Monday, May 23, 2011

Top End Rebuild - Day 16

Spent a few hours today just cleaning the block surface. I did the first pass using ~200grit sandpaper very lightly to remove the old gasket. Then used 400grit, 600grit and finally finished using a scotch pad. Parts of the old gasket were really stubborn. Took forever getting off some of the red colour gasket lining.

Passenger's Side

Driver's Side

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Top End Rebuild - Day 15

Spent about an hour cleaning the surface of the block today. Lightly used an old piece of sand paper that must have been around 200+ grit. Got most of the mating surface pretty clean. Will probably go over it again carefully and remove the rest of the old head gasket.

Still need to find a good torque wrench and the valve spring compressor tool. Found a bunch of cool tools at but they only ship UPS - which if you don't live in Canada means a big NO NO. Any suggestions where I can get a good torque wrench from given that I'm in eastern Canada?

And then tucked her in for the night :)

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Spark Plug Key

I found this PDF a long time ago when researching spark plugs. Its pretty useful to figure out what sort of plugs you're getting.

Top End Rebuild - Day 14

Not really worth chalking up as a "day" but I finally have both heads off the car. Had to disjoin the chain on both sides because of the seized guide rail pins. Day 14 marks 30hrs into the rebuild.

Took a bunch of photos of the heads, so that I can verify things are going back in the right way when it comes to timing the whole thing.

Now to find a machine shop to clean up the heads. I don't think I need any repair work done. The engine ran sweet before the rebuild - it was just the head gasket that was leaking.

Perhaps I should just have the valve stem seals replaced? Any suggestions on what sort of work I should have done for 22 year old heads with 60k miles on them?

And this is our 3 year old peach tree.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Top End Rebuild - Day 13

Must have spent about 4 hours on the car today. It's amazing how much time goes by and how little you accomplish when working on a 560SEL. Its like a black hole. You do two jobs and days go by in the real world. Figured out how to get the P/S pump mounting bracket off - there was one more bolt hiding under the grease. Took like half an hour trying to figure out why it wasn't coming off.

Had to take off the driver's side secondary firewall in order to reach bolts #18 and #17. Was more work than the passenger's side. Lots of little connectors and things on the driver's side.

The top guide rail pin on the driver's side seems seized as well. Instead of my bolt snapping inside like the passenger's side, the threads in the pin stripped out this time. Annoying. Going to have to split the chain on the driver's side as well. Will need to join it again when I come to rolling in a new chain. I've ordered a master link separately for this.

Spent the bulk of the time on trying to remove the driver's side exhaust manifold from the car. Its already fully unbolted, but there are two studs in place, so it's not sliding off. I managed to get the front section off with a lot of fettling, but I gave up trying to get the rear part out. Its just not possible without removing the studs. And how do you remove the studs when there is barely any space there to fit a few nuts on it? I think I need a fancy stud remover tool or something.

Started taking off the driver's side heads bolts, did #18, 17, 16, 15, 14, 13. Will do the rest next time.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Top End Rebuild - Day 12

Spent a couple hours on the car today and finally got the passenger's side head out.

Went to CanadianTire the day before and bought the Jobmate "rotary tool" for $30. And used the Aluminium Oxide grinding stone that came with the tool and ground off the two rivets on one of the chain links and pulled it off with a set of cutting pliers. Word of caution here, it takes a decent amount of force to pry off a link, so make sure its not going to fly into the engine.

It was a bit tricky to take the head off with the guide rail pin still inside, but managed to do with lots of pieces of bail wire holding the chain ends.

Took out the distributor and one of the guide rail pins on the driver's side in preparation for taking that head off. To be continued!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Top End Rebuild - Day 11

Spent about 3hrs on the car today. The weather has made things progress very slowly. But today saw some decent progress.

I was struggling to figure out how to get head bolt #17 and #18 out. There was not enough space to fit a wrench in with the firewall in place. But then I found out on benzworld that the secondary firewall is simply screwed into the car and that it is easily removable. After taking out 5 screws and a little fettling, the secondary firewall was removed. Removing the head bolts was pretty easy after that. I removed all 18 of them on the passenger's side.

When taking out the guide rail pins, the bottom pin came out nicely, but my bolt/"puller" snapped inside and now I can't remove the upper pin. I'm going to have to disjoin the chain and then have the machine shop deal with that pin. Annoying.

When taking out the last head bolt (#1), you could hear the head releasing. I lifted it a little to break it loose and a bit of water poured out. I think this is because I didn't drain the crankcase first. Anyhow, one head is almost ready to come off. Placed an order with MB for the new head bolts and tensioner. The tensioner and some of the head bolts were back order. Not sure how long it'll take to arrive. Going to buy an OEM chain and oiler tube clips separately.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Top End Rebuild - Day 10

Only spent about an hour on the car today. Can't really do anything until I get my dogleg Hex Socket thing. Its needed to remove the rear head bolts (No. 18, 17).

I got an engraving tool from a friend and I marked the cam sprocket, chain, and camshaft in relation to each other. Not sure what use its going to be when I change the chain, but I've marked things nonetheless. I took off the passenger's side cam sprocket and the power steering pump. I also put more grease on the cam lobes to stop them from rusting.