Firewall Forward - Engine

2005-03-20 - Engine clean-up. (10.0 Hrs).

I have a confession to make. The hours that I am reporting for the clean-up are not accurate. I'm not exactly lying, I'm just not keeping very good records. When I work on the airplane, I write down the time worked along the edge of the builder's manual. This makes it easy to come back later and write-up what was done. But, with the engine, it's pretty hard to try and remember exactly when and for how long I worked. Consequently, the times reported are probably about half what was actually worked.

I took three days off during my wife's spring break, and I got to work a few whole days cleaning parts. It's amazing just how little I got done. On top of that, I discovered a few more critical parts that are probably unusable. There is a groove in the rear side housing. I haven't measured it, but it looks pretty deep. It looks like several of the side seals on one rotor are actually welded to the rotor. At least, they are stuck so tight that the ends broke off, and the middle part of the seals cannot be removed. The side seal grooves are extremely narrow. There's nothing that you can use to dig out the seals. So, that makes all three side housings, and one rotor that need to be replaced.

I was getting a little depressed working on a useless engine, so I decided to take a look at my two tubs of extra parts. It looks like the two tubs contain a whole extra engine, all in pieces. I pulled out the center side housing, and it looked pretty good. I, also, found one of the rotors, and it looked good. So, I may just be able to assemble one good engine from all of these parts.

I wanted to see where the groove in the rear side housing lined-up with the rotor, so I put them together. It's interesting to watch the rotor work its way around the shaft.
You can see the deep groove on the right side of the rear side housing. I don't think this is useable. Maybe it could be resurfaced, but I suspect a shop that does this would laugh at me if I sent it to them. The cost to grind this thing down would probably exceed a new part. These side housings got hot enough to crack two of them. I suspect that they are severely warped, also.
Here, you can see the side seal stuck in the rotor.
This is the other side of the rotor. This is what it is supposed to look like with the side seal removed.
This is what a side seal looks like when it doesn't break coming out. Note, the rust is probably due to the water-based degreaser that I used to clean the rotor with. I probably should have removed all of the seals before cleaning the rotor.
Cleaning up the front cover. There are a lot of recessed areas on this engine that you cannot get to with a wire wheel. I have looked for some sort of wire brush shaped like a baby bottle cleaner, but I can't seem to find anything that will get into the recessed areas.
So, this is what I came up with. I taped a Scotch-brite pad to a wooden dowel. Crude, but very effective. I have decided that I really need to get a sandblaster to do this right, so that is my next tool to buy--next weekend.
I thought the oil pan just had a lot of gunk on the bottom, but after cleaning it up, I discovered that it was rusted pretty badly. This is what it looked like after it was washed, but before I started grinding off the rust. Actually, I have started grinding off the paint, and I discovered the rust underneath the paint.
This is after an hour with a wire wheel. I figured out that a wire wheel will not remove the rust, it just glazes over. What does work is a sanding disc in my drill. Again, I think the sandblaster is needed here.