I finally began reassembling my engine today.
Since I want to install my new Mopar Performance water pump, I had felt spurred to be adventurous a day back and popped out the front two freeze plugs and found some amazingly nasty looking debris inside:
Not sure what it was, but it was hard like sand, and nearly white in color.
I took my pressure washer and rammed it inside the openings for the water pump and freeze plugs and blasted away. The results were pretty epic! All sorts of debris came out initially, and I was still getting colored water out after nearly 4 minutes! By 5 minutes it cleared up. And keep in mind my engine had been running nice and cool!
BTW, this might be of interest to all you Mopar owners - I finally talked to a Machinist with a great reputation for building up race engines, and discussed the bolts which penetrate the water jacket on the 318 engine with him. He told me he uses Aviation Permatex on them as thread sealer.
Well, just by coincidence, I happen to have a bottle of it on hand, courtesy of my Dad! He was an aircraft Mechanic during World War 2, working on P-38 fighters and B-17 bombers, then after the war on B-47 bombers. In other words, my bottle has a pedigree...
I remember seeing this bottle in his tool chest from way back when I was a little tyke in the 60's. It's still in perfect shape, and didn't really require any stirring, though I tried anyway just to be certain.
I decided to perform yet another live experiment, so I sandblasted and powder coated most of the large bolts.
I don't for sure how it will hold up, but it almost has to do better than the engine paint I used previously, which became pretty unsightly within a year or so.
After inspecting all the bolts, I decided to buy several new long bolts, so for now I pinned the timing chain cover in place to set the gaskets:
Some of those long bolts are really odd sizes, like 5.25" and 3.75" long. I may just have to cut longer bolts down a bit. I know the originals no longer available from Mopar; I'd checked several years ago and only found 2 of the sizes still in stock, and they weren't the longest ones. At least I have lots of hardware stores nearby! McMaster Carr may provide a few options as well.
Another option with genuine potential is that I found a shop which sells high-strength stainless steel bolts (and even complete V-8 engine kits), including the original style cap bolts with the indented hex heads, and polished 6-point and 12-point bolts with the wide flange in both coarse and fine threads. They even have stainless hose barbs, Zerk fittings, and carburetor linkage hairpin clips!http://www.totallystainless.com/
If the powder coating on my bolts doesn't work out to my liking, I may well try going that route.
Here's another Mopar tidbit; a standard 318 water pump and a Mopar Performance 318 water pump side by side for your viewing pleasure:
The Mopar performance water pump has more fins, and they're longer too.
The supervisor thinks it should work just fine!
Close supervision is essential to the success of such an extensive restoration!