Tuesday, July 5, 2011

A Long Weekend With Some Garage-Time

A long weekend usually means some quality garage time, and this three-day-er was true to form. Ringo’s engine was the focus of my efforts which really started the Thursday before when I made an appointment with a co-worker, Walter, to stop by his garage either Sunday or Monday to get his help and use his tools to hone Ringo’s cylinder walls. With Brianna and Nich in town until noon Monday, I decided to wait until after then to go over to Walter’s.

Saturday afternoon I made sure all the pertinent parts were as clean as possible for the honing work. I thoroughly brushed and cleaned all the fins on the cylinders and made sure each slid nicely into an engine block bore. I scoured the pistons and rods with Purple Power and rinsed them with water. Walter and I had discussed how we were to hold the cylinders in place while honing, and decided to use an engine block half. I figured out that, using long sockets dropped over the head studs, I could hold the cylinders in the bore, so I chased all the threads on the head studs and head nuts to ensure smooth assembly and disassembly. With the parts and pieces boxed up and ready to go to Walter’s, I finished scraping the vestiges of gasketing from the rear cover surfaces. With that tedious tasks complete, I called it a day.

Monday, after bidding farewell to Brianna and Nich, I loaded up the boxes and headed to Walter’s with a stop at a liquor store to purchase a case of Yuengling for Walter as a token of my appreciation. We jumped right into the task at hand with Walter measuring the diameter of each piston and cylinder so we knew how much we could take off the cylinder walls when honing. We matched the largest piston to the largest cylinder for all six and I clamped the first cylinder into the block half while Walter chucked his super-nice Sunnen honer into his monster half-inch drill. With a light coating of honing oil in place, he ran the honer up and down in the bore, adjusting the diameter of the honing stones with a practiced hand. When he felt like sufficient metal had been rubbed away, we wiped down the bore and measured the new diameter. We were shooting for roughly .003” clearance and it took a few more revolutions of the honer to get there with the first cylinder. The next five all went quite smoothly, and before I knew it, we were done, cleaned up, and swapping stories over cold beers.

Not wanting to keep him from his motorcycle building project any more than I already had, I said thank you again and headed home. Once there, I unloaded the parts and began assembly work. I first checked the rod to crank shaft bearing clearance and, once verified it was within spec, I installed the oil rings and spacer into the bottommost groove. Then I slid a lower compression ring (indicated by the small dot stamped onto it) into the cylinder bore and located it by using the piston to push it down until the middle ring groove of the piston was even with the top of the cylinder. With feeler gages, I checked gap between the ring’s ends before pulling it out and installing it in the middle groove of the piston. After doing the same procedure with the top compression ring, I set the set aside and moved onto the next one. I got two sets done before the dinner bell rang.

One other thing I squeezed into the afternoon’s events was to pull a GUP bellhousing off the shelf. The one that came with Ringo was considered a LM style and was difficult to get to. After confirming the cast-in part numbers matched, I set the bellhousing aside to be cleaned. My plan is to hold off assembling any more pistons until the crank and cam shafts are nestled in the bolted-together block halves and that whole assembly is mounted in the engine stand. The bellhousing is necessary since it’s what the engine stand arms bolt to. Hopefully, that’s tonight’s activity.

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