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.
The large black thing in the photo is an old double airbed! It seems weird I know, but I find it really useful for wrapping round the engine in order to drag it through the house, and as one side's quite smooth and helps everything slide along the carpet better. Again, that may seem weird to keep engines in the house, but as I lack a garage, I have to build the engines in the back room of the house. It's not all bad as it it's nice and warm over winter. So after considerable huffing and puffing, I managed to drag the engine out of the back room, through the lounge and out the front door where I'd readied the hoist. It's all terribly reminiscent of the last time I did this not so long ago!!! Let's hope this is the last time, for this engine at least!!

Now this is when I start to feel particularly smug as I purposefully made sure that when I assembled the engine, there was a medium length stud next to the thermostat housing. Why is this worth mentioning you might ask? Well the head studs come in three lengths. The ones at the back are the longest, the left most front one that holds the coil is a single medium sized one, leaving the other four front ones as the shortest.

When attaching the 'L' shaped brackets, experience has taught me that the best studs to use for optimum balance are the front outside ones. That's the medium sized one on the left that holds the coil and one of the small ones on the right, closest to the thermostat housing.

In the past, I found that in order to attach the 'L' shaped brackets, the left hand side was no problem as the stud was long enough to accommodate both the 'L' shaped bracket and the nut on top. However, the small stud on the left was not. So I always had to undo the nut first in order to mount the 'L' shaped bracket on the stud, then pop the nut back on top. As it's not a good idea to undo just one of the head nuts by itself for fear of warping the head, you are left with no choice but to have them all loose and then torqued the head in place once the engine was in the car. Not a massive problem I know, but it's so much easier to do all that torquing and setting of the valve gaps in the house - hte nice warm house, with warm cups of tea.

So why am I feeling particularly smug right now, well I've already gone through the process of torquing down the head and setting the valve clearances in the comfort of my lovely warm back room, and now I can still attach the engine to the hoist without having to undo the head bolts again as I've cleverly pinched a medium sized stud from another engine and used it in place of a short one near the thermostat housing. The result being I can now attach the 'L' shaped bracket without having to undo the nut.

It may not seem much to you, but to me, it's the future, I'm always going to build my engines with a medium stud not only on the left hand side for the coil, but on the right hand side also. Any, after all that waffle; here's the result, the 'L' shaped brackets just bosh straight on the studs with enough space for a chunky washer also. I used a round one on the left and a square on the right, because that's how I roll! Well that and also the fact that the round ones wouldn't fit on the right hand side because of the thermostat housing, luckily I just happened to find a square one that fitted in my box of 'useful things'.

Once attached to the hoist, I always use rope as a backup as I'm never sure the studs will hold.

With the rope secured the back breaking work was over as the hoist could take the weight of the engine and it could be wheeled to the car and lifted into place. I'm not sure why, but I always fear something will snap and both the engine and the car will be ruined, but thankfully there was no such catastrophe.

Not forgetting the speedo cable of course before the engine gets too far down!!

Once the engine is resting on the subframe, I always breath a huge sigh of relief... Phew!!!!!!! Nothing snapped!!!!!

While the engine is unattached and able to be pulled forward, I thought it best to connect my freshly painted exhaust manifold...

And carb/intake assembly also...

Now to get down under the car and bolt up the engine mounts, I cheated here and bought the type with captive nuts and, wow, what a difference they made. Usually I hate this job, but this time it was so easy; I heartily recommend them. I simply used a jack under the sump to line up the holes and the bolts just dropped straight in and tightened up.

Captive bolt engine mounts are the future!!

While I was down there with my carpet rolled out offering what little comfort it can, I also took the opportunity to attach the lower engine steady. I'll be leaving the top engine steady for now, as I've ordered a new adjustable one that will feature in the next post.

Now to get all electrical, so what better place to start that with the starter! Then the coil and all the other electrical gubbins such as the senders, distributor cap and HT leads. If you remember this post, I have converted my ignition over to a none-ballasted type. Also if you're interested in the difference between this and the ballasted type, and quite frankly why wouldn't you be, have a read of this.

Creeping even further under the car, I re-attach the gear selector. This really isn't one of my favorite jobs as it's cramped and very difficult to get the roll pin in place along with the rubber gator. I find it helpful to select reverse gear beforehand as it moves the hole to an easier position, even then, it's a fiddly job that requires patience as I dropped the roll pin loads of times before I got it in place.

Reverse Gear
When the car is back on its wheels again, I'll move it to a more favorable position to give me more room underneath and finish the job off properly by running wire through the roll pin to secure it in place. This is something I like to do as it gives me a little piece of mind that the roll pin isn't going to fall out again at the most inconvenient time imaginable.
Roll pin in, but not wired yet.

Wow, it seems never ending, but last thing on the agenda before I call it a day is to get the radiator back in and filled up.

And that's it for now, I'm nearly ready to go for the first start-up, there's just one last job to take care of before that can happen and that's to attach the new adjustable top engine steady and hopefully solve once and for all my carb clearance issue I was having in this post here.

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