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  #121  
Old 03-02-2012, 12:12 AM
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Mini update because I felt like doing more tonight. I've been wanting to make some kind of flywheel holder because I know cranking down the VVT cam phaser bolt is going to take a lot of umph. There is a great tool out there from Kent Moore / SPX Specialty Tools J-42386-A that bolts to the starter flange area and holds the flywheel with interfacing teeth. It runs about $80 new. Here's a picture:



I've been keeping my eyes peeled for a used one for a while, but nothing has come up. So I've decided to go ahead and make one. I started with a piece of 1/4" steel scrap and traced the teeth of the flywheel against it. Then I made a bunch of cuts with a thick cutoff wheel as shown.





With a bit of trimming I had a whole bunch of teeth. As you can see my tooth spacing was anything but perfect, so I cut it down to just a few teeth and trimmed to fit. Here is what I ended up with.







The mesh isn't perfect, but I think it will do the job nicely. The next step will be figuring out how to connect this to the starter flange. Honestly I have no plan for that yet - I am just sorta winging it here. I think between the welder, the cutoff wheel and the scrap bin I can cobble something useful together. I just hope I don't end up stripping any flywheel teeth!
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  #122  
Old 03-02-2012, 08:47 PM
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Nicely done for using a hand grinder. As long as you lock it in place good with the starter bolts that are in the picture I don't think you'll have any problems, remember the starter turns the motor over with only a tooth or tooth and a half of contact and you've 5 teeth.

Jaysin
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  #123  
Old 03-04-2012, 08:09 PM
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I hope you're right. I've never seen anyone try to make one like this, but it seemed like a simple enough idea.

Got a package yesterday - a set of Hotchkis 1.5" drop leafs with a rate that's "matched" to work well with the 600lb/in springs I'm putting up front. I found these "used" for a reasonable price. The previous owner put them on his Camaro for mock-up, but never drove the car with them, so everything is fresh. He also threw in some 1/2" aluminum lowering blocks, but I don't plan to use them. If I decide to go lower, I'll use steel blocks.

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Last edited by TheBandit; 03-04-2012 at 09:15 PM.
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  #124  
Old 03-07-2012, 12:51 AM
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Puttin' right along tonight on the flywheel holder. Using bits and pieces of scrap, I cut a bridge between two pieces of tube and tacked it together while bolted to the engine. Then I welded it, bolted it back up and tacked another piece to hold my set of teeth. I wish the pictures turned out better - I'm proud of the monster I've created. Yeah it's UGLY, but the tooth engagement is pretty darn good and I think it will serve it's purpose well.













Scratch one more off the list. Anyone want to take a guess at how much time that contraption took me to make?
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  #125  
Old 03-07-2012, 01:02 AM
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2







much?
A great idea which i will copy.
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  #126  
Old 03-07-2012, 01:18 AM
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I think it turned out well. And while it might be your "monster" I make tools like it all the time (I just don't post them very often on the internet for everyone to see). Your tooth contact looks good with the light behind it, I would bet that the factory tool is not much, if any, better (I have seen factory gear teeth stops like this that have a half tooth of clearance).

Nice score on the springs too,
Jaysin
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  #127  
Old 03-07-2012, 01:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alwaysFlOoReD View Post
2 much?
BINGO! I was in the garage 2 hours 2 nights, so 4 hours total start to finish. That's about $20/hr if I value my time based on the cost of the Kent Moore tool, probably a bit less once you factor in the burden, material and consumables (garage space, scrap metal, welder, wire, gas, cutoff and grinding wheels). The tool definitely is worth the money, but if you factor in how much fun I had making this stupid thing and pointing to the fact that I'm no money out of pocket, I'm very happy with the results. I'm sure there are people on this board that would make a nicer looking product in less time. I am SLOW.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JaysinSpaceman View Post
I think it turned out well. And while it might be your "monster" I make tools like it all the time (I just don't post them very often on the internet for everyone to see). Your tooth contact looks good with the light behind it, I would bet that the factory tool is not much, if any, better (I have seen factory gear teeth stops like this that have a half tooth of clearance).
Thanks Jaysin. I've seen some of these improvised tools and I just love them. Don't be shy about posting. Do we have a thread somewhere for homebrew tools on OFN or am I thinking of another forum?
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  #128  
Old 03-23-2012, 10:50 AM
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Trying to clean up the garage a bit and snapped a couple overall pictures of the frame so you can see the notches. I'm getting a bit more comfortable with this after reviewing a few other frame designs for similarly dimensioned SLA front suspensions.





I decided to get started on the cam swap. First step was pulling the crank pulley. Thanks to the flywheel holder, this job went smoothly!





I had to use a smaller puller than I'd have liked for this job, but my next size up was contacting the inside of the pulley on the outside surfaces of the puller arms rather than just the jaws.



Here you can see where the jaws should be pulling from - there are three recessed areas cast into the pulley for this purpose.



Success - no more pulley.



Next off came the timing cover.



Then the oil pump.



Then I used some ribbed pliers to compress the tensioner and stuck an allen key into this hole to keep the tensioner relaxed.



Next out came the phaser hydraulic valve / solenoid / bolt. This is unique to the VVT system and through a PWM electromagnet in the timing cover, this valve directs oil to the phaser vanes to advance and retart timing. It's a really neat piece - definitely excites the engineer in me. Once again, my flywheel holder was great for resisting rotation while I torqued this off.



After that the phaser / cam gear / cam encoder can be removed. It slid right off by hand.

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  #129  
Old 03-23-2012, 10:50 AM
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At this point, I removed the cam retainer plate, which has a built in seal for the crossover "barbel" that directs oil from the driver's side lifter oil feed galley to the passenger side.



Next, I rotated the cam a few revolutions (only one is technically needed) to get all the lifters to move up and stay up in their lifter trays. I read about a trick to insert 5/16" wooden dowel down the lifter oil feed galleys as a backup method for retaining the lifters just in case they came out of the trays. Unfortunately, I could not for the life of me get the passenger side dowel all the way in, even though it seemed from inspection that the lifters were all the way up.



Since the engine is on a stand and the risk of the lifter droping wasn't as big of a deal as if it were in a car, I decided to chance the passenger side and just go ahead and pull the cam. I wiggled it out, using the phaser bolt as a tool.



The good news is all the lifters stayed put in their lifter trays. Unfortunately, that's about all the good news I can report. I inspected the old cam carefully and found a number of suspicious rust spots on some of the lobes









In all there were at least six lobes that shows some sign of rust ranging from wipeable/superficial to one that seemed pitted. All of the bearing journals, however, looked very good. So I took a flashlight and inspected down the length of the block to see what I could see. Cam bearings look good, but I noticed one of the lifter's rollers had a line of rust on it.
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  #130  
Old 03-23-2012, 10:51 AM
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By now I was getting worried. How bad and where is there rust? Where did it come from? I agonized the following day over what to do, mostly worried about the condition of the lifters. So tonight I decided to pull the heads and try getting to the bottom of this. Off they came and here's what I found:













I'm not sure exactly how it got here, but there is some kind of "pool" of rust around both of the lifter areas. I can only imagine water and/or cleaner made its way in here when I was cleaning the engine last year.

At the very minimum I need to get these nasties cleaned off the block and replace the lifters. The good news is the lifter bores all look pretty good - I just don't know where else I might find rust. The cylinders all have good cross hatching showing and I don't see any rust there, but if you look in some of the other photos you can see there is very light surface rust on other areas of machined internal areas (look at the oil pump drive, front faces of the main bearing caps, etc). The crank spins freely though. I'm hoping I can get away with cleaning this carefully without rebuilding the bottom end.

This is not going to be a cheap fix. But it is a lot better than what likely would have happend if I had just ran this the way it is. It was very tempting to ignore the issue, stab the new cam in and just continue on my way without the immediate expense of new lifters, gaskets, bolts, etc. I'm very glad I didn't go that direction.

Any tips or ideas for cleaning this stuff off and what I should inspect from here? I was thinking I'd turn the engine upside down on the stand and brush this rust out in that position so as little as possible ends up in the oil galleys, spraying & flushing it out with WD40? Or should I use a sensor safe brake or carb cleaner instead?
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Last edited by TheBandit; 03-23-2012 at 11:05 AM.
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  #131  
Old 03-23-2012, 11:39 AM
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This will only cost a little money and some time.
Replace the lifters best advice I can give based on pictures.
Completely dissemble the engine (bag every part in its own zip-lock bag and label the bag with a sharpy.
Rewash the block and scrub the rusted areas with a stainless bristled brush get all the rust out.
Blast out all the oil passages with at least the hose.
Blow the block dry and blow out every hole.
Wipe all machined surfaces clean with lint free and WD-40 (or=) then repaint if you want.
Reassemble with all the parts in the bags after thoroughly cleaning.
Use assembly lube just as you would with a new engine.
A bunch of work but peace of mind it would suck to wipe the engine due to a rust flake... That is what I would do.
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  #132  
Old 03-23-2012, 12:35 PM
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Thanks for the advice E. If I tear it down, would taking it to a machine shop to have it hot tanked do the job? I'm thinking they are better equipped to clean this thing out and it might not cost too much.
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  #133  
Old 03-23-2012, 12:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheBandit View Post
Thanks for the advice E. If I tear it down, would taking it to a machine shop to have it hot tanked do the job? I'm thinking they are better equipped to clean this thing out and it might not cost too much.
DIY = Mess and a day's work.
Machine Shop = A few dollars, and no mess
Your choice.
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  #134  
Old 03-23-2012, 03:14 PM
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Clint,

Sorry to see this mess, rust in an engine is unbelievably annoying but you will be glad you found it now, it'll cost a lot less to clean it out then replace the ruined parts from running it this way.

I have to agree with E, it must com completely apart. I for one would likely spend the time to clean it myself. Too many times I have gotten engine blocks back from the machine shop that needed more/better cleaning then they did. And spending $ for a cleaning that you might have to redo anyway seems silly.

Good Luck,
Jaysin
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  #135  
Old 03-23-2012, 03:50 PM
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No more convincing needed. I'll tear into it and start cleaning. Is WD40 is the right cleaning "solvent"? I've been reading block prep articles suggesting simple green + brushes and water hose, followed by compressed air drying and followup with WD40 and/or motor oil to prevent rust.

Here's one: http://www.se-r.net/engine/block_prep.html
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  #136  
Old 03-23-2012, 06:06 PM
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well for the article, not bad but if you are going to have the block tanked or better yet washed... in a Parts Washer of all things. Pull every plug BEFORE you take it to the shop.
In this case are you cleaning it or taking it to be washed?
I read you are cleaning but want to be clear.
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  #137  
Old 03-23-2012, 07:07 PM
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All I know for sure is I'm going to tear it down to a bare block, including removing all the oil galley plugs. After that, I am undecided on how to clean everything. I can either do it all myself in the driveway or send it to a machine shop or both.

My last question was considering if I clean it myself in the driveway
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Last edited by TheBandit; 03-23-2012 at 11:47 PM.
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  #138  
Old 03-24-2012, 01:56 AM
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I like simple green (or castrol super clean, but it's not as eco as simple green) and a hose with the hottest water you can get. Turn the water heater up and wear thick rubber gloves with engine galley brushes and the cleaner of your choice. Then blow it out the best you can with compressed air and shoot WD-40 in every nook and cranny inside the block. If you are going to repaint the block be careful with the WD as it's hard to get off the cast iron to paint. The hot water is good for the cleaning but mostly it helps to heat the block so it dries out better and the WD-40, well that's its job (Water Displacer - 40th formula). This is exactly my cleaning procedure when I get a block back from the machine shop, whether they "cleaned" it or not.

Jaysin
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  #139  
Old 03-24-2012, 11:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JaysinSpaceman View Post
I like simple green (or castrol super clean, but it's not as eco as simple green) and a hose with the hottest water you can get. Turn the water heater up and wear thick rubber gloves with engine galley brushes and the cleaner of your choice. Then blow it out the best you can with compressed air and shoot WD-40 in every nook and cranny inside the block. If you are going to repaint the block be careful with the WD as it's hard to get off the cast iron to paint. The hot water is good for the cleaning but mostly it helps to heat the block so it dries out better and the WD-40, well that's its job (Water Displacer - 40th formula). This is exactly my cleaning procedure when I get a block back from the machine shop, whether they "cleaned" it or not.

Jaysin
I've cleaned blocks exactly the way Spaceman outlined I prefer the super clean. Not as Eco but that is just too bad
If you take it and have it washed you will have to drop a set of cam bearings into it because most cleaning processes will wipe em out. Do it yourself and not so much.
I did just clean a block the other day with ... 4 cans of breakclean. and I was surprised how well it worked! Clean enough.
To get paint to stick I wipe down the exterior with Lacquer Thinner or... Breakclean, then tape it off.

The article on cleaning you posted made a good point deburr and smooth the block; not saying sand it smooth; but the smoother it is inside and out the better, paint sticks and the easier it is to keep clean. Pay particular attention to areas where if the wrench slips you will cut yourself on the casting flash. You might also want to look as the oil drain paths for example where the rust is, is in the drain path and had it drained the water would have hit the pan. A bit of common sense and a carbide burr and you can make a big difference in how fast the oil gets back to the pan.
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  #140  
Old 03-24-2012, 01:23 PM
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Someone on another forum said I would need to replace the rings if the pistons come out because they would be clocked differently when I put the piston back. Is that really a concern?

The more I read the more I'm thinking I will do the cleaning myself as you're suggesting.

This is all new to me. I've never gone deeper than a short block. It's awfully tempting at this point to spring for ARP stuff for the mains and rods, but I've also read the increased clamping can distort things just enough to need honing.

So much research to do.
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Last edited by TheBandit; 03-24-2012 at 02:12 PM.
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