1900 : clean engine & connecting rod nut - Page 2 - Alfa Romeo Bulletin Board & Forums

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post #16 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-09-2017, 11:07 AM Thread Starter
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It's not anxiousness. I don't want to make a mistake, that's all.

Here, it's not plenty of Chevy/Ford V8 :-). But it's a good idea to ask owners and specialists in our old country :-))
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post #17 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-09-2017, 11:18 AM
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Until a few years ago every engine block of every family car was made out of cast iron ... and they were rebuilt which involved cleaning. I do not see why this block is any different and why there is such anxiousness.

Find somebody who rebuilds Chev/Ford v8's before they became alloy blocked
Pete
The reason that this block is different from classic US cast iron blocks, is that the ends of all of the drilled oil galleries are plugged with hammered-in aluminum plugs. This was not the technique for most cast iron blocks. Most used expandable "freeze plugs" made of steel, or threaded steel inserts. These are tolerant of higher concentrations of caustic.

As Richard and Gordon note, a quick flash of diluted caustic cleaning solutions is not likely to do any lingering damage to the old cast iron Alfa engines. Also as Gordon notes, soaking one for a long time in a hot, high-concentration caustic solution is likely to result in the need to replace the aluminum plugs. I'm not sure what it would do to the brass/bronze (?) intermediary gear bushing in the front and back of the timing chain cabinet.

This brings us to "what to do about cleaning the insides of the oil galleries?

If I recall correctly, one end is open, and you can use a gun-rod cleaner. Use mineral spirits, and scrub.

The hot spray with low-concentration of caustic is probably OK, but again, the surfaces of the bushings should be considered.

I am generally content with hand-cleaning. This involves lots of plastic-bristle brushes, mineral spirits, MEK, rags, and compressed air.

The argument for a clean engine is sound. However, there is a point at which we must wonder what is enough. Remember that the old air-cooled VW engines did not have a filter. They used a fairly coarse screen, and a centrifugal slinger that separated out the bigger chunks. Of course, we want to preserve our valuable and often rare Alfa engines, so clean is good. Re-drilling the oil galleries strikes me as perhaps more than a bridge too far.
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Don P
Carson City, NV

Past Alfas...
59 102 Touring (first Alfa $500 running)
65 Sprint GT (2nd Alfa, $500 daily driver)
102 Sprint (never did anything with it, but wish I had)
74 Berlina (first new car - now certainly rusted into oblivion)
61 Giulietta Spider G-Prod Race Car (where is it now?)
84 Spider Veloce (rarely drove it, so sold it)
86 Quadrifoglio (Dull car - no more 115s for me)
1971 Montreal "The Full Monty". Fair winds and following seas

Current Alfas
59 102 Touring Roadster - restoration complete, enough Alfa for any rational man. Or irrational, for that matter
And past...
Two 1946 Stampe SV4C (c/n 294 "Rocinante" - wife's favorite airplane. RIP), and c/n 235 "La Bon Temps Femme" (gone to a new home, but never forgotten)
Zlin 50LA (+9 -6 gees, titanium spar, 1200 lbs, 260HP rumored to now be in Brazil)
1946 Luscombe 8A
Starduster Too (recently spotted at the Nevada City, CA airport - over 20 years and an entire continent separating it from our stewardship in Binghamton, NY)
1955 Cessna 170B (wife taught me to fly tailwheel in this)

And present...
64 Mooney M20E ("Rambo". My faithful steed for over 30 years) Nearly 50 years old, and just returned from a trip to Argentina in him
Newest in the fleet
1967 Piper Super Cub on Wipline amphibious floats (a true "all terrain vehicle")
2010 Triumph Thunderbird


You can snap roll an Alfa only one time...
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post #18 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-09-2017, 03:13 PM
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Hi All,

my old 102 cast iron was full of oil sludge

We removed al the alu plugs and did and ultrasonic cleaning for 120 hours and it was perfect cleaned inside


rgds Franco
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post #19 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-09-2017, 09:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by franco-veloce View Post
Hi All,

my old 102 cast iron was full of oil sludge

We removed al the alu plugs and did and ultrasonic cleaning for 120 hours and it was perfect cleaned inside


rgds Franco
Yep the aluminium plugs need to be removed and then cleaned as normal for a cast iron block

Pete

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Last edited by PSk; 03-09-2017 at 09:37 PM.
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post #20 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-10-2017, 08:29 AM
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50 miles only

The reason for cleanng a block carefully certainly on a 2600 engine is that if you don't you will get no more than 50 miles. I know of two 2600 engines "professionally" rebuilt which lasted no more tha 50 miles before spinning No 6 big end /rod bearing. If there is dirt beyond the oil filter this is where it all ends up!

Good luck

Ian
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post #21 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-10-2017, 11:13 AM
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The reason for cleanng a block carefully certainly on a 2600 engine is that if you don't you will get no more than 50 miles. I know of two 2600 engines "professionally" rebuilt which lasted no more tha 50 miles before spinning No 6 big end /rod bearing. If there is dirt beyond the oil filter this is where it all ends up!

Good luck

Ian
Yes, but whether damage happens due to dirt, oil pumps that were not primed, or aluminum plugs that fell out of the passages, or a combination thereof, often seems to be unclear (bearings near the #6 cylinder are the furthest from the pump and therefore most affected by partial loss of oil pressure). IMO, replacing all aluminum plugs (e.g. with grub screws, like many racers do) should not just be part of the cleaning procedure, but part of quality assurance in the engine rebuilding process -- no matter what type or age of Alfa engine.
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post #22 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-10-2017, 11:27 AM
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Originally Posted by pescara View Post
Your 2600 block is all alu.

I discussed yesterday with a very wellknow specialist, here in Paris, in rectification and restoration of iron and alu blocks.

He said that it's quite impossible to clean up the inside of the engine. It's very dangerous (for the engine) to clean up with acid, because the iron will desintegrate (I don't know if it's the right word) all the time. And I will have rusty iron parcels in the coolant for the rest of the life.

He said that ultrasonic it's powerless for that sort of cleaning.

For him, the best solution is to try with some products that freezes the rust and the engine stay with a sort of interior painting.

Now, I really don't know what to do... because it's quite impossible to access in the cooling ducts...
Did you show him the link I sent you on electrolysis, we have used this technique on extremely Valuable f3 Cosworth Race engines, works very well.

Last edited by Tom Frasca; 03-10-2017 at 11:27 AM. Reason: pictures
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post #23 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-10-2017, 11:31 AM
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Cosworth MAE

Cleaned 60 years of rust engine sat for 20 years with just water in it...power band is between 7800-10,000 rpm.. 997 CC. makes 118 HP...
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Last edited by Tom Frasca; 03-10-2017 at 11:34 AM. Reason: text
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post #24 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-10-2017, 12:22 PM
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I'm at a lost as to why this is such an issue. As Tom, and others have said, it is not a drama and can be cleaned following usual cast iron cleaning processes (once alloy plugs are removed).

I think you are located in France, can I suggest you reach out to English companies as there is a lot of historic engine knowledgeable people over there.

Pete
ps: It is interesting how "scared" people (me too) are of using alloy plugs to block oil ways which I find amusing. But we need to remember that Alfa Romeo did this for thousands of engines and we know it worked, just got to do it properly
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