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Street Build Dihtung glava's eclipse

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Tiny fix, but it put a big smile on my face so I'm just gonna write it up while I'm waiting for my "go fast" parts to arrive😁

For as long as I've had this car, I've been opening the trunk via the lever in the cabin. At first even that wasn't working, but I fixed it with new hatch struts. The lock in the back of the car never worked. After changing out the struts in 2022, I sprayed it full of WD-40 but it didn't help. For some reason I just left it like that. Until now - I have decided to fix the damn trunk lock. (I'm gonna write this up tutorial-style like I did for fender rolling, in case anyone else is experiencing the same issue)

Start inside of the car by removing the central part of the plastic trunk trim. This will give you access to the latch:
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Undo the two 12mm bolts and take it off to reach the lock. I don't have a picture of it, but it will be held in place with a single spring clip, you'll figure it out. Once you have it off, you're done on the inside of the trunk. Remove the center tail light piece and you'll be able to pull the lock out.

On the back, it's gonna have a small e-clip holding the lever in place. Be careful when you're taking it off, the top piece on mine broke very easily:
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(this is still functional, but it was an unnecessary mistake)

After that, you can very easily wiggle the spring off of the rotor and cylinder. I simply spun it one direction until it was loose enough to be pulled off. Next, you will need to remove the cover off of the front. I did this by hammering a small screwdriver under the folds, where the cover is pressed onto the cylinder:
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(there is one of these folds on each side of the cover, be gentle with them - you will need to fold them back down when you are done)

Depending on how messed up your lock is, after you have the cover off you might be able to simply pull the rotor out of the cylinder, but in most cases you will have to insert the key to get the pins aligned and pull the rotor out with the key in it.

This is where I found what was wrong with mine:
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Even with the key inserted, the last pin doesn't come down far enough to allow for the rotor to be spun inside the cylinder. It was even more apparent when I got the rotor out:
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This is the result of a worn key. The last tooth on the key is not long enough to push its pin all the way down, as it is worn-down and rounded off from its many years of service.
And since no one wants to get a new key just for the trunk, we have to fix this by either replacing that pin with a different one or taking it out of the equation completely. Be very careful when taking the pins out, they are spring-loaded and if they are mixed up, the lock will not function.

This is what each of the pins look like out of the rotor, they are more "gates" than actual pins:
1703618634879.jpeg

The rectangle in the middle will be positioned differently from pin to pin, so that they match the peaks and valleys in the profile of the key. You can disassemble several locks (from parts cars and such) and collect many of these pins to have an inventory on-hand. If you can find a pin with a tight enough rectangle for your worn key to displace, simply put it in its place and reassemble the lock. There are not many variations of these pins, so this is a viable solution.

Another solution is to file the pin down until it no longer catches in the cylinder. As they are very soft, this takes about 10 seconds:
1703619449722.jpeg

If your pin only has to be altered by a fraction of a millimeter, the lock might remain functionaly the same. In my case I had to shave off quite a bit of material, so the result is identical to removing the pin entirely as it is too short to catch on the cylinder even when the key is removed.

Whatever solution you decide to implement, when you are done make sure to check that all the pins sit flush with the rotor when you insert your key, otherwise the issue will persist - it is possible to have more than 1 faulty tooth/pin in a single lock.

Before you begin reassembling clean everthing and cover the components in grease, lube or graphite powder, so that the lock functions smoothly and doesn't end up binding. Insert the rotor into the cylinder (it only goes 1 way, so check that it can rotate the full 90°), place the cover on the front and carefully hammer the folds back over the cylinder. Slide the spring over the other end and secure the lever with the e-clip. Install it back in the car and enjoy your functional trunk for years to come🥳
 
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I have officially started my engine build. I am currently 125 days in and I've finally built an engine. Granted, it's not the one that's going in the car BUT! it is a LEGO replica of it.
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Look at it! It's so cute!
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It's based on Replica Motorsport's design that I adapted to resemble the DSM 6-bolt, since theirs is based on the Evo's 7-bolt.
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I changed the timing cover a bit because our top piece goes around the cam gears, not just over the front of them, like on the evo. I kept the color black though, because I wanted it to look like mine and I intend to use the black 2g cover on that. I also made it sit on a little pallet, much like the real one did.
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I'm really happy with how it turned out and it only cost me about 10€, because I had most of the parts lying around already.
Really wish I could say the same about the real one.🥲

I'm done with the side quests now, I'll finish the real build soon, I promise😂
 
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great job with the rebuild!

ive done a few rear fender rolls now and the easiest way to do a clean roll is to start the initial curve of the inner fender using leverage under the rear control arm to push the fender roller up into the fender. do that 6 to 7 times around the arch and then use the rolling action to consistently flatten the rest of the inner fender evenly.

the cheap fender roller tools have a strong tendency to strip threads when you are applying alot of tension in the arm to flatten the fender. so it is easier to get a good bend upwards first before the roll
 
great job with the rebuild!

ive done a few rear fender rolls now and the easiest way to do a clean roll is to start the initial curve of the inner fender using leverage under the rear control arm to push the fender roller up into the fender. do that 6 to 7 times around the arch and then use the rolling action to consistently flatten the rest of the inner fender evenly.

the cheap fender roller tools have a strong tendency to strip threads when you are applying alot of tension in the arm to flatten the fender. so it is easier to get a good bend upwards first before the roll
Thanks man!

Yeah, that's solid advice. I actually started the fold exactly as you described. I found *pulling* the fenders to be much harder, but once I locked the roller at 90° with the bracket I described, it was OK. I do remember having to re-adjust the roller at the very front of the fender though, because the wheel well is not a perfect arc.

Funny you should mention that - I did strip the threads on the adjustment bolt. I figured it was just a shitty bolt (and it was a shitty bolt - not even 8.8), but I'll take at least 50% of the blame for the way I was torturing that roller😂
 
Well, I really wanted to finish my engine first and then write it up, but it's been almost 6 months since I've pulled it and it's still not done and I feel like if I don't put out an update soon, I'm just gonna start forgetting everything I wanted to write. So here's the first of a few posts that I'm gonna dedicate to the engine build:

To get future readers up to speed - I summed up the state of this car pretty well in my first post as well as on this thread. The guys that participated in the latter were super helpful in both identifying what I had under the hood and in helping me source what I needed to fix it, not only in regards to the engine but the wiring and accessories as well.

Now let's get into this story - not long after I wrote the "second suspension job" update we ran a compression test on the engine and got some horrible numbers:
1711554247572.png

Those values are in BARs so left-to-right that's 9.25 (134psi), 6.5 (94psi), 7.5 (109psi) and 8.25 (120psi) bars of compression. That's seriously far away from the standard 12,2 (178psi) as well as the service limit 9,17 (133psi). Only cylinder #4 was within the service limit and that's BARELY. The numbers got a little better with oil in the cylinders so we figured it was the piston rings (damn you Brian Earl Spilner!!!)

So, after the car's registration expired in september of 2023, I decided to pull the engine and start the engine build. I didn't think I would be taking on this job so soon, since I had already done so much up to that point, but the car really forced my hand. I took an afternoon to carefully remove the awful wiring harness and lable all the connectors to the best of my abilities. The next day, I drained all the fluids and removed the engine. I was pretty impressed with my progress, but it turns out removing one of these engines is pretty simple, even for a relative newcomer like me.

The hardest part was probably getting the axles out of the transmission. Most info on this forum as well as the manual just says to pry them out but after about an hour of that I found that this method worked way better for me:
1711555915654.jpeg

It consist of jamming a medium-size screwdriver into the crack between the transmission and the axle, not going straight at the axle, but rather at a tangent so that it can slide all the way through. Feel free to use a hammer. If the axle hasn't popped out as soon as the screwriver is through (it probably will) just pry on the screwdriver then and it should come right out.

Other than that, it's just a matter of locating the bolts that hold the engine in and removing said bolts.

I used an old engine hoist I didn't know we owned to lift the engine and transmission out of the engine bay. The hood needs to come off for that, obviously. I then separeted the two and took just the engine over to a friend's shop where he could supervise my disassembly of it.

The transmission is getting replaced with the one from my parts car, along with the clutch, which has seen better days:
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Everything inside looked really good; block was clean, pistons were of good shape and color, bearing surfaces looked mint... all in all very good news. The rings didn't look terrible but, you know - they were 30 years old and have seen way more boost than they were supposed to and way more than the 145k kilometers (90k miles) that were on the dash, so I was pretty confident they were trash.

I brought most of the engine back home for storage, except for what's pictured above, as those all went to a machine shop for inspection.

All of this played out really fast, so at this point I was pretty confident that I was gonna finish the rebuild by spring, if not sooner. But then the problems started coming. And they just kept coming. And they have not stopped coming🥲

But more on that in the next update. Thanks for reading.
 
This next update would make me look a little better if I wrote it as it was happening almost 6 months ago, but I made a mistake along the way, so I decided I would write it with hindsight to point it out.

I got the block, crank and pistons back from the machine shop around mid-november. The receipt said:
Crankshaft - bent 0.01mm (0.0004 inch), inspected & polished - OK
Cylinder bores - inspected & honed - 0.05 mm (0.002 inch) out of round - OK
Block - surface decked (minimum)
Pistons and rods - inspected - OK

I then ordered Manley Platinum Series 8.5:1 CR pistons and Eagle H-Beam Rods. I'm not even really sure how I convinced myself to get forged internals, but here we are. I got ARP head studs, ACL race bearings, a MLS head gasket and basically just spent way more than I should even be able to spend on engine parts.

...but they do look nice :)
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Now, those of you with engine building experience might have a couple questions about the specs I listed above. You might also notice that it isn't a very long list of specs, considering the parts spent multiple weeks at the shop. Here's that mistake I was talking about:

At the time I didn't yet have a manual to reference, nor did I google if the specs were any good. My excited ass only wanted to know if I could order stock size pistons and get on with the build. I simply asked the guy at the shop if I was good to go and he said "yes". I cringe when I think back on this today. I didn't even know to ask what hone they used or how much they took off of the deck or what the actual bore measurements were. Always familiarize yourself with the specs you need BEFORE you visit a machine shop and always MEASURE after the machine shop!

I eventualy did go back to check the bores but it was for a different reason altogether. For now I'll continue with this update as it happened - with me believing I had a perfect block on my hands. I'll talk more about the consequences of this oversight in future updates.

In my research I stumbled across this thread that describes cleaning the crankshaft. Apparently it's a good idea to pull the little balls that plug the cross-drilled crank and drill the dirt out of the channels. This method seemed a bit too destructive to me so I instead bought 5 cans of brake cleaner and went to town on the crank, flushing all of the channels over and over. I used a long straw to reach into the blocked-off oil passages from the main oil ports. This is how much dirt I had after the first can was empty:
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The second and third can also just kept flushing more out:
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After the third can was empty, the brake cleaner was coming out clean so I called it job done.

At this point, many of the engine parts pictured above haven't arrived yet, so I kept myself busy by painting the block:
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It's a two-part epoxy paint as we don't have the famous "rustoleum" here. I got conflicting information on its heat resistance but if it burns off I'll at least have a reason to paint it again. The guy told me the color was red but it looks pretty orange to me😅. It's grown on me though, now I just tell people I'm being sponsored by Tomo Vinković (old Yugoslavian foundry that made tiny tractors, many of which were bright orange🙂).

I'll finish this update here, I still have a couple more to do before we reach current events, but I promise I do a better job in those. Thanks for reading!
 
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Next update! Hope everyone is having a nice holiday, I sadly don't have much of anything to do on the car right now so I figured I would just write another one of these.

Believe it or not, I do try to do right by this thing, other than that complete oversight I mentioned in the last update. So when the new pistons finally came in in december, I made sure to measure everything. Well maybe not everything, because If I would have thought to measure the diameters, I would have probably gone and measured my cylinder bores to match. But I did weigh them on my fancy new scale🙂

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Turns out they weren't very even. Or maybe they were, I actually have no concept of how accurate the weights on aftermarket pistons normally are. The difference between the lightest and the heaviest of the four was about a gram. Everyone told me I'd be crazy to go and "ruin" a brand new set of pistons but I wanted them closer than that. I figured I could get them at least within a couple 0.1's of gram.

So I busted out the rotary tool...
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...and started shaving a chamfer into the piston skirts. I do have a smaller rotary, but it has really soft cutter bits and can't remove a lot of material. And I kinda' needed to remove a lot of material.

The pistons are 2618A aluminium alloy or as STMtuned.com calls it - "2618 high strength material" which means they are very light. And that means you have to almost cut one in half to get any weight off. This is how the skirts looked on the lightest piston I was matching:
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And this is what they looked like on the overweight ones when I was done:
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I made sure to take equal material off of both sides and front-to-back so as not to throw off the balance of each individual piston. I also cleaned up all of the cuts with the smaller rotary and the bit was not a fan:
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In the end I didn't actually get the pistons within 0.1 grams of each other. I got them within 0.01!
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Three of them came in at 348.70 and one at 348.71 grams. This was a complete fluke as it is very difficult for a scale to be accurate beyond 0.1 grams. I mean - even a breath of air is enough to throw off that last digit, so I won't give myself too much credit.

The Eagle rods I ordered are supposedly only sold as a weight-matched set, so I just wanted to check the end weights.
1711884217191.jpeg

I tried a couple different methods of hanging them, but I was simply not able to get consistent results. In the end I decided that in this particular case, it would be wiser to just trust the manufacturer rather than potentially ruin parts.
I did have to give 2 small-end bushings a pass with a wet grit sandpaper on one edge though, as they would catch the Manley wrist pins and prevent them from spinning freely. The instructions don't mention anything about wrist pin mounting, but I'm 99% sure they are ment to be fully floating as they even have oil ports on both sides:
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Anyways, that fixed the issue so the rods were good to go as well.

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So this is the piston/rod setup done, I really like it. I scuffed up the nice finish on some of the pistons when I was fitting the wrist pin locks in so I hope it's not too visible in the photos. The piston rings on all four were gapped to 0.6 mm, 0.75 mm and 0.4 mm from top-to-oil.

That's it for this update I think. Thanks for reading!
 
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Alright, so with the internals ready to go, the short block assembly started. This was in january, right after new year's.

I started by getting the bright orange block onto an engine stand and digging through my pile of parts for the balance shaft bearings. Everyone says balance shafts are just one of those things that you delete if you ever have the engine this far apart, so I decided they were staying out. I still ordered new bearings though, just in case I wasn't able to get the old ones out in one piece. Most of you will know that you're supposed to take them out and rotate them 90° so that they no longer line up with the oil ports in the block. I actually messed up one of the new ones when I was hammering it in...
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I decided to re-use the old one in its place because I'm not gonna trust something like this ^

Then I installed the ACL main bearings and dropped in the clean crank to check the journals with plastigauge:
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They all came to about 0.04 - 0.05 mm (0.0019 inch) which is perfectly in spec (0.0009 - 0.0024 inch). Here's a video of it spinning very smoothly:
Crank endplay was measured with a dial indicator, it came to 0.08 mm (0.003 inch) which is just about as tight as the spec will allow (0.08 - 0.24 mm).

Then it was time to drop in the piston/rod combo. The clearances on the rods were once again checked with plastigauge:
1712405856689.jpeg

0.05 mm (0.0019 inch) is in spec (0.0008 - 0.002 inch), though it is a little on the loose side. I've only ever read about people shooting for more clearance on these, rather than less, so I'm not concerned here.

I don't have an exact value for the endplay on the rods, I was able to slide a 0.1 mm (0.0039 inch) feeler gauge in there, but not a 0.15 mm (0.0059 inch) one so the actual number is somewhere between those. Spec is 0.1 mm to 0.25 mm (0.0039 to 0.0098 inch) so we are good either way. I also measured the big ends of the rods and they are the exact same width as the factory ones, so I think it's safe to say that we're in spec.
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It was all looking pretty great thus far. I spun the whole assembly around a couple times and it was really smooth. But, when I turned the block right-side-up on the stand, I noticed something not so great.
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Some way or another I completely missed how bad the cylinders looked. After the oil had been scraped off of the walls and the light was reflecting off of the shiny pistons, I took this photo:
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I damn near shat my pants when I saw this. I visually inspected the block when I got it from the shop and I was looking at it for hours while prepping it for paint, I had no idea how I didn't notice this sooner. I was afraid this was the aftermath of that mistake I talked about 2 updates ago, where I didn't measure the bores. Maybe my piston-to-wall clearance was too tight? I was so scared to check now, that I started this thread, where people basically told me to just pull them out and check. It also didn't help that the people around me were telling me it was fine, when I knew from my research that vertical marks on cylinder walls are not a good sign.

I eventually did take it back apart and I found that while I could have caught this sooner, I at least didn't directly cause it. This is what the bores looked like before the pistons went in:
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When I took this picture before, I was concerned with the horizontal marks, I hadn't even seen the vertical ones at first. But apparently they were already there, so I knew now that my pistons didn't cause them. The pistons themselves also looked fine, the skirts were not scratched in the slightest:
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So it wasn't a PTW clearance issue, but I still decided that I would only continue this build if I had all the numbers I was missing.

I took the block and pistons back to the machine shop and I had them check everything with me there. They figured a rookie must have done the hone and didn't properly inspect it before giving it back as those marks would have been caught. They said it was up to me if I wanted to hone again, but they also said the marks weren't a big concern. This might have been an echo chamber moment but to be fair, they do look way worse in that first picture than they do in real life. The second picture is more how they actually look and only a few of them can be felt with a fingernail.

Another hone wouldn't necessarily fix all of my problems either. The bores measured 85.01 mm (3.3468 inch) in diameter and the pistons 84.9 mm (3.3425 inch) which leaves me with 0.11 mm (0.0043 inch) of piston-to-wall clearance. That's technicaly already over what manley specifies for these pistons (0.0035 - 0.0040 inch) so another hone would be very risky.

So yeah, despite doing the right thing and going back on my mistakes - I decided to build the short block anyway. What could possibly go wrong?

Thanks for reading!

EDIT: wording
 
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Whoa, what's this? Another update? Yessir.

And this one mostly just involves shipping mistakes and missing parts and existing parts not fitting. Yay!

Anyways, after I deciced to go ahead with the build, despite my less-than-ideal cylinders and PTW clearance, it was time to start assembling the long block. First up was the oil pump assembly or "front case" as it's also called. This was the first thing on my list and it went wrong right away.
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What I got from the parts shop was apparently a 7-bolt front case; you can tell from the curved bottom. The 6-bolt counterpart is flat along that edge. I've heard of people using the 7-bolt front case on a 6-bolt block, but a few of the holes don't line up and you have to modify the block and use 7-bolt oil filter housings and it's just a mess I'd rather avoid. So I ordered a 6-bolt case from somewhere in the UAE (for a pretty solid price as well). They are apparently becoming somewhat rare, so I'm for sure keeping the old one as a spare.
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I rebuilt the oil pump that's on the back side of this thing with a stubby shaft, as I won't be using the balance shaft that goes in there anymore. That wasn't the end of my problems though, as the parts shop had also provided me with a 7-bolt gasket:
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A bunch of the holes were wrong, some even missing so I asked them for a replacement and to please make sure that it's the correct model first. I waited another 2 weeks for it to arrive and guess what - it was not. So then I started ordering parts from different stores, but at the same time, the old ones were writing back, willing to send more replacements. This whole event was pretty hilarious looking back at it, as I suddenly had FIVE front case gaskets🤣
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(Here's 4 of them, one shop wanted theirs back - only the top left is a 6-bolt gasket, big thanks to rockauto.com)

Once that was figured out, I could finally install the front case on the block. Writer's note: this is how I kept track of where everything goes over several months-
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I had to re-use the old "castle plug" as they apparently don't come with new front cases. It was fine though, I just had to run to the store to get a new o-ring seal for it; old one was looking kinda' flat.
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The torque spec for this guy is whatever your screwdriver makes when you smack it with a hammer. It's really 24 Nm (17 ft-lbs) but Idk where to get a socket for it. I might make my own if the hammer method fails me.

I cleaned up the oil filter housing and the water pump. I'm re-using the latter as it hasn't even done 500 km (310 miles) since it was last replaced. Another writer's note: if you're ever doing a coolant flush, make sure you flush ALL of the coolant flush out of the system - it will build tiny pink mountains in your water pump otherwise🫠
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The water pump cleaned up very easily with a brush, but I'd hate not knowing whether-or-not I have tiny obstructions in my system so make sure you flush your coolant flush out and prevent this entirely.

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That was the front done, I did also plug that last open hole in the front case with a fresh bolt and rtv on the threads, as there won't be a balance shaft tensioner pulley living there anymore. I read on here it's a good idea to rtv it, because it's right between two oil passages so it could leak really easily. Then it was time to take the block off of the stand and do the rear main seal. Could have done it sooner, when the block was a little lighter, but whatever. And guess what - it also didn't go as planned, but I'll talk about that next time.

Thanks for reading.
 
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Alright, last update before this thread is caught up with my real-time progress.

After the front of the block was assembled, It was time to do the rear main seal. And - as always - something had to go wrong. This is what the oil pan bolt hole looked like on the rear main seal housing:
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I thought it was just a casting mark at first, but...
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...yeah

I don't even know what the lesson here is to be honest... don't use too much rtv on the oil pan? Don't put it INSIDE the bolt holes? Idk guys, I don't know anymore. I can feel my will to exist escaping my body. I am an empty husk, a mere shell of what once was. The collective transgressions of all the demons who worked on this car before me come crushing down on what is left of my soul. Their sins shed off of their skin and pour down for me to drown inWOW, that took a turn, huh?

moving on - the other side was somehow worse, cracked all the way down to the oil pan flange:
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So yeah, I had to order a new rear seal housing for a 6-bolt on STMtuned.com, which came to a fabulous $135.65 after shipping. I don't know where the previous owners are now but in time, I hope at least God asks them about this if no-one else.

I had about the same luck with the gasket and the seal as I had with the front case gasket in the last update (all I got were parts for a 7 bolt) so I just stopped ordering online for a bit.
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I was able to order the right seal at a local hardware/bearing/seal store which was a welcome surprise and I used rtv as a gasket on the housing.
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- victory.

That was the rear done, I just needed to check the oil jets and their piston clearance before putting the oil pan on. Turns out they do make the tiniest bit of contact on the wrist pin bosses if you switch to Manley pistons.
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This clearance changed depending on how straight or not-straight I put them in, but I'm not really going to risk something like this when the fix is so simple. I took them out, bent them a bit further with a box-end wrench and put them back in.

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clearance!

And that was the bottom end done. The oil pan install went very smoothly compared to everything else, probably because it was the only job where I already had all the parts ready, new hardware in-hand and 0 pre-cut gaskets required.

That's it for the engine build so far, next up is the cylinder head. Thanks for reading.
 
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Alright, last update before this thread is caught up with my real-time progress.

After the front of the block was assembled, It was time to do the rear main seal. And - as always - something had to go wrong. This is what the oil pan bolt hole looked like on the rear main seal housing:
View attachment 729040
I thought it was just a casting mark at first, but...
View attachment 729041
...yeah

I don't even know what the lesson here is to be honest... don't use too much rtv on the oil pan? Don't put it INSIDE the bolt holes? Idk guys, I don't know anymore. I can feel my will to exist escaping my body. I am an empty husk, a mere shell of what once was. The collective transgressions of all the demons who worked on this car before me come crushing down on what is left of my soul. Their sins, washed off of their skin and the polluted water pouring down for me to drown in WOW that took a turn.

*caugh* *caugh* moving on - the other side was somehow worse, cracked all the way down to the oil pan flange:
View attachment 729042
So yeah, I had to order a new rear seal housing for a 6-bolt on STMtuned.com, which came to a fabulous $135.65 after shipping. I don't know where the previous owners are now, but in time, I hope at least God asks them about this if no-one else.

I had about the same luck with the gasket (or gaskets rather, plural - I once again recieved multiple 7-bolt ones) and the main seal as I had with the front case gasket in the last update so I just stopped ordering online for a bit.
View attachment 729061View attachment 729062

I was able to order the right seal at a local hardware/bearing/seal store which was a welcome surprise and I used rtv as a gasket on the housing.
View attachment 729044
- victory.

That was the rear done, I just needed to check the oil jets and their piston clearance before putting the oil pan on. Turns out they do make the tiniest bit of contact on the wrist pin bosses if you switch to Manley pistons.
View attachment 729053
This clearance changed depending on how straight or not-straight I put them in, but I'm not really going to risk something like this when the fix is so simple. I took them out, bent them a bit further with a box-end wrench and put them back in.

View attachment 729059
clearance!

And that was the bottom end done. The oil pan install went very smoothly compared to everything else, probably because it was the only job where I already had all the parts ready, new hardware in-hand and 0 pre-cut gaskets required.

That's it for the engine build so far, next up is the cylinder head. Thanks for reading.
Hey, man. I really enjoy reading your thread and updates. Sucks that the previous owners didn't know their ass from their elbow when it comes to working on DSM's. You've definitely got the drive to make it right and acquiring new skills along the way. Hell yeah, keep it up, man.
 
Hey, man. I really enjoy reading your thread and updates. Sucks that the previous owners didn't know their ass from their elbow when it comes to working on DSM's. You've definitely got the drive to make it right and acquiring new skills along the way. Hell yeah, keep it up, man.
Thanks so much! I actually enjoy writing these much more than I thought I would, so it's really great to hear that.
And you guys are great, I'm learning so much from everyone's builds and old forum threads. I'm really close to purging all traces of the previous owners' work which is very exciting. Thank you😊.
 
Good updates. Just remember when it comes to bearing clearances, those numbers are for a stock power +a bit engine. If you're doubling the power, youd want to be more on the looser side. Also depends on weight and type of oil you're intending to run.
.002 is nothing to worry about there
 
Good updates. Just remember when it comes to bearing clearances, those numbers are for a stock power +a bit engine. If you're doubling the power, youd want to be more on the looser side. Also depends on weight and type of oil you're intending to run.
.002 is nothing to worry about there
Roger🫡, thank you.
 
Alright, lets talk about the cylinder head. This was an absolute pain, probably the worst I've ever felt about this project. Morale was so low, Its a miracle I made it through without selling the whole thing for parts.

At first, I figured the cylinder head would be a nice change of pace compared to how much shit everything else was giving me - after all, it was machined and restored not 500 km ago, when we were doing the head gasket. In my head (haha, pun), installing it was a 30 minute job with no possible setback. But with me doing things "properly" and all that, I decided to run a quick test before I slapped it on. I filled the chambers with brake cleaner and blew air into the intake and exhaust ports to see if the valves were sealing:



To my utter disappointment, every single valve was leaking. Badly. I made post about this if you want the full story, but the TL;DR is that the absolute homoerectus of a machinist who did the head 2 years ago somehow cut the valve seats off-center. Shining a flashlight at the chambers revealed huge gaps between the valves and seats:
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We tried to correct it through valve lapping but it was doing nothing until I started using the most abrasive paste in the world, a power drill and A LOT of pressure. For future reference - this is absolutely not how lapping is done. The process was actually so agressive, that some valves receded into the head by as much as 0.5 mm (0.02 inch), so you can imagine how much material I was removing. When I was "done" the flashlight wasn't coming through anymore, but that hardly meant the head was good to go.
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The valves looked absolutely horrible and the seats even worse. Not to mention how far out of spec the installed valve stem heights and seat contact patches were by this point.
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While further cutting of the seats might have fixed the contact patch, it would have also sunk the valves further into the head and the stem heights even further out of spec.

So I had to come to terms with the fact that I wasn't going to be installing the head that week. Or anytime soon. I ordered new valves, valve seats, guides and seals from RockAuto.com, which takes about 1-2 weeks and I left them at the machine shop for what they estimated would be another 2-3 weeks of work.
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I wasn't concerned with the costs at this point, I just wanted the downtime to pass. I was feeling really down about everything while I was waiting. The worst part was that it was entirely my fault, bacause If I had checked the head as soon as I removed it back in october, I could have left it at the shop months ago. Another reminder to always check the machine work I guess...

Anyways, the shop (this was the same one that did the block) calls me up about 2 weeks in saying they can't get the old seats out, so they won't be able to finish the job and recommend a local dude that deals exclusively with head work. I thank them and go to pick up my parts. They didn't mention this on the phone but for some reason they went ahead and installed the new guides already.
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Idk if this is standard procedure for them but when I was looking over their work I found these "nail clippings" still inside the ports, barely holding on to each of the new guides. I sincerely hope they were going to clean those out if they were to finish the job, because it really hurt my image of them (which as you'll know, wasn't stellar to begin with).

Long story short, the head specialist dude they recommended says he'd rather not take the job as he makes better business just doing standard resurfacing and valve jobs for "traffic cars". Disapointed as I was, I respect that he was honest about it. He told me about a shop I could check out, about 30 minutes over the border, that used to do racecar-level work on cylider heads. So with no options left, I gathered all the parts into a crate and drove south. And let me tell you, these guys were so much better than that first shop! Granted, they took about 2 weeks longer than we initially discussed but the work was flawless, so I really can't complain.
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They cleaned the head, did the valves, installed and cut new intake seats, salvaged the exhaust seats, replaced the seals and resurfaced the head, all to the specs that I gave them. This did cost about 3x what the old shop was estimating but I don't mind, as I couldn't have done it myself, especially to this level. Their heads are collected fully assembled, ready to be installed, but you know me, I had to double check.
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This is one of the exhaust seats that they saved, you can see an extra ring on it from when I was "lapping" it because it's not concentric with the rest of them. The fixed intake seat widths are now 1 mm (0.04 inch) and the exhaust 1.5 mm (0.06 inch) for heat transfer. The margins are 1.2 mm (0.047 inch) for the intake and 1.4 mm (0.055 inch) for the exhaust valves. Installed valve stem heights are 39.9 mm (1.57 inch) all around which is exactly the spec so I felt a lot better about everything now.

I installed the head the very next day with new ARP studs and the COMETIC MLS gasket under it:
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One thing that surprised me (though it really shouldn't by now) is that the previous owners used a mix of 1g and 2g lifters when putting this thing together:
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I am 99% sure these engines came with either one or the other, not 8 of each. I checked my parts car for possibly a full set of 2g lifters, but they were sadly all 1g. I could have probably used 1g ones on the intake side and the 8 2g ones on the exhaust side, but that seemed like a really shitty shortcut + I wasn't able to fully bleed the 1g ones because that hole is just too damn small. I decided (again) to do the right thing and order a full set of 3g lifters:
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It was a little expensive ordering them brand new from the US, but I'll sleep easier this way.
Another thing that I hadn't noticed before was this scratch on one of the intake cam lobes:
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It looks like some dirt went through there at one point, but it's strange that the roller on the rocker arm didn't show any damage. It's also possible that it was tended to before my ownership, as the edges were very smooth. Or it was simply running like this long enough for it to smooth itself over through general wear.
The rollers are pretty wide so I have no doubt using this cam would have been completely fine, but since I did remove the ones from my parts car when I was looking at the lifters, I decided to use that intake cam instead. I measured and compared both and they are absolutely the same.

The rest of the assembly went together pretty smoothly, so I was making good progress after that:
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Kinda wishing I had powder coated the old valve cover but It's going to come off inevitably so I guess I'll just do it then.
I know I've been whining a lot in these last couple of updates, but I believe that's behind us now that the engine and the car are becoming more my own than the previous owners'. Seeing the progress reading back through this build and all of you guys' nice comments also help immensely with keeping my spirits up. So thanks for reading, once again.
 
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Congratulations on the finished head. Looks great. Way to go to see it through. These engines are precision. If it’s not a hack previous owner, it’s a hack shop, all trying to kill these cars.
 
Alright boys, last update with the engine still out of the engine bay!

After the last update I did the timing belt, 3 times - apparently you can't use it to torque the oil pump sprocket to 40 ft-lbs because it will jump a tooth at 35🤬. I had to see it do that twice before I gave up and held it in place with the old timing belt wrapped all the way around for the third try. It's not like it HAD to be on the timing mark or anything - the balance shafts are gone, so the timing mark is irrelevant - it's that my OCD absolutely would not let me leave it one tooth off. At least the crankshaft sprocket was a lot easier to torque down - I put two bolts into the flywheel side of the crank and jammed a crowbar between them and the engine stand to keep the crank from spinning.
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The timing cover was a bit of a project, but I don't think it warrants a dedicated update, so I'll just mention it here. I wanted to use the flawless black, 3-piece, 7-bolt timing cover from my parts car because what I had before was only a gray top piece and half of a mutilated 6-bolt bottom piece.
Turns out it's not impossible to fit a 7-bolt cover onto a 6-bolt long block like some threads might suggest, but you do have to cut a lot of the outside flange off of the bottom piece and shave the cut-out for the water pump a little wider.
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I got all-new stainless steel bolts and washers to hold it down, though one of the holes below the water pump doesn't quite line up. As far as I can tell that's the only "downside" to this cover adaptation. The middle and top piece fit no problem.

Another mod I guess I could mention is the EGR delete plate for the intake manifold - I ordered this one along with the rear main seal housing back in january. I must have gotten the last one on STM tuned because they've removed the listing since.
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The EGR hasn't been hooked up since before I got the car, but I decided to send it off properly while I was at it. I also removed the charcoal canister and all pertaining-to vacuum lines since those were also never hooked up.

And after some new exhaust manifold studs and nuts, an alternator and a thermostat housing - that was the engine done.
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I tried my best to dress everything up, but even clean, some parts still show their age. It was kind of depressing, putting old rusty components onto a fresh block and head, but I had to chill with the spending at some point and this was it. I limited myself to upgrading just the internals because (if God wills it) I won't be seeing them for a minute. Everything else is either easily accessible to be upgraded even with the engine in the car or simply can't be upgraded yet, since I won't be getting a tune (stuff like the turbo or intake system).

Next up was the clutch - It was pretty beat up after more than 30 years in service but much like the rest of the engine I wasn't planning a full aftermarket upgrade just yet. For the time being, the plan was to simply swap the slightly healthier clutch disk and pressure plate over from the declipse (my parts car). But that was, of course, never going to happen because I'm still an idiot and I didn't consider that the prehistoric 6-bolt flywheel might be a little different from the 7-bolt in the parts car.
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The 6-bolt flywheel I have on the built engine (don't look at it too close, I know it's dying) is flat-faced. It's missing the extruded bosses for the pressure plate bolts. So even though clutch disks and pressure plates are generally interchangeable between generations and drivetrains on the eclipse, I wouldn't be able to do it, because this one is from a N/A galant. When I saw this, I figured I could swap just the clutch disk and re-use the galant pressure plate. That plan was also cut short as the eclipse clutch is about 10 mm wider in diameter than the galant pressure plate and therefore doesn't fit:
1718749016274.jpeg

I was seriously considering pulling the trigger on a ACT clutch, since I'm probably going to get one eventually, but then, just for the hell of it, I looked up a factory replacement for the galant clutch. And I'm glad I did, because as it turns out - its only 50€! ($54)
1718749629242.jpeg
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That's about 350€ cheaper than the cheapest ACT clutch I don't even need yet and I have no doubt that it will change the way this car drove.

That's going to be it for this update, next up is putting this thing back where it belongs! The ocean.

OR - I'll put it in the car first AND then the ocean. I guess we'll see. Thanks for reading!
 
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Wiring job!

(Dislaimer: I know I said I'd be installing the engine in the last update, but I need to talk about the wiring some time and technically it was in the car before the engine, so consider this a little "filler" update in the middle of an otherwise uninterrupted engine build. All of this was happening while I was waiting for engine parts/machine work to be completed so it's fair game)

This was a very long awaited project and anyone who saw my first couple of posts here 2 years ago will know I was terrified to do it. I didn't know anything about these cars or wiring, so I owe a huuuge "thank you" to everyone who participated on the thread I started and helped me figure out what was wrong and how I could fix it. Here's a link to said thread if anyone wants the full story, but the TL;DR is: when the cave men who owned this car before me swapped the 1G engine in, they for some reason wanted to run it with the original ECU. That came, like the engine, from a 1989 awd GALANT VI GTi. And unlike the 2G eclipse ECU, it only had 3 ports on it (2Gs have 4). What that meant was they had 1G connectors on the engine and ECU terminals, but 2G connectors on the harness. Wrong on both ends.
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So what did they do?

Did they swap the 1G harness over as well?
NO.

Well, did they re-pin the 2G harness?
HELL NO.

Did they *at least* get a 4-port ECU to work with the 4-plug harness?
ABSOLUTELY THE F*CK NOT.

They left the original 2G harness in the car and started cutting and splicing wires. I've posted most of these pictures before, but just so I have them all in a dedicated post - here they are again:
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^This is how they mated the 3-port ECU with the 4-plug harness. Amazing work.^

This was the cam angle sensor "connector" - just raw wires stuck onto the terminals of the 1G CAS:
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This was the crank angle sensor connector, featuring a beautiful soldering job:
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The entire harness was also missing most of its' plastic cable cover so the exposed wires were free to touch any hot ("hot" with current or "hot" as in - literally hot) parts they could reach under the hood. But hey, at least the wiring wasn't trying to catch the carpet on fire...
1719833877842.jpeg

...oh wait, it was.

On more than one occasion one of the wires under the dash also managed to ground itself on the transmission tunnel which caused the engine to continue running even with the key out of the ignition. And even when it ran normally, the engine had a really hard time with cold starts, staying running when going from high revs to idle, crazy high fuel consumption and more, all attributed to poor engine managment (ECU and its wirirng). Basically a horrible, horrible wiring job that should have turned me away from the car before I ever bough it.

Lucky for me, the declipse (2G parts car I got) came with a completely unmolested wiring harness for a N/A 7-bolt 4G63. This was the same harness and engine that were in my main car before the previous owners got to it.
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I carefully labled all of the connectors and extracted the immaculate harness from the rotting corpse that is my parts car. Kryndon was also nice enough to sell me his old 4-plug turbo ECU so I wouldn't have to run the turbo engine on an N/A map again. I should mention that a 4G63 N/A harness isn't exactly "plug and play" if you are working on a turbo conversion though. There are a couple differences that make a harness a "turbo" harness. For one, the stock fuel injectors on a turbo engine are low impedance which means that there should be a resistor in the wiring going to each of the injectors. The turbo trims have a resistor box that has to be wired in if you are doing this conversion. And just so I'm clear - I learned all of this on the thread I linked above, idk if I would have figured it out myself 😅
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And since I know next to nothing when it comes to making wiring, I needed help. I took the new harness and the 1G resistor box over to a dude who makes custom wiring for old porsches and gave him the schematics for a GST/GSX harness which he understood in like 10 seconds. He explaned them to me as well so I could learn a bit. He charged me 35€ ($37,60) to make a new branch? (that's for sure not the right word) on the harness where I could attach the resistor box. He offered to make the whole vein? (pretty sure that's not the right word either) removable, so that If I ever upgraded to high impedance injectors I could just take it out. I declined, though I am glad the option is there.

Since I was keeping the 1G engine, the last thing I needed was an adapter harness that would connect the 1G CAS to the 2G harness and ECU. You can either make one of those yourself or buy them from Sheridan Engineering or eBay, you just have to make sure you get the right one. One of the plugs is different between the 95-96 and the 97-99 cars and I of course got the wrong one (the former when I needed the latter), so I also ordered a baggie of 97+ connectors from china to make the necessary fix.
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After this, it was time to put the new and improved engine wiring back into the car. I took the opportunity to take the dashboard out as well, for one to get more light into the cabin and two - there was this incredibly annoying rattling sound behind the center console since forever that I wanted to get to the bottom of.
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I found it was the passenger airbag connector dangling around with nothing to plug into. Which is how I learned I have a total of 0 airbags in the car. I swear I would sue the previous owners if there was a way I could still have the car deemed roadworthy after the proceedings.
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But regardless, that was the wiring finally fixed and a HUGE burden lifted off my chest. Big thanks to @pauleyman @Kryndon @19Eclipse90 and anyone else who participated on that thread for all the help.
And thanks for reading.
 
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