Test fit engine: success and trouble

With the transaxle secure I reinstalled the engine for a final test fit to make sure the rear panels will fit over it and begin the process of routing fuel, coolant and other things to it. But something seemed strange as I tried to get the motor to settle on the input shaft.

Try as I might, and no matter how I adjusted the jack or the chains on the hoist, she just would not slide home.

Finally I just cinched up the nuts a little at a time. I know you’re not supposed to do that and I half expected a “POP” to happen as the shaft finally made it past (or broke) the pilot bearing. But no pop. She just gradually settled in, a half-turn at a time.

engine in again1 engine in again2 engine in again4

Ah. Sweet! Shouldn’t have worried, right?

Looks a bit higher than last time–and a little more tucked in. And sure enough:

distance tucked3I was shooting for 3/4 or 7/8 of an inch. Got an inch and a quarter.

Looks like I’ll need every bit of that though with the Rhino mounts.

rad hose tight rad hoase tight 2The top coolant hose is still a squeeze. I’ll need to get some metal line or at least braided steel covers to keep this from abrading away.

And the oil fill is still no good. Dang.

oil fill won't allow screw2She won’t fit at all with the cap on. I guess I’ll have to modify it somehow to bring it closer to the block.

Otherwise, she’s good. I set the alternator as high as she’ll go. That leaves just about zero clearance from the engine lid.

alternator is tightcover fits!Just for fun I decided to test fit the INI starter. So I loosened the nut on that side.


Oh shit. What was that?

I tightened the starter on. It went on no trouble. That’s when I discovered why the engine didn’t want to close on the transaxle. I puzzled it for a minute. Then I tried to spin the motor. No go.

Loosened the nut. The engine now turned, but hard.

Loosened a couple other nuts. Now it turns more easily. But still hard (and now I’ve tightened the front pulley on pretty good, which is bad, because I want to have it off when I take the engine in and out of the car).

The engine is separating from the trans again. I get an idea: I pull the clutch lever. I can pull it with my hand. That tells me my pressure plate is not pushing against the throwout bearing, because if it was I would not be able to budge that clutch lever with my hands.

So I find the red card that came with the KEP pressure plate. I swear read it before but didn’t understand: that collar it came with is only to be used with the early transaxles. It won’t fit over the little tube my trans has–the tube my throwout bearing slides on.

Now it’s time to take the engine out again to correct this. But I can’t do that easily because the pulley is stuck on the front. Also, the studs are pretty well jammed in the KEP plate, so there’s no easy way to get the lateral room I need to get the engine out.

The process takes about 45 minutes of swears. My channel locks take some good shavings off the long stud on the starter.

At some point one of the upper bolts holding the KEP plate to the engine falls out. bolt strippedThese are too short, and they’re probably both stripped because I tried to get them to 35 ft-lbs even so.

So now I know I need two new bolts, a half inch or so longer.

Finally the engine’s back out. Pressure plate comes off, the collar comes off. Here it is.

collar forgotten collar forgotten2No way that sucker fits on the trans tube.

collar don't fit input shaft okBut looks like nothing is the worse of wear.

I’ll pick up the bolts this week and pop the engine back in, hopefully, one night this week.

Then I’ll get the shift rod out. Looks like we’re taking 1.25 inches out of it.

Then it’s fun and games with the oil filler, and mocking up the coolant lines to the front of the car.

And to the heater.


About stuntmidget

I'm a poor mechanic and general wisenheimer. I love old cars and the stories behind them, true or not.
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2 Responses to Test fit engine: success and trouble

  1. SubieGuy says:

    Wow, can’t wait to see it finished. Flat Four for the win!!

  2. Pingback: RUST! | bridgetmgtd

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