1969 Chris Craft Roamer Refit: Cleaning Up Cummins Parts

I previously removed the aftercoolers from my Cummins engines to do the recommended service. While removing the aftercoolers, I noticed a leak at one of the freshwater cooling hoses on another part of the engine, so I removed that, too. It turns out that rust had built up between the the hose and the stainless steel hose fitting to the point that coolant could slowly squeeze by at a rate of about one drip per week. I used a wire wheel to clean up the rust and then sanded all of the parts in preparation for coating with Devoe 235. Along the way, I reaffirmed my belief that the regulatory nanny state has taken over.

Rusty stainless and a very slow drip

Rusty stainless and a very slow drip

Rust allowed coolant to pass

Rust allowed coolant to pass

Cummins paint strategy: only hit what can be seen

Cummins paint strategy: only hit what can be seen

Sanded and ready for Devoe 235

Time for some sanding

Sanded, suspended, and ready for coating

Sanded, suspended, and ready for coating

Engine room steps will get coated, too

Engine room steps will finally get coated, too

Sanded and suspended aftercooler end caps

Sanded and suspended aftercooler end caps

I ran out of white Devoe 235 epoxy when I installed the engines over the winter. So when I made the Engine room steps, I wasn’t able to coat them immediately. Devoe is an excellent epoxy primer/topcoat for metal surfaces, and it’s super tough. 235 is “surface tolerant,” which means it sticks tenaciously to surfaces even if the prep work isn’t 100%. It’s also approved for submerged uses. It’s also semi-gloss, so as long as it’s not exposed to sunlight it works as a topcoat, too. At $53 per gallon kit, it’s also very economical. I called the local distributor I used to buy from only to hear that they no longer carry it. Then I discovered that Devoe’s website is out of date, and none of the local distributors and dealers listed carry that line anymore. I found some places online that sell it, but our nanny state Department of Transportation regulations require Devoe epoxy coatings to be shipped as hazardous material. The shipping costs to move a $58 gallon of primer 200 miles was $198!

So I sent emails off to Devoe headquarters and eventually got a response indicating there’s a supplier in Baltimore: Budeke’s Paint. The shipping costs were, once again, absurd, so I got in my car and made the round trip. Think about that for a minute–nanny state regulators want to protect the environment and make sure everyone is safe, so they require special placards on trucks (because placards are demonstrated to keep people safe from epoxy paint) and special driver licenses for commercial drivers who operate the trucks (but they drive exactly the same as everybody else), and special pieces of paper filed by otherwise unnecessary workers, all of which makes the cost of shipping a gallon of epoxy primer ridiculously expensive. The silly regulations and associated costs inspired me to drive my car 90 miles–which, of course, the nanny state regulators have told us is bad for the environment. So what was the point of that regulation, exactly, with respect to single gallons of paint?

They call it socialism/communism when the collective (via the government) controls the means of production (AKA shops, stores, factories, and other businesses). By “control,” the conventional definition means “own.” But I have come to the conclusion that here in the “Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave,” where we have more regulations than any other country on earth (more than a million at the federal level alone), the private sector has been almost completely taken over by the regulatory state. We are listed as the owners of businesses but it’s the regulators who decide how they shall be run, and they don’t care if the regulations are self-defeating and have unintended consequences. I keep these things in mind every time an election rolls around.

OK, rant over.

Next up on our 1969 Chris Craft Roamer Refit: Installing Cleaned Up Cummins Parts

 

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7 comments on “1969 Chris Craft Roamer Refit: Cleaning Up Cummins Parts

  1. Paul L says:

    You could take a look at the horrible abuse of the environment before we had regulatory control over hazardous materials and practices. The system is not perfect. You should quietly tolerate the imperfections while knowing the abolishment of them would be a thousand times worse than the minor inconveniences we suffer. We can both afford it. Your ranting incourages the destruction of the earth, and many are easily persuaded. Love your project and posts.

    • 1969roamer46 says:

      Paul, I think you’ve gone a bit over the top there. Read the article again and you’ll see that I haven’t advocated for doing away with all regulations, nor am I suggesting anything that would destroy the earth. I’m pissed about stupid regulations that serve no purpose and just add to cost, and I encourage everyone to be angry about this sort of thing. Nothing you’ve written justifies the stupid regulation that adds $200 in transportation costs to move a gallon of paint 45 miles.

      I am very aware of the history of environmental protection and the lack thereof. I’m also aware that achieving perfection is impossible, and that once you’re 75% of the way there, securing each additional 5~10% improvement will cost as much as the first big, very effective effort. Each subsequent incremental effort yields decreasing actual benefits while imposing exponentially higher costs. Today, the environment in the US is in far better shape (especially in urban areas) than it’s been in about 150 years, yet the regulatory state never sleeps, and in spite of how well the environment is being protected (even with our exponential population growth) they’re cranking out many thousands of new regulations every year. It’s one of the reasons I’m a huge fan of sunset clauses for regulations and the laws that enable them–once norms change, you no longer need a bored federal bureaucracy looking for new things to regulate or old things to regulate differently. I personally cannot afford bureaucracy that has outlived its purpose. A good example of the fundamental flaw with your “we can both afford it” approach comes from the IRS, where agents have admitted that the tax code is so complex that not even they know every requirement. That’s no problem unless suddenly the IRS gets vindictive for some reason (and we know that it targets people for their political affiliations). Then, all of the regulations that nobody can keep track of can be brought to bear on political opponents…or whatever. You are welcome to have faith in bureaucrats. I don’t.

      Cheers,
      Q

  2. Pete Hitchcock says:

    Hi, Why can’t the Devoe 235 epoxy stand sunlight..?? Can you do anything to it so it will be alright outside?? Still enjoying the story, Cheers. Pete

    • 1969roamer46 says:

      Hi Pete. It’s my understanding that most epoxies can’t take UV. I assume the molecule just needs protection from UV. You can topcoat it, which is what I did in places where it’ll be exposed to sunlight.
      Cheers,
      Q

  3. Mark Young says:

    AMEN, know exactly how you feel…

  4. Ben says:

    Your experience with the paint reminds me of when I had to buy a tiny, 1-ounce bottle of Aquadag to make a repair. Basically, it’s graphite powder suspended in isopropyl alcohol. There might be some binders in there as well, but I don’t recall presently. The product cost me $25. Shipping was an additional $45(!) because somebody decided that the stuff would have to be declared hazardous material due to the alcohol content. I think that they could have shipped it ORM-D for considerably less, but I needed it…

    • 1969roamer46 says:

      Yup. Sounds like exactly the same sort of deal as what I experienced. Your example makes me wonder why vodka and other spirits aren’t considered hazardous material. I mean, the good stuff burns pretty well AND is known to sometimes make people sick (from overconsumption). 🙂 Then again, don’t want to give the nanny state regulators any ideas…
      Cheers,
      Q

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