I had been putting off changing the oil until I was 90% sure I won’t be needing to pull the engine out. (video below)

I am finally at that point, with the engine starting and running now, I didn’t want to risk damaging the liners and bearings by using old oil.

I had been looking forward to using my new sump plug socket I bought previously, it worked well, but it was a bit of a mission to fit in as the sump plug is only about 2.5 inches away from the frame’s crossmember. The easiest way was to put the socket in the sump plug hole, then put the ratchet in afterwards. Once I’d undone the sump plug, the oil came out at a rapid rate, rebounding off the frame. The oil was very thin and stank of petrol. DMC had suggested that as the car had been running rich, fuel may have seeped past the rings and watered down the oil, I think they were right.

Thin oil

Thin oil

I left that to drain while I went to town. Once I came back I tackled the filter. This was a mission to get off even with an oil filter removal tool. I lubed up the o-ring of the new filter with fresh oil, installed it, then put the sump plug back in along with a new crushable washer.

The new washer had a bigger outer diameter than the old one, I was a little concerned that it needed to fit into a recess and wouldn’t seal, so I incrementally poured more oil in, then checked the plug and filter for leaks. Once I’d topped up the oil I set to installing the last muffler bracket and heatshield. This was uneventful although I did have to get my wife to help lever the muffler to one side with a pry-bar to get the bolt holes to line up.

With all this out of the way, I could finally get back to working on the idle and mix. I started the car (she started first time!) and let the idle settle. She was idling at 2,500 rpm again, but I wanted her to warm up a little so I could check the smoke situation. I let her run for about a minute and there was no smoke coming out of the muffler. There was a little smoke coming off the exhaust manifold as I’d spilt some oil while topping it up.

I did notice the A/C belt was flapping quite a bit, so I turned her off and tightened the idle pulley adjuster. I tried starting her again, but she didn’t want to start this time. I leaned out the mix (I wanted to do this while she was running, but I figured I might as well do it now) by adjusting the idle mix screw seen in the diagram below. After rotating the screw almost 360 degrees, she started back up. Initially she idled at about 1,200RPM, then settled to about 900 which is where I wanted her.

The engine heated up rapidly and the oil gauge doesn’t seem to work. The gauge has power as it sits at 0 when the engine is off, but once the engine starts it goes off-scale high. I’m also concerned that water may not be circulating, although the radiator fans did start.

I’ll get a cheap oil gauge from supercheap auto to check the oil pressure, and bleed the cooling system to ensure water is actually circulating. If both these tests work, I’ll consider the engine pretty much finished. I’ll finish zip-tieing the clutch line to the frame, put some air in the tires, get her off the axle stands and see if I can reverse her out into the driveway.

If she backs out of the drive and goes back into the garage under her own power, I’ll be moving on to stage 2 of the project: Panel & Paint!