Archive for January, 2010

GT Engine Overhaul

The ’78 GT I purchased a few years back will finally get an engine this spring. The one in the car was spectacularly blown at under 90k.

One can literally put their fist through the side.

I’ve actually never seen any B21-B230 style engine blown up before. The PO must have really worked hard at it. I mean the noise must have been incredible!

Here’s the back:

Balance shaft popped right out.

The #1 bearing journal is something to behold:

Do you think we'll have to grind it?

There were some parts sitting in the pan:


Anyway, after having a free good-running B23 whisped beyond my grasp I turned to a well-maintained ’81 B21 with 260k that my friend Jake had lying around. The original plan was to just clean the thing up and throw it in but after more inspection I got the idea in my head to rebuild it. What I probably should have none is grab a rusty 740 Turbo and swap that whole unit in. Hindsight is 20-20 blah blah blah.

Dirty but sound. The timing belt chamber will full of mouse turds.

Barely any ridge at all. Original crosshatch still evident:

Removing the head revealed a petrified arachnid.

Removing the head revealed a petrified arachnid.

The bores had no wear to speak of.

Sir Jake checking bore

Sir Jake checking bore.

Flash-forward and it’s clean and painted and ball-honed:

Motor Farg from Olaf was very potent. If you want to borrow my hone let me know- I'll probably never use it again.

Installing the Deves rings was easy. Cleaning the ring lands took forever.
Probably better off buying new pistons- they are much cheaper than B18/20.
Because no one wants them. Because only fools rebuild the B21.

Just nifty.

It was fun. Really. Felt good to polish the crank. The motor turns very smoothly.

Before and after, left to right.

So the lower end is ready to go. I need to decide what to do with the head. Meanwhile I might throw this other motor in (from a ’79, runs well) to get the thing rolling while I make decisions and acquire parts and otherwise procrastinate:

Threw a lightly used clutch in while I was there.


A house that would have been nice

Last year I was considering selling my house in favor of something with more garage space. I went to look at a property down in East Greenwich. It was really nice- funky little ancient place that had adapted over time. Unfortunately the real estate market was the way it was and it would have been hard to sell my current home. Anyway, while I was there I took a couple of shots of the Amazon in the driveway.

She did look really sweet.

The carriage house would have been just perfect. I’d have been able to store three inside and still have a workshop (in the second bay, preserving the Japanese maple).

Goodbye, old site

Well, it’s finally time to say goodbye to the old site. The static content served well for a time but blog format is much better. I haven’t moved all of the content over yet, but will soon enough. Here’s one last look at the splash:

Would it have killed you to get the right screw?

Ok, I do admire the speed and efficiency of this repair, but the part to fix the chronic problem of early 140 instrument cluster subsidence is still available. Now I have a hole in my dash to fill.

I guess it works, but who wants to look at that?

The correct fix is to replace the white plastic long-shank fastener with an upgraded brass unit:

p/n 677448 ($11.65 each)

It is a very attractive part I must say. Just one was needed for each of my 140 models- the right side on both was holding on fine.

Mystery Tray

My friend Jake had this between the front seats of his 1800. I’m not sure if it’s a factory accessory or vintage aftermarket or what. If you know, please comment or email me. If you like it make me an offer.

I've never seen one like it.

I cleaned up the bracket and painted it. The tray itself could use a patch and maybe a spray with black interior paint.

A vanity plate for Cucumber?

I was thinking of getting a vanity plate for Cucumber but I don’t know. $72.50 seems like a lot. I think if I did get it, it would have to be:

We’ll see.

The Article

Back in summer 2008 my friend Ryan of riography was talking to a fellow photographer about his friend with too many cars and they thought it would make a good Projo Cars article. I got a phone call and soon enough the reporter and photographer were at my house.

Overall a good article but they did make a few factual errors. So many in fact that I feel compelled to post a version with corrections (click for PDF):