SS 00121 engine rebuild 4: the intake and mock up

I’ve got a pretty serious cold and in order to keep from spreading it around work I haven’t been there the last few days. I don’t feel horrible, mainly just spaced out from the cocktail of stuff in cold medicines and unable to breathe through my nose, so I’ve been spending a few hours at the shop in warm clothes working on the endless SS project. Today I decided I should mock up the engine pieces to try and identify anything I need to buy now so I can make one long trip and pick everything up at once instead of wasting days looking for one odd sized nut/bolt/washer.

I was quite proud of myself when this manifold turned up for a good price. Carbs are a matched set of early 60’s 40 DCOE2’s, the correct carb for all flavors of Sprint Speciale besides early 750SS badged cars (correct me if I’m wrong). I can’t wait to see these doing their job when I pop the hood on my daily driver SS.

Manifold has an untapped water passage, not sure what car it was meant for, maybe a late SS? Carb flex mounts are from Centerline. I am going to use a support rod so I decided to go with the four single mounts instead of he combined double center mount.

Once it’s in the car I’ll never see this again except in the case of major work like in situ oil pan removal, and even in that case the lighting wont be so photogenic and it’ll probably be dirty from unexpected oil leaks.

Moving right along. I set the head on the block without the pistons/rods/liners in place so I could mount these. I put two head nuts on just in case the engine flipped on the stand and the head was of a mind to fall off.

All the fanciness in place. Nuts were part of a trade with Andrew. Wavy lock washers came from Bowlin in Berkeley who sells fasteners. It’s like a hardware store or Fastenal type place where they actually know what you’re talking about when you ask for grade 8 nuts. I am reminded by this picture that I need a dip stick. Anyone got a spare?

Once I got these mounted I made an inventory of stuff I could go out and buy after I went home for a soup lunch and to mail some packages (rear brake shoes to be relined among them). List included: two Veloce valve cover nut retaining external e clips, 8 brass exhaust nuts, 1 6mm stud for the timing case/water pump -a bolt long enough to cut and tap will work, an 8mm x 1.00 die for chasing threads (been needing this for ages), Veloce motor mount to carb support rod bushing, 3 M8 x 1.25 x 20 bolts to mount the oil pump and 1 washer for between the Veloce valve cover nut retaining e clip and cover. Laurence Anderson was my first stop as I had a big (brake drum or what have you) puller to return. He donated 4 e clips, 4 M8 x 1.25 x 20 bolts and informed me I was missing 8 OEM Fiat/Lancia/Alfa Belleville type exhaust nuts and to go get them from NRG. Second stop was Bowlin for 2 bolts I could make a stud out of and an M8 die. NRG, for a moderate charge to my debit card supplied 8 tallish brass exhaust nuts, 8 factory OEM etc etc washers and a bushing for the support rod. Turns out they also carry Veloce oil pan pick up-to-pan seals but were out. I’ll be going back.

Back from errands I first mounted the headers. These don’t look like much and could probably be done without, but they are the way to go if you want longevity and the like out of your car. Header was in my Sprint when I got it. A Centerline unit meant for putting 1750 and 2000 engines in Giulietta’s. I think I can make it work.

All mounted up and spiff-like. I think they call that the ‘reverse cone’ joint in the header. Notice if you will the engine mount; genuine Veloce part with an NOS rubber mount older than me. I have a stud to find for the oil filter mount.

The stud that is in this position broke when I took the engine apart. You can see the remains of it in the foreground. I bought this bolt to make a stud out of. Here I am measuring it to see where to cut the head off.

Here’s the finished product after 30 minutes with a hacksaw, M6 die, vise, 27mm socket and some oil. Not too bad. It’s little unplanned for jobs like this that make car restoration so time consuming.

I have reached a conclusion about putting an engine together: putting an engine together from a bunch of pieces who have never met is three times the work of pulling an engine out of a badly running car, refreshing it and reinstalling it. Evidence: I bought a valve cover on eBay, came with low-pro Veloce nuts, no breather, untapped air filter stud hole and brace at the back etc. Turns out I some how managed to buy a late 750 -real 750, ie narrow head valve cover that wouldn’t work on my engine. I had a 101 normale valve cover hanging around so I cleaned it up.

Here I am scraping a gasket applied at least 10 years before I was born by some one who has since retired. It looks easy, but I had to use paint remover on the remnant of black paint on the outside and scotchbrite on a bunch of dirt etc.

Here it is all scraped and cleaned ready for a good polish. Funny I am prepared for a half hour of polishing knowing I’ll probably drop it off at a place who will put a serious ‘will last longer than me’ polish on it. Efficient waste of time?

Going nuts. These are the low pro Veloce valve cover nuts an SS simply must have. Also present are head nuts and washers. I’ll have spent 50 hours scrubbing parts in white gas with a brass bristle brush by the time I’m done.

That’s a lot of studs in need of nuts!

And pow! The end of the mock up session. Valve cover in place, carbs in place, and actually ready for pistons/liners/rods. I could be done with this in a matter of days.

So there you have it. An SS 00121 engine rebuild mock up brought to you by Tylenol cold and flu medicine. What’s next? Well, if my plating kit would show up I could plate the head nuts and valve cover nuts. If the piston/liner set, water pump and other stuff would show up I would make this engine more than a mock up.

So where would having the engine done leave me? The numerator of things done is still significantly smaller than the denominator of things to do and even if the engine was signed and sealed, I’d still be miles from done, but it all takes doing, so I’ll keep at it.  6 more hours down so 909 to go.

Up next? Depends on what shows up. Until then, I’ll finish getting the 4:10 cleaned up.

The next installment is here.

The last installment is here.

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