Monday, December 18, 2023

Rattle Can Rebuild Part 3

As I said in a previous post, I'm probably doing this all backwards by starting at the bottom of the engine and working up, but I've made my bed and I'll be sleeping in it...  So, starting at the very bottom I began by pulling off the oil pan which showed some signs of leaking around the gasket.  Additionally, there was some rust on the bottom that I wanted to take care of before it got bad enough to leak.  

Fortunately, I didn't have a single one of the 17 oil pan bolts give me a hard time and they all came out without much of a fuss.  Getting the pan itself off was a bit of a challenge since it had probably been in place for close to 40 years.  Because the pan is sheet metal, I had to take care when getting it off so I took a 5" spackle knife and gently hammered it between the block and the pan around the whole perimeter.  I left a few bolts loosely in place in case it popped off too quickly for me to catch it.  Overall it wasn't too bad and took about 15 minutes to free it up.  The bottom of the pan had the last remnants of oil in it and I was pleased to see that I didn't find any metal shavings or anything but oil for that matter.

Once I had it off I cleaned up both mating surfaces with a razor blade and brake cleaner and had both surfaces nice and smooth within a half hour.  Next I removed the oil extraction hose and fitting and sanded the pan down and degreased the whole thing with more brake cleaner.  I'm sure it is toxic stuff, but brake cleaner does wonders on grease and grime.

Once everything was cleaned and prepped, I shot 3 coats of VHT high temp engine enamel primer and let it cure. The next day I did 3 coats of VHT high temp engine enamel.  I decided against using OEM Westerbeke red because:

  1. I had the VHT on hand and new cans (Chevy-Orange) are $18 at pretty much any auto parts store on the planet and are pretty close to Westerbeke Red
  2. OEM Westerbeke Red is $60 a can. The markup is insane and not worth it IMHO.
I gave the paint a few days to dry and cure and then installed a new banjo fitting and extractor hose to complete the job.  I also ordered new oil pan bolts from Westerbeke; for some reason their bolt prices are not quite as high as many of their other parts (probably because the same type can be purchased locally. I went with Westerbeke on this purchase because I didn't have to fiddle with pitch and size and could just click order; knowing that I would get exactly what I needed.

While I was waiting for parts to show up and paint to cure, I pulled off a bunch of other lower engine parts and cleaned up the block.  There was quite a bit of surface rust and took a wire wheel, steel brush and picks to clean it up. Once again, I followed up with a liberal dousing of brake cleaner and lots and lots of shop towels,   I went over it several times before I was satisfied that it was good enough.  

At this point I turned the rattle cans toward the engine and shot 3 coats of primer on the block and let that dry/cure overnight.  The next morning I went back and did 3 coats of Chevy-Orange to finish it all up. I let that cure overnight and then bolted the oil pan back in place along with one of the engine mounts that I had taken off and painted a few days before. To make sure the new gasket didn't slip while putting the pan back on, I put a thin layer of Permatex #2 on the pan and let it tack up before applying the gasket. I also coated each bolt in marine grade anti-sieze and torqued everything to spec. (I believe the oil pan bolts were 13mm with a torque spec of 57-64 ft/lbs).  Finally, I followed up with a quick wipe down of the bolts to remove any anti-sieze squeezeout and some paint to protect the bolt heads. 

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