So I am super excited. As some of you already know, I am aiming to become a Machinist. At the apprentice level I am doing quite well. You see, it's a natural transition for me as I've been a car nut for life and am in the process of a restoration on my 74 Z. Which you also might already know. However, this past week I was granted the opportunity to bring in the head off my Z to simply deck it. Which means I turn it over, mount it in a milling machine and shave off a few tens of thousands of an inch...could be anything from the .011" its out to more...haven't decided yet. Regardless, this is where things really turned a positive corner with my instructor. You see, initially he wasn't really into me doing my own private work. He was allusive about it. Evasive actually. And as it turns out I think it had a lot to do with simply not being sure where I really stand with my desire and my word...What I mean by that is many, and I mean many car guys....are totally full of ****. They all stand around BS'in about this and that inside their engines and in reality you and I can only do one thing...choose to believe, or not cause if you don't pull that motor apart it's next to impossible to know without a micrometer in hand what is and is not BS. The measurements are sometimes as thin as a hair. So, with that said, I think my instructor was hesitant to jump in with both feet as he feared I might bring in a major engine component and next thing you know he's building it cause I was so full of BS about my past experience that if he doesn't the entire program looks bad cause this one student couldn't finish what he said he could...
I know, sounds weird but I think it really was an issue to him. It was about an hour after the first day I was working on the head this week that he said, "well arn't you gonna tear that thing apart?"
You see, I was only going to mill the head. It's what he allowed so I figured, "don't push - be grateful for what is allowed here." However he then opens the door all the way for me to have at er...I was so thrilled. And if you reading this and not a car guy, I understand how it might seem so trivial. But believe me, when your passionate about something and you meet an Obi one / Grand Master type who's filled to the brim with knowledge (he used to build engines for sprint cars) and he then basically says after months of testing...."okay grasshoppa...get under my wing" You go for it!
So there I am, basking in my glory, disassembling the head, valve by valve. Documenting, photos, bagging etc. Then I cleaned the entire head in solvent....washed and dried. The head is ready for milling this coming week. I need to do some research as to how much I am going to cut. I don't think I am going to do much. I suspect around .030". You see, I am not sure what's going on here but for SURE someone, not very capable, was inside this engine already so...how much has already been removed. There is lot's to consider in a situation like this. Valve to Piston clearance especially.
Valve to Piston clearance is what goes wrong when your timing belt snaps. I am sure some of you have dealt with this catastrophic issue in the past...total nightmare that costs plenty of money...I've repaired a few in the past. Basically, the timing belt opens valves and closes them in time with the pistons rising and dropping. When the belt snaps the engine still rolls to a stop and everything smashes into everything.....disaster.
Alright, I just wanted to share. I am planing/hoping to have the head re-assembled this week. Perhaps early next. I am also now thinking, the entire block is coming apart. After what I've seen in the head I cannot imagine the block is in any better shape....we'll see what is allowed.