Have a soda.

Once I start working, I have a tendency to push until I'm done. That's why you don't often see photos of my work while I'm halfway through any one thing. So when I stop myself in the middle of something, to take a photo, you know I was either amazed, ticked off, completely baffled or high on spray painting fumes.

In this particular case though, I was completely amazed!

Take a look at this:

That was about 5 minutes into a soda blasting session, of the manifold and carburetor.
The silver spot in the middle there, is the reason I stopped to take this photo. I've been complaining about the cleaning I have to do and there was the answer.

Here is a closeup of the area in question.

And here is a control. Look at this picture carefully, remember it well, it's the last time you'll see it that dirty.

Dumb struck I pushed on.

At one point I decided to take the carburettor off, to make my work easier. This was taken as I was about to finish off.

I just know there are nuts like me that would appreciate this picture set.

Now that is a clean carburettor. Cleaner than I've ever seen come out from a chemical spray or soaking.

The whole soda blasting idea isn't mine. I got it from www.aircooledtech.com. Take a look at the soda blaster idea in the "Tools on the cheap" section. I must admit that the idea as it is there didn't quite work for me. It's a pain to hold the pipe in the box and I had to play MacGyver and come up with this:

The gun you see there is an actual sand blasting gun. I bought it in desperation, but after testing it I was convinced I'd have to give up, I just could not get enough soda up the pipe to get a consistent enough flow, to render this feasible.

But then I got the idea to screw a soda bottle top on to the fitting the pipe goes on to. I then cut the pipe to fit into the bottle and filled the bottle with the suggested Baking Soda (Bicarbonate of Soda). You can't see it on the photo, but I made small holes on the bottle, right under the cap (where it's strongest) to make sure air can flow into the bottle. Prior to doing this, I was struggling, the compressor could not keep the air pressure going and I could not keep the Baking Soda flowing.

After doing this though, I run out of soda, long before the compressor's pressure gets to low. Keeping the pipe stuck in the Baking soda isn't a problem either.

Getting the cleaning done in record time, meant that I could move on to other things this weekend.
So the next thing I tackled was the distributor.

After testing the one I had on the engine, I concluded that the vacuum-advance has gone to that big place in the sky where dead car parts go to rest.

After about an hour of toying with it to see if I can't convince it to start working again. I decided to stop wasting time and grabbed a distributor from one of the other engines I have. I know this one works but I tested the advance anyway. All was fine, so I fitted new points and a new condenser and it found it's way back on to the engine.

For me, these are the money shots. Compare them to what you saw in my last post.

Having gotten that done as well, I decided to pay some attention to the heater boxes.
I don't quite understand why, but these heater boxes were covered in some kind of heat shielding, and then protected by what appears to be "made for purpose" metal "shields". I've never seen another air cooled engine with these on.

This is before I took it appart.

And after.

The two peaces below the heater box are the "metal shields" I refer to. The two peaces at the top are the heat shielding I talked about.

I cleaned up the first one and stripped the second one. Here you can see a comparison before and after cleaning.

The second one cleaned.

The weekend wasn't quite over yet, so I decided to carry on and spray paint them.

And then I turned my attention to those "metal shields". The heat shielding and these metal peaces did a damn good job of keeping those heater boxes dent, hole and rust free. So I've decided to get some heat wrap again and re-wrap them and put the shields back again.

So I cleaned the shields.

And sprayed them along with the manifold.

All in all, a damn good week end. Got lots done and felt very good for it.