Go Back   The Ford Barn > General Discussion > Early V8 (1932-53)

Sponsored Links (Register now to hide all advertisements)

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 10-09-2016, 11:11 AM   #1
GB SISSON
Senior Member
 
GB SISSON's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Orcas Island Washington
Posts: 2,041
Default Block cleaning at home

Yesterday I removed the valve assembly and cam from my 59 engine with 3 1/16" bore factory replacement block. Prior to yesterday I had pulled the other components and now I'm getting ready to do a 'shade tree overhaul' on this thing. It had two stuck pistons, but showed very little wear. 500 watt halogen and clean new 3.00 power reading glasses show no cracks anywhere. I have a set of hastings rings, my new ball hone, goop hand cleaner, along with new 8ba valves and guides. Seats look shiny new in the 6 cyls that weren't stuck, a bit pitted in the ones that got some water. I have my Black and Decker valve seat grinder and pilot and am ready to go. Today's question is about the sequence of cleaning and machining. The valley has the usual black sludge and I removed most of it yesterday. Do I want the block perfectly clean and dry before I grind valves, hone the bores and drill lifter bosses ? Then after all the grit, wash it again? I bought a stiff 1 1/2" bottle brush and a 1/2" round brush along with the standard 'parts brush' we've seen for years. I have read how to clean the bores after honing here on the barn, but don't see much on cleaning block when a hot tank isn't used. Seems all my flathead books discuss what to do when the block returns from the machine shop all nice and clean. Yes I know it's highly recommended to hot tank, magnaflux, pressure test etc, but that isn't going to happen. This will be my 6th flathead overhaul, but the first contaminated with valve stone grit, which must get everywhere. At this point I have used gunk on it, but most areas are still a bit greasy and sticky.
__________________
'47 1/2 ton pickup next project, '47 one ton panel 99% stock nearing completion, '47 2 ton with 8ba and 9' script stakebed, '46 1/2 ton woodie project,'59 F350 9' flareside pickup with cummins 6at. 'Rusty ol' floorboards, hot on their feet' (Alan Jackson)
GB SISSON is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-09-2016, 11:24 AM   #2
Russ/40
Senior Member
 
Russ/40's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Santee, California
Posts: 2,811
Default Re: Block cleaning at home

My suggestion would be to have the whole block clean enough for paint. I know, that sounds impossible, but that would be my goal. A good solvent bath with brushes and scrapers can do wonders if you have the energy and patience, and when your done you will feel very good about it.
You do have to be thorough, but cutting the valve seats after cleaning everything is not as gritty as you may think.
Russ/40 is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links (Register now to hide all advertisements)
Old 10-09-2016, 11:45 AM   #3
Capt Kirk
Senior Member
 
Capt Kirk's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Clarkston MI
Posts: 830
Default Re: Block cleaning at home

Personally, I'd have it tanked. If that can't happen, do you know anybody that has a Hotsy steam cleaner? Truck shops typically have them. Maybe there's a place you could rent one for a half day?
__________________
35 Ford Cabriolet
56 Chevy Pickup
63 VW Bug
Empty wallet
Capt Kirk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-09-2016, 12:36 PM   #4
Kurt in NJ
Senior Member
 
Kurt in NJ's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: on the Littlefield
Posts: 4,573
Default Re: Block cleaning at home

poke all the water passages with coathanger to loosen all you can, scrape out all sludge debris you can spray oiley areas with gunk or similar scrub good, pick out pockets of gook, go to the car wash, start washing with "engine clean", then car wash(usually hot water, you want to heat(only wash with hot water, rince hot so it drys quick, if you have a compresser blow it dry and oil the inside

a home pressure washer hooked to hot water will work too
Kurt in NJ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-09-2016, 01:51 PM   #5
Alaska Jim
Senior Member
 
Alaska Jim's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Palmer, Alaska
Posts: 1,184
Default Re: Block cleaning at home

as last resort, use straight simple green, or Castrol super cleaner, or the purple cleaner that you see at most parts store. a couple of different size scrub brushes, along with what you already have. this will usually do a good job. wash with HOT water, and dry right away with compressed air to help prevent "flash " rusting. keep in a heated area (garage, shed, or what have you) after wards until you assemble it.
Alaska Jim is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-09-2016, 02:04 PM   #6
GB SISSON
Senior Member
 
GB SISSON's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Orcas Island Washington
Posts: 2,041
Default Re: Block cleaning at home

Well we do have a car wash on the island. That's a good idea. I guess what I am seeing here is I do the whole super clean car wash treatment before I do my 'machine work'. Once it's really clean the dust would blow off without sticking. Thanks. Not sure if I'll get there today so it will stay greasy for a couple days. Switching over to working on my woodies passenger door, but it's tough going back and forth between these two arenas.
__________________
'47 1/2 ton pickup next project, '47 one ton panel 99% stock nearing completion, '47 2 ton with 8ba and 9' script stakebed, '46 1/2 ton woodie project,'59 F350 9' flareside pickup with cummins 6at. 'Rusty ol' floorboards, hot on their feet' (Alan Jackson)
GB SISSON is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-09-2016, 03:48 PM   #7
SofaKing
Senior Member
 
SofaKing's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
Posts: 756
Default Re: Block cleaning at home

The dust will "not blow" off sufficiently for re-assembly. There's no reason I know of not to wash it after the "machine" work. The cleaner it is to before the machining, the easier it will be to do the pre-assembly cleaning. IMO.
SofaKing is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-09-2016, 04:37 PM   #8
Capt Kirk
Senior Member
 
Capt Kirk's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Clarkston MI
Posts: 830
Default Re: Block cleaning at home

If the machining you're doing is a couple of seats and honing the cylinders, I'd spray the seats and cylinders down with Brakeclean and wipe down real good. Do your seats and cylinders and then take it to the carwash. Once home, blow off really good, wipe down and keep in a warm shop so that it dries quickly. A spray down with WD in the cylinders and seats will help too.
Don't wear your good clothes to the car wash...you're going to get wet and dirty. Been there!
__________________
35 Ford Cabriolet
56 Chevy Pickup
63 VW Bug
Empty wallet
Capt Kirk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-09-2016, 04:50 PM   #9
Karl Wolf
Senior Member
 
Karl Wolf's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Mill Valley,Ca.
Posts: 1,377
Default Re: Block cleaning at home

Don't forget to pull all of the oil passage plugs...
Brush out, rinse etc...
AND put them back...

I have done an in frame cleaning with a drain pan, solvent, and a small pump. Pull the intake manifold, the pan, and go from top to bottom. on an engine stand this would be easier.

Karl
Karl Wolf is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-09-2016, 07:07 PM   #10
saltracer
Member
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Lafayette, La.
Posts: 74
Default Re: Block cleaning at home

if no one else mentioned this, I like to use oven cleaner to clean the outside of the block. The cheaper the better.
saltracer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-09-2016, 07:16 PM   #11
40 Deluxe
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: now Kuna, Idaho
Posts: 2,787
Default Re: Block cleaning at home

A home/car wash bath will get rid of oil-based sludge and caked on goo, but won't touch water jacket scale and lime deposits. You need something to eat away this crud that insulates cylinder walls and heads, reducing heat transfer to the coolant.
Any first-hand results that really work? (Even if elbow grease is required).
40 Deluxe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-09-2016, 07:18 PM   #12
Admiral
Senior Member
 
Admiral's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Oakland County, Michigan
Posts: 488
Default Re: Block cleaning at home

Apropos cleaning the block, before sending mine off to be machined I attacked it with a pick and shop vac. After vigorously probing everywhere I could reach with a piece of small-diameter steel rod I duct taped a chunk of foot-long steel conduit to the business end of the vacuum and went to town, sucking out as much sand, scale and rust from the water jackets as possible. Needless to say, I got A LOT of crap out of the block, though it did take quite a while (but it was worth it!).
__________________
Eight cylinders, four doors, three speeds, one good time
Admiral is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-09-2016, 08:00 PM   #13
GB SISSON
Senior Member
 
GB SISSON's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Orcas Island Washington
Posts: 2,041
Default Re: Block cleaning at home

Thanks! All great input. I worked on my door project and my wife went to town and brought 3 cans of gunk and a six pack of beer (without me asking) ... I had kept the main bearings in the block and caps after plastigage to keep them sorted properly but today I pulled and labled everything for the big scrub. Also pulled the oil pump gear from the block. As I feared the slot head plug in the rear of the oil gallery stripped in the slot even after carefully sharpening a large screwdriver.... The plug is just below flush with the block's surface, so thinking I will dish a washer with a ball peen hammer and weld it to the plug, then weld a nut to that. Maybe use an allen head plug to replace them? I sort of worry about the welding heat, but I also remember old guys saying they would melt out a broken stuck in a block with the torch and hit the air to blow it out and the threads remain intact. Welding on a nut should be far less worrisome than that.
__________________
'47 1/2 ton pickup next project, '47 one ton panel 99% stock nearing completion, '47 2 ton with 8ba and 9' script stakebed, '46 1/2 ton woodie project,'59 F350 9' flareside pickup with cummins 6at. 'Rusty ol' floorboards, hot on their feet' (Alan Jackson)
GB SISSON is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-09-2016, 08:02 PM   #14
waltere
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Wichita Kansas
Posts: 121
Default Re: Block cleaning at home

I placed two pieces of wood on the driveway and rolled mine back and forth. I was amazed how much crude came out of the water passage's.
waltere is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-09-2016, 09:56 PM   #15
GB SISSON
Senior Member
 
GB SISSON's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Orcas Island Washington
Posts: 2,041
Default Re: Block cleaning at home

I meant a broken stud, not a broken stuck....
__________________
'47 1/2 ton pickup next project, '47 one ton panel 99% stock nearing completion, '47 2 ton with 8ba and 9' script stakebed, '46 1/2 ton woodie project,'59 F350 9' flareside pickup with cummins 6at. 'Rusty ol' floorboards, hot on their feet' (Alan Jackson)
GB SISSON is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-09-2016, 11:04 PM   #16
Brian
Senior Member
 
Brian's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: New Zealand
Posts: 2,267
Default Re: Block cleaning at home

That rear gallery plug is brass. If the buggar don't shift easily, I usually use the oxy-actylene torch and warm it, it'll come out then. The front plug is steel, and responds to a bit of heat too....
One place that gets overlooked when cleaning [because the block is upside down when cleaning the underside of cylinder block/camshaft area], is; [hard to explain], the top portion [which is upside down] of the main bearings where the webs come down [up?] and where it all flows into the pan rail. Four places, behind the front main bearing, both sides of the centre, front of rear main. Hope this makes sense....
Enjoy the filthy job, but rest assured, cleanliness is next to Godliness.
When scrupulously clean, which means when all machining and cleaning has taken place, and you're about ready to assemble, you can [some people don't like this!] paint the entire inner surfaces of the block [all bits that see oil] with Gyptal. This seals in any impurities you've missed and allows oil to flow back into pan easier. Some say it interferes with heat transfer. Your choice. However, if that paint won't stick anywhere it means that surface is NOT clean.
__________________
Unfortunately, two half wits don't make a whole wit!
Brian is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-09-2016, 11:18 PM   #17
GB SISSON
Senior Member
 
GB SISSON's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Orcas Island Washington
Posts: 2,041
Default Re: Block cleaning at home

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian View Post
That rear gallery plug is brass. If the buggar don't shift easily, I usually use the oxy-actylene torch and warm it, it'll come out then. The front plug is steel, and responds to a bit of heat too....
One place that gets overlooked when cleaning [because the block is upside down when cleaning the underside of cylinder block/camshaft area], is; [hard to explain], the top portion [which is upside down] of the main bearings where the webs come down [up?] and where it all flows into the pan rail. Four places, behind the front main bearing, both sides of the centre, front of rear main. Hope this makes sense....
Enjoy the filthy job, but rest assured, cleanliness is next to Godliness.
When scrupulously clean, which means when all machining and cleaning has taken place, and you're about ready to assemble, you can [some people don't like this!] paint the entire inner surfaces of the block [all bits that see oil] with Gyptal. This seals in any impurities you've missed and allows oil to flow back into pan easier. Some say it interferes with heat transfer. Your choice. However, if that paint won't stick anywhere it means that surface is NOT clean.
You guys are a wealth of info once again. Years ago I got quite involved with early garden tractors and remember the insides of old Wisconsin engines were always painted a brick red color. This paint was always in great condition and just looked like they went the extra mile in engine construction. Haven't seen it since. Guess I won't be welding any washer onto that brass plug...
__________________
'47 1/2 ton pickup next project, '47 one ton panel 99% stock nearing completion, '47 2 ton with 8ba and 9' script stakebed, '46 1/2 ton woodie project,'59 F350 9' flareside pickup with cummins 6at. 'Rusty ol' floorboards, hot on their feet' (Alan Jackson)
GB SISSON is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-10-2016, 12:21 AM   #18
GB SISSON
Senior Member
 
GB SISSON's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Orcas Island Washington
Posts: 2,041
Default Re: Block cleaning at home

Couple of pics, still a ways to go. Two nos .060 pistons. I cleaned the cosmoline off one of them. Maybe war surplus?
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 004.jpg (78.6 KB, 122 views)
File Type: jpg 005.jpg (74.2 KB, 109 views)
File Type: jpg 009.jpg (77.9 KB, 122 views)
File Type: jpg 022.jpg (102.2 KB, 115 views)
__________________
'47 1/2 ton pickup next project, '47 one ton panel 99% stock nearing completion, '47 2 ton with 8ba and 9' script stakebed, '46 1/2 ton woodie project,'59 F350 9' flareside pickup with cummins 6at. 'Rusty ol' floorboards, hot on their feet' (Alan Jackson)
GB SISSON is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-10-2016, 02:57 AM   #19
Cheaterpete
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 55
Default Re: Block cleaning at home

Here is my procedure for block cleaning

1- hot water high pressure with different cleaner ( oven cleaner, or engine cleaner)
2- 3 dAYS in the tank with phosphoric acid
3- 2 days f Electrolytic derust.

That how I do all my blocks
Cheaterpete is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-10-2016, 03:53 AM   #20
weemark
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: uk
Posts: 362
Default Re: Block cleaning at home

Quote:
Originally Posted by GB SISSON View Post
You guys are a wealth of info once again. Years ago I got quite involved with early garden tractors and remember the insides of old Wisconsin engines were always painted a brick red color. This paint was always in great condition and just looked like they went the extra mile in engine construction. Haven't seen it since. Guess I won't be welding any washer onto that brass plug...
the red paint you are thinking of is glyptal and is still available http://www.eastwood.com/glyptal-red-enamel.html
weemark is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Sponsored Links (Register now to hide all advertisements)


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:10 AM.