atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#3934: Jalopy engine disassembled.

The old red '95 Escort's engine got torn apart this afternoon.

Despite feeling like crud I was bound and determined to get that task done today, and by gum I did it...but I really had to work for it.

We can start with the fact that I--when removing it from the red car in 2009--neglected to drain the engine oil, and forgot that I had neglected to do that. This figures because when I initially began work, I tried to find the bolts used to attach an Escort engine to the engine stand, as used in 2009 to rebuild the other engine. Being unable to find them, I figured--WTF, it's scrap anyway, so why be anal?

The cylinder head bolts would not come loose.

Now, the specification for the Escort cylinder head bolts is "torque to yield"; you tighten them, loosen them, tighten them again, then angle-torque them, and this keeps the aluminum cylinder head from scrubbing the head gasket off the cast iron block due to different coeffecients of thermal expansion. (Theoretically. Talk to Og for futher details.) The specific torque rating is never higher than perhaps sixty foot-pounds; but let's just say it's about eighty for rough figuring.

The cylinder head bolts would not budge. I put the impact wrench on them and let it hammer away and they would simply NOT NOT N-O-T move. Hammer and cheater bar--no joy, the engine kept moving around.

Fine, thought I; I'll just lay it on its side and stand on the breaker bar to get 'em loose.

...and about five seconds after I laid it down on its side, my mood turned even more dark and foul than the spreading black pool of oil on the garage floor.

Insert here about an hour where I cleaned up the oil spill, got the engine on the hoist, pulled the oil pan and pump, and then laid it down on a sheet of cardboard. Swearing all the while, I might add.

The cylinder head bolts did not much mind the breaker bar; I had to stand with one foot on the engine and one on the bar to get them to pop loose. Okay, some of it is due to thousands of hot-cold cycles and oil coking, but come on.

After I got them broken loose, the air ratchet spun 'em right out. Two whacks with the BFH and the head popped loose, neat as you please.

It was my first look inside this engine. As you may recall the #4 cylinder burned enough oil that the plug fouled periodically; I was interested to see what was causing it.

Strangely enough, the #4 cylinder looks fine. The piston was (as you'd expect) coated with carbon, but there was no unusual wear to the cylinder wall. The #1 cylinder had a distinct ridge on the accessory side, but was otherwise normal, indicating a severe out-of round condition. (If you can feel it....) The pistons popped right out without trouble. The oil rings don't protrude much from the piston sides; I can't remember if that was a feature of the new ones I put into the other engine, or if this is why the thing burned oil.

Either way--burning oil on acceleration is rings and it's not terribly surprising. I'd wager the other cylinders were probably out-of-round as well, meaning boring oversize, honing, new pistons--all stuff that I don't need to do and which relegate the engine to "junk" status.

The bearing surfaces looked good. A few minor scores, nothing big; I didn't bother dragging a thumbnail across the journals but there was nothing obviously wrong, which fits with "running well but worn when removed".

Most of the engine is going to the scrapyard tomorrow. I am keeping the head, the transmission, and the intake, as I think these three assemblies could be sold for more than scrap value if I would just get my anus in gear and clean them up and post ads somewhere like ebay or Craigslist.

The nice thing about this project is that besides putting a few dollars in my pocket (to be used towards a new set of piston rings for the dirt bike) this has also cleared up more floor space in the garage. It's not much, but it's more than I had.

And it's also nice that I moved my ass and did something useful outside for a change, too. Cutting the grass is one thing; actually working in the garage (when I am supposed to be a gearhead) is something else entirely, a semi-optional activity and worth doing.

It goes without saying that I now need food and a shower, of course.

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