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Gabe. Gabe. is offline
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 200
Originally Posted by 1980 SC Targa View Post
Looking good well done on rescuing this one
Thanks! It's a bit of a longer road than I intended...

Time for some updates.

It's been slow progress throughout the summer. After mulling over all my options after the last post, I decided to get the cracks welded as it seemed to offer the most value. We'll see how that works as a long-term solution.

With the engine case dropped off at the machine shop I spent the rest of my free time ordering parts, waffling on performance upgrades, and continuing the endless amount of cleaning that needs to be done with a flood car. To get a better idea of the condition of the shell and access more nooks and crannies, I pulled the gas tank, pressure washed and cleaned under the hood, interior, and engine bay. The shell itself is actually very clean.

After pulling the gas tank, I realized it had some small spots that were weeping along the seam. The shop I took it to said it wasn't really fixable so I bought a Dansk replacement tank instead. Once I got it, it was sanded, coated, painted, and installed.

Pushing the car around my garage/driveway, I could tell that there was some sort of issue with the steering. There was a point when turning the wheel left that it would stop, but only sometimes. I ended up assessing all the joints and bushings to find that they may have been a bit dry but weren't binding. After that, I decided to take the rack out. After pulling one of the boots open, water poured out of it! That means the steering rack shaft had been sitting in water for months, so much so, that the steel bushings that keep the shaft aligned in the rack housing had rusted to the shaft. There was my problem...

At that point, I decided to rebuild the rack (as opposed to sourcing a new/used/rebuilt one). The process was essentially: hammer the bushings off, sand and polish the shaft and bushings, lube everything with Mobil 1 synthetic grease, and put it all back together. Now it runs smoothly with no issues.

As for engine parts, the slope has become pretty slippery...

The shop that's welding the crack has been pretty helpful with a lot of the rest of the parts. They've measured and deglazed my cylinders, cleaned my pistons, refinished my flywheel, cleaned my heads, refinished and rebushed my rockers, and a handful of other things.

They recommended a rebuild of the original heads which I agreed with... however, I ended up sourcing a set of rebuilt, twin plugged, lightly polished heads instead. With a sale of my old heads, I ended up spending about half as much as I would have, had I sent my original heads out to get all that done at Ollies.

Once you have twin plug heads, you might as well raise the compression and get appropriate pistons... That lead to a set of 10.5:1 JE Pistons being purchased.

My wife and I had a wedding to attend in St Paul back in August and I found someone selling a set of Triumph itbs/megasquirt on the Pelican forums. I met up with them that Saturday morning and made a deal. I boxed them up and they traveled with me to Milwaukee, Denver, and finally home to LA after all the end of summer travels.

With all these upgrades, it would be silly to use stock cams and headers... Unfortunately those things aren't cheap. The depth with this build has varied throughout the summer. I initially found a used set of DRC 993 SS cams on the forums (when I was planning to reuse stock pistons) that when they arrived, one of them had been snapped in half.

That forced me back to the drawing board. Once I decided to get JE pistons that opened up a lot of cam options with the clearance that the valve pockets afford you. I spent months looking at dyno charts and scouring the boards for a used option. That never happened so I took the plunge on a DC44 with a 110 lobe separation angle. Seemed to be a good compromise between powerband and torque early on.

I noticed that a lot of the dyno charts I had been checking out had a set of aftermarket headers with larger primaries. I don't want to lose heat and the popular SSI options don't seem large enough for my goals. I found a set of Billy Boat 1 & 5/8" headers/muffler locally. Feel like I got lucky on that one!

I've started to reassemble the engine and will continue that adventure in the next post!
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Old 12-25-2019, 08:36 AM
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