Sunday, August 13, 2006

Engine in.....almost.

The most productive day I have had so far. Despite feeling a bit tired following being kept up with our daughter who has been ill for a couple of days, and not really starting the day with a lot of enthusiasm, I ended up the day with the engine almost in. A lot of the progress can be put down to my rally co-driver Jason who came round to help and enthuse - two heads are better than one, etc.

I received another batch of parts from Onyx on Friday. This included the engine/gearbox adaptor to tilt the engine, the right hand engine mount, and the hydraulic clutch conversion brackets. I also received a replacement piece of 32mm steel tube to replace the waterpipe I kinked.

First jobs of the day were to bend the new waterpipe, which came out well, and to finish off the supports for the seats. I wont go into any more detail as these jobs have been covered previously.

Onto the main event of the day - getting the engine in! First job was to remove the RHS engine mounting bracket which is replaced by the modified one from Onyx. The new mount cannot be bolted in at this point as the bolts go through the chassis, through the mount and into the engine block, but it can be clipped in behind the cam belt cover.

Onyx recommended putting the engine on its cam belt end to put on the adaptor plate and gearbox as the 'box can be rotated easily, the engine is quite stable on its end but as ever be careful to endure it does not fall.

We then offered up the adaptor plate and it fouled slightly on the water pump pipe, but this was easily relieved with the grinder.

The plate locates on the two dowels that located the 'box onto the engine, but these have to be ground down flush with the plate to allow the gearbox to fit tight to the engine in its new orientation.

We were then able to offer up the gearbox for the first time. Initally, the box would not go on as the thrust bearing kept dropping out and preventing it going completely home - of course normally you would not put a gearbox on at this angle. You need to be careful not to move the clutch arm too far or this dislocates the bearing. Anyway, we got the box on and it was obvious it needed to be cut away at four points to give clearance for the heads of the bolts which attached the adaptor plate to the engine. These were marked with a pen and then cut away using a grinder.

There is a little trial and error here - remember you cannot but back easily what you have cut away, so do it bit by bit. After about half a dozen trial fits the box went home snugly and was bolted up tight. It was then laid back on the ground and strapped up ready to be lifted into the engine bay.

Once into the engine bay we had to remove the oil filter housing and the coolant outlet pipe from the front of the head. We were only able to offer the engine roughly into place before time ran out to make way for other commitments.

I am on leave from work this week so hopefully I will get some good progress.


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