The New Engine!

Part 3


Components to go back on the engine were checked, cleaned and painted. New parts were also cleaned. Luckily, I have quite a decent collection of A310 parts, so I was able to raid my stock in order to use mostly new parts in the refit. You can see some of the parts ready for installation.

In the time leading up to the engine swap, I had decided that I needed to make the engine as reliable as possible. One of the weak points of the A310 V6 is cooling and so, to aid the car in keeping temperatures within acceptable limits, I would fit the proper starter motor heat shield. I found a stainless steel one amongst the stash of parts I had, I cleaned and flushed the radiator, fitted two fans and wrapped the exhaust manifolds in heat-resistant tape. The silencer and rear heat shield were thoroughly cleaned, then painted with heat-proof primer and black top coat. The paint is reputed to withstand up to 400 degrees C. Fingers crossed!

All was ready. The new engine was wheeled into place beneath the electric hoist - and it began.

Lifting the engine into place was easy and led me into a false sense of security, I wrongly thought the whole thing would be in and finished by lunchtime with a test drive in the evening. Wrong!!

The electric hoist allowed very fine adjustment of the engine position in the engine bay, but would it engage into the gearbox first motion shaft? Would it hell! Alison and I struggled for what seemed like hours. The clutch had been aligned using a proper alignment tool (which had caused a great deal of consternation at airport customs as it was in my cabin bag - the only bag I had). Out came the engine again and alignment was checked. Perfect. Again the clutch would not engage on the splines. Was the clutch plate the wrong one?

Out came the engine. Again. I took off the clutch and slid the driven plate onto the gearbox shaft. A perfect fit. So what was the problem? In essence, I was only swapping like for like, so the fit should be virtually instant. Back in went the engine - with the same result - clutch-to-gearbox non-alignment.

Out it came again and this time I aligned the clutch by eye as I had always done in the past. Back in went the engine - and slid onto the splines perfectly! Just goes to show - the old methods are often the best and most effective. So now the motor was in, all that remained was to connect all the bits and it would be done. It is always these 'little bits' that take an inordinate amount of time and this build was no exception. But eventually the beast was ready for a restart. See the video for proof that it runs. Now I only have to resite the battery to the inside, fit the electric fuel pump and piping, wrap the exhaust, sort out a sticking electric window, fit new harnesses, remove the rear seats...............!

The one saving grace on this whole episode is that I have more than enough space (is that possible?) in my garage to move around without scraping my elbows on the walls as I did in Germany when I built the car. It means that I can get other cars in without having to rush a job. It also means that I can walk away from it to have lunch etc!

Left is the engine about to be dropped down. This could be attempt 1, 2 or 3! But finally (right) the deed was done. The expensive carb choke covers were rubber gloves!

It is an odd thing about working on an engine that no matter how much light you may have available, it never seems to fall just where it is needed. Weird, eh?





And so it was done. Parts of the installation, such as hoses, hose clips etc. were replaced soon after the pic (left) was taken. Most of the hoses are silicon and those that are not are new, although they will be replaced with silicon as soon as I can find some of the correct size and shape.

The exercise has certainly been worth it. The old engine was tired and had covered a much more substantial mileage than the odometer would suggest. Having said that, the PRV V6 is a lovely engine. Many say it does not like revs. But it was built to be torquey and for that it is excellent. I still think that for circuit use, the 4-speed gearbox has better ratios which are not such a compromise for economy and comfort on autoroute driving. There is a sizeable gap between 2nd and 3rd gears, but careful, planned driving can overcome that.


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