So it has actually been months since I worked on Natasha. A combination of being ill for 5 solid weeks and not really having any energy after working 12 hours of tech support everyday has meant that I've not been very productive at all. This is bad news. I should have been finished by now. I should have been riding Natasha back and forth to work in the summer sun. Bad boss.
Anyway, I've finally got back into the workshop and pulled the engine out of the frame. If you remember when I started to dismantle everything I broke an exhaust header bolt in the engine. So I drilled a pilot hole, hammered in an ez-out and tried to extract it. I have to say I was pretty disappointed with the quality of steel of the ez-outs. It started to twist without really that much pressure. I opened the hole out to a larger size and used a larger ez-out but with the same result. I think I'm just going to have to re-tap the hole. Bugger.
Cleaning the engine is both rewarding and frustrating. 32 years worth of oil and grime, as well as a fair about of oxidization of the alumiunium, means that it's going to be a long haul to bring this engine back to something like it was when it rolled off the production line in 1981. I was going to mix up a solution of baking soda and see what I can do about the cooling fins, but I think in reality, with time against me, I am just going to get them clean enough to paint with some high temperature black paint. The side covers I will pull off and polish with the buffing machine, so there will be some shiny bits on there.
Current hours on build: 13.5