Albert Camus got it right

Our Albert (say it the way the French would) was a philosopher who was a key contributor to rise of the Absurdism movement during the first half of the 20th Century.    He produced an essay called “The Myth of Sisyphus” discussing man’s endless and ultimately futile search for meaning in a godless world.   The last part of the essay relates the story of Sisyphus, a mythological Greek chappy condemned to endlessly push a stone up a hill and then watch it roll down again.

Can you see where we are going with this?

Camus was also quoted as saying “The only real progress lies in learning to be wrong all alone” which sort of negates the title of this post.  I’ve spent a long time alone in the shed quite happily learning to be wrong and this weekend the personal stone that I have been metaphorically pushing up the Little Project hill is not quite rolling back down.   You might imagine it as resting against my foot and as long as I don’t move everything is just going fine.

I’ve been getting jiggy with the engine again.   You may remember that I was slowly drilling holes into the piston so that I could free it from the conrod so that I could remove the barrel so that I could make the engine work again…

I got a bit fed up with drilling holes.   There’s only so much drilling that you can do before tedium hits and so I  cast around for a plan B (once again, not the singer/director but an alternative way to approach things).    I thought perhaps it might be amusing to see if the 400 or so bolts that hold the crank cases together would come out (that’s a slight exaggeration, there’s not really 400, there just seems like there are).

They laughed at my screwdriver.  You would expect them to really, they’ve been resting under three decades of mud, sheep poo and roadkill and have no desire to budge.    I may have mentioned before that I have an impact screwdriver.   This is a great tool because although it is a proper screwdriver you can whack it with a hammer and it makes things come loose.     I cleaned away a fair bit of the mud and carefully chose the correct bit for the impact driver and then started whacking it with a mallet (I’m better off using the mallet, it has a bigger contact surface than the hammer and so I am less likely to hit my thumb or any other appendage that does not need whacking).

Well, knock me down with a feather.   They all came loose.   There was one that was defiant for a while but I poured a little bit of the contents of the rust removal bath on it and left it to ponder for a while.   It came round to my way of thinking.

With all of these removed, in theory I could split the cranks.   This means that I can replace the crankshaft if I want to rather than rub some vaselene into the existing one and hope that it works.   This also meant I could get radical with the removal of the cylinder head.   This is what I did.

Off with his head

It may not be clear at first glance but that is Little Project engine, laying on its side with a hacksaw sawing through the conrod.   Flipping ‘eck, those conrods take some sawing!    Back at school we had a big machine that you could put a piece of metal an it and go away for several hours whilst the big machine sawed the piece of metal in half.     I don’t have one of those in the shed.    I do (once again) have blooded knuckles as (being left handed) every time I moved the saw forwards i punched the engine.   I really need to learn to control my hack sawing techniques.   Eventually, this happened.

Vanquished head

What you can see is the Little Project barrel, not attached to the engine and being pinned down so that it can’t escape by the mallet.

We are moving onwards and very slightly upwards.   I’d like to say the crank is parted.   There is a sneaky little Honda trick (you tinker Soichiro) that means that 399 of the screws holding the crank together are on the left side of the engine and then there is one other one on the right hand side.    Once I’d worked this out I have made a little gap all the way around the engine.

We’ve come to a premature halt though.   Just here….

Hmmmm

Ignore the gunk and rubbish all over the clutch.  That will all clear up.   The bit in the top right corner is the oil pump.  There are three screws holding the cover on and when you take these off there is a curious lock nut (all covered in oil if you’re working on this engine that repeatedly refuses to relinquish all of the lubrication contained within).    Should you happen across this curious lock nut then take a glance at the manual (either the correct one or one that you’ve got for later engines) and you will find that you need special Honda tool part number  07716-0020100.

Should you then go to the CMS website to see if this is really true you find this (cut and pasted – all credits to CMS)

“This is how it goes, if you have this tool then removing the rotor lock nut is simple. If you do not have this tool, then removing it will be almost impossible, and can lead to damage that goes way beyond the price of this vital Honda tool!”

So we are at a bit of an impasse.   The special tool has been ordered and hopefully will arrive shortly.  Then the crusade to get this engine can continue.

Today’s post has been encouraged by a young but energetic Glenfiddich and an absolutely stunning Malbec called Lirico from Maurico Lorca.

Before I go, you may remember me mentioning Led Zeppelin about a dozen times in recent posts.   A couple of the members of “Heart” did a version of “Stairway to Heaven” recently that made Robert Plant cry (in a good way).    There is a link to it on this blog.   I’m hoping that the Vancouver Sun blog that hosts the link will allow it through.   It is really worth a listen.

Thank you for taking the time to visit.

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