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06-27-2007 01:25 AM Louie, Day 2
The folks on the Hotrodders Bulletin Board gave me several cleaning tips. This is an issue, as I live in a condominium and have very little room. Actually repairing your own car is frowned upon in this region (Seriously, we don't even have auto parts stores out here; it's not economically feasable for the shops because the cars out here are fairly new.).

After scraping off the mixture of gunk and dirt on the top, I saw how hard it will be to clean this thing. It occurred to me that he'd be easier to clean if he were disassembled already.

Reality check #1: Even with the Liquid Wrench super penetrant blah-blah-blah, I doubt I have the strength to ratchet off these nuts and bolts! If nuts are torque-wrenched on, don't they have to be torque-wrenched off? So now do I need to go and buy a torque wrench?

The alternative: I began by removing the only things I could get to turn: the rocker arm nuts. With my autoshop manual as a reference, I now know the difference between studs and push rods. It's progress!

I bagged and labeled every group of parts, left and right (when facing the flywheel), one through eight.

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  [Entry #2]

06-27-2007 01:05 AM My Engine, Day 1
Yesterday I brought home "Louie," a 1990 Chevy 350 cid small block engine. Gary, a mechanic, dug it up from the back of his lot at my request for an engine that I could take apart and learn from.

While Gary and his friend, Joe, had expertly loaded the engine into the back of my station wagon, getting Louie out was a different matter. My neighbor and hero, Nathan, helped me build a crude engine mount out of a furniture dolly and extra pieces of wood. (Thanks to the guys at Lowes for their input and for keeping that project simple!) Using two two-by-fours as a ramp, he slid the engine out of the car and onto the dolly. I was useless; Louie weighs at least 300 pounds and I might as well have been asked to help move a refridgerator.

Happily, the small block plus my car fit perfectly in my one-car condo garage.

(click photo to enlarge)
  [Entry #1]

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