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  #1   IP: 209.128.21.10
Old 08-08-2017, 12:43 PM
cdhickey cdhickey is offline
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Bringing my practice engine to life

A couple of years ago I picked up two spare engine blocks and a pile of assorted A4 parts to use for parts and practice. They've been sitting in my garage and every now and then I'll tinker with them a bit, but I'm now curious if I could get one or both up and running just for fun. According to the guy I got then from, the gold coloured engine (almost complete) was running before it was removed, and the other was a "new" (it's not new) block he had as a spare. Both look in reasonably good condition and turn over by hand, and I've definitely got enough parts of questionable history to cobble together at least one full engine, possibly two. One odd thing I notice on both of these engines is that there is no alternator bracket, but what look to be cast ears for a much longer bolt. The water jacket on the gold engine also lacks a mounting point for the alternator arm, so I have no idea what the story is there.

As the gold engine is largely complete, I may start with that one. The starter works, but I'll give the carb a good cleaning, reattach the manifold and see what happens. I'd love any input or observations that you have on where to start. Here are a bunch of pics to get you interested:
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Old 08-09-2017, 09:35 PM
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Those are both OLD engines - no thermostat housings, etc. Don't think I've ever seen heads with those lugs on the sides.
I wouldn't pick the engine to overhaul based on external appearance. What you want to do is pick the best block - least wear, least corrosion, no cracks. Kinda like picking a bride - it's the heart that matters. Good looks don't last.
Strip down both blocks and take them to a machine shop that you trust (or is well recommended). Magnaflux for cracks and measure for wear and wall thickness - let them recommend which one to bring back.
But it sounds like you're impatient and want to get to it by just moving parts around. Flip a coin..
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Old 08-09-2017, 10:32 PM
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Al, I agree, but it looks like the gold one has a late model side plate...hence the 'missing bracket' for alt arm. But it certainly has an early model head on it.

Chris, over on the carb side, we should have a casting date on the block..it is the lesser obvious 6 digit number, and there are likely 2 sets of them over there. Take some pics on that side and let us see them.
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cdhickey (08-10-2017)
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Old 08-10-2017, 06:56 AM
cdhickey cdhickey is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Al Schober View Post
Those are both OLD engines - no thermostat housings, etc. Don't think I've ever seen heads with those lugs on the sides.
I wouldn't pick the engine to overhaul based on external appearance. What you want to do is pick the best block - least wear, least corrosion, no cracks. Kinda like picking a bride - it's the heart that matters. Good looks don't last.
Strip down both blocks and take them to a machine shop that you trust (or is well recommended). Magnaflux for cracks and measure for wear and wall thickness - let them recommend which one to bring back.
But it sounds like you're impatient and want to get to it by just moving parts around. Flip a coin..
I did a decent job picking a bride, so hopefully I can have similar luck with a block! No rush on my side, I've just been tinkering and pondering when I've had a few moments in the shed, figuring that getting a spare engine up and running could be a fun side project for the fall. The machine shop route is probably the most prudent course if I want to make it anything more than a game.
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Old 08-10-2017, 07:24 AM
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If both blocks are viable I'd bring them both to good running condition including a thorough clean up, fresh paint, etc. and sell one to offset the expense.
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Old 08-19-2017, 01:06 PM
cdhickey cdhickey is offline
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I had a look at the casting dates below the valve cover and it looks like both are oldies indeed- one is '57, the other '58!
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