October 2013

Saturday, 26 October 2013

Shimming the tappets

Setting the valve clearances on the XK head is a time consuming process that requires patience. I have finished mine. It took me about 4 hours, never having done this before. Each side had to be pulled down about 4 times. I'm pretty satisfied though and the inlets are all 4 or 5 thou, and the exhausts 6 or 7. Once the Cometic head gasket arrives the head can go on, and it's done!

Rather than taking photographs of this process, instead have a look at what you get for $50 for an XK head. This is off a 420, and seems to have been stored in a dam.


4.2 rusty head1 

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Saturday, 19 October 2013

Engine building 3: timing

Time for the timing chains.

Everything has been beadblasted.


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Gaskets for the new chain cover. 


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 Teflon front seal.


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Cover on. 


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Sump on. 


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Damper on. 


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Fuel sender in. 


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Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Engine building 2: pistons

Machined, balanced rods.



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New standard pistons. Rings have been checked in the bores by the machine shop.


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Assembly lube, slide the gudgeon pin in with the piston forward and the rod numbers on the exhaust side. Put the circlips smooth (not sharp cut) side IN. Check for positive seating by rotating clips with the circlip pliers. Leave the circlips pointing down.


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 Lay out assembled rods in order.


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Insert bearings. 


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All in. 


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Set the engine at #1 TDC. Set the dizzy drive at 10 to 4 with the big D up. Tap the crank dizzy drive in until it just contacts the brass cog. Rotate the brass cog back 3 teeth (same as the width of the crank drive) and then slowly tap the crank drive home. This will put the dizzy drive properly back to 10 to 4 with the big D up at TDC. EASY!!


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Friday, 11 October 2013

Engine building 1

With this car I really wanted to be involved in all aspects of the rebuild, and Chris the engine builder has kindly agreed to supervise me building the engine. Today we got a lot done in 5 hours.


Tappet guide hold downs.


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Studs going in.


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Finished with the studs.


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Damage from a loose timing chain in the past.


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Valve spring seat


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Stem seals for inlet valves


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Retaining collar


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Cam bearings


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Cam bearing caps


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Welsch plugs fitted with Defcon


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Crank sludge plugs; tapping the holes out was nervewracking.


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Plug safely home.


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A man squirts red stuff on my main bearings.


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In with the crank.


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Bald spot close up.


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Main caps on


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High tech SnapOn musical torque wrench


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Quality control


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Thursday, 10 October 2013

Cleaning the block

Today I tapped out every thread on the head and the block, then degreased and cleaned it all and painted the block.

Tomorrow the crank and pistons go in.


3.8 Block1


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