Wednesday 21 February 2024

Project Pickle - engine tidy up (part 5)

Once back in my dad's workshop it was really the first time that I realised just how much smaller the little Pickle is compared to Comrade Car (my previous Lada Niva 1600).

With the front grill removed, I have to admit, I have yet to find a car/truck that is nicer to work on. Also, as hinted at before, I am sure there's bigger Golf-carts than the lil' Pickle.

With the radiator removed (4 bolts for the radiator, 4 for the fan shroud), slightly loosen the alternator mounting bolts and the fan belt comes right off. 

Couple dugga-duggas and the crankpulley comes right off.

Timing belt was definitely due - it felt more like a rubber band than an actual belt to be honest.

To make life easier (and be able to feel, if I got the timing wrong), I marked all the plug caps and then proceeded to remove the plugs. Only to find out that the two center ones weren't even remotely tightened. 

And a quick picture of how the timing was set up, when it was still running, never hurt nobody. (Foreshadowing)

The lower pulley has got some M8-threads and the pivot bolt of the tensioner is perfect to press it off the crank.

Looking at the area around the crankshaft seal made me realise that I might have found the very first of the oil-leaks of this engine.

To be honest, when you're already in there, you might as well do the camshaft seal as well.

Ironically despite its looks, the thermostat was still working.

The waterpump put up a good fight and must have been leaking for a while already.

As the cast iron of the mating surface was a bit pitted, a generous amount of liquid gasket was applied to the block in order to stop things from leaking again.

As some previous owner had lost at least one of the spacers for the timing cover (10mm OD, 7mm ID, 7mm tall), I quickly turned a bit of stainless pipe into a handful of spacers. 

And then reinstalled everything to the same marks as before...

Double checked by turning the engine over two full revolutions without plugs.

A few drops of loctite to make sure that the camshaft pulley retainer bolt stays put.

Everything buttoned up.

Flushed the radiator one more time

Installed the whole lot and filled the cooling system via the thermostat housing.

Unfortunately there's no happy end to this story here, to me the timing looks correct (left-side as it was, right side when I was done):

 But alas, it makes the most horrible ticking sound imaginable and instantly wants to rev to the moon. Two theories on my side: 

  1. The fan-blades are hitting the shroud (had that on the Lada, because there the metal shroud got bent, when I removed it.
  2. The spark plugs weren't tightened, because they are too long. (The engine is tuned with an LJ80 head to bump up compression.)

I somewhat doubt I messed up the timing, so I hope it's the harmless bit with the fan blades and now that the two center plugs are done up correctly it's running like it should and the carb and ignition are completely off. If it's the plugs hitting the valves, well let's hope I haven't broken anything yet.

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