mke Dork
11/2/21 6:20 p.m.

Right, so let me first say I don't love the idea of painting engine parts to correct dimensional errors.....but I also  love the idea of another $2500 in parts less so paint it was.  That said @Number1Gaza got what I was thinking.....the paint is trapped between parts that don't move so where can it go? I sanded a feather edge at the top and bottom of every liner and on many there is at least 1 spot the the side that sanded though so I know for sure the paint is well bonded or the edges wouldn't;'t have feathered so that's good I think. I WD-40'd the block thinking that might help make sure they slip in nice but also prevent the paint from bonding to the block over time?  Might be wishful thinking but I think it only would mean the liners don't come out very easily I guess?  I'm also a but uneasy about the paint being a thermal barrier but at .002" or less thickness I figured the tight fit was doping way more good than the insulation from such a thin liner. As for oil pickups getting plugged, well, there are 2 so  that will help and I replaced the broken oil pressure sending unit with a nice new pressure transducer feeding the signal to the ECU which now runs the gauge accurately and flashes the "Slow Down" if something is wrong to get my attention so at least I'll know something has gone wrong.

I'm thinking this a a "see no evil" event and I will just move along to fitting main bearing that next time I can escape to the shop and try to get this thing done smiley



Syscrush Reader
11/3/21 3:36 p.m.

Very cool.

mke Dork
11/4/21 6:57 a.m.

I need to put the heads back on and get to the lapping bar I guess, but I'm not actually free of "The List". Railing parts are here (the correct parts this time it looks like) and most everything for the floor and the theater cabinet finish has still not been approved so its still sitting in the middle of the shop floor awaiting yet another coat of urethane, this time sprayed on I guess which I'm not sure how to handle...outside in the cold or cover as much as I can in the shop.

I did pop the main bearing caps off and order some o-rings I think are correct for the oil tubes and yes, the 1982 ones just crumbled when I tried to remove them (as a reminder, this is where ferrari thought it was a good idea to send the oil through the coolant galley so its bad if they leak). I also dug through the metal pile and I think found stuff to hold the buckets in place while the engine is upside down, just easier to use bars than cams I was thinking. Did but doesn't count is I replaced the pressure switch on my air compressor that was leaking....but it turns out the new switch also leaks because the old one wasn't broken, its a valve in the compressor itself sending air where it doesn't belong it seems....$40 and an hour of shop time  wasted.

As I hit post I remembered what was bothering me last seems like I was supposed to order something else....o-rings for the rear main bearing cap! another order and another $8 shipping on $3/100 bag of o-rings frown

mke Dork
11/4/21 8:21 p.m.

Today I put the heads on.....just shy of 2.5 hours of work.  Assuming all goes the plan, this is the 2nd to last time I need to torque the heads on.  Set the bearings(12 hours), remover the heads 1.5hr), install crank and pistons(4hr), clay on pistons(.5hr), heads on but I'm thinking just snug them(.5hr), timing chain and cover (8 hours), remove timing cover(2hr), remover heads(.5hr) inspect clay(1hr), heads on for real(2.5hr), timing cover(8hr), then the rest of stuff.....12-20 hour, so like another 50 hours for work before its ready to go back in?

I think I've now crossed the 14 year mark BTW crying

mke Dork
11/5/21 7:12 p.m.

here it is, the official ferrari tech approved cam bucket retainer set up

With that sorted I was free to flip the engine over.  I don't know why but this caught my eye

The intake valve are a bit closer to the cylinder than the exhaust, butr pretty similar...maybe 2mm clearance?  Way, WAY back when I was trying to get the heads to fit the top row of head bolts I want to save, but keeping them as-is meant moving the head 2mm  lower than factory.....hmmmmm the means bigger intakes will fit!  Then the bore went from 81mm to 86mm and that means all the valve can get bigger.....and 14 year later here we are :)

Blue the mains

Lapping bar in....hmmmm... sure looks like only the 3 center bearings are toughing...that is the direction the block was wrapped after welding but I thought it had been corrected, only mostly corrected it appears

a little better

and straight, ready to start the caps and that only took about 1.5 hour including the bucket retainers and adding a handle to the  lapping bar.


mke Dork
11/6/21 11:17 a.m.

As the time to assemble appears to be growing near, I'm semi rethinking my decision to not make this a testarossa (redhead). I was looking at some old pics and .....hmmmmm.....

NOT A TA UltraDork
11/6/21 11:32 a.m.

I like the red.

Indy "Nub" Guy
Indy "Nub" Guy PowerDork
11/6/21 11:50 a.m.

Yes.  Red looks great yes

(Plus it adds like 5 horsepower)

mke Dork
11/6/21 7:31 p.m.

Tonight after a morning of plant sale shopping and an afternoon of railing building I got another 1.5hour in the shop. I'm not sure how useful this step was but I cleaned and oiled the block and 1/2 the lapping bar and dropped the clean side of the bar into the block thinking the block is now straight so I want to cut on the caps.

Bearing 4 was loose to start with and the bar cut more on the block on the center 3 so I went ahead and sanded #4 a bit before doing any lapping

then fresh compound and caps on and get lapping...I was working hard enough to twist of my welds

but eventually it turned with the caps torqued

Next up is clean all that goop off and start measuring. Its my hope that the only error will be loose bearings and that gets sorted by sanding the caps but we'll see in the next episode.

mke Dork
11/7/21 8:37 a.m.

Grabbed a little shop time this morning before I[m allow to make noise building railings in the house....1.5hr cleaning off lapping compound, that E36 M3 gets everywhere and I went though at least a dozen towels, but now its clean and next step is measurements.  I know.... boring but necessary.


Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
11/7/21 9:09 a.m.

I appreciate the amount of effort being put in to making sure everything is straight, true, and concentric.

I also remember that a certain engineer set up a rig to measure main cap deflection on a Ford YBB engine (think Ford Sierra Cosworth/RS500) and found that they were moving around by about .004", four times the radial oil clearance... and they were moving that much because the crankshaft was flexing enough to flex the block that much.

Bearings would look fine.  This amount of flopping and noodliness is normal.


It puts it all into perspective, doesn't it?  We do what we can to make everything perfect, but under any kind of load, metal is a springy mess that distorts every which way.



mke Dork
11/7/21 9:31 a.m.

In reply to Pete. (l33t FS) :

What I've been told is that when everything is done right, there is a lot less friction in the engine.  I saw a video of a 90s F1 v12 crank in the block, the guy grabs the end between his thumb and finger tips and flips spins about 90 degrees on its own, basically zero friction. Crazy to see.

This block was wrapped about 0.020" after all the welding I did to it.  I ball milled the mains back into shape, then had it line bored and hone so ti was pretty good.  I looks like the heat cycles let it move a bit more.  When I would set the crank in, it was stuck....I could just feel it was binding as it dropping in and it was noticeable when I turned took quick a bit to get it turning but then moved free. 

Hopefully this effort sorts that out a bit but mostly the point here is to get the main bearing clearances set correctly so the bearing stay put when I spin this thing to 11 at least just once to hear it :)

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
11/7/21 9:55 a.m.

Oh, no doubt!  And it is good to know that, if it is going to deflect, it is going to deflect from "perfect" instead of adding to an already existing dimensional error.

The real fun begins when you realize that to be really, really "perfect", everything from cylinder bores to valve seat cutting has to be machined and dimensioned when the parts are at operating temp, with the heads bolted down (or a reasonably close approximation), and bolted up to a transmission and its weight supported by the engine mount locations.  Apparently Cosworth DFVs and Ilmor/Chevy Indy engines could not turn even with a starter unless they were first brought to operating temperatures!

Chasing microns, for that final tenth of a tenth of a tenth... smiley


Syscrush Reader
11/7/21 6:23 p.m.
mke said:

next step is measurements.  I know.... boring but necessary.

It's only boring to the person who has to do it. To those of us in the peanut gallery just getting to enjoy the reports of your progress over a morning tea, it's great. laugh

mke Dork
11/7/21 7:41 p.m.

I measured the main bearing clearance with the bore gauge and got about 2.0 on the tightest and 2.4 on the loosest.  The original goal was to target 2.1 so that seemed like a win to me....but I was having trouble believing anything went right so I pulled out the plastigauge and it said they were all like 1.8-1.9, close but different.  

I've read plastigauge will often give a smaller reading by a couple tenths but I don't think 1.8 or 2.4 are a bad numbers either way so crank installed

edit, forgot, 2 hours for this work so I'm actually ahead of plan ofr a change.


mke Dork
11/8/21 8:19 p.m.

I got the heads back off in record time, just 45 minutes!  I hate those nuts under the cams....

Thought I would install the oil tubes with the new o-rings...wrong o-rings.  I'll order more tomorrow.  I ordered red wrinkly paint today so redhead it will be.

Pulled the pistons out and realized what I deal I got...3 stickers, 2 beer koozies and a pen!  Wow!

Then pulled out and assembled the pistons and rods which should go in tomorrow

While doing the rings I noticed they must have had people do it wrong a couple times...quite a warning

Recall I decided to use gapless rings to help with vacuum and compression at low speed because the ring gaps are larger than I had planned, but nitrous safe so not all bad.  for those that have never seen gapless rings, they aren't actually gapless, they put 2 rings in 1 groove with the gaps 180 degrees to each other and the oil film seals them together.

3.5 hr total today


mke Dork
11/9/21 7:47 a.m.

I'm starting to believe in Santa and that he's going to bring me a running (and maybe even driving) Ferrari for Christmas.  Yesterday I told Lana she needs to start thinking of stocking stuffers that people with running Ferraris would like....yeah, she chuckled as she left....but this just has to be the time it finally works, it just has to. My older son has been popping out to see the progress and said he will help with the piston install so at least there is that.  This has to be the time it finally just has to be.....

golfduke Dork
11/9/21 8:13 a.m.

That pic of those pistons preparing for assembly makes me so happy! 



AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter)
AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
11/9/21 9:28 a.m.

You have done so much work that I didn't even know had to be done. I love this project, and really appreciate your documenting it for us.

Rigante Reader
11/9/21 9:43 a.m.

Good luck with it, there's going be a giant reward at the end of all this as it howls along through the canyons at 11 million rpm and puts a huge grin on your face

mke Dork
11/9/21 6:46 p.m.


mke Dork
11/9/21 8:38 p.m.

But wait!  There's more!

....not much but I did put the clay on the pistons and slap the heads on temporarily.  Tomorrow or the next day I should have clearance results and know if I'm going forward with the build or tearing it back down

mke Dork
11/10/21 7:57 p.m.

I was pretty proud of myself, I completed the claying work in about 5 hours when I had been thinking about 10-12 so as I'm pulling the heads  feel good.  1-6 head off, looks great

head 7-12 off ...WTF?  the intakes are way too close and the exhaust and nearly hitting?

I probably spent about 30 minutes just staring in disbelief as all the possible causes run through my brain.  Eventually I realize the only possible explanation is that way back I set up the bank 2 cams wrong...but that can be, it was running?...well, I was struggling with bank 2...Wait, I have a high speed log of MAP

Its not that smooth and it was after the engine was clearly broken so I didn't think much of it but looking now....E36 M3! there are only 6 cylinders showing!  The multiMAP sends the strongest MAP signal which should be the active cylinder....unless the active cylinder has a problem making leading or trailing cylinder stronger...I can't believe I missed that.

No frikin wonder it wasn't running very well.  Looking at the cams (I couldn't get a good pic), when I line up the timing marks, cylinder 7 should be 30 degrees clockwise from cyl 1.....nope, probably miss marked by 30 crank degrees, 15 cam degrees.  No wonder that bank was giving me all kinds of trouble.

So, I'm going to call the clay a pass and not repeat it based on bank 1 but I need to re-time and remark the cams and as a bonus I have a new root cause for the engine failure.

Syscrush Reader
11/11/21 2:00 p.m.

Great work and amazing news.

mke Dork
11/11/21 6:07 p.m.
Syscrush said:

Great work and amazing news.

Sadly I'm mostly just fixing my own mistakes at the moment sad

How the heck I screwed up the cams like that is beyond me...its a simple job......

Oh well.  I guess heads on, then engine on the trans, then timing cover and fix the cam timing.

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