FAQ

Trying to accurately describe the condition of engines and related machinery at rallies or auctions is always difficult as there is no universal system of classification in widespread usage.

The following chart has been created in order to help enthusiasts searching for a common set of definitions.…

Read more: Engine & Machinery Condition Classifications

Close to fifteen years ago Ken and I were doing a re-paint and general restore of a 3 hp. Fairbanks Morse Z that had a lot of blow by and did not hold compression except at top dead center. Pulling the piston quickly revealed the problem. The wrist pin (gudgeon) had worked loose and worn two sets of parallel grooves in the cylinder wall the full length of the stroke. The grooves were too deep for honing to take care of. Since the piston and rings were in good shape we didn't want to bore and/or sleeve the cylinder so we decided to try a repair with this miracle product we had heard of called J-B WELD. The technique used is as follows:

Read more: Fixing Cylinder Bore Pits with JB-Weld

Lately This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. has been getting a little bored with the SEL and has been promoting engine discussion onto some of his favourite areas. This has
both increased the liveliness of the list and provided some great starts for FAQ articles. Thanks George!

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. posted a question:
Here's another topic that someone suggested:

How do you finish flywheel rims?

Do you paint them same as the rest of the flywheel?

Paint rims a different color/colour than the rest of the flywheel?

Leave the rim as bare metal?

Polish the rim?

For myself, I prefer bare metal although it usually means having to clean surface rust before each show I take the engine to. I like the bare metal especially when the flywheel face has machine tool marks from when the engine was made.

I really haven't thought about it that much, but wonder which companies painted the flywheel faces and which companies left them unpainted? Or did it vary depending on the model of engine?

Paul Pavlinovich (me :) responded:
I follow different courses for different engines. If the flywheel will be used to drive a flat belt
then I tend to keep the face clean of paint and give it a going over with oil and a rag at shows with the engine running. You have to be pretty careful and fold up the rag so it is a pad with no
trailing bits to get caught. You can only do this if the flywheel is clean of burrs and nicks otherwise it will get caught and likely hurt you. I've also been known to use sandpaper if there is particularly bad rust, but use gloves, the sandpaper gets very hot very quickly!

If the engine will never drive anything (ie. it has a pulley or is just for display) then I paint the rims red. Some people go for black, some red, some the same colour as the rest. I just like a bit of variety and fire-engine red certainly draws people over at shows.

Steam & Engine of Australia
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. responded:
I prefer to keep my flywheel rims unpainted and bright.  This might not work
in a damp climate, but we're blessed with near-zero humidity, here.
However, even when we do get a heavy dew or rain shower during a show, the
flash rust isn't a disaster. As soon as I start the engine I'll polish the
flywheel with a bit of motor oil and a Scotchbrite pad. It takes but a few
seconds and afterward there's no sign that there ever was any rust.

The longer one does this, the nicer the flywheel looks.

My 2¢

Orrin
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. said:
Depending on the condition of the flywheel face.

If the faces are pitted, I prefer to paint them a different color as I
like to use a 2 or 3 color scheme in painting the engines.

If the faces are nice, I'll clean them with emery and coat them with oil.
Constant attention is required so they don't rust.
Once done, they can be kept clean with Scotch-Brite pads.

I haven't clear coated the rims of any flywheel yet.

Have no idea what the manufacturers did.


Joe Betz said that.
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Rick Strobel
added:
The original flywheels on the small Gal (the one with cracked hubs) had real
nice faces..would have looked good shined up, imo. The replacement ones are
badly pitted and required "icing" and paint. Newest BF is too invent a
tooling device that clamps on the engine and re-surfaces the face, plus put
the tooling marks back into the face..I like that look.
Friend wants me to try gun blueing. Says it will rust over a period of
time but should look good. Might try that on the saw rig or piglet..kinda
pricy.
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">
George Best
told us about Kerry Morris' device...
Kerry Morris made a setup for cleaning up a flywheel while the flywheel was mounted on the engine base.
and This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. provided an URL to Kerry's page
Try:
http://www.oldengine.org/members/kmorris/Webpages/Crossley1.html

Patrick M Livingstone
02 96920137
Leichhardt NSW
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. added:
    The gentleman that I got my 25 hp Superior from, told me that the face
of the rim
was never painted. It was the job of the apprentice to keep them clean and
rust free.

Bob Willman
The Eagle's Anvil
Bowling Green, Ohio

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. added:
In days of yore, we used to shine up the flywheel rims in the power houses
holding a brick against the running wheel. Then we had to clean up all the
brick-dust! The machining marks did look nice, though, not highly polished,
just a lovely soft gleam.

Living within spitting distance of the Indian Ocean, where rusting is a
problem, I now tend to paint everything including flywheel rims. However,
as I needed to drive the generator by vee-belts running on the flat of
flywheel of my Buzacott to get the necessary speed, I was concerned that
they might not grip on the paint, so I used a set of three instead of the
two I calculated I needed, and have no problems.

Ray Freeman might tell us how he treats his rims.

JW²
Perth W.A. Oz
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WB8NQW
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. added:

I file the high spots of the flywheel and sand them with
industry paper. Paint three layers thick first coat in
different colors. Let it dry for a few weeks and sand it
with 100 paper. Spray a thick layer primer and sand
it light with 240 paper. When the moment is there I
spray them to finish with automotive quality paint in
the color I want mostly 2½ layer.
The rims get the same color, in the beginning I let them
blanc polish, but it's here to dampy and it rust to quick.
Here at this Url you can see some stages in flywheel
painting.
http://www.oldengine.org/members/hammink/Paintstages.jpg

John Hammink
Anna Paulowna, Netherlands.
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This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. added a comment:
When Harry and I were doing the EHOWT last summer, we visited a collection in Belgium.  The owner really liked to have everything clean and polished.  He had a Czech sideshaft engine with flywheels that from a distance looked liked the flywheel rims were chrome plated!  However, when you got closer to the engine it became obvious that they were just highly polished.  The bad part is he had a couple kids buff the flywheels with what I assume was an electric handheld buffer.  The flywheels were sure polished and looked like chrome, but in doing it by hand they made the flywheel face so wavy that in my opinion they ruined the flywheels.

George

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. had another method
A few years ago I turned the surfaces of some small flywheels (22") on a
brake drum lathe, with a little fudging I was able to use the tool that
would normally be used to turn automotive flywheels. It did a real nice
job.

I'm currently working on a 3 HP, IH Famous vertical. The flywheels rims
were quite rusty and appeared to have never been painted. They are also
too big to put on the drum lathe. The rust was thick but it didn't have
the deep pits that you would get if they were buried in the ground or
covered with water.

For the initial clean up I ran them in the hot tank that we use for
cleaning cast iron engine blocks and heads. This removed all of the
grease, old paint and some of the rust on the rims. I then sanded the
outside face and the inner and outer sides with a hand held sander.

The sander is made by B&D and has a section for nondirectional or
straight line sanding. To avoid the little swirl marks I selected
straight line and held the sander in line with the way that the wheel
would turn. Using progressively finer paper and about two hours of elbow
grease, the surfaces are now bright and shiny. After the engine is
running, I will polish them with either scotch brite pads or fine emery
cloth.

As to painting, I find that trying to mask the rims is a big waste of
time. I just paint them, keeping the over spray to a minimum and when the
paint has set a little wash off the over spray with thinner.

Ron in RI

Read more: Flywheel Finishing

Q:

hello all,,,
have just begun work on a 6 hp IH M, and found the cylinder to be pitted in
a number of places,,, i;ve heard several times about using a filler such as
JB weld to fill the pits, but have never tried it,,,,,,, any comments about
how reliable this repair would be, the proper way to apply it, and tips on
honing it after it cures would be appreciated,,,,,
bill boyce This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
lost prairie, arkansas

A:

About 15 years ago my brother and I repaired four deep grooves in the cylinder of a Fairbanks Morse 3 hp. Z caused by an errant wrist pin with J-B Weld.  We pulled the piston a few months ago just to check and the repair has held up extremely well.  If you just feel and don't look you can't even tell it had been damaged.  The engine has run several hundred hours (some of them under heavy load) since the repair.

Be sure to grind the pits out to get to clean metal before filling with the epoxy.  We have found that the spray cans of "Brake Clean" to be an excellent solvent for the final cleaning so there is no oily residue in the area.  After putting the J-B Weld in the grooves we covered it with wax paper and used a large diameter wooden dowel to press it into the grooves and form it to the shape of the cylinder to minimize excess.  After it set up we did some careful hand sanding to get the high spots and then honed the cylinder with the type of hone that locks the stones in position rather than the spring loaded type.  This way we avoided getting high spots in the area of the epoxy.

I think that if I were to do it again I would try using an oiled piston ring pushed through the cylinder to act as a squeegee to remove the excess and properly shape it to minimize the amount of honing needed.  It would probably be best to wait for the J-B Weld to just start to set up so there wouldn't be any sagging or running.

Our Ruston & Hornsby SPB also had some bad pits in the cylinder wall that we successfully filled with J-B Weld.

Regards,

Larry Evans
Arcadia, Southern California, USA
mailto:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
http://www.oldengine.org/members/levans/

A:

I know a lot of people who have done it with success.  In fact, I've never
heard of it not working, although I'm sure there are some failures out there
that people don't want to talk about.

After cleaning the cylinder thoroughly and applying the JB-Weld, some people
smooth it out with a piston or piston ring.  Of course, it will need to be
honed smooth

Orrin This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

A:

Two things here. One, it MUST be clean. A light bead or sand blast on the
area to be repaired is the best.
Two, the filler is just that! it stops the blowby. the rest of the cylinder
metal actually takes the load of the rings and piston. as the temp never
gets up high, it does its job well.
I have an engine with lots of rust pits in the bore that got filled with
Auto acryllic paint when it was painted.
10 years later, its still in the pits, it doesnt blowby and I cant see this
ever changing while it ticks over all day at a show.
Reg & Marg Ingold.
Newcastle, NSW, Australia.
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http://www.oldengine.org/members/randmingold

A:

I've been told by a Belzona rep friend (in the same class as Devcon and JB Weld) that the best results with any epoxy will be had if the area is -totally- clean...............then, he added another "must" for the best adhesion. Right before applying the epoxy, take a torch (can be propane) and play it on the area to get it just hot enough to drive out any moisture.  Let it cool a bit then apply the epoxy.

Take care - Elden DuRand
Kentucky, US of A!
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A:

   Good point. Two notes on this.  Some of the epoxy mixes, such as JB, will set MUCH faster if any heat is present.  It doesn't take much. Probably a 50 to 75 degree increase will shorten the set time by half or more.   I have never used any of the epoxies on an internal portion of an engine (such as a scored or pitted cyl. wall) and leave that to a cyl. bore or sleeve.  But, I have used a considerable amount on exterior cyl. cracks.  What I have done in the past is sandblast the area of the crack (maybe 1/2 inch each side) then "V" with a 4 1/2" grinder.  Then heat lightly (just to the point that you wouldn't want to leave your fingers on it for more than a second or so) then apply a small amount of the epoxy at the center of the V.  The epoxy, when heat is present, becomes much more fluid and will run into any open crack.  This will allow the epoxy to actually enter the crack rather than just be a surface repair.  I've never had trouble with one I have done this way and some of them have been done for 15 to 20 years.  I had one engine that had a crack in the cyl and it was a nice original.  I didn't sandblast but did V it.  Then I took some of the epoxy and mixed some fine iron powder with it.  I then heated the V and applied the epoxy. After I had it layer up to the level of the cyl, I lightly filed it down smooth, even with the sides of the cyl.  I then took a muratic acid solution and applied it to the epoxy.  The iron powder caused it to get a "light" rust and presto, the repair almost disappeared.

Tommy Turner This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Magnolia, KY

A:

Indeed, I was a bit terse in my reply and did not go into detail about
surface preparation.

At the hydro plant where I worked before retirement, we used Belzona to
repair turbine blade and throat surfaces damaged by cavitation.  It produced
a longer lasting surface than the conventional repair:  air-arc gouging,
welding, and grinding smooth.

In order to keep the Belzona from flaking off in big sheets, it was
absolutely vital to abrasive blast down to a clean surface, then apply heat
from huge electrical resistance heaters, overnight, before applying the
Belzona.

As a matter of interest, the workers obtained a beautiful, blemish-free
surface by waiting until the Belzona was partially cured, wetting it and
their hands with water, then smoothing it out with their hands.

BTW, folks have commented about the cost of Belzona, but they were let off
cheap.  The product we used cost $1,500.00 US per quart!   That was 10-15
years ago.  I have no idea what it costs, now.

Orrin This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Read more: Fixing pitted bore with JB-Weld or other epoxy

One of the challenging jobs you will come across with your engine is when it loses compression and you have to either loosen or replace the rings to get it back. Don't know what rings are? The rings are metal bands which encircle the piston almost all the way around its circumference. The job of the rings is to make the piston tight to prevent the combustion forces being wasted and by preventing the lubricating oil from getting into the combustion chamber.

This discussion on the SEL shed some good light on the subject revealing various methods which may be of help to you.…

Read more: Freeing Stuck Piston Rings