Thursday, February 23, 2017

Slow progress, but promising results!

A few months ago, my wife and I relocated to Rochester, NY for work, and to be closer to her family.
A small part of my new job is machining odd parts on a Tormach 1100, a 2.5 axis CNC mill. As a result, I'm now able to make *much* nicer and more complex parts than I could on my drill press in my shop back in PA. Which is really handy, since I ruined a couple of custom pieces taking this engine apart.

This is a two-piece housing that holds an oil seal. All of the information I could gather said that this should be attached in a way that prying and application of heat would allow its removal. All of that information was incorrect, as it turns out. Several #6 screws, hidden by RTV sealant and covered with paint, held this assembly on. I managed to bend it during my first failed attempt at removal, but even worse, I scraped the sealing face pretty bad with the screwdriver I was using to pry it off. As a result, I needed to replace both pieces.... and it just so happens I now have the tools to do so.

I didn't take a lot of pictures, but here's a shot of an aluminum blank next to one of the (almost) finished pieces:

I think the originals were turned on a lathe, based on the finish on the old parts vs the finish on the new parts. (Admittedly, I am not what most would call a competent machinist, so maybe I just failed to produce a quality part.) However, I think the new pieces will work out just fine.

According to the book I'm reading, "How to Rebuild your Volkswagen Aircooled Engine," Tom Wilson says the best way to clean the aluminum/magnesium engine case is with regular old soap.... with phosphate. Probably wasn't hard to come by when the book was written, but now it seems nobody sells it. I'm going to try regular old soap without phosphate, and see what happens. I'll be taking my crankshaft in next week to have it magnafluxed, and if it passes I'll be placing my big order for engine parts. My hope is that the engine will go back together pretty quickly, since there was no apparent damage and it ran ok before. 

As explanation for my apparent lack of significant progress, allow me to placate you with a picture of my son, who was born a few weeks ago, and has been eating up all of my time. Strangely, I don't mind....