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Old 07-28-2020, 10:51 PM   #1
Los_Control
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Default A few questions on a 8BA

I am a total noob to this motor, last week I bought a 8BA motor & trans from a 1951 F100.

So anyway, I assume all 8BA 239 engines are created equal, and the truck 4spd that came with it. I would like to see if can rebuild it.Just trying to figure out why they were tearing it apart in the first place, so I can continue and correct the issue, before I put it back together with the same issue it started with.


There is a reason this rancher pulled this truck out of service Started to pull it apart and stopped. ... I am just not seeing it ... so am asking for things to look for when I disassemble the engine ... A true pro would rip it apart and save whats left, I am trying to go at it with the attitude to see whats wrong and fix what I have.


If ya all have some good links, information for what to look for while tearing down or just want to say hello, I sure like to say hello to you.
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Old 07-28-2020, 11:27 PM   #2
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Default Re: A few questions on a 8BA

How about start from the beginning and find the real reason or symptons which made original owner decide it needed some work. Maybe it was hard starting or similar which can be sorted without tearing it down. Do the easy bits first.
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Old 07-28-2020, 11:48 PM   #3
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Default Re: A few questions on a 8BA

A ‘51 would be an F1. Not that it makes much difference. I
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Old 07-29-2020, 12:02 AM   #4
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Default Re: A few questions on a 8BA

Have the the heads been removed? If so, check for cracks between the valve pockets and the cylinders. If there is one, maybe two, they can be repaired, but more than that the block is scrap. If there are none, there are other places to check. The BIG problem with most used flatheads today is unrepairable cracks in the block. Think about it; the flathead block is a much more complex casting than and modern OHV block. DO NOT spend any money on a flathead unless it has been proven to be crack free (or at least repairable).
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Old 07-29-2020, 06:18 AM   #5
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Default Re: A few questions on a 8BA

Hello....how’s it going?.....When was it torn down?....is it still oily inside or is it a dried out rusty lump?....does it turn over? How much has it been taken apart?....as has been posted, cracks are your biggest enemy. I think everything else can be repaired or replaced. Where do you live( town-state)? There could be somebody right down the road who can help you......welcome to the wonderful world of flatheads!!!!.........Mark
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Old 07-29-2020, 08:30 AM   #6
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Default Re: A few questions on a 8BA

Just a guess but many of the old farm trcks/cars with flatheads were retired when they became just too hard to start. My 52 Merc for example. Finally refused to start in 1969 and was retired. When my brother opened it up to inspect in 1979 he found the low compression was mostly due to burnt and leaking valves. New pistons, rings, and a valve job and it starts great now.
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Old 07-29-2020, 08:33 AM   #7
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Default Re: A few questions on a 8BA

Welcome to the Barn. There are some books available that provide step by step disassemble instructions / hints and what to look for along the way. This is one.
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Old 07-29-2020, 10:00 AM   #8
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Default Re: A few questions on a 8BA

Back when I was younger and still living up in the colder part of the country, it was not uncommon for an owner to find a cracked block after a bad winter. A check of the oil would come up with a lot more on the stick than motor oil.

A flathead V8 that has set too long can have enough corrosion in places that the pistons might not move or the valves may stick in the guides.

Any engine that has set for a long time is bound to have a fuel delivery problem due to crappy fuels and the resultant corrosion in the carburetor and fuel tank so that is a real possibility as previously mentioned.

It could have been ignition related as well so you will just have to check the easiest thing first and go from there. I'd at least pull the heads and see if it has a broken ring or stuck valves. All it will cost is a gasket set as long as none of the bolts break off in the block. Also check for mice nests under the intake manifold. I've found all sorts of stuff in these old engines.

All 8BA blocks are the same but there are differences between cylinder heads,oil pans, water pumps, clutches, and carburetors as well as 255 Mercury cranks for those so equipped. Late engines begining in 1951, have rotator type valves. The truck engines should still have hardened exhaust valve seats but you never know at near 70 years since manufacture.

Last edited by rotorwrench; 07-29-2020 at 10:07 AM.
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Old 07-29-2020, 10:35 AM   #9
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Default Re: A few questions on a 8BA

My dad and my grandad both had flathead pickups.

Grandad had an F3 with a 239 and 4-speed with granny low. The clutch in that truck always had a tendancy to shudder and jerk, partly because it was geared very low, but a little troublesome. It also had an exhaust valve that tended to stick, even when it was driven a couple of times a week. Since that was their only vehicle my grandmother had trouble driving it, with a troublesome clutch and the clunky non-synchronized 4 speed.

Dad's 51 F-1 was more trouble-free with a 239 and three on the tree. He had a Jasper rebuilt engine installed when he first got it, due to engine trouble, so my memories are of a mostly good running trouble-free truck. I loved it. That was in the late 50's early 60's.
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Old 07-29-2020, 11:09 AM   #10
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Default Re: A few questions on a 8BA

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Originally Posted by flatford8 View Post
Hello....how’s it going?.....When was it torn down?....Mark
I am guessing torn apart 20 years ago, motor is stuck. The 4 open cylinders rear 2 pistons are almost at the top, they look fine, 2 front cyl are down and have worst rust.
They have no pitting, is light surface rust ... thats a bonus
Guessing truck was parked and stored inside or in a barn. Also a west TX dry climate truck.



Got the intake off, that is not good news. whole valley is one big mouse nest
Just thinking about the mouse pee on the lifters ... not sure yet what damage is there.


I have 3 stuck head bolts on the other head, working them back and forth with a impact ... might need heat ... I might briefly try a breaker bar and cheater pipe.


Jseery thanks for the tip, I will look for that book and get it ordered. I only have a motors manual at this time ... I need a good flathead ford specific book.
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Old 07-29-2020, 12:01 PM   #11
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Default Re: A few questions on a 8BA

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Originally Posted by rotorwrench View Post
Back
All 8BA blocks are the same but there are differences between cylinder heads,oil pans, water pumps, clutches, and carburetors as well as 255 Mercury cranks for those so equipped. Late engines begining in 1951, have rotator type valves. The truck engines should still have hardened exhaust valve seats but you never know at near 70 years since manufacture.

Thats great info right there, Thank you. This brings me to today's project in order to get the pan off and remove the crank.



Project for today, I need to get online and order a engine stand.
I live in nowherevilla USA and a 2 hour 1 way drive to a city.

I hear some horror stories, but guessing the later 8BA is ok on a engine stand?
I expect the engine to live on the stand for some time. Is it safe to go to harbor freight and order one?
Any gotcha's I should look out for? Would I be better off to build something?
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Old 07-29-2020, 01:27 PM   #12
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Default Re: A few questions on a 8BA

Just make sure that your engine stand has FOUR wheels instead of three for stability. 8BAs are OK to hang from rear of block, but one of those exhaust adapters should still work in your traditional engine stand in the future. DD
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Old 07-29-2020, 06:20 PM   #13
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Default Re: A few questions on a 8BA

just took apart an 8ba today, nasty mess, valves are the hardest part about tearing one down, they do require a special tool to pull out the valve keepers and a couple of special tools to remove the valve/guide assemble after removal of the keepers, keep a can of pb blaster and keep soaking the valve guide from the top down if you can rotate the engine that helps a whole lot as you can spray down the valve chamber as the valve opens--
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Old 07-29-2020, 07:11 PM   #14
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Default Re: A few questions on a 8BA

pictures of teardown and of engine stand modified to 4 wheels and an adapter to mount engine on exhaust ports--you need to do this with out fail
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Old 07-30-2020, 11:59 AM   #15
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Default Re: A few questions on a 8BA

Quote:
Originally Posted by V8COOPMAN View Post
Just make sure that your engine stand has FOUR wheels instead of three for stability. 8BAs are OK to hang from rear of block, but one of those exhaust adapters should still work in your traditional engine stand in the future. DD
Not just 4 wheels, but should have 2 horizontal legs. Some have a single leg with two wheels on a cross-piece at the end. Not nearly as stable. If you are going to be hammering on lifters and pistons to get it apart, you want the most stable you can find.
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Old 07-30-2020, 12:19 PM   #16
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Default Re: A few questions on a 8BA

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Originally Posted by alanwoodieman View Post
just took apart an 8ba today, nasty mess, valves are the hardest part about tearing one down, they do require a special tool to pull out the valve keepers and a couple of special tools to remove the valve/guide assemble after removal of the keepers, keep a can of pb blaster and keep soaking the valve guide from the top down if you can rotate the engine that helps a whole lot as you can spray down the valve chamber as the valve opens--

I like that mod to the stand, would be a lot more stable. Well worth the time spent.
And I see you have your engine bolted by the exhaust bolts and not the rear .... I have heard of blocks cracking when hung from the rear ... guess was my question if the 8BA has same issue and should be hung from the side?
I was thinking the issue was limited to older Ford flatheads.


I do have a 49 dodge truck with a flat 6, I used the exhaust bolts on it, the 6 is long and skinny, it looks comfortable sideways on the stand.
The V8 just looks awkward sideways ... I guess this is not a fashion show.


Just taking a break from cleaning the mouse nest out ... it is not pretty, couple lifters are badly rusted from mouse pee.
My ultimate goal would be a pretty basic stock 100 horse engine, with a little bigger cam and headers.
So lifters and cam would be replaced anyways, am concerned with the lifter bore in the block. Not sure how much play can get away with, wondering if this could be the death of the block?


Starting to think, possibly it had a fuel pump problem, they pulled it from the manifold and let it sit open, mice moved in.
Later came back to work on it and it was stuck, removed head and started on intake and just gave up.



I think today I will raise it back up on chain hoist, drain the dirty black oil from it.
Then set it back down, upside down. Pull the pan and get a good look at the bottom end.
So far, other then the mouse/lifter problem, is looking like a low mile virgin engine.
Sure am hoping can save it.
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Old 07-30-2020, 12:27 PM   #17
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Default Re: A few questions on a 8BA

Spray the stuck head bolts with your favorite penetrant daily. That fact that you can move them at all is good news!!! Work them back and forth with your air gun a few turns at a time. I wouldn’t use a bar and a pipe, I think you’ll definitely break them off. Patience, patience, patience is your friend here !!.... turn them a little, spray them a lot. It’s been together for years, it’s gonna take more than an hour to take it apart. There’s a huge bunch of knowledge on this forum, report back often.....Mark
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Old 07-30-2020, 01:06 PM   #18
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Spray the stuck head bolts with your favorite penetrant daily. That fact that you can move them at all is good news!!! Work them back and forth with your air gun a few turns at a time. I wouldn’t use a bar and a pipe, I think you’ll definitely break them off. Patience, patience, patience is your friend here !!.... turn them a little, spray them a lot. It’s been together for years, it’s gonna take more than an hour to take it apart. There’s a huge bunch of knowledge on this forum, report back often.....Mark

Thanks for advice, what I found, is my impact wrench was set at lowest setting and needed adjusting. I did put breaker bar and cheater pipe on them, maybe 20 30 pounds pressure they came free with no problem .... makes me want to recheck the torque on the wifes wheels on her car.


I think a picture is worth a thousand words, show what we are working with. Right now playing with uploading pics to post here. going to try one to see if it works ... I dunno

Probably a bad idea, I did use my 4" grinder with a wire cup brush on it to clean the old head gasket material. And I made 3 or 4 passes in the 2 rusty cylinders cleaned up nice. I think they will hone out fine.
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Old 07-30-2020, 01:19 PM   #19
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Default Re: A few questions on a 8BA

Have a good look all round the pan rail surface, the face, inside and outside. You're looking for cracks.
The valves should be easier than the old type because you can use a conventional valve spring compressor to get the collets out. You can then tap the guides down a bit then pull the horseshoe clips out and then pull the guides out. Keep them all as matched assemblies.

If you check mart's garage on youtube I did a complete teardown and rebuild on a despatately crusty flatty. It was an earlier type.

You might find the videos entertaining and from what you have said, yours ought to be a much simpler proposition.

Mart's garage:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCzc...Vro40j-vjjZShg

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Old 07-30-2020, 01:32 PM   #20
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Default Re: A few questions on a 8BA

@mart cool am subscribed and full notifications.
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Old 07-30-2020, 08:22 PM   #21
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Default Re: A few questions on a 8BA

Quote:
Originally Posted by Los_Control View Post
I like that mod to the stand, would be a lot more stable. Well worth the time spent.
And I see you have your engine bolted by the exhaust bolts and not the rear .... I have heard of blocks cracking when hung from the rear ... guess was my question if the 8BA has same issue and should be hung from the side?
I was thinking the issue was limited to older Ford flatheads.


I do have a 49 dodge truck with a flat 6, I used the exhaust bolts on it, the 6 is long and skinny, it looks comfortable sideways on the stand.
The V8 just looks awkward sideways ... I guess this is not a fashion show.
Just taking a break from cleaning the mouse nest out ... it is not pretty, couple lifters are badly rusted from mouse pee.

I think today I will raise it back up on chain hoist, drain the dirty black oil from it.
Then set it back down, upside down. Pull the pan and get a good look at the bottom end.
So far, other then the mouse/lifter problem, is looking like a low mile virgin engine.
Sure am hoping can save it.

You might want to remove the pan before you turn the engine upside down. There is always some oil left after you drain it, and makes a mess when you roll the engine over.
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Old 07-30-2020, 08:40 PM   #22
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Default Re: A few questions on a 8BA

Perfect advice ... expected or not I was not thinking about this ... would be very easy to remove pan while hanging, not make a mess on the floor that needs to be cleaned up.
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Old 07-31-2020, 06:37 AM   #23
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Default Re: A few questions on a 8BA

I have alway found that a Clintom Manual from the lat 50s is the best source for information about these early cars and their innards. Made for the backyard mechanic.
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Old 07-31-2020, 07:14 AM   #24
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I have alway found that a Clintom Manual from the lat 50s is the best source for information about these early cars and their innards. Made for the backyard mechanic.
Me too. Great resources.
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Old 07-31-2020, 02:02 PM   #25
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So a change of plans, While I still need to disassemble the engine, think I would be wiser to spend some time and see if can get it un-stuck first.
The cyl photo is the worst 2, I think they will clean up.

The last photo is where I think most of problem will be, crusty push rods from mouse pee. But there is only 2 or 3 that look bad. But cleaning up.



New plan is to leave the pan on, acetone/atf, diesel clean and soak everything.
Wash it all down into the pan.

Then actually put a breaker bar on it and see if it will turn. Only attempt to turn it over so far is by hand grabbing the crank pulley.
Starting to think if I get it unstuck, and cleaned up, it would probably run.
Assuming it does not have bad bearings/crank
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Old 07-31-2020, 02:20 PM   #26
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Default Re: A few questions on a 8BA

I wouldn't try and turn it. Not with all the valves and lifters like that.
Pull the cam gear and see if the pistons want to move. Loosen the rod bearings so there is free play and see if you can move the stuck pistons within the free play without having to turn everything else.
If you can pull the crank and pistons/rods, you can then tackle the valves. Just look at one at a time, you should be able to get them apart. Then knock the lifters up from below and pull the cam.
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Old 07-31-2020, 02:22 PM   #27
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Default Re: A few questions on a 8BA

It doesn't look too bad, given the size of that mouse nest.
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Old 07-31-2020, 02:25 PM   #28
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Default Re: A few questions on a 8BA

I took apart a 53 that had sat for years and years. Oil sludge inside, but nothing else had gotten in there. I never figured out why it was abandoned. I could have made it run, but.....when I got the crank out all the bearing shells had been eaten at by being submerged in the ancient oil.
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Old 07-31-2020, 03:32 PM   #29
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@mart that is good advice ... was your video I watched earlier when you removed your crusty crank, I think would be better off to get it rotating first if I can. And with a little effort I think it will.


@leon bee I may find same issue. Guy was asking $300 for engine/trans ... it did not sell and moved it out closer to his scrap pile. I offered $100 for it, I expected it to be junk, would need to buy a couple used engines to find something to build.
So I am still trying to prove myself correct, so far is a coin toss which way it goes.
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Old 07-31-2020, 04:22 PM   #30
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Hell, Los, you need more than one anyway. Good to get started on that 2 ton pile you're gonna have.
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Old 08-01-2020, 10:49 AM   #31
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Default Re: A few questions on a 8BA

Stuck valves have been known to break cams and cam followers if enough pressure is applied. I got a truck motor once where a farmer had been dragging the truck with a tractor to break it free. It broke alright but it didn't break free. I had a hell of a time getting that one apart. Busted cam and a follower with a valve stem sticking in it plus all the usual crusty pistons and other bad parts finally came out but not without a fight.

A good penetrant like the double A variety (Acetone and ATF 1:1 mix) will work wonders over time. Pouring on some of the modern rust removal products like Evaporust won't hurt on the real crusty stuff if your set up to soak it.

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Old 08-10-2020, 04:06 PM   #32
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Ol stinky! .... I have a habit of naming things, Wife car is Lady Belle, my old dodge truck is hound dog hauler. I had another truck project awhile back, I sat in it for the first time, it spoke to me and told me it's name was Molly ..... I get carried away naming things.


I have not been able to work on this motor the last week, had to get Lady Belle ready for a trip to New Mexico.


Back at it today, I pulled the bell housing off and all the pressure plate bolts .... I even took apart the pressure plate .... I know they need to be adjusted, they look pretty robust to me ... do we re-use them?
Tapping it with a hammer, it just wont fall off the flywheel ... I see no other bolts to hold it ... thinking I need a bigger hammer and a pry bar. Unless there is a trick I do not know about, the clutch should fall off the fly wheel.


I pulled the water pumps today, they actually feel real good will check into rebuilding them .... more mouse nest behind them.


Going after the cam gear, I drained the oil. turns out it is not real oil ... it is a mixture of something someone put in it in the past to try and free it up ... man does the oil stink ... I just cant help it, the mouse nest smell terrible, then the old bad oil .... I get within 15 feet of this thing and it smells really really bad. I just cant help it, this motors name is Ol'stinky Sad part is, whatever I put it in, the motor is the heart and the vehicle will carry the name of stinky .... sigh!
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Old 08-10-2020, 04:16 PM   #33
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Default Re: A few questions on a 8BA

Now we're havin' fun!

If you are going to soak it some more, get some Marvel Mystery Oil; it usually works, but even if it doesn't, it smells good.
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Old 08-10-2020, 04:52 PM   #34
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Default Re: A few questions on a 8BA

Maybe add some brut by menon cologne
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Old 08-10-2020, 04:55 PM   #35
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I figure I need to get it cleaned up or machine shop wont accept it ...


Same time I wonder, if it stinks, maybe they work on it first to get rid of it?
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