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Old 12-28-2011, 07:53 PM   #21
Hater of Previous Owners
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Saskatoon SK
Posts: 29
When I got the car the radiator was just sort of flying in formation in the general vicinity of the front of the engine, with enough freedom of movement to contact the fan just enough to wear a nice circle into the fins without actually rupturing anything.

Each lower rad mount consists of a rubber bumper on the rad that fits into a plastic cup on the frame; one side had the bumper but no cup, the other had the cup but no bumper. I moved the cup to the driver's side to make a complete set there, then fabbed up a bumper and cup for the passenger side from . . . stuff. I believe some of it began life as abs plastic hose fittings. I can't find pics of it and that whole afternoon is kind of a blur. Snow was in the forecast, I was way behind schedule, and I really didn't want to resort to putting ice racing tires on my Blackbird (or buy another winter beater) so I could get to work

My awesomely functional fan clutch wrench, made from 1/4" 6061 aluminum:

The rad and the fan clutch were a solid mass of compressed greasy dust (again no pics because I was in a hurry). It took many gallons of compressed air to get the rad in acceptable shape, and the dust is now evenly distributed around my garage. In the future I'll remember to do such things outside no matter how cold, dark, and windy it is, but I had no idea how much would come out, and after the first blast it was far too late. I'm having trouble restraining myself from making a Peter North joke here.

And finally (FINALLY!) I get to the timing belt, and find out the whole ordeal was worthwhile:

And then, as the Haynes manuals say, installation was the reverse of removal

The engine work was just about wrapped up, the horror almost over. Here's a pic I forgot to include earlier, but what the hell. I never get tired of showing people how wretched this car was when I got it:

A few other things I just remembered but don't have pics of: the distributor rotor was cracked to the point of disintegrating, the plug end of the #3 spark plug wire fell right off in a show of green dust, and the oil drain plug had been stripped and helicoiled at some point. I think that covers everything in the engine compartment. Oh, and the hood shock is worn out. I discovered that if I remove the arm the shock attaches to, the hood will open far enough to overbalance and stay put. Do not attempt this outdoors on a windy day, with the car parked facing up a slope, or if you consider the kidneys in the grill to be non-loadbearing.

Between the all-inclusive idle troubleshooting and needing access to find oil leaks and clean thoroughly, I ended up removing pretty much everything attached to the engine. So, I spent quite a while putting it all back together. I used a couple cans of contact cleaner on the many and various electrical connectors and more than a full tube of dielectric grease to seal them up. Changing the oil and mixing up 12 litres of coolant good to -50C were the last and least of the jobs. While the car was down the battery in my gf's Matrix needed to be replaced so I donated the Motomaster battery from the E30 and replaced that with a brand new AC Delco 775 CCA, 160 amp-hour battery I got surplus from work for twenty bucks

I hooked up the new battery, and after an unexpectedly short time cranking the reborn M20 fired up with nary a check panel warning or CEL in sight It idled at 800 rpm at first, then settled down to a rock steady 650-ish when warm. While it was warming up I backed it out of the garage and bled the coolant FOR GOD-DAMN EVER until air stopped coming out. Then it was time to take it for a maiden voyage around the block (by which I mean, 3 miles of grid road to the highway, 2 miles down the highway to the next grid, then back). I shut it off, went into the house for a while, came back out and it absolutely refused to start.

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