Most of the week has been spent assembling Silas’ engine. We are finally ready to put the engine back into the car.

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  • Most of the week has been spent assembling Silas’ engine. We are finally ready to put the engine back into the car.

We had to purchase all new rockers and push rods. This was after I had set all the valve lashes using the old rockers and push rods. The old aluminum roller rockers would not clear the new stud-girdle. This proved to be partially caused by the length of the push rods.

Those new Dart adjustable push rod guides are very good. They are also very time consuming to set correctly. I purchased a set for my engine after setting them on Silas’ engine. They allow you to get the roller on the rocker right in the center of the valve stem (side-to-side) without grinding or trying to bend the fixed push rod guide. (I can foresee some racers losing some “pinch nuts” off of those guides if you don’t follow the directions).

I had some real screw-ups during this adventure. First thing, when putting the poly-locks on the head, I put all the short ones where the long ones belonged and the long ones in the wrong place and then called Dart to tell them they had not sent any short poly-locks! I finally discovered my error when I had to change all the push rods because the old push rods were 0.150″ too long. My second mistake was during the push rod checking process. I removed two springs on #1 cylinder and put checking springs on. When I tried to put the regular spring back on, I forgot to make sure the valve was in the shut position (put air in the spark plug hole with the piston at TDC) and I spent over an hour trying to get the locks back on the valve stem, but to no avail. After sleeping on it, I finally tried it with the valve shut and the locks slipped right in place. It only took a few minutes to get the second spring back on. I don’t do this enough to remember everything.

This time, while my car is in the paint shop, was suppose to be for finishing the shop workbench and inspecting my engine and transmission. I also have the trailer to finish. Maybe next week I will put “Skip” at the top of my priority list…

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