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Galant VR-4 Restoration #129/1458

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Exactly. You nailed it. My son is 12 as I type this, he'll be 13 this summer. I don't want to build a high HP car for his first car. Don't need him wrapping himself around a tree at 16. Stock motor, stock 14b turbo, maybe an aftermarket IC and piping, intake and exhaust just to open it up a little bit and let it breathe a little. We'll start there and he can take it from there as he gets older. He got the inspiration for this car from the Tom's Turbo Garage series on YouTube when he was about 8, so we're shooting for something similar to that.

I appreciate the kind words ... if this was a how-to I'd have to explain a lot more!! I do plan to document the whole process with him all throughout so I suspect this build thread will be pretty long till we tackle engine bay, suspension, brakes, gas tank, engine bay, interior and exterior body work.
Very cool. Yeah tom's build was cool to watch so much that when he put it for sale my friend picked it up off of him.

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So the correct rings showed up a few weeks back, but with life it took a few weekends to get back to working on the motor. This is what we accomplished over Memorial Day holiday.

Here's where we left off:
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Sealed Power Rings
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Reconditioned pistons ready to go.
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Rings installed. 1st piston ready to go in.
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Checking clearance with plasti-gage.
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All good, time to torque down the caps to 37 ft-lbs.
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2nd Piston in.
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Torque down again.
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Even when you are trying to be super clean you can see all the fuzzies and things that stick to the cylinder walls.
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3rd Piston in. 1 more to go.
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4th one in.
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Refreshed short block finally done.
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Wrap her all back up until it's time to work on it again.
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Next up ... ARP head studs and get the head on. Now that the short block is done and summer is here things will progress much quicker.
Dang I had some new OEM pistons I could’ve thrown in when you bought my Galant LOL. Also, use coffee filters to clean up the walls as they don’t leave any debris behind. Build is looking great!!!
 
My son wanted to paint the valve cover himself. I almost hesitated, remembering how bad a spray painter I was in my teens trying to learn ... holding the can too close and using way too much. But a voice inside told me to let him do it so he can learn. Didn't come out half bad. Sometime soon I'll show him out to shave the paint off the lettering with a sander.

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Today we got the head torqued down. Started by removing the plastic and wiping down the deck with some brake clean on a cloth just to get rid of anything that might have settled on there.

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Time for the ARP head studs.
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First couple of studs going in...
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All in.
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A nice coat of Moly Lube on the threads (the bottom threads were done as well).
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Time to pull out the head that's been sitting stored for quite a while now.
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Surprisingly I had to grind a flat spot on 4 of the ARP washers that wouldn't drop all the way down b/c they were hitting the beehives. I don't remember having that issue building 2G engines, but it's also been a few years, so maybe I did. Anyway, easy fix.
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You can see here why the flat edge was necessary.
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All torqued down. We went 30-60-80 in sequence. Tomorrow we'll loosen them all back to 0 and torque again back to 80.
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Dropped the valve cover on just to get an idea of what it would look like.
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So we ordered up a BSEK, I thought I had one but I didn't, and a new water pump. So while we're waiting on those components we picked up where we left off and are continuing to rebuild the head. I've detailed our process below.

A while back, we ordered a set of Top Line revised lifters.
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So, first we had to open them up.
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Then we soaked them overnight in a .5 quart of oil.
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If you do this, stand them all upright. In this photo they are just sorta tossed in there.
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The next day we had to bleed them. So, if you're not familiar with this process, what will happen is as they take on oil they will essentially "fill". If you try to push down on them they won't budge, they'll be rock solid. If you install them like that you'll bend valves at first start, so you need to release the pressure by bleeding them.
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To bleed them all you need is a fairly long and thin allen wrench. Get the allen wrench centered and push down, you'll release a little check valve inside and you'll see oil squirt out. Give them a few squeezes and you're ready to install.
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It's hard to see in this picture, but use assembly lube in each hole before dropping in the the lifter.
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Then just drop them in.
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You can always pour some more assembly lube on later too. There's no such thing as too much assembly lube really.
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We didn't buy new rockers. The rockers have been soaking in Kerosene for the last 6-7 months in an old pickle jar. So we simply pulled them out and coated them in oil and placed them on.
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Once they're all sitting in place you can put your cams back in. A previous owner labeled these cams Intake and Exhaust.
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You don't really need too though b/c the Intake cam has a slit in the end of it. Impossible to get them mixed up.
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Lube up all the cam journals real well.
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Carefully place your cams in place. Add more assembly lube.
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Per the FSM, for timing later, make sure both dowel pins are at 12 oclock.
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There they are. :)
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Now it's time for the caps. Make sure you have the correct orientation for your cam caps and in the correct number order. There are numbered markings on them and directional arrows. There are also a few markings on the outside of the head itself to help you. And you have the FSM. Lightly tighten them down w/ a 12mm.
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Finally, tighten them down in sequence as specified. We ran out of time for that since we had to be somewhere. So I don't have a final picture of that yet. I believe they get torqued to 18lbs, but I'll check that we pick up there next time.

So proud of my son for all this work. He's learning so much and he's killing it. :thumb:
 
The BSEK kit showed up, so it's time to get to work on this oil pump. This the OEM pump that came off the block.
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Knowing this motor is a 6-bolt, I was curious whether it was an early straight-cut gear or helical version. Turns out it's a later model 6-bolt with the helical revision.
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Next, we bathed it in a pretty good bath of brake clean to see what we had.
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I have NEVER reused an oil pump in an engine build, so this would be the first time. I thought the oil journals looked pretty good, I saw no scoring and there was nothing that would catch a finger nail. I wanted a 2nd opinion so I took it to a local mechanic I trust and let him look at it. He agreed. So, since we're working on a 12 year old's budget with some help from Mom and Dad, we're going to reuse the pump.
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Time to get the BSEK installed.
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First thing we did was put some Red Loctite on the driven gear bolt and mounted it on the stubby.
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Next, and this was a great talking point for my son ... we primed the pump and I explained to him why this is such an important step. We also lined up the timing dots, but you really don't have to if you're eliminating the balance shafts.
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Time to put the oil pump back on the front case. All 5 bolts are 12mm.
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To hold the pump while we torqued these down I used some long drywall screws and fender washers and mounted the case to a 2x3 that we could put in a vise. All five bolts get torqued to 12ft-lbs.
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Now we flip it over and put the castle plug back in.
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We used a thin film of black RTV on the o-ring.
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Then we put some thread sealant on the castle nut threads.
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And finally we used the screwdriver-plastic hammer method of tightening down the castle nut.
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Now over to the upper left corner to install the block-off plug. I like a little bit of black RTV on here too just to make sure there's no oil leaks.
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We tapped this down with a socket until it bottomed out.
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Next we install the new oil pump seal by tapping it in with a 19MM.
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And last but not least we tapped in the front main seal as well.
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And there you have it. That's our rebuilt front case with a BSEK installed.

We were going to install this and the water pump today, but my son was having a hard time feeling the "click" on the low torque wrench settings. Since you don't want to over torque anything that aluminum and my torque wrench is an old Harbor Freight one I bought a long time ago - I think we're going to use this as an excuse to buy a better quality torque wrench and make sure we get these numbers right.
 
Well we are able to grab a decent inch-pound torque wrench off FB Marketplace locally and get things properly installed. To start we got the necessary gaskets ready to go.
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The front case gets torqued to 17 ft-lbs (or 204 in-lbs).
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Since we're running with the balance shafts eliminated, you have to put a bolt in the hole where the balance shaft tensioner mounts. I always put some RTV on the bolt threads and some on the front case where the bolt flange rests just to help prevent any kind of oil leak.
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Once you tighten the bolt down, just wipe away the excess.
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Then we moved on to the water pump.
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If you look back at the beginning of this thread you'll remember the pump was trashed. We're installing a GMB pump. I've had a GMB pump on my 2G for over 15 years now, so I bought the same one for this 6-bolt build. You do need to be careful if you're not buying an OEM pump, I've seen some china-made knocks off where the casting is really rough inside - you can tell they're cheaply made.
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Here she is torqued down.
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I lightly threw the cam gears on there just to get a glimpse of what this thing is going to look like as it comes together.
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At this point in the day it was time to start digging through the boxes of parts in the garage and start cleaning up the "next things". My son painted up all the timing gears in a cast spray paint. (We masked off the teeth on the timing belt crank pulley, but just painted the whole balance shaft pulley since it won't have a belt on it.
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And we started cleaning up some of the tensioner mounts and whatnot.
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This is just primer, we need to toss black on next and clean the primer off of the machined surfaces.
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That's where we're at right now. I need to order a new OEM tensioner so we can finish all the timing components and get a belt on this thing.
 
My son plays football, and so it's been challenged to squeeze in some garage time during his season, but it poured rain here all day today so we took time in the garage today to finally get a timing belt on this thing.

Started by getting the crank sprockets put back on.

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Next we installed this piece that the tensioners mount to ... not even sure what Mitsu's proper name for this is.
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Got the tensioner and idler installed.
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Before putting the cam gears on, you need to install the sheet metal shields on the head, so we did that.
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We hadn't installed the new cam seals yet, so we did that next. Large socket and a plastic mallet handled that.
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Never seen these in this light grey color before.
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Here's our new OEM hydraulic tensioner from Extreme PSI that showed up a few weeks back.
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And here it is bolted down to 17 ft.lbs, or 204 in-lbs.
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Next we snugged up the cam gears and took a step-back picture of our progress so far.
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Now it's time to get the timing belt on and get it timed. I've done this several times before so it was nice to be able to teach him how to do it. I remember having to do it multiple times when I started out with DSM's before it was correct. I also bought some timing alignment tools years ago so that helps make it much easier.

Wrapped the belt around the cam gears and then binder clamped them in place.
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Around the idler ...
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Make sure the oil pump and crank are on their marks.
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Around the tensioner ....
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I used the special tool and a 1/4" ratchet to add tension and then tighten the center bolt down with a 14mm.
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If you do it correctly, the pin the tensioner should slide right out without any friction.
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Turn the engine over 6 times and all your timing marks should like exactly back up.



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Not a better feeling I can think of than having a properly timed motor and this step behind you. So happy it's coming together.
 
As I mentioned in a previous post, my son plays football, so finding time to work on this project in-season is tough b/t practices and games, but the season ended last Monday, so we are back at it. Started by just accomplishing a small task. We got the oil cooler mounted.

Here's where we left the engine sitting.
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Taped it up for paint.
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Gave the gasket a coat of cooper spray.
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After hitting it with some silver, got it mounted up and torqued down.
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A while back we purchased some a new oil pressure sensor and sender.
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Removed the old nasty ones and got the new ones threaded in.
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With the oil cooler mounted, we now turned our attention to the exhaust manifold side of things. We're missing a stud, and these studs look old and original. So, we removed them all with a stud removing socket.
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Here we are all removed.
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Next, we took a tap and just cleaned up the first 3 or 4 threads of each just to get the dirt out. Didn't go any deeper than that, don't want to mess up any of the aluminum.
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Here's a close up.
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Now we're all ready to go with new studs.
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I had these new studs laying around from a previous 2G project. So, we'll use these and order some new nuts. 2G's use a thicker outer stud, while the 1G's use 9 studs all the same. So, we'll have to reuse 2 of the old studs since this is a 2G kit.
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Threading the new ones in.
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All in with a dab of threadlocker.
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We also gook a minute to bolt on the timing cover. This is a very nice condition original.
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With the oil cooler mounted, we now turned our attention to the exhaust manifold side of things. We're missing a stud, and these studs look old and original. So, we removed them all with a stud removing socket.
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Here we are all removed.
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Next, we took a tap and just cleaned up the first 3 or 4 threads of each just to get the dirt out. Didn't go any deeper than that, don't want to mess up any of the aluminum.
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Here's a close up.
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Now we're all ready to go with new studs.
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I had these new studs laying around from a previous 2G project. So, we'll use these and order some new nuts. 2G's use a thicker outer stud, while the 1G's use 9 studs all the same. So, we'll have to reuse 2 of the old studs since this is a 2G kit.
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Threading the new ones in.
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All in with a dab of threadlocker.
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We also gook a minute to bolt on the timing cover. This is a very nice condition original.
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Stud removing socket you say?
 
They do work mint. If the stud doesn't have a shoulder (and sometimes even when it does) the cams will leave a mark on the leading edge of the thread in 3 to 4 spots but it's usually functionally fine after unless you really had to reef it out.
 
I have always used 2 nuts to remove the studs, but I think you have me convinced to pick up one of those sets. This has been a fun build to watch and I am definitely going to keep following, especially since you are passing down knowledge. I also like the grease trick you used to manage the retainers. I saw it in the pics, but you never mentioned it.
 
Our latest Monday installment involved taking a look at the intake manifold. I wanted to teach my son how to do some mild porting, and aluminum is a nice soft material to work with. So we setup the Dremel and I was showing how to clean up and slightly enlarge the manifold runners.

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Kind of a roll reversal here of me holding the light ... LOL!!
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Here's what we're looking at. If you look carefully, you can see the one to the left is not done yet.
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We noticed when shining a light inside the manifold where the TB mounts that there was a TON of carbon build up. So, we decided to fill a bucket with water/Purple Power and soak it. I did this before years ago, and it works really well. Emptying a can of brake clean inside works pretty well too. Here it is submerged in a bucket of Purple Power. We'll let this soak for a day or two, pull it and then rinse it out really good.
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Once we got the manifold soaking we decided to pull a TB off of another manifold that we intend to rebuild. Is this supposed to be in there? :confused:
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I also took a moment to show him the difference between a 52mm 2G TB and a 1G 60mm TB. (2G is on the right)
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Gotta order some new shaft seals next and we'll rebuild the TB soon.
 
Our latest Monday installment involved taking a look at the intake manifold. I wanted to teach my son how to do some mild porting, and aluminum is a nice soft material to work with. So we setup the Dremel and I was showing how to clean up and slightly enlarge the manifold runners.

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Kind of a roll reversal here of me holding the light ... LOL!!
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Here's what we're looking at. If you look carefully, you can see the one to the left is not done yet.
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We noticed when shining a light inside the manifold where the TB mounts that there was a TON of carbon build up. So, we decided to fill a bucket with water/Purple Power and soak it. I did this before years ago, and it works really well. Emptying a can of brake clean inside works pretty well too. Here it is submerged in a bucket of Purple Power. We'll let this soak for a day or two, pull it and then rinse it out really good.
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Once we got the manifold soaking we decided to pull a TB off of another manifold that we intend to rebuild. Is this supposed to be in there? :confused:
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I also took a moment to show him the difference between a 52mm 2G TB and a 1G 60mm TB. (2G is on the right)
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Gotta order some new shaft seals next and we'll rebuild the TB soon.
Gotta say this is my favorite thread so far, and it hits home. Hopefully one day i get my hands on one vr4. Keep the good work!
 
Today we went over to where the car is being stored ... I use the term "stored" loosely since it's sitting outside - more like parked. We haven't been over to it in probably about 2 years. We wanted to pull off the Apexi exhaust and put it in storage before someone got wise to it and it disappeared.
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We tipped the car up it is side so we could get access to the hangers.
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And boy did we get a surprise ... what we thought was a 3" Apexi exhaust was not ... instead it was a custom exhaust that built on the car with an Apexi muffler.
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Here it is fully removed from the car. Turned out we were not able to bring that home with us ... a little too long. 😄
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So, I think the future plan is to order up some 3 inch exhaust flanges and cut it at 2 places and create a downpipe, mid-pipe and muffler so it's a bit more manageable.
 
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