OK, time to re-engage!
I had hoped to get the Alfa back on the road by Christmas or New Year's Day. I haven't had a chance to do any appreciable work on the Alfa for several weeks:
I had some military duty to take care of. Right after I got home, one of my teenage daughters wrecked and nearly totaled my '72 Super Beetle (the yellow one in my avatar). That puts me down a car on the transportation plan.
I found and purchased a 1960 Impala that had been resto-modded around 2006, but had been running on historic plates since that time. I had to take care of a few things on it, so that it would pass Missouri vehicle safety inspection and put real license plates on it. It had been set up as a street racer (no joke, crate engine and transmission, Edelbrock Performance-series parts, 4.11 gears, bagged rear suspension, etc.), so I had to do some driver's training with the daughters on it. Not to mention that it's just a larger car than the Beetles or Alfa, and they're not used to driving something like that.
Then it turned cold. Temps here have been mostly between 32įF and 0įF for a while now, with the only relatively warm days being while I'm away at work! It's challenging with my unheated garage. With the ice and freezing rain, the Christmas lights are still up, but at least I got the manger scene inside the garage (until I can get all the decorations back into the attic). Baby Jesus is still sitting next to the engine stand, along with Joseph, Mary, and the rest of the figures!
I did have one warm day a couple of weeks ago, where I could paint areas of the engine bay with touch-up paint. I'm glad I took that opportunity, because there hasn't been one since!
I have worked on a couple of things that I could do in the kitchen or basement. I ran a scope down the oil-vapor separator, and it looked to be in good shape...no crumbled internals. I took it to work, and cleaned it in the parts washer. It had a fair amount of crud inside it, but flushed out nicely. I repainted it, and it's ready for reinstall when the time comes. I also prepped and repainted the air filter box.
I picked up a new air conditioning compressor and accumulator. The compressor will need a bit of fitment when mounting, but I'll cover that here when the time comes.
I spent considerable time lapping the valves...when it wasn't too Godawful cold, I was out in the garage with a space heater. I had bought new valves, so it needed doing anyway, but the seats had some pitting. To be honest, the seats could have stood being re-ground, but as I previously mentioned, there's no machine shop around here that wants to touch an Alfa engine.
So, I lapped the valves. Lap, lap, lap, lap, lap, lap, lap, lap, lap, lap, lap, like a thirsty dog, lap, lap, lap, lap, lap, lap, Prussian Blue, lap, lap, lap, Prussian Blue, lap, lap, Prussian Blue.
They came out pretty good. I tested the seal with light, and with fluid. It seems they are sealing well.
When it warms up, I'll get the head put back together and mounted on the block. My biggest tasks will be to check valve shim clearances, and getting the new AC compressor installed.
I have enough vehicles for every driver in the house, with a spare for when I'm working on one. The Beetle goes to the body shop in February (not many body shops want to mess with old bugs). Basically, all the sheet metal in front of the windshield needs replaced. I need to get the Alfa back on the road, so my youngest can take her driver's exam this spring (the wife doesn't let the daughters drive her '76 Super Beetle, the blue and white one in my avatar). I've been doing some lessons in the Impala, but it's a big car, and hard to parallel park for an inexperienced driver. I want to finish her lessons, and take her test in the Alfa.
, there was some debris/crud in the oil channels in the crankshaft, and the block. I determined during disassembly that #2 and #4 main bearings seized up (EDIT: perhaps "bound up" is a better description). Whether this was due to oil starvation, or binding from the debris, I cannot say; nothing was discolored due to overheating, the bearings hadn't spun, and the block, crank, and head were all still straight. I bought the Alfa Engine Overhaul Manual, I think off ebay for $29. It has been a lifesaver for me, with detailed disassembly, measurement, and re-assembly procedures. Without it, I would probably have gotten all assed-up and ruined the engine.