After the dragon trip I found I needed to make some changes, some mods to help the car perform better and I had to track down some new rattles. Finally I wanted to really dive in and figure out my oil consumption. Add to that some tweaks to the timing and fuel… which I got to do twice… you’ll see why…
The car did well at the dragon but I wanted to take away my scrubbing issues. I was conflicted based on the stuff I was reading but ultimately I went ahead and got a rear sway bar. So far the initial drives have been great, people on the forums made it seem like the car would be unpredictable and scary to drive, I find it quite the opposite it feels very planted and I can tell when the roll ends and the bar engages. I need some more seat time to really tell but initially I am very happy with it. Install wise I wasn’t too happy, I needed to fab up some spacers for the bar bushings to clear my exhaust, this was mentioned online for center exit exhausts guess my dual tip side hangs too low.
Next up was time to pull the water pump and figure out why it was rattling, sure enough the impeller has play, not a lot but I guess it was enough to make it rattle and cause the belt to squeal. I pulled the pump off ahead of the new ones arrival. While I was at it I decided to attempt to pull the valve guide seals and found things I didn’t want to see. but before we get there heres a pic of the radiator and water pump removed.
Seeing the car would now be sitting for a little longer I decided to replace the windscreen. The old one has lots of pits and some bullseyes on it. I took the gamble and ordered one from the UK (they aren’t responsible if it breaks in shipping). Lucky me it arrived in one piece. While I had the glass out I also removed the rest of the headliner. I also changed the filler strip on the rear to black. The chrome strips already had cracking in them, the black looks cleaner as well. I also swapped the RH window strip because I lost both ends at some point.
Now to the not so fun stuff. So I found several of the valves had been worn into by the roller rockers. It seems my valves were soft or the rollers were too hard. Either way this meant the head had to come off. I am sure you were wondering why the main picture was of my pistons. I decided to take this opportunity to order a better flowing head and hopefully get a little more performance out of my engine. In the mean time it was stripped down and I reinstalled the new water pump while I waited.
The pistons had a lot of carbon build up on them. It seems I was running really rich, the wetness is actually WD40 soaking on the cylinders to loosen up the buildup. After some elbow grease the block was clean and waiting on the new head. I was happy to see the cylinders still have honing marks as well so I would guess at 8k ish miles its not too worn.
After waiting what felt like a long weekend and a day the new head finally arrived. I went with a Calver GT head. It is done on a different casting from my head and ported. Same size valves as I had but with rim flows on the intakes. It definitely looked pretty. It was hard to get good pics in the ports, but I tried.
Finally I got to reassemble the engine, you might notice in one of the pictures the fan pulley changed from the old one I had put on. I bought a bigger pulley to see if it would help with a slight increase in temps I was seeing on long highway trips… while it might have helped I will never know, it was barely 70 degrees out and I was borderline overheating driving around local roads so off it came and I put the old one back on. Now my temps are more stable and float between 160 and 190 (I have a 160 stat in at the moment).
The new head definitely feels like an improvement, I would say the car sounds more throaty now as well. I really need my wideband sensor I ordered to show up though so I can really get this dialed in. Currently I think I am a bit on the lean side cruising. But the butt dyno says I have more power for sure.