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The engine, the heart of one’s car.
Finally, I can share some more information on my MG restoration project with you. I am not only super excited about going into detail with you on the engine but also reporting on the collaboration with B&F Touring-Garage. Today, I want to start taking you through the restoration and overhaul of the MG TD 4-cylinder engine.
One day while sitting at lunch in a tiny Italian restaurant with Peter Bazille, our MG restoration project became subject of the conversation and within the next minute I get the offer to take the engine and come by his garage. Peter Bazille is a story teller, true classic lover, Lancia fanatic AND an engineer by nature. His business is rooted back to his passion for cars and basically started while he was still at school already taking his first motorbiked and cars apart.
Over 40 years later I find myself standing in the middle of the “Lancia” courtyard in Troisdorf-Spich. Having the engine in the back of my Morris Minor (Traveller Woodie) and a big smile on my face, I enter the holy grounds of the B&F Touring-Garage, where some of the greatest cars are being restored.
It is 7:55 am and I am 5 minutes early. I open the door to the garage and greet Andy, the second hand of Peter and also responsible for the whole cars. Andy has been in the business since 17 years and couldn’t imagine working anywhere else. A few minutes later Stefan, the engine specialist, walks in as well. He is going to be the one leading me through my engine restoration / overhaul. Next Frank – the gearbox guru, Philipp – the body guy and Peter himself walk in. I quickly introduce myself and next everyone escapes in his areas and begins with their work.
My engine is on the bench in the allocated engine area, Stefan is showing me around and where to find the right tools and machines for each process along the way. While showing me around he describes the different stages of dis-/assembling and restoring the engine.
So how do you start, having the fully assembled engine in front of you?
- You start off with disassembling the engine from the top to the bottom.
- Always organise the disassembled parts, ideally in different boxes (don’t forget to name them!)
- Leave the tools always clean and sorted
- You start with disassembling the oil pump from the engine. Usually the oil pump has an oil filter attached to it and you can remove the whole assembly.
- Now you start from the top, dismantling the cylinder head and the allocated cover.
- Next thing down the line is the rocker. The rocker needs to be disassembled in order for the cylinders, tappets etc. to be removed. Once the rocker is disassembled, you can remove the tappets and buckets.
- From here you move to the side assembly, where the timing chain is located. First the cover needs to be removed, before we move on to the chain itself. In order to be able to remove the timing chain, a special tool needs to be used called “puller” or “Abzieher” in German. This tools helps loosening the gearwheel (Zahnrad) from the shaft, and therefore removing the chain and gearwheel. The shaft is the camshaft, which rotates parallel with the crankshaft opening the valves throughout moving the tappets up and down.
- After removing the timing chain I was able to remove the camshaft. The camshaft from the MG TD is secured with two “supports” (Lager), which need to be removed before being able to pull out the camshaft. Once having the camshaft removed, I will need to check the shaft for its roundness and steadiness. Also the amount of “play” needs to be proofed and if necessary corrected.
- The crankshaft, together with pleuel and counterbalances is the next part being removed from the engine case. One it is removed the crankshafts, pistons and cylinders need to be checked for roundness, “play” and steadiness as well. If you are interested in the way a crankshaft operates, rotates and moves the pistons up and down, click here.
- Last but not least I dismantled the flywheel from the engine bay.
Peter mentions in a subsentence, that their is enough work for the next few years and often they can’t take new customers and cars on due to the overstock on projects. Clearly, not only THE address for Lancia, but also for any other classic cars (exotic and common).
Next day I came back for only a few hours, but that’s when I got to sandblast my first parts. Sandblasting is a very good way to remove corrosion on parts and remove the first layer of the material. After doing so you can respray the parts with protective paint and/or apply corrosion protection.
From here on I will continue with sandblasting the oil container and other little parts. We will also calculate the cylinder measurements which need to be used for the next size up / drill out and much more, so stay tuned!
In my latest MG post part 2, I introduced to you my latest work project, the restoration of a MG and this project and a general summary on this project.
Enjoy the read and stay tuned for part 4,