I broke the engine
The day finally came to swap the motors out. As I said previously I wasn’t going to drop the new motor in until something went wrong with the old one. Well it ran strong for a couple more months while the new motor sat back in my little workshop room.made a couple trips to the dragstip and into the mountains also and as long as I didn’t push the boost on that 10:1 motor too far it was a really fun motor.
One day I was doing some work and had the plenum off. I’m pretty sure I was just checking the gaps on the spark plugs. Threw it all back together and started it up and heard an awful noise. I quickly killed the motor and went to see what had happened. It was something within the timing area. I pulled the timing belt covers and found the center of the timing belt was shredded. I was not sure exactly what had caused it but I knew this was the sign the motor was getting swapped. It would only take me a couple hours more to swap the motors over just replacing the timing belt and even then I still didn’t know what had caused it.
The work began and the old motor came out. Once out I pulled the lower timing belt cover to see if I could find any clear indication of what had caused the problem. Nothing jumped right out at me so I pulled the timing belt also. This is where I found the issue. It seems that when I was last working on the engine, a nut had fallen all the way down to the crank cog and got wedged between the oil pump housing and the timing belt. As soon as the benign started it tore the belt right down the middle. I knew I had lost a nut when working on the engine but assumed it fell into the black hole under the water crossover pipe between the heads. The reason it made it so far was the little metal plate that connects the two front heads and that also allows the timing covers to bolt to each other in the middle was missing. If that plate had been there then the nut never would have made its way down to the crank cog area.
Once the motor was out I cleaned up the engine bay some and removed some things that would no longer be used like the Snow Performance methanol kit. Since I was now on a stock turbo pistons I wouldn’t need the methanol anymore to control the knock. So the kit came out and got resold. Some of the lower frame and supports were also cleaned up and repainted as needed. Easier to just knock out what I could while the engine was out.
Engine and trans were pulled as one unit since I had to mount it all up to the new engine anyways. I started stripping all of the parts like the manifolds, turbo’s, AC compressor, Alt, Etc as they all had to be swapped over to the new motor. I also had to drag the new motor out of the closet around the back of the house, which was interesting as it’s all grass for about 100 feet. Some plywood sheets helped and I got the motor out front. Swapped over all of the parts which it was still on the stand and it was ready to be dropped in.
On the old 10:1 motor I was running a basically stock clutch and it held fine outside of some slipping after multiple runs at the drag strip. So I knew on the new motor I would need to upgrade it some. I ended up going with an OEM Exedy clutch disk and upgrading to a Spec stage 2 pressure plate. This combination allows for a great drivable clutch but also able to hold the 450 hp I was eventually shooting for with the car down the road. Ignore the surface rust on the flywheel, it was sent to the machine shop and turned. Onc I got it back I cleaned it really well with brake cleaner to get off all the oil from the turning. It’s really humid here in NC so the flywheel flash rusted in a matter of days. Brake cleaner took it right off before the new disk was mounted.
Got everything connected up, fluids added, and oil primed. Took a min or so to get that first good fire up and when it did…. There was a problem. Outside of the lifter tick cause they were not yet primed, the Engine was puttering, backfiring and just not happy at all. Try to give it gas and it backfired out the intake. This directly points to a timing issue. Went back and looked everything over and the timing marks were all exact as they should have been. After doing some research the problem was with the adjustable cam gears. It seems they were not locked down tight enough and they slipped enough to throw the caming timing off. Luckily not off enough to bend any valves. Once I got the cams all zero’d back out the car was back to running as it should. At this point it was minor adjustments, setting the timing and idle and then the normal get it to temp and change out the fluids. The new motor is in and alive!!