October 20 - 25, 2002
Well, the time has arrived.  I've run out of excuses to delay this job any longer.  I would like to report that it turned out not to be as big a pain as I thought it would be.  But truthfully, it lived up to my expectations of being a royal pain in the butt (and back, and neck, and shoulders).  The job I'm ranting about is cleaning up the engine bay.  The job would be hard enough to do if one had unfettered access to the front end -- no fenders, core support, grill, etc.  But all of this stuff had been previouly restored and was installed.  This meant I had to be extra careful during the cleaning to keep from damaging the newly restored pieces.

I've found the best way to tackle a big job is to think small.  Don't think about getting the whole job done -- just concentrate on completing each piece of the job.  For this job I broke down the work into these small jobs:

  1. Power wash to remove the majority of the built up oil/grease/dirt from the frame and suspension.

  2. Use spray-on carburetor cleaner and elbow grease to remove whatever crud was not removed by the power washer.

  3. Use Formula 409 All Purpose Cleaner to clean the firewall and other paraphernalia (hoses, linkages, A/C box, cables, brackets, etc.).

  4. Paint frame with Zero Rust. 

Ok, small job #1 is to power wash.  Dave didn't much cotton to the idea of power washing inside his shop (he's funny that way).  This meant we had to get Maych outside.  The engine was still on the engine stand, so driving it out under its on power was not an option.  Pushing by hand was also not an option because the slope in front of Dave's shop is decidedly uphill.  Luckily, Dave has a tractor, so pulling it out won't be a problem.  

Before we could pull it out of the shop we needed to support the front of the transmission.  We didn't removed the transmission when we pulled the engine and the front of the transmission was currently being held up with a stack of wooden blocks.  We scrounged up a nylon tie-down strap and used it to support the front of the trans- mission.  We hooked one end of the strap to the frame, ran the strap under the transmission bell housing and hooked the other end of the strap to the power brake booster bracket.  Then, using the strap's built in ratchet, we tightened the strap until the transmission was supported and level.  

With the transmission supported, we used Dave's tractor to pull Maych out of the shop. As you can see in the photo, to keep splatter off the new paint job  I covered all of the painted surfaces.  Before using the power washer I used a garden sprayer to spray the frame and suspension with diesel fuel.  After letting the diesel sit for 15-20 minutes, I used the power washer to blast away at the grim.   I repeated this procedure a second time and would have done it a couple of more times, but I ran out of daylight.  Before it got completely dark, we rolled Maych back into the shop.  I will take a look at my handiwork tomorrow when it's daylight to determine how well I did.

The next day I inspected the engine bay.  It was considerably cleaner, but it could still use another power washing session.   Dave said he thought the Allis-Chalmers tractor was a bit of an overkill for pulling Maych out of the shop.  So, he cranked up his John Deere 332 lawn tractor and we used it to pull Maych out this time.  It worked great but I did have to chock Maych's back wheels because the lawn tractor wasn't stout enough to hold it on the slope.  I did the diesel/power wash drill a couple of more times and decided it was about a clean as it was going to get with this method.  Any additional cleaning would have to wait for small job #2.

After letting the engine bay drip-dry for a while, we backed Maych back into the shop.  We then removed the nylon tie-down strap (it was in the way) and set the transmission back on the stack of wooden blocks.  I then gathered all my weapons and crawled into the belly of the beast, prepared to do battle.  And a fierce battle it was.  It raged for the next 4 hours and it was hard to tell who was winning at any given time.  But with fierce determination I eventually turned the tide of the battle and emerged victorious.  I received several grievous injuries in the coarse of the battle but Dave administered a couple of tankards of Miller's magic potion and I felt good as new.

Here's  a look inside the belly of the beast after it was van- quished.  The wooden block is a short section of 6x6 that I strategi-  cally located as a place of refuge for my neither side when the battle became too fierce.  (It beat resting my butt on the cold, hard steel of the frame).   

With the enemy now somewhat docile, I began  small job #3. With my trusty bottle of Formula 409 cleaner, a couple of rolls of paper towel, and an ample supply of 0000 steel wool I began cleaning the various paraphernalia in the engine bay.  The 409 worked great on the firewall and it didn't remove the grease pencil markings.  It also did a good job on the various rubber and plastic parts.  I used the 0000 steel wool to shine up the bare metal parts, like the fuel and transmission lines, oil pressure fittings, etc.  The steel wool does a great job of returning the luster to these items.  By the end of the day, every part on my body hurt, but I had completed the first 3 small jobs.  Tomorrow I tackle small job #4.

For small job #4 I decided to use Zero Rust rather than the POR-15 I had used to paint the rear frame.  I had been hearing good things about the product from some of the members on the Stovebolt Page bulletin board.  I was pleased with the results of the POR-15 product but I was less than thrilled with product's toxicity and the difficulty of removing it from one's skin.  It is so hard to remove that you must wear rubber gloves while painting and I hate wearing rubber gloves.   So, armed with a quart of Zero Rust and a couple of cheap disposable paint brushes, I crawled back into the belly of the beast and began painting.  

The first thing I noticed was that the Zero Rust product was much thicker than the POR-15 straight from the can.  Of course, that could have been because it was considerably cooler when I applied the Zero Rust (60 degrees) than it was when I applied the POR-15 (90 degrees).  Whatever the reason, it was a little harder to apply, but one coat covered really well.  The hardest part was finding a place to stand while painting parts of the frame.  I finished up painting the front cross-member while leaning over the radiator and practically standing on my head.  All together it took about 3 hours to get everything painted.  Sorry I don't have a photo of the finished product because my digital cameral ran out of juice and I forgot to snap a pic before we set the engine back in.  You'll just have to trust me that it looks a bunch better than it did before.  

So, the engine bay is all spiffed up and awaiting the rebuilt engine.  Hopefully the heads will be ready next week and we can reassemble and install the engine.

 

 

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