The Useful Duck!

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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Great Engine Swap of 2010

This project seems to never end.
I found a new truck as you may have read before. We cleaned the engine and then pulled that same engine. I have to replace the exhaust gaskets and clutch. See photo below. New helper seems to be a happy sort of fellow...

With the engine removed it is time to fix various parts on the engine that would be hard to get at if the engine were installed. The exhaust manifold is one of those projects. Due to the clever design of the heads the top exhaust manifold bolts are almost impossible to remove. They go through the manifold into a flange on the head. The back of the flange is open and so moisture can get into the threads and rust the bolts to the head. It requires a combination of heat and oil and more heat and careful application of a wrench.

I did have a plan. Friday afternoon I heated the flanges on the head red hot. I let them cool. The bolts did not break loose. I applied lots of penetrating oil. Then Friday night I heated the manifold bolts red hot. I heated just the head. I tried to make sure the heat flowed through the whole bolt. I looked for a faint glow from the little bit of bolt I could see from the back of the manifold flange.
Saturday morning I came back.
First I mixed up a special brew of automatic transmission fluid and acetone. This is supposed to penetrate better than commercial penetrating oil. I never really got to find out. My brother came over to look at the clutch. As soon as vehicles started arriving at the shop the neighbor who owns the shop came out to see what was up. He wanted to get involved.
The bottom bolts came out right away. They were into blind holes so there was little rust. The heating the head idea worked perfectly. The bolts expand from the heat and then contract which breaks them loose.
My plan was to apply the special oil and then let the engine set while I worked on my feed grinding project at home. But, everyone wanted to work on the engine. This was driving me crazy as I had a plan. However, my phone kept ringing and so I was distracted. The neighbor got the torch and air wrench and everything going and soon got the bolts out. All of them but the one I broke off earlier.

This was ok. He felt like he had really done something. I said thank you very much. In all the pain and suffering of this whole project. The only part I felt I really know how to do was remove the rusted bolts. Oh well. I did get to do the broken one. I heated it several times. I put special oil on it. I even got it loose enough to move back and forth. I was going to use a die grinder to grind off the back of the bolt but I didn't have one. I ended up drilling out the bolt with a reverse drill bit. I drilled it out almost to the threads before I could turn it out. It was strange that it was that hard to do as I did have it loose in the threads.

This photo is out of order but I don't have time to put it at the front of the post. You can see the bolt I broke off right away. It is the empty front hole. You can see the other two bolts. Note that the heads are different colored. I applied heat only to the bolt head. Usually this transfers the heat all the way through the bolt. These were stuck really tight!
Today I will work on the clutch. Or solder a new wire onto my GPS receiver, or grind feed, or putz around and pretend to be busy!


  1. You gotta love the committee process. At least nobody hit their thumb.

    Many times when musing in the garden of the wrench and hammer, I have considered that the engineers who designed these things should have had to spend a few weeks a year assigned to work in repair shops in the hinterlands.


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