"Keep a Journal: How else are you going to get a good look at who you were?"

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Things that have gone wrong so far:

The cylinder isn't cracked. Now that I've seen what an actual cracked cylinder liner looks like - this ain't it.

I broke one of the exhaust manifold studs on the inboard head.

A sensor on the transmission housing, next to the fluid dipstick, got its connector yanked out. This revealed stripped/melted leads. I'll have to arrange a replacement.

This engine is extraordinarily dirty. Oil leakage and being left out-of-doors on the world's largest sandbar (Richmond, BC) has left crud on every exterior surface below the valve covers. The valve covers would be where the leakage is coming from. They were never sealed properly, and have been tightened repeatedly in an effort to stop the leaks. They've been tightened so much, in fact, that they can't seal properly.

Fortunately, I have a set of heads with un-broken studs, and a set of valve covers that will seal properly. In fact, I have a whole working ENGINE! So why am I back to re-building the engine that's in the '95, as opposed to swapping the engine from the '94?

Because I can.

Okay...there's more to it than that. First, there's the quick and dirty job I did overhauling the engine on the '94. I re-used the gaskets and so there are some vacuum leaks. It runs...but it doesn't run all that well. Then there's the mileage: the '95 has about 100,000k less on it than the '94. This is borne out by the general condition of the manifolds, coolant plumbing, etc. If I swapped the '94 engine into the '95 I might still have to do the overhaul again and so why not just overhaul the engine that's already there? There is the crack in the manifold to consider...but that's what JB weld is for...

Right now I'm more than a little uncertain how to proceed. I'd much rather put the engine that's already there back together than swap it out for another engine. Details from the Haynes manual spell out that the engine is designed to be re/re'd with the trans axle still attached. I can certainly sell the hoist for what I bought it for...assuming I won't actually need it. I may be setting myself up for disappointment here. I could get this engine all completed and find out it really *does* have some hidden flaw that means I'll still need to re/re this engine for the other one.

I see one of three possibilities:

I'll get this engine rebuilt. It'll be an A1 job, following all the recommendations from the manual. It will run just fine and this van will actually last long enough for me to get the stuff done around the place that I need done AND will last long enough for me to sell it for profit.


I'll get the engine rebuilt and the van will still die from a broken transmission.


I'll get the engine rebuilt and it won't run fine, but will, in fact, need to be swapped out for the other one. Which opens a whole new can 'o worms...but which I now do have the tools to deal with, if necessary.

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