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Author Topic: '91 Capri XR-2 Resto-Mod  (Read 12822 times)

EShepherd

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Re: '91 Capri XR-2 Resto-Mod
« Reply #15 on: February 16, 2021, 01:13:22 PM »

Thanks for the idea on getting the crank journals polished. That was something I was going to attempt to tackle myself, but if the machine shop is in my future, I may as well farm that job out to the experts as well. As far as the flatness, I checked it with a straight edge and feeler gauges very thoroughly. Next time I'm out in the garage I'll grab those numbers and report back. I'm pretty sure that it was within spec, but if not then I suppose I'll have to get it decked as well.

Nobody has any other ideas on how to try and clean the head gasket off?

EDIT:
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Does anyone know of a good machine shop somewhere within sayyyy 1.5 hours drive from New York City? I can not find anybody around here with availability anytime within the next 6 months, and I really can't wait that long. I'm trying to move my family to Louisiana within the next couple months, and I'd love to get the Capri driving before that happens.
« Last Edit: February 16, 2021, 02:18:51 PM by EShepherd »
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greywolf27030

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Re: '91 Capri XR-2 Resto-Mod
« Reply #16 on: February 17, 2021, 08:52:29 AM »

Absolutely get your journals polished on a lathe.
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Jack Byrd

Rocketman

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Re: '91 Capri XR-2 Resto-Mod
« Reply #17 on: February 17, 2021, 11:01:52 PM »

I'd run a really nice, fresh flat file over the face of the block to clean up any leftover gasket material. It won't remove an appreciable amount of material from the block. Done it plenty of times no issues.
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EShepherd

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Re: '91 Capri XR-2 Resto-Mod
« Reply #18 on: February 19, 2021, 09:31:47 AM »

That's a pretty good idea Rocket, I'll give that a try. In other news, the white roloc disc worked perfectly on the bottom of the head, so there's that problem avoided. Also, all of my parts have come in. Now I need to really think about if I want to take the thing to the machine shop before reassembly. I'd really love to, I just can't find anywhere.
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Rocketman

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Re: '91 Capri XR-2 Resto-Mod
« Reply #19 on: February 19, 2021, 11:53:06 AM »

I'm working at a garage as a 2nd job now & we have a Dodge V8 truck getting head gaskets done. My boss has a small local guy he uses, I will get the info for you
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EShepherd

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Re: '91 Capri XR-2 Resto-Mod
« Reply #20 on: February 20, 2021, 11:24:20 AM »

Thanks Rocket, much appreciated. If the guy has a torque plate for these engines for the honing, that'd be awesome as shit. I'm not picky though. If he has a free slot to clean it and polish my crank, that's really all I need. I don't mind the drive out to the Pocono area either, it's only like 45 mins from me.
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EShepherd

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Re: '91 Capri XR-2 Resto-Mod
« Reply #21 on: February 25, 2021, 01:40:52 PM »

Well, I've got a little update for today. I haven't been able to get much done in the last few days. There's a truck in the way in the garage I work in making it difficult to get to my toolbox and everything. What I've been working on is the final cleaning of all the parts of the short block that I had already taken off the engine and had cleaned with the engine degreaser. I've got - 3 of the main caps and their bolts, the oil squirters and their banjo bolts, and all 4 piston/rod/wrist pin assemblies and their bolts - all through their deep clean. After hitting everything with engine degreaser, I clean them with very hot water and dish soap, then dry them off as well as possible. Then I clean everything again with isopropyl alcohol (I think 97%), and dry them again. They're all now wrapped up air tight, waiting for the final step before assembly. I'm going to wipe it all down with automatic transmission fluid with coffee filters, then wrap them up air tight again. The whole point of that is to fight off flash rust, because you never really know how long it's going to be before those parts get put in the block. That way, when it's time for assembly, all you need to do is blast off the bearing, gasket, and ring surfaces with brake cleaner, then hit everything with compressed air. Once I'm done with this, all I've got left to do is the same cleaning on the 2 last main caps, the crankshaft, oil pan, oil pump assembly (If I don't replace it), and the rear main seal carrier. I can do that while I wait for (and find) an appointment to have a machinist clean and hone my block, and polish my crankshaft.

If anyone is reading this while planning their own engine build, if you take one lesson from mine, it's to make sure you take your time to clean EVERYTHING as well as you can. Trust me, the last thing you want is to leave junk in there to potentially score bearings and block oil passages. Take your time, don't rush the cleaning.

Anyways, I didn't take many pictures. It's boring. I cleaned some parts in my kitchen sink (sorry wife). Here's a couple pictures of the space I set up in the back of my truck to oil all these parts, since I currently have no room in the garage...



I also got all the parts I've ordered (so far) in. I only remembered to take a picture of the gasket set. Sorry...



And that's all I've got as far as pictures go. I'll have more coming soon. I'll get pictures of the new parts (with part numbers!), and the cleaned parts after I've got them ready for reassembly. I might even put the rings on the pistons soon, we'll see.
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greywolf27030

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Re: '91 Capri XR-2 Resto-Mod
« Reply #22 on: February 26, 2021, 08:25:49 AM »

Beautiful work. If you want, check with your local welding supply for a protective spray to protect the bare metal. The one I've used cleans up with carb or brake cleaner and lasts easily a year with no ill effects.
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Jack Byrd

EShepherd

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Re: '91 Capri XR-2 Resto-Mod
« Reply #23 on: February 26, 2021, 09:50:48 AM »

I used to have a little side business, years and years ago now, rebuilding Honda B-Series engines for people. I always used ATF as a rust inhibitor, and I never had anyone complain of flash rust issues. It also comes right off with brake clean. If it's not broken, don't mess with it - that's my philosophy here. Plus, I was able to buy a quart of ATF at the deli (???) right down the street from me. They even gave me a stack of giant tablecloth sized coffee filters for free. I'd love to use something purpose made for the application, but I'm also being cheap with this build ;D

I'll have more pictures up later today. I've got most of the parts oiled up, and I'm planning on grabbing the last two mains and getting them done too. I also brought the crankshaft inside to get it ready for it's deep cleaning. You'll see it when I post up the pictures, but it honestly might not need to get professionally polished. In the better lighting in here, it honestly doesn't look too bad. The casting on the counterweights is terrible, I won't lie, but the journals all look pretty damn good to me. I'm not going to fix the casting, either. I really don't want to have to deal with getting everything re-balanced. Like I said, I'm trying to be cheap with this build. I'm not shooting for the moon, I'll be happy if I hit 250 horsepower. I shouldn't have to go nuts with the modifications to achieve that.

Question on oil pumps. Is it worth it to replace the factory one with a Melling unit, even if the original one is within spec? There are two for sale on Rock Auto. There's a no-name one that is a little under $40, and then there is the Melling one for around $120. I'm curious if you guys think it's worth the extra insurance for the engine to splurge a bit on the better oil pump. I've used their stuff on much higher power builds, and I've never had any issues with them.

UPDATE:
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I promised pictures, and I took quite a few. So, here we go. The first 2 are of the oil pump that I have from this engine, which has about 150k miles on it. It's been precleaned with engine degreaser. I haven't taken it apart yet to check the clearances, but that's on the list of stuff to do. I'm still debating the merits of just replacing it with a Melling.



The next are the new parts that came in. I've got the part numbers there for you as well. My camera isn't great, and the connecting rod bearings picture came out blurry. The part number is 4-4175CP, and those are from Sealed Power.




« Last Edit: February 26, 2021, 02:48:19 PM by EShepherd »
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EShepherd

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Re: '91 Capri XR-2 Resto-Mod
« Reply #24 on: February 26, 2021, 03:23:05 PM »

I have more pictures. I'm not sure if there's a limit on this forum on how many pictures you can have per post, so I went ahead and split this post between an update and a new post. I've got some pictures of my cleaning process, mostly from start to finish. So the first couple are how I start it. Spray everything off with engine degreaser, and scrub it down with brass brushes and pipe cleaners. You can see in the second picture the last two main caps I had to do. The one in the foreground has been precleaned already, the one in the back is how it looked when it came out of the block.



After that, I clean it with soap and water, and then finish it with trans fluid and coffee filters to prevent flash rust. ATF also takes any flash rush right out of the surface, you can see it show up orange on the coffee filter. Everything gets bagged and tagged, so I know its ready to be installed. You'd be surprised how quickly stuff will flash rust. The oil squirters had maybe 24 hours go by from when they were washed until they were oiled, and there was already significant amounts of flash rush. Here's what I've got ready so far:









If you squint really hard, you can pretend you're looking at a whole box of brand new parts.

On an unrelated note. Can someone PLEASE tell me how to get the rubber seal out of this rear main seal carrier? I've got it cleaned and I've got the new gasket(s), but I can't for the life of me break the old seal free. I'm afraid to damage the carrier too, its very thin, and I really don't want to have to try and find another one.



EDIT:
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I've got some more pictures. Hopefully, it lets me add them to this post which is already packed full of pictures. I've got the crankshaft inside for it's turn getting deep cleaned. I haven't done anything to it yet, aside from hitting it lightly with the engine degreaser. You can see what I was going on about in a previous post. The casting is pretty astoundingly bad....there's casting lines on all of the counter weights, and the casting itself appears very porous.  That being said, the journals all look to be in excellent shape. I know I should get it polished, and that it'll last longer if I do, but I'm also pretty confident I could get away with not having it polished. I guess we'll see what I end up doing with it. I'll re-assess it once it's fully cleaned and oiled.









IMPORTANT - I still need some advice on how to remove that rear main seal from it's carrier. I've got the same issue with the round seal on the oil pump. Neither one wants to separate from it's metal housing. On both of them, the metal spring on the inside of the rubber seal has come out, but the seal itself won't budge. I'm pretty stuck here. I've tried picks,  screwdrivers, smacking them with a deadblow and a socket, etc. I'm about ready to give up on the oil pump and buy the Melling one, but I can't find a replacement for the rear main seal carrier. So that one, I HAVE to get out. Even if I do replace the oil pump, the new one doesn't come with the dipstick tube, and I can't figure out how to get  THAT out of the old pump either. Somebody.....anybody.....help? Please? :( :o

Second Edit: Got the rear main seal off! I nicked the carrier a little bit, but I'll sand off the burrs and it should be okay. Hopefully the thing I did works on the oil pump seal as well.

Third Edit: Got the oil pump figured out as well. Man, they both put up a fight.
« Last Edit: February 27, 2021, 04:52:03 PM by EShepherd »
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EShepherd

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Re: '91 Capri XR-2 Resto-Mod
« Reply #25 on: February 27, 2021, 07:14:31 PM »

I hope it's okay if I continue to make new posts to help split this all up. It's a new day, and I got more work done. This forum isn't very active, but my hope by posting all of my process here is that one day in the future, a fellow car enthusiast may find this thread and find it helpful. If I'm breaking any rules by multi-posting like this, let me know and I'll stop doing it. It's just easier if everything is split up into different postings chronologically. That being said, today I was able to get pictures of the missing part of my cleaning process. You can see all the parts that have been precleaned with the degreaser out in the garage, bagged and tagged, ready to get their deep cleaning. I scrub it in the kitchen sink with dish soap and wire brushes (and a toothbrush), dry it, wipe it off again with 91% isopropyl alcohol, and then dry it again. Than it gets bagged back up to get oiled (which you've seen, and which I'll be doing to these parts tomorrow). I ran out of daylight, otherwise I'd oil these today. The longer you wait, the more likely they are to flash rust. The last two parts that need to get cleaned are the oil pan (which doesn't fit in my sink), and the crankshaft, which I'm not cleaning until I can immediately oil it after.

EDIT: Ooops, I didn't even notice he snuck himself into this picture. Meet my 14 month old son, Attanasio! ;D







Next up was the rear main seal carrier. I actually got to do a tiny bit of fab work here, and I'm actually quite proud of my results. While removing the seal, I naturally nicked the race, in a few spots. That left a few raised burrs, which could potentially tear the new seal. Now, I'm sure we've all had this happen plenty of times. Normally I'd just send it....but I'm actually putting my whole effort into this car, so that's not going to cut it here. I used a Dremel on a low speed, with a tiny little 600 grit cartridge roll, and took the burrs out. I was able to get it perfectly smoothed out, to the point where it won't snag anywhere if you run your finger along where it seals. Obviously it takes out a little bit of material, but I'm confident the rubber in the seal will expand to take up the space. I think this turned out well, and should save me from having to track down a new carrier to replace it. You'll see in later pictures that the main seal race on the oil pump received the same treatment.






Lastly, I've got some pictures of the oil pump taken apart and cleaned out. The pump housing has some crazy contours and tiny spaces - it's not the easiest thing in the world to clean - but I did what I can. The only part that I haven't cleaned on it yet is the little piston assembly behind the cotter pin. Similar to the crankshaft, I want to wait to clean that until it can be oiled immediately afterwards. A tiny spec of flash rust in that bore or on that piston could drastically affect my oil pressure, so I'm being extra careful there. You can see the work I did to the seal races in a couple of the pictures. I did that exactly like I did the rear main seal carrier. All told, this oil pump seems to be in good enough condition to be put back into service. That being said, I'm still debating buying a Melling oil pump, anyways. Anyone have thoughts or opinions on this?



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Rocketman

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Re: '91 Capri XR-2 Resto-Mod
« Reply #26 on: February 27, 2021, 07:38:49 PM »

You're fine with posting, it only helps to post more, keeps the forum more active and someone will find it useful some day.
Did you get my message with the engine machine shop info?

Regarding the oil pump: There are two versions, one for the small/short nose crank and one for the long/large nose crank. The one for the small nose is hard to find so double check what you have before replacing it. 91 there was a changeover mid-year so you could have either crank.
The oil pump gears shatter at high power levels due to harmonics, there are billet gears available in the Miata gettin' places, but I don't think you'll have an issue at 250 or even 300hp.

Keep up the good work, top-down driving season will be here before we know it
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EShepherd

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Re: '91 Capri XR-2 Resto-Mod
« Reply #27 on: February 27, 2021, 07:53:45 PM »

Hey Rocket. I didn't even notice the little message thing up there, but yeah I got it now. Thanks! I'll give the guy a call tomorrow.

In regards to the short nose/long nose crank situation; how do I tell which I have? Does it go by production date, and if so what's the cut off? I've got a few pictures in a previous post of the crankshaft. Can you tell from them? Or is there a part of it I need to measure?

The thing with the gears shattering at high RPM's is a little alarming, so I think I will end up upgrading the pump. I may not be aiming for a power level where that'll be a problem, but you know how that goes. Suddenly you have a turbo the size of a man hole cover. I'd rather be safe than sorry, especially with something so important. My biggest priority at the moment is reliability, anyways. I'd like to give this car to my kid in 15 or so years. I think I've convinced myself to get a new pump.

Any idea how to get the dipstick tube out of the old one? Can I just take the torch to it, then grab it with some vice grips and twist it out? It sure looks like it's pressed fit, to me.
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Rocketman

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Re: '91 Capri XR-2 Resto-Mod
« Reply #28 on: February 27, 2021, 08:49:23 PM »

I think the pumps come with new dipstick tubes? It's been a while, I don't recall.

It's high horsepower, not necessarily high RPMs. The way to defeat the harmonics is to get a better harmonic "balancer" (crank damper) but again that's kind of outside of the scope of your build. I don't think you'll need to worry about the pump.

For the crankshaft, I don't recall the exact date, but there were different crank pulleys. Here's some additional reading: https://www.miata.net/garage/crankshaft.html

Here's info on the upgraded gears for educational purposes: https://www.flyinmiata.com/default/boundary-engineering-oil-pump.html

Here's info on the upgraded crank damper pulley for educational purposes: https://www.flyinmiata.com/NA/ati-damper-pulley-kit-91-95.html
Looks to only be for the large-nose cranks
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greywolf27030

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Re: '91 Capri XR-2 Resto-Mod
« Reply #29 on: February 28, 2021, 09:26:41 AM »

This is great info for those of us who've never seen the internals of a B engine and I applaud you for the effort required to take and post the pics.  Will be following with great interest. Rocketman, great info provided by your links. Love that there is so much MX5 parts available to upgrade out lowly Capris. Pretty cool that Flyin Miata can modify the early oil pump to use the high volume gears.
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Jack Byrd
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