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Thread: Refreshing the engine (rebuild and aftermath)

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    Van Fan terrence's Avatar
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    Refreshing the engine (rebuild and aftermath)

    Well, I have decided that the strange engine noises within the motor finally warrant a tear down. I am going to an engine builder to take care of the long block so my questions concern the rest of the engine. This van has never had overheating issues, so I am going to risk just flushing the radiator out really well and replacing every coolant line. I also am going to do the rear heater delete to save some headaches in the future. So here is what I am replacing:

    radiator Hoses
    coolant and vac lines
    water pump
    thermostat
    alternator/power steering/AC belts
    motor and transmission mounts
    air/fuel/oil filters
    spark plugs and wires
    clutch kit
    resurfacing the flywheel
    alternator

    Now my question is, what am I missing? I have combed thru a few of others users rebuild blogs/threads and I don't think I have overlooked anything. Or if anyone has any recommendations of stuff that should be done while the motor is out.

    Last edited by terrence; 01-31-2017 at 03:52 PM.

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    Re: Refreshing the motor of my 87' van.

    Distributor cap and rotor.
    Power steering pump pressure and return lines.
    Rear differential oil.
    Transmission oil.
    Transmission input and output seals.
    Rear Main Seal.
    Power steering pump. (If it whines and leaks)
    Radiator cap.
    Fan clutch.

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    Administrator timsrv's Avatar
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    Re: Refreshing the motor of my 87' van.

    I'm assuming you read my ENGINE OVERHAUL thread......That one outlines all the usual things (including rear heater delete). I put part numbers and links throughout that thread. Tim

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    Van Fan terrence's Avatar
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    Re: Refreshing the motor of my 87' van.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rufus View Post
    Distributor cap and rotor.
    Power steering pump pressure and return lines.
    Rear differential oil.
    Transmission oil.
    Transmission input and output seals.
    Rear Main Seal.
    Power steering pump. (If it whines and leaks)
    Radiator cap.
    Fan clutch.
    Thanks for the suggestions.


    Quote Originally Posted by timsrv View Post
    I'm assuming you read my ENGINE OVERHAUL thread......That one outlines all the usual things (including rear heater delete). I put part numbers and links throughout that thread. Tim

    I did! It is a very helpful resource.




    *Edit: found the part I was looking for..

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    Re: Refreshing the motor of my 87' van.

    New parts are starting to roll in and in the mean time I am trying to fix all the little things. But this poor van is such a turd. Somehow the previous owner sheered off the transmission fill plug and it had to be JB welded back into it. Here it is screwed all the way in:





    And who knows how I am going to get this intake cleaned out. The entire lower and upper intake manifolds were covered in this black sludge that doesn't exactly just rinse out.



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    Re: Refreshing the motor of my 87' van.

    You should look for a fire damage restoration company in your area that has a large ultrasonic cleaner. I had one ultrasonic ally clean all of my metal engine parts for my airplane. There is no chemicals (they use water), there is no loss of parent material (no sand blasting), and the parts came out spotless. I paid about $200 to have the crankcase halves, carburetor parts, cylinders, accessory cover, and a few other parts done. Great deal. It removes paint and everything. Even from the impossible to reach areas.

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    Re: Refreshing the motor of my 87' van.

    I would also recommend having your injectors (especially the cold start injector) cleaned & tested. That residue looks suspiciously like the result of a leaky cold start injector. Tim

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    Re: Refreshing the motor of my 87' van.

    Quote Originally Posted by timsrv View Post
    I would also recommend having your injectors (especially the cold start injector) cleaned & tested. That residue looks suspiciously like the result of a leaky cold start injector. Tim

    I am going to just upgrade the injectors the the 4 port jams.

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    Re: Refreshing the motor of my 87' van.

    I finally got my motor back this week. Apparently the camshaft was shot so a new one had to be ordered and that was what was causing the "hold up". Anyway, it's all pretty and new looking:





    And here it is before it went into the van. It's all bolted up in the van currently, still need to bolt up the transmission, fill fluids and all the other little things. Should be done next week!





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    Re: Refreshing the motor of my 87' van.

    She's a beauty!

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    Re: Refreshing the motor of my 87' van.

    I see the upper half of the intake is already "installed". Is it just temporarily sitting there, or actually bolted down? If bolted, how do you plan on hooking up injector connections? Did you make a removable injector harness? Tim

    PS: Very nice looking engine! I like these type projects .

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    Re: Refreshing the motor of my 87' van.

    Quote Originally Posted by timsrv View Post
    I see the upper half of the intake is already "installed". Is it just temporarily sitting there, or actually bolted down? If bolted, how do you plan on hooking up injector connections? Did you make a removable injector harness? Tim

    PS: Very nice looking engine! I like these type projects .
    I took inspiration from your injector harness and made one for my van. I'll take a better picture of it when I get out there and finish the install.

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    Re: Refreshing the motor of my 87' van.

    I was wondering about that. Very cool! . When I build an engine I want it completed BEFORE installation. The removable harness connection here also serves to electrically access all injectors in the event of future troubleshooting. I have already used this once while I was troubleshooting a clogged injector (due to contamination in my fuel system). It was nice taking the guess work out of the troubleshooting. I mapped all injector pin locations prior to installing so I know where each pin on each injector is from my remote harness connectors . Tim

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    Re: Refreshing the motor of my 87' van.

    Sweet! Too nice to hide under the van. You need to make clear Lexan engine covers and keep pass. seat out!. Out of curiosity how much are you into it for? I'm looking at doing something like that after I'm done with the chassis
    LG.
    "perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away." A. de St Exupery.

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    Re: Refreshing the motor of my 87' van.

    Awesome! I wish I had the space to pull the motor and send it out to rebuild. Would have saved me some $$$. What clutch kit did you go with?

  16. #16
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    Re: Refreshing the motor of my 87' van.

    Quote Originally Posted by timsrv View Post
    I was wondering about that. Very cool! . When I build an engine I want it completed BEFORE installation. The removable harness connection here also serves to electrically access all injectors in the event of future troubleshooting. I have already used this once while I was troubleshooting a clogged injector (due to contamination in my fuel system). It was nice taking the guess work out of the troubleshooting. I mapped all injector pin locations prior to installing so I know where each pin on each injector is from my remote harness connectors . Tim
    Yea, I wanted to completely assymble the motor before it went in so the harness was not an option for me. It was pretty simple, used a cheap 8 pin connector and my new injectors came with new plugs so I needed to replace them anyway.

    Quote Originally Posted by Carbonized View Post
    Sweet! Too nice to hide under the van. You need to make clear Lexan engine covers and keep pass. seat out!. Out of curiosity how much are you into it for? I'm looking at doing something like that after I'm done with the chassis
    Well, it was $850 for the rebuild plus an extra $240 for a new camshaft. It took much longer than expected but I really can't complain (so far) about the work. They removed broken studs, replaced everything, gave me a gasket set and a fresh coat of paint. That with fluids, and replacement parts I have about $2000 in this project.


    Quote Originally Posted by Ian R. View Post
    Awesome! I wish I had the space to pull the motor and send it out to rebuild. Would have saved me some $$$. What clutch kit did you go with?
    Exedy, I have used them in many other vehicles and love them.

  17. #17
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    Re: Refreshing the motor of my 87' van.

    Yes, you cannot really complain about the price. I don't know where in the US you are but here in Screwyouland $850.00 would barely cover the freeze plug and disposal fees. Looking at the last 2 pictures, your own elbow grease is definitely worth a "pretty penny" too! Great work, hope she runs a good as she looks for you! Yours is a lucky van!
    LG.
    "perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away." A. de St Exupery.

  18. #18
    Van Fan terrence's Avatar
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    Re: Refreshing the motor of my 87' van.

    Engine is all in and almost done. Got a timing issue or something, not starting. But something to tackle tomorrow.




    Here is the 8 pin injector harness plug, along with one of many homemade cable straps. We figure that one of the previous owners pulled the head and just did a crap job putting it back together. Lot of missing parts and bolts.




    Almost a van again!


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    Re: Refreshing the motor of my 87' van.

    Epic! She is a beaut!

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    Re: Refreshing the motor of my 87' van.

    Got it fired up finally. Ran like crap making an awful noise from the head. Sounded like a generator was running under the seat. Limped it home about 15 miles and let it sit over night. Fired it up the next morning and it ran as smooth and quite as could be. No idea what happened but it hasn't made noises in the last 40 miles I've put on it. Going to order an oil pressure and water temperature gauges just to keep an eye on things but, fingers crossed its good to go.

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