Monday, 10 March 2008

One step forward and two back

Fired up the van again at the weekend. I thought I'd have a look at a small water leak from the back of the left hand exhaust manifold. The mounting studs for the manifold go right through the water jacket on this engine so if they don't seal correctly, it's easy to have leaks.

After messing around with the stud for a while it was obviously damaged beyond use so I stuck an appropriately sized bolt in for now just to see if it cured the leak. When I had a look underneath, it wasn't dripping from where it had been before but there was rather a lot of water running down the side of the block. It seems I have more than just a little problem. I'm sure it wasn't that bad before so I don't know where it's all escaping from.

Also I thought I could see a few tiny bubbles in the water where it was flowing over the head gasket joint. Since I'm going to have to remove the exhaust manifold to try and track down this coolant leak I can look at re-torquing the head as well. The head bolts are helpfully located right behind the exhaust manifold and directly under the rocker shaft so it all has to come apart to get at them. Time to order some new exhaust manifold gaskets as well whilst I'm at it I suppose.

Beginning to wonder what I have to do to get this van back on the road!

Some good news however in that the much-delayed work to get the engine out of the race car finally took place at the weekend too so I've delivered the engine to my local engine builder to have its bearings replaced and a general check over before refitting it.

I've also just ordered the new eight gallon fuel tank I'm going to need for the longer races this season. Eight gallons is probably somewhat more than I'll actually need for a 40 minute race but I don't have to fill it to the top and it should mean I never have to upgrade again.

Plans to fit an electric water pump to the car are currently on hold since I need to get the engine back in first in order to work out how to mount the pump and how to get the plumbing to work. I already bought the pump so I'll probably look into getting that fitted later in the season.

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