Breaking News (Durham, NC)…Buster Finds Axe Head

You know I’ve been nervous about the engine being way over there in Durham for so long.  I had to actually go back and read my own posts (I can’t believe you read those things) to figure out that the shop had the engine for just over a month.  What had started out as a trip over there to get the engine cleaned turned out to involve a whole lot more.  Yesterday I paid the shop $230 for:  jet cleaning (twice), installation of new guides and valve seats, magnafluxing of the head (for cracks), bead blasting of the head (to remove rust, etc.) and incidentally sending the fuel tank through the jet wash.  While the engine wandered between the two machine shops, I had nightmares of unapproved work being done for astronomical sums of money, so I have to admit to some relief at hearing the final tab. 

The Pony’s Cost-o-Meter has been updated to reflect the engine work and the purchase of some gas tank liner.  Since there is rust in the tank, I need to seal that off, so in the future The Pony isn’t drinking tainted gas.  Hopefully this machine shop phase is over, and in some small ways I’ll miss it:
*The guys in the shop were interesting.  Monday when I went over to pick up the engine, Buster came out of the office and showed me an old axe head he’d found in the woods while hunting Sunday.  Pretty spooky that he found it on Halloween.  He had bead-blasted it, so it felt bumpy and smooth at the same time, and it really had a pioneer look to it. 
*The shop itself was a neat place, full of huge machines and shiny, refurbished engine blocks (nice art too). 
*I particularly liked being able to call, or walk in to the counter upstairs from the shop and say, “I got an engine down in the shop,” just like a real engine guy.”

The engine is in my garage now, where I’ll be painting it, first a coat of primer and then some of my new, red tractor paint.  Here’s a photo of the engine’s fire deck with the new valve seats.  If you click on the image, and look further into the holes past the valve seats, you can see the shiny new valve guides as well. 

I’ve asked the Idiotic Brother for a list of the steps to follow in putting the engine back together.  I’m hopin’ he keeps Dr. Fullofit out of it, as I’m afraid that could quickly degrade into a raft of charts, graphs, and references to body parts.  I’m wondering where the  “valve train,” fits into the process.  That’s another thing I just love saying, valve train.  It always reminds of the O’Jay’s hit song, Love Train.  “People all over the world join hands, start a love train, love train.”  Now just substitute valve train for love train.  Here’s a link to the hear original music (click here); don’t worry, it’s ok to click it, it’s just something to get you into the “groove” baby.

By the way, there was no resolution of the great English muffin debate.  The lone comment (thanks Dell) further muddied the waters by suggesting a third brand.  To conclude this, to my brother’s claim that Thomas’s are best, I’ll just say… are not, are not, ARE NOT!

And finally on the claim made by Linda that “my entire family is crazy,” as I suspected no family member (not a one) provided me with proof that they weren’t nuts.  My mother thought she could get away with just saying she isn’t crazy, but, you know, how many people have you heard say that?  The up side of being crazy I think, is that Linda meant this as a complement.  Crazy people are simply more fun.

Before I sign-off, one more thing to share.  I was talking to son Andrew, my website advisor, this evening.  He just happened to mention that he was eating Kipper Snacks.  This takes me back over 50 years to when as kids we’d go along with our parents to some big store that sold overstock grocery items, one of them being Kipper Snacks.  I remember specifically, they were 10 cans for a dollar, and that my Dad and the Idiotic Brother Jim had a fondness for them even at his young age.  I guess the taste for those runs in the genes. 

  Thanks for reading.


One response to “Breaking News (Durham, NC)…Buster Finds Axe Head

  1. There was nothing but love and affection in my remark that the entire family is crazy. You all make me feel right at home and warm & fuzzy 🙂 I can’t believe how shiny all of the Pony’s parts are looking!! Geeze who knew? Think I could be sand blasted to look all shiny and new? Ahhh, maybe I’ll stick to getting the grey “washed right outta my hair”.

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