Yes, I dropped the engine on my foot. And leg and general crotch-al area. No I don’t know why i even thought i’d try to bring it over the yard to my garden hose, anyway. I could hit it with water from where it was. No long term damage i think...except possibly to my back as i had to pick it back up unexpectedly.

My dad has called my efforts brave and he called me smart to attempt this. Mostly because he needs someone to set the VCR time still. Yes VCR (to be fair it’s a combo DVD player).

The belly of the beast.

I initially told him i was actually just stubborn and cheap in a very strange way. I would always like to know things are done properly. and in the end sometimes to do a complete job of something means i know whats there. A rebuild kit starts around 750$ to replace the big stuff. 1500 is the “master rebuild kit” and somewhere in between you can buy a used or cheaply rebuilt engine start at 1000 and...one that is completely freshly built is $3500 or more. Add 25% more to most of these prices if you happen to have a turbo car.

So by estimation it was to be 1800$ minimum to send my motor off and have it rebuilt. Of course the motor has to be stripped to be sent out either way. Paying someone to do the pull and reinstall would be another hefty bill. 3300 or so was one shop quote. more than the car is worth on most days.

I am hopeful that like my wankel forebears, I can do the work, rebuild the ‘keg ‘ myself and... possibly...I can keep the cost close to 1200 including some reliability upgrades.

I bought the most basic kit parts for about 750$ add a clutch kit and a lot of fluids, a performance radiator, hoses, plugs, filters a few larger tools like a 54mm socket and a very basic engine stand. I rented a second cherry picker since mine was too short. Eventually I was able to pull the drive-line out together.

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This is my wankel there are many like it but this one is mine.

Used Motorcycle tires make a soft bed. My brother said this looks like “a monkey riding a pig”.

It was down to business. the extraction was smooth and took about 5-6 hours with my fuddling and several helpful guides from the web.

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If you know about how large an alternator is, you get some idea of how tiny the core of this is: approx 13"x 13"x 13"

Most of the work is turning a wrench, some of it is rubber mallet and other parts are just finesse,with the right basic tools the removal was almost therapeutic.


Once you get the motor alone many of the parts may be removed as complete assemblies...intakes are easy,harness is one piece, water pump/alternator are a unit....the killer is the end bolt. thats the 54mm guy.I made a mistake there. I thought torque on that one was 180ftlbs. i’m 180lbs so no sweat, right?

it’s actually 289-362 ft-lbs AND something has to hold the flywheel in place AND that required some real mokeying around as well as uding the entire 6' section of exhaust as a cheater bar.

I’m sore like someone who just had to put twice physical capacity into something because that’s literally what it took.

And the reward was this: bask in it’s beauty.

mother in law: “looks ALIEN”

The joy continued as I found broken “oil control rings” just as i’d predicted/expected. I was very happy for this fleeting validation. This one has 5 splits like this. This is my best case scenario and some builders would literally replace this one part and put it back together. I will be doing the work anyway so i’m putting in all new hard-wear items like apex seals and springs, etc.

torn oil seal.

then i got the rest of my way in, and... on the front plate....I have a major issue with one of my coolant channels. It’s eaten away.

Where the ring stops nobody flows (where they are supposed to be).


i’ll need an other front plate whose price and condition may vary. This pretty much stopped my progress dead in its tracks. I have a plate coming, and i ordered a new main bearing since mine is showing just a little wear on the output side. Not sure how i’ll install that. Probably will have to have a machine shop do it.

Alas, here I am stuck between shipments and a little deeper into the hole financially but still making some progress and taking... the time it takes ...is important because it ended up taking me half a day to wash this sucker with a wire brush on a drill. Also, i wire brushed my leg pretty well and advise you from experience that parts cleaner will slowly eat your flesh once it’s in your gloves.

While i do have some small regret that i didn’t just buy a rebuilt engine, easily the most awe inspiring moment is looking into the rear housing and seeing it all firsthand. The moment I anticipate most however is the first run after its in... the moment of real personal and engineering validation.

Life is longer than anticipated.

I have the time.