Ah em, Doctor, The Test Results Are In

All that Thanksgiving reminiscing was fun, but holidays end and life continues as before, straight down the…whoa, whoa whoa…it ain’t that bad.  Well, will get to the those test results shortly.  First, a parting shot at Thanksgiving.  On Monday I was talking to a guy I know, lying to each other about how great our respective Thanksgivings had been.  He’s kind of a dry wit.  Last week I said wait a minute, I’ve got something in my shoe.  In a perfectly flat voice, he said, “That’s your foot.”  So anyway, I asked him if he’d had enough turkey to eat, and his reply, “I don’t eat my own kind” took just two seconds to register and I had a good laugh.

Moving on.  Over the long weekend I did have a discussion with the idiotic brother on various topics, but he wouldn’t let go of that damn plastigage business.  So, we covered a few details of the testing process.  First, I made the mistake of mentioning that I had assembled the crank, bearings, pistons and rod and bearing caps in the engine, but they did not seem to want to move.  It was like sticking him with a cattle prod.  WHAT?  All that stuff with those huge clearances should be floppin’ around in there like fish in a tank!  Well, “It just seems a little stuck,” and I surmised that perhaps it was because all the parts were dry.  “DID YOU GET EVERYTHING BACK IN THE RIGHT ORDER?”  “Well, yeah, sure.”  But the more I thought about this I wondered if had indeed screwed something up.  It took me a while to calm him down, but he made me promise to do the stupid test by Tuesday.  I said that maybe I’d get to it, but I was pretty busy.  Of course he countered with, “IT TAKES FIVE MINUTES.”  Alright, alright, alright, Tuesday.

So Tuesday I found a million things to do, but unfortunately around 3:00 pm I had to admit I had no excuse not to go tackle the engine issue and do the test.  Very interesting.  I pulled all parts mentioned above back out of the engine and started putting oil on all the contact surfaces.  As I was doing this I noticed some numbers.  I’m going to insert a photo here that shows the numbers.

The 010 and the 020 are something any real engine guy would have looked for right away, but of course that’s not me, so it was Tuesday that my belated detective work yielded this information.  What this means, of course I’ll be corrected if I’m wrong, is that this crankshaft has been ground twice before and the last time to .020 above standard.  The pistons had a similar die stamp on top indicating that they were above standard as well.

The other numbers in the photo indicate that you are looking at the No. 2 rod and its associated bearing cap.  I’m not admitting to anything here, but as I reassembled all the parts for the test, I made sure to have a 1 with a 1 and a 2 with a 2 and so on.  So, when I bolted the works back in engine, it looked like this.

With the guts back in the engine (correctly), and everything nice and lubed-up, the whole business did just pump away nice and loosely, just like the idiotic brother expected.  And I must say it was kind of fun to see the pieces working together as they should.  Alright, so now for the test.  I systematically removed one bearing cap at a time and dried the oil off of the exposed area.  I then laid a piece of the plastigage on the journal (the crank surface) and retightend the bearing cap.  On removing the cap, you see the very pliable piece of plastic flattened on the journal.  To then measure the clearance I held the “measuring stick” provided with the plastigage up to the squish mark and compared it to the marks on the stick.  The next photo shows the plastigage squish mark on the journal.

This is the No. 2 journal surface.  You’ll remember the lovely pitting from a previous post.  On this journal I put down two pieces of the plastigage, one of them directly over the pits, but the results were essentially the same.  You know how I hate it when the Princess makes some prediction and it miraculously comes true?  Well I hate it even more when its the idiotic brother.  He suspected that my squish marks would fall outside the range of the plastigage measuring stick, which only goes up to .030, and naturally he was right.  But by doing some eyeballing, I’d estimate that my main bearing clearances were .0032 and .0035 front and back.  The rod clearances were worse, from No. 1 at about .004 getting progressively worse back to No. 4, which was maybe .0046. 

Folks, there’s no sugar-coatin’ this; these are gaps a hamster could probably slip through.  Oh, that reminds me.  Did you read about the study recently completed that says that hamsters can get jet lag.  Not only that, after a long flight they can’t make a sensible power point presentation.  This is all true; they say the jet lag messes the little fellers brains up too.  Isn’t science great!  So back to the gaps, these are some real Cost-O-Meter thumpers.  I suppose we could slam this engine back together like this (there will be in-depth monetary and mechanical council meetings on this), but it bothers my sensibilities to do something half-assed like that. 

Then too there’s that nasty little business of the drive shaft “that just doesn’t seem to get it.”  The way I see it right now is, I got to get my head out of the sand and find out if we got a transmission that turns that stupid drive shaft.  Gene and I will be working on that soon, weather permitting.  But when we get to the bottom of that deal, we have to seriously assess whether this Pony can  realistically (read without the Princess going berserker) be brought back to life.  Ooooo, doesn’t that sound ominous?

A final note, you know by now I’m anal retentive in the extreme (5520 mi on the bike so far this year, average speed, 15.8 mph, WHO CARES!) and a real bad trait to go along with that is being too sensitive.  So anyway, I watch the “stats” on this little blog like a hawk, with my mood swinging radically in lock sync with the “view count.”  So, last night I stayed-up late, because earlier in the day I’d seen that the cumulative view count was at 2998.  And sure enough at about 10:30 just before bed I checked and we’d hit 3000 on the nose.  I just love numbers, and especially those.  Thanks so much for reading.  You really do make my day!

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2 responses to “Ah em, Doctor, The Test Results Are In

  1. Bill Vollenweider

    You say at the end of this current post, “thanks for reading. You really do make my day”. No…. I THANK YOU! Honestly….I can not believe how much I look forward to your postings. Great job on the photos. Do not stop.

    • I just want to acknowledge this and a few other very flattering recent comments I’ve received, both on and off blog. All comments are sincerely appreciated, but especially the ones like these. I must tell you that I feel huge relief after publishing a post, but immediate fear over where the next one will come from. Your comments are great encouragement. I’ll try to keep this thing going, and of course, get that crazy Pony back up and running too. I’m not sure which job is harder.

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