It's A Runner! - 10/20/2012

The day has arrived. The engine has been installed, everything has been bolted down. Will it run and will cam break-in go as planned?

Almost everything is installed and in!

I had to take a picture of this because it's super special. The gauges fuse is blown and the radio fuse has tin foil across it since it's blown too. How ghetto lazy can you get?

After quite a few mis-steps, it was finally ready. Since the state of the gas in the tank was somewhat unknown, it was decided to run the engine for break-in off of a metal gas can to prevent fueling problems. This was problematic the first time as the carb wasn't getting fuel. The pump was sucking, but no fuel to the bowl. The in-body fuel filter was removed to prevent problems with it. I returned later with a travel bottle for shampoo that I had put gasoline in and filled the bowl through the vent. Once it was full, some rapping with a rubber mallet in the area of the float was done to loosen it up in case the float and needle were a little stuck. After letting it sit for around 30 minutes while hooking up other parts of the engine, pump shot action was checked and the carb now had gas delivery! Cranked the engine for 3-4 seconds and it fired right up and ran at 2000RPM! Lots of smoke from the engine compartment as all the paint and grease burned off. Have a video of it running for the first time.

It regulates temperature! Kinda... The radiator is shot and the fan failed in the middle of running (it was pulling air, then stopped about 10 minutes into break-in). Have a video of it starting to overheat!

After the engine was shut down the radiator decided to vomit spectacularly. Hot water EVERYWHERE! I let it erupt, cool down, and then topped the radiator off with 2 more gallons of water (very slowly) and then break-in could resume for another 10 minutes. The oil pressure started at a solid 60psi and once the engine had warmed up dropped to 50psi (which isn't bad for 2000RPM).

More running! After the cycle repeated itself several more times and the total 30 minutes of break-in had happened, the engine oil was drained. It was the consistency of water from the pan and ultra clean (nice!). When the filter was cracked open and the contents examined, some minor glitter and trash was found in the oil. While I'm super nervous something went wrong with the cam break-in, the engine itself seems strong and has no noticeable issues at idle. Oil psi is good, no hiccups or misses. And it required direct sunlight at the right angle to even see anything in the oil (it was only at the bottom of the filter, not the entire thing) and the filter itself wasn't heavy at all. Since this engine DID have quite a bit of work done to it these last 6 months, I'm sure some junk and trash and glittery material was in the engine oiling system and the filter did its job and caught it all. Since the oil coming out of the pan itself was so nice and clean, I'll just watch it and pray everything is fine. Engine break-in is bound to generate a little trash anyways in my experience with the last few engines I've built. Just going to run it, tune it, and check the oil filter on the next oil change to determine if we have a problem or not.

Have a video of it idling after break-in! There's a little bit of smoke from the breather, but none out the tail pipes. I'm thinking maybe some ring issues that hopefully some run-time and back to back oil changes will take care of. After break-in the remaining 4.5 gallons of 91 octane were dumped into the tank, the return lines run, and the feed line with a metal can filter in-line installed. The engine ran and fed itself from its own tank, which is a great sign because now it's self-sufficient!

All buttoned up and done for the day! Obviously need to get new tires since the ones on it are in sad shape. But it's a runner! Not a driver yet, that will have to wait. Transmission went into gear instantly when the column was shifted, which is a good sign for the transmission.

Not bad for a days work. Need to get a new radiator and a new fan clutch, final timing adjustments, sort out the vacuum situation under the hood, and new tires. Then it can go for a quick jaunt around the yard before determining if it can be taken on the open road, then the drive back home!

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Last updated October 20th, 2012