Sunday, July 5, 2009

I got my money's worth out of today...much visual progress

I was able to score a day off of work today. I came straight home and went to work.

First, mask the critical areas of the engine to keep paint out and clean, clean, clean...

Then paint...

The engine paint is Chevrolet Orange color. Back in the day, manufacturers took pride in their mills and painted them a proprietary color. Chevy got orange, Ford got blue. They gave you something to look at when you lifted the hood. I used a line of products called POR15. It's pretty pricey, but I have always been very satisfied with the results I get from their stuff. Again, in life, quality may cost more, but it's a bargain in the long run.

Those two round plugs on the front of the engine are called freeze plugs. The reason they a shiny like that is that I used brass replacement plugs instead of the original steel ones. The brass ones last forever and do not rust. The original steel ones rust like crazy and don't last as long as these will.

After I shot the paint and cleaned the paint gun, I had several hours to wait for the paint to kick over. So, I began polishing the valve covers. I got one of them roughed in. The other is still in raw bead blasted form. I'm no where near finished with the polishing of the first one, but it is getting there. Polishing is very tedious and grimy work. You get covered with grit from the polishing wheel. And, your hands get burned from holding the part. Polishing on something causes it to get real hot due to the friction.

I think I mentioned in an earlier entry that I got an old 60s vintage Edelbrock intake manifold at the swap meet. I have a whole wall of high performance intake manifolds, but I wanted a truly vintage unit for this engine. This is it. Best I can tell by asking older guys is that this unit is from the early to mid 60s time frame.

I began working on it today. I have time to kill on this part though because the powder isn't due to be delivered until Thursday.

First thing was to cook it at 550 degrees for an hour. This burned all of the old oil sludge and goop off of it. Then, into the bead blast cabinet to get it cleaned up. Now, the part I had been dreading...The intake had 4 different old steel fittings screwed into various holes that I needed to remove. Intake manifolds come with several holes in them that you can use as needed to hook various hoses or sensors in to, depending on your engine and carburetor. Problem is, mine were filled with old pipe plugs. Steel pipe plugs. Thing is, when you screw a steel fitting into aluminum threads, it galls and the steel rusts further cementing it into place. Give it 40 years to simmer and you have a recipe for stuck plugs. Fortunately, I had listened to older, wiser mechanics in the past that taught me little nuggets about things like this. I got lucky and used some tricks I learned, and they all came out without incident. It took a couple of hours to get 4 of them out, but they are out. When I replace these plugs, I will use brass fittings. They never get stuck or galled and they will easily unscrew 40 years from now if needed.

Tomorrow, lots of polishing on the valve covers. Pics to come.

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