A trip to the engine builders

With the practice engine due a rebuild and my previously stated fear of posting engines via couriers, I recently drove up North to spend the day with my engine builder. It was a bit of a hike but being able to get the engine back same day coupled with the chance to see what goes on and learn more about something I am still largely ignorant made this an easy decision.

It proved to be a really insightful day: Stripping the engine down, measuring the wear on some of the key parts, putting names to parts and seeing where they fit in (I know I could study the Tal-Ko parts diagram but it is not quite the same). Crushingly, my con rod did need replacing 🙁 How an 8-inch piece of machined metal can cost £166 is beyond me. It would have been fair enough had this been a BMW part – perhaps I just don’t appreciate fine engineering? 😉

It was good to learn the measurements of the squish, the head volume, inlet and exhaust ports along with my ignition timing (something else I had hitherto paid no attention to). I cannot guarantee I’ll be able to explain the exact functions of all of those just yet but I am making progress! The builder was pleased with the engine and saw no reason why it would be 0.3s slower around Llandow than our race engine but we’ll run it in and assess if anything has changed. We took the measurements for the race engine too so that we could tweak things if need be.

It was getting pretty late by the time we got to carb rebuilds. It was the first time I had watched a full rebuild – there wasn’t that much to it so I will hopefully do my own in the not-too-distant future! My recent eBay-purchased 820 carb that had seen only one session’s use at Llandow since being cleaned and kitted proved to be fit for nothing more than donor parts since the throttle shaft spring no longer remains held by the body of the carb (yes, we did try another spring) 🙁

You know what they say about stuff being on eBay for a reason…

Cost of rebuild: £436

Total spent this year: £671

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