Friday 12 May 2023

14 years of silence, will it run?

My time in the garage has been intermittent of late, so to keep the enthusiasm levels topped-up I decided to have some fun and see if I could get Gretchen’s engine to cough. The engine last ran 14 years ago, so I was longing to hear that characteristic purr once again. 

But ....will it run? 

It should be noted that this was not the original engine to the car. That lump met an unfortunate demise back in 2003 whilst I was bombing up the A5 dual carriageway just outside of Milton Keynes. I suddenly went from 60mph down to about 10mph and had to pull over and call for recovery. Sadly, the big end was shot and because I was reliant on the car as my daily driver, I traded it in and purchased a reconditioned unleaded ‘green’ unit (the engine you see here).

Naturally, the first order of TLC business was an oil change:


To run the engine outside of the car I needed to build myself a starter rig. I located a used bellhousing that had already been cut down for the purpose:

I then set about rigging-up a simple wiring loom. I wanted to run a few indicator lights, namely; ignition live, oil pressure and alternator. After researching how others had gone about it, this is what I came up with:

Once assembled it functioned exactly as I had hoped:

The battery is the same one that came out of the car all those years ago. I was surprised to see it was still reading some voltage, so I knew that there was hope it could be recharged

After after 24hours of trickle charging it was capable of holding adequate voltage, at least enough for the purposes of bench running the engine. Obviously, this will be replaced with a new battery at the time the car goes back on the road.

Through my engine tinkerings I discovered that the fuel pump was not working effectively, so I simply replaced it with a near-identical new one:

More adventures to come, particularly now that summer is around the corner. Thanks, as always, for reading!