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Practical Engine Building: Step 6: Engine Component Cleaning

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Step 6: Engine Component Cleaning


00:00 - The next step in our process is to thoroughly clean all of our engine components and we're going to start here with our engine block.
00:07 What we're trying to do here is thoroughly clean down all of the dirt and debris, making sure that everything is spotlessly clean, and this really is very critical to the long term reliability of our freshly built engine.
00:20 What we're going to do is start by just blowing down all of the debris on the engine block that's left over from our engine block preparation step, and we're just going to use compressed air in order to do this, so let's do that now.
00:50 Alright with the main debris now blown off the engine block using compressed air, we can start getting a little bit more thorough with our cleaning process.
00:58 Now what we're going to be using here is a range of stiff bristled brushes, and some of these are specific engine cleaning brushes.
01:05 And these make it very easy to get down through all of the oil galleries and make sure that we can properly clean out all of the areas in the block that are quite tricky to get to.
01:15 We're going to be using a brake clean product, this is just an aerosol based brake clean product.
01:20 Great thing about this product is that it doesn't leave any residue on the surface that it's sprayed onto, and it's great for removing oil and grease deposits.
01:28 We're obviously also going to be using our compressed air.
01:33 And what we want to do is start by just giving the entire interior and exterior of the block a thorough clean down using our stiff bristled brush, compressed air, and our brake clean.
01:45 And then we're going to gradually get more and more thorough using our engine cleaning brushes to go through all of the oil galleries in the block, remember this is why we removed our gallery plugs earlier on in the process.
01:57 So let's get stuck in now.
02:36 Alright with the worst of our debris now removed from our engine block we can start getting a little bit more thorough.
02:41 What we're going to do now is start moving across to some of our smaller engine brushes and we're going to use these to chase out all of the holes that we're previously run our taps through because these holes will contain debris from that tapping process.
02:55 So we're going to use again compressed air, we're going to use our bottle brushes, and our brake clean and make sure all of these holes are thoroughly cleaned out, so let's go ahead and do that.
04:06 Alright so we've gone through there and we've cleaned down the deck surface of our engine block.
04:11 You'll just notice that while I was cleaning out those head stud holes that I was holding a rag above the hole.
04:17 And this just prevents the compressed air blowing any debris or any brake clean back potentially into your face or into your eyes.
04:24 We're now going to flip the block over and we'll repeat the same process on our main studs.
04:41 Now while we're looking at the underside of the engine block, we're also going to use a smaller engine cleaning brush and we're going to start cleaning out some of our oil gallery holes.
04:50 So these include the main oil feeds to our main bearings from the main oil gallery as well as the holes we've got here for our under piston oil squirters.
04:59 And we want to be very thorough there and just make sure that we are cleaning all of those out, making sure there's no debris left.
05:06 Likewise there are also some holes through from the deck surface of the block for our oil return so again we're just going to clean all of those out.
05:31 Alright so we're not going to clean out the main oil gallery using one of our longer engine cleaning brushes.
05:39 And we want to make sure that all of the galleries we have access to are thoroughly cleaned.
05:44 Now with all of these cleaning processes as well, generally we're going to need to go over each aspect of the engine cleaning at least two or three times.
05:52 It's a good indication to see if your brake clean is rolling off or falling off the engine clean, if it's still tinged with dark colour, then this generally means that there's still dirt there, there's still debris that's being washed away so you need to keep continuing, make sure that everything is absolutely spotless.
06:10 You can't end up with an engine block that's too clean.
06:14 Alright so let's go over the main oil galleries now.
06:40 Alright so we've seen each of the aspects of cleaning the block.
06:42 As I've said we're just going to repeat this until everything is completely clean.
06:46 There is one last aspect that I just want to show you though.
06:49 And that's how to correctly clean down the hone pattern in the bore.
06:53 It's very easy for that hone pattern to trap debris and we need to be really thorough to make sure this is removed to make sure that our rings have the best chance possible of bedding, and aren't going to be prematurely worn.
07:05 Now the process we're going to use here just requires a clean rag and again we're going to be using some brake clean.
07:12 It is a good idea when you're cleaning down the bores to try and make sure you're using a light coloured rag as this will really clearly show you when there's still debris or dirt remaining because the rag will come out with a dark grey tinge to it.
07:28 So we'll take our clean rag here.
07:30 In this case we've got a light pink coloured rag.
07:32 We're going to spray that down with a generous amount of brake clean.
07:37 And then we're just going to lower that down into the bore and we're going to move it basically replicating the hone pattern, we're just going to move it from top to bottom and when we remove that rag we can straight away see that there is debris on it.
07:53 So we're just going to repeat this process over and over again until all of our hone pattern, all of our bore is properly clean.
08:11 Once we've gone through and we've used our brake clean to clean down all of the bores, it's important to also understand that they are going to begin corroding very quickly.
08:21 So we don't want to leave these untreated and particularly if our block is going to be sitting for any period of time before the rest of the engine is assembled, we want to make sure that we apply a coat of clean engine oil to these bores just to prevent any surface rust from beginning to form.
08:38 So at this point we've got our engine block completely cleaned.
08:41 We can now move on and we'll have a look at the remainder of our components.
08:46 The remainder of our engine components are really treated exactly the same as what we've just looked at with our engine block.
08:52 Essentially we're just trying to make sure that all of the components are spotlessly clean and there's no chance of any dirt or debris making their way into our freshly assembled engine.
09:01 We'll start here by looking at our pistons, and with our pistons there are a couple of aspects we need to be aware of.
09:08 Particularly if we have ground any of the underside of the skirt in order to balance the pistons, we're going to want to be very careful that we make sure any of that debris is removed from the grinding process.
09:20 We're also going to want to inspect very carefully on the oil control ring.
09:26 Now there's going to typically be some small holes that are drilled through the underside of that oil control ring, and these will return oil back into the inside of the piston.
09:36 Quite often this results in some little burrs on those holes.
09:39 And if those are present, we're going to want to clean these up using a scalpel or a razor blade.
09:46 Now in this case our pistons aren't showing any burring there.
09:49 So all we're going to do is spray these down with brake clean and then blow these off, blow these clean, using compressed air, so let's do that now.
10:30 Now once we've gone through and we've made our initial clean, we can also use a clean rag with a small amount of brake clean, just to give the skirt a final clean and make sure there's no debris showing.
10:42 And a final visual inspection should let us know that the piston is clean and ready to install.
10:49 Likewise if we move on and we have a look at our wrist pins, these are pretty straightforward.
10:54 We can just use a little brake clean on our rag and just clean down the outside surface of the wrist pin.
11:01 We also want to inspect the inside diameter and make sure there's no debris trapped hiding inside there.
11:08 If there is we can again use one of our engine cleaning brushes to remove that.
11:13 Now it is also worth mentioning here, just like our bore surfaces, once we've removed any protective oil film from our wrist pins, these do risk developing surface rust quire quickly.
11:25 So if we aren't going to be installing these straight away, it's a good idea to just give them a wipe down with some lubricating engine oil until we are ready to install them.
11:35 Next we'll have a look at our connecting rods and these are relatively straightforward to clean.
11:40 One thing we do want to be aware of though is that the assembly lubricant that is applied to the rod bolts will end up stuck in the threads there in the body of the conrod so we do want to make sure that we thoroughly clean these out.
11:55 Now we can clean the conrod down with a liberal spray of our brake clean product and then give it a spray down with our compressed air.
12:08 Now in order to address any lubricant that is stuck in the threads of our conrod body, we can again give those threads a bit of a spray with our brake clean and just use a small engine cleaning brush to really get in there and make sure that all of that lubricant is correctly removed, finally we'll give it another spray with compressed air.
12:33 Now once we've got our connecting rods cleaned down, we do also want to be quite thorough with cleaning the surface that the bearing shell is going to sit on so again here I'm just using brake clean on a clean rag and we're going to wipe down the hone pattern on the surface that the bearing shell will sit against.
12:53 It's also a good idea to give the wrist pin or small end bush a little bit of a wipe out there using our clean rag as well.
13:02 Now likewise we want to also clean down our bolts before these are finally lubed and reinstalled.
13:09 Once we've got all of our pistons and our connecting rods thoroughly cleaned, we can bring in our crankshaft and we'll have a look at how we can deal with that.
13:18 With our crankshaft, it has just come back from our engine machine shop, and they have run it through their hot wash so technically it's already a pretty good starting point, but of course we want to go through and give it one final check over and make sure that it is up to our standards.
13:34 In this case particularly what we want to take note of is all of the internal oil galleries in the crankshaft.
13:41 So these run between the main journals and the big end journals.
13:45 Now it is made a little bit more difficult with most OE crankshafts because these internal galleries aren't accessed via a removable plug, so we can't get full access to these galleries in order to thoroughly clean them.
13:57 However what we can do is use our brake clean, compressed air, and also a small engine cleaning brush in order to thoroughly clean out all of those galleries, and what we're going to do is start at the nose of the crankshaft and work our way towards the rear, so let's go ahead and do that now.
14:26 Now just like every other aspect of our cleaning process, this is an iterative process and we may need to go through and clean those oil galleries down three, four, or even more times.
14:36 A good indication as to when our oil galleries are properly clean is if we look at the colour of the brake clean as it's being flushed out of those galleries.
14:46 Initially you're likely to see that that will come out with a dark tinge to it, and as we clean those galleries out, it'll finally end up running clear.
14:54 That's good indication that those galleries are properly clean.
14:57 Now once we've got the internal oil galleries cleaned down, we obviously also need to clean down the external surfaces of the crankshaft.
15:05 In particular here we want to pay attention to our crankshaft journal surfaces, our bearing surfaces, and while we're cleaning these down we also want to look for any sign that there may have been damage either caused during the machining process or perhaps during transit.
15:21 Now we're going to again use brake clean and a rag in order to do this.
15:42 So at this point our crankshaft is cleaned down and ready to install.
15:46 It is worth mentioning here just like the other ferrous components that we've already discussed, the crankshaft is prone to developing surface rust if it isn't installed quickly.
15:57 So if you're going to be installing this at a later point, it's gonna be a really good idea to apply a lubricant to all of the bearing surfaces just to make sure that no corrosion is going to be present.
16:10 So at this point we should have our crankshaft thoroughly cleaned down.
16:13 I should point out here that just like the other ferrous components of our engine, this is subject to developing surface rust if it's not going to be installed straight away so a little bit of care is required here.
16:26 Now at this point we have only looked at the main core components of our engine and how to clean these down.
16:32 Of course there's likely to be other components that will also need our attention such as the rocker cover, the sump, the oil pump, and rear main seal housing for example.
16:43 Of course the process we're going to use there is exactly the same as what we've looked at, just applying some common sense and ensuring that all of the components that are going to go into our freshly built engine are spotlessly clean.