Firewall Forward - Engine

2005-05-01 - Engine clean-up. (2.0 Hrs).

This week, I was trying to gather enough good parts to start the rebuild, and I ran into a major show stopper. While cleaning the water seal grooves in the intermediate housing, I discovered what Mazdatrix calls the dreaded "unknown water leak" problem. There is a half-inch section on one side of the inner groove broken off. The intermediate housing on the first engine was blued and cracked from overheating, so it was not useable. Now, with a broken water seal groove on the other intermediate housing, I have no intermediate housing to do the rebuild.

What to do, what to do? The intermediate housing is $442 on Mazdatrix. That's more than I paid for both engines. Of course, they were both junk. I really shouldn't have expected to get a usable engine for $200. So, I thought I would look into "repairing" the seal groove. I figured I could try some JB Weld just to see how it would work. Actually, the repair looks real good, and just might work, but I think it's on the "iffy" side of what most people would put into an airplane.

I, also, thought about TIG welding the groove. I have a cheap TIG welder on order, but to be honest, this is probably not the best thing to learn TIG welding on. Besides, all of the welding books that I have say the cheap welders are only good for door stops. I guess I'll find out.

Actually, the whole point is moot, since I just sent Dana Overall a $1700 check for his rebuilt 13b rotary engine. On the one hand, I am a little disappointed, because I really wanted to do the whole "build from scratch" thing. Of course, Dana's engine is a very good deal, so I'm much better off. Also, I think you can see that I may have been on the verge of using some questionable parts in my rebuild. I think I would have spent the $442 for the intermediate housing, but we'll never know, unless I just happen to put this engine together just for the fun of it.

It looks like I will be spending the next week putting all of the parts into bins and storing them away.

This is one of the bad housings from the second engine, that I rejected . This is what it looks like after the rotor eats an apex seal.
The other housing, also, rejected. This engine had broken apex seals on both rotors. Someone really abused this engine!
On the other hand, the housings on the first engine look really good.
No chrome missing, no gouges, looks good to me.
Hard to tell from the lighting, but there's a half-inch piece missing here.
View from further away.
Initial repair, needs to dry and be filed-down.
After filing, the surface fit was very good. The only question is whether the JB Weld will stay in place. Will the water flow pull it off, or will the seal blow out. We'll never know, perhaps for the better.
Top view of the fix.
There were a few other repairs to be made to the end housing. This water pipe was rusted, but cleaned-up ok.
This water nipple was corroded away at the end.
A little JB Weld, some filing, and this will be like new.
Almost useable.