Engine Rebuild Day 22 (Goodwood Track Day  - 9)

Block preparation - more

I took a sicky today (who am I fooling I'm self-employed) and carried on with the block.  I double checked the first bank and decided that I hadn't drilled right to the bottom of some of the holes.  I did this and re-tapped them.  I also checked the left hand head on the block - it was fine. 

Snags always arise and this one was that I couldn't get one of the water jacket plugs out, I had been soaking it in Plus Gas but obviously it was in so tight the stuff couldn't seep in to do its work.  It cost me about 1 1/2 hours all told.  I tried various tools but ended up rounding the corners off (as usual).  I drilled a hole and put a bolt through to get more purchase but it still refused to budge. I then resorted to my new plaything, the angle grinder.  I cut the bolt off square and set about drilling it out.

I drilled it out and then managed to work out the plug is a tapered 1/2 inch size, UNF thread.  I just happened to have a suitable tap.  In the process of tapping it out the old thread came away like a helicoil insert, and as you can see it's back to its virgin state.

Steam Cleaning

I had arranged to get the block steam cleaned.  I was back shortly after lunch with a much cleaner block, however it certainly seemed to rust quickly in just a 15 minute drive!

The steam cleaning was something to behold!  I wish I had had my camera, I asked him to spray up the lifter galleries and water came out of the main bearing holes like a fountain playing to music (Beethoven I guessed). There was so much spray at times the block was almost invisible.  A very good value job at 10.

Here are 3 more pics of the clean item.  I then painted it in some black engine paint I found in the garage - it didn't have an LSD price (, shilling and pence not the drug!), but looked pretty old.  Unfortunately I realised later it was a matt black.  I may have to go at this again before engine installation.  P.S. it isn't painted yet in the picture below ;)

Signs of corrosion around the water jacket - looks to have a harder life than my first block which was lightly worn - well apart from the cracks!

After painting I sprayed the inside with WD40 (my wife's pet name for my GTD) to stop any more rust and rubbed over the bores and lifters bores with paper towelling.  The 'rust' came away easily, I think it might actually be a residue from the steam cleaning.

The next job was to check all the various galleries were in fact clean, and surprisingly some weren't that good.  I ended up making small wads of paper and pushing them down all the galleries, sometimes they hit a 'T' junction and then had to be pushed down or along another gallery.  I checked after all this work that they were all clear again.  I don't understand that you can push a wad down a gallery several times and still it comes out black.  I suppose I should have hot-tanked the whole block - too late now.  This job took a long time and it was after 4pm before I finished.

Cam bearings

Next job to put the new cam bearings in. I had the mandrels from Roy and decided to use my own patented change to the toolset.  I made up a (roughly) 2'6" bar of 1/2 ally rod with appropriate holes.

This runs in the centre of the mandrels and is therefore kept in the right line.  The holes are for pins to use in driving the mandrels (and therefore the bearings) along with the shaft.

The advantage of this over the original idea is that the mandrels are kept parallel to the block line.  I started by installing No.5 (the rearmost) and moved to the front, each time an extra bearing was installed I could leave the mandrel in place to improve the way the rod was held.  I think the tool needs amending to use a stainless, or better still silversteel, rod and to use wider device to drive the mandrels.  The roll pins did mark the rear faces. If I had access to a big lathe (with a chuck with a centre hole) I would put a thread on the rod and pull the bearings in using the rear face of the block.

I finished up putting the camshaft in and I have to say it rotated very smoothly without any play and also lubed it up. 


Brian's coming over with the sump tomorrow, so I am hoping to have finished the bottom half before then.  The time consuming part will be gapping the piston rings, but it should be possible.