I was checking out the crank bearings and somehow managed to put the #3 cap on backwards. When I was torquing it down, it felt ‘soft’ and I backed off both bolts and tried again. The second time, it tightened fine but later when I tried to turn the crank it was seized I pulled that cap and found the bearing was smeared and one leg of the cap was cracked. In several places. And the hole was elongated. Crap!
Oh well, I’ll just order a new one… No such luck. None of the big suppliers even sold the caps. Turns out they are machined in place. This is to ensure that they are perfectly aligned for the crank. This makes total sense but it means that my little oops is going to be costly. Checking with others on the 6-pack forum it sounds like this could cost several hundred or maybe several thousand dollars. If I bother to have the block repaired, I might as well check the cylinders and pistons. No doubt they’ll need some work. Let’s not forget the head either. In for a penny, in for a pound. Just rebuild the whole damn thing. But I hate the idea of dropping thousands on an engine just to end up at the measly 100HP of a stock motor. To get more costs additional thousands. The cheapest way to add 50 horses is a supercharger and that’s only about $4K. I would have rather gone straight to that but was assuming my engine didn’t need major work to prepare for it.
At this point, I seriously considered swapping in a V8. A 302 with aluminum heads would be a little lighter and have a hell of a lot more power, especially in the torque department. Lots of people have done this. I researched for days looking at details of motor mounts and firewall modifications. The cost is comparable to a well sorted stock motor. I think I could do it for under $5000 depending on the engine. If I could find a decent used one, the cost could be considerable lower. But…
But the body is freshly painted and I just got the frame back from the powder coater. I would have to weld new mounts on the frame. The firewall in the body would almost certainly have to be cut. The steering has to be re-routed. All these things are doable but I really don’t feel like starting over.
So I stopped by my painter, KJ Restorations, and asked him for a machine shop recommendation. He told me about a few but when I described my problem, he said he had a couple of TR6 engines :). One was right there in his shop. But this one wouldn’t turn over. By the looks of it at least one cylinder is rusty. It might not be too bad but I don’t need 2 broken engines. The other engine was in a car at a storage area. KJ and I went there a few days later to have a look and so far, it is promising. The engine is easy to turn over and it looks like it’s had recent work done on it. The head is freshly painted blue (the block is not) and there’s not too much gunk on it. The oil is clean. So KJ offered me both engines for $250. Of course I bought them It took a few days to coordinate a tow but he brought the car by my house yesterday and we pulled the engine. It wasn’t too hard since the tranny was already gone and there was only one bolt holding it in. There was a block of wood between the head and the firewall. The exhaust manifold was already unbolted.
The donor car is a ’72 so the engine is a CC series. Fortunately it is a late model and has the later block and head. My freshly powder coated manifold will bolt right up. Another bonus is the alternator mount. My ’75 had an air pump and the alternator mounted below it. The earlier cars didn’t have the pump and the alternator mounted higher. The mount adapter on the block is smaller so I can use that on which ever engine I end up using.
Right now I’ll see if the new engine (the good one) is serviceable. If so I’ll just clean it up and install it. Then I can decide if I want to rebuild one of the others. I hadn’t gone very far on the original engine so there’s a complete set of gaskets ready. I have a new timing chain and sprocket set for it. The cover for that and the water pump housing are pc’d. I sent the harmonic balancer off for rebuild. Oh that is another story.
I was cleaning the crank pulley and noticed what I thought was an o-ring on the face. I tried to dig it out but ended up cutting it. Then I looked on the other side and saw the same kind of rubber ring. Hmmm…me thinks this goes all the way through… Crap! I just ruined the harmonic balancer Oh well, what’s another hundred bucks.
What got me looking at the crank in the first place is the the thrust washers. These are half rings that sit on either side of the rear most crank bearing block. They provide a sacrificial bearing surface under fore and aft loads on the crank, like when the clutch is depressed. Optimal axial play on the crank is under .005. My original engine had .010. I pulled the washers and measured them. The front was .092 and the rear was .096. So to get down to say .003, I need a rear washer that is .103 thick. I’ve been in touch with Scott of Custom Thrush Washers but will now need to check the ‘new’ engine.
Note to self: get some pictures up here.