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What to check/prep on an unknown engine ?


egret

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Interesting, so some work has been done to the bottom end. Did you measure the crank end-float before taking the thrusts out?

I splashed out on an alloy water pump housing but then later stripped one of the pump mounting threads. V-coil insert repair was tricky because the casting is very thin, but managed to make it work. Your 1500 one will be a straight swap though.

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The head has gone to the machine shop.  The front pulley is off and I've confirmed that the chain and sprokets look good, but it definitely needs a new tensioner so that's now on order.

It's about time to start the final clean for paint then reassembling.  I probably need to start dissassembling the 1500 to get access to the bits I'll be robbing and for that I'll need to wait for some assistance to lift the bonnet off then it's all go.

What are the experiences here with assembly lube, there seem to be a number of options with a lot of vauge claims?

I've heard about priming the oil pump with a hand drill from the distributor point.  This seems sensible to me but will this wash out the assembly lube?  I guess that as long as I don't go made and stop as soon as some resistance is felt, this will prime without washing out the bearings.  If I do this immediately before starting, it should be fine.

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2 hours ago, egret said:

I probably need to start dissassembling the 1500 to get access to the bits I'll be robbing and for that I'll need to wait for some assistance to lift the bonnet off then it's all go.

:laugh:. Where's your sense of adventure. Been having to lift various bonnets of the steel and glassfibre variety on and off the Spitfire many times during the mould making process. Doing this on my own and I am built like the gable end of a five pound note. But if you can get help it does make life so much easier. Especially for putting it back on.

2 hours ago, egret said:

What are the experiences here with assembly lube, there seem to be a number of options with a lot of vauge claims?

I use assembly lube. On the main and big ends and especially on the cam lobes and followers if the engine has been stripped. I also put some on the ends of the pushrods/rockers/valve stems.

Prime the pump immediately before starting the engine. It won't wash out the assembly lube. You can do it with a drill but you need to be careful that whatever you are using in the drill doesn't slip out of the slot or you can damage the slot.

It is also a bit of a faff as you need to remove the distributor and drive to do it this way so there is then quite a delay until it's all back together again.

Personally I just get everything built and ready to go. Whip out the plugs and then crank the engine on the starter with the coil +ve lead disconnected until there is oil pressure and oil coming from the rocker shaft visible through the filler. Shove the plugs back, in connect the coil and away you go.

PS. as has been mentioned in other threads make sure that there is plenty of ZDDP in the oil to protect the tappets.

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3 hours ago, Escadrille Ecosse said:

I am built like the gable end of a five pound note

:biggrin: 
Not especially lardy myself, though I am quite lanky, and I’d must rather have help getting a bonnet off!

Assembly lube/paste. It depends. If I’ll be firing it up promptly I use Wynns oil additive (the gloopy one) for bearings and cam lube or EP90 for the cam lobes. If it’s going to sit for a while I use Graphogen.

Beware new chain tensioners, some of them are too much like bean cans to be useful.

I do usually spin the oil pump to get the oil around. And then spin it over with the plugs out…… probably overkill but it’s a few moments at the end of many hours of work.

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I have an enormous tube of Graphogen - it's done several engines and still has enough for several more, but I use Lucas (the US oil outfit, not Joseph's one) assembly lube on the cams.

Then like Colin & Nick I just put the plugs and turn it over until there is some oil pressure.     I've seen pouring oil into the pressure relief valve opening will fill the oil pump and speed the onset of pressure, and you could arrange to squirt it in straight into the main gallery, if you took out one of the Allen screws.   Never done either!

I fear that all these incur a delay for reassembly, during which the oil just drains back anyway!

John

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  • 4 weeks later...

Still working on the engine here, very slowly as life is nipping away at my free time.  I've a coat of paint on it now and am prepping a more secure area for final dismantle + reassembly.

I asked a while back about oils for gearboxes and was recommended redline heavy shock proof.  That's what I've put in the diff, is this still the recommendation for gearbox oil?  There are no major gearbox issues, so it's really just preventative maintenance while I've got the gearbox out to swap engines.

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My view would be that gearbox oil is less critical, the gearbox seems slightly less prone to cooking its oil than the diff. But I wouldn't put shockproof in it, Redline say "Not recommended for most synchro applications due to the products extreme slipperiness". Looking at their catalogue, probably their MT90 75W90 would be a fine choice, but I've also had no issues with Castrol EP90.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Things are still progressing slowly, most of the new engine is painted, the head is due to be finished any day now.  With the car, the bonet is off and radiator is out, so I now have good access to the enigine to pull of the water pump housing and oil pump which are to be swapped to the new engine.  Whilst doing this I realised I'll need a new trigger wheel, so that's on order.  I need to pull the old engine apart to grab the bits for transplanting; rebuild the new engine; pull the old engine and gearbox out (hoping that dismantling it I don't accidentally take the lifting eyes off); replace gearbox oil and swap to new engine; then put it all back together again.

Simple.

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Picked up the head today. Looks very good to me. Hoping for some good progress this weekend, I've tee'd up my dad and his late to get the trigger wheel mounted, but I suspect his backlog will mean there's a bit of delay there, but I don't think that's going to hold me up!

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Trigger wheel mounting plan is this: cut a shoulder into the conical section of the pulley, mount an aluminium spacer to that which the trigger when will mount onto.  The aluminium spacer allows several things. Firstly it means the trigger wheel I bought will locate concentrically onto it, secondly it will space the wheel teeth back from the pulley face, so hopefully it will generate a stronger signal, and thirdly it should give more opportunities to mount it all together securely.

The aim is to replicate what I have (photo below) on the smaller pulley. I'll update when it's done.

PXL_20231208_200821812.jpg

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Busy weekend. Painted a few bits, pulled the oil pump from the 1500. It's within tolerance, but had some heavy scoring, on the top and bottom faces, so I suspect it's in need of replacing. Also got the transmission tunnel out. That's a fairly awful mix of cardboard components.  I'm going to consider just trying to bond it all together with epoxy for the time being, but I think a new tunnel is in order in the not too distant future.  Also wiring is a mess under there. I need to neaten it up and look into overdrive wiring. The overdrive is currently wired to a switch on the dash, and it looks like this is because there doesn't seem to be enough space to wire in the switch with the gear lever.  Not a big deal, but it would be nice to sort it.

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egret,

When Triumph fitted the switch in the gear knob, they didn't have modern 'thin-wall' insulated cable to wire up the switch.    And, to allow a gear stick that didn't look like a girder, they had a slim tube, with a rather small bore up the middle, so small that the plastic insulated wires they had wouldn't fit.  So, they wired the switch with leads that were insulated with shellac, a sort of varnish.

Inevitably after a while, vibration against the inner wall of the stick wore through the varnish and they shorted out, blowing the fuse and making the O/d, and the fuel and temp gauges inoperative, as they are on the same fuse.

Today, you should be able to get wire with a thin enough plastic insulation to get two of them up the stick!  Thin wall cable is widely available: EG https://www.carbuilder.com/uk/black-11-amp-thin-wall-cable-by-the-metre

Alternatively, take a length of flex, 2- or 3-core, and strip out the wires with their insulation.

John

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Leading of from what John has said, I try to use an "extra flexible" cable. Sometimes all I have had has been some 3a lighting flex, but that can last well.

I have fpund the important bit is to cable tie the cable to the gearstick close to where it emeges from the hole into the stick. I use 2, and then a nice loop down to the gearbox where it is again cable tied. The loop needs to be nice and long, so the gear change movement does not stress any one point. 

Just my 2p on the subject

Edited by zetecspit
now got my glasses on
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  • 3 weeks later...

 Been busy, so here's the update.

Engine is out, gearbox is out and drained of oil. I've ground the back of the inlet valves, I need a better indication for where to grind to on the exhaust valves, and will do those too if I have time (looks like I might).

Issues were that the transmission tunnel is a bit of a dogs dinner.  Plenty of holes and rips in the hardboard that I've repaired with superglue, gorilla glue, and some body repair glassfibre.  A new plastic tunnel is on the list of future purchases. Also a bit of a christmas tree on the magnetic transmission sump plug and a syncro tooth in the oil that came out.  I'm hoping this will be fine as it worked acceptibly before, so with new oil it shouldn't be any worse, maybe even a little better.

The clutch release bearing pin (that the alloy fork rotates on) is missing, that's on order, but this likely prevents the new years day target being hit.

Everything else going ok so far.  I've almost done enough shuffling to get the new engine on the bench so I can actually put the bearings in and seal it all back up. Definitely feeling the lack of space in the garage, some of that is my own fault tough, it could definitely be better organised!

 

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