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Author Topic: red engine swap  (Read 1096 times)
Ronno
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« on: July 10, 2019, 07:57:13 PM »
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Could someone point me to a site/page where it shows fitting a red motor in a FC (to a grey box)? Fit the engine mounts to cross member is about all I can find. Also, some of the questions that I am looking for are; the brackets that are welded to the cross member that the engine mounts bolt up to, do I need to make them or where could I buy them? Also, do I need to fit the engine in to find the bracket location (my guess is yes) or is there a measurement /template so I don't need to take the engine out again to weld the bracket mounting points to the cross member? Any positive replies appreciated.
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mcl1959
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« Reply #1 on: July 10, 2019, 09:08:44 PM »
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Ronno, generally it's easiest to cut off the original HR engine mounts and rewelded them to the front end once you have determined the correct location.

I assume you are using a HR front end......

The engine mounts are welded on just off the back of the crossmember, however if you've not done it before, It would be best to fit the engine as it has to be accurate since you are using the gearbox mounts. Tack the engine mounts in place and then remove the engine to weld in properly.

This is not something you don't want to get wrong and it is worth spending the time and effort to get it right.

There are no other difficulties really. A little bit of creativity with the acellerator linkages, the front exhaust pipe and make sure the coil voltage is correct and you're done. You could look at upgrading the radiator if you wish.
Use the red clutch and pressure plate but be aware that there may be a clearance issue with the casting in some cases.
Ken
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ardiesse
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« Reply #2 on: July 10, 2019, 09:19:28 PM »
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Time to dredge up some >35-year-old memories and lessons learnt the hard way . . .

I'll assume you're fitting an HR front crossmember for the moment.
Regarding engine mounts - if you're careful with an angle grinder and cold chisel you can remove the HR engine mount brackets and re-use them.  They'll need a little reworking with the grinder to suit their new position towards the rear of the crossmember.  Resist the temptation to make the engine mount brackets square with the front crossmember - the engine and transmission slope down from front to rear.  I don't think you can use an EH front crossmember as a template, because the FC motor is in a different relative position.  Which means, unfortunately, that you're best off using a complete red motor to line the mounts up.  Pay particular attention to the height of the front engine mounts, as this determines where the gearbox rear extension housing sits in the tunnel relative to the body crossmember and the gearbox crossmember.  Equal clearance above and below is a good starting point.  If you can dodgy up a laser pointer on the end of the gearbox main shaft, try to make things so that the shaft's axis points directly at the diff pinion flange when the car's at kerb weight.  Pay careful attention also to the clearance of the motor to firewall and accelerator linkages.  When you are satisfied with the alignment of the motor and transmission, tack-weld the engine mount brackets, remove engine and gearbox, drop the front crossmember, and weld the brackets.

Gotcha 1:  Don't weld the engine mount brackets with the front crossmember in place, otherwise you'll cook the rubbers.

Hint: If using an HR front crossmember, use all HR rubbers, bolts, washers and spacers.  FB-EH crossmember outriggers are the most suitable (FB-EK if you want to retain the option of reverting to a grey).

That's the how.  Read on.

Gotcha 2:  Red front and grey rear engine mounts are the compression type only.  You will be lacking shear mountings, meaning the engine and gearbox are not well located fore-and-aft.  Beware particularly fan-into-radiator problems under heavy braking, and gearbox rear extension housing hitting the body crossmember when driving flat-out over bumpy roads.

Gotcha 3:  Ensure perfect driveshaft balance.  Things can go very wrong very quickly . . .

Gotcha 4:  Use an EH front stabiliser bar.  The standard FC one will foul on a red motor's harmonic balancer.

Gotcha 5:  The late EH-onwards pressure plate will sometimes foul on the inside of a grey bellhousing.  The Clutch Industries pressure plate for red motors is OK, though.

Suggestion:  If you know someone who can TIG weld aluminium, get them to fabricate a bracket to suit a red rear engine mount and weld it onto the grey gearbox rear extension housing.  Then fabricate a new gearbox crossmember to take the red rear engine mount.  You can then ditch the grey side transmission mounts.  This is a vastly better engine mount setup from an engineering point of view.  And you can use standard-issue EH extractors too.

Now I'm going to ask why.  A red motor conversion is a lot of work.  And then there's the engineering side of things (dual-circuit brakes, collapsible steering column . . .).  I must admit that I have become a grey motor enthusiast in my old age.

Rob

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ardiesse
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« Reply #3 on: July 10, 2019, 09:20:20 PM »
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. . . yes, and Ken is telepathic too.

Rob
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Errol62
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« Reply #4 on: July 10, 2019, 10:26:21 PM »
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Hi Ronno
I think Pete Mallaby on here occasionally has produced engine mounts for red motor. When I did this job originally I simply re-located those from the HR front end I used. Generally you need to mock the motor and trans in place and tack the mounts in position to get the correct positioning. You can align the crank snout or harmonic balancer hole with the semi circular cut out at bottom of radiator support. Iím told this was originally for allowing balancer removal tool installation. Iím also told that an EH front crossmember will allow bolt in fit. This will give you duo servo front drum brakes while maintaining king pin suspension. But Iíve never tried it, and you probably need ball joints if youíre fitting a red, unless it is a 138 red from a Torana.
Cheers
Clay


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Errol62
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« Reply #5 on: July 10, 2019, 10:28:11 PM »
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Oh gee.... I didnít see Ken and Robs posts before I blurted out mine.


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Ronno
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« Reply #6 on: July 13, 2019, 12:40:08 PM »
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Thank you all for taking the reply to the red engine swap and the question of why swap from grey to red? the original grey I have would need a complete rebuild and I have a good red motor. I would be happy with a good grey motor but have not been able to find a usable one (I am in WA if someone has one ) and I am beginning to think I should try harder to locate one. I was not aware that I would have to change to a HR front end and I thought fitting a 138 red would be reasonably straight forward without too many mods. Thanks again.
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ardiesse
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« Reply #7 on: July 13, 2019, 07:22:16 PM »
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Ronno,

You don't have to change to an HR front suspension when doing a red motor conversion, but most people choose to.  The original front suspension usually needs king pins and outer pivots by the time the motor's worn out though.

You're after a grey motor?  I have a freshly reconditioned one.  But I'm in Sydney.

Normally, "all" that a grey motor needs to wake it up is rings, bearings, and a valve grind.  And piston pins and small-end bushes if the gudgeons are noisy.

If your grey motor starts and idles on all six cylinders, it's good enough for a rings-and-bearings job.  Comes down to two questions really:  How fumey is it, and does it rattle?  If it runs quietly apart from possible tappet noise, then it's a good candidate for an economy rebuild.

I should really do a Harv and write the Rebuild Guide for Cash-Strapped Grey Motor Enthusiasts.

Rob
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FireKraka
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« Reply #8 on: July 14, 2019, 09:14:25 AM »
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Hi Ronno
I agree with all said above and yes Pete Mallaby does make HR engine mounts he was selling them on eBay for a while I think.
Now I'm going to give you something else to think about, I may be wrong but regardless of the capacity of the engine you are swapping I believe you will have to have it engineered which can bring in a whole lot of other mods including 2speed wipers, collapsible steering column etc.
I don't know how much you drive your car etc. but putting the red in will also exclude you from club/historic rego. so as Rob suggests maybe even giving your grey a professional full rebuild would be cheaper and less hassle.
Regards
Neil
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Ronno
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« Reply #9 on: July 14, 2019, 01:29:39 PM »
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Thanks Rob & Team, I have decided to go for the Grey after your help. The grey I have has some valves stuck open on turning the engine (not sure if that bends things) the motor has sat for about 40 years. Should I maybe take the head off to see if it is usable, freeing valves and lapping them I can do but not bearings or rings.
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ardiesse
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« Reply #10 on: July 14, 2019, 02:35:32 PM »
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Ronno,

Stuck valves normally mean bent pushrods.  But if you are able to turn the engine over at least two revolutions by hand, then the stuck valves will have stuck fully open.  The valves don't ever hit the pistons in a grey motor.

Get a pressure-pak of WD-40, take the rocker cover off and spray the valve springs well.  You want to get the solvent in under the valve retainers to lubricate the valve guides.  Repeat every day, and maybe your valves will free up without having to take the head off.  Yet.

The fact that your motor was free enough to turn over by hand is a good sign.  Take the spark plugs out and aim a good burst of WD into the cylinders while you're at it.

If you can persuade the valves to open and shut without sticking, there's a fair chance your engine will start (clean and adjust points, set ignition timing, make sure fuel gets into the carburettor, clean and gap the spark plugs).  There's a possibility that the motor will settle down and run smoothly after a few minutes, in which case you don't need to do any major engine work immediately.

A compression test will reveal the engine's state of health.  It's likely that the valves won't be seating all that well if some have stuck.  Badly seating valves will make the engine behave all ornery.  It won't like to start, it won't idle smoothly, and will be down on power.

If you suspect badly seating valves, take the manifolds off.  Turn the engine over by hand until number 1 begins its compression stroke.  Squirt about a teaspoon of WD-40 into the exhaust and inlet ports for number 1, and then turn the engine over by hand.  If you hear hissing or bubbling sounds coming out of the ports, you will need to pull the head off and give it a valve grind.  Repeat the WD-40 on compression stroke for all the other cylinders.

Is the motor still in the car?

Rob
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Ronno
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« Reply #11 on: July 14, 2019, 09:14:21 PM »
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Thanks Rob, the engine is in an FE parts car that I thought I might use (the FC not having an engine at the moment). I turned it over by the starter motor (maybe that was a mistake) with WD down the plug holes first, there was not much compression so I removed the valve cover and noticed a couple of the valves were stuck. I will try to loosen them as you suggest and also see if the valves leak when seated as you mentioned, maybe it can be saved? All going well, would the head need to be converted to run on unleaded at some stage or are additives successful? Thanks again Ron
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ardiesse
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« Reply #12 on: July 15, 2019, 02:19:28 PM »
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Ron,

My experience suggests that having hardened exhaust valve seat inserts installed is not worth it.  I've got two old Holdens in regular use.  The motor that has the inserts has troubles with leaky exhaust valves; the motor that doesn't appears to be fine.  Just go the additive, and really only for country driving.

Sometimes a bit of gentle persuasion on top of the rocker tip with a brass drift and hammer helps to free up stuck valves; but go carefully.  If you drive the valve all the way down, getting it back up again without taking the head off is tricky.  Bent pushrods can be straightened, in case that's happened also.

The motor is best considered as usable.  There doesn't seem to be anything seriously wrong with it.

Rob
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Ronno
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« Reply #13 on: July 15, 2019, 07:19:03 PM »
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Thank you Rob you have given me some very valuable information and an idea of what direction to go in, you have been most helpful and knowledgeable. I will put up a post at a later date (in the chatroom?) to let you and other interested members know how I get on. Great Forum. Thanks again.
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ardiesse
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« Reply #14 on: July 15, 2019, 08:17:24 PM »
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Just start a new thread in Project Cars or General Technical.  Or keep adding to this one.

Rob
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my8thholden
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« Reply #15 on: August 09, 2019, 07:16:43 AM »
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Ronno ..I have only just read this ,if your valves are still stuck open ,as Rob suggests you bath them in WD40 or kero or diesel.and tap on top  gently ,trying to bounce the spring to lift it ,or a large screwdriver or flat bar under collet cap ,levered on block of wood also while tapping on stem.Or bend a piece of 3/8 rod put in spark plug hole under valve head ,tape area of rod where contacts plug thread and lever pressure on valve head.get help to do both together ,but be carefull.if engine has just been standing closed ,ie not out in open weather it should free up ..if not, then I suspect you will find the problem will be exhaust valves ,and its carbon build up on the stems of the valve which will mean valve guide wear ,oil is coming down the valve stem meeting burning gases on way to exhaust and hardens as carbon and builds up on the stem ,causes valve to jam..there are other reasons valves stick ( broken spring ) but this is most common and good way to go because most other conditions means head off..I was going to say good luck, my Mum used say " no such thing as good luck ,its when good planning meets with chance "  cheers Vern
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« Reply #16 on: August 09, 2019, 06:30:06 PM »
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  Rob ,being a fan of the grey motor ,and the ridiculous prices being quoted by some engine rebuilders ,your offer of a budget rebuild guide sounds like a great idea ! cheers Steve . Wink
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« Reply #17 on: August 11, 2019, 10:46:34 PM »
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I should really do a Harv and write the Rebuild Guide for Cash-Strapped Grey Motor Enthusiasts.

Rob

"Rob ,being a fan of the grey motor, and the ridiculous prices being quoted by some engine rebuilders ,your offer of a budget rebuild guide sounds like a great idea ! cheers Steve . Wink"

Yeh Rob, I'm with Steve.  I realise it'd be a huge effort, but greatly appreciated. 

Having never done a motor rebuild, I reckon I'd have a crack at it with some good guidance.  I've got a spare motor here I'm willing to sacrifice   Smiley.

Cheers,

John
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