Sunday, August 12, 2018

Almost Ready for Hamsters

After a long day, the engine's in.

I rented an engine hoist for the occasion, and got the engine off the stand.


Once on the ground, I mounted the flywheel.  I had to fashion an extra spacer to keep it from rubbing against the new oil seal.

Once that was sorted, I installed the clutch and pressure plate, with my handy-dandy clutch alignment tool I've been saving for 15 years.  There was just one problem: it didn't fit.  The alignment tool, that is.  I had to modify it to allow it to slip into place.

The Midget clutch plate has a specific installation orientation.  The 'flywheel side' has to actually face the flywheel.  I have made this mistake before.  This time, I took a picture proving I know which way was in, and installed it properly.

Once the clutch was aligned, on with the transmission!  It fit, first time.  However, I ended up removing it after discovering I had put the clutch fork in backwards, so that had to be fixed.  Now, everything lines up perfectly.

It's been 14 years since this transmission had seen an engine.  I sure hope I rebuilt it properly.


The next morning, I discovered another problem: the engine hoist was too wide to roll under the car.  I ended up putting the front on jack stands and removing the wheels to get the clearance I needed.  Then, in went the engine!  And, out came the engine!  I forgot to install the exhaust manifold, which (being custom) only fit one way, and the engine was in the way.

Once that hiccup was solved, the engine went in to stay.


I spent the rest of the day doing fun stuff, like:
  • Drilling holes for the transmission mounts that I forgot about when I welded in the floor pans.
  • Fixing the clutch slave cylinder fitting and bleeding the clutch.  Because of how the line is routed, the bleeder is on the top--and it's not easy.  But, I have a working clutch!
  • Fitting the cooling fan.
  • Installing the splash shields, braces and radiator.  Everything fit with a just a little modification to the slash guards, which weren't the originals.
  • Installing and hooking up the oil cooler and routing the hoses.
  • Hooking up the starter.
  • Running the wiring to the front of the car, and hooking up the horns.  They work, and they sound great.  It's a harmonious two-tone sound.  They're quite loud, which is a good thing when the Miata next to you is bigger than you are.
  • Installing the intake manifold and fitting the carburettors, heat shield and fuel lines.  I can't install them all the way as I need a new pivot for the accelerator linkage, which is on the way.
  • Running some cooling hoses.  I need to buy some heater hose as what I got from VB obviously doesn't fit.

Next up:
  • Mounting and hooking up the electronic ignition box.
  • Figure out enough of the dash wiring to hook up the ignition switch and tach.
  • Temporarily hook up the water temp and oil pressure gauge.
  • Fit the driveshaft.  (This is a pain, as there's no easy access and the front joint is a bit floppy).
  • Finish installing the cooling system.
  • Finish installing the carbs.
  • Adjust the fan belt.
  • Run the fuel pump wire.
  • Fill with fluids and gasoline, say a quick prayer and light the fire.
Actually, it's more complex than just starting it up.  I have to get the oiling system primed so there's oil pressure when it runs the first time.  I also have a special break-in oil to use.  I also have to set the static timing so it has a chance to run right away.

This could happen pretty soon--as early as next weekend.  The suspense must be riveting.  Stay tuned!

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