The Engine Chronicles , Part 1

A couple weeks back, we decided it was time to begin work on George’s engine. So, on a

The starting point - a fully assembled engine. 7:49PM, August 6, 2016.
The starting point – a fully assembled engine. 7:49PM, August 6, 2016.

nice evening, the girls and I went up to the garage and started the disassembly. First order of business was to remove the cylinder head, which took about five minutes using the original Ford spark plug / cylinder head bolt wrench that we found underneath George’s rear seat.

Removing the head confirmed what we were told – a valve was indeed stuck open and the other valves needed attention as well. At this point another issue became evident as well. While the engine did indeed turn over with the crank, not all was well. The pistons went up and down as they should, indicating that the crankshaft was happily going roundy-round as it should. The valves, on the other hand, remained entirely motionless. This was not a good thing, as the unstuck ones should be going up and down in concert with the pistons. More diassembly was required.

Off with its head! The errant, stuck open valve can be seen by the second cylinder.
Off with its head! The errant, stuck open valve can be seen by the second cylinder.

Next to come of was the radiator, followed by the intake and exhaust manifolds, valve cover, fan, generator and front engine cover. About 40 minutes later, the answer became quite evident – the large gear that should be on the front of the camshaft was nowhere to be found. Without this gear, the small drive gear on the crankshaft had nothing to mesh with and neither the camshaft nor the generator were being made to go around as they should.

From the looks of things, the front of the engine was taken apart to this point a long time ago, and then sat open for quite a while. (The front of the engine is quite rusty. As this area is covered by the front cover/fan & generator mount, it would never get wet on an assembled engine.) Looks like someone started to do some work on George a long time ago and then lost interest (along with some of the removed parts). One wonders what they were trying to fix. Perhaps the same stuck valve that we are chasing down now, perhaps something more problematic. Only time will tell.

With the radiator out of the way, the front of the engine can be clearly seen.
With the radiator out of the way, the front of the engine can be clearly seen.

For now we are regularly marinating the valve train in PB Blaster (after expending several cans of brake cleaner getting the oil sludge and inset nests out from around the valve springs). Once things seem to have freed up, the next step will be to see if we can get the valves to come out. Hopefully with the valves out, the camshaft will rotate. If not, I guess it will be time to learn how to get the cam out of the block.

 

8:38PM. Now we know why the valves don't move; there should be a large gear mounted to the front of the camshaft (the shaft in the center of the photo).
8:38PM. Now we know why the valves don’t move; there should be a large gear mounted to the front of the camshaft (the shaft in the center of the photo).
Surgeon / hack at work, removing the crank pulley from the front of the crankshaft.
Surgeon / hack at work, removing the crank pulley from the front of the crankshaft.
Storm the cat stops by see what we are all up to. He stayed on to supervise the work.
Storm the cat stops by see what we are all up to. He stayed on to supervise the work.

One Comment

  1. Dennis

    Well Jason, you thought that the timing gear was stripped or something, and you were right. It was something. Bet you weren’t counting on it being completely gone. Looks like everyone is enjoying working with George. That’s great! Have fun.
    Dennis

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