13 hours of work to extract and disassemble a ‘70s Chevy engine from a ‘70s Jaguar. Here’s what I found:

Steering rack! This had to come out so the exhaust could come out so I could get to the lower two bellhousing bolts. All but the lowermost bellhousing bolts were accessible from the top of the car due to the fact the trans sticks 6" into the engine bay. This rack will not be going in as it leaks, nay, GUSHES PS fluid from the left seal. A new one is sitting in the trunk.

This picture taken for future reference because some of these red wires are grounds because of course they fucking are.


And just like that we extract the beating heart.


These brand new looking freeze plugs tell me this engine is likely very new. We suspect a botched rebuild.

So much room for activities! The subframe is absolutely drenched in power steering fluid. The throttle cable is *crimped to the fucking carb* so it’s staying attached to the car. Some wiring is getting re-routed and tucked away while the engine is out and everything is getting a nice cleaning.


This is the oil pressure sending unit. Uh... yeah. This snapped off shortly after I got the car which prompted going to the hardware store for new fittings.


Unexpected: double roller cam chain

Unexpected #2: four bolt mains engine


These custom headers have literal millimeters of clearance around the starter and steering rack. It’s actually very impressive. The studs on the passenger side have even been welded so you don’t have to hold the bolts with a wrench when taking off the nuts. Very impressed.

Starting to pull rod caps. Certainly not looking great but this isn’t bad enough to be knocking.


Ah. Okay. That’s a lot of copper. That one that’s down to copper is VISIBLY thinner on one side. Completely spun as well. That rod is going to need machined...


Surprise #3: double valve springs. I bet valve float on this engine is astronomically high.

Hm. So here’s my thoughts on this:

Was the car using oil? No.

Do I have the money to bore it out to .060 (it’s already at .030)? No.

Is this little bit of scoring likely to cause catastrophic engine failure? No.

Do I give a shit? Not likely.


Torques for the head bolts were all over the place. Some could be taken off easily enough with a ratchet but two of them required a 4 ft breaker bar, so obviously whoever assembled this engine has an IQ somewhere in the legally retarded range.

Surprise #4: I don’t remember the brand name but these are fairly expensive aftermarket pistons that likely have a compression ratio more in the 9.5:1 range



We have an engine with *some* hot (okay, mildly warm) parts in it, yet shit casting heads and a stock cam. It was obviously assembled by someone who had no idea what they were doing so my best guess is that this engine was assembled and started with no assembly lube and nobody primed the oil pump, immediately heating up the bearings and starting their life of early wear.

My plan is to buy a crank and bearing kit, a new oil pump, and have that spun rod machined. While waiting on parts the engine is getting a very thorough cleaning and all new gaskets including valve stem seals since those have been known to let a bit of oil seep down and make fun smoke clouds on startup.


When I’m done I should have a pretty solid SBC for less than $250 in parts which is pretty unbeatable given that in “Completely fucked needs rebuilt” 350s around here go for $300 alone. The scoring in the piston walls may cause some oil consumption in 20k miles but that is fairly low on my list of things I care about at this juncture.

Besides, I’ll just get an LS eventually anyways :P