January 2005 Archives

I have the '59 engine more or less back together, although I haven't test started it yet. Today I was putting the fuel line back on, and we got the gland nut torqued town to 400+ ft. lbs.

Engine assembly on the '59 was more or less uneventful. Chuck has the biggest torque wrench I've ever seen, a Proto one that was several feet long, which made torquing the gland nut a pretty easy task. Actually, the hardest part of reassembly was me double-guessing myself and repeating several actions twice (like head and rocker installation) to insure I wasn't making any errors. In the end, I feel good about the rebuild. The crank was in very good condition, it may have been replaced before, so I didn't mess with the crank/rod assembly at all. The pistons and cylinders likewise have been replaced in the recent past, as two of them are Mahle +1 oversized. I lightly honed the cylinders. The rings looked like brand new, so I left them alone. I replaced all of the oil return/pushrod tubes. The ones that came off the motor were the original, non-extended type. Porsche has replaced these (ages ago) with an extended, "windage" type that protudes farther into the case and prevents as much oil from ending up inside the heads on long turns.

All seals were also replaced, on the pushrod tubes, the head bolts, the front and rear crankshaft seals, and the like. The case halves were sealed up with Loctite 574, which is expensive Anaerobic flange sealant recommended by Porsche for split cases. It is like $16 for a tiny tube, and Chuck had a huge tube of it that he let me use. Thanks, Chuck. For the 3rd piece and oil seals, I used a light coat of Hylomar in addition to the seals/gaskets. I really like that stuff, it seems to work very well.

I re-painted all the sheet metal and engine tin in colors that are approximately correct for a '59 Normal. Most of the hardware (nuts and bolts) was replaced as well, where it made sense. The engine now looks quite good, maybe not concours (some of the sheet metal is pretty heavily pitted from rust, even media blasting can't remove that, and I didn't feel like using body filler on it) but certainly presentable for a nice daily driver. The carbs are all rebuilt too. The sealing washer at the bottom of the accelerator pump is weeping a tiny bit of fuel on both carbs, I need new aluminum crush washers. Otherwise, they seem to be functioning great.
Tomorrow, the last day of my vacation, I hope to test-fire the '59 motor on the stand and get the carbs synced. If everything works well on the test run, I'll put the motor up for sale in February.

I got my "C" camshaft, rockers, and cam followers back from Tim Berardelli. He did a top-notch job of reconditioning the parts, but because the rockers were in bad shape, the bill was quite high. North of $400.

Like I said, none of this project is nearly as cheap as I might have hoped. I'm still waiting to get my "C" crankshaft back, and the accompanying bill.

Finally, I spent last Friday out at Don Mills starting work on the final round of metal repairs. He hasn't started doing anything yet himself, probably will not start until early February. What's new? I should stop getting my hopes up, and stop making real predictions for when things will actually happen. Let's say March instead, for safe measure. Anyway, we did talk about the repairs and how to proceed. He is going to the the passenger lockpost and front of the rear fender first. We'll follow that up with the nose repair. I had extra time, so I screwed up my courage and removed a bigger chunk of the nose than was previously cut off, in preparation for the day we will be putting stuff back on! I cut off the lower grilles where the foglights live, right up to the horn grilles, which are not bent up and are in good shape. I made similar, oversized cuts on the replacement nose clip pieces. Finally, I carefully clamped the nose section together in several places and put about 15 tack welds on, to hold it in its original shape. The process went well, the contours are all good, and I think the fit is going to be nice. The replacement clip needs to be cleaned up a bit more before I'm happy with it. It will be best to do all the metal finishing on this piece possible before putting it back on the car, as the front wall of the battery box/trunk makes further work difficult. It has been previously worked on from a light crunch and filled with All-Metal or something similar, but I think I can do a better repair.

I wish I had remembered to take pictures of this, but I forgot the camera. I'll remember it next time I go out there. Until then, enjoy the pictures of the "new" '59 Normal engine, and wait till I get it fired back up, leak free!