So I put a bunch of stuff in the vibratory tumbler to see what results I might obtain giving it a several hour run. I grabbed a couple of handfuls of loose hardware from my bin and tossed them in the bowl:
About 20 seconds after turning the machine on, the parts are already being covered over by the undulating media:
I let it run on "medium" speed for about 3 hours.....
..... and here is a selection of the rusty and dirtiest pieces. A bit dusty from the clay cat litter, but otherwise really clean!
A quick wipe down with a cloth of some of the parts. Frozen and seized bolt and washer on the right now turns like new.
This old hose clamp of covered in rust and wouldn't turn at all. Garbage right? Wrong!
I really want to see what an overnight run will do, but I think these results are conclusive. My $20 used parts Amazing Tumbling Machine is a success!
Previously on part one.....
Without the resistance of the blower fan and suction of the vacuum filter assembly, this motor spins way faster than what the label states. So fast in fact it wants to tear itself apart while merrily dancing across the shop floor despite being mounted on springs (or maybe because it's mounted on springs?)
So, I need to figure out a way to slow the motor down or reduce the vibration component.
My first thought is to reduce the size of or modify the shape of the metal strip I added to the motor axle.
I think doing this only reduces the vibration. The motor will still be spinning way too fast and determining the right size of strip may be hit and miss to get exactly right.
How about controlling the motor speed? I think this will be the easier route.
Digging through my box of household electrical stuff, I found two incandescent dimmer switches that should work. They are designed for AC power (as is the electric motor) and this would add the ability to fine tune the vibratory effect for best results.
Before that however, I need to finish creating the parts bowl. First I inverted the bowl and traced a circle on a piece of spare lucite (plexiglass):
Cut the circle out using my bandsaw...... that's when I realized the centre section of the bowl sits above the rim:
To secure the new lid, I used a piece of hollow threaded rod. I screwed it into the top plate of the tumbler and l left it long enough to add a cap to hold it down tight to the bowl:
To hold the lid, I found an old powder scoop that fits perfectly over the bowl centre. That and a washer and nut hold everything down nicely:
Now that everything is built, back to slowing down the motor.
I added in the rotary dimmer switch. It has an off position when turned counter-clockwise all the way. I'll tide up the wiring once I figure out if this is going to work as designed. The picture was taken prior to creating the lid. Using the dimmer works!
Time to test the machine....
First, add the tumbling media, in this case a couple of scoops of clean clay cat litter. Then add some dirty, greasy and rusty test parts:
Close and fasten the lid..... all secure and "go for power-up!" The vibrating of the tumbler makes it hard to get a clear picture, but the media very quickly envelops the parts. As it tumbles, they occasionally come back up the top:
The tumbler is NOISY! I suspect the bolts between the levels of the tumbler are vibrating against the bowl. That should be easy to fix. Perhaps it might have to be run outside. After letting it run for about five minutes, I decided to have a look at the progress. Even after only 5 minutes, the parts are obviously cleaner and devoid of the grime they entered with:
Although the parts come out a bit dusty, clearly this method and machine I've built works very well, even at a short duration. I'm planning on running a longer test this afternoon and will post more details.
So as I mentioned previously, I have a pail full of loose hardware (bolts, nuts, washers etc.) that are completely covered in dirt, grime and rust. I pondered using my daughter's rotary rock tumbler, but learned that the interior of the drum can get destroyed by the tumbling medium and the metal parts.
A quick Google search led me to this post on how to make a Vibratory Tumbler:
The tumbler described in the link above is for rocks, but the concept is simple enough, perhaps I can come up with something for cleaning my parts. Another Google search led me to this You-Tube video:
Now that seems more like the type of task I'm trying to accomplish! And the cleaning media is cat litter!
Shouldn't get much cheaper and easier than that! Let's build one!
First, I obtained the following two items from the Value Village thrift store:
I tested the vacuum in the store before purchasing it to make sure it worked. It was missing the nozzle extension, so as a vacuum it really was worthless..... but it's the 9000 rpm electric motor that's inside I'm after. Recycling at it's best!
Remove the filter section and split the main case open:
Remove the motor/blower assembly and filter gasket:
Pry off the outer housing with a small screwdriver and remove the blower fan:
I removed the plastic backing plate leaving just the motor assembly. The mounting screws are quite short so I needed a thin board to mount the motor to. I had an old poly cutting board (white one on the bottom of the picture below) that I wasn't using for anything. I drilled out a large hole in it for the motor axle and two smaller holes for the mounting screws. The upper board is where the bowl will sit, for this I used a piece of scrap laminate flooring I had kicking around. I used 6 inch bolts with lock washers and nuts to space them apart enough to fit the motor in between. This whole assembly will be the vibratory part:
Next, I mounted the vibratory assembly on compression springs I bought in the surplus aisle at Princess Auto. Then the whole thing is mounted on a base of wood:
Next I mounted the motor. In the vacuum, it was designed to spin at high speed and very smoothly.
In my application, I want the motor to continue to spin at a high speed, but to also vibrate at high frequency. To accomplish this, I attached a small strip of scrap metal to the fan mounting bolt/axle of the electric motor:
So... thinking all was good, I figured it was time to test it. I very quickly learned that the motor was designed to power the blower fan with the added resistance of trying to move the air through the vacuum filter. Although I did plug in the motor and tested it once I had it outside of the vacuum housing and disconnected from the blower I didn't think much of it. However, without this resistance, I believe the motor spins much MUCH faster than it's rated RPM. Adding the attached metal strip and the whole assembly almost jumped and bounced across the shop floor base and all when I applied power. I should have tested this before mounting it, but it probably would have ripped my hand off in the process.
This obviously won't do.
More to think about..... stay tuned for part two.
Had a bit of time in the shop last night, decided to try an get the oil filler neck out of the casting. The neck and cap will later be welded to the valve cover. It fits under the cowling better in it's new position and provides an easy way to inspect the upper valve train once the engine is assembled. The aluminum casting isn't used in the conversion.
To get it out of the casting, it was suggested to me to heat the cast aluminum base close to the oil filler neck. It's just pressed in there and should come out easily.
Into the vice....
I'm currently out of propane for my torch, but I wonder if the heat gun would be enough...
A gentle twist with the channel-lock pliers and voila! Out it came, clean and easy!
Tagged and numbered as seperate items and into the inventory bin.
Now to clean some of the that loose hardware..... there has to be an easy way :)
Completed a milestone today with inventory. All parts catalogued, numbered and tagged using the numbering system from the conversion manual. Similar items placed in totes, totes numbered accordingly. All stacked and awaiting cleaning, measuring and disposition:
From top to bottom:
I've also got a bin full of associated hardware bolt, nuts, old gaskets etc.:
All of these were loose items in a pail and are typically filthy and rusty as to be expected from a 50 year old engine. They will need to be cleaned and assessed before making a decision on keep or toss.
Next step will be to build a parts cleaner.... stay tuned :)
Got some time in the shop today and made some headway on cataloguing my parts.
I'm using some home made inventory tags that I printed on business card stock (thank for the idea Brenda!). Once the inventory is done, it will be placed into sorted storage for easy retrieval when the time comes.
I'm really pleased at the condition of everything. Other than regular grime and dirt one would expect on a 50 year old engine, it seems like whomever dismantled the engine took care and time to do it right.
I'm waiting on my FlyCorvair.com disassembly DVD to arrive to make some decisions on part serviceability, but I've managed to find and itemize everything so far as per the conversion manual group numbers.
Looking at the cylinder assemblies, they appear in great shape. All the cooling fins are complete and again, other than being dirty seem in fine shape:
I'm curious why they left the pistons and rods installed in the cylinders, but I suspect that was the easy way to remove them and I think that's the way they are installed during the re-build. It also may be to protect the cylinder walls from damage/corrosion until they are ready for reassembly.
Once I get my DVD, I'll see what it suggests as there is no mention of either option in the manual.
Ever since I unloaded these I've been wondering if the pistons are seized in the cylinder bores from sitting in the bin. I decided to have a look by tapping the piston gently out of the cylinder using a wooden dowel and small hammer. A few light taps and out it came without any difficulty:
The inside walls of this cylinder look to be in great shape with no discernable wear or scoring - a really good sign that the other 6 are likely in good shape too. Hopefully they all come apart as easy.
I'm really pleased with my progress and can see this being an excellent and easy rebuild.
A new look to the blog. Wasn't happy with how the old one was displaying pictures (too narrow on the page making it hard to read).
No, I'm not ducking the inventory..... more of that coming this week.
Inventory is going mostly as planned. From a big pile of bins containing parts to organized chaos... ha!
The more I dig into this, the more I realize what an incredible deal I got from Paul. Almost everything is in dirty but serviceable shape. I even found the camshaft that I thought got missed.
The conversion manual is broken down into a group numbering system to help the builder work in complete sub-steps. As I sort and assess each item in my bigger pile, I'm cataloguing each according to their conversion manual group number. Parts that I can't identify or are clearly not needed for the conversion are given their own distinct group number. Once everything is identified and numbered, I'll start boxing it all up for storage and that will make it easy to find as I work on each section. Those parts that aren't for the conversion will be saved, sold or traded.
While I was assessing a box of head studs, I noticed that 3 of them were broken:
Interesting. ... I wonder if the missing ends are still in the block?
Damn... those are going to be hard to get out:
This is one of the reasons it's preferable to start with a complete motor. The conversion manual states not to remove these studs unless they are damaged (twisted, corroded or otherwise) beyond acceptable limits.
Unfortunately someone previous decided for whatever reason to pull the studs and snapped 3 of them just above the surface of the block casting. The studs aren't expensive to replace, but that's going to be fun getting out the broken bits as there is limited stud left to get a hold of. Win/lose I guess. ... it will be a bit of work but at least I'll be fully confident in brand new ones.
A bit of research on this tells me it's a fairly common problem and there are a few solutions. I'll tackle them when I'm ready.
So here is a first look at some of the highlights of my find.
There are a LOT of parts to go through and inventory, but I can't begin to explain how stoked I am about my acquisitions.
Most of everything is either salvageable as is, prime for exchange as a core for re-manufacture, or trade-worthy for other things I will need.
Casting numbers (T1208RH) on the dis-assembled core block indicate a 1965/66/67 110HP "automatic transmission no smog" block manufactured on December 8th in either 1965, 66 or 67.
The casting numbers (3878566) on the heads from this core indicate 110HP from 65, 66 or 67.
These are prime candidates for conversion. Two things I haven't found in the boxes yet are the camshaft (but that isn't a game-stopper as it will be replaced by a custom cam anyhow) and the push-rod tubes (cheap to purchase new). Everything else important seems to be there.
The original cylinders, pistons and rods from this 110hp core are in great shape and will be excellent core exchanges.
The crankshaft is the correct model (8409 cast iron) for conversion. It has already (as far as I can tell and was told) been drilled for the prop hub and safety shaft. I'm not sure if it has been nitrided or not, should be easy to find out. Huge savings having this already complete.
The new in box pistons I got with this lot have been superseded in the latest conversion plans with dished and forged aluminum pistons. Perhaps these can be traded or sold.
I paid a bit extra to obtain the prop hub assembly. It includes the machined safety shaft called for in the conversion plans. A new one from William Wynne costs over $500USD, I got it for $50CAD. Great deal!
The second core is still almost completely assembled and appears on the outside to be super clean. The valve covers even have some of their factory chrome finish left on them. The cooling fins are real nice and straight on both the cylinders and the heads.
Casting numbers (T1214RM) on the dis-assembled core block indicate a 1965 or 66 140HP "manual transmission no smog" block manufactured on December 14th in either 1965 or 66. It would be neat to know if both this and the other 110HP block were made within 6 days of each other!
The casting numbers (3878570) on the heads from this core indicate 140HP from 65 or 66.
This block is also a prime candidate for conversion. The heads however would have to be directly replaced with 95HP or 110HP heads. They will be of value to someone, probably a car rebuilder (140HP heads are rare). Of course the crank and camshaft are still inside and the push-rod tubes are there as well. I haven't looked inside this motor yet Everything else important seems to be there on this core too.
Although not pictured, Paul also included new in the box set of chrome piston rings and a David Clark headset (which appears new from the box!).
So, I think it's fair to say I've got a running head start on my engine project. A complete inventory is next. Time to buy some storage totes :)
On another note, I'd be remiss in not mentioning the support for this mission that has been given to me by my wife Brenda. She always seems to guide me away from to good to be true deals to hidden ones like these. Thanks - I love you.
Time until takeoff
Husband, father and 911 dispatcher. Long time pilot with a licence that burns a hole in my pocket where my student loan money used to be. First time aircraft builder. Looking to fly my own airplane.