Friday, February 22, 2013


 This is a lightened flywheel on the V4 engine. Note that quite a lot of material has been removed around the OUTER part of the flywheel. I used NEW flywheel bolts because these bolts are torqued to 50 ft/lb, which is a "stretch" or "yeild" condition that Ford specified. No locking washers are used. Note the yellow paint between two of the bolt heads. This shows the mounting location for the flywheel, on the crankshaft, since this is a fully balanced engine. The balancer also put peen marks at this point. I add the paint so the next "wrench" who gets into this engine may notice that the engine has been balanced, and will, hopefully, reinstall the flywheel at that same location on the crankshaft.
 I use a transmission clutch [input] shaft to center the clutch disc in the flywheel. I also use a witches' brew to put a thin coat of lubricant into the pilot bushing.  My brew is 60% AMSOIL 75/90 transmission oil, 15% STP, and 25% molybdenum disulfide assembly lube. Mixed thoroughly.
 The pressure plate is balanced to the flywheel. The paint--and peen marks--show the correct location for the pressure plate mounting on the flywheel. It is good to know that the release bearing pressure surface of the pressure plate--the flat plate where the inpu

Thursday, February 21, 2013


 Here are the four piston & connecting rod assemblies. The new pistons are 0.031" oversize. At this point all four have been in the engine [without piston rings] so the bearing clearances could be checked with plastigage. The bearing clearances averaged 0.00175". The original connecting rod bolts and nuts have been replaced with new high strength Ford V8 parts. The six small bolts in the photo are not part of the piston/rod assembly.   
 This is by far the best way to install piston rings, using an inexpensive piston ring expander pliers.  You always need to read the instructions that come with the rings. There is usually a peen mark on some of the piston rings that indicates that side of the ring must be installed UP [toward the top of the piston]. I arrange the piston ring end gaps so they are 120 degrees apart when in place on the piston.
 The piston/rod assembly is ready for installation in the engine block. A ring compressor tool is in place, and has compressed the piston rings.  The yellow items on the connecting rods are flexible plastic protectors, to keep guide the rod over the crankshaft journal and prevent the rod bolts from damaging the journal.
 Not a great photo, but it shows the piston being inserted into the block [top left]. I use a small hammer with a wooden handle to tap the piston/rod assembly into place in the block. Note that pistons have a notch in thier crown, indicating that the piston must be installed with the notch pointing to the FRONT of the block.
In this photo, all the rod caps are in place and torqued to 25 ft/lb. I use a bit of Loktite on each of the bolts as a bit of added insurance that a nut will NOT come loose. Note that a new oil pump has been installed [with a NEW oil pump drive shaft] and that the oil pick up strainer is completely clean. I squirt as much engine oil into the new oil pump as it will hold before I bolt it in place. Note the "1.7" on the second crankshaft counterweight from the front, indicating that it is a 1700 crankshaft. At this point, the lower end of the engine is "buttoned up" and ready for the oil pan to be installed.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013


 You are looking down into the block of an overbored 1.7 litre Ford/Saab V4 engine that I'm rebuilding in my shop. You can see new balance shaft bearings, a new steel timing gear, and the fully balanced crankshaft. You can't see it because of its small size, but "BB3415" is stamped into the crankshaft. That indicates that the balance shop--Bert Beck Custom Engines--has recorded this crankshaft as the 3415th crankshaft they have balanced over the years. By now, they know what they're about! 
 These are the main bearing caps and their retaining bolts. All the parts have been meticulously cleaned. New main bearings are installed and the clearances checked with Plastigage. Average bearing clearances are 0.00175"---I make a "map" of all engine clearances a part of my records, and give the customer a copy as well.
The main bearing caps are installed and torqued to factory spec [72 ft/lb]. You can't see it here, but I install the rear main bearing seal as I install the rear cap. That assures a proper "fit" of the seal, with no chance of damaging the seal when it is fitted.  You can see from the photos that the engine is VERY clean. That's the way I want it when I rebuild an engine.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013


 These three  critters are parts to make demisting/defrosting possible in MR T, my '37 FIAT "EuroRod". Top pair are the air outlet nozzles at the base of the windshield. Bottom is the fitting that slips into the stock Fiat 124 Spider heater box.
 This is the heater box, mounted inside the cabin. At the extreme top is the defrost air fixture, fitted into the heater box.
 This photo, taken from outside the car looking down through the [not yet installed] windshield, shows the two defroster delivery nozzles bolted in, at the base of the windshield.  The orange knobs cover the windshield wiper arm actuators. The wiper motor and linkage are stock Fiat 124 Spider, narrowed slightly.
The drawing shows the whole heater/defroster system. Outside air comes into the system when the cowl door on the right side of the car is opened [extreme lower right]. Just inboard is a second door, which lets an adjustable amount of fresh air in on the passenger's legs. If the outside door is closed, this door [when open] lets air inside the cabin to recirculate through the heater.
Air is directed to the top of the stock heater box, where it passes over the heater core and either out the bottom, into the cabin, or up to the defroster tubes, or both, depending upon the position of the slide controls on the front of the heater control panel.
A bit of fabrication was required, but that's part of the fun. I was determined to have an effective heater/defroster system in this little mouse, so there it is.