Home Restoration, Log 13

Restoration, Log 13

Big update on this one. I got the alternator and taillight boards back and reinstalled successfully. The electrical system is back to normal and the taillights are working better than ever. I also put my new LED bulbs into the doors and engine/luggage compartments, and they look great! Now W want to do the rest of the interior lamps in led as well – dashboard, HVAC panel, dome lights… so much to do!

I also got all my major service parts in, and started working on the installation. This started with taking off the rear fascia and bumper on Friday evening. Saturday morning, I headed to Clint’s shop and he tack welded the pulley on my new water pump to the shaft – he didn’t want to risk the steel pulley becoming loose down the line and coming off. This happened to him, so better safe than sorry I suppose. He also welded up a perfect little tool to knock the crankshaft main seal into place.

Then, it was back to my garage, where we tore down the whole top end of the motor – took off the fuel distributor, intakes, valve covers and water pump. It all went pretty smoothly, with the exception of two bolts that sheared off when removing the Y-pipe under the intake manifold. One was removable cleanly, the other needed to be drilled out and the hole re-tapped 1mm larger. Not a big deal though, just inconvenient and annoying – fortunately.

Ultimately, after two full days of cursing, busted knuckles and nearly 10 cans of Brakleen, we completed the rebuild. This included cleaning the valve covers, air intake manifold, fuel injection manifold and thermostat housing, painting the intake valley, installing a new water pump, thermostat and water hoses, replacing the rubber fuel lines with braided stainless ones, replacing the rubber vacuum lines with silicone ones, replacing the fuel filter, adjusting the valve lash, replacing the cylinder cover gaskets, replacing the main oil seal under the crankshaft pulley, new drive belts, a new distributor cap and rotor, new silicone plug wires, new plugs, a new ignition coil, a new air filter, moving all the electrical wiring from the top of the engine to under the intake manifold, and a new fuel filter.

This all sounds good, until you realize that I haven’t talked about cranking the engine and driving off into the sunset. At about 11 pm on Monday, we finished putting the engine back together and went to try and start it. That was when we noticed that the new fuel filter i had installed was hemorrhaging gas all over the garage floor. Removing the stupid thing is no trivial task – takes about 30 minutes just to get it off, thanks to a very small work area under the trailing arm shield. Turned out i had used the wrong banjo bolt in the filter, so a quick replacement and we tried again. Still leaking! Much smaller this time, but not enough pressure exists in the system for the engine to fire. But by this time it was after midnight and I couldn’t take anymore. Then, as he was leaving, Clint noticed that two of the injectors were bubbling a tiny bit – the fuel bolts weren’t on tight enough.

So, this evening I hope to try the filter *again*, re-tighten all the banjo bolts, and hopefully get her fired up. Then I just have to bleed the coolant, drive a few miles, re-tighten the drive belts, and do an oil change.

On another note, before all this happened, the newly installed A/C system blew its charge. I have no idea where the leak is – nothing is obviously damaged or loose. So, i have to re-charge the system, inject tracer dye and hope we can find the issue. But of course that has to wait until the engine is working properly again…. stay tuned!

As always, there is a wealth of photographic documentation in the gallery.

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