Sunday, February 20, 2011

Read the manual!

Wowee, so whenever I get bummed that things are moving slowly, I just have to come back here and read this blog and remind myself that a little over a month ago, I was just beginning to take apart 8V92 #2. :)

So, where are we now...

This past Saturday was quite eventful! For starters, my heads were returned to me with a clean bill of health, thanks to my buddy Joe over at Pascale's! Thanks, Joe! He had pressure tested them in the big machines over there to make sure that they had no cracks anywhere; which, apparently, is a common problem with old Detriots (especially after such damage as mine was subjected to, the poor dear!!). And I spent the later part of the evening sitting right here:

I really like this picture; it replaces any of the need that I have for actually writing anything, because you can tell exactly what has taken place over the last month of work. (which, can I just quickly add - has been only 3 days total due to significant life changes! whoa!)

Perhaps you can tell the story to yourself. What do you notice here?

I can point out a few things that are significant:
1) My favorite tool, the Snap-On breaker bar. You can tell that I am removing big things with big bolts when I break out this one!

2) My second favorite tool, the orange soft hammer! I have been breaking things free (even after removing their bolts) that have been fused to the side of the engine block with age and neglect.

3) The things that you cannot tear down an engine without: my permanent marker and plastic bags!! I have been doing some labeling of parts!

So in 1-3, you can tell that I have begun to swap things over from one engine to the other. Recall that the accessories from the DDEC are different than the MUI (naturally, such as the engine computer and electronic components, but there is also a larger trans cooler and heat exchanger... erm... "thingy". Observe:


Aww, little ittybitty heat exchanger! Note: You can see the coils in the first picture!! (at the very top)


It's a lot rustier and filthier, but also much bigger!

Back to the observations!

4) A block of wood wedged against the crankshaft?? Huh??
Oh yeah, maybe that one deserves an explanation!
So, for those of you who read my article in Bus Conversions Magazine, you know of my experience with the lovely humans at Connecticut Detroit Diesel. Well, anyhow, I had been told that the camshafts were different, and so even though I didn't trust him, I thought it best to remove them and compare the two between the two engines. I decided to set about this work on Monday, the day after a winter autocross that I had helped to plan and put on. At the autocross I had mistakenly poisoned myself with wheat (I am a Celiac!) whilst munching on some corn chips that someone else had offered me. (Who would've thought corn chips? Eh, oh well...) So this day, I was still feeling lousy, foggy-headed, and just plain out-of-it. WHAT A BETTER TIME TO DO SOME ENGINE REBUILDING, YEEAAHHH!!


Anyways, so there I was, after removing my Turbocharger and Supercharger (this was the same as the other engine, so it went smooth as clockwork!) and the heads, of course, trying to figure out how the heck to get those darn camshafts out without removing the flywheel bellhousing. Not only is the bellhousing huge and probably weighs as much as I do, but it is attached to the engine stand that is keeping my engine in the air... There was no way I was gonna detach that! So... what to do, what to do!

I was standing there puzzled when my friends Jason and Cheryl came into the shop to visit. They had driven up all the way from New York to drive in the Autocross, and so they had stayed some extra days just to hang with us. They hadn't seen Urge since his engine had been removed, so they were excited to see the bigness. Jason had just rebuilt the motor in his VW golf TDi, so I decided to explain my predicament, hoping that he would have some insight. ...maybe I have to put jack stands under it and actually remove the bellhousing... Jason and I were contemplating, talking and looking things over. But it was Cheryl who noticed my two huge volumes of bus manual that were sitting patiently in the corner, waiting for me to notice them. "Whoa look at the size of the manuals!" she exclaimed in awe, "I bet the answer is in here!"

Lo and Behold! It was. Which leads me to observation #5:

5) The manual is OPEN! And to the proper page! These things were written for a reason. :/

and, perhaps most importantly:
6) The engine is... ON ITS SIDE?? What's that all about? Well, if a picture was worth all of those words, then what is a movie worth?

Let's find out, shall we?

So, you get the idea! Now I am onto the next step of engine rebuilding: the bottom end! Thankfully, with an engine as huge as this, there are ways of removing and reinstalling the bearing shells without removing the crankshaft, which is what I am planning to do!

One more thing to mention before I sign off: all of that work to free the camshafts, and it turns out that I actually don't need to swap them, because they are the exact same camshaft. WOOHOO! This is fabulous news.

Alright, that's all for now!
Until next time,
Anja & Urge


  1. Here's to reading the manual. Hope you are doing well and urge is getting ready for the warmer weather. Keep that manual open and stop propping up your engine stands with it! See you soon!

  2. Yikes, it's like reading a foreign language! I'm so impressed by how awesome you are, Sister, even if I didn't really understand a word of that post!

  3. Cat! :)
    If it weren't for you... I don't know where I'd beeeee!! I have since used the manual for several other things, but I still don't know the oil capacity of either engines. :/ I'll just have to find out when I go to fill them... ouch!! Can't wait to see you again!

    Did you understand "orange soft hammer" ?? Let's break it down:
    It is a HAMMER.
    It is SOFT.
    It is ORANGE.
    You use it for smacking things that you want to move, but not damage. :) We'll work on the rest another time!

    Love you!

  4. haha I assume alex is your sister??? you are too cute! I can't wait to see you guys again either. We are definitely coming up in april sometime. Glad the manual is serving you well. Is the engine still at the machine shop? How are finding the time to work on it and work up in cambridge?

  5. Oh, it's not too bad at all! By the time I was done work in Pawtucket, I was so exhausted I hardly had the strength or the energy to work on it anyways. I go down on the weekends. :) I get done just as much while in Cambridge as I did when I lived down there!

    And yes, Alex is my little sister. :)