22nd February 2013

Got the sump back a couple of days ago. The fabricator has been in touch throughout for extra measurements and checks, so although I haven't fitted it yet, it all looks good as far as I can see.

Basically it's been a case of chopping the bottom off, and extending it to reclaim the lost volume. Easier to see than explain:


Cleverly, he's retained the walls of the central well, using them as baffles, and left small gaps for the oil to drain through, so that it doesn't all slop around:


Hopefully, that should give me a good few inches of ground clearance. Next stop then, fit the sump, finish the cooling plumbing, get a timing kit, and time the cams in. It looks like I'm a month behind on the plan already!

14th March2013

The sump went on without incident (apart from one of the bolts holding on the pickup, which is one of the most innacessible things I've ever seen), giving me a nice big 100mm clearance at nominal ride height. The sensor I'd broken taking the sump off turned out to be just a low oil level warning, which I wouldn't have used anyway, so I just removed the broken part and screwed the body back into place to plug the hole.

One thing which did occur to me is that the oil level as shown on the dipstick will now probably be wrong. I'd actually broken the top off the dipstick ages ago when hoisting the engine around, and handilly enough, it's this which sets the height at which the stick sits. So all I should need to do is fill the engine with the specified amount of oil, and then make a new handle for the dipstick which seats it so that the oil level is in the middle of the high/low marks. The only thing keeping me from doing that is the fact that it's going to cost 60 quid to fill the thing up with oil!

So I was all ready to get the timing sorted out. But (you knew that was comming), as I looked at things, it's clear that you really, really need to get the waterpump on first. To change the pump you have to take all of the timing gear off. So I really want to wait until my new pump arrives before going any further along that road. This is annoying because until the timing belts are on, I can't bolt on the rocker covers, the coolant plumbing, the plenum, throttle, spark plug coil packs, etc etc etc.

I toyed for a while with the idea of moving onto the ECU and wiring, but even then I could really do with getting the inlet piping and associated sensors sorted - and I'd rather not put it all on, only to take it all off again to fit the water pump.

I was actually getting a bit despondant about it all, so in the end I decided to skip the whole lot and do the front lights. At least that should be a job I can do, finish, bolt on and not have to remove again. That will give the pump time to arrive, and if it hasn't by the time I need to get the timing belts done, sod it, I'll just reuse the old one.

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