12 February 2014

A close call

For weeks now I've been slowly trying to get that model a engine started.
 Reaffirming the reasons I enjoy metal fabbing more than mechanicals,
as big changes happen with short bursts of time,
instead of the same thing looking the same.
Over the weekend a 4-banger enthusiast finally came by to see the old jalopy.
After a couple visual checks he was amazed at what looked like a rebuilt engine.
He had suggested pulling the pan,
but implied there was a possibility to clean the inside,
simply by changing the oil with diesel,
and giving it a good couple spins with the starter.
The important thing was cleaning the oil dip pans,
as this was the oiling system in the unpressurized block.
Unfortunately draining the oil opened up this nightmare scenario.
There was at least an inch of pure water,
followed by a mountain of white sludge.
Holey chit.
There was no way to not drop the pan.
These depression era cars were obviously built for the common man,
out in the dirt with limited tools.
The pan slid out easily within minutes.
No need to remove exhaust and raise the engine like newer Fords.
There was way more sludge then expected,
however the rods and crankshaft were above the white line.
The bummer was 40+ years of daily heat and cold,
evaporating and condensing the water inside the block,
churning up that oily gunk,
while rusting up any bare metal.

After a solid hour of tedious scrubbing with a diesel soaked scouring pad,
the insides were debris free.
The new babbitt bearings conveniently lubed with the oily diesel,
and the rope seal surface on the crankshaft pulley shined up.
Now the engine spun like it was meant to.
Meanwhile the nasty sludge had drained,
and the oil pan and oil pump scoured clean.
I'll give it a good wire-wheeling before install.
I had informed 4-banger Tim of the pan drop,
and he was relieved to hear the engine was cleaned correctly.
How many engines are ruined by either sitting or neglect?
He even came over again to inspect the open case,
and donated an era correct gasket kit.
Thanks Tim!
I almost cut one out of gasket material!
By this time you'd expect the engine to be buttoned up.
Instead I cut out this patch of rust,
Adding a couple hours of low-priority work to the STD list.
What did you expect?
More later...


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