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Twinkie Rebuild: Day 3

Third real weekend of work on Twinkie. Made good progress. Although, I will say, this has turned into more than a straightforward 8 hour job like we originally thought. Oh well, good things come to those who wait (and put in the effort!)

Since the previous post, dad determined that the intake manifold was cracked on the new engine. Have no idea how, but it meant a replacement. As it turns out, a “new” used one became one of my birthday gifts. My dad sourced it from JAC Auto Repair & Sales up in Anoka, Minnesota. My dad tells me he had a great experience, anytime I need parts it sounds like that’s the place, locally, I should go!

The first part of the day we spent getting the flywheels off of both engines. This was necessary mostly due to the fact that the new engine came from an automatic transmission and Twinkie is a manual. The bolt holding the flywheels on is torqued at assembly to 245 ft-lbs.

After it became obvious that using a simple breaker bar with a pipe extension wasn’t going to do the trick on the old engine we took a length of an old bedframe, drilled a hole in the end, attached it to one of the six bolts around the outside of the flywheel. After heating up the bolt with a torch and arranging the bedframe angle iron so it was pinned against the ground, I could stand on the engine, holding it against the ground, while dad pulled on the pipe/breaker bar combination and it popped loose.

It sounds difficult, and it was - but it was nothing compared to the new engine. The automatic’s flywheel doesn’t have the six bolts on the outside. It did have slots in it, tho, so we improvised a rachet handle as a pin, wedged it into one of the slots on the flywheel and repeated the same process with the pipe/breaker bar from the old engine. As we pulled, the metal on the automatic flywheel bent and snapped. Obviously, different measures were necessary. The Muir book was of very little help, he didn’t have any details about this kind of flywheel, so we repeated the heating process we performed on the previous engine. It still didn’t give way, and since I had to hold the rachet handle as a pin while dad pulled, we enlisted the support of my mom to stand on the engine block and stop it from flipping up. Finally, the bolt snapped free.

It didn’t end there, tho. The flywheel is supposed to be able to be backed off from this point by prying it slowly on opposing sides. No go. We ended up having to use a pulley puller to pop it loose, then it came off with little fuss.

After removing the flywheel, we noticed a little bit of oil leaking from the rear engine seal. The Muir book recommends replacing the seal anyway if you get to this point, so I went off to the local auto parts stores to pick up a new seal, engine cleaner (the new engine was filthy) and new spark plugs and wires. Dad stayed behind and cleaned up the new engine as best he could.

Found out we’d have to mail order most of the parts, so I came back with the engine cleaner and went to work on the intake manifold while dad continued to clean the new engine. Got far enough to figure out we didn’t have the right size seal for the carburetor to mate with the intake manifold so we set to work comparing the oil pumps. Found out from the JAC Auto guys what we had to look for on the oil pumps, it seems that both of them were of the same type. My dad later figured out how to coax the gears from the new engine into the housing for the old engine (automatics have an extra port on the oil pump housing) so we saved ourselves a bunch of bread there.

Rest of the afternoon was spent cleaning up, moving parts from the old engine to the new (power pulley, alternator, and oil cap).

It seems like it is finally coming together. Can’t wait to see Twinkie running again. Everyone at work is not only amazed that I’m doing this project, but they are eager to see my drive up in Twinkie to work sometime soon. As am I!

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on June 26, 2004 10:22 PM in Twinkie.

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