The Largest of Days….

Today was a big day.

It was finally time to put the engine back in the engine bay.  I mentioned this to a friend last week, who offered to help me out, so I took him up on it.  His name is Ernie, and he was a huge help – without him it would have taken much longer.  Ernie has an absolutely gorgeous 1960 Eldorado Coupe painted in Heather with a white roof.  The pic below is not his car, but you can see the colour scheme is stunning…..I dream about this car!


The first job was to take the engine off of the engine stand.

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Once it was free, I had a couple of jobs to do.  The first one was to install the rear welch plug to seal off the back of the engine – this plug which was missing from the engine rebuild kit, so I had to buy one, which cost me $20 for two!  First I put a smear of Aviation No.3 around the hole.  If you look at the first picture you can see the small welch plug inside, which seals off the oil gallery.  I read on a forum where a guy forgot this small plug, and had no oil pressure on start up.  He had to remove the engine again to put this little sucker in.

Anyway, I then inserted the plug and gave it a good hit using a punch and hammer.  Job done!

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Next task was to install the flex plate.  I realised that I had not cleaned it, so I put it in the tub of Simple green, and 30 minutes later was able to clean off the grease and oil to reveal a clean plate.

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I mounted it on the back of the crank and inserted the six high tensile bolts.  It became clear quickly that I had to be careful with the socket when tightening the bolts as there was a step adjacent to the bolt heads which prevented the socket from sitting squarely on the head.  I first tightened them all up to 60 lb ft before stepping up to 75 lb ft.  Just before Ernie arrived (at 2pm) the socket slipped off of the last bolt and burred the head enough to prevent me from tightening it up fully.

In the end (at Ernie’s suggestion) I reduced the size of the bolt head to the next smallest socket so we could torque it.  I filed it down to suit a 14mm socket, which was easy as high tensile is pretty soft.  You can see my handiwork in the pics below!  This allowed the bolt to be torqued to 75 lb ft as required – a lucky save.

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The engine was now ready to go.

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We started to drop the engine in, however it became clear after 10 mins that the balancing frame was going to get in the way.

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We removed the engine and tried a set up just using the chains.  We started to manoeuvre the engine into position, at the same time working to line up the flex plate holes with the studs on the torus.  With surprising ease we managed to line everything up and start inserting fasteners.

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15 minutes later it was all done!  What an awesome sight.

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Full credit to Ernie, who worked like a machine!  He was reluctant to have his picture taken as you can see….


Once the engine was in Ernie had to run, so I proceeded to start on the list of things to do.  I torqued up all of the bell housing bolts as well as double checking the flex plate to torus bolts.

When I painted the lower bell housing cover plate may months ago, I decided to paint it Cadillac Blue so there was at least one part painted the correct colour (my twisted sense of humour).  I bolted the plate up, which was easy.

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I then turned my attention to the top of the engine, starting with the power steering pump.  I loosely assembled the bracket, pump and pulley.  I used some thread locker on the pulley nut as I don’t want that coming off when the engine is running.

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When I tightened everything up, the pulley did not line up with the other two belt pulleys on the front of the engine.  I expected this as I had discovered previously that the water pump bosses were different heights to the original pump.  If you look carefully at the picture below you can see that the Power Steering Pump is crooked against the pulley in the background.


I used some washers under the mounting points to square everything up.

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It took about 10 minutes to get a good result.  You can see below that everything now lines up nicely.


Next was the Alternator, which was more misaligned than the Power Steering Pump (in two directions).  I had to insert washers under almost every mounting point (including the bracket on the exhaust manifold) to get it to line up.  It took some time, but we got there – fortunately I had an assortment of different thickness washers.

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In the end, it all lined up beautifully.

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The final piece once the Alternator pulley lined up was the top brace.  It of course did not line up with the top boss on the Alternator, so I had to bend a joggle in it to make it square.  Once complete, I re-painted the brace so it was nice and shiny again.


Well, that was my Saturday afternoon.  I am pleased at how much I managed to get done today.  If I am lucky, I will have some time tomorrow to do a little more.


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