Chapter 13: Out with the donk

Struth, 6 months goes by fast. Things had to go a bit quiet on the Val while we did some pretty significant renos to the outside of the house. You don’t get much time for car work when you’re busy digging in soakwells and ripping up lawns.

Good news is there was a method to the madness, and i now have a a new work area for the val under the patio, which gives me heaps more space than I had in my dog kennel shed. Side benefit is that i now also have the shed back, without a car taking up 90% of the room. I’m sure I will fill it with crap soon enough.

So…progress. As you can see from the pics I finally have pulled the motor so i can give it a good clean, and see what needs refreshing. It’ll also give me a changce to clean up the engine bay sort out my front end bushes and ball joints. The motor came out surprisingly easily. An hour or so of prep work disconnecting a few cables and wires, the exhaust and dropping the fluids (i’d already taken out the trans), and we had it out in about 10 minutes.

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First job was stripping back the 50 years of grease to reveal an engine underneath. Then it was off with sump (which had a good 5-10mm of hard sludge built up on the bottom), which was straightened out with a sledge and a block of wood. Everything else seemed pretty much ok, no play in the rod bearings or mains, bores looked good, bit of wear on the cam, which i’d replace if i was doing a rebuild, but i’m not…for now anyway. Next stage will be fresh main seals, sump and timing cover gaskets, and new core plugs.

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In other news i pulled the vinyl floor in the front to have a peak at the floors. They seem pretty solid, although i have some more rust at the point where the floor meets the frame rail. Yay…more rust. No biggy, we’re talking a patch maybe 200mm by 100mm max on either side. Its probably as good a place to start rust repair as any, if i do a shitty job the carpets will hide it. Also managed to score a decent size compressor for half price. Its big enough to run air tools, so that should make life easier.

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More bloody rust. Most is just surface stuff but that bit under the pedals needs some work

Anyways…till next time. I’m getting close to getting this old girl back on the road…i can taste it.