Getting to Know You

For those of you who go to the home page to read posts, you might have noticed an uptick in the Cost-O-Meter.  I’ve bumped it by $26 to account for recent work done by my Parts Detective, Maggie Simpson.  After doing a long-range scan of my garage and other local environs, she determined that the only thing to do was “work the phones” until someone could come up with three different “thrust shims.”  Inside of one day she was able to find them, and they’re already on their way to my garage.  I’m not sure what those shims do in the total scheme of things, but since I’m just so darn sure I didn’t lose three shims, my bet is that The Pony’s engine was operating without them.  But by golly its going to have them now, whether it needs em or not!

The Pony’s engine’s been in my garage now for quite a spell.  The more I’m around it, handle it’s components and work on it, the more comfortable I feel.  Familiarity is of course something only felt after spending some time with an object, idea or person.  Mathematically the formula is:  Object+Proximity+Time=familiarity.  Familiarity, however, is not to be confused with expertise.  I’m not sure what the formula for that is, but I get by without it by running things by Gene or Jim.  This was proved-out once again when I was talking with Jim about a gap I had between the front of the crankshaft and the crankcase.  The gap was causing a lot of fore/aft play and just didn’t seem right.  Jim looked at The Pony Manual and said, “Don’t you know how to read an engine diagram?”  He realized right away he was asking a rhetorical question and went on to explain to me that one of the two thrust washers goes inside the crankcase (filling the gap), and one goes outside.  Guess I won’t make that mistake on my next engine rebuild.  Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, haaaa, I can’t believe I just wrote that, not that I wouldn’t make the mistake again, but that there’d ever be another rebuild!  But man, all this these parts with the word “thrust” in them kind of excites me.

I’ve gotten all the clearances on rod and main bearings to a point where I think I’m in business.  Here are a few photos.

Keep in mind as you view these photos that the engine is upside down on my work table, so these photos are taken as if you were looking up into the engine.  This first one shows my finger down in one of those ports in which the eight valve lifters work.  After the engine dip, there was a little light rust in those, so I used a little 300 grit sandpaper to lightly sand the rust away.

The shot above shows the rods attached to their pistons sitting above each cylinder.  In order to keep things lubricated while I inch closer to actually rebuilding, I am now putting a light coat of 20W50 oil on all surfaces.  So even though I haven’t put the rings on the pistons yet they’re protected with a little oil, same with those lifter ports and all those bearing surfaces.

This last photo shows the piston rods and caps attached to the crankshaft.  Outside the picture to the left and right are the two main bearing caps also fastened down onto the crankshaft.  This is how it looked as I torqued down the bolts to spec.  Once again, although I couldn’t figure out what torques to use (even forwarded the question to the antique tractor forum), Jim pointed out that torque specs for all of the engine’s various bolt sizes were included in the manual, hmmm, guess I better see what else is in there.  The 5/16 inch bolts on the rods are torqued to 20 foot pounds and the 1/2 inch bolts on the main bearings are torqued to 85.  I told Jim there was no way I was going to get 85 foot pounds on those main bearings, so I just tightened as hard as I could.  Maybe before we do the real tighten-down later I’ll borrow a breaker bar from Gene and see if I can get a little more umph.

As it now stands, with the bolts torqued down at least close to spec, I can turn the crank, and it doesn’t turn easy and it doesn’t turn hard, so I think that’s probably about right.  I think it will feel a little tighter yet when the rings are on the pistons.  So next I’ll be sorting parts for the valve train.  I’ll be using some of The Pony’s old parts and some new one’s from the valve train kit that was ordered earlier.  By the way, it was a while back, but I did ask the IB what order parts should go back into the engine.  Here’s what he said:
1.  Put lifters in block,
2.  Feed cam into block,
3.  Install valves, springs, caps, locks and pins,
4.  Put in crank and main bearings,
5.  Make sure to “time” crank and cam gear with both intake and exhaust valves closed on the No. 1 cylinder.
6.  Install pistons, rings, and rods and tighten down bearing caps.
7.  Adjust valve gap.
Now might be a good time for my experts to review these instructions, just to make sure something hasn’t been overlooked…or underexplained, like what’s the valve gap?

Circling back to one of my earlier rants, namely the insidious campaign of the paper companies to reduce the width of toilet paper, I have great news.  For Christmas, Jim sent me two roles of toilet paper.  I know, you think he’s spoiling me and that one would have been adequate.  But I’m not kidding, he sent them for Christmas, and although we could have decorated the tree with them, we opted for the more traditional non-TP approach.  But to the point, this toilet paper (Costco’s store brand) sports a 4.5 inch width just like back in the old days.  I’ve done you folks the favor of field testing this stuff and can report that it not only gets the job done, but it’s nice and soft.  I give it a five on the five point TP scale.  So if you’re a Costco member, or have a Costco member friend that doesn’t mind buying you TP by the car load, then you got it made.  Unfortunately, we don’t have a Costco here, so y’all are just going to have to put up with my cussedness, which is a direct result of well…let’s just say, not being comfortable.

Thanks for staying with me over the last week or so.  We were preoccupied down here with a nice visit from son Andrew, and I admit the ol’ blog took a “back seat.”  Thanks for reading!

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One response to “Getting to Know You

  1. George S Cook (GSC)

    Matt Ochs is an old friend. He told me of your tractor saga. We all know, “Anything worth doing is worth overdoing.” I’ts probably good that an old 18 wheeler didn’t catch yor eye out in that field of dreams where you found your rusted soul mate. We live in the Adirondack Park in Saranac Lake. Look up Lake Champlain Bikeways. We have hundreds of miles of incredible biking with hills galore and a constant tail wind. You might want to consider dragging Matt up this way for one of your old boys bike tours. Just don’t come in black fly season: Memorial day to July 4. GSC

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