Winter Project 2014/15 - New Engine Rebuild

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This years winter project is quite an ambitious one: To completely strip down, refurbish and rebuild a replacement engine ready to swap it over. There will be no shortcuts here, this is a total strip-down. Every nut, bolt, screw, piston ring, anything and everything will be taken out, checked and replaced if necessary.

The engine in the car currently is the standard 998 block, fed from a 1.5" SU carburettor. A lot of times the main reason for taking a 998 out is to upgrade it for the more powerful 1275, but that's not the case here. In this case, the engine is being replaced due to excessive wear and a lack of power, so the idea is to replace it like for like as much as possible.

The planning for this project goes back to the beginning of 2014, then I was searching ebay every day for a cheap 998 engine that needed overhauling. Eventually in March, I was lucky enough to bid and win on two engines that fit the bill. Although these engines were exceptionally useful for parts and practice, eventually I decided to look for another as it was going to be too expensive to re-bore and buy new pistons.

So towards the end of 2014, I was back to my daily ebay trawl, looking for another block that was in better condition than the ones I had. Finally in December I struck gold with an almost complete engine in bits, with all the machining work complete, and best of all it was fitted with brand new pistons. It was the bargain of a lifetime and exactly what I needed to get the project moving along.

As I had never built an engine before, I decided to take it very slowly and be thorough, methodical and well researched.

Enjoy...


Saturday, December 6, 2014
Bought Yet Another Engine
Giving up on the last engine, I manage to get a new one from ebay for a really good price, best of all, the machine work had already been done and it had new pistons.
Bought Yet Another Engine






Sunday, December 7, 2014
Stripped and Checked New Engine
Stripping it down, there were a few minor setbacks, but nothing too bad.
Stripped and Checked New Engine







Tuesday, December 16, 2014
Crank Polish and New Bearing Shells
Unfortunately the engine had been assembled with debris on the crank bearings, so I got crank re-polished and bought a new set of bearings.
Crank Polish and New Bearing Shells






Wedensday, December 17, 2014
Clutch and Flywheel Check
Having a selection of clutch bit and bobs kicking about, I needed to assess whether or not they were any good for reuse. Decided to reuse one of the flywheels and buy a new clutch kit.
Clutch and Flywheel






Sunday, January 18, 2015
Camshaft in the Pits...
Trying to work out which if any of the camshafts to use in the new engine.While one was totally knackered, the other was a possibility. But in the end, I went for a new camshaft.
Camshaft in the Pits...







Thursday, January 29, 2015
Clutch Kit Rebuild
Time to clean up the old flywheel and bolt it to that nice new clutch kit.
Clutch Kit Rebuild







Monday, February 2, 2015
New Camshaft Comparison
As I was unable to get hold of the standard camshaft, I went for a slightly upgraded version. But I realised I had no idea what I was buying, so I researched the subject.
New Camshaft Comparison






Tuesday, February 3, 2015
New Camshaft Bearings
As I have a new camshaft, it only seems fitting to replace the cam bearings also. To be honest, they looked a bit done in anyway.
New Camshaft Bearings









Wednesday, February 4, 2015
Painting the Block
Having spent ages doing 'inside the engine' stuff, I finally I get to do some work that will be seen.
Painting the Block






Saturday, February 14, 2015
Crank Shaft Install
Finally the rebuild can begin! Keeping everything super clean, the crank shaft is installed.
Crank Shaft Install






Sunday, February 15, 2015
Putting the Pistons In
With the crank now in place, the pistons can be installed also.
Putting the Pistons In










Friday, February 20, 2015
Camshaft and Oil Pump
Moving on, the camshaft and the oil pump are fitted into the block. Also the end plate was painted in readiness to be fitted later on after the gearbox is fitted.
Camshaft and Oil Pump








Wednesday, March 4, 2015
Gearbox Refurb
Three gearboxes were stripped down and the best parts selected along with some new parts to make a 'new' gearbox. This was a big task, so there are several posts detailing each step of the process.
Gearbox Refurb








Sunday, May 10, 2015
Setting The Idler End Float
Having spent absolutely ages on the gearbox, I'm finally back to working on the engine. But before the gearbox and engine can be bolted together, The idler end float needs to be set.
Setting The Idler End Float






Tueday, May 12, 2015
Putting The Gearbox On
With the idler end float sorted, the gearbox that took so long to refurbish can be joined to the engine block. But which bolts go where, glad I made a not of them beforehand!
Putting The Gearbox On






Friday, May 15, 2015
Transfer Housing and Flywheel
Starting to finally see some progress as the transfer housing and flywheel are attached!
Transfer Housing and Flywheel










Sunday, May 17, 2015
Front Plate and Timing Decisions
Painting up the front plate so that all the parts that show are red. Also do I use a belt or a tried and tested chain to drive the timing??
Front Plate and Timing Decisions








Saturday, June 5, 2015
Setting The Valve Timing
I must admit that setting the valve timing always seemed to be a bit complicated, but after learning the technique and a few practices, it's nowhere near as tricky as I first thought
Setting The Valve Timing









Sunday, June 21, 2015
Summer Already!
As we have kind of hit the middle of summer, I'm think I'd better stop referring to this as the winter project!!!! Where did that 6 months go!!!
Summer Already!







Monday, June 22, 2015
Bedroom's No Place For An Engine!
If you are going to build an engine in a spare upstairs bedroom, just remember that at some point, you will have to somehow bring it down again!!
Bedroom's No Place For An Engine!






Friday, June 26, 2015
Camshaft Endfloat and Timing Cover
You would have thought that setting the camshaft endfloat would be a fairly straight forward affair. It turned out to be a bit of a faff, but got there in the end.
Camshaft Endfloat and Timing Cover






Saturday, June 27, 2015
Oil Pressure Relief Valve
In the interests of being thorough with the engine build, I thought it best to make sure the oil pressure relief valve was checked over to make sure it was okay.
Oil Pressure Relief Valve






Monday, June 29, 2015
Wok's Going On!
Okay, it looks nothing like an actual wok, but it needs building up and bolting on all the same.
Wok's Going On!







Tuesday, July 2, 2015
Oil Filter and Water Pump
Time to get a few peripherals on the block.
Oil Filter and Water Pump







Wednesday, July 3, 2015
Dizzy-In-'ly Simple!!
I thought that putting the distributor in the new engine would be difficult and need a ton of setting up and tinkering to get it right. Turns out it was really easy.
Dizzy-In-'ly Simple!!







Sunday, July 5, 2015
Head Check!
Before I committed to using the head, I wanted to make sure that everything was as it should be, so I decided to take the valves out and check it over before I painted it.
Head Check!






Monday, July 6, 2015
Rebuilding The Rockers
As I can't afford a set of rollers yet, it's time to sort out a decent set of standard rockers.
Rebuilding The Rockers







Friday, July 10, 2015
Head On The Block
Now that I have the head sorted and also a fully restored rocker set, it's time to mount it all on top of the block and finally make something that resembles a working engine.
Head On The Block







Saturday, July 11, 2015
Fuel Pump
It's time now to bolt on the new mechanical petrol pump.
Fuel Pump







Sunday, July 12, 2015
Tappet Covers
Pressing on with trying to seal the engine ready for oil, the last step is to get the tappet covers in place.
Tappet Covers







Monday, July 13, 2015
Fitting an Oil Pressure Gauge
Pressing on with trying to seal the engine ready for oil, the last step is to get the tappet covers in place.
Fitting an Oil Pressure Gauge







Friday, July 17, 2015
Piston Pressure
The last job I wanted to do was to check the piston pressure on each of the cylinders.
Piston Pressure













That's All Folks
I hope you have enjoyed reading through my experiences of building my first engine as much as I did building it. Yes it took an awful lot longer than I first anticipated, but to be honest I wasn't really in a hurry. It's a bit like savoring a single malt whisky, you take your time, you enjoy the experience, take in the aroma and for goodness sake, no gulping! That's the whiskey, not the engine of course.

Now the only thing left to do is to get it in the car and that's a whole other box of frogs that I'll be opening as I have no real idea how to do it yet. It's going to be great!...

And here is that box of frogs!... Engine Swap

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