Saturday, 18 November 2017

Engine Progress

Haven't posted an update in a while because I've been spending every spare moment working on the car. Quite a bit of progress has been made, so here goes.

First of all, here is a bunch of parts I bought! New rad, hoses, carb rebuild kit, diff parts, seals, gaskets. Also bought but not in this pic is a RC40 exhaust. :)

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While the engine was away at Stanwood Engineering, I worked on the gearbox myself. Everything stripped down, cleaned and inspected.

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Thankfully, no major badness was found, so all of this lot went back in again.

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Here is the cleaned out casing after much scrubbing!

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New baulk rings went in, and the old oil pick up replaced with a centre oil pick up pipe.

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Also took the diff to bits to replace the pin, washers, and planet gears.

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Old diff pin vs new 'performance' diff pin which was cheaper than the standard one.

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The finished article with new bits installed.

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I also fully stripped the HS4 carb and cleaned everything out. Bought the full rebuild kit to renew all the worn parts.

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Here it is all back together. No idea yet how to go about tuning this thing but I guess I will have to learn!

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In other news, I needed to do something about the heater unit situation. I had somehow come to own 2 of these things, but neither of them were in decent condition. The idea was to recon the best one.
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All this panels ready for rust repair.
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Everything painted and going back together. One of the units was a later version with 2 holes in one side, so I used that one because a new later matrix is cheaper :)

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Then the short motor build came back from Stanwood. Hooray! Very pleased with the work they have done - rebore block, new pistons, unleaded head recon.

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Then it was up to me to do the rest of the build. First job was to install cam followers and confirm the cam timing was accurately set up. All good. 

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Head studs and gasket on.
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Then on with the head and 1.3:1 roller rockers.

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The gearbox went on and off a few times because I encountered a problem which stopped the engine turning over. (Didn't take any pics because I was too stressed!). It turned out to be a slightly raised locktab on a con rod fouling the oil pick up pipe. Solved it by hammering the offending article flat.

On with attaching new things - here is a new oil pump from Swiftune.

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The man at Stanwood Engineering said I needed to replace the old worn idler gear, so I had planned to buy a new one from minispares. Then I noticed a cool dude called Darren was selling a NOS one on this forum so I snapped it up. :)

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Works very nicely!
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Then on with the transfer casing, new pressure plate and clutch disc.
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I decided it would be worth getting a few new fasteners to replace some of the nasty old rusty ones...

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This is how I left it today. Flywheel is on, which has its new ring gear installed, oil filter housing is on, timing cover and front pully are both on. Cleaned up distributor is also on, which was a scary experience because its very easy when trying to install the spindle to drop it down into the gearbox. Thankfully that didn't happen.
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Need to do another quick order from minispares to pick up a few more bits that I need, but I feel like I can almost see the light at the end of the tunnel with the engine build now. I just hope it works!

The Endless Cleaning of Oily Rusty Engine Components

With most of the engine away with the experts, I am left with a pile of dirty rusty parts to clean up. Joys!

I am sticking with this rocker cover rather than buying a new one because I like the original and understated look of it. Moreover, this engine build is getting well dear, so I'm trying not to bankrupt myself by forking out for things which I can restore with a bit of elbow grease.

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Everything went in this box for a fortnight with some nice Lidl vingar.

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Then I hosed it all down and finished it off with a wire brush. The parts below are now getting painted in temperature resistance gloss black. (Not the clutch bits or the carb plate, actually)

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Here is the cleaned up front pulley, clutch diaphragm (waiting to hear if this is usable) and the back plate thingy that goes behind the timing chain. I'll paint the exposed bits of that when its in situ, I think.

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I also took a wire brush to the starter motor body. (I had already done this earlier in the project, but I didn't paint it at the time, so its rusted itself up again since.) *EYEROLL*

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Looks a bit more presentable now.

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I also received a few of the bits I had ordered. I went for the duplex chain because they used one on the Ultimate 1380 build DVD so I thought it was an obvious choice. Plus, adjustable. Then I read in this months mini magazine that Keith Calver is not a fan at all, and says people fit them because of 'folklore'. *SIGH* Oh well.

Still waiting on the roller rocker assembly from minisport.

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As the car has been sitting in the garage for over a year since it was painted, it was starting to look a bit dusty so I pushed it out onto the driveway to give it a wash.

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Can't wait to get the engine in just to weight the front end down a bit!

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Right then! Engine strip-down!


I picked up the awesome Ultimate Mini Builder DVD to help me with this. I'm not building a 1380 engine, but it really helped to see someone doing the strip-down process. 

Here is the starting point.

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I locked the flywheel with an old piece of metal and removed the front pulley, then the timing cover and timing gears and chain. 

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Picked up the essential flywheel tool to remove the flywheel - pre-verto on my car.

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No big bangs here, it just eventually gave way and eased off.

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Behind that, things appeared to be in good order. :)

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On to removing the rockers and push rods, keeping them in order.

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Then off came the head. Looks manky in there, but given that there is no obvious damage, I am hoping this all looks OK to be reconditioned and rebuilt. The crank turned smoothly.

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Gearbox. No missing teeth. Again everything appears to be able to turn smoothly.

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Block on the bench ready to remove crank and pistons.

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Crank bearings appear to be in good condition. Well lubricated and no obvious wear.

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Con rods and pistons out and labelled.

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Many dirty bits! Maybe I should invest in a parts washer.

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I've never rebuilt an engine before, so this weekend I am off to talk to some professionals to find out what to do next! :)

Hydraulics Overhaul

I finished cleaning up the gear linkage.

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And got that put back together. Really need to get hold of a decent gear knob at some point because the one I have is old and manky.

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Next on the list was to take a look at the hydraulics. I decided to try rebuilding the clutch slave cylinder with a minispares repair kit, since the bore seemed to be in OK condition.

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Here are all the bits cleaned up ready to go together.
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And the finished article.

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Then onto the master cylinder. It started off in a very grotty state as you can see, but again, since the important bits seemed to be OK I got another repair kit.
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I soaked the cylinder in malt vinegar for a week to get rid of as much corrosion as possible, then wire brushed, primed and painted. Here is the rebuilt cylinder.

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Needed a new hose, and the braided version was only a few quid more. So nice! I can see how buying performance parts gets addictive.
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As for the brake master cylinder, I decided not to try to rebuild this thing in the end.
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I took it all to pieces - unfortunately destroying the plastic pressure switch in the process, which is out of production. I thought about getting a rebuild kit and the newer cap with integrated warning switch, then just blanking the old hole with a bolt. After much umming and arring, and after reading some stuff which claimed the design of the cylinder wasn't too great in the first place, I decided to spend a few quid more and get a new GMC227 yellow tab version.

So this is the engine bay so far. Oh yes I also cleaned up and painted the wiper motor.

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...and here is the interior with gear stick in, handbrake connected up, pedal box and dials in place. I've also got the front and rear looms in and have begun connecting things up. :)

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Coming soon: finally going to start working on the engine!

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