Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Springs, part 2

So I helped the machine shop guy unload a multi-ton lathe and he bumped me to the front of the line for the head rebuild. I highly recommend Precision Machine in Round Rock for your engine rebuild needs. He's fast, knows modern engines and the heads looked like new when I got them back. The rebuild took three days, and cost a mere $270, parts included.

Strangely, the motor went back together far, far easier than it came apart. Even the surly power steering pump bracket went back without a fight. It was as if the engine wanted to run again.

Before I knew it, I was looking at an assembled motor, with only a broken exhaust flange bolt in damage. I refilled all fluids, reconnected the battery, and turned it over.

Running rough, but strong, I watched the oil pressure climb for those first critical seconds. It stayed normal, so I drove around the block. Still good. I took the engine up to operating temp, then took it back to the garage to cool off for 24 hours, to temper the springs.

I've been driving around on the rebuilt motor for a couple weeks now, and it seems as good as new. Going to the track this weekend, and we'll see for sure.

The experience of tearing down the engine and building it back up was a good one. I got some tools I needed, and learned a great deal about the machine I use every day. I also learned some good anger management. I've a pretty bad temper, and am prone to frustration. This project was a good way to learn to control that.

Oh, and I saved a load of money. The total cost of doing this myself was $750 or thereabouts, including all parts. I could have saved around $100 more had I used stock headbolts, but the ARP studs are just too good a deal to pass up, and are reusable.


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