Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Lost & Found: 302 Engine Block - Part 1

About a year ago I was perusing through craigslist for parts, bikes, randomness, low and behold I found something that caught my attention. There was a posting for a guy clearing out a storage unit and he had a had a 302 small block motor for sale. It was fully functioning with all parts fully assembled for a hundred bucks. Listing noted that it had to be picked up immediately to get it for cheap. I thought what the hell, looks to be perfect for what I had in mind. Well what I had in mind was several hundred pounds of scrap metal to construct several tables with and various parts for projects down the road. The idea only got me excited as tearing down an engine is always fun anyway. I found several uses immediately and here are the results:

Welding table from the crankshaft

This was a beast to really get going, little had I thunk on the possibility of welding pipe to a cast piece. Well, my pal Jim down at the local welding shop debunked how to remedy the situation, so we slowly heated up the crankshaft to 800 degrees as a top base temperature then welding the 3/8 inch thick pipe to the top to make the base for the table top. This process of heating, welding beads and reheating went on for over 3 hours. After all was said and done just tap it with a wrench and hear it ring, its all once piece of steel now, sounds beautiful.

Piston Rod Pedals

I had been working on quite a few ideas for pedals on my new chop build. The bike is a cafe styled bike but with some modern approach to it, as I am not strict in my adherence to tradition. Numerous pedal concepts came up, but what I really wanted was comfort and thin pedals tend to tire my feet out for any decent period of ride time. Tried some flat pedals made out of square stock with some holes drilled out, but they just didn't feel right and I couldn't get the look I was after. Then I bought some aftermarket parts off of ebay and they looked to clean and perfect. I was in a design quandary for sure and needed something interesting. Hmmm, what about that big ol' box o' parts I had been saving up. I proceeded to pull out some valves, timing chain and low and behold I caught site of the pistons and rods. With my cutting wheel on my grinder fired up and a cold can of PBR a late night thinking session turned into an even later night of pedal fabrication. In the end all I needed to do was to measure to the size I needed, grind off part of the rod and drill a hole for the 4.5 inch long grade 8 bolts and I was off to the races. They are comfortable as hell and can't wait to put this bike on the road and really test them out.