Work Weekend 5 – IT’S ALIVE!

Well, we started off Saturday with some tasty waffles and blueberries, but we quickly turned to figuring out why the car still wouldn’t idle properly. We checked the resistance in every conceivable sensor and double checked all our previous work. Then we just decided the hell with it, let’s pull off the intake mainfold.

After a lot of unbolting, we pulled off the intake manifold. The first thing we noticed was that the gaskets on cylinders 1 & 2 were trashed and the area was full of carbon deposits. There was kind of a collective “OMG, that’s OUR problem”. So, we went to work.

Broken Gasket with Carbon Deposits

Chris, David, and Nick cleaned up the heads and the block (the part we exposed) and prepped the surface. I went to town smoothing out the intake runners with a Dremel. Then, I got the idea to put the intake gaskets on the manifold and heads and see if they matched up right. Sure enough, the intake runners were much smaller than the heads and the gaskets. Nick and I placed the gaskets on the intake manifold and scratched a grind-line into the aluminum. Then I proceeded to port the holes to match the new size, tapering back into the runners very carefully. Finally, I got a nice sanding attachment and smoothed out all my work and additionally smoothed out about 5 to 6 inches inside the runners.

Cleaned Head Porting Manifold

Unforunately without some dyno pulls (or at least some datalogging) we’ll never know how much the porting helped. I can’t imagine it would be all that much, but it would be interesting to see.

Anyway, we get the car all back together and fire it up and fuel starts spraying in the air like a fountain! Weeeeeeeeee! While we were putting the engine back together, I didn’t seat the fuel pressure regulator right. Nick apparently had this problem before last weekend and he re-bent the FPR mounts and we fired the car up. It sounded good! Not great, but good. It definitely sounded like we were down a piston.

We did some diagnostics to figure out which ones, but ultimately we ended disconnecting the injectors to pull them back out. We stopped, decided to put it back together for the night and figure it out later. After putting the injectors back together, we fired it up…. IT SOUNDED GREAT! Apparently one of the injector plugs was loose (that’s my guess). So we took it for a drive and it just drove great.

So, there we are, our car runs. Now we’ll switch gears, get our car bits sold and see what kind of cash we have to work with under the limit.