Monday, October 31, 2016

Steady On, Poly Gone!!

Okay, before we start, I confess it's a corny title, but I did think long and hard about it and to be honest, it's the best I could come up with. That said: 'Steady On, Poly Gone!!' does describe perfectly what we're dealing with here today. So what are we dealing with today you may ask? Well ever since the engine rebuild, I've had polyurethane bushes in the top and bottom engine steadies, which seemed a good idea in theory, but in practice have been a bit too harsh as I can feel every single vibration coming from the engine. So to help remedy this, I've decided to switch over to rubber bushes to see if they're a bit more forgiving.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Engine Run-In and Oil Change

Well, having finally rebuilt the engine (for a second time), got the car through its MOT, set the ignition timing and air/fuel ratio, I was finally ready to put the engine through its run-in period. Obviously I decided to do a bit of research regarding best practices during the running in, but as always, the internet offers a vast selection of wildly differing opinions ranging from 'Drive it like you stole it' through to 'Pootle along never going over 2000 rpm'.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Setting the Air/Fuel Mixture with Colortune

Following on from the previous post where I was faffing about with the ignition timing in the hope of getting my new engine running a little better, today I'll be turning my attentions to the air/fuel mixture and trying to get it optimised. To do this, I'll be using my Gunson Colortune kit I bought ages ago, so I'm pretty chuffed that it finally gets it outing.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Ignition Timing

So having built my new engine and getting the car legally roadworthy, now comes the task of making it nicer to drive. If you read the previous post, driving to the MOT garage was awful, the car had no power and didn't want to know at all on hills. To fix this the engine needs tuning up and that starts with the ignition timing, apparently... so I've read!!!

Timing is everything!!

Friday, June 17, 2016

MOT Time

Well the day has finally arrived... MOT day!! Eeeek!! It's a day that I'm both dreading and at the same time, uncontainably excited about! As the car is currently untaxed, it's been off the road and declared as SORN to save a few pennies while the engine work was being overhauled.

So although it runs, it's never actually been tested as it would be illegal to drive it on a public road without tax or MOT, unless you're going to or from a pre-booked MOT test centre. So before I can really start to worry about it passing the MOT test, it needs to get from my tiny drive to the MOT garage with an untested, untuned, brand new engine... wish me luck!!

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Rotten Rubber

Just when you thought it was safe to take your car for an MOT test, you spot that the handbrake gaiters you fitted not that long ago are totally and utterly knackered, yet again!!! I don't know about you, but I'm pretty fed up with the appalling quality of rubber parts on the market at the moment. The picture below highlights the problem perfectly as the rubber has become brittle and completely failed in less than two years and when you consider that for most of that time, the car has been off the road, it's just not acceptable!!!

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Bonnet Catch and Alignment

Now I've got the engine in (and tested) and the exhaust's back on, it's time to get the front finished off ready for its MOT test. The main job is to install the bonnet catch, but before that, there are a few other piddly little jobs that need knocking off the list. So as I've an hour or so free today, I thought I'd crack on and get them sorted.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Exhaust Reloaded!

In the previous post, I managed to finally get the car back on all four wheels once again after being up on axle stands for months. Apart from this being a symbolic milestone in the project, it's also a very useful one as it now allows me to roll the car forward to gain access to the rear in order to hang the exhaust.

Friday, June 3, 2016

Hub-a, Hub-a Yum-Yum!!

Having spent way too much time recently trying to work out why my new engine wouldn't start, I finally cracked the problem and eventually got it chugging along very nicely. So now that milestone's been achieved, I'm ready to press on with the rest of the build and get the car back on its wheels once again. But if you look down to the front wheel arches you'll notice that there's currently nothing to mount the wheels on to!!!

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Manifold Sadness!!

Back in this post here, I decided to take a risk and paint the exhaust manifold with some zinc spray paint I had kicking about the shed. It said on the back of the can that it was good for temperatures upto 250 degrees Celsius which seemed fine and dandy!!! Problem is though, I have absolutely no idea just how hot the manifold gets. Well, now that the engines back up and running again, I guess we'll get to see how the paint copes with the heat...

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Finally Solved the Starting Problem!

Well, so far, this engine has brought me nothing but problems... all of which were completely avoidable had I have known what I was doing! But hey-ho, that's all part of the learning journey. First time I built it, it started up perfectly, but I soon discovered that it was horribly imbalanced. So much so that it had to striped down again, sent off to a company to have the parts re-balanced, (twice!), before it could be rebuilt a second time. And now of course, it simply refuses to start, but I'm onto it and think I know what's wrong...

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Head Transplant Successful - But!!

In the previous post, I was trying to start the engine for the first time since the re-rebuild (Long story) and was having no success at all. Then to make matters worse, I noticed that there was petrol leaking out of the head gasket near cylinder number 4. So today's task is to whip the head off the old engine and swap them over.

I'm sure petrol should not come out of here!!

Friday, May 13, 2016

Stupid Thing Won't Start!! - Aargh!!

After last weeks preparations, I'm out again today ready to start the engine for the first time since the rebuild, well the second rebuild to be precise as I've been here once before with this engine!! Anyway, the weather is decent enough at the moment, so let's hope for the best this time...

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Prepping For the First Start

Now that the engine is back in and all connected up, I'm just a few steps away from firing it up and testing that it works properly. But before any of that can happen, there is the small issue of choosing the correct oil for the job...

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Carb Clearance Revisited!

Now that the engine is back where it should be and mostly re-attached, there's just one last job that needs attention: And that's to bolt in my all new, singing and dancing, adjustable top engine steady, seen here next to it's original counterpart. Don't you just love new shiny things!!

Friday, May 6, 2016

Engine In - Again!

Well the day has finally come again, when I get to use my fantastic engine hoist I bought last year. It's one of those bits of kit that you sometimes wonder why you've spent the money on it, but when you come to use it, it's worth its weight in gold as it makes the job almost effortless. I would like to emphasis the term 'almost' effortless, as the first job is to get the hoist out of the shed and assemble it and that's a task in itself as it's kind of buried under junk!!

Hello cows.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Manifold Madness

In the previous post, I knocked a few small jobs off the list and was all set to get the engine back in the car, but then noticed that the LCB exhaust manifold I bought for this project (here), was starting to look a little tatty already. Although it was only a cheapish mild steel budget item, I still want it to look its best and last as long as possible. Well long enough at least until I can afford to replace it with a stainless steel one! So I decided to paint it.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Finishing Off The Engine

Hooray! After a 'Sweet As' time in New Zealand, we're off and running again with the engine rebuild. The blog's back on as the tinkering commences once more!!!

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Timing Bracket

After an awful lot of 'hemming and hawing' whether or not I should use a timing belt or a chain, I finally went for a belt. It's a bit of an experiment, but I thought 'hey-ho, let's have a go'. Anyway, after I had fitted the timing belt cover, it struck me that there were no timing marks! Seems I need to get my thinking cap on!

Hmmm, no marks on the new timing cover!!

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Rocking and a Rolling!!

Work on the new engine has been plodding along very nicely of late and some good progress has been made. Today's work though has the significance of finalising most of the engine assembly work, leaving it almost ready to be transplanted back in the car, so without further ado, let's get started...

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Clutch Cover

Now that the cam timing is sorted and all the 'sticky on' bits are stuck on the engine block, it's time now to get the clutch cover on.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Fuel Pump and Front Bits!!

Work on the engine seems to be zooming along now.  In the previous post I got the valve timing sorted out which was causing me some turmoil, so now and it's time to stick a few other parts on the engine. Namely; the fuel pump, oil pressure relief valve, oil filter housing including it's pipe and banjo, oil pressure sender including the take-off for the gauge and lastly the distributor.

It sounds a lot, but it amounts to about an hour or so's work, starting with the fuel pump...

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Valve Timing Turmoil - To Belt, or not to Belt

In the previous post, I made this fantastic ( free) timing protractor, so now I suppose I'd better put it to good use and get my money's worth out of it. It's time to check the valve timing...

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Timing Protractor

After the recent flurry of progress, it's time now to get the valve timing sorted which is something that I've thankfully already mastered in this post here. It's something that at first appears complicated, but after getting stuck in you soon come to realise it's really pretty simple.

Anyway, to do this job, I'm gonna need a timing protractor and as they are about £10 or so to buy, I decided to make my own so, here's a quick blog showing the process.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Oil Pump, Cam In, Clutch On!

In the previous post, it felt like a major milestone was reached when the transmission and engine block were bolted together making the engine look fairly complete. However looks can be deceiving as there's still a ton of work to do. Luckily though, I got a bit of free time, so I tried to blast through the work.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Transmission Housing - Housed!

Now that the idler endfloat has been checked, I can finally get on with the task of assembling the engine, and the first big job is to attach the gearbox or transmission if you prefer..

Monday, February 8, 2016

Idler Endfloat

Now that the pistons are installed, there's one last thing to make sure I get right before I go racing off with the rest of the engine assembly and that's to make sure the idler endfloat is spot on.

Idler gear

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Pistons In

In the previous post, I spent quite a lot of time and energy making sure all the engine parts were scrupulously clean, and having already installed the crankshaft, it's time to get the pistons sorted.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Crankshaft Install - Third time lucky... I hope!

So far, I've found building engines to be a lot like playing a very long game of Snakes n' Ladders... without the ladders... and where all the snakes take you back to square one! You plod along making slow and steady progress thinking all is well, until you land on a snake and end up losing weeks or months of progress, stripping everything back and have to start again.

After my first two attempts at installing the crankshaft (detailed here and here) ended up being not quite as successful as I'd liked. I find myself once again back at square one, about to install the crank, hoping for a little 'third time lucky' goodness...

Don't forget to marinade your crank before cooking!

Friday, January 29, 2016

Big End Running Clearance

So far things with the new engine build have been going rather well for a change, both the crankshaft running clearance and the endfloat have been measured and are within spec. Now it's time to measure the big end clearance, will it be three out of three...

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Crankshaft Endfloat

If you look back in this post here, you'll see that I had yet another failed attempt at installing the crankshaft. (Read here and here for previous failures!!). This time there were two things that I wasn't happy with; One was the fact that I'd not measured the running clearance and the other was that after measuring the crankshaft endfloat, it wasn't within specifications.

As the previous post successfully addresses the running clearance issue, this post will concentrate on that pesky endfloat problem and get it to where it should be.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Crankshaft Running Clearance

So far, my endeavors to build my own engine have suffered a few setbacks, ranging from fairly minor through to rather devastating!! The previous post is a very good case in point, thankfully towards the fairly minor end of the spectrum though as I'd installed the crankshaft without first checking the running clearance.

Although the crank felt fairly good after I'd installed it, it's always better to be safe than sorry. So before I progress any further, I wan to know for certain that the running clearance is within acceptable specifications.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Crankshaft Install - MkII

Well it's been almost a whole year since I installed this crankshaft into this engine block. Little did I know at the time that soon after, it would be coming right back out again as it wasn't at all well balanced with the flywheel, giving me a rather horrible driving experience.

Although it was a bitter disappointment at the time, I did learn a very valuable lesson when it comes to engine building; "Never assume it will be okay - If in doubt, check it out!!" So with my own advice ringing in my ears, I did just that in the previous post. After I picked up the newly balanced crank from the machine shop, there were doubts, so back it went to have them checked out!!

Monday, January 4, 2016

Back To The Machine Shop

Well today was the day that I wended my way back to the machine shop with the crank, block and caps in hand to seek further advice about the rough crank journal I discovered in the previous post.