Friday, July 10, 2015

Head On The Block

<This post is part of the 'New Engine Rebuild' project>
Now that I have the head sorted and also a fully restored rocker set, it's time to mount it all on top of the block and finally make something that resembles a working engine.

The first thing to do is to get the head studs screwed down into the block. As I don't have the specific tool to do this, I use the method of locking two nuts together and using them to screw the stud in place. For some reason this is a job that seem to take far longer that it should. I use two ring spanners for this and leave one on the stud while it goes into the block. This makes it easier to unlock the nuts once the stud is tightened up.

Long studs go at the back and short ones at the front. There is one front stud that is slightly longer than the others, this goes on the left hand side as it's used to mount the coil later on.

Next up is the gasket, this one was from Mini Sports. I used a similar one last year when I replaced my head and it's been fine ever since, so I'm hoping this one will be as equally reliable.

Now the head can be slotted onto the studs and carefully lowered down onto the gasket.

Next to go in are the pushrods, not forgetting the cam followers of course. I bought a new set of cam followers from Mini Sport, but the push rods are the ones that came with the engine when it was bought. Plenty of engine assembly lube was squirted down the cam follower holes prior to inserting the followers.

One thing I very nearly forgot to do was to attach was the water bypass hose, thankfully I remembered before I'd started to torque down the head.

Now the rocker assembly can be put onto the studs also, there were a few of the adjusters that needed to be slackened off in order to get it to sit flat on the head. These can be sorted out later when the valve clearances are checked.

Once all the rocker posts were sat nice and flat on the head, all the head nuts were put in place and finger tightened ready to be torqued down. The Haynes manual and also other people that are far wiser in these matters than myself all stress that the sequence and method used to torque the nuts down is fairly important, so I always accept the received wisdom on this. The sequence and method of torquing the head nuts down is detailed in this post here I wrote last year when I replaced the head on the current engine. Rather than reiterate it all again in this post, if you are interested in reading about it, just follow the link and read it all there.

Now the head is on, the very last thing left to do is to set the valve clearances. This is the small gap needed between the rocker and the top of the valve. This gap for my engine is stated in the Haynes manual as 0.3mm and again the process of setting the gap is in the post I wrote last year. I also found that Googling something like 'The Rule of Nine', 'Setting the Tappets' or 'Setting Valve Clearances' details everything that needs to be known to achieve this task.

I try to follow a logical order as I work my way across the rockers when I'm setting the gaps. I find that several passes are generally needed before I'm satisfied. As this is a new engine, I'm sure that I'll need to do this again after the engine has been run in. I guess we'll see when the time comes.

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