The 13B Rebuild Chronicles :: Chapter 7 :: Engine Install, Part 1

9 03 2009

Well, the time has finally come!  All week I had been wanting to ditch work and just head to the man cave to work on my car. So, finally Saturday arrived and I got up early in order to get in a full day’s wrenching.  We had tickets to see Robin Williams this evening but he ended up getting sick and postponed the show, so I would not have to end off early. A bittersweet turn of events.

After some breakfast and a little web surfing to try and familiarize myself with the general install procedure, I headed to the shop.  First order of business was to put the car into the shop (it has been sitting on the trailer in our gated compound this whole time). I backed up the truck and got the ball centered perfectly under the tow hitch after only two tries (not too shabby), then dragged the trailer over and backed it up to the shop entrance.

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I was alone, so didn’t even try and get the car off the trailer by myself.  Instead I assembled the cherry picker and chained the engine up to it, unbolted it from the engine stand, and hoisted her up.  Then i dropped it on the ground and, using a heavy duty pry bar to lock the flywheel, I torqued down the flywheel nut to 350 ft/lbs. Honestly, I can’t say whether I actually got it to exactly 350, but I used my air wrench which goes to 260 ft/lbs and then hand tightened it further with a cheater bar.

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When Matt arrived around noon we unstrapped the car and rolled it off the trailer into the shop. This was quite a task as it would not roll smoothly. Felt like the rear end was seized up or brake calipers locked closed or something.  After some serious pushing & grunting we got her into the shop.  We jacked her up and checked each wheel and found that the driver’s side rear brake caliper was seized up.  I removed the brake pads from the caliper for the time being (so we could roll the car around the shop as needed). We’ll do a full brake job all the way around before she goes onto the track.

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We took a lunch break, and did a shift change (Matt headed to the gym while Doug tagged in). Then the fun began. Doug and I hoisted the engine up, installed the clutch, and dropped the engine in.

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The way we did this was to jack up the transmission so that we could mate it up to the engine before dropping it down fully onto the engine mounts. Once we got it wiggled in and a couple of bell housing bolts started, we then slowly dropped the jack under the tranny and the hoist at the same time, and seated the engine nicely onto the engine mounts. That done, we removed the chains from the hoist. Doug then bent down under the car to remove the floor jack and came back up with a small metal shim which looked suspiciously like those found inside the clutch pressure plate (doh!!).

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So, we then took the engine back out, removed the clutch bolts, pulled the pressure plate out far enough out to be able to insert the shim back into its position, torqued it back down (20 ft/lbs), and reinstalled the engine AGAIN. Not actually that hard.

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The next step was to install the fuel rail & fuel injectors, then the upper intake manifold, connect all oil, air & vacuum lines, electrical harnesses, and then fire her up.  Sounds pretty simple, right? Well, not neccessarily so.  The first thing that was seriously bugging me was the oil injectors (the two things sticking up out of the rotor housings – at the bottom of the white areas in the photo above). They had no lines running to them from anywhere that we could see, and I do not recall having disconnected any lines from them during disassembly.  This was of great concern because the purpose of these injectors is to lubricate the inside of the rotor housings. Without lubrication one would have dry metal (apex seals) on metal (rotor housing) unless you used a premix (two stroke oil mixed in with the fuel).

Unfortunately we ran out of daylight. Plus, even though we have power, we do not have internet access at the shop yet (not until I crack a local wifi network), so I would not be able to solve this mystery today.  We tidied up the shop and headed home for a well needed shower. I resolved to spend some time tomorrow figuring out what the deal is with the oil injectors.

Later,

Grant Boshoff
Thrust Motorsports

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