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Practical Engine Building: Step 6: Engine Component Cleaning

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Step 6: Engine Component Cleaning


00:00 - In this step of our process we're going to go through and thoroughly clean all of our components before we begin the assembly process.
00:06 We do have a range of different parts that we're going to be dealing with in this step but we're going to begin by focusing our efforts here on the engine block itself.
00:16 Now you'll recall during the block preparation step that I actually went to the effort of deburring the block before we sent it away for our machining and the benefit of this is because our machinist does go to the lengths of hot washing the block after all of the machining has been completed, we shouldn't have a lot of dirt and debris left in the block to remove but it's always a good process here to go through this thoroughly and just be absolutely sure we can never have an engine component that is too clean.
00:48 So with our block sitting upright at the moment what we're going to do is begin by cleaning out the threaded holes for our head bolts or head studs in our case, as well as the oil galleries or return galleries that run down into the crank case.
01:02 Basically anything on the top of the block here and to do this, all I'm going to do is use a range of different size engine cleaning brushes, these are essentially a bottle brush and they come in a variety of different sizes that makes it really easy to select one for the gallery or hole that we're cleaning.
01:18 On top of this I'm going to be using brake clean and then finally blowing the holes out with compressed air so let's go ahead and get started now.
01:40 When we're using compressed air to clean out the likes of our blind holes here for our head studs, there's obviously the potential for there to be first of all some brake clean left in that hole and also further to that, we can end up with some debris left in there.
01:54 So it's always a good idea to just use a rag to cover off the top of that hole so you don't end up with all of that spraying up potentially into your face so let's go ahead and clean those holes out now.
02:11 Alright with our first pass over the top of the block here, we're going to now rotate the block and that'll give us access to the underside so let's go ahead and do that.
02:22 Alright on the underside of the block there's a few areas that we're going to be focusing on.
02:25 Of course we have the blind holes for our main studs as well, just like our head studs.
02:30 We've also got just the general internal surfaces of the engine block and we want to make sure that those are also thoroughly cleaned.
02:38 To do this we're just going to use our brake clean and a stiff bristled engine cleaning brush.
02:43 Once we've done that, we also have our oil galleries to consider as well.
02:46 We've got the oil galleries that feed the main bearings so we're going to use a variety of different sized bottle brushes in order to clean those out.
02:54 Likewise we also have the oil galleries on the front of the engine block so the main oil gallery where the oil is entering the block after it's gone through the oil pump and filter.
03:03 A consideration with the 4G63 main oil gallery is that it does run the entire way through the engine block, it's actually blanked the back of the engine block using an allen head plug.
03:14 Now can remove this, no problem there, that'll allow you to clean out the entire gallery.
03:20 Particularly if you've got an engine block that was in pretty poor shape and pretty grubby, that would definitely be recommended.
03:26 If you do that, make sure that when you remove that, it's a tapered plug, it does need to be sealed when it's reintroduced or refitted with a thread paste, thread sealing paste, otherwise you're going to introduce an oil leak there.
03:38 In our case though, given the cleanliness of the block already, I am going to leave that in place and we're going to use one of our engine cleaning brushes which will actually allow us to do a really good job of cleaning right up to the back of that cap or blanking plug anyway.
03:53 So let's get started now with our stiff bristled brush.
04:05 Alright we've gone over everything there, all of the surfaces we can reach with our stiff bristled brush.
04:11 We obviously want to focus our efforts on any nooks or areas where debris and dirt could be trapped.
04:17 Now it's simply a case of using our compressed air to again blow all of that debris out and all of our brake clean out so let's get that done.
04:31 The next step here, we're going to essentially repeat what we did on the top of the block, we'll use our engine cleaning brushes and we're going to go down and clean out all of the main stud holes.
04:41 At the same time, there are also some recessed areas where our oil drains return from the cylinder head.
04:47 These can be a little bit tricky to reach with the brush that we used to start with so again I'm going to use the engine cleaning bottle brushes to get down and access those areas.
04:55 While I'm doing this as well, I'm going to use a smaller bottle brush to end up getting down inside our oil galleries as discussed so let's go through that process.
05:06 One other area that is also worth focusing our effort on is the under piston oil squirter holes.
05:13 They also access the main oil galleries so we're also going to clean those out with our bottle brush.
05:23 With all of those galleries and threaded holes cleaned out now with our brake clean and our bottle brush, same process again, we're going to use our compressed air and a rag to blow those out.
05:38 In order to clean out those sections of the block where the oil drains from the head return in, I'm going to select a larger bottle brush to get into those areas.
05:51 And again we can just blow out any debris and our brake clean using our compressed air.
05:57 With the underside of the block now clean, we're going to flip the block back over and this will allow us to clean the outside of the block as well as the bore's head surface and we'll also be cleaning the front of the block and our main oil gallery so let's get the engine turned over.
06:14 With the front of the block as well as the outside of the block, we're going to rely heavily here on our stiff bristled brush but the front of the block also does give us access to our main oil gallery, that connects to those galleries that we just cleaned out so again, a bottle brush of the appropriate size is a great way to clean that out so let's get that part cleaned down thoroughly now.
06:40 We can now go over the external surfaces of the block and we're really here just making sure that there's no grime, dirt or debris trapped.
06:48 Again fresh from our machinist and the hot tank, this block is actually pretty clean but we don't want any oil or lubricants on the outside of the block which could affect the surface finish of the paint which we're going to be applying to seal the engine block.
07:04 Obviously being cast iron, this block will rust.
07:07 So let's go ahead and clean the outside down.
07:21 The last part of our block cleaning process is to clean down the deck surface and the bores.
07:26 In particular we need to be careful with the bores because that fresh hone pattern can trap dirt and debris in there.
07:33 So it's really important to remove that before we actually set about installing our pistons and our fresh rings.
07:39 What we want to do here to make our life a little bit easier, so we can see exactly when we have removed all of the debris is use a white or at least light coloured rag and what I'm going to do here is just bunch that rag up, going to generously coat that with brake clean and we're just going to insert this one at a time into each of the bores and we're going to move that around essentially in the same direction and angle as the home pattern and we'll see when we pull this out to start with, it will probably be quite dirty so let's try cylinder 1 now.
08:17 So straight away you can see how dark and dirty that rag is as we've pulled it out and when we go through an iteration of cleaning, after about 2 or perhaps 3 attempts in each cylinder, we're going to see that that will come out nice and clean, that's an indication that we have removed all of that debris so we'll continue now and clean down the rest of our cylinders.
08:44 With our bore cleaned down, we're also going to clean down the deck surface of the block and in this case we can actually see we've got a little bit of rust staining.
08:52 Now that isn't actually corrosion on the deck surface, this has come from the water jacket which is not uncommon, even in a well looked after block to have a little bit of corrosion present in the water jacket.
09:04 Particularly if the engine has been run without sufficient anti freeze then that's going to be a bigger problem.
09:10 Now just over the transit and the time this block's been sitting once we've had it back from our machinist, we can see that staining in it is coming essentially from those water jacket holes.
09:18 So we'll start just by using our clean rag and our brake clean but as we'll see it's probably not going to quite be sufficient to clean that up.
09:25 It is only cosmetic but we'll show you how we can get rid of that so let's get started with our brake clean first.
09:31 Now while we are doing this process, we will see the machining marks from the decking process where the block has been machined.
09:41 And just like our hone pattern essentially, if we try and clean in the direction of the machining pattern, that's going to allow us to do a better job of getting in between the sort of very light scores from that machining and that's going to allow us to remove any debris or dirt that is present.
10:00 So as we can see, it's cleaned up pretty nicely but we do still have a little bit of this rust staining that is still present.
10:06 And easy way of cleaning that up is to use either a green or in our case here I've got some red scotch brite.
10:12 And we're not trying to essentially remove material from the surface but this will just allow us to remove that rust staining.
10:18 To use this, I'm going to also incorporate a little bit of brake clean on it and just a gentle rubbing action again in the direction of the machining marks, should clean that up pretty easily so let's go ahead and get that done.
10:42 Alright so we can see that the scotch brite there's cleaned up those little rust marks really nicely, we've got a nice clean deck surface for our block.
10:49 What we've done here is we've gone through one iteration of the cleaning process but probably as you can guess, as we go through these processes, it does become an iterative process, we do need to lean the block down multiple times because as we clean one area, this can flush debris and dirt into an area that we've previously cleaned and what we'll generally end up doing is going through the entire process that I've just outlined here at least 3 or 4 times.
11:15 You're going to get a sense of when the block is clean because as we've already mentioned, if you're using a light coloured rag for the likes of our deck surface or our bores then you're going to find that that will come out looking nice and clean and bright and not all of that dull grey look that shows the debris is still coming out.
11:33 Likewise if we're cleaning the inside of the block using brake clean and our compressed air, we'll start to see that brake clean start to run off the block completely clear, it won't be discoloured from the dirt and debris so again iterative process and if in doubt, you can never have a block that is too clean so going through one more iteration is never going to hurt.
11:54 It is important though that once we have finally cleaned the block and we're happy with everything that the machined surfaces like the deck surface of our block, like our bores, we apply a coat of lubricating oil just to prevent surface rust beginning before we get to the assembly process.
12:10 This is more important if the block may sit for a matter of days or sometimes weeks before the final assembly.
12:17 That could quickly result in surface rust which is going to be disastrous as we go through the rest of our build.
12:23 When we're doing this, it is important to use a mineral based oil and I always keep an oiling can like this on hand during the build process, making sure this always has mineral based oil and this will help prevent any problems with ring break in so we're going to go ahead now, apply this to a rag and we will then lube up our bores and our deck surface.
12:54 Alright that's the top of our engine done, of course we have other machined surfaces such as the front surface of the block as well as our sump rails and of course our main bearing journals, given that it is a cast iron block, all of these surfaces can end up rusting so again we can apply the same coating to all of those components, it's going to protect them until we get to the point of a final clean down as we are assembling the block.
13:17 So at this point our block is essentially cleaned and ready.
13:20 Now if you aren't intending to get stuck into the assembly process straight away and the block is going to sit for some period of time before assembly, it is going to be important to protect the block from airborne dirt and debris that's typical in every garage or workshop.
13:35 A really good way of doing this is just to fit a large rubbish bag over the top of the block and seal that bag at the back.
13:42 And this way it's going to just make sure that when it comes time for assembly, you can remove that bag and you're good to go, you don't have to repeat the process we've gone through here.
13:52 Alright with our block cleaned and ready, let's get this out of the way and we'll bring in our other components and move through those one at a time.
14:00 Alright we've got the rest of our key components here to clean down and we're going to start with our Manly crankshaft.
14:06 Now of course this is a brand new crankshaft so one of the advantages of this is that there shouldn't be a lot of dirt or debris on it.
14:13 However it has still undergone some machining operation so of course we want to make sure it is still thoroughly cleaned down.
14:20 One of the advantages with an aftermarket crankshaft over a lot of factory crankshafts is that these do have removable blanking plugs for the internal galleries.
14:30 With a factory crankshaft, these are often sealed up with a ball bearing which has been pinged over inside the crankshaft.
14:37 This means that they're not easily removable so here it makes it very easy for us to remove these plugs and giving us full access to the gallery.
14:47 Particularly when a crankshaft has seen a lot of use, we do tend to end up with a little bit of dirt and debris built up behind those blanking plugs or ball bearings and we run the risk if we can't properly clean this out, if some debris becoming loose or moving through the crankshaft when the engine is operating and of course that could end up damaging other components.
15:08 So in this case, nice and easy to get the job done.
15:11 So what I'm going to do here is start by using an fallen key here and remove all of the blanking screws, blanking caps so that we can get full access to those galleries.
15:27 Alright we've got all of those gallery plugs now removed and even with our brand new crankshaft, on this particular plug, we can actually still see a little bit of debris sitting on the back of it so this is just a good indication of why we need to go to this length.
15:41 What I'm going to do is start here by cleaning down those galleries.
15:43 This is going to involve one of our smaller engine cleaning brushes and this is just big enough that we can get it down into those galleries, we're going to be using plenty of brake clean of course and we're then going to be blowing out those galleries with compressed air, so let's go through that process now.
16:15 Alright with our internal galleries cleaned out what we can now do is clean down the outside of the crankshaft.
16:21 For the actual throws of the crankshaft itself, a stiff bristled brush like we've already used on our engine block is going to be ideal.
16:28 Alternatively with a nice smooth billet crankshaft like this we can simply use a clean rag with some brake clean, that is my preferred technique as well for cleaning down our journals.
16:39 While we're cleaning down the journals like this as well, it's also a good opportunity to inspect them for any damage so let's go through that process now.
17:08 With all of the journal surfaces and the throws of the crankshaft now cleaned down with a rag, we're going to now just stand the crankshaft up, we'll give it one final spray down with brake clean and we can blow it clean with our compressed air.
17:28 OK at this point we've got our crankshaft cleaned down, again like all of our cleaning operations, this can be an iterative exercise just depending exactly how dirty your crankshaft was to start with.
17:38 So don't be afraid to go through this process 2 or 3 times until you're completely confident that the crankshaft is thoroughly clean.
17:46 Let's now get our crankshaft out of the way and we can move on with our other components.
17:50 One last point I'll actually just make with regard to the crankshaft as well, just like all of the components we're cleaning down that are steel or cast iron in the case of our block, once we clean down those surfaces with our brake clean, we do open ourselves up to surface corrosion starting to form rather quickly.
18:08 So particularly with a crankshaft, I do suggest that you clean this down thoroughly like we've just done, just before final assembly.
18:15 If you are going to leave the crankshaft for some time, you are going to have to reapply some kind of sealant or lubricant to the machined surfaces to prevent that corrosion kicking in and then you're simply going to have to go through the same process of cleaning it down to remove that sealant or lubricant before final assembly so again pays to do this just before you're ready for final assembly.
18:36 Next we're going to get in our pistons here as well as our wrist pins and not a lot really going on here, obviously these are relatively simple to clean down, not a lot of moving parts to worry about.
18:50 One thing I will mention though, just in terms of a quick visual inspection before any cleaning actually gets done, the oil drain back holes that we see at the bottom of the oil control ring, I've struck this several times where during the machining process, this can actually leave a very sharp small lip of swarf and removing that is essential before you clean the pistons down and also before the final assembly process, otherwise this can inhibit the oil control ring rotating smoothly.
19:22 I'll admit I haven't seen this for some time but it is always something to be mindful of.
19:25 And essentially this is something that we should be keeping in mind when we're inspecting any of our components before assembly.
19:32 Just a general look over the entire component, looking for anything that maybe isn't quite right.
19:38 In our case there's nothing to do here so we can get on with the cleaning process.
19:42 Obviously the pistons are in relatively clean condition anyway, all we really need to do here is give the pistons a good spray down with brake clean and then blow them clean with our compressed air.
19:53 Just being mindful of any oil galleries that are present.
19:56 Sometimes you will find forced pin oilers which are a oil gallery that runs from the bottom of the oil control ring down into the wrist pin to force lubricating oil here.
20:06 So if that's the case, we want to make sure that that gallery is cleaned out thoroughly.
20:09 Let's go ahead and clean our pistons now.
20:19 Next we'll move on and we'll deal with our wrist pins and these are pretty simple to clean down, not a lot of explanation really required.
20:26 Can be worth just running one of our engine brushes down through the internal diameter of the wrist pin just to clean out any dirt or debris trapped in there and again once we clean these down, they do start to develop surface rust if they're left for any period of time, particularly in a humid climate so this is one of those tasks we do want to leave 'til very close to our final assembly so let's go through our wrist pins now.
20:56 Next we can move on and deal with our connecting rods and not a lot really to talk about here either.
21:02 One thing we do want to do with the body and the cap of the rod separated, we want to make sure that we do clean down the threads thoroughly.
21:10 The lubricant used between the threads of the bolt and the conrod can of course be a place to trap any dust and debris so we want to make sure that that's thoroughly cleaned down.
21:19 Also we want to make sure that we clean down the bronze bush that is in the small end of the rod so our engine cleaning brushes, our brake clean and compressed air, let's get the job done.
22:00 Alright we can now get our pistons and connecting rods off the workbench and we'll move on and deal with our cylinder head.
22:07 Much like our engine block, our cylinder head has already gone through a cleaning operation after the CNC porting process has been completed so it should be relatively clean but we don't really want to make any assumptions here.
22:19 The 4G63 head is a relatively open design, making it pretty easy to clean and again a process of brake clean, compressed air and our engine brushes should be sufficient to dislodge most debris.
22:32 We do however also want to clean out the internal galleries within the cylinder head so that requires us to remove some blanking caps, blanking plugs that we can see on the end of the cylinder head.
22:44 We also have a further blanking cap that we can see here on the intake side of the cylinder head.
22:51 So we can remove those simply using our allen keys, let's go ahead and get those out now.
23:08 Alright we've got all of those blanking plugs removed and should go without saying but all of the blanking plugs we're removing, regardless whether they're from the engine block, cylinder head or in our case the crankshaft as well, absolutely imperative that these do go back in during final assembly.
23:23 We will be covering that process and these are a tapered plug as well so they do require some thread sealant in order to form a good seal, making sure we don't have any pesky oil leaks.
23:34 Now we can go through the process of cleaning down the head, I'm going to start by standing the head on its end and we're going to use our engine brush and compressed air and brake clean to clean out the internal aspects of the head.
23:53 With the inside of the head now cleaned out, we can now focus on the deck surface.
23:58 What we're looking for here is to make sure that that deck surface is nice and clean.
24:01 Again gives us an opportunity to just inspect the deck surface and make sure there's no marks on it.
24:07 We're also going to be cleaning out the ports here and I also like to use our engine cleaning brushes here to clean out the valve guides as well, making sure there's no debris in those.
24:17 You can also use our engine cleaning brushes to clean out our oil drains and our oil galleries while we go about this, let's go ahead now.
24:37 Now we can flip our head back over and we can deal with our oil galleries.
24:42 What we're going to do with our oil galleries here is to use compressed air and our brake clean and just thoroughly blow all of those out, again making sure there's no dirt or debris that was trapped behind those pressure plugs so let's get that done.
25:01 Alright at this stage we've got all of our core engine components thoroughly cleaned down, we're confident there's no dirt or debris left in any of these parts, we're ready to move on with the next step of the process.

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