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Back in the saddle!!


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Installed the water pump manifold Friday and finished up the front brakes.

Filled up the fluid levels and cranked - and cranked- and cranked.

Actually, I did the oil pump prime procedure as detailed in the Helms manual - pulled the power from the ICM and cranked the engine for 30 seconds.

I replace the ICM connector and it wouldn't start - got nervous. Checked for spark, listened for the fuel pump - all OK. My wife got in and cranked while I tried to hear if the injectors were clicking - it started to catch and on the 6th or 7th crank it started up.

Bbobynski told me to just fire it up, but I was too concerned about the oil pressure. Even with the crank procedure, I was sweating bullets at start-up because the oil light took a little longer to drop off than I was comfortable with. After a couple of start cycles the light dropped out in the (more familar) shorter time.

I had a couple of lifters doing a tap dance because I messed around with them while I had the heads pulled down. (used a clamp to see if they were still good - yeah, Guru nailed me for that one). Happy to say that once the engine got warm and I raised the RPM, they pumped up and it runs so quite that the crickets were louder than the car was tonight!

I did note that some smoke was exiting the exhaust pipe when I goosed the engine (in park) after everything checked out. Not sure if this is a temporary thing. I should be able to see better detail in the daylight tomorrow.

See attached pic of the completed engine before I replaced the hood. Headed to the car wash tomorrow to wash her down and get the dust off from 8 months of sitting on the concrete pad.

Thanks to everyone for the help on the rebuild - especially bbobnyski. The detail on the power train was extremely helpful. :D


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Absolutely wonderful.

I understand the "sweating bullets" comment. I go through the same when firing up a $30,000+ aircraft engine for the first time. It kind of makes you glad that you have an assembly checklist.

The "sweating bullets" feeling is usually closely followed by a sense of relief and a sense of accomplishment. I believe that anyone who goes through this process from beginning to end is forgiven for the ego boost that a successful rebuild brings. :D


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Hi guys,

Thanks. Cleaned it up really good today and got off all the grime. I'll take a pic tomorrow and send it.

Driving it to work in the AM for a "flight test". It's about 80 miles round trip.

It runs great and the smoke from goosing the throttle (in park) is gone. Had a very small leak at the small hose on the water pump. A quarter turn and it cleared up.

Got a PO153 code on the front O2 sensor. Although I changed the rear sensor while the engine was out of the car, I figured any others would be relatively easy to access. I recalled that an O2 code was setting after the head gasket failed, but I couldn't remember which sensor. Another $60 and I should be OK.

I'll put a list of parts and machine costs together along with the few tools I bought (amazingly I only needed two new ones, so I consider myself lucky).

Again, thanks very much to all of you for the help and comments. I make this much easier to wade through.

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