Archive for the ‘Engine’ Category

It’s Alive!

Monday, March 1st, 2010

All of the front end brackets are now finally installed.  A hex nut was welded to the rear power steering pump bracket in order fasten the lower alternator bolt.  I machined a spacer out of 1″ aluminum bar stock to match the original spacer height minus the hex nut height.  This was necessary since the cylinder heads don’t have a tapped hole like the later heads.

More importantly though, today the engine turned over by the starter for the first time!   The motor was primed and oil pressure gauge connected.  With some starter fluid and gas in the carb the motor turned over and fired for a few strokes.  Unfortunately that was about it.  It looks like the fuel pump may be bad.  The pump pulled some fuel up to the inlet but nothing in the outlet of the pump after quite a while.  I’ll try again after the new pump is installed.

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Motor Brackets

Sunday, February 21st, 2010

The front end motor brackets were mocked up to ensure all the correct parts were there.  It turns out that all of the standard ’73 brackets fit will work after all.  A tapped hole was  missing from the ealier 1970 heads.  To correct this, a nut will be welded on on the existing rear power steering pump bracket and a shorter alternator spacer will need to be machined to clear the nut.  Pulleys and the fan were painted and allowed to dry. 

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Aluminum Valley Pan

Monday, February 15th, 2010

Today the aluminum valley pan from Butler Performance was installed.  I’m glad pan was finally changed out since there was still crud coming out of the old pan when tapped lighly.  As per the instructions, the cork gasket was glued to the pan with high temp gasket maker.  Studs were installed into the block at no more than 0.75″ as any further may cause cam bearing damage.  I elected to install my studs roughly 5/8″ deep.  After the studs were measured and installed to depth, gasket maker was applied in a continuous bead all the way around, slightly heavy on both ends of the block.  The studs were held in place with an allen wrench and the nylon lock nuts tightened until there was pressure on both ends of the gasket.  I’m uneasy about how well the pan is going to seal and how tight is “too tight” for the nuts.  I’m not overly impressed with the fitment.  Unfortunately I had to bevel the edges heavily to get the Tomahawk intake to clear.  The baffeling in the PCV hole was very slight.  I guess only time will tell if there will be any problems.  If I had it to do all over again I’d go with the Tomahawk two piece stamped steel valley pan that will also clear roller lifters.

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PCV Grommet

Monday, February 8th, 2010

I finally made a little progress after two consecutive snow storms that conveniently happened to both fall on weekends. The distributor and Taylor custom fit spark plug wires were installed.  Unfortunately I’ll have to remove the intake to replace the valley pan.  I’ve decided to use an aluminum valley pan from Butler Performance.  I mistakingly left the PCV grommet in place before I dropped off the valley pan to the machine shop.  Not long after installing the intake, it quickly became evident that the grommet could not be removed without breaking apart and falling into the motor.  The ’73 fuel pump was swapped out at Napa for an ’81 style.  They are practically identical except for the direction of the fuel inlet tubes.  The ’81 style faces the opposite direction from the ’73.  To finish out the day, a rebuilt quadrajet carburetor from Sean Murphy Induction was mounted to the Tomahawk intake.

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Fuel Pump, Water Pump, & Oil Filter Housing

Monday, January 25th, 2010

The Trans Am restoration continues.  A Flow-Kooler water pump was purchased from Summit.  The water pump and fuel pump were cleared with Rust-o-leum’s Engine Enamel.  The clear should prevent aluminum oxidation in the future.  The fuel pump was purchased from Napa Auto Parts.  The fuel pump was for a ’73 Pontiac.  It turns out that the fuel lines are on opposite sides of the car for ’73 and ’81 because the fuel inlets point in the wrong direction.  On the ’73 the inlets point across the motor.  This is a problem since my fuel lines are on the driver’s side.  I could get by with looping a fuel hose around to the inlet but getting the later pump should make the setup cleaner and more safe.  Lastly, the oil filter housing was painted metallic blue to match the block.  The engine should be ready to start in a few weeks.

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