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InkaSam

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  1. The chrome work around the outside really helps bring out the personality of the car, the grille being the centre piece. The T-bolts holding the chrome pieces at the end points were so rusted that they were no longer usable so I had to make them up by welding little bolts to pieces of drilled metal plates. There are also 2 hooks on the side of the grilles next to the headlights which pull the grille flush, one of these was missing and the other was broken so more fabrication. The spares car is a 74 model so I couldn't raid that for these parts, looking at the parts in the different year models I came to the conclusion that for the later year models they've done things to make assembling the cars quicker but not necessarily making them stronger and longer lasting. Then I started on the doors which actually have a fair fews things on them which need to be adjusted properly. Up to now I've had this big box of all the window winder pieces, locks, door handles and quarter windows sitting in the corner of the garage and finally I've got to the stage of looking at all these pieces and trying to make some sense out of them. The previous owner of the car took it apart to restore it and that's how I got it 12 years ago and now it's all coming back together, I'm so thankful of the PO who sold me the parts car as well, so I have not only spares but also a reference to work with. This was invaluable with the doors because there is a lot going on. I started with the passenger door, mounted everything on it before mounting it on the hinges, but for the second one I put the empty door on the hinges first and then added things as that made it easier to first adjust the position of the door before all the other things go in. The window winder mechanism has a lot of adjustment points and took some fiddling to get the window to go up smoothly and stop at the right height, I should've read all the books before I started but eventually I got the passenger-side door closing and the window winder working. Thinking now that I'd done one, the second one should be easier but it wasn't to be. After mounting the driver door it became clear that no matter how I adjusted the door hinges, the door would not open properly because its edge would collide with the edge of front side panel. I was getting so frustrated that I was considering sanding down the edges of the front panel, luckily I didn't do that as I noticed that the edges were folded over and sanding them would open them up. I had a closer look at the passenger door and noticed that the door was about 1-2mm in from where the front side panel was and this allowed it to slip past the edge as the door was opened. Somehow the driver door hinge mounts had deformed over the years and the door was flush with the side panel and as soon as I tried opening it, it would collide with the side panel and not open. First thing I tried was undoing the bolts for the side panel to see if I could make it sit a mm or two out, but there didn't seem to be anyway to adjust things there so the next idea was to insert some shims between the hinges and the door mounts which would make the door sit in a bit. I used 3mm pieces of aluminium with holes drilled for the mounting bolts. This worked great and the door opened and closed properly but not before I had chipped a fair bit of the paint off the various edges and corners, so out came the brush and the touch up paint. I missing one of the door mouldings so I have to see if I can buy one locally, or I might have to go with the stick-on stuff, wonder how noticeable it would be to have different body moulding on the two sides of the car? There are still lots of things to do on the car but they are getting held up by the headlining. The headlining was unusable out of both cars so I am going down the path of making my own one! The material has been ordered but has been delayed because of all the lockdowns, might be a good time to get the sewing machine working.
  2. Some of the tasks that I thought would be easy bolt-on tasks turned out to be much more involved than I thought. The bumpers being one of them. I found that all the t bolts holding the rubber to the chrome bumper were all rusted and they would almost fall off at the sight of my spanner, of course it's really hard to find these special T-bolts where I am so I decided to make them by welding threaded rod to a cut off end of a electrical half saddle which is used for holding 20mm conduit. It was just the right size so it saved me some cutting and also had the hole drilled as a bonus. Only issue was that they were zinc-plated so I put them in a tub of muriatic acid for a few hours before starting to tig weld them. Unfortunately I didn't take any photos of the process as happens often when I get lost in a task but I managed to make 30 of the little things, just enough for doing the front and back bumper bars. The bonnet adjustment was also hours of fun! Luckily I have a spares car which I can refer to when I don't know how things go back together but I still managed to put the spring in the wrong way the first time so it actually made opening the bonnet more difficult! The trick was to mount the spring to the bonnet with the legs pointing down, when the bonnet is closed the spring needs to be under tension. The bonnet adjustments are better done with the spring supports loose as the they seem to add another variable to the already complicated mix. I had to fiddle around with it a fair bit but I think it might be best to first adjust the height of the bonnet at the front with bonnet closed, by moving the brackets at the front of the car up or down. Once the height looks even from side to side, tighten the brackets and move on the adjusting the side of the brackets which bolt to the bonnet. For this I measured the clearance of the corners of the bonnet to the base of the windscreen pillars, I adjusted the brackets until the clearance on both sides was about the same about 10mm. The final step would be to tighten the spring supports so the clearances are still good when the bonnet is locked. Here is a shot with the bonnet on and the bumper waiting to get on. Notice that I have the bumper bar supports the wrong way, it looked really funny when I went to put the bumper bar on and found that it was pointing down! The bumper bar was a pain to put on, there is probably a method to it which I don't know but I made a mental note to myself to leave the easy to reach bolts loose to the end, tightening the hard to reach bolts last means there is little play which makes the whole task more difficult. Here is the front bumper finally mounted. The hardest part with the back bumper was replacing all the rusted t-bolts in the black rubber moulding and then surprisingly the number plate light just didn't want to be woken up from their rusty slumber! Next up will be to put some of the body chrome back on and then make a start on the doors.
  3. After 12 years of the engine being dormant, I was so surprised to hear the familiar sound of the M10 engine again! Starting your first rebuilt engine is one of those one off feelings! I wasn't sure if it would work because of the poor state of the pistons although the engine still has a bit of a hiccup which I am not sure what is causing it, I tried a different distributor but it's still there. The car is not registered so I haven't taken it out of the driveway so I'm not sure how the engine will perform under some load but for now I am happy that it is running. Thanks to Covid-19 I have a lot of time to work on the other parts of the car each of which seems to expand into a big job when I get into it.
  4. Having a 121 head, I've had a hard time finding suitable pistons for my matching number engine. So I decided to use the engine out of the spares car to practice on while I search for pistons. The bearings wore pretty bad on the practice engine and the oil pump chain was too loose, the ring lands were way out of spec so I am just going to replace the bearings, new oil pump chain and put the old pistons back in and see if it will run. I lifted the car body off the subframe using a chain block and a heavy duty rack shelf, and then pulling the the subframe out using an ATV lift: Hooking up the gearbox to the engine: With the engine mounted onto the subframe, I strapped everything down to the ATV lift with an extra trolley bearing the weight of the gearbox, I slipped it all into position:
  5. I'm about to do mine from the bottom, I will pull the body up from the top using a chain block supported by heavy duty shelving racks and a beam underneath the car. Here is a shot with the subframe out:
  6. Thanks Hans, yes I did remember to give the timing cover to the machine shop with the head and they did them together. Here in Australia we have 98 fuel which seems to be equivalent to 93 in the states. I'm basing my estimates on each 0.5mm of shaved head giving an extra 0.5 of compression (i think this is from the maccartney book). Based on this I think 9.3 bathtubs would be pushed to 10.8 CR in my case which I think would be problematic. Yes I do find myself being directed back to that page, lots of good information there.
  7. Thanks for the insights Toby, always much appreciated. I wonder if I can use the Toyota 20R pistons. The original 121 with flattop pistons got 8.5:1 CR, my head is shaved 1.6mm, the 20R pistons have pin height of 1.625 (41.275mm), standard 2002 flattops had pin height 1.665 (42.291mm) so 0.04 difference (~1mm). Would I be correct that the amount shaved off the head compensates for the short pin height of the 20R and then some, so I might get CR in the high 8s?
  8. I've got my 121 head back from the machine shop and I'm getting an average of 127.9mm (5.0354331 inches) when measuring the head height at the corners. For the deck height, i'm getting about 217.77 mm (8.573622 inches) although this may be a bit over the actual value because of the thickness of the calliper jaws (I didn't want to use the sharp upper jaws as they scratch things very easily). So if the original deck height from the factory is meant to be 217.2mm then my block has not been decked. The cylinder bores measured between 89.015 --> 89.087 so I would be looking to rebore to 89.25 mm if I can get the correct pistons. This will be a standard street car, just want something reliable and convenient to drive on the weekends. With the head having been machined so much (workshop manual recommending only going to 128.5mm, although Macartney says you can take off 1.5mm when trying to raise compression), I am wondering: 1. what my options are in terms of pistons, only flat-tops? or bathtubs too (would compression get too high? I want to keep it to 9.5 max, happy to go lower. Would the bathtubs be getting close to hitting the valves? If so I wont even bother searching for them) 2. do I need to use an adjustable timing sprocket to compensate for the change in timing because of the head height? Thanks, Sam
  9. Does it happen when pressing the brake pedal?
  10. Thanks for all your suggestions and comments everyone, I feel a bit out of my depth with this being the first engine that I've taken apart but it's been great drawing on the combined experience of the members, much appreciated! I've continued on with the dissection before sending the block off to the machine shop for cleaning and measuring. Here are the main bearing caps removed: And the crankshaft removed: and finally the other half of the bearings in the block:
  11. Thanks wegweiser, this sounds like a good offer. I have a few things I need to consider which maybe the forum can help me with: - this car will be used on Sundays to go on rides with the family, is 10:1 appropriate for such a use case? - premium fuel in Australia is 98 RON which seems to be like 93 in the states, will 10:1 compression cause detonation issues and make it hard for me to easily refuel and be a headache? - from the stampings on the current pistons the cylinder bores would be 89 (need to get machine shop to do actual measurements), if I rebore for 90.00mm pistons then I would be jumping a few rebore steps wouldn't I? Does that mean that I would not be able to rebore that block again? Thanks
  12. Hi RH002AJ, Yes the adjusting nuts on my rear brakes were rusted, I was really careful not to round their heads because I didn't want to replace the backing plate. So I applied WD40 and let it sit and also applyed heat before patiently rotating them while spraying more WD40, the rust started to come out and they became easier to turn. Once they were pretty smooth I applied some spray on silicon grease to keep out the moisture in the future. I think the fact that these adjusting bolts are exposed to the outside and they are in a tight spot with the wheels and tyres means that they often get rounded off. Good point about the lubrication of the wire itself, I haven't done that but it might be a good time to do it with everything exposed right now. I am upto my neck with engine parts currently as I took one engine apart and now it has been confirmed that the pistons need replacing, today i am going to check the pistons on the parts-car fingers crossed maybe they are useable and I could put one working engine into the car while I rebuild another with new parts.
  13. So I did some measurements on the pistons and I think the pistons are, how do you say in German? "Kapoot"! The pistons are KS brand and have 88.97 stamped on the top. I have one small micrometer which I used for measuring the ring height and used a digital verniers for the piston diameter and distance from top of piston to the top of the wrist pin hole ('A'). My feeler gauges are pretty basic, I have to get a better set but I measured the ring side clearance and ring gap anyway. Here are the results: #1: Rings: Groove 1: - side clearance = 0.457mm - ring height = 1.576 mm - ring gap = 1.397 mm Groove 2: - side clearance = 0.051 mm - ring height = 1.942 mm - ring gap = 0.813 mm Groove 3: - side clearance < 0.038 mm - ring height = 3.997 mm - ring gap = 1.27 mm Piston: Diameter: 88.96 mm 'A': 31.30 mm --------------------------- #2: Rings: Groove 1: - side clearance = 0.406 mm - ring height = 1.42 mm - ring gap = 1.313 mm Groove 2: - side clearance = 0.1 mm - ring height = 1.93 mm - ring gap = NA Groove 3: didn't measure Piston: Diameter: 88.93 mm 'A': 31.34 mm --------------------------- #3: Rings: Groove 1: - side clearance = 0.292 mm - ring height = 1.62 mm - ring gap = 1.143 mm Groove 2: didn't measure Groove 3: didn't measure Piston: Diameter: 88.94 mm 'A': 31.37 mm --------------------------- #4: Rings: Groove 1: - side clearance = 0.317 mm - ring height = 1.676 mm - ring gap = 1.372 mm Groove 2: - side clearance = 0.051 mm - ring height = 1.964 mm - ring gap = 0.762 mm Groove 3: didn't measure Piston: Diameter: 88.936 mm 'A': 31.433 mm The ring side-clearance on all pistons was way out, not even in the ballpark. I could easily feel the step that was created inside the groove. This clearance was much better on groove 2 and 3. The ring gap was another one which seemed to be way out on all pistons, not sure what that means. I don't have a bore gauge so I don't know what state the bores are in. I will pull out the pistons out of the 74 donor car and do a quick measure on them but they already have lots of pitting on the top of two of the pistons (steam damage I think). I get the feeling that I might need to get new pistons, are there any good sources of pistons for 121 heads?
  14. Just an update, I've sent the heads (sent the one from the 74 donor car too) off to the machine shop for pressure testing and inspection. In the meantime I got the pulley and the lower timing cover off, found the chain guides to be pretty badly worn so I will be replacing them and definitely the oil pump chain and some shims. The crankshaft sprocket, timing chain and cam sprocket l'm not sure. The 3 bolt chain sprocket is NLA, can I get the new splined rotor and put it in the old housing? Or better to buy a new e21 pump and change the pickups? Here's the 71 crank sprocket And this is the 74 sprocket on the donor engine: The caps are off the 71 rods: The journals look pretty clean. My machinist said he can hone and wash the block and then linish(?) the crank and gave me the pricing for some new bearings and rings. No going back now! I haven't cleaned the pistons yet or measured them as I only have a digital vernier caliper, that wont give me an accurate enough answer would it? I just wiped the bearings to see the surface better: I'm doing all this in a dusty garage, what precautions do I need to take when I go to assemble things?
  15. That's encouraging that you guys think the engine looks good! Tonight I tackled the sheared off coolant drain plug, it didn't take much drilling to get through, must have just been a little bit of the bolt left in there and that was already crumbling. The amount of rust flakes and powder that came out of there while I was poking a stick from above, was pretty amazing. I hope that all the deposits end up at that corner and it's not like that all over. I'm thinking about taking everything off the block and maybe pressure cleaning it. It's hard to take a photo of the drain hole but here is what it looks like now: I still haven't got the lower timing cover off because I don't have a big enough pulley, hopefully by the weekend. But I did take some photos of the oil pump chain, it feels very floppy to me. The factory manual says 'adjust chain tension so that the chain can be depressed with light thumb pressure', well I just have to touch it and it flops around, here it is without any pressure: Here it is being pressed with the end of a toothbrush: There seems to be some sort of shim under the pump already but I think a much thicker shim is needed to make the chain tighter. In order to take the pistons out, do I need to use a reamer to take the lip of the cylinders? No there is no cross-hatching left on the 2 cylinders that I had a look at but I haven't cleaned them up properly yet. There are some vertical lines on the cylinders, is the rule of thumb to run a fingernail along the cylinder and if I can feel the lines then it's a problem?
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