atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#1654: Jalopy engine teardown

Today I tore down the engine.

It really was just a matter of unscrewing a whole bunch of bolts. There were no surprises or problems.

So once I got the cylinder head off, I saw that the #3 cylinder has a pretty good coating of rust/carbon/gunk which is what was keeping the piston from moving, thus seizing the rotating assembly. I took that piston out first, and the freaking rings are stuck. It's messy.

Anyway, so I got the other pistons out, took out the crank, removed oil pump and rear main seal, and then took the block to a local machine shop to have the cylinders honed. That should be done sometime tomorrow.

Then I went back to Advance Auto to order a gasket set. Mirabile visu the gasket set includes cylinder head bolts, which is fan-fricking-tastic. Not so fan-fricking-tastic is the price of the gasket set--$100--but WTF. In fact, if I understood the pic on the computer screen at the parts store, this gasket set includes everything I need, including front and rear main seals, which really is wonderful to behold. And of course I also ordered a complete set of bottom-end bearings.

What I didn't order is piston rings. You see, while I believe--and sincerely hope--that the gunk in the #3 cylinder can be banished with a good hone job, I am not going to count on it. If I have to have the thing bored, then I'll need a new set of oversized pistons and rings to go with them. If no boring is required, then I'll order a set of standard size rings and probably lose no more than a day or so.

It's not like this thing would get done by Sunday, after all, even if the clutch comes in tomorrow as it's supposed to.

As it sits right now, I'm into this project for $300. That's before I pay for the hone job, piston rings, and consumables such as oil, assembly lube, transmission fluid, and coolant. *sigh* On the plus side I have now located one auto machine shop in Crete, which will help with future projects. And this engine ought to be good to go at least another 100,000 miles.

Other than the condition of the #3 cylinder, the inside of the engine looks spotless. There is no ridge at the top of the cylinders and you can still see the crosshatching. The bearing babbits are silky smooth. You could eat off the inside of the valve cover or the cylinder head. Once the pistons were out the crank spun like it was on rollers.

So once I get the engine block back I'm going to start a program of detailing and perhaps even some port matching while I'm waiting for the parts to come in. Clean it up, put on some paint, make it look spiffy; why not? And port matching will improve the engine's performance and efficiency a little bit.

So, although it's work and it's frustrating at times, I'm coming to remember why I enjoy working on machinery. It's going to be really cool when this thing is in the red car and it fires up and runs again.

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