It’s #MR2sday and I got a bit of work done and learned a bit more about my old 4A’s past. I’ve mostly been cleaning ancient disgusting parts, and no one wants to see a picture of a throttle body in a bucket of diesel fuel, so I’m skipping that (amateur-tip - Harbor Freight has an all-metal washing bin you can pick up for like $80 with a pump and will easily fit a 4A head and intake plenup with room to spare; amateur-tip 2 - gank the drain plug and attach a hose with a valve on the end instead so you can empty it without making a mess). For the previous teardown stories and pics, click here for part one and here for part two.

The head’s off and soaking in diesel. It’s going to be taken apart this week probably, but in the mean time I’m getting started on the bottom end. So far it’s been easy, but I’m going to have to look into a couple of spots. The crank bridges took more torque than I was expecting to remove. Being a stretch bolt, they didn’t “break” like normal hardened steel ones would. As I started loosening them, it actually felt like I was stripping them as the resistance recused more gradually than I was expecting. I took the wrench off a couple of times just to make sure that I was in fact turning the bolt instead of stripping it.

None of the bridges themselves just fell out. They needed a bit of coaxing, but nothing major. Apart from the center one which has a pin, I was able to pull them by hand.

EDIT - as CrowMolly helpfully pointed out below, number your bearing caps. I didn’t. Luckily, he found a handy guide to finding the right order again if you fuck up like I did.


I’m going to consult the BGB on this before taking pliers to them juuuust in case.

As you can see, I forgot to take pictures while pulling the pistons. They’re easy. It’s a 12mm 12 pt socket. Takes a ton of torque to pull off, so use a breaker bar. Crank wear is practically nonexistent.


Some time during this I noticed that the head gasket was still on the block. It was so dirty that I didn’t even realize it was still there until I moved it accidentally. I now realize just how addicted to gasket sealer or radiator repair crap one of the previous owners was. There’s fucking mountains of the shit where there should be openings for coolant.


There were supposed to be holes to get it into the head that I couldn’t even see. The gasket is now hanging on my wall to use as a visual example for anyone who wants to use that stuff. It also brings me to my next point...

The pistons are out! But wait a minute... Enhance!



Shit. As far as internals go, this is the first sign of trouble I’ve seen. I knew it was losing compression when I bought the car because it was burning oil and I suspected it was blowby because of how dirty the oil got and how quickly it happened. I didn’t think there was an actual hole in the piston.


I don’t think that this is the cause of my failure. I’m putting that down to the blocked coolant passages. It could be just a hunch, but something about the way it’s worn makes me think that it’s old. Like really old. I’m pretty sure that that’s more of that gasket sealer/compression restoring gunk on the bottom ring. If so, it’s PO damage. Cylinder walls look great, so one shot OEM piston’s damn good so far (wouldn’t be surprised if someone has some spares laying around).


As has been the case so far, bearings are showing almost no signs of wear.

Jareth will now be judging my engine build. I prefer it this way.