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Jerry From LA
Jerry From LA SuperDork
1/12/17 12:06 a.m.

Judging from the horizontal lines....looks like rod bolt drag when you removed the piston assemblies.

petegossett UltimaDork
1/12/17 12:16 a.m.

In reply to Cousin_Eddie:

That's great news! I've not heard of crocus cloth before, is that something the parts store should have?

petegossett UltimaDork
1/12/17 12:20 a.m.

In reply to BrokenYugo:

I sprayed the oven cleaner directly on the piston, then wiped it off after about 10-minutes. I've tried the mallet trick too, but haven't had any luck. The piston is soaking in laquer thinner now, so hopefully it does a better job than my brew.

In reply to Jerry From LA:

That's my best guess too. We really had to beat a couple to get them out, but this was one of the easier ones. Maybe it contacted the crank when it popped free?

Jerry From LA
Jerry From LA SuperDork
1/12/17 12:38 a.m.

Yeah the rod swung as it moved up the hole and kissed your crank. Next time, get yourself a set of rubber or plastic rod bolt booties or slip some old fuel hose over them before driving the assembly out.

Crocus cloth can be found at any hardware store patronized by old crusty types like myself who appreciate a fine abrasive assortment. It's covered with iron oxide rather than abrasive so it tends to knock down high spots like the ridge formed around the edges of that bolt kiss.

You could hit the machine shop and ask them to micropolish the crank for you. They might tell you its futile or they might chuck it up in the crank lathe and do it.

BrokenYugo MegaDork
1/12/17 4:23 a.m.
Cousin_Eddie wrote: Polish the crank with crocus cloth. That's no where near anything to go out on a cliff over. Worst case, you can buy a crank kit at the parts store. They are reasonably priced and will come with matching rod and crank bearings. I just looked it up at O Reilly. 125 bucks for a fresh ground crank with matching bearings. But in my opinion, yours can absolutely polish.

If you go that route get it from Advance, order to store online and use one of the 30% off $50+ coupon codes , a local machine shop probably gets about $89 to cut one and they don't give you bearings with it.

Cousin_Eddie Reader
1/12/17 5:54 a.m.

Probably the best thing in my opinion to soak those pistons in is diesel. A quart of it in a coffee can would do. Diesel softens carbon better than any homebrew sauce I've ever seen. I've often soaked cylinder heads in a five gallon bucket with two gallons of diesel. You do half then flip the head after a day or two to do the other half. Try it, it works.

petegossett UltimaDork
1/12/17 6:37 a.m.

In reply to BrokenYugo:

Thanks for the suggestion! That brought the total to $106.87, after taxes(excluding the core charge). At that price it's a no-brainer - rather than my novice self attempting to get this crank polished smooth enough & risk losing the engine...I think these gouges felt worse than they looked in the pics. Plus there was one other smaller spot I found on the crank, though I think it likely would have polished out.

petegossett UltimaDork
1/12/17 7:31 p.m.


After reading through the manual I picked up, I realized I'd underestimated just how clean the block needed to be. Obviously the oil galleys & water jackets all need to be as clean as possible, and the block needs to be free of crud & debris, but they emphasize that all surfaces inside & out should not leave any marks when wiped with a clean rag. Ok, back for another round of cleaning...

I flipped the block upside down & cleaned the underside of cylinders 1 & 2, all the areas under their lifter bores, and the vertical surfaces along the inside of front of the block & the #2 crank journal.

Here's a before/after shot showing #1 halfway cleaned, then completed. As you can see, they weren't that dirty...or so I thought.

I also checked the piston I'd had soaking in laquer thinner all day. The solvent had removed a lot of the carbon and varnish, but the rings were still firmly stuck. I realized though that it seemed to be rust building on the rings, more than varnish, so I swapped out the solvent for Evapo-rust. I just checked it before closing up, and although they're still stuck the outside edge of the rings is nearly rust-free. Here's hoping it soaks into the gaps and loosens the inner edges up overnight.

Woody MegaDork
1/12/17 7:40 p.m.

Have I mentioned that this is currently my favorite build thread? Because this is currently my favorite build thread. I like this better than my own.

mazdeuce UltimaDork
1/12/17 7:43 p.m.

I like this better than all of mine.

Woody MegaDork
1/12/17 7:45 p.m.
mazdeuce wrote: I like this better than all of mine.

Your build thread is also currently my favorite build thread.

petegossett UltimaDork
1/12/17 7:51 p.m.

Thanks Woody & mazdeuce! Though I have no idea why you guys like my thread better than your own?

AClockworkGarage Reader
1/12/17 8:00 p.m.

I like this thread better than mine, because there is forward momentum in this one...

Dusterbd13 PowerDork
1/12/17 8:03 p.m.

I like your thread better than any of mine. Reason being, all my cars are kicking my ass right now, while you are kicking its.

mazdeuce UltimaDork
1/12/17 8:08 p.m.

It's exciting to watch someone else take a motor apart. And free. When you do it yourself it's stressful and expensive. Even though it's fun, it's not the carefree fun of someone else doing it.

petegossett UltimaDork
1/12/17 8:41 p.m.

In reply to AClockworkGarage:

I think that's just a temporary situation. You're doing what you can without a garage in winter, once summer kicks in down here I certainly won't be putting in much time in the garage(though hopefully I won't need to put in as much time by then. Meanwhile you'll be in full swing up there.

In reply to Dusterbd13:

I feel like this car is trying its hardest to kick mine, and from day-to-day the tides seem to keep turning.

In reply to mazduce:

You bring up a very good point there. It's much more enjoyable when someone else's neck & wallet are on the line. Yet I can't think that I'm seriously dealing with 1/100th the value as you, and I don't envy you for that at all. Ugh!

ClemSparks PowerDork
1/12/17 9:07 p.m.

Another fun thing is helping people work on their projects. When you're tired of it or they run out of parts, tools, or beer you just go home and forget about it.

I wish I was close enough to help with this and other projects on the board.

SyntheticBlinkerFluid UltimaDork
1/12/17 9:51 p.m.

I'm enjoying the thread mainly because of the pace that you're moving at. Plus you're taking a crack at the motor, not just going for a crate motor or relying on an engine shop to build it for you.

Now that I say that, this is a lot better than most car tv shows nowadays.

petegossett UltimaDork
1/12/17 10:18 p.m.

In reply to SyntheticBlinkerFluid:

It's certainly more difficult to have reality-TV interpersonal drama when you're the only one in the garage, despite however much I talk to myself in the process.

SyntheticBlinkerFluid UltimaDork
1/13/17 12:39 a.m.
petegossett wrote: In reply to SyntheticBlinkerFluid: It's certainly more difficult to have reality-TV interpersonal drama when you're the only one in the garage, despite however much I talk to myself in the process.

Lizzie: "You keep talking to yourself, people'll think you're crazy."

Lightnining McQueen: "Thanks for the tip."

Lizzie: "What? I wasn't talking to you!"

SkinnyG Dork
1/13/17 1:09 a.m.

Talking to yourself is fine.

It's when you start telling jokes you've never heard before....

Ian F
Ian F MegaDork
1/13/17 4:45 a.m.
petegossett wrote: In reply to SyntheticBlinkerFluid: It's certainly more difficult to have reality-TV interpersonal drama when you're the only one in the garage, despite however much I talk to myself in the process.

I don't know... There are a miriad of YouTube channels which are essentially a solo person talking to themselves and occasionally the camera.

Some of them have managed to make a half decent living at it.

petegossett UltimaDork
1/13/17 5:58 a.m.

In reply to Ian F:

I definitely don't have my E36 M3 together enough to pull off a YouTube channel. I just don't have the talent or patience for the editing, etc., not to mention zero talent in front of the camera.

Everyone's support here though is definitely a big motivator in helping me keep my momentum up, even on days when I just feel "ugh". Although I'm taking the evening off to go play some music - I've only picked up my bass once for about 15-minutes since the week before Thanksgiving. I may still get a few minutes in the garage though...

AngryCorvair UltimaDork
1/13/17 7:33 a.m.

In reply to SkinnyG:

But that's where new jokes come from!

Agent98 New Reader
1/13/17 8:56 a.m.

Good progress - you can try to boil the pistons in soapy water on the stovetop in an old sauce pan or better yet use a hot plate. See if that looses the rings and wrist pins. Once, I tried soaking some pistons in purple walmart degreaser for days and days it wound up attacking the aluminum piston itself, no good.

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