Stuck Engine, Broken Bolts and Fun at CI CubFest

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Stuck Engine, Broken Bolts and Fun at CI CubFest

Postby Barnyard » Tue Sep 25, 2012 10:17 pm

How It All Started
A couple of winters ago I had been working in the barn for an extended time and needed some room, so I parked one of my good Cubs behind the barn with the standard bean can exhaust cover on it. After a wet and windy day I walked near it and found the can on the ground. I started the Cub and water blew everywhere from the exhaust. I let it run for about fifteen minutes and put the can back on. Two months later it wouldn't start. After checking the battery, the starter and all connections I put a hand crank in it. It was stuck tighter than a drum. I pulled it in the shop and started soaking the pistons every day and rocked it figuring it should free up since it had been stuck for such a short time. After another month of this I waited until the Bash and asked Larry Gray to give me a pull. He pulled me out my front drive, down one road to the corner, down the next road and into my side driveway to the shop. The only thing we accomplished is wearing a bunch of rubber off the tires. It went back on the back burner.

After almost another year of looking at it in the barn, I finally decided to pull the head this spring. All but three bolts came out. The three middle ones were going to be a problem. I didn't really have time to mess with it again after that. But after looking at it a few more for months, I loaded it up and decided to fool with it at CI CubFest.

Removing The Head
Once at CI I rolled the Cub off the trailer and put a long breaker bar (aptly named tool because it will break things) on the first bolt. After a few turns it did as expected, it broke. On to bolt #2, after a few turns it dawned on us that it was actually rising up from the head. This one ended up being cooperative after quite a bit of persuasion. Bolt #3 seem t to twist for quite a while leading us to believe it was going to work with us. And then, SNAP! One bolt had broken off just at the top of the head and the other was broke about half an in from the top of the block.

Now we had to get the head off. We couldn’t get the head to lift off the broken bolt so we bolted a chain to the water outlet holes and pulled on it with the “A” frame while tapping on it. The front tires actually came off the ground. Still nothing, so the tapping got a little more intense. Then Bigdog drove a chisel under it. That helped the back a little so we did the same in the front. After getting a little room under the head we had a pry bar under each end and the guys began prying, hammering and rocking. Then we pried, hammered and rocked some more. After about a half hour of that, BOOM, the Cub dropped to the ground and the head was swing from the chain.

Broken Bolts Have To Go
Now we had the broken bolts to play with. We got the torches out and Gary heated the bolts till they were glowing and then let them cool. A while later we repeated the process. We did this three or four times and then called it a day. The next morning Gary was there with a vice grip slowly working the longer bolt back and forth. After a bit it came out. There was no such luck with the shorter bolt. It just let the vice grips slip and I had left my broken bolt extractors at home. Drilling was not going to work because the bolt was now hardened from all that heat.

Bill Darr takes his turn with the torch.

Now it was time for Rick Prentice to step up to the plate. He welded a nut to what was left of the bolt and let it cool a bit. A couple of small turns and "SNAP". That was a no go. Let’s try it again! Nope, it failed us again. Let’s try a bigger nut to get some coverage on the sides. Rick went to work welding it on and decided to let it cool longer. Here is where Rick showed us all a great deal of patience. He turned it just a fraction at a time, ever so slowly. Back and forth, back and forth, we sure didn’t strain our necks watching it mover. As they say, it pays to be patient. The bolt finally came out. Success, all bolts came out without drilling.

Rick Prentice got this nut to stick well enough to back out the last stubborn bolt.

Now To Unstick That Engine
Bill Darr gave me a hand getting the manifold out of the way.

Well now that the head is off it’s time to get that engine moving. All but one valve was moving so we got a couple of them free. Gary figured the engine itself was going to have to move so Bill pulled the starter off. Gary sanded down the cylinder walls then grabbed the big pry bar and got the engine to turn backwards a bit, then it turned some more. Two pistons hit bottom and some more sanding was done.

Now it was time to crank it forward. We found the youngest and strongest looking guy in the audience and handed him the hand crank. Peanut got it to start going in the right direction. After he had the engine turning freely it was time to tackle the rest of those sticking valve. As he turned the crank we sprayed each valve with PB Blaster and tapped them down. As each came up and stuck we tapped it again. With three guys tapping it wasn’t long before we had each valve dropping on its own. That engine looked like it never had a problem from the start.

Thank You, Thank You, Thank You!
I want to say a big thanks to all the guys at CI CubFest who helped me get my cultivator Cub unstuck. Every time I turned around Gary Dotson was there working on something. In fact, just about everything was touched by Gary sometime during this ordeal. Rick Prentice not only gave us a great welding lesson (what a master craftsman he is) but he also showed us how to have patience when turning a welded nut on a broken bolt, slow and easy does it. Bob McCarty showed me a few tips on using a cutting torch as well as worked on heating the bolts. Bigdog was swinging a hammer (this was not an electrical problem), and worked one of the pry bars better than any hammer swinging barman I’ve ever seen. Bill Darr and Howard (Bud’s neighbor) gave great ideas and fetched the tools. Peanut lent a hand literally with cranking that engine over like he did.

There were others I’m sure, but my memory is worse than my eyes. Thank you all also.

I always enjoyed using this Cub and look forward to it being out in the garden again next spring. I promise not to let that happen to it again
It is common sense to take a method and try it. If it fails, admit it frankly and try another. But above all, try something.
- Franklin D. Roosevelt -

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Re: Stuck Engine, Broken Bolts and Fun at CI CubFest

Postby Eugene » Wed Sep 26, 2012 7:36 am

Barnyard wrote:I parked one of my good Cubs behind the barn with the standard bean can exhaust cover on it. After a wet and windy day I found the can on the ground.
Glass jars work better for covering the exhaust pipe. Except when you forget to remove the jar before starting the engine. For some reason, when the engine starts, the jar breaks when it hits the cement floor.

Now, I have a can with a length of wire attached to the lip. A large nut fastened to the opposite end of the wire.
I have an excuse. CRS.

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Re: Stuck Engine, Broken Bolts and Fun at CI CubFest

Postby Rudi » Wed Sep 26, 2012 8:35 pm


Very interesting read. After being there a bit with Ellie and of course with Jethro's mill still on the stuck side, I appreciate how difficult it can be to get a mill unstuck. Great post and a great read, thanks for posting and the pics.
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