It took some time, but I finally got back into the shop. The last few weeks have been real busy between work and family commitments, and I'm trying to keep moving forward.
This afternoon, I took another crack at removing the last two head studs. Unfortunately, they continue to be stuck half-way out of the block, and by stuck I mean they don't seem to want to go either way (all the way in or all the way out):
Next, I'm going to try something suggested by some on the interwebs - make a penetrating oil with equal parts acetone and automatic transmission fluid. So far PB Blaster hasn't worked, so why not? It apparently works very well in exactly this situation. So add acetone to the shopping list and check the shed for ATF, I'm certain I have some.
Rather than dwell on this, I thought I'd take the steps to separate the case halves. If you recall, I mounted the block sideways on the engine mount to prevent the crank and cam from falling out of the block as it separates. They came apart surprisingly easy with some light tapping on the non mating surfaces with a rubber mallet:
Getting a good look inside now! Crank is likely trash, way too much rust and pitting on the connecting rod throw bearings. The cam? Hard to say, but it looks bad too and maybe it can be salvaged but probably not. Disappointing, but I already have two good cores for exchange form the 110hp core engine, so no big deal. Found more rodent debris and I think this core has been sitting dry (without oil) for a long time:
Also conspicuously absent are any bearings. Looks like someone decided they didn't need to be replaced yet. That's okay, I'll need specifically sized new ones once the crank and cam are serviced.
Carefully removing the old crank and cam reveals some surface rust on the block bearing surfaces. I think this is more of a transfer of rust staining from the crank and cam and hopefully they should easily clean up:
I was a bit worried about the bottom edge of the block, but then realized that this mating surface is inside the engine (above the oil pan), so small leaks here although not ideal, are not an issue. A close look at it looks like this is the spot someone previous used to pry apart the halves:
They look better once I used the shop-vac to clean away the last of the mouse debris. The inside of this block seems pretty clean otherwise:
One final thing I did while putting away the crank was to try giving it the "ring test". It's something I learned from the FlyCorvair.com DVD. A simple test used to check a crank for cracks (especially hidden ones) is to hold the crank from one end and give it a light tap with a hammer. A good crank will "ring" for up to 20 seconds once tapped lightly.
I tried this.... my cranks rings, but not consistently. The first time it rang for a few seconds, the second time a bit longer but the third? "Clunk". Perhaps I'm not striking it consistently. Either way, this crank is likely junk with all the rust pitting. Just wanted to try it.
But at least it's all apart and I'll be able to start moving towards assembly of my new power-plant!
Next up.... taking out the oil gallery plugs (if they will come out!), start power-washing and hand cleaning everything....
Jumped at the chance to work outside this morning and pressure washed the 140hp block. The core is quite clean, but I wanted to remove some of the remaining grime and PB Blaster that I've been spraying before bringing it into the basement shop. It's not perfect (and won't be without some elbow grease, scrub brushes and Simple Green cleaner) but at least it doesn't smell greasy. Here is a couple of pictures, post "wash" and drying in the sun:
Obviously, I won't be able to get into all the internal nooks and corners until I split the case halves.
Once it was dry, I moved it into the shop and mounted it sideways on the engine stand:
I've decided to try and carefully remove all the studs as it looks like most will have to be pulled and re-installed with LocTite 620 anyhow. So, before splitting the case halves, I'm working on removing them. The easiest way to do this is to double-nut the studs at the top and back the studs out. This is much preferable to using ViceGrips or ChannelLocks and risking damaging the studs. It's a lengthy process for each, but worth the time:
Eight studs to remove and every single one came out cleanly on this side. A couple of them were tight, but a bit of 3-in-1 oil at the base helped. The threads in the block look great, should be good for re-installing the studs later:
Tomorrow, I'll rotate the block over and work on the opposite side studs. Only 11 to remove on the other side and they hopefully go as smoothly as these did. Then I'll review the dis-assembly DVD for direction on separating the case halves.
This is a very important step. What I find inside will determine if this will be a usable block.
First thing, I removed the large case bolts. There are eight, two rows of four:
They came out very easy, probably because I've been soaking them with PB Blaster. I got four of the eight out when I remembered that I needed to remove the stock oil pan as well. I had forgotten it as it was underneath and not readily visible. I took the block off the stand and set it on it's end to remove the pan:
Oh look what's inside! More mouse-house debris! But other than that, very clean.
I removed the last 4 case bolts and hoped to split the case, but it's tight like the rear oil cover. Probably easier to take the whole thing inside to the shop. Next up... cleaning!
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.