The Big Rebuild Part 2

Following on from the last post, my wallet has taken one hell of a battering getting all the parts to make the car run right. There was little point attempting to replace things bit by bit, I would never know what was working properly and what wasn’t, so I have just bought…

Air filter, inlet pipe, MAF sensor, plenum elbow, silicone vacuum hoses, silicone breather hoses, silicone water hoses, the metal lower rad hose, fuel hose, both coolant sensors, alternator, tensioner, alternator belt, distributor vacuum unit, ignition coil, ignition module, 8x brand new injectors, spark plugs, thermostat, gasket, coolant cap, oil cap, plenum gasket, radiator mounts and bushes, the radiator has been recored, fan switch, washer pump and a load of stainless bolts to replace the rusty ones as I go. There is bound to be some things I have missed from that list, but it gives you a good idea.

First things first, I removed everything that was getting replaced, you could see some of that in the previous post, but now it is all out and I am starting to fit the new parts. I started with the injectors, as they were the most buried parts underneath the plenum. While the plenum was off I replaced the fuel pipe as that was of an unknown age. I also fitted the plenum gasket here. This is not a genuine part, it is an aftermarket one, it seemed to make sense to me, but perhaps there was a reason there wasn’t one originally.

I did paint the fuel rail after rubbing it down, in hindsight I should probably have powder coated it as you can see in the picture that some of the paint rubbed off when I was cleaning the plenum mating surface. Interestingly, when taking the fuel pipe off I came across this pipe clip on the fuel rail end, suggesting that the pipe has never been replaced, this factory clip was never released and should have been clamping the fuel pipe to the fuel rail.

Next I moved onto the air filter, inlet pipe and plenum elbow, again the original parts are no longer available and only these aftermarket parts are made as a direct replacement. They were an absolute nightmare to fit as they are made oversized to allow for people who have setups where the MAF sensor has been removed. This meant loads and loads of small adjustments to the fitting of the pipes to get them to clear everything they passed on their way. This took hours and hours, I was cross after fitting this so called it a day. I had managed to get the distributor, vac hoses, alternator, tensioner, thermostat, sensors and some of the coolant hoses connected at this point too.

I got everything back together at this point except the radiator and washer bottle. After I calmed down a bit, I went outside and gave it a spin over. The cooling system wasn’t connected yet, but I needed to give myself that sense of achievement from a hard day’s work.

Timing was clearly out, but first turn of the key and the engine burst into life, granted a little bit quicker than perhaps it should, but I will sort the timing out properly now I know that everything else is right.

Fitting the radiator was next, I had to make some brackets to accept the bottom of the radiator as the body had been previously butchered, I was going to get some fibreglass and rebuild these parts, but because it was so cold and I was outside there was little chance that the resin would cure at all. I got some zinc plated door straps from some kitchen fittings that I had and set about fashioning some brackets that I could bond to the body using Tiger Seal.

With the brackets made to accept the grommets and the pins from the radiator, I pushed these onto the locating pins of the radiator and liberally applied Tiger seal to the bottom. I slid the radiator into place and screwed on the top mounts, I had replaced the cotton wheel mounts too as these were broken and it was just the hoses holding the radiator on. I wedged a can of WD40 between the exhaust and radiator to make sure that it would dry in the right place and that was another job done.

I had fitted the fans back on and suspected the non running fan was just a poor connection, and after a bit of contact cleaner and some plugging in and unplugging both fans were working.

I had also finished the washer bottle, gluing the pipe into the top of the bottle and finishing off with Tiger Seal to make sure that there was going to be a permanent connection, I fitted this in too.

Everything was looking much better, so a few hose clips and a bit of final reassembly and it will all be ready to get to the garage and set the timing up. On the basis it ran alrightish before and now the timing was clearly too advanced, I would like to think that with some minor adjustment of the timing everything should be just right. We shall see as soon as I get there.