Saturday, January 11, 2014

Cool Runnings: Engine tuning in a snow storm

On a cold and snowy day in January the moment finally arrived to give the engine its final inspection and running. The engine had already been run, but since then multiple little issues were addressed in order to have it ready for installation.

Stepping back a bit here is an image of our good friend Jamie who stopped in to help us with the re-torque of the heads. After multiple heat cycles the cam covers and cams were removed in order to do this procedure. Some people will tell you this step is not necessary but they would be lazy and dead wrong. A cylinder head re-torque is an essential step as recommended by both the head gasket and head stud manufacturer.

With the heads torqued and the cams re-installed. Assembly lube is added to the cam lobes to help in initial lubrication.

With everything buttoned up and the snow still falling as hard as ever it was time to start the engine. Once up to temperature the carburetors were tuned to an initial baseline setting ensuring that they were properly balanced to one another. Fine tuning will take place with road testing after the engine has had some time to properly break-in.

Here I am having proudly set up the carbs, set the ignition, and generally checked for leaks. It looks like it is also time for a wash of my shop coat :)

With all of the run stand gear dis-connected the engine is now ready for our Dino.

Another angle of the engine. Ignore the non-original gear reduction starter as this will be replaced for the original Marelli unit for show purposes.

Returning to the engine bay we did have one special addition that was not part of our last post. Originally the Dino was fitted with Pirelli hoses that vented the fuel system. These hoses were vinyl and had a distinctive green colour. Modern hoses are either clear or blue so it was up to us to come up with a coloring process to tint the hose to our desired colour. This turned out to be much more difficult to do than we originally thought but eventually we came up with a brilliantly simple home procedure that allowed us to make incredibly durable green hose resistant to every chemical we tried against it. The hose was then topped of with a period correct Pirelli marking :)

Now for the moment of truth. The Dino is ready for its engine install but that will have to wait for another day.


  1. I couldn't find any description on the blog of how the cam covers were finished. My engine comes out later this month and one task is to properly refinish the cam covers to be correct.

  2. The restoration of our cam covers will be the subject of a future blog post but to answer your query the original finish was Dow 7 dichromate treatment. With todays environmental controls it is still done but extremely expensive.

  3. What fuel hose did you use between the carbs? My mechanic has reservations about Cavis like material as a possible fire hazard. I see numerous blue, blue/green fuel hoses for sale, but realize that unless it's relatively new material it's unlikely to last long with modern field.

    1. Cavis hose is rated for gasoline so it should be ok. The biggest problem is Ethanol in fuel but Shell Gold advertises as having no Ethanol and is preferred among collector car owners.

  4. I loved your article.Really looking forward to read more.