Starting the engine rebuild

Or, at least the prep work for the rebuild. I had planned to do this early in 2020 with a local club member and be done with it all by now, but COVID happened, etc. etc.

After reorganizing the garage a couple of times and evaluating the space, i've decided to tackle the rebuild myself, with the help of our local Triumph club to pull the engine and borrow an engine stand. Since the garage isn't heated, i'm planning to pull the engine and gearbox probably in March, but i'm trying to get as much of a head start as i can.

This is where the engine started:

engine, before starting

I did a little painting earlier this year, previously the air cleaner and valve cover were red, but a different red than the rest of the car. Otherwise, this is how it's been for a few years, minus the battery and radiator shroud that i already took out.

You can see the path of original yellow at the upper right, whoever painted the car red had literally just painted over a patch of dirt.

I've done other small updates on the engine over the past couple of years that should help reduce the rebuild, like replacing the manifold gasket, which means all of those exhaust came apart easily and the intake doesn't need anything. But, because i want to clean up as much as i can along the way, the list of things to do before the engine gets reinstalled is fairly long:

  • clean and/or repaint everything, even if it works (radiator, starter, alternator, etc.)
  • fix the dent in the driver-side inner fender
  • repair the rust that's likely under the battery tray liner
  • fix the leaky needle and/or float that failed in one of the carbs at the end of the year
  • fix the floors - probably patch the passenger side and replace most of the driver side
  • paint the engine bay - have to decide whether to try to match this red or just paint it yellow like i want to change to eventually (or punt and paint it black)

It feels like I'll be lucky to get the car back on the road in time to drive in 2021. So, i'm starting early.

Here's where it is for now:

engine block, head removed

So far i have the manifolds, alternator, distributor, and cylinder head removed, planning to get a machine shop started on the cylinder head. The distributor will go to Advanced Distributor for testing and a recurve as soon as i decide on a camshaft.

It's exciting and a little scary to get started, but i'm feeling more confident in the plan the more i work on it. I just need to start calling machine shops now, and keep cleaning parts.