Sunday, November 13, 2011

More Engine Assembly

Things are progressing rapidly, as the time crunch is on to get the engine installed and running by Thanksgiving.  I've been trying to get at least one or two things done every day.  With it getting dark earlier and earlier, it's not always easy.

The carbs are back from being rebuilt by Rhys Kent of Island Automotion.  Pretty much every wear item on them is new.

The head and valve train is finally installed.  I ended up using a Cometic MLS head gasket; .027" thick.  The block wasn't shaved down quite as much as I expected, so I needed the thinner gasket.  All the lifters are new, and the pushrods are tubular chromoly ones that I found when I tore the B20 apart.  Cam is a new D grind, and the timing gears are a steel set from a Volvo Penta marine engine. 

The manifolds are also bolted up.  I had the cast iron exhaust manifold machined down at the common stud locations to pair up with the aluminum intake manifold.  Also had the flanges faced off to insure they are nice and flat. Carbs are only mounted temporarily, and will be removed to prevent damage when the engine is installed.  Also visible is the Delco Remmy 10SI alternator, mounted using a bracket from Ron Kwass.  Both the alternator and bracket were previously used on the B18 in the car, and will be used on the B20 as well.

The transmission and overdrive are mated back together.  The overdrive has all new O-rings and gaskets, as well as a new solenoid.  Nothing was really done to the transmission, other than fresh paint, as it appeared to operate as intended and they are generally fairly robust.  No sense in tearing it apart until the need presents itself.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Engine Assembly

Finally started getting things put back together.  Feels good to be torquing some of these bolts for the last time!  The crank was polished and balanced with the flywheel.  I also had the friction surface of the flywheel ground.

Just waiting on some tools and materials to show up so I can reassemble the head.

New STD bearings and polished journals

Crank installed

+.040" Mahle Pistons

Balanced and resurfaced flywheel; refinished starter

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Engine Rebuild - Getting Close

Long time, no update.  Pesky things like work, summer, and getting engaged have slowed the pace.

But, now that I've been granted permission to use the 122 in the wedding, I've got renewed pressure to finish the engine . . . and fairly quickly!

Since the last post the head has been shaved down an additional .035" to get the combustion chambers to about 51.5-52 CCs'.  With my combination of head gasket, block, and head this should yield about 9.7:1 static compression.

The crank has been back to the machine shop to have the journals polished.  I bought a set of grungy SU carbs, which are going out to Rhys at Island Automotion this week to get rebuilt.

All the new bearings, gaskets, and bits and pieces are mostly in hand.  I was able to pick up a steel timing gear setup for a great price on Ebay.  Found out the engine already had tubular pushrods, which was a nice surprise.

There are no internals installed at this point; I've sort of just been dry fitting everything to make sure I have all the parts and hardware I'll need for final assembly.  Ignore the sideways bellhousing below . . . I was just making sure I have the proper length bolts for the smaller style starter found on later Volvo's.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Engine Rebuild - Block Finished

Swamped with work lately, but progress continues (slowly).

I picked up the block from the machine shop a couple weeks ago.  Had the cylinders honed, the block vatted, new cam bearings installed, and the head surface milled down.

I was able to get a couple coats of primer and paint on it before heading out of town for two weeks.  Came back to find it nicely cured and looking good.  There is a couple areas to touch up and a couple I need to clean overspray from, but overall it came out great.  I started mocking up parts on the block to make sure I've got all the external bits finished, and to start gathering up nice new hardware. 

There is still some machine work left to do: cleaning up the exhaust ports, skimming the head down for compression, polishing the crank journals, and surfacing the flywheel.  That should just about do it.

Still a long way to go but nice to see things coming together, if only temporarily.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Engine Rebuild - Measuring Combustion Chambers

Finally found the time to measure the combustion chamber volume of the head.  The B20F head that I've got used a pretty low compression ratio stock, somewhere in the mid-8 range.  I'd like that to be a lot closer to 10:1 once everything is done.  That'll happen through a combination of shaving the head down to reduce the combustion chamber volume, and milling the block to get more "squish" in conjunction with a thinner head gasket.

The head has already been skimmed to clean it up, but no significant material was removed, so it should be pretty close to stock.  My first attempt I used water with a couple drops of dish soap to break surface tension, and blue food coloring for viability.  The water got way too "foamy" when injected with the syringe, making it hard to get a good measurement.  I switched to isopropyl alcohol with blue food coloring, and had much more repeatable results.  All the combustion chambers ended up right around 56-57 cc's, which is about what I was expecting.

Next step will be getting the block and head taken to the machine shop for the last time (hopefully).

Also got the starter taken apart in preparation to freshen it up.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Engine Rebuild - New Pistons II

Got the pistons loaded into the block this evening (no rings).  The fit is smoother than I figured it'd be without rings keeping everything squared up.  Just a good coat of teflon-based lubricant on the cylinder bores and healthy amounts of assembly lube on all the bearings.

At TDC the pistons are still visibly below the deck surface.

I did some pretty crude measuring with a caliper near the edges of the bores.  Seemed to be pretty consistently reading .026"-.030" down in the bores at TDC, regardless of location or cylinder I'm measuring at.  The technique wasn't particularly confidence inspiring, but it's good to see the numbers are fairly consistent.  I have a nice deck bridge to check the measurements in the center of the bores, just need to bring home a nice calibrated dial indicator from work to stick in it.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Engine Rebuild - New Pistons

Decided to play it safe and replace the pistons.  I dropped one during the disassembly and dinged it pretty good.  Thought I had a source lined up for a single matching Mahle +.040", but turns out his inventory was incorrect and he didn't have it on the shelf.  So, I ended up just buying a new set of 4.  Dropped them off at the machine shop to have new wrist pin bushings installed and reamed to the proper size for the new pins, and they were able to turn them around by lunch time.

Over the next week or two I'll drop them in the block with the crank to measure the piston height at TDC, so I can run some numbers and determine how much to have the block shaved.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Engine Rebuild - Head Halfway There

Swung by the machine shop (Dover Cylinder Head, here in Atlanta) and picked up the head during lunch.  I opted not to have them rebuild it at this time since I'll likely need to have it shaved a bit more for compression and have some port work done first.  Should have had the ports done first, but, live and learn I suppose.

Summary of the work done:
  • Shot blasted
  • 3 angle valve job
  • New bronze valve guides
  • New exhaust valves
  • Hardened exhaust seats installed

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Clutch Cylinders

I ended up snagging a clutch master and slave cylinder when I got the engine, hoping they were good rebuild candidates since new parts are not cheap at all.  The pistons in both move freely, which is a good sign.  The clutch slave seems to be pretty new (as is the hose I got with it, also not cheap).  The cylinder bore looks pretty good.  Couple minor scratches but I think it'll hone nicely.

I can't even get the master cylinder apart to inspect the bore.  Seems like there should be a snap ring or circlip to remove in order to withdraw the piston, but there isn't one immediately obvious.

Updated Fuse Box

I got fed up with the old ceramic style fuses, particularly the little 25 amp one, so I reworked the fuse block to accept newer 1/4" x 1-1/4" (AGC) glass fuses that are easy to find.  This is certainly not a new idea, as Row Kwas has been offering the service for some time.

I took everything apart, sandblasted all the copper terminals, and soldered everything back together.  It was actually a frustratingly tedious job.  Took way longer than I would have expected to get the placement of the fuse holders sorted, and get everything soldered together.  But, it works great and the stock cover fits back on.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Break-Away Steering System

Figured I'd go ahead and post this, since I never did when the parts were actually installed.  I managed to get my hands on the break-away style steering shaft setup that Volvo switched to towards 1968.  Basic concept is to not impale your chest in the event of a front end collision.  The steering box got new bronze bushings and oil seals, and the shaft bushings were replaced with IPD polyurethane.  The shaft setup is painted with Eastwood Extreme Chassis Black, which I used on most of the suspension and have been pretty pleased with. Still need to finish up the horn wiring.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Engine Rebuild - New Exhaust Valves

Got word from the head shop that the exhaust valves need replacing as part of overhauling the head.  Sourced these from Eric at Hi Performance Auto out in California.  Great guy to do business with.  Will be installing new bronze guides for both the intake and exhaust valves at the same time.  The exhaust valves will get back cuts, and all 8 valves will get a three-angle valve job.  The head will also be skimmed in search of compression.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Engine Rebuild - Head Disassembly

Got the head disassembled and cleaned up.  It'll be going into the machine shop tomorrow morning to get hot tanked and inspected.  After that I need to start making some decisions about what to do regarding port work and cam selection.

Also listed a ton of parts from the engine (and some suspension parts) on Ebay to raise funds for the project.

First two valves out

All 8 valves pulled out

Valve seats appear to be in not-terrible shape, but will likely get replaced with hardened seats

Small valve train parts oiled and bagged

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Engine Rebuild - Stripping Parts

Spent some time last weekend stripping engine parts, including the block (now that I know it's good). Also started chasing out threaded holes in the block that were full of paint and rust.

Still putting together a shopping list of parts to rebuild the engine, and changing my mind every 12 hours about what to do with the cam and head.

Block after quick pass with the wire wheel to knock off the loose stuff

Sprayed with aircraft remover, which will remove just about anything from just about anything

After one application of aircraft remover and another pass with the wire wheel in a grinder

Bin of parts before stripping

Bin of parts that have been pretty well cleaned up.  Still more to do before paint.

Chasing out threads in the block