Lots of things went wrong this weekend, now beer

So, the cunning plan was to get the short engine built this weekend, and I wasn’t far away until I had a mild issue that turned into a disaster. Well, a recoverable disaster, but not without effort and maybe cost.

I have been time slicing between getting the printer working how I want it, and doing the jobs on the engine. The major job this weekend was getting the head on, with the ARP studs set. The head had been modified and professionally built for me, but you can’t put it on the block with the cams in place – they obscure the head-bolts.

So, off came the cams, and in went the studs (threads lube’d of course) and on went the gasket and head (including the two small dollops of gasket). All the threads were painstakingly painted with the correct graphite paste and done so with an artist’s toothbrush. I’ve learned there’s no use really caking it on – it just squeezes out.

All the pressure washers went on, and as I was putting the last bolt in to hand tighten it before the torquing sequence, I fumbled it and it went down an oil gallery. Mildly frustrating I thought, but no big deal – just take the sump off (only finger tight on three bolts) and it should have dropped down. I turned the engine over on the stand, and this is where it all went arse. Four of the cam buckets fell off on to the floor. I managed to turn the engine over before more did.

Each cam-follower-bucket-type-of-thing is separately chosen for the correct valve clearance, and you guessed it, they’re all different. So, I don’t have a record of which is on which valve, and I’m just hoping my engine builders did keep a record. If not, I will have to take it back to them to be reset. Not a major deal, but hours wasted.

Then I went to do just a simple job – put the cam-chain guides on. The supplied bolts are socket-headed cap screws (my favourite of all the bolts) and they are to be torqued to 9.75Nm. No problem there – I have small torque wrench just for this, and it’s a 1/4 square. Arse. I have step-down from 1/2″ to 1/4, but no step up. By then it was 5pm and Halfords was of course closed. Then I went to my magnificent box of shiny bolts, and found a pair of flanged bolts that were the right size, and shiny. Did I mention how pretty they looked?



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