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About Bfg

  • Birthday 09/01/1956

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    Suffolk, England

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  1. Well yes I would certainly hope to do more than 1000 miles in a year. I would be disappointed to spend two or three thousand pound on refurb'ing a motor and then for it not to last (with frequent servicing) a hundred thousand miles or so. Of course whether I live long enough to see that is another matter altogether.!
  2. . Has anyone a Microsoft word document, or better still an excel spreadsheet, of usual parts needed to rebuild a four cylinder TR engine.? Ideally a TR4 / 4A please. Pete.
  3. Bearing in mind a modest budget as I start to look at specifications to rebuild this engine to - I'm faced with various questions. The first of which is regarding bore size. The standard is 86mm. 87mm piston and sleeves are the very same price for a 50cc increase in capacity. But then, referring to the current TR shop prices - the 89mm pistons and sleeves are £170 more for an additional 100cc in capacity ( 2,188cc -v- 2289cc) and cut away / short piston skirts. Seeing as I have no wish to increase the compression ratio, nor to increase valve sizes or to invest £-hundreds in porting, nor will I be using twin choke Weber carburettors. Indeed I am looking forward to low to mid-range torque characteristics rather than higher engine speeds power (and yes I accept power & torque are linear).. am I not correct in thinking this 4.5% increase in capacity does not directly translate to producing 4.5% more power / torque.? So I'm led to ask - Can just 100cc difference in capacity be felt with a 2.2 ltr engine ? And, are pistons with longer skirts (of the 87mm pistons) less liable to cock, so be slightly less noisy and perhaps wear less than those with cut away skirts, or is there an offset benefit in slightly more splash lubrication to the cylinder walls ? Cheers, Pete.
  4. Good morning Rich, yes I agree, I would also have thought locking tabs were worth having. I'll put a torque wrench on them today ..just to see if any are loose. The big end shells are clearly shot. This was evident by the deposits of white metal in the sump and also my feeling how slack their end float is. End float not being the issue, but their sliding so freely back n' forth tells me they are not such a snug fit ! Very likely then the big end journals are also worn. And as the end float is so free moving then I might presume the little ends are likewise worn on the gudgeon pins. And, with such an inevitable drop in oil pressure from the big ends being loose - one might reasonably expect the main bearings to also be worn. I'm sure when the engine last ran it was very free revving but distinctively rattly. As previously discussed #3 cylinder bore was seized with surface rust, and subsequent to it freeing off - my distinctively pink coloured penetrating oil had leaked into the sump. ie., passed the rings of at least one cylinder. This suggests the rings are seized into at least one piston's grooves. Clearly the engine needs to be rebuilt ..which was of course to be expected, but I live in hope for something to be better than 'one might reasonably expect'. Today I'll check condition of the rockers, and then armed with a parts and task list - need explore prices.. for parts from different suppliers and for the engineering / machining. I'll also go back to the engine re-builders, with this crude assessment, to further discuss / for revised quotes. Only when I have all the information can I balance the odds. "if I were a rich man, da dee da de da ..." Pete.
  5. ^ Only a quick look before I started cleaning. but I've not turned the crank to inspect them all. The one or two I could see though looked fair to serviceable, but this one appears to have a mark of a crack near the top of its lobe. . . I've seen this sort of flaw on cams which have been rebuilt ..and they seem to work fine, but after cleaning, a better set of photographs, and closer inspection we'll have to see about these. ^ looking at the big end bolts in this photo - I cannot see a locking washer.? Similarly in the photo (below) of the cleaned engine they are not obviously apparent. Is it usual practice with car engines to leave them off and perhaps rely on thread-lock instead ? ^ I'm also noticing the numbers are missing on #2 cylinder con-rods.
  6. Sunday again, it was just last weekend I was trying to free this engine. Doesn't time fly when your hands are covered with filthy black oil. . Today Before n' After . . . ^ oops sorry, the engine was inverted inbetween photos
  7. Thank you Marco. I am in agreement. < here > is my take on the same subject from my old website. Your using the knurled and Allen key screw to flatten these is a good tip. On the motorcycle engines I did not have the ridge in the flange pressing so a hammer n' dolly worked well . Pete.
  8. Ok, first thing first. Let's change things ! ^ My landlord had a scrap piece of 60mm dia steel tube, and kindly cut off a 60mm length for my needs. I cleaned it up (heavy build up of paints over rust) and welded it as an extension to the engine stand's rotisserie spindle. ^ now with the weld finished flat and the spindle greased - the engine can be pulled a little way out of the socket so its front engine mount clears the stand's upright. Success ! I can turn the engine over (safely) on the rotisserie spindle without needing the winch. It's handy that it holds the engine at any angle without needing the lock-pin. So., back to business . . . ^ this is as bought. But now that I can easily turn the engine on end and upside down, so the muck doesn't all go inside as I scrub it out ..this is now where we're at (below) . . Perhaps it doesn't look very different, but the filth that came off it was something else.! That's enough for tonight. Pete.
  9. ^ I'm guessing you're talking about the sump pan, where over-tight bolts pull it out of shape. Thankfully this one is in really good shape with minimal distortion, and certainly nothing that would dress out with a hammer and dolly. The paper gasket tore as I dropped the sump. I don't know what sealant was used on it but I'm glad to report there's no evidence of that horrid silicon stuff.
  10. . a little more this afternoon. Starting with spinning the prop ..oh OK., the engine. ^ with the winch slid back along the strop rearward - Take the weight of the engine on the winch. Pull the spindle part way out of the stand (..it's still in the tube by over 3", but I have a scaffolding pole in there just in case the winch should fail). ^ lift it a little higher ..so the stand is lifted, a couple of inches off the floor, and rotate the stand under and passed the front engine mount bracket. Stuff a rag in there to prevent it scratching the stand. And then gently lower the winch. ^ with the engine hanging front end down - push the spindle back into the tube. And lower the winch. It's simple but a little nerve wracking first time around and with equipment I don't yet trust. I didn't rotate the engine further than this ..because the sump, although drained of oil, has not been cleaned out of its sludge. And I didn't want that gunge up inside the block. However at the moment I cannot see why it shouldn't now fully invert - on the stand. Turning the engine back upright is the same operation ..in reverse. It worked fine but I think I'll extend the length of this (60mm dia.) spindle another 50mm in length ..and add a couple of safety pins. Then it will just be a matter of sliding the spindle outwards along its tube, turning the engine, and then pushing the spindle back into the tube again (ie. normal position). Although I can't remove the cylinder-head with the engine-stand mounted onto its side ..all in all - I'm so far happy with this configuration, not least because the engine is nicely balanced & easy to rotate by hand ..rather than being (dangerously ?) top heavy. I've not needed the handle provided. Now back to work . When the engine was on end I took the opportunity to just slightly loosened all the sump bolts. So then, with the engine back upright on its stand, but canted to 45 degrees . . . ^ bolts out and straight into a jar of old petrol ..to clean them. I reckon that reddish colour is the penetrating fluid I put into the bores. It's leaked passed the piston rings. Otherwise yuk in the bottom of the pan. Black sludge with white metal by the look of it. BUT., there are no nasty hard chunks ! Yippee ! ^ a pair of disposable plastic gloves, half an hour with a scraper to get out the heavier deposits, 1/2 pint of old petrol, a dozen paper towels ..and both inside and out is clean enough to handle . That's the progress I wanted to make. And I'm really chuffed there's no nasty surprises (no big bits) in the sump. I also replaced the link from the winch to the lifting strop with a piece of 6 x 50mm flat bar. So all in all ..a good afternoon's work. Pete
  11. . Yesterday was not so productive, in terms getting on with the engine itself, but I did get the winch set up and also a first arrangement of the engine stand. . I removed the covers off the winch and greases the gears inside. As expected they were bone dry. And I drilled a piece of flat bar which I through-bolted to the base of the winch. This is plenty long enough for the handle to turn, however with the weight of this lump it bends so I think I'll make another from a more robust length of steel. The hook on the winch's strap I clipped onto the rope I have around the garage roof beam ..so the winch goes up n' down with the engine. This means that they are always in close reach of each other. The garage roof beams are 5-1/2" x 3" timber, but as this engine lift is midway to its span - I cut a 3" x 3" timber prop to place under it. I don't know how much the beam would have bowed under that sort of weight but I had left 1/8" between the end of the prop and the beam ..and when the engine was lifted - that prop was in tight. I tentatively lifted the engine, just taking the weight ..with the motorcycle lift still under it. Then lowered it and adjusted the position of strop attached to the engine to better adjust to its centre of gravity (so the engine lifted up squarely. The winch's inside ratchet clicks as it goes up, and holds that engine's position without the need to activate a locking latch. Turn the handle the other way and it slowly comes down again. I don't know how it works because there's no ratchet lever to release ..but it does work. I tried again and decided to relocate the wire strop, where I had fastened it to the bellhousing end of the engine. I used a block of wood to hold the wire away from the cylinder head. Setting these things up for the first time takes a fair amount of fiddling around ..but hopefully will be easily / quickly repeatable next time it's used. ^ Fraction of inch at a time I tested it, up and down, allowing the winches strap to slip tight around its drum. I left it for a while (as I was greasing the castors and assembling the engine stand) just to check that the winch wasn't slowly loosening on its own. It wasn't. In time and after a few more lifts and lowerings, I felt a little more confident and so removed the transport pallet out of the way. Success.! With the castors greased the engine stand was then assembled. I must admit I'm pleased with the apparent quality of this very inexpensive stand. There are x3 through-bolts at the upright to base joint, but only one of those secures the socketed forward extension to the castored wheels ..so I reckon (when the stand is not being used) I could pull that out and then the two parts will lay flat for storage. I checked the rotisserie spindle in the tube, as I'd read that sometimes there can be a burr from the holes being drilled. These were fine, and the holes locking pin holes aligned, so I greased the spindle and its tube. I had looked on-line how these stands are usually attached to the engine around the gearbox mounting flange. But surely that would make turning the engine over (crank, pistons, etc) really difficult ? I'd like to get to that end of the engine to turn the crank via its flywheel ..or at least its fixing bolts. I also seemed to recall reading that with the stand mounted on that end makes removing the rear main-bearing awkward, and sometimes impossible. I had seen on an American website and here on the TR forum where engines had been mounted from their side. That made more sense to me, not least because the engine's weight (frightfully massive to me !) is lesser cantilevered so far out from the stand. The LH side of the 4-cyl engine is lumpy. It has a ridge for the camshaft half way down the block and a sizeable lump of casting poking out where the distributor is fitted. Where the oil filter and the petrol pump were fixed would provide good places to bolt the stand to, but there is nowhere below this and the only place above them were the two small holes intended just to mount the ignition coil. The engine's weight partly hanging on such a small fastening might be theoretically plausible ..but to me would be a worry. Ok I thought - the RHS of the engine then. That's reasonably flat, but is of limited use ..if the cylinder head needs to be removed ..because the stand's top fixing brackets go onto where the manifolds bolt. That side's lower fastenings are where the dynamo bracket fit at the front, and the drain tap for the water jacket at the rear. These have a decent size boss so also ought to be plenty strong enough. So with four good places to bolt to - it's where I chose to do it. There is another issue though.. if one wishes to spin the engine over, because (..on this stand) the turning one way - the starter motor mounting would interfere with the stand's upright leg. And turning the other way - the front the engine mount plate likewise sticks out. ^ taking the engine's weight for the first time. The stand's upright leg is just 1/2" clear of the sump flange, so the engine's weight is least cantilevered. ^ This stand feels very sturdy with the engine on it, and the balance point I chose is (so far) good. However the engine can only be rotated this to angle in either direction before the stand's leg fouls the engine mounting plate or the starter motor housing. It needs to go out 3" (75mm) or thereabouts to clear. The rotisserie spindle is 6-3/8" long (160mm) so with it pulled out to clear the front engine mount, there would still be 3-3/8" (85mm) of the spindle in the tube. I won't need to fully rotate the engine very often, so later today I'll see if doing this, with the winch as a security line, is (safely) feasible. Hey, I can always reattach the stand elsewhere if it doesn't work out, or if I wish to remove the cylinder head. But in the meantime, this position gives me good access to turn the crankshaft, the front end of the engine including the cam-chain cover, and of course the rockers and the LHS of the engine (distributor, oil filter, fuel pump, etc.). The sump can be dropped ..and at 45 degrees either way - I'll have reasonably decent access under the engine. It seems that wherever these stands are mounted will be a compromise to something. As I say I've never used one of these engine stands before, and I find the weight of this cast iron engine rather intimidating, so I'll take things at my own slow pace as I learn. Pete. p.s. the flywheel supplied with the engine is the wrong one. Its pcd is 2-1/4" and the flywheel mounting appears to be 3-1/4". I've called the seller and he'll check what's what and let me know.
  12. . parcels arrived ..early Christmas an all ^ Tuesday, a day or two earlier than expected from HandyStraps.. I'll mount that onto a plate with an eye on it's end, and I'll pull the side cover off to grease the gears before use. . then I'll see if it it works hanging from the roof beam in my garage. And then Wednesday. . ^ The engine stand, half a day later than the "48 hour delivery" might have implied, but still within reason. I looked on line to see how to attach an engine to one of these, as I'd never done this before. And then took myself off to Suffolk Fasteners to buy an assortment of bolts I might need. I had to guesstimate the length I'd need, so we'll see if what I have will do. Nice toys !
  13. Oh yeah - that would make life difficult.
  14. Cast metals whether iron, aluminium, bass, bronze, etc., are all brittle and perhaps a little porous. Brittle materials don't distort (ductility) or stretch (elasticity) as much ..and so when locally loaded they crack. In a tapped hole this is seen as the thread stripping, whereas in metallurgical terms each thread has cracked and sheared off. So a coarse thread such as UNC or Whitworth, similarly coarse metric and BS or BA sizes, simply makes the root of each thread thicker and therefore stronger ..versus a fine thread such as UNF. NB. The bolts or studs going into the casting can be very strong (ductile) - so it's the thread in the casting which can shear and pull out. Indeed because the studs are over sized / overly strong they need not be made from so tough a steel. This was evident when I drilled out the sheared manifold studs and then re-tapped the holes. The softer metal of the stud cut out relatively easily, and the tap was guided by the harder / more brittle metal of the cast iron. Of course that wouldn't apply with cast aluminium, brass, bronze, etc., where even low-grade steel is harder than those soft metals of the castings. Unfortunately any chink, nick, or pitting in a cast piece localises stresses and when it's hit or twisted - the part tends to crack from that (previously unnoticed) chink. They are just like perforations on plastic packaging ..designed to make the package easier to open. And castings have a rough pitted surface and may also be porous, which is why so many manifolds get broken. Bead blasting cast parts closes this pitting up and rounds the corners ..and this is like rounding off a perforation. By minimising those chinks / nicks / sharp corners (focus for stress propagation) it makes the part more resilient to cracking and failure. Conversely sharp sand blasting does the opposite. As an aside ; BS Whitworth and UNC have the same pitch (seemingly aside from 1/2" size) but the threads on the former are cut to a 55 degree angle, whereas the UNC are cut to 60 degrees. So the sizes fit together but if you were to use the wrong cut of stud, then face of the threads wouldn't sit flat to the face of the threads in the tapped hole. Ok for low stress jobs but not so good for things which are torqued down a lot. Naturally if mismatched thread cuts are used - they would be more likely to seize in. Pete. .
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