‘100 days until Pines’ update

Since it’s been a while since we rapped at you, and there’s a while to go until Pines, here’s what has been going on.

We should start with the obvious recap: driving down the highway the timing belt failed and we lost compression pretty well instantly. More on that here but this should be a good reminder. Sigh.

We didn’t even get to wash it; just parked it until we had time to check it out. When we confirmed the badness we waited until we had way more time and things warmed up – and we saved up our Christmas and birthday money – before we pulled it out and took it to RTM for a rebuild. While the motor was out we did some cleanup, tackled a couple of items on the ‘to do’ list that would be easier without that pesky motor in the way, and tried to answer some questions we’d had for a while. Then the motor came back, we re-assembled it mostly correctly, mostly installed it, mostly removed it, re-assembled it correctly and bolted in place, which is where it sits now.

In no particular order here’s the work we did that we can remember.

  • Checked the vacuum/boost. We found leaks in a number of spots so we spent some time sealing those up properly, which was way easier with the engine out. The other thing that will help here is…
  • Replaced the intercooler. It’s still a side mount because we want to stay in Production class but at least it the fins aren’t all bent (yet) and there are no pinholes around the inlet pipe (yet). In our quest for proper boost we also decided to…
  • Install the one way check valve the right way around. Ok lets just move on here.
  • New plugs. Because why not. Ours were pretty worn for having 5000 kms on them. They were had kms though.
  • New injectors. We replaced our stock ones with some upgraded ones we had lying around but never got to installing. Maybe getting all the boost will mean we’ll be able to use more gas and make more power, right? And yes two fuel pumps in the tank still, for those of you who remember our previous fuel delivery issues. And speaking of fuel delivery, we decided to…
  • Clean the fuel filter. Things looked a little manky in here but could have been worse. Again, might as well while we’re there. And since we’re cleaning we also decided to…
  • Clean intake and exhaust manifolds. Unsure if that will really help but it’s pretty satisfying. What we should do is get them ported, but that will have to wait for another year.
  • Made room for the alternator at the frame rail. This should help reduce drag on the motor because hopefully the alternator will not contact the frame rail any more. (You may recall we relocated the alternator from the normal mount behind the turbo because the heat bakes it there, but the new spot is pretty tight). To make this delicate modification we hit the frame with a borrowed ball peen hammer a bunch and then spray painted it white so the judges don’t mark us down in concours section. (Note: this is not really a thing). There is now noticeably more room between the two items in question.
  • Replaced the harmonic balancer. This is actually a wear item. It’s also pretty expensive and hard to find, so this was a pain in the ass. Thankfully done.
  • Rebuilt (and primed) the clutch slave cylinder so hopefully no more leaks.
  • Helicoiled what seemed like every valve cover bolt but was probably more like 4.
  • Attached the coolant hard line where it was supposed to go.
  • Re-gasketed everything we de-gasketed
  • Really really tried to torque everything properly. Hopefully this worked out.
  • Cleaned the crap out of everything we could.

What could possibly be left? Well, the short list includes: replace the broken wheel stud (which means un-siezing the rear caliper mounts, for a start), get the rear pass shock rebuilt or at least looked at by competent professionals (i.e. not us), put the transfer case back in, replace at least one CV boot and put the front axles back in, hook up all the electricity to the engine, hook all the cooling liquid up, put oil in all the things that want oil in them, then break the motor in and change the oil again and fix anything else that is broken and also maybe rebuild the pate with all the electrical switches in it, put a light in the trunk for night-time tire changes, build a proper spare tire carrier finally, and rebuild the power steering pump. Oh and hook up the cool horn button. And buy some tires.

Ok I’m tired let’s go get a beer to start.


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