Day 28 – The first of many delays begins…
So it started right up with the new can of gasoline and I had it revved up and down for a while and then it just sputtered and stopped.
I’ve tried for 10 minutes and it won’t start again.
I noticed that the lights have all gone out on my Zalex starter console but clicking start still engages the starer to turn the flywheel.
I really have no idea what happened and why it won’t start again.
I was just getting ready to try to go around and adjust the idle when it stopped too.
I’m at a loss now and I’m hoping that the Pertronix unit in the distributor didn’t somehow just burn out. I’ll have to diagnose the ignition path again and see if that’s it or not.
So much for today’s efforts.
Emailed Zalex about all the lights going out on the control box. Not sure if there’s an internal fuse or what that may have blown, preventing the necessary circuit from working.
They got back to me very quickly and informed me that there is in fact an internal fuse.
Day 29 – C’mon? A simple fuse in town?!?!?
So I disassembled the Zalex control box and the fuse inside did blow, explaining why the circuit to the distributor and such is dead.
So I put the fuse in my shirt pocket, play musical cars with the BMW and the Forester to get to Murbella and finally head out to the store to find a replacement fuse.
Now I did take some pics (attached) before I left but I still don’t have the hang of the camera software on the new Moto G7 and don’t do well with closeups. Note: That comes in to play later.
So I ran around and snagged take out lunch, hit the post office for the other half, and then headed to the store.
I’m looking around Beechwold hardware for the fuses when the owner asks if I need help. I go to pull the fuse out of my pocket and lo and behold I have a tiny hold in the pocket with no fuse to be found.
I retrace my steps out to the car. Look all over Murbella. Trace my steps back into the store to then pull up the fuse photos in the hope of being able to tell what it is. They are just blurry enough to be either a x0amp so it could be 10 or 20.
I decide to run home and retrace my steps while playing musical cars but no, no fuse on the ground.
I look up the product and thankfully, they have a small not stating internal 5mm x 20mm x 10A so I’ve got something to go on.
Grab Murbella and head to Autuzone (since I have some money on a gift card) and they only have 5mm x 40mm glass fuses.
So back into the car to drive back up to Beechwold hardware to finally start going through all of their bins. (Since they are a locally owned small business hardware store they often have many oddball sizes and unexpected things you can’t find elsewhere.)
The owner helps me and for some reason, their trays stop at 5×20 x 6A so I’m now shit out of luck there.
I’ve spent an hour running around and no fuses so I gave up on the engine work and decided to work on other things.
And now… it is zero clouds in the sky so Volkswagen vinyl seats exposed to the sun with the top down have burned several layers of skin off my thighs and calves.
So I couldn’t find the damn fuse I need for the engine start control box at any auto parts stores or other hardware stores I went to. So I’ll be ordering that online tonight.
I tried for about 45 minutes to get Żuczek running again. The fuel pump is working and he’s turning over. He almost sputters to life with the startling fluid so now I’m thinking it is a carb issue.
You all know I had that engine fully running a few months back!!!! I have video to prove it was running!
My fuses will arrive on Tuesday so I probably won’t be able to tackle the new engine again until at least Wednesday given Amazon delivers always seem to happen very late for some reason.
Day 30 – The first of many delays begins…
So now that I have a new fuse in that control box everything is back to normal.
So with the static timing it runs but then the idle is off on the carbs so it will stall. I’ve been keeping it running by hand trying to take it up and down the RPM cycles to set the piston rings.
This muffler gets super hot. Almost burned myself twice. That shipping coating is coming off which is fine since I planned on removing the muffler to clean it and properly paint it before it goes in the car.
At least I am hoping it is just that coating by the merged area. There’s exhaust coming out of the pipes but who knows what other problems lurk on these cheap EMPI things.
I’d still like to get the original extractor muffler on this for the actual car.
You may recall I had that cheap extractor exhaust all sanded down and repainted with a high temp paint but then had major issues with fitment on the j-pipes.
I ended up just throwing on another cheap EMPI muffler that still had the shipping coating on and of course that is all burning off now since I’m getting the engine running up and down the RPM cycles.
Anyway, what is kind of pissing me off is that I had sanded down and painted the J-Pipes with a 1200 °F header paint and it is burning off. I mean, it could be some of the old coating under the paint that didn’t fully get removed but who knows.
Before this goes into Żuczek I plan on taking off the exhaust, cleaning up the engine really good (from the oil pump mess earlier in the test runs) and then touch up paint as needed, tighten everything up and get anti-seize on where it needs to be.
Well. It always has to be something.
I had the engine running again and dialed in the distributor manually to get it to idle better.
I went to go get my timing gun from behind the engine and wham… all of a sudden things started getting weird and sounding odd.
The serpentine belt tensioner had flown off.
If found the pulley but I have yet to find the rest of it.
This sucks the usual balls.
I can always pull it off and install a basic degree pulley and a standard V belt but I really liked how smooth the serpentine belt ran.
So this was the vid I took before I turned it off to go grab my timing light.
Now I can hear the odd sound of the belt that I did not hear before and I actually brought the camera in and you can see the damn serpentine tensioner bolt/mechanism coming out.
I had not noticed this at all earlier so I do not know when it started to loosen up.
The wires to the control box and such are always in the way of the flywheel so I’m constantly trying to hold the box and make sure that there is no risk of hitting the flywheel or any hot parts.
I just kind of move the camera around and don’t actually look at the screen.
I wish I had.
I’ll go out later and walk the grass and try to find where the parts flew off to. I did not hear anything else hit anything like I did when the pulley hit the concrete so I assume the soft landed somewhere.
Ok. So it took many passes but I found the bolt about 45′ away. If we did not have a 6′ wooden privacy fence it would have gone into the neighbor’s yard.
If it had gone the other direction it would probably have shattered a window.
So I put some strong threadlocker on it and retorqued it in.
Seems to be fine.
Started and ran the engine again but, and of course, it has to be something, I’ve got what looks like oil coming from behind the flywheel as well as somewhere up front. I can’t tell yet if the hoses are leaking or what.
Another thing I noticed was random, but I wanted to see how hot that muffler got.
I was putzing around with the infrared thermometer and realized the the 1/2 head is in the 500 °F but the 3/4 head is barely cracking 150 °F, The same significant drop in temps is seen throughout the exhaust paths.
Something is definitely not right on the 3/4 side.
The carb synchrometer was at max on 1/2 and no adjustment I made could get it to drop.
It was was between 5 and 7 on 3/4 so something is not right with the carbs at all.
I forgot to mention I bought this low end tach in the hopes it would go on easy. Of course, none of the wires were long enough so I had to extend them all.
While the video is upside down, I certainly hope those numbers are not remotely accurate. I doubt it.
I mean, there’s no way that just running a stock engine with this setup is going to put me fluctuating between 7000 and 8000 rpms at all. No way.
You’d hear that.
It was some super cheap Chinese Amazon one and I don’t but much validity in those readings.
Day 31 – Teardown and cleaning
Remote oil parts are soaking in Purple Power. No clear leak origin for front yet.
So. As I said yesterday, I was going to take parts off, drain the first oil, valve adjustments, and assorted other things to try and diagnose the 3/4 cylinder differences.
Well… let’s just say shit stopped with the simple things of doing the oil change.
And if I remember correctly at engine build I probably could have prevented this entirely.
For some reason know only to Zündfolge I ended up not only stripping 2 of the sump studs but I again did it to a 3rd that I now cannot get out at all.
I managed to find replacement new studs at the local mom and pop hardware store (thanks Beechwold hardware) and got 2 of them done but the 3rd I cannot get out at all.
Now when I assembled the engine I had felt there seemed to be maybe 2mm or so missing for a true comfortable fit of the screen, 2 gaskets, and then the sump plate and then crush washer on a few of the studs.
I assembled it anyway and after getting some of them down and torqued, I was finally able to get the others on (barely) due to the compression offered by the first few.
What I believe I did was in my efforts to get them on, I hosed the threads as I screwed on the acorn nuts and this was a time bomb I created for myself.
In retrospect, I should have backed out each sump stud, and put them all in again with the exact same length exposed or the nuts.
This would not be a problem to deal with if the engine was still on the stand and wasn’t all assembled.
Hell… even if it was on the stand it would be easier to deal with.
The problem is that I have it sitting on several bricks, and there’s just not enough space under between the bricks let alone from the sump to the pallet to really work.
And of course, I’m mostly doing it upside down like when working on the car itself.
So… a bit of a pain in the ass.
All this just because I wanted to make sure there was no debris really caught in the screen.
After several hours I am on a break. I need to rethink this last stud removal. It is stripped now from the vise clamps. It was too damaged to get 2 nuts on it so it has been a fun annoying WASTE of my time when this should have all been a smooth day.
As always… my own worst enemy.
The spent oil was really cloudy and thankfully no real metal debris so I did something right there.
The screen had a lot of particulates but they all seem to be bits of assembly lube and lithium grease that did not fully melt into the oil.
There was just a tiny bit of metal specks on the magnet.
I really cleaned up the remote filter parts. I accidentally damaged one of the 90° turns when reassembling. (I had my wrench in the wrong placement and paid for it when substantial brass damage.
Anyway, I just assembled it with the parts remaining and it should still be fine for now.
I used the Gasoila Soft-Set Thread Sealant which is rated for both the brass and the aluminum, as well as oil with a temp range up to 600ºF and a 10,000 psi range so this should be good.
I’m thinking I may just install a temporary bypass hose from pump outlet to the intake fow now until I get the engine in the car. A lot less dangly bits in my already crappy garage setup.
Day 32 – Showstopper
Ok. After several hours of trial and error there is no way I can get this stud out without some kind of special small stud extraction tool.
Day 33 – A different direction in carbs
So the plan changed and I’ve gone ahead and shifted to dual EMPI HMPX 40 carbs instead of the single barrel EPC ones. I’ll use them on the AE engine when that gets the top refreshed to go into the 74 to sell.
I decided to paint the manifolds black. No porting since I’d like to just keep moving on this build.
Days 34-38 – Tackling the inner oil sump lock down nut.
2019-08-24 to 2019-08-30
I tried multiple methods and finally, had to call in a 2nd person to hold a ratchet on the stud (from below) while I worked a bent plier set and a wrench to finally get the nut on inside and then screw it all up.
It is not easy, but it can be done. I just need to learn to ask for a 2nd set of hands. I probably wasted multiple days trying to figure out how to do it solo.
Days 39 – J-Tube Mess Up
My attempts to add a layer of insulation to the J-Tubes to help keep heat way from the valve covers was a disaster.
The material I used from JEGS was not the right kind of material, and instead the heat generated by the pipes burned it off. I pulled those tubes off and installed another set.
I still may wrap them with the same kind of header insulation. Anything to keep that heat down and out the exhaust is best.
Days 40 to 43 – Not tuning well
2019-09-04 to 2019-09-07
I disassembled the carbs to make sure the tolerances were all there.
The tolerances of the butterflies were all ok, and it is more or less just a problem of the assembly at the factory.
I’ve read so much about Weber IDF and Empi HPMX setups and there’s so much conflicting info out there.
No matter what I did, or from where I started the adjsutments, there were issues with the tuning.
Days 45 – New seals
I decided to try out something new for seals on the doghouse cooler and vent. The ones that are supposedly OEM style dont’ fit quite right (go figure) so I decided to try another route.
I found a roll of a U Channel seal on Amazon and cut it to fit. Using a tiny amount of spot drops of a high-temp silicone I attached it and it seems to be a lot tighter and make a better seal between the metal parts (above).
Only time will tell if this was the correct choice.
There are some other styles out there that may hold better, but ultimately it will be a matter of temperature resistance.