Bomb the Bay

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I have had lots of chances to get my hands dirty with this car.

Twice now we have replaced the engine.  First, a 144 from the Pennyslyvania Blue Bird.  Next, a 1978 200 found on Craigslist.  The first one though, I had to get the engine bay cleaned up and painted.


I wore out more than one box of 60 grit sandpaper getting the rust out, working up to 220 grit to finish. I have a little palm sander that did most of the large work. After that, it required a lot of elbow grease and Purple Power de-greaser to get it clean and ready to paint. We got the engine out the blue car in one afternoon. Then we mounted it on the stand and ready for me to attack it with the pressure washer, the Purple Power and a handfull of toothbrushes. After it was clean, Jim gave it a "gasket overhaul", and I painted it.

It served us well for a few years, although it was underpowered and smoked like crazy from the road pipe... R.I.P. every mosquito in southern Virginia! 

Second engine just required more of the same.  But at least this one has a little oomph, expecially after the addition of the C4 transmission.  A few more horses and one more gear and now the Bird flies like any other normal car out there.  I'm no longer afraid of entering traffic or climbing a hill!  And she has the most comfortable humming purr at 65 MPH on the highway.  Trips to Reidsville, Charlotte, Myrtle Beach, all so much smoother...and no more R O A D P I P E!

Here are some pics from the first engine transplant, beginning with the engine bay cleanup...

A lesson from Wayne on using paint guns, and a lot of trial and error prepared me to paint the compartment. a few quarts of flat black and paint thinner later, and I have a nice tidy place to put my nice clean engine!
After spending several of the most disgustingly grimy days of my life cleaning it, my engine was ready to paint. We had an interesting problem trying to find plugs for all the holes that needed blocking before I commenced. No problem...a rubber glove, some silly putty, a little faith and the job was soon done.

I mean...just look at that gorgeous shiny motor!

We still want to go back and change out the fender bolts to a matching set of nice shiny stainless. And our lines have started to dull even though we polished them and shot them with clear. It's always something...



















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