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rsd9699

How to KEEP Rebuilt Engines Clean

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Hi,

I have seen several pictures (really more than a few) where folks have cleaned their engine to the point you can eat off them then painted them but after a few weeks of driving the nasty oil stains start reappearing.

Engines of all types have been rebuilt, cleaned and repainted for over a hundred years. I understand the mud and dust issues but oil leakage? What are we doing wrong and suggestions on how to keep our engines looking good through the ages? Are there better seals available? Better paints that do a better job of blocking the oil or actually keeping the oil in the engine where it belongs?

Thanks

Ron

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My opinion, if there is connsiderable oil leakage, the rebuild was not well done. Other then that, just keep cleaning every few weeks. I will be interested in other's thoughts on this.

John

John

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Cast iron is a porous material and oil will migrate through it with time. Some block castings are going to be more porous than others, even among seemingly identical engine blocks.

Jim

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I have the same problem, Ron. I rebuilt my Buick 248 straight eight. The pan gasket and pushrod side cover gaskets seem to "wick" the oil out. About ready to break out the welder!!:D

Ben

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Don't tell me that. I just finished rebuilding my engine and I thought it would look this good forever.:(

post-43003-143138498496_thumb.jpg

post-43003-143138498498_thumb.jpg

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It will if you never start the engine. as was the intention of a poster here sometime back.

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One of the problems with expecting even a allegedly thoroughly cleaned block before rebuilding will always be there is no way any cleaning is going to extract all the oil which has migrated into the casting. May look as if it is clean as a pin, but there will still be a certain amount of oil in the casting which will continue to migrate. Just one of those facts of life with any engine block that has ever had it's crankcase filled and ran long enough to reach operating temperature.

Glyptal as Barry suggested has been around for along time and effectively used for other applications and purposes. Candidly I would question if it will bond any better on the inside of a used engine than paint does on the outside, for the same reason of no cleaning actually removing all the oil that has migrated into the casting. Kind of like closing the barn door after the horse has already gotten out.

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Like the Pontiac above, this 76 Olds is another special ordered car of mine from new. Unlike the Pontiac, the Olds body and engine is in it's original body and engine paint from the factory. This engine has 110,000 miles, has never been apart, still has original carb.-fuel pump-alternator-p/s pump. On non ethanol 32MPG, 10% ethanol= 28mpg.

Don

http://www.pismoderelicts.com/photogallery/new%20format%20830/images/p1080789.jpg

Edited by helfen (see edit history)

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Great pictures!

The problem is not with the cast iron. Yes there is some drift of fluids but the real problem points are at every gasket. I want to enjoy my car and doing a wipe down will most certaintly be of help - it still takes care of the the problem after the fact. I am looking for leak proof gaskets. I understand that the factory uses so so gaskets that while they are better today that 50 years ago and most certainly are better than a 100 years ago - there must be a premium gasket that does not leak. I would think that a copper gasket for the valve covers would be expensive - they would likely seal the valve cover if all the mating surfaces were clean and even. Or if one chooses a pourous gasket material - say cork - then you get what you pay for.

Ron

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Ron, my cars don't leak except the Olds weeps a little at the rear main. Valve cover gaskets on all three cars are cork. I'm not wiping up oil, just dust. BTW my daily driver truck and SUV engine compartments look as good as the cars above. I wash them both once a week and detail the engine bay at the same time so there is never any build up of dirt. The undersides are done every service (2,000 miles). If you want them to look good you just have to stay on top of it.

I once took the Pontiac to a guy who wanted to show me his Pontiac collection. Trouble was he had a 1/8 mile dirt road from the main road to his property. I spent the whole next day detailing the underside of my car!

Don

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An old timer told me as a kid to never wash an engine. He washed his once in a mid 30's ford, and oil poured out of it everywhere. He said that it did not leak before he washed the road dirt off of it. He said it was the worst mistake he ever made and never washed another engine ever again. .... Any wisdome here fellows or gals?

I wash mine anyway. Oil and Road Grime can make a very hot fire. It could be the difference between saving, or not saving a vehicle.

We have a very good, readily available sealer called, Permatext, which is used extensivly in the automotive industry today. I usually get the black so that it looks OK on a vintage engine as the blue looks out of place, and sticks out like a sore thumb. It is basically 100 percent Silcone in a tube. If a gasket looks iffy where two points meet, I always put a dab for insurance. Dandy Dave!

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I have seen all kinds of sealers - red, blue and black mainly - shellac also but it seems to do better with cork gaskets. Over a period of time they turn loose and dangle or have dropped off completely and there is generally an oily mess associated with it.

Ron

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An old timer told me as a kid to never wash an engine. He washed his once in a mid 30's ford, and oil poured out of it everywhere. He said that it did not leak before he washed the road dirt off of it. He said it was the worst mistake he ever made and never washed another engine ever again. .... Any wisdome here fellows or gals?

I wash mine anyway. Oil and Road Grime can make a very hot fire. It could be the difference between saving, or not saving a vehicle.

We have a very good, readily available sealer called, Permatext, which is used extensivly in the automotive industry today. I usually get the black so that it looks OK on a vintage engine as the blue looks out of place, and sticks out like a sore thumb. It is basically 100 percent Silcone in a tube. If a gasket looks iffy where two points meet, I always put a dab for insurance. Dandy Dave!

Dave, look at the picture of my Olds engine & bay. When it was my daily driver I would use the same car wash soap/wax on the engine and engine bay at the same time when washing the car and no problems (just keep the distributor covered). Those plug wires are original too.

Don

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I have seen all kinds of sealers - red, blue and black mainly - shellac also but it seems to do better with cork gaskets. Over a period of time they turn loose and dangle or have dropped off completely and there is generally an oily mess associated with it.

Ron

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Ron, when you use cork gaskets and metal to metal like a VW / Porsche or any piston airplane engine case you use Aviation Permatex. The exception would be the valve cover gaskets on solid lifter cars which need adjustments (VW & Porsche every 3,000 miles) from time to time. On those types you would use Aviation Permatex only on the valve cover side and not permatex mated to the head.

Don

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A lot of leakage is caused by improper tightening, both over and under torque. This is especially true of sheet metal to casting joints such as covers and pans. Too loose and you don't have a tight seal. Too tight can distort the cover and/or squash the gasket past it's yield point. Personally I swear by aviation permatex but it's not for covers that are to be removed routinely. There's no magic bullet that will replace regular detailing because fluids will always find a way out....................Bob

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It will if you never start the engine. as was the intention of a poster here sometime back.

I recently read an article about a Mercury Cougar Eliminator (essentially a Mercury Boss 302)--an extremely rare car. A fellow restored it to concours condition using only NOS parts, hugely expensive, and his machine shop actually recommended simply detailing the block, but leaving the rods and pistons out so that there would be no need for oil and it would look perfect forever. And, of course, it would never be damaged by, you know, actually driving the car.

Is that common? Are there really trailer queens with empty engine blocks? Just a crank in there to plug the holes, but nothing else? That should be an automatic disqualification.

Otherwise, if you drive it, dirt will get on it. A clean engine is one of my OCD problems, but I've learned to live with it in exchange for the enjoyment on the road.

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I recently read an article about a Mercury Cougar Eliminator (essentially a Mercury Boss 302)--an extremely rare car. A fellow restored it to concours condition using only NOS parts, hugely expensive, and his machine shop actually recommended simply detailing the block, but leaving the rods and pistons out so that there would be no need for oil and it would look perfect forever. And, of course, it would never be damaged by, you know, actually driving the car.

Is that common? Are there really trailer queens with empty engine blocks? Just a crank in there to plug the holes, but nothing else? That should be an automatic disqualification.

Otherwise, if you drive it, dirt will get on it. A clean engine is one of my OCD problems, but I've learned to live with it in exchange for the enjoyment on the road.

If you can't even start the car to proove everything works correctly as it came from the factory, what's the point :confused:

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To stop oil 'sweating' from castings happening into your oil Rustolium Rusty metal primer works. Brush on NOT SPRAT as the spray is a different formula

I have an Irontite pressure bench that forces Irontite into heads and other castings. These pumps are no longer made but do work well.

Hylomar, first made for Rolls Royce and sold in the US by Permatex is just the best gasket sealer ever. Never hardens, parts don't stick together at all!

I began using it on Hewland gearboxes 40 years ago. These cases have no gaskets and sealed well with Hylomar

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Dave, look at the picture of my Olds engine & bay. When it was my daily driver I would use the same car wash soap/wax on the engine and engine bay at the same time when washing the car and no problems (just keep the distributor covered). Those plug wires are original too.

Don

For your vintage car, I would expect that. My 1915 Buick slobbers, and as with most, if not all teens and Brass era vehicles, I would not expect it to be any other way as the crank seals, and some of the other sealing points were in the stage of development and not perfected. Also, I have to oil the valve's manually as the overhead valves are open. The joys of owning an early automobile. I wash the engine with Brake Clean from time to time as I do not feel comfortable forcing water at high pressure at it with all of it's open parts. Dandy Dave!

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