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The penultimate chapter of the long-awaited finale

Well, we didn’t hear it running, but today was a successful day for the London2Sydney household. After picking up some fuel hose and T-bar, myself and Andy got over to LA Performance for about 9am. With Andy having to leave and catch a flight back to the States a little later, we only had a little time left to work on the engine together. Even so, it gave Andy enough time to get his hands on an angle-grinder and get the grips on the heat-exchangers to fit snuggly to the engine block.

With some tidying required by the eagle-eye of Lee…

After much pruning with the angle-grinder, we finally managed to fit the heat-exchangers (and then had to take one off again as we forgot to put on the engine bar). The studs which protrude from the engine casing can be very fragile and we were extremely lucky that they stayed firm. Lee told us that had they broken, the whole engine would have had to have been stripped again! Not what we would want to hear!!

Once we’d fitted the fuel Andy’s last action before heading for the airport was to help lift the engine off the work bench and onto the trolley jack. Needless to say it was incredibly heavy and needed all three of us. Simply pushing it off the bench and letting gravity do the hard work was unfortunately not an option….

With Andy gutted at having to leave with the project so near conclusion, Nick carried on the good work. Once on the jack, it was a matter of jacking the van up to allow the engine to be rolled under the engine bay and then jacking the engine into the van. This is not as easy as it sounds. For anyone who has never put an engine back in a VW (or any vehicle for that matter I guess), it takes a lot of wriggling and pushing to get the crankshaft and clutch aligned with the gearbox. With Lee pushing and jiggling the engine and Nick operating the jack, we eventually managed to get it in the right position.

Then, with the van lowered again but the engine still supported by its jack, Nick set about the task of bolting it all in place.

Three hours or so later, the engine was finally fitted. The engine bar had been secured (after an inital problem with one of the brackets) and Nick had bolted on the remaining tinware. (Tinware, as you’ll remember from previous posts, is the metal which funnels air over the engine). The nastiest job had been fitting the fuel line. Even with the line clamped as tight as possible, lying under the van and a removing the plug to fit it to the pump means you get petrol dribbling down your arms. Nice! Here’s the mole’s eye perspective…

With Lee putting the final touches to the van today (tuning and fitting the new exhaust back-box), Squiffy should be ready to come home on Thursday evening. I can’t wait!

Come back for more news on Friday!

1 thought on “The penultimate chapter of the long-awaited finale”

  1. Here in NJ waiting for the good news, Nick! Your diary entries have been great and I just hope Squiffy gets used to her new engine soon and is on the road again!

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