The 13B Rebuild Chronicles :: Chapter 9 :: Engine Install, Part 3

17 03 2009

This Saturday was a short day due to commitments in the afternoon, so I planned on starting early but didn’t get going until after 9AM. Both Matt and Doug had commitments also, so I was alone.  My plan was to fabricate a brace for the radiator, but being that I have absolutely no metal working experience I was a bit lost without help.  So instead I just decided to find my original skid plate. I started at the back wall, next to the tire stack, and what do you know…hiding behind my spare quarter panel was a piece of aluminum in a very specific shape that suspiciously resembled the cavity below the engine bay.  Wow, sometimes things just happen the way they’re supposed to.

So, I bolted it up to the frame, then dropped the radiator in and bolted that onto the skid plate. Perfect fit!  It needs some additional reinforcement as the aluminum seems a bit weak to really hold the radiator safely, but for the moment it is in. Here’s a picture of it from below (not very exciting, but for the purposes of a complete photographic record).

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Then I hooked up the radiator hoses, screwed in the water temperature sensor and tightened down all clamps. Finally, I bolted up the air intake to the manifold. So, except for bolting up the airbox and inserting the air filter, we’re done! Well, for the moment at least.

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Next, I drained the fuel cell by disconnecting the fuel line and pumping the fuel over the edge of the engine bay into a fuel can.  As you can probably tell from the photo below it took me a couple of attempts to disconnect the correct fuel line. Between the time it took me to get from the engine bay to the cockpit to flip the fuel pump on and off I ended up with a nice pool of gas under the car. Never fear, we’ll be cleaning that up before shooting any flaming arrows around the shop.

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I drained it fully and then walked across the street to the brand new 7/11 to get some fresh fuel. I got 5.5 gallons of 93 octane and mixed about 7 ounces of Valvoline two cycle oil in with it. This is about a 100:1 ratio, which is what seems to be the more prevalent ratio recommendation that I could find online AND the one listed on the back of my Valvoline bottle. To be safe though I called Pineapple Racing to find out their recommendation. Rob at Pineapple said to use only 4oz of oil per 5 gallons of gas, which is a 160:1 ration. Just because I am super paranoid I also called Dan at Atkins Rotary and asked him the same question. His answer was: “read the bottle”.  He said that because each brand of oil is slightly different he recommends following the oil manufacturer’s mixture ratio as listed on the bottle. That did seem to make sense – and validated my supreme intelligence at the same time – hence it has been adjudicated as the official “right answer”.

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Not my best side I know, but I took the bloody photo with one hand while pouring gas with the other, so I don’t want to hear any wisecracks.

So, everything is now done as far as the engine goes except for starting the darn thing. Again I turned everything on but when pushing the started button nothing happened. Just a soft click and that’s all.  I climbed under the car and scoped out the starter. Everything looked fine. Ground and main attached properly. I wanted to test to see if power was getting to the starter by using a screwdriver to jump the terminals but, even after adding the floor jack in addition to the jack stands under the car, I just could not sum up the courage to turn then engine over while lying underneath 2500 lbs of steel without anyone else around. Safety first, right?

So, that wrapped it up. Another weekend down without hearing her purr 😦  It will definitely happen next weekend though, so be prepared to hear it. I plan to take a video clip on my iPhone and post it next week so that you can all enjoy the sound! Strange the pleasures we find in life.

Until then,

Grant Boshoff
Thrust Motorsports

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