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Tales of eccentrism motoring 2012 onwards, not yet grown up etc

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11 hours ago, somewhatfoolish said:

What are the pistons and rods in the background from?

3 Rover v8s worth, another run of work waiting in the wings! 

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More action has been achieved although its alot slower in reality than the montage pace I had in mind as it's not possible to just rip the frame together like the random purpose ones I do at work. 

As there is the hope for a MSVA test I'm spending time to ensure its square and also each joint is 'welded' rather than blobbed together like I normally do in a hurry.


The welder is on its 3/4 setting but really needs to be on a 13/16 setting to accomplish the ideal, never the less it's still penetrating through so I'll live with it.


Perspective seems to shift around between how flippin massive is this bit of pipe work and err this seems diminutive! Not much more needed till it gets all the 20mm cross bracing and hopefully I can nail down the rear suspension design for the frame work needed at the rear, a De dion  axle would be the ideal but maybe abit of an ask engineering wise as it would mean small scale telescoping driveshafts, donut couplings and UV joints, the alternative would be a very light live axle arrangement but even a reliant robin axle is loads of unsprung weight at circa 37KG .


Undecided on a steering rack or one of those little industrial worm gearboxes, a rack would be suitable for double wishbone but not so much for a split beam axle.


These moped wheels look the part I think but want a larger sidewall like a 4.00-10 crossply maybe.

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So a few small jobs occurred, on thing I've overlooked is storage for things that are useful but rarely see the light of day, on such item being the engine crane, I love having it, but not so much constantly placing it out of the immediate way repetitively.


It's just a mess even when split into 3 so I decided to make up some gate bolted hinged flaps to allow easy storage overhead and they dont protrude down thankfully. I'll have to look at storage options for the base next.


Also this chassis is somewhat looking more of a reality although there is loads of diagonal bracing to go in yet!


And even the crappy welder is playing the ok game! 


Anyhow the honda GX390 is out for the count, a 400cc single just doesnt compute, so I've picked up a 480cc briggs V twin instead and now I feel it's closer to my minds eye now.



So for the transmission I'm sounding out ideas currently, one thought was a reliant robin flywheel and clutch driving pitbike gears inside a fabricated enclosure or driving a 110 quad gearbox with the 110 engine parts removed so I could use the manual clutch it comes with , but either way it will be a tight fit as there wont be space in the transmission tunnel for anything more than a propshaft really.

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So now the estelle is becoming a garden ornament I want to change that and get it at least mobile so that I can keep it half reasonably straight.

I sold the k series conversion and thought i may have another ready to go in but I've not bothered so went digging around in the scrap end of the old skoda marketplace for a stinker of a 1200 5 port iron head and came up partially trumps with a disgusting skoda s100 1000cc engine out of a 1976 car which had been discarded due to being seized.

That all sounds terrible but I love engines that have never been opened up and seized on low miles through inactivity, it means there is no horrible bodges inside factory aside.


I took the head off as trying the rock the crank got me nowhere,it had a  nice factory headgasket with no signs of a shitty head skim,,mullered head bolt threads or fucked about with liner heights,,lovely stuff!

I cleaned the carbon off the piston tops and carefully cleaned the bore with a green scouring pad, all looked well so I bolted the liners down, filled the pots with oil and heated them all till the oil was ultra thin and you could see air forcing it's way past the rings. Still rock solid!

Then after loads of that repeated over an over it started to move a tiny bit enough to show number 3 was the properly stuck one so all work concentrated on that one.


Up to the flash point of the oil there. But still tight as hell.20200531_215351.thumb.jpg.2834674cb280f561d3f165bb9c5278d0.jpg

Gently working this last night showed it would break something if I forced it so left the hot oil in over night with a ratchet strap gently applying pressure and found it this morning slacker than last night,,enough to rock the piston free,scour the bore and excercise it with plenty of oil.

Next plan is to clean out the sump, take out the liners to lightly hone the bores, clean the rings up and reassemble as it stands. 

Part flow oil filtration may warrant a conversion to full flow with a pressure relief valve added to where the practically useless old oil filter discharges into the sump.

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2 hours ago, Jim Bell said:

Fire. It never fails to deliver. 


2 hours ago, BorniteIdentity said:

This thread never fails to deliver. 👏 

But also this.

You really are a masochist when it comes to these knackered old engines, hopefully this one doesn't have tin shims in with the bearings! 🤣

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Haha thanks for the kind words guys always good that it provides entertainment,, and yes masochist due to being a total tightwad!

More work happened on the Czech A series


Things deteriorated briefly when the absolutely filthy thing was taken to bits, big oil spill,and shit everywhere. But no matter a succesful cleanup ensued.


I scraped the block out,wire wheeled it, rinsed with petrol, applied oven cleaner and jewashed it just to get it to handle able condition.


2 of the pistons are stiff on the pins and all of them have stuck rings ,3 compression! 

And also note the split skirt like its 1949,,no hypereutectic metallurgy here with its western decadence.


Bearings will go again,,and tbh so will the rings once carefully removed,,I have tactics in store for that!


A rough overview of what wants cleaned, things over on the left and right have had a 'working' clean for now.


Here is where the liners sit, and its imperative that the seats are spotless, this is after digging out the silt but it's no where near what I want neither is the block face,,or threads!


These are what the liners sit on to seal and set the height, will double check all that when it's all cleaned up carefully.

Sumps,,these are hideous to clean, but it wont clean itself! 


Being steel marks it out as a pre 83, as the finned alloy sumps where only fitted to the 120 gls,lse and ls with an oil cooler untill 1983 when the bolt pattern changed and they all went alloy. (Steel sump = abject terror) 



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So the charade is gone leaving 1 left due to the ignis foiling it's own sale via mechanical failure

I looked about for an m13a and seemingly could only find none VVT engines for reasonable money, all of the cheap trick valve engines were absolutely miles away collection only leaving just the local expensive as fuck stuff etc.

I kept on umming and arring over one in gateshead for 200 delivered whilst scanning ebay, but always lasciviously clicking back on that ad thinking it saves collection but its 200 quid, but then it's not that much really, but it is etc.

Ebay must have realised this as I was presented with a 'get 50quid off this item button' 


Abit of unpacking later


So by this stage my back is abit dodgy just because it exists so I wanted to make sure the engine crane did all the work.

I got it into the garden and it's a good job it got bin bagged it up as a preventative measure


So the next day between this sort of digital rain it got underway and almost straight away the workshop manual method was disregarded, drop engine underneath the car to remove, instant dismissal for that crap idea.


This is my favourite feature on these in how there is a jacking point on the front crossmember and solid as hell it is too!


What a faff these are, you cant move the box to one side to free the engine so the gearbox has to come off to save the driveshaft seals from being wrecked by the dangling shafts, also it's an equal length setup so has a shaft mount on the block,,coupled with no space to work etc.



Swapping over the bits took ages due to disturbed torn gaskets, snapped bolts,finding torque settings etc and to add to the jeopardy my back gave me a full on warning twinge after I had forgot about it and did a cavalier manouver with a drill.


The cat may be original, its marginal but I reckon air leaks haven't helped.


That will sort it for a while as the pipe is fine, just that joint was cracked.


The gasket face needed a flap wheel clean and wire brush to sit on the new engine and it's this stuff that absorbs time,,but then not doing it would just result in problems anon.

I did the reversal of sequence to get it in,,cleaning out threaded bosses as i went and upon first fire it was abit of an initial worry that it ran horribly! but no worries as it smoothed out to an extremely quiet and smooth engine! Just the gearbox to fill and I can use it again.

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So I filled up the gearbox, bled the coolant on the suzuki last week and it's been great since, which means the gamble paid off there thankfully.

So as that was fairly successful I thought let's repeat the process again! With a better engine for the skoda.


I organised the shipping for this within about 3mins over the phone to speedshift, and this turned up the next day from penzance for 63quid, I couldn't manage to get it for that in fuel costs.


It's a late skoda 120 engine so has all the improvements that pre 83 engines dont have, stiffer block,full flow filtration,and upgraded ancilleries.

This one has done some mileage by the state of the clutch but hopefully the bottom end is ok.

I stored it out in the back with a hat on for the rain showers!


I made a start on it but couldn't crack on properly till I got a jet washer of gumtree.



A once over with the luminous green elbow grease spray,, jet wash, oven cleaner and a finishing rinse off.

Next up will be to take the head off, lap the valves and get it built back up to fit into the car! 

Also dad nipped round with a new waterpump for his 300e and we got on with swapping that over, we did this 10 years ago when we first got the car so it seems to be a per decade job, and a good job too as it's a needlessly shit job to do with how much that requires removing!



At 270k its valve guides have seen better days, but to me it's got the uncle Buck perennial charm as it smokes and occasionally splutters it's way around. 

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The head came off and I compared it to the s100 engines head to see how compatible they are and see that they are the same really except the combustion chamber on the 1.0 engine is 4cc smaller so would make a 1.2 with a 9.7:1 compression ratio and would also be pinking like mad probably so will avoid trying it out!



I cleaned the bottom end and thought I will avoid a rebuild as it seems fine really, rotates fine and the cylinders look well bedded in.


I took out the valves and noted the seats were great as presented and there is no valve stem slop but i still lapped them in till the seat were glazed!


All back together , I noted that after being sat overnight the head took another few rounds of torquing till the bolts all stopped moving.


I turned to the car and balls to going anywhere near that shite so I whipped out the titan jet washer and some cillit bang for a good old session with a nylon brush 


way better, so now only some random carb parts to come from Germany and I can get the engine in and running. 


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