Just four bolts secure the engine to the subframe so it's quite quick and easy to remove it - even when it's all fitted in the car. Here's the bare subframe with every component removed. It's quite light but the Honda engine is probably less than half the weight of the Mini so it could probably be lightened even more.
Drum brakes will certainly be adequate for this little car. Disc and caliper kits are available but there's not much point. I think the top and bottom ball joints may be new but everything else is tatty and tired.
The front of the engine is looking a bit scabby ........
..... and so is the back. It's been leaning backwards on the lift/bench for a few days and has developed an oil leak from underneath somewhere - could be just a loose oil drain screw. You can see the gear change push-pull cable mod at the bottom of the picture.
Here's the oil leak culprit. I'm not sure if this is meant to be an oil drain plug because it's only an M6 threaded hole in a groove in the casting that goes through to the bottom of the crankcase. Whatever - it worked for draining all the oil out. I ground and filed away the sides of the grooved section and replaced the dodgy countersunk drain screw with an M6 Hex and Dowty washer.
I cut a couple of plates from 3mm aluminium to cover the inlets. They'll seal adequately with a light smear of silicone.
Gaffer tape around the output driveshaft and seal.
Tapered nylon plugs for the water pipe and starter motor holes.
.... and tapered wooden dowels hammered into the rocker covers. The spark plugs are still fitted but I'd rather keep the cavity clean rather than clear our blasting grit later.
Into our big blasting cabinet then. Some areas of paint and corrosion cleanup quite quickly but areas with thicker paint take a a bit more blasting. I use glass beads and low pressure on aluminium to minimise removal of the metal itself so it's a long job.
....and a few other little areas that I missed. Incidentally I take pretty much all of these piccys on my iphone 7 and I must have omitted to switch on the flash for the front shot above. I've used Photoshop to get it close to the natural colour of the rear shot below.
Right - let's take it apart.
......and maybe this is why. The brushed don't look exceedingly worn but it needs new ones and a clean up.
Here's the coolant pipes and stat housing. It's clearly had neat water as a coolant.
Corrosion isn't too bad though. The worst of it is in the long steel coolant transfer pipe. Of course, the engine has been hanging around, drained of coolant for several years so it's difficult to tell how much of that corrosion is down to dampness inside the drained engine.
This mixed batch of steel and aluminium parts has just come out of the blaster. The steel parts have to be immediately moved to a warm dry environment. Surface rust will appear very quickly on freshly blasted ferrous metal in damp conditions. Blasting has certainly removed visible corrosion inside the long coolant transfer pipe - but you can't see round the bends......
...... unless you use our CBS Borescope (part number #BORE). This has a camera and light on the end of a long, flexible probe. Ideal for inspecting hidden places. Blasting through the tube has removed all the loose, flaky rust so I'll just pour a small bottle of 'Rust Remover' fluid in the tube, plug both ends and swill it around for a while. It's quite thick wall tube and the rust has not eaten into it too deeply so I reckon it'll be OK to use again. I'll be using CBS 'Evans Power Cool' in the engine so future corrosion won't be a problem.
Although our workshops are fairly well insulated - as workshops go, they can still get a little damp and draughty in the depths of an English winter - and my old bones are feeling it more and more. We've tried just about everything over the years with varying levels of success - Electric, Calor gas, Diesel, even a stinky Swiss Army tent heater. However, we recently discovered these little beauties. Problem solved. They will run for a couple of days on five litres of Kerosene or Paraffin and shove-out enough heat for shirt-sleeves attire on the coldest of days. Clean, simple, compact and inexpensive to run. A bargain at around £200 and an absolute necessity for successful painting of our bits and pieces.
Here's what I'm using for the engine parts. POR15 paints are not the cheapest you can buy but they are, by far the best. They cure like an isocyanate - by absorbing moisture from the atmosphere to give an extremely tough and durable finish. All available from CBS, of course.
This handy little paint booth folds up to about the size of a large shoe box. Open it up and you have a turntable, extractor fan and filter. We've ducted the 4" outlet straight through the workshop wall but you can recycle filtered air as shown below. For painting small parts it works brilliantly.
First, a couple of coats of Grey POR15 Rust Preventative. It's a good first coat, not only for steel parts but it also works fine on aluminium.
Then two or three coats of POR15 Aluminium Engine Enamel.
The engine and subframe have been stored in our workshops for several years and in the previous owner's shed before that - hence surface corrosion on most of the steel and aluminium components. The main throttle butterflies move freely but the rest of the throttle linkage is siezed.
There are cobwebs and mild corrosion but, surprisingly, almost all of the screws appear untouched and undamaged indicating that it hasn't been 'Roy-Rogered' over it's thirty five year life.
One of the diaphragms had a pin hole which would obviously affect performance. Well, I guess that's fair enough on an engine that's almost thirty five years old. Twenty eight quid for a replacement pair !!!
This small brass brush is great for cleaning threads.
.... and this 20mm diameter wire disc brush in my Dremel works brilliantly at removing corrosion from grooves and corners..
Here's the device that regulates the plating current that passes through the electrolyte.
I added my own ammeter to get a better idea of the best combination of time and current but it's all a bit unpredictable with components like mine. I stripped off the plating in acid a couple of times and started again before I worked out an acceptable modus operandi.
POR15 Aluminium Top Coat Aerosol is a new product for CBS so I tried it on a couple of small parts like this coil mounting bracket. I blasted the parts and sprayed the paint 'direct to metal'. Seems great, so far.
Here's the water pump internals.
Here's the blasted impeller and half of the new ceramic bearing.
Here's how I made it. I used a 1mm thick steel cutting disc in my Makita angle grinder to make vertical and horizontal cuts in the socket, dressing the remaining pegs until they are a good fit on the nut.
The following evening it was the turn of POR15 Aluminium Engine Enamel.
You'll see in earlier piccys that the die-cast Rocker Covers were equally as scabby as the rest of the engine but I reckoned they deserved to be polished. I soaked them in Gun Wash for an hour to soften the old paint then bead-blasted them. Here I'm dressing the casting with an unusual., abrasive flap wheel that I discovered on the stand next to us at the last NEC show. This one is 600 Grit but I also have 240 and 400. They work pretty well removing casting marks and prepping the surface for polishing.
The water pipes are all fitted and a 'highest point' take-off has been welded to the top of the thermostat housing. This will go to a header tank.
It won't see any oil, water or fuel until it's ready to fire-up in the car but I'm confident that it'll be a solid, reliable engine. And that's about it for now. Time to get on with the body.