The View From the Garage pt 5

My, It’s been a while! – Have I done much in the garage?

Er, no…

I’ve mostly been tinkering under the bonnet of the website and working all over the country, so if there’s one positive to this nasty virus we’re currently dealing with, it’s that I get so spend some time in the garage again.

Adam was desperate for me let him at the engine and had prepared by browsing the interwebs to find out what he could about the lump so he could let me know what tools and parts I should order.

The view from the garage Pt 5

He quickly worked out that it wasn’t the original engine, but a Mk4 block and then proceeded to tell me that means the gearbox, driveshaft & diff must also be from a Mk4 as the Mk3 parts wouldn’t work (he’s right!) and showed me the Moss & Rimmer Brothers websites.

I suggested we start the strip down before we emptied the bank account…..

The delights of breaker bars and soft head mallets were enjoyed and we got the head off after a little struggle.
To say there was a bit of carbon build up would be an understatement but it’s a 52 year old car with a 48 year old drivetrain so we don’t expect it to be perfect.

As far as we could tell from the receipts that came with the car, the engine was rebuilt in 1992 and I know I took it off the road in late 1999 with a seized clutch so 7 years of me driving it followed with a 21 year ‘rest’ couldn’t have done that much harm, could it?

Cleaning the headThe good news was the engine turned reasonably freely and all but one valve was moving smoothly.

A quick test of the valve seats with some petrol showed a bit of leakage over the space of half an hour but we had already decided to strip it down as far as it went and rebuild from scratch – just to see if we could!

Hardened valve seats for unleaded use would also be the order of the day but there’s quite a bit of work to do before that happens.

'Locking' the flywheelThe internet pulled us out of a hole when trying to remove the flywheel – A quick browse and we’d found a neat trick for stopping it rotate as we tried to loosen the four bolts.

Insert a bolt in the backplate near the starter hole, use a crowbar to lock the flywheel in position and then set about unbuttoning it.
Easy when you know how!

Thank God for YouTube!

The block getting a cleanOver the space of the weekend, we had the whole thing stripped and were starting to clean old engine paint and rust from the block as well as degrease the head with my little parts cleaner and some elbow grease from my young apprentice.

I say apprentice, but it’s fair to say I’ve never been this far inside an engine either.

It’s a real learning experience for us both.

Identifying the piston sizeThe piston surfaces were caked in carbon & gunk but after a bit of a scrub they revealed that the previous rebuild had seen the block overbored to +0.30 and that piston No.1 at least wasn’t in the worst condition ever.

There was still a heck of a lot of cleaning and degreasing to go before we found out if the other three were similarly saveable…

The crankshaft and camshaft were carefully removed and placed on the bench to be inspected later.  Fingers crossed the condition is good enough to go back in without too much work.

The cleaning and inspecting will keep us busy for the coming weekend but that parts list won’t be far away.Ready to be cleaned

Remember you can always comment on the article by scrolling down and typing something in the comments box below (you’ll need to be logged in to do it) – I’m sure there are members out there who can offer words of wisdom for the project.  Get involved !

Stay safe & hopefully the next instalment won’t be too far away!



  1. Brian Mabon April 1, 2020
    • Tony Penman April 3, 2020
  2. John Jefford April 3, 2020
    • Tony Penman April 3, 2020

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