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Old 01-29-2013
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Re: Perkins 4.108M DIY Rebuild -- A Narrative

Chapter 10: Heading Down the Back Stretch

Although some of you may have been worrying that I'd bailed on the project, I have not!

The work has been delayed by our recent cold snap. While I can function fairly well in colder temps, paint does not.

Here's the latest update.

As SJB suggested, I decided to seal the areas of the block and head with Glyptal. Lots of varying opinions out there in the interwebs about the wisdom, utility and benefit of doing this; some folks swear by it, others raise worries about the paint coming loose and plugging up the oil pump and/or oil galleys. Others raise worries about the paint's insulating properties retarding heat transfer from the oil out through the block and oil pan. What ultimately swayed me in favor was that it had been done to this engine before and it looked to be holding up just fine.

After taking an air gun to the block and head, I began by masking off the areas I wanted to keep clean. Now some of you may absolutely dread masking, because trimming the edges of masking tape with an Xacto knife or razor blade is a tedious affair -- it doesn't have to be.

First, clean your surface and apply the tape.



Next, run a round screwdriver shaft lightly along the edge of the opening. The pressure will cleanly cut through the tape and the excess can be pulled off.



Another tool that can be used is a ball peen hammer, just like you'd do to cut a gasket.



Here it is all masked.



I did have to fashion some plugs for the tappet bores and the fuel lift pump shaft. I used wooden dowels bulked out with tape. (No pics -- sorry)

Anyway, once it was masked off I then sprayed the bejeesus out of it with brake cleaner to wash off any remaining oil residue or other contaminants. After double checking to make sure the tape had not lifted I began to paint. Nothing fancy, I just went at it with a chip brush, and a couple of smaller art brushes I picked up at Michaels. Here's how she looks now.











A few comments about Glyptal. First, this is an alkyd enamel that was developed for use as an insulator for electrical coils and armatures. It has a very high resistance to heat, and plays well with oil. It's also pretty viscous -- 60% solids by weight. Unfortunately, after many, many hours of searching I've never been able to find any user instructions. The can itself has almost no instructions, other than generic warnings to "thin with proper thinner for spraying" and "use the right brush" for those who apply by brush.

I did two coats, about 90 minutes apart. This stuff skins over pretty quickly, but as thick as it is it will take a while to actually set up enough to apply another coat without disturbing the one below. I probably could have smoothed things out even more if I had applied a third coat.

For cleaning up a few spots where I did actually color outside of the lines, I used brake cleaner sprayed on a lint-free paper towel. It worked very well.

We're getting close to reassembly -- WOOHOO!
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