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Rusty Triumphs in Scotland - Spitfire engine acquired- 13/08/19

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The 1300 FWD engine - IIRC these had the best cylinder heads of the whole lot of 9f them in terms of gas flow and tuning.  If the engine won't fit because of the crankshaft tail, surely someone in the classic racing world will pay decent money for one of these heads?


Love the photies o' the Heilans - where was the one taken that has the information board in the background?

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Engine No.1 has been cleaned up a bit. Emphasis on "a bit", it's not easy to properly clean an engine by hand in one's bedroom...






They are "well used" and there is a wee bit of a lip at the top of each bore, most noticeably on no.2 but there is no major pitting or major damage. Considerably better than my old engine, which had noticeable piston slap and much worse lipping at the tops. The pistons appear to be stock, no evidence of a prior rebuild.

@Eddie Honda popped over yesterday with a set of valve spring compressors so I can strip the head next, get a good look at the back of the valves and clear out the airways. @davidfowler2000 also popped around for a tea and a chat, apologies for allowing you to slice your hand open on the engine in exactly the same way I did the day before...

I then took advantage of the nice weather to remove the cylinder head on engine no.0...






Removing the head was the only real pain. It was stuck fast to the block, mullering it with a rubber mallet had no effect, heaving on it while standing in the engine bay just lifted the whole car up... Eventually I got angry and found a paint scraper...



Destruction of the gasket coupled with standing in the engine bay and heaving finally got the head off. The observant amongst you will notice a missing valve spring, I accidentally caught it with the rubber mallet and sent it to the stratosphere...





Wee bit of carbon build up on the exhaust valves then, understandable given the obscene oil consumption...

The main issue however is this:

As much as I'd like to claim variable piston timing is the new VTEC I suspect the fact no.3 is out of sync with everything else and the associated clunking suggests a complete lack of big end bearing and a mullered crank. The engine still turns freely amusingly enough, everything is still connected, just not quite as tightly as you'd like...


Now I have to decide on a course of action. Ideally engine no.1 needs a proper rebuild before getting swapped into the car, handy to do while it's not actually in the car. However the reality is I have no money for that, there is also the fact the car has now been sitting for the best part of the year and I'm increasingly worried it's going to be towed as abandoned or neighbours are going to get angry as parking space is getting more and more limited. I really want to get it movable asap so I can do the urgent welding it needs. 

Currently I'm thinking of doing a quick and dirty hone of the bores and keeping the stock pistons and rings, re-lapping the valves and stripping the bottom end swapping out the big end and main bearings for new stock sized ones if required. The rocker assembly, missing/bent studs, dizzy, manifolds, carb, water pump etc can all be salvaged from engine no.0.

That'll get me what? 10-20k miles of half decent engine? For me that's going to be 3-5 years or motoring, by which time I'd like to think I'll have a better job, hopefully a driveway, perhaps even a garage in which to do a proper rebuild...

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Given it turns over and the pistons are in relatively the right place, I'd drop the sump on engine 0 and check the bottom end state. If shells taken the punishment, lob a set of shells on (because cheap), maybe new oil pump and hope for the best. 

Those plugs look to be in much better colour than my BGT ones!

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22 minutes ago, SiC said:

Given it turns over and the pistons are in relatively the right place, I'd drop the sump on engine 0 and check the bottom end state. If shells taken the punishment, lob a set of shells on (because cheap), maybe new oil pump and hope for the best. 

Those plugs look to be in much better colour than my BGT ones!

The last thing I did was sort the ignition timing and carb, prior to disintegration the car was running better than it ever had before in my ownership. I think, after 6 years, I'd finally managed to get it into a decent state of tune...

I reckon engine no.0 is rebuildable, but the amount of movement in the piston and the noise it made before the car died suggests that the shells for no.3 are entirely gone. Mind I drove it for 20-30 miles after the initial knock, until the car simply wouldn't run... I'm 99% sure the crank will need a regrind to be usable, there will also need to be a considerable re-bore, one piston moves laterally to a noticeable extent about halfway through it's stroke.

The Spitty motor is a much better bet for a quick refresh, especially as it is indoors and half stripped. The 1300fwd motor may be a better bet for a long term rebuild, dependent on the levels of difference twixt it and the rwd applications.

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