408) 727-1864. This time, the Maestro, not his assistant, was in,
....."Uh, Maestro, said the Voice on the Phone (VOP) "Have I got a Strange One for you. It's so strange it's SCARY! And it's on one of YOUR engines too!"
....."Oh?" said the Maestro. A Strange Defect on one of MY engines??? That's not Normally possible. But tell me more, my son, so that together we might exorcise the demons and make things Right with the Universe. What's the Problem?"
....."Well, there are TWO problems actually- and both of them occurred right after I changed the oil. The First problem is the worst- it's a bad oil leak.
....."Hummmh, a leak right after you changed the oil... And where is this oil leak coming from?" asked the Maestro nervously.
....."It's kind of on the left side of the engine. Like from the Oil Cooler," said the VOP.
....."Uh Oh, said the Maestro. "That could be an Oil Cooler leak- a few new coolers have been leakers. Or it could be a leaking oil cooler Seal- they sometimes die- especially after sitting on the shelf for 20 + years. Fortunately, that would be cheap to fix.
....."Ah, but," continued the Maestro. "It COULD be the dreaded Cracked Oil Cooler Stand- a crack in the CASE- whose only real fix is a complete disassembly of the engine, "V" ing out the crack and reconstruction of the entire Oil Cooler stand by Litz. Followed much of the time by an Align Bore due to weld distortion, requiring a set of expensive Align Bore Bearings. That's the Worst Case. And that sure is Scary.
....."Which, said the VOP, brings me to the SECOND problem- the REALLY Scary One.
....."The REALLY Scary one? What could be scarier than a Cracked Case?" asked the Maestro.
..... "Just this," said the Customer. "It's a Strange Whistle from the engine somewhere.
.....The Maestro, relieved that it's not rod knock or something equally horrible (the oil leak was bad enough), launches into yet another Lecture More:
....."Well, my son, there are many causes of whistles in a engine. A particularly nice one is the "Chirp, Chirp" made by an un-oiled rubbing block on the ignition points squeaking every time it's hit by the hump of the distributor's cam. Imitates a Cucamonga Chickadee well enough that people describe it as sounding "just like a bird..."
....."But, but, said the VOP.
....."And," continued the Maestro, pausing not for interruptions. "But sometimes a Chirping sound or steady whistle can be caused by Del'orto carburetors- those that have the funny "recess" cast into the Throttle body near the Butterflies for a vestigial vacuum port.
.....Left unplugged this funny "recess" can cause a Chirping whistle. You gotta plug the recess on Del'orto carburetors with a special gasket that has a raised teat to plug the hole in the carburetor. The Maestro doesn't like that fix much, which is one of the reasons the Maestro doesn't like Del'ortos much. He likes Webers instead. Or Good-running Originals. But since you have a MaestroMassaged engine, you don't have Dellortos, so that can't be the problem..
....."No," said the VOP. "I don't have that problem- This is a pretty steady whistle."
....."That's Good", said the Maestro. "Steady Whistles are easier to find- the usual cause is a leaking carburetor to intake manifold gasket which, if improperly installed, leak. Some leaks produce very nice whistles at various rpm or vacuum conditions..." droned the Maestro, on and on and on, not getting the point.
....."But this Whistle,...", interrupted the VOP, once again in vain, as the Maestro was now locked into Lecture Mode.
....."Ah, but sometimes, continued the Maestro. "Sometimes the whistle is a generator bearing or fan going out. But this can be easily found by a simple test- merely disconnect the fan belt, and fire up the engine. (only for a short time- remember the fan belt's been disconnected) If the noise ain't there no mo' with the fan belt disconnected, the trouble lies with the generator. If the noise still be there, it's Something Else,...
....."But, Maestro," beseeched the Customer. "I'm TRYING TO TELL YOU- there's Something VERY Special about THIS whistle."
....."Yes, my son," replies the Maestro, slightly irritated at having his Very Nice lecture interrupted by additional facts. "And what is it about this whistle that makes it special?"
....."Uh, well, this Whistle- I know it sounds crazy, but this Whistle KEEPS ON GOING- even after I turn the engine OFF!
.....The Maestro was Uncharacteristically silent. Though for a short time.
....."Hummh. said the Maestro thoughtfully- "A whistle from the Engine that remains whistling- even with the engine OFF! Is that what you said?"
....."Yes" said the VOP. "THAT'S what's so weird!"
....."And how long does this whistle go on AFTER the engine is fully stopped?
....."Oh, about three, four, or five seconds."
....."Whew. said the Maestro- "I'm glad you said that- if the whistle lasted for say, half an hour after the engine was turned off, it would certainly be the Mother of All Whistles. Or a Whistler's Mother.
.....And since I can think of no good Scientific Reason why a whistle could possibly last half-an-hour, that would be Very Scary! I'd have to conclude that your 356 was undoubtedly Haunted. (Which isn't that unusual- as some 356's ARE Haunted! Like the ones that always break down on your Wife/Girlfriend/Mistress/MFP but never on you.))
....."So, Maestro" said the VOP. "What do you think?"
.....And that's just what the Maestro was a-doin' 'bout then. A-Thinking. And a-thinkin'. And a-thinkin'. Thinking about how the Hell a Whistle from the engine could possibly last 5 seconds AFTER the engine was shut off!!???
.....Sure, an intake manifold leak could cause a whistle for a short time. But a second after you shut the engine off, there's no more vacuum in the intake manifold. No vacuum, no Whistle. So it can't be that. Likewise, a pressure build-up up the muffler would also leak down in a less than a second. So it can't be the Intake or Exhaust system either.
.....The Maestro' Memory Banks pulsed with Power as he pondered this puzzler (the Pulsing was not unlike the Control Room Dials in "Forbidden Planet" when the Creature from the Id was trying to melt through the 30 feet of Krell Metal).
.....Where else he pondered, is there enough pressure or a source of energy that can last a full five seconds AFTER the engine is shut down? Beep. Beep. Searching. Searching. Bing. Bong.
....."Uh, cough, cough, said the Maestro, with some drama. "Tell me, my son, when you changed the oil like you said you did, did you change the Oil Filter too?"
....."Why, yes, Maestro I changed the filter too."
....."Then," said the Maestro. "Why don't you see ifin the gasket for the Oil Filter Can is leaking!"
....."The Oil Filter can?" asked the VOP. "Why the oil filter can?"
....."Because," said the Maestro. "There's usually a fairly high pressure air bubble in the Oil Filter can- especially ifin you just changed the oil filter- and the filter can is first filled with air! Then when you run the engine, the air is compressed as the oil fills up the can. (Compressed in Maestromassaged Engines to almost Half a Million Pascals, as that's the normal Oil Pressure!)
.....If there's a tiny leak in the oil filter can gasket, the compressed air/oil leaking out the hole could cause the noise you hear for several seconds AFTER the engine is turned off! !
....."Soooo," said the Maestro. "I suggest you Check Out the filter can gasket."
....."Wow, That's Amazing", said the VOP with great admiration. That's a good idea. I'll check it out."
.....Half an hour later, the Maestro got a return call- "Guess what, asked the VOP excitedly."
....."Well, let's see," said the Maestro. "Either the filter can gasket was the cause of the whistle or it wasn't. Since you're not swearing at me, I guess it WAS a leaking Oil Filter Can Gasket!"
....."Once again, that's Amazing, Maestro. It WAS The oil filter Can gasket! It was leaking! I readjust it and tightened down the Oil filter can top bolt a bit more and now- there's no whistle! I'm soooo IM-pressed!"
....."Yes, my son," said the Maestro. "Your whistle was whetted with oil, as it were. But tell me too that the OIL LEAK on the left hand side of the engine has also magically stopped now."
....."Gosh, you're Amazing, Maestro," said the VOP. "Yes, of course, the leaking, whistling gasket was the cause of the oil leak too!
....."And," said the Maestro. "Now you know that an oil filter can will take an amazingly long time after fire-up before it begins to leak. An empty Oil Filter Can takes several MINUTES to fill up before the oil reaches the level of the gasket- longer to reach the bolt. Five MINUTES sometimes.
..... Don't forget- all the oil entering the OIl Filter Can must pass through that itty-bitty 1/16" hole in the Banjo Bolt that holds the Oil Filter Inlet Line to the Junction Block. With cold, thick oil, it can take quite a while to fill up the can.
.....And, sometimes the damn Filter can gasket won't leak until the oil gets hot and thin enough to flow through a teeny-tiny hole in the gasket that it couldn't flow through when cold! By then you're four miles down the Freeway, going on vacation with your Significant Other.
.....Then, by Murphy, the oil leak will magically enlarge so that all five quarts of oil can be pumped out the filter can, down its sides and all over the engine, making a hot, smelly, mess that you'll notice hopefully before the last drop is pumped out.
.....Should you not notice the leak, then the Maestro hopes your oil pressure idiot light is working, will come on and THEN you'll then stop and check the oil level. Say #$% %#% But praise the Maestro that you always carry around three extra quarts of oil in the trunk, so you can get back home again.
.....That's why the Maestro runs his engines for an hour on the Test Stand. Gets those pesky oil filter gasket leaks every time. (Actually, he first fires the engine up with a nice Nuclear Oil Pressure Gauge screwed into the inlet oil line. Of course that means that no oil gets to the filter Can, so, the oil filter Can can't leak. That's nice.
.....Then, after the engine been sufficiently warmed up and the Carbs and Timing adjusted, the oil line to the filter can is hooked up. With a shop rag or two draped around the Filter can and another in the Maestro's hands, the engine is fired up. By placing one's hand on the Filter can, one can trace the progress of the oil upward, as it fills the can.
.....Once the oil nears the top, is when the leaks can start. Time it- you'll be surprised how long the oil takes to fill the Oil Filter can.
.....THe Maestro wonders how many Gentle Readers Out There have had a similar experience with strange whistles/leaking oil filter cans? Or did your 356 just STOP Whistling as you were driving past the graveyard, 'cause the last drop of oil just leaked out? And your Idiot light doesn't work. And you break down by the graveyard. And we never hear from you again.
.....See, ifin you drive 356's, you gotta:
..... KEEP THE 356 FAITH!!!
© © 2012 The MAESTRO, Maestro's Library
Home Videos Books Order Form Engine Overhaul Transmission Overhaul
Parts Price List Classifieds Stories Samples Quizzes Ask the Maestro