Everyone out of the pool!

Good progress over the last few days. I took 2 days of work and spent half with the car and half with the kids.

It took about 10 minutes to yank the engine and transmission. Simply remove the 2 motor mount bolts and 2 holding the transmission and out it came.

After that I took the engine and trans apart and replaced the rear main seal on the engine and loctited the adapter plate to the motor.

Also removed the water pump housing and cut the top off of it to allow the intake manifold to spin around. some Hondabond and that went perfectly back in place.

One thing I wasn’t happy about was the performance of the POR15 paint. It seems to have bubbled everywhere the to cost wasn’t applied. The wire cup on an angle grinder and an hour later the metal was all ready to be repainted. I still had 2 small cans of por in silver and painted and top coated everything I could see.

On the transmission front we were not having a great day. The replacement pivot I got was the wrong size so it had to get machined down. The clutch alignment tool was built for a larger transmission input shaft so I tried to machine it down. Unfortunately there wasn’t enough material and I machines right thru it.

After searching for replacement tools for an e30 bmw only 1 place had it and it wasn’t cheap. I eventually decided to just make a new one. Using a piece of aluminum I cut a new center on the lathe. Worked like a champ!

Unfortunately there were 2 failures that I couldn’t fix without buying new parts. The transmission input seal folded slightly and I don’t trust it and the transmission shifter seal had the same fate. Ordered 2 replacements from rock auto just in case.

Final piece for the weekend was getting the clutch bolted in. Looks good although I was expecting a self adjusting version.

Hopefully the new seals arrive this week and I can reunite the 2 halves and get them back in the chassis. Feels like progress and might get it running this year optimistically!

This engine is fighting me every step of the way!

From the moment I bought the engine it has fought me every step of the way. It seems the “Honda mechanic” that I bought it from was either a fantastic liar or had a love affair with red locktite.

I first realized it when I broke a 3/8″ extension trying to remove a flywheel bolt. I then brought out the impact wrench and it did absolutely nothing. A trip to the Chinese took store and coming home with an impact wrench that can make 800ft lbs of torque. The results? Nothing! Didn’t move it at all! Even tried heating the bolt to break the locktite but nothing changed.

Thankfully I have an amazing coworker that has the 1200lb version of the torque wrench. First thing it did was split the 12 point socket into 2. A trip to the orange store and $4 later I had a new 12 point 17mm socket. Given the first one slightly damaged the bolt head I decided to face off the new socket so it would have more grip and less of the rounded approach that makes sockets easier to get on to the bolt.

Unfortunately the bolt head on 2 of them bolts was too damaged. What happens next? Out came the welder! It took 3 attempts with the mig welder but adding a 3/4″ bolt did the trick finally. Most likely the heat of welding broke down any remaining locktite.

Up next I will put the engine back on the engine stand and verify the bottom end is good. And then we can start adding parts. The collection of “go fast parts” is growing!

I now pronounce you engine and transmission…

What started and has been a major headache is behind me. I landed up buying factory bolts and intended to have Fidanza drill the holes bigger.

 

Soon after I received them I thought it might be easier to cut the bolt heads down in the lathe. Thanks to Cawley racing we were able to shrink them down and re blue them. Success!

After the install I started on the clutch and pressure plate. With a clutch alignment tool we were quickly in business again.

Up next I man handled the transmission on to the engine and bolted things together. Even the starter motor aligned so it was a good day

Up Next is the engine wiring. All parts are sent to the harness maker and hopefully I’ll have good news soon and be ready to drop this into the chassis!

The Fidanza Fiasco continues…

What started as a promising morning didn’t end very well. I pulled the motor mounts off of the engine and welded on the needed offset pieces. Things were going very well! (note the metal braces going forward is to prevent the engine from rocking)

Using the”custom bolts” needed for the flywheel I managed to get all 8 in place and hand tight. I’ll admit I don’t love that there is no locating pin on the flywheel because it allows all of the rotational torque to be transmitted through the bolts to the transmission.

This is what the bolt looks like. It’s an m11 -which isn’t something you can easily find and definitely not something Chevrolet dealers usually stock.

 

After hand tightening the bolts I grabbed the torque wrench and set to 20ft lbs I wanted to get everything started and check alignment.

The first bolt achieved 20lb fts but the next 2 appeared to strip out. At this point I stopped and removed all 8 bolts and inspected the damage.

Even though the bolts appear hardened they lost their threads quite easily. The crank was inspected and it is fine.

While not ideal I’ll give a few vendors a call on Monday and try sort it out. Unfortunately m11 is a very uncommon size so this won’t be easy

Flywheel pilot bearing hell!

My personal opinion is that Fidanza shouldn’t be allowed to sell parts with sick half assed support . To get a party they recommended I would have to go to Europe or China but online the part is harder to find than a uniform.

I bought a piece of bronze on what and stayed to machine my own. The dimensions were simple. 16mmID 28mmOD and 26mm in length. It took about an hour to make.

Overall it will get the job done and be fine. That said I am no where near the phase of recommending a fidanza product. Especially after the need for custom bolts!

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Ordering some parts for the LTG

I recently bought clutch cover bolts online and ironically 6 packages came from a GM online dealer.  To my disappointment each only had 1 m6 bolt within it.

This is the GM throttle pedal. It isn’t ideal because of the angle that it mounts but some fabrication can make it work. Because the ecu is drive by wire a new pedal was needed.  Here are a few pictures showing the pedal

Ecotec flywheel…

The hardest to find parts is anything related to the manual transmission. It’s really like looking for a needle in a haystack.

I bought a fidanza flywheel after refusing to pay $800+ for a factory flywheel. My entire life I have wanted a lightened flywheel so it was an attractive option.

The problems..

Firstly the flywheel bolts are custom. Thankfully Tim at Zzperformance hooked me up. I will admit that looking for M11 bolts was a pain in the ass!

Secondly the pilot bearing is a big question mark. It doesn’t look like the factory would fit and there isn’t much information about what to do. More to come on that front after I talk to Fidanza.

Lastly I have called a few dealers trying to find a factory clutch and pressure plate. Many of them don’t see it in the parts catalog which is frustrating. I will most likely just buy it from Zzperformance.

If you decide to go LTG I would recommend just buying the clutch masters at from zz and be done. Spending hours trying to find information for simple things is not worth the savings!