Tick-Tock clean... clock

Before I make any other comments, a word on the fiber-glass dash I'm improvising.

The two parts have been joined and as I don't have a picture yet, you'll have to take my word, that it fits beautifully.

There's quite a bit of work still left on it, but the progress is good. For something that started out as an experiment, this is turning into a resounding success.

And now an update of the last three weeks.

Here it is, the power that will be Christn.

Before I started taking it apart that is.

I never planed on doing an engine re-build for Christn, it was never part of the budget. So when I pulled this baby out from storage, the intention was to clean it up and use it. Things did not go quite that way though.

When I started removing the spark plugs, I saw that the one on #1 had heavy oil on it, and the other three had serious carbon deposits. So my brain immediately screamed: "Rebuild! Now!"

Yes, I panicked, I'm sure even an experienced mechanic would have. After a cup of coffee and a drag on my pipe, I calmed down though and started disassembly. Top tin was the first to come off.

Followed by the exhaust and heater pipes.

More tin came off and as the disassembly continued, and a faint glimmer of hope arrived; As I progressed I realized that none of the nuts and bolts required serious force or convincing to come off. When the front tin came off, I was amazed to see how new the crank pulley looked, tarnished though it might be, it takes little more than a finger to get it off. The fuel pump also gleamed after a bit of a wipe down, but my hope really flared up when I removed the oil filter and saw brand new seals under it.

Calming my self down again, I decided not to get excited, before an inspection of the cylinders, pistons and heads.
So off came the heads.

After inspection I was happy to note that none of the pistons showed any sign of ware, pitting or scoring. The barrels also, are smoothe and clean.

The following two pictures were taken in a virtual state of euphoria, that's probably why it looks such a mess. Well... at least I have an excuse for not being an organized mechanic. What's yours?

All the good signs aside though, the clincher would be the valves. I've never taken valves out before, nor did I have a valve-depressor. A friend, Wayne, was at hand though. He sorted me with a depressor and showed me how to get the valves out.

He did the first one, and the rest were all me.

Looking at the valves was the final clincher I needed, they are brand spanking new. All the evidence indicated that this engine was re-build and hardly run. A titanic relief for both myself and my budget.

The relief only served to help my push forward. After cleaning the heads I had to start re-seating the valves. A crucial, but rather mundane task.

Yes, I could probably have taken them to an engineering shop to get all this done, but there honestly was no need.
Seating them by hand was interesting and very gratifying. While doing it I was reminded of my grandfather, who was a mechanic, doing exactly the same thing, in exactly the same way, years before I was a twinkle in my dad's eye.

And then re-assembly started.

One tip to the uninitiated, like myself. The half moon shaped pins that keep the valves in the springs, what ever you do, don't keep them together with a magnet. I was foolish enough to do this and ended up magnetizing them just enough to make re-assembly a true test of patience and hand-eye co-ordination.

Here it's beginning to resemble an engine again. The push rod tubes I'm using here are a self expanding kind. I've asked around about them, some people hate them, others love them, yet others are simply happy with them.

Hopefully you also note, that I've cleaned the block. That though, is the one thing you won't find in any manual. Nobody seems to explain just how painfully long it takes to clean an engine. I literally sat and watched a clock tick by while washing the block and other parts.

But here comes the real pain... having to clean and spray the tin. That's kept me busy this whole weekend.

Here I finally started the spray-painting. I used high temperature paint here, so it won't peal off when the engine starts running again..

And here is the majority of the tin, neatly cleaned and sprayed.

To put some perspective to it, this is a peace of tin I've not done yet.

This then was the last three weeks of my life, and to be honest, I'll not do this again any time soon. Taking things apart and putting them together again, is the fun part. But for crying out loud! Can't someone find an engine cleaning fairy and send her my way. Honestly, the only reason I would not tackle this again, any time soon, is due to the cleaning and the time it takes.

I tried paraffin, gasoline, degreaser and two brands of engine cleaner. In the end, the old faithful Bio-clasic washing powder, in some hot water did the best of the lot. This of-course, means you have to be super careful, but at least the dirt and grime is gone now.

I'll be completing this assembly within the week, if Murphy and his law stay away that is.