Thursday, February 24, 2011

My Engine Shelf Overfloweth

I’d always thought it made sense to have a spare engine lying around, even if it was in pieces. When Heidi was going through roadification, I removed her seized engine, disassembled it, and bagged and boxed the parts. When she inherited a running engine out of the white 4-door, those parts became spares, and I’ve used a few of them since then. Most helpful were the cylinder heads since both Heidi and Ringo have dropped valve seats during the last few years.

Soon after the second spare head had been pressed into service, I came across a Craigslist ad selling a LM engine for less than $100. Even though there were no LMs in the fleet, I bought it with the knowledge the heads could be used on EMs. After verifying that engine did not have good compression due to ring issues, I tore it down and bagged and boxed the parts. When I went to put the boxes and bags on the shelf, it was apparent some stuff needed to go to make room. I made the hard decision to scrap Heidi’s ’64 engine block. EM engines are not very popular since most everyone redoing an engine wants the larger, more powerful LM engines.

I’ve recently changed plans again. I’ve decided to use Lucy’s engine (a known entity) in Ringo instead of the traded-for engine (an unknown entity). This means if I want to be at the Corvair Olympics in June, the traded-for engine needs to run strong as-is or I need to do a fairly quick rebuild. Now, after tearing down both Ringo and Betty’s engines AND having negotiated for a running LM engine in trade for Betty, I have way too much drivetrain stuff lying around my cramped garage.

So, with all that in mind, some parts and pieces have to go. Now to decide what to keep and what to scrap? All heads will be marked LM or EM and retained – an easy call. The EM block assembly will go – another easy call. Everything unique to the EM from Ringo’s former engine has to stay so I can use it when I refit a LM engine to go into Lucy. Starters, generators, alternators – all keep. Engine covers – keep. Do I really need three spare torque converters? I don’t think so. When was the last time I broke a bellhousing? Do I really need multiple ones taking up space? Nope.

Once I take a complete inventory, I’ll post a list of free stuff available on the usual sites. Good to help the hobby when I can.

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