September 4, 2015 – Finished Engine Rebuild – The Engine Returns Home
The engine rebuild is complete. It took longer than expected, but the past week and a half was spent waiting to test the motor on the engine dyno, so the rebuild was actually done at the tail end of the originally estimated time frame. Just looking at it I can tell they did a precise and exacting job. One example: every freeze plug is exactly horizontal / right side up so you can easily read the part number.
As I said, there was a waiting period to test the motor on the dyno, but sadly, I didn’t actually wait long enough to know. When we started the engine rebuild, I’d really liked the idea of test-firing the motor, hearing it run, knowing what kind of power it puts out, and getting the ideal tuning numbers for my exact engine so that when it goes in the car, it’ll be ready to run. Sadly, the moment my engine was put on the dyno machine, the machine broke. So while they were able to fire it up and run it, they couldn’t get the dyno computer to communicate with the dyno itself, which naturally prevented them from being able to see what kind of power the engine was making. Apparently they fired it up several times, had it running, and broke it in. I was crestfallen to hear they’d run it without me there, I would’ve dropped everything to be there.
I told Jim I’d really wanted to hear it run, especially since it’ll be months before I’ll have it running in the car, and he welcomed me to come out to see it. He then called me back about 20 minutes later and told me that now that the dyno tech folks had been there, they’d taken the brain out of the thing and now they couldn’t even get the fuel pump to run.
After waiting several days in the hope they’d get the dyno fixed before I picked up the motor, I ultimately decided to save myself a few hundred bucks on the dyno fee and just pick the motor up. I don’t really care about the exact torque figures, I’m not going to brag about horsepower dnumbers, I just want the thing to feel powerful and drive well. And once I’d missed that first startup, seeing it run a subsequent time didn’t hold as much value for me. Maybe the next time I rebuild a motor I’ll have it dyno’d, for now, though, an estimate of 270 HP and 320 lb-ft. of torque will work just fine for me.
In any case, the engine rebuild is complete, it’s home, and it’s anxiously waiting in the garage. Knowing my speed of work, though, it’ll be December before the engine goes in the car. Before that can happen, I’ve gotta finish the brakes, wiring, and partially install the air conditioning…basically anything that’s easier to do with the engine out of the car. I’ll also need to dress the engine and put on as many accessories as I can. It’s a lot easier to put the power steering pump and brackets on standing up in the garage than it is to try to do that leaning over a freshly painted fender with five inches of clearance in front of the wrench…
Realistically it’ll be March or April at the earliest before I’ll fire it up for the first time, although if I plan everything correctly, the car will be ready to be driven when I do finally fire it up!