Friday, April 26, 2013

The Speed Shop's new work truck.

If you have read this blog lately, you know that I have been looking for a early 50's pickup truck. It will be used for my daily driver along with my 1969 Volkswagen Bug. I found the perfect truck for my needs. My Dad owned this truck a few years ago and sold it to a friend of his that he worked with. I was able to get his name from my Dad and I then tracked him down and found out he still had the truck and He was willing to sell it to me. I was excited so we agreed on a price and today I headed to Idaho to pick it up. I rented a 
U-haul trailer with the hopes that the truck would fit on it and headed North. Here is the truck and my truck and trailer just after I pulled up.
 It is a 1952 International L-110. It was parked in 92 because the brakes were bad and it hasn't run since. It is definitely an old farm truck and has the dents to prove it. It was originally red and was repainted blue at some point. The patina on this truck is awesome. I am going to leave the body just the way it is except I might change the grill out and do something with the bumpers. The front one is pretty messed up and the back one is a homemade extra heavy duty one. It is solid but it looks a little big. Time will tell what happens to it.
 It took 2 come-along's and some hard work from Sol (the guy I bought it from) and myself but we got it loaded on the trailer. I strapped it down and it was ready for the 150 mile drive home.
This is what I saw in my rear view mirror the whole way home. It's a great looking hood though.
 Here I am just about in Utah. The farms and land in Idaho is awesome. I would love to live in a place that has so much farmland everywhere.
 I made a stop in Logan to check on my parents house. The trailer pulled OK but it did have a little wobble at times. My truck pulled it without a problem and I could barely tell it was back there.
 Ready to take off again for the ride to Salt Lake City.

If you are wondering if a 1952 International pickup with a long bed will fit on a u-haul trailer, it does. (but just barely!) There wasn't much wiggle room for it and I imagine all the metal hanging off the tail of the trailer was what gave it the wobble at times. 
 The running boards cleared the fenders with room to spare. When I lower it it will be a little tighter.
 I have the front as far forward as it will go. I guess I could of put it on backwards and I would of been OK with the weight distribution but as it was, it towed pretty good. It never wiggled enough to make my knuckles white.
 I got it home and Isaac was the first to greet me. I had him get up in the truck to put on the brakes when I pushed it off. I didn't tell him that the truck has no brakes. Ha ha Anyways I tweaked my back when I was putting  it on the trailer so I was having trouble getting it off by myself. Luckily my friend showed up and helped me push it off. He also helped me stop the truck from hitting my house when it was rolling. Thanks Ron, I couldn't have done it without you!
Ellie loves the truck. We had to deal with a huge temper tantrum from her when we pulled her out and told her she couldn't get back in it. Dixie blames me for Ellie's love of old cars and trucks. What can I say, She has good taste. Dixie thinks the truck is too big. I keep telling her with smaller wheels and tires and a lowering job, it won't look so big. Although with little Ellie in it it does look big.
 especially this picture of her in it. The funny thing is that inside the cab, there really isn't much room. 2 people sit pretty close to each other. I told Dixie that that will keep us close to each other. (always a good thing!) That's the same reason why I try to to take the bug when we go on dates.
 This is the dashboard. Not much too it, just the necessities. I will take some better pictures of the inside and the engine and post them up later. I am trying to nurse my sore back tonight and didn't feel like doing much more. It's been a fun, but long day. It would of been funner if my family could have gone with me. Maybe next time.
Check back and see the progress of the shop truck as it happens. I think I will try to get it running first, then we will go from there. Whatever happens to the truck, you can bet that it will be cool.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Saturn engine starts to take shape.

I had some time today to start assembling the engine for the Saturn that has been sitting in front of my house for awhile. I have everything to get it put back together now so the time has come to get to work. I found a machine shop in town that rebuilt the head for a really good price and their work looked great. I had the head rebuilt because the valves were leaking pretty good which made the compression too low.They also milled it so it's nice and flat. Here is the head ready to get installed. The machine shop is called JR Automotive Machine. The prices are fair and the work is great. Here is the website.  Check them out if you need some machining done.
 I finished cleaning up the block and it is now ready for the pistons and connecting rods to be installed.
 I did the first one and it went in really slick. Here's how I did it.
 The first thing you need to do is remove the bearings and clean between the connecting rod and the bearing. You do not want to put any oil or assembly lube there. After it is cleaned, install the bearing and then put assembly lube on the side of the bearing that will mate with the crank.  
I installed the rings earlier. Make sure you install them with the right sides facing the right direction. These rings get installed with the markings facing the upper side of the piston. Make sure you offset the ring gaps when you get ready to install the pistons in the cylinder. DO NOT install the rings with the gaps in line. You will have an oil consumption problem if you do.
 Here is the ring compressor that I used. It worked really good and is pretty much self explanatory. Put the piston in with the bottom of the piston facing the bottom marking on the ring compressor.
Be very careful when you install the piston and rod. You don't want to scratch the cylinder wall with the rod or damage the crank. These connecting rods have caps with bolts. Some rods have studs installed and then the caps are installed with nuts. If you have those rods, you can install some fuel line on the studs so you can have more protection when installing it. I turned the crank so the pistons would be at the very bottom of the stroke and then pushed them down to the bottom of the cylinder.  
 A rubber mallet works good to lightly tap the piston in. I coated the cylinder walls with assembly lube and then put oil on the rings. I figured a mix of both will be the ticket to protect the walls and let the rings seat correctly.  
2 pistons almost completed
 Here are the bolts for the connecting rod caps. I used medium strength loctite. It doesn't tell you to use loctite but I did for a couple of reasons. 1. These are suppose to be torque to yield bolts which means you should replace them every time you remove them. (I actually could not find new ones to buy which has been a common problem with this engine throughout this build.) and 2. I do not want a rod bolt coming out on this engine so I figured it would't hurt to use some. You can choose for yourself on what you want to do. The torque is suppose to be 19 ft-lbs+75 degrees. I torqued mine to 33 ft-lbs because I reused my bolts. Again, you can do what you like.
 I marked everything really well before I took it apart so it was easy to get everything back together correctly. If you forgot to mark it or if you have cleaned all your marks off, the book is very helpful in getting things in the right place. Here is the cap on and torqued.
 4 pistons in and torqued. We are making some progress now!
I had to make a tool to install the inserts for the tie plate. They wanted 37 bucks for this stupid tool so I decided to just make my own out of a 10 MM socket. It worked perfect and was way cheaper. Here's my homemade tool. It took about 5 minutes with a die grinder and it was ready to go
 The insert is down by the stud. They basically get screwed down onto the main cap nuts and are used as a spacer for the tie plate. If you don't get them installed right you take a chance of cracking and breaking the tie plate. They tell you to use new washers on these before you install the nut but it is a discontinued item. I reused mine. They are just a regular washer so I felt they would be just fine.
 Tie plate is on and torqued along with the oil pickup tube. remember to install a new o ring on the tube.
 Time to install the head now. Here is the head gasket in place and ready to go.
The head is ready to be lifted on. I cleaned the sealing surfaces with brake cleaner and a paper towel. Paper is preferred over cloth because it will disintegrate it some happens to get left behind. Cloth will not and could harm your bearings at some point.
The head is on and torqued. I did get new head bolts because they are torque to yield and they are available still. I torqued the head on to 48 ft-lbs in the proper sequence with the new bolts dry to insure that the proper clamp load is achieved.. I then removed the bolts, oiled them and torqued them to 22 ft-lbs, then to 33 ft-lbs. The final step I did was to torque the bolts 1/4 turn more in sequence which is the 90 degrees they call out for. If you are not using new bolts you may not need to do the first step. It's up to you. I mark the bolts so I don't have to think much when I am torquing them. You can see my numbers in the picture.
 Next install your lash adjusters in the proper places with plenty of oil. I then filled them up after to make sure they had oil in them.
 Throw your rockers on and your ready for the cams. I have the intake side done here.
Here all the rockers are installed along with both the cams. Use plenty of oil or assembly lube. Be careful when installing your cam caps. Tighten them a little at a time and equally or you take a chance at breaking your cam or damaging your head.
 Make sure you install the cams correctly. They are marked IN for intake and EX for exhaust. Don't mix them up or your engine will not run properly.
 To install your timing gears you use a 24 MM wrench to keep the cam from spinning and then torque the gear on with a torque wrench.
 Line up your cams and install (2) 3/16 inch drill bits into the holes in the gears and the head. They will be at the 6 o'clock position as seen here. Your timing mark will be at 12 o'clock.
Now you can move your crank 90 degrees CCW and line up your timing mark with the mark on the block.
 The timing chain will have 4 links that are colored differently. Line up the top 2 with the cam gears like this.
 The 2 that are next to each other go at the 6 o'clock position exactly opposite of the timing mark at 12 o'clock on the crank gear as seen here. Now you can install your fixed chain guide, then your moveable guide along with your tensioner.  
Here is what it looks like when it's all together. Give it some slow spins and make sure your marks work out and there is no valve to piston contact and then you should be golden. Time to put your front cover on!
Install a new crank seal in the front cover and then flip it over and remove the oil pump cover. There are 9 star bolts that hold it on. this picture shows it removed already. You need to pack all the open spaces in the oil pump full of Vaseline. This will prime the pump so you can get oil pressure right off the bat. Sorry, I didn't get a picture of it with all the Vaseline in it but just fill all the open spaces with it. 
 Install the cover and wipe off any excess Vaseline that may have squished out. You are now ready to install the front cover and then the oil pan. Make sure all the sealing surfaces are nice and clean especially from any old RTV sealant. It's a pain in the butt but a necessary evil.
 The front cover and oil pan are sealed up by RTV. I used ultra gray sealant. Make sure you torque them to the proper torque and in the proper sequence and hopefully your engine will not leak. The covers on and I am just about to install the oil pan.
The oil pans on and buttoned up. This is where I left it today. I am planning on installing it next Saturday so this week I will put the intake, exhaust, and accessories on to get it ready to put on the hook early Saturday morning. I was hoping to get a little bit farther today but life gets in the way and that's not a bad thing. 
Overall, I did get a lot done and it should be fairly easy to get it finished up for Saturday. Check back and see if this thing will run.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

The Type of Truck that will replace Tugger.

So I have been doing some thinking about Tugger and I've had a tough time trying to decide to part him out or not. The hardest part is that Isaac loves that ugly Baja bug. I can't really figure out why he does but he does. Anyways tonight the family loaded up in the van and went to Valley Fair Mall and Costco. It was a 2 fold mission. Isaac, Ellie and myself were going for the car show that was being held at the mall and Dixie and Steven were going to go to Costco and meet us back at the show. Ellie would not of let us go to the car show without her. She is totally a Daddy's girl! We drove around the mall and found the car show on the north side. The wind was blowing pretty good and it was pretty cold. We found that there was only about 12 cars there so we decided to all go to the car show and then we would all hit Costco. It was cold and windy and there wasn't very many cars there but we still had a good time. I found the EXACT style of truck that I have been looking for to replace Tugger with. I asked Isaac if we built one and replaced Tugger if he would be OK with it. He said it would be alright and Dixie even didn't mind it. She keeps saying that I must like to work hard fixing my cars if I am going to drive stuff like that. She should already know that about me. Ha Ha. I snapped a picture with my crappy cell phone camera because I didn't have my camera on me. I didn't really get the whole truck but here it is.
This truck is perfect in my book. It is a 1948 Dodge. I am looking for a 1947 to 1953 truck. It can be a Chevy, Dodge, Ford or even an International. The make of the truck doesn't concern me as much as the year because I love the style of all the trucks of that era.  It also gives me a wide range to look at and I have plenty of time to find just the right one. I will know the truck when I see it. I am going to leave the body with the original paint and rust (patina) and run steel wheels with hubcaps and beauty rings just like the one pictured. I will probably paint Olson's Speed Shop logo on the side of the doors and then make it look weathered like it has been on there forever. (That's assuming I ever come up with a logo that I like.) I am going to lower it a little bit but not as extreme as Ed is going to be lowered and then just drive it. This will be my transportation year round come rain, snow or sun along with Ed so I am going to make it reliable and safe. So, if you see a truck that fits my year range for sale, let me know. I am actively searching for one.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Honing a Saturn's cylinder walls.

Took some time after work tonight to hone the cylinders on the Saturn's engine. I debated whether or not to do this. I finally decided to do it so that it would de-glaze the cylinders walls and therefore help the new rings I installed to seat better. I used a ball hone and it worked great. Here is the ball hone that I used. I put some really thin oil on the cylinder walls before I ran the hone in them.
 You don't want a super fast speed when doing this. I set my drill to spin around 1000 RPM or so and it seemed to work out pretty good. You want to start the hone spinning before you insert it into the bore. I also found that if I went up and down fairly slow at first and then increased the speed at the end I got better cross hatch marks and a cleaner cylinder. You need to make sure you pull the hone out also while it is spinning or you will scratch your cylinder walls. Your cross hatch marks should be about 45 degrees with each other as an end product. I did this with the crank still installed so I put some plastic sheet to cover the crank so I would keep out any grit from the crank bearings. It would definitely be easier to remove the crank before doing this but I didn't want to mess with removing it. This is a super low dollar budget build so I opted to keep the crank in.
 Here are the cylinder walls. They look pretty good.
Here are all 4 just after I honed them. I still need to clean the walls now to get all the grit off them.
To clean the cylinders out I flipped the block over because the crank is still in it and washed them out upside down. Here it is ready to be cleaned.
 The best thing to clean the walls after honing is super hot water and laundry detergent soap. I opted for tide. I just got a bucket full of steaming hot water with tide and I used a brush that fit inside the cylinders and scrubbed them out. I did it until the brush came out clean. I did all 4 cylinders this way.
I then got a bucket of clean hot water and rinsed out the cylinders with some paper towels and made sure they came out clean also. I finished it off with a coating of motor oil to keep the cylinder walls from rusting from the water. Here it is all done and ready for the pistons to be installed.
 Hopefully in the next couple of days I will have time to install the pistons. Here they are ready to go in with all the new rings installed and the 1 new piston to replace the damaged one.
The goal for this week is to get the engine all back together and ready to be installed in the car. I think it can be done. It will most likely take until Saturday but that is the goal. I am going to take the cylinder head into work tomorrow and clean it up and see if I can get it to seal better. Keep watching to see if the goal is accomplished.