December 9, 2004 - December 12, 2004

3: Tired Old Engine

The engine is in bad shape, but never had a catastrophic failure. Tinkering with this engine will be a no-stakes education since it will be replaced anyway.

I remember one time when my friend was driving Dweezil and I was following behind, I had the chance to watch the vehicle as it moved. White smoke came from the #2 cylinder area when he put a load on the engine. I investigated the situation and found that one of the head studs had pulled loose. A thread insert known as a "case saver" is the accepted solution if done soon enough, but the cylinder probably bounced around between the head and the case long enough to damage both.

The carb is a Solex 34 Pict 3 model. The throttle shaft wiggles a little in its bore creating an air leak. Also, of the five screws holding the top to the body, 3 are stripped.

dirty old skidplate

The engine is covered in oil and dirt, insulating it well from any possiblility of cooling. The dirty skid plate adds insult to injury by blocking most of the air passing under the car from carrying away heat below the case.

dirty old engine

Judging from the skid plate mounting method, I doubt regular oil changes were ever part of the plan.

primordial ooze


The sludge of a thousand quarts built up on the drain plate.

clean drain plate

Cleans up nice, but the drain plate threads are stripped. Kind of odd considering it was never really used!

I was able to get the engine to run with fresh oil, a quick carburetor cleanup, and a light switch ignition. Here is a short clip of my efforts, watch for smoke!

I had hoped to drive the car around the yard just to see if I could, but I am having trouble with the clutch. I will move on to other goals for now and save the test drive for when things are coming back together.