Well I said I'd stick it in project cars but hopefully the project stage of it is mostly behind us now
The story begins last March when Glenn caught me in a moment of weakness and persuaded me to get involved in a track car project with him.
Anyway, I agreed in principle and we decided that something VAG with 6 cylinders or thereabouts was the way to go.
So next thing I know we are the proud(ish) owners of this: A 93 Vento VR6 with 119k on the clock and a somewhat unusual engine position
What had happened was the top timing chain tensioner rail had thrown its liner down into the sump, with the inevitable result that the chain lost tension and the timing slipped, bending a few valves etc...
Yer man who owned the car had then taken out the engine and box and stripped them down. When we got the car the head had been reconditioned and most of the bits needed to put the engine back together were there (eg gaskets, new chains, tensioner, head studs etc)
So the first thing I did when we got the car was to take out all the boxes of engine parts out of the car and try and get all the bits and pieces arranged in one place so I could figure out where everything was supposed to go.
So when I did that this is what it all looked like:
I sorted out all the bits as best I could and put all the stuff into boxes and left it for the following weekend.
I had a look at the bottom end and decided to leave it alone, there was a small amount of wear on the bores but nothing too bad and I didn't want the hassle of having to run the engine in after putting rings on it or whatever, so I just cleaned up the tops of the bores where they had some surface rust on them and left it at that.
Having done my research on how to set up the timing I assembled the bottom end timing chain, guide rail and tensioner, then reassembled the head and put on the top chain and rails. At that stage this is what the engine looked like.
The timing was all set up, just needed the timing covers, flywheel and clutch put back on and then the gearbox could be attached.
The old clutch arrived in the car in one of the boxes but it had been left out in the rain or something and wasn't in the best of shape so I got it reconditioned. When it came back it looked like new I couldn't believe it was the same one
I put on the clutch and bolted on the gearbox, starter etc and basically got the whole thing ready to put back in the car then the following day I installed it in the car. I noticed as I was putting it back together that the clutch slave cylinder was fupped so I left it off and also didn't connect up the gear shift cables or driveshafts. I just concentrated on getting the engine running.
When I had connected everthing up I turned the engine over for 30 seconds or so with the plug taken off the coil pack. This was just to build up the oil pressure a bit for the chain tensioner (which is oil pressure driven)
Then I reconnected the coil pack and she started first time
Pictures taken at that stage:
Excuse the appearance of the engine I didn't put back any of the covers on it as the head had to be re-torqued after the engine had been run for a while.
The following weekend I re-fitted the driveshafts and gearshift cables and also fitted a new clutch slave cylinder. Replaced a leaking water pipe and went for a blast on my private test track
Then re-torqued the head and we were back in business.
As regards setting the car up for use on the track the following has been done:
Standard suspension has been binned and replaced with coilovers (totally transformed the car, its like a go kart now compared to before)
EBC yellow stuff pads fitted all round
Goodridge braided lines fitted
Old brake fluid which looked like it had been in the system since 1993 replaced with Castrol SRF racing brake fluid
Stupid looking jetex cone filter which was sucking in nice warm air from the engine bay (although admittedly sounding pretty nice while doing it) replaced with oe airbox and filter.
Interior has been stripped out and a bucket seat with 4 point harness has been installed for the driver.