(see prior day here) Yesterday I had everything staged to finally get the engine in the truck, and my partner had called out of work so she could help me with it. So of course I awoke to pouring rain.

I dragged an ancient easy-up out of the shed, patched the worst of the holes with duct tape and set it up to give us whatever protection it could. We then took an empty engine compartment:

And stuffed an engine in it...

Next the front clip went on, as it holds the battery and some vital wiring.


At this point we started hooking things up. I was going to re-use the ignition & starter wiring harness from the old engine, even though it wasn’t great. But further poking showed it was a horrible rats-nest with wires that made no sense.

So instead I decided to swap the older-style distributor from the original engine and use that wiring harness, this is when I ran into a bit of a starter issue. The old starter was for a 168 tooth flywheel & bolted to the bellhousing, the replacement flywheel I’d gotten (the only one that fit the “correct” 10.5" clutch and the crankshaft) was a smaller 153 tooth and needed the style starter that bolted to the engine block.


New 153 tooth on left, older 168 tooth on right

Fortunately I was able to find one in stock, unfortunately the old-style bellhousing interfered with the snout of the newer starter.


Some angle-grinder fun and I had clearance.

And the starter was bolted in.


Some modifications to the covers and this bit was done.

At this point I could bump the engine over, and get the new distributor in place. Which meant I could test-fire the engine.

We then got virtually everything else hooked up.


And started bleeding the brakes. I chased leaks for a bit (which may or may not be sorted), and eventually used up the fluid I had. It has something that distantly resembles brakes, but isn’t anything like safe to drive.

some things are crossed out in silver sharpie, which doesn’t show well

The three big things left are to install the driveshaft, get the brakes bled and get the alignment. If I can’t get the brakes working well enough to drive across town before the alignment shop closes I won’t be able to take it to the rally. But if I can do that I can keep messing with the brakes all night. So I’ve bought a vacuum bleeder and a bunch more fluid to see if I can get a decent enough pedal today.


And of course, it is raining even harder today.