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Big project this spring


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2seater recomended using Victo Reinz for the head gasket. My engine builder couldn't find it as the exact kit has been discontinued by them. Looks like Feldco still makes them but it is a more generic set. Remember our engine while being popular is only a 3 year engine. At any rate I went to Ebay entered the stock number [5723] and up popped a vendor that had 9 sets at $49.00 each. You get two head gaskets and the intake exhaust gaskets as well. Both 2seater and myself bought one.  It's a really good deal for exact replacement. Amazon has the head gasket only at $23.00 each. So for $3.00 more you get everything you need.

 

$49 is a good price. They are in the Reatta Store for $69. You're installing new head bolts aren't you?

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DAVES89

Ronnie I am sorry when I was told by my engine builder that they were discontinued I just went on line and looked for them. Sorry about that.

 I have to drop the gasket set off on Monday. I will be sure to ask him. Thanks for the reminder.

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DAVES89

Engine is done. I pick it up Monday and we do the swap the following Monday. Can't wait!

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Engine is done. I pick it up Monday and we do the swap the following Monday. Can't wait!

 

When you do the swap take lots of notes and photos on how it's done. You may have to give me tips and pointers if I ever have to do it.

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DAVES89

WMy buddy says we can't get the car up high enough to drop it out the bottom.

I am replacing a number of other parts such as the Rack and Pinion as it has 60,000 miles on it. Also being changed are the front struts and mounts., they also have about the same on them.

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DAVES89

Thanks Ronnie!

Freshly painted 1990 motor, 1988 engine cover, 1988 intake and 1988 valve covers.

1990 block has new pistons [upgraded from 8.5 to 9.0 compression], valve job with a little polishing

From the low mileage '88 we are using the intake/exhaust manifolds [also had the ports ground] cam and crank [polished], fuel rail/injectors, oil pick up/pump, timing chain and other misc parts.

From my current engine we are taking the oil pan and any other misc parts.

Other new parts to be installed; spark plugs/wires, thermostat, front struts/mounts, rack and pinion, and other misc parts.

The transmission we will be using is a freshly rebuilt used one found in the West Bend yard where I found the 1990 Red/Tan Reatta. The tranny comes with a 6 month warranty.

We start a week from today at about 8:00 am.

Hope the work goes well and we don't have problems.

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Keep us posted as you go through the process. You don't mention motor mounts. They aren't too expensive. I would consider replacing them all if you have any doubts about the condition of the old ones. Be sure to get an oil pan gasket like this one that has the stops built in that will prevent the gasket from squishing out. I think it is worth the extra money. I know you don't have time to order it but you should be able to get one locally.

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DAVES89

I did have to order the #2691 motor mount. It is called a transmission mount and is located in the back of the motor on the passenger side. Mine was crushed and very oily which is to be expected with 261,000 miles. I also to order the filter you recommend. I thought a "good" one was in the engine gasket set, but I was wrong. The pressure hose for the power steering pump was getting bad so that was also replaced. Between AutoZone, Advance Auto and O'Reillys we got that parts we needed as we needed them. There are always surprises.

We got the engine/tranny pulled and started on swapping/installing parts yesterday. Today was spent finishing the swapping and installation of new parts to the engine. We then hooked up the tranny to the engine and started swapping parts to that.

Tomorrow is installing a tranny filter and gasket, drive shaft seals. Then we start on the installation of the new set up.

We hope to have the installation completed late tomorrow afternoon with a engine start/test drive on Thursday morning.

I am definately feeling my age on this project and am glad that Kendall is as good as he is with this type of work.

The old engine's timing chain was pretty loose but the heads still looked good. These are great engines.

I hope to have pictures tomorrow if we get as far as we hope. The valve covers and intake manifold really look good. The plastic engine cover will also look great and the surprising thing is that we have a oil dipstick that says 3800 engine on it. I will be using that as well.

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DAVES89

It's too late for the side cover gasket as the part is not stocked locally. This tranny is a recent rebuild so I have to believe that it will last as long as I need it.

I bought a cheap pan gasket for "right now" as I plan to change the tranny fluid again in about 500 miles. The tranny has been sitting around and I want to get some fresh fluid in there with Sea Foam Trans Tune and then do a filter change with a good gasket. I will check into the gasket you recommend. Thanks!

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DAVES89

The swap for all intents and purposes is complete. The one complication we ran into was the fuel rail from the 5000 mile motor. two injectors were bad. So we put in the one originally on the Red [with 261,000 miles on them] and she fired up and ran great. Took it for a test drive and every thing worked great. As I put in a new rack [why not we were there] I need an alignment. So the miles will be few until I get that done.

Today is our 37th wedding anniversary so I need to cut this short as I need to get cleaned up. Will write up more tomorrow.

Ronnie will be posting pictures of the installed engine soon.

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Today is our 37th wedding anniversary so I need to cut this short as I need to get cleaned up. Will write up more tomorrow.

Ronnie will be posting pictures of the installed engine soon.

 

Happy Anniversary Dave!

 

Great job on getting the engine installed.

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1415837020_newengineinstalled-3.thumb.jpg.a83c33d72f1e14e39387aff41fee38d6.jpg

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DAVES89

c'mon over. I will be at Kendall's at 9:00 or so. We will be loading the old engine and tranny with the misc. parts. You can grab what you want. Just show up...

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2seater

c'mon over. I will be at Kendall's at 9:00 or so. We will be loading the old engine and tranny with the misc. parts. You can grab what you want. Just show up...

 

am Thurs?

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DAVES89

Well as everyone can see the swap is completed. I have come to realize that age 60 some work is beyond my scope of car ownership, and swapping engines and transmissions are now on that list. I had a big stack of parts ready for this task. The list included extra tie rod ends, struts, strut mounts, rack and pinion, power steering unit, water pump, radiator hoses, transmission fluid, spark plugs/wires, thermostat, and gasket set.

The engine had been sent out for rebuilding. It was a good used 1990 motor with real good compression but I wanted an engine that was new. So the rebuild was done with a cam and timing chain from a 5,000 mile 1988 engine [story of that engine is told earlier on this post]. With 2seaters help I ordered a set of higher compression pistons and a certain gasket set which were all given to the engine builder. The engine was cleaned, cylinders honed [20 over] and reassembled with a valve job. We recieved the engine back as a short block meaning we [Kendall and I] were to install the valve covers, intake manifolds, exhaust manifolds, timing cover, oil side filter side plate, and sensors.

The sensors were all taken off my original engine as we knew they all worked. The timing cover and oil filter side plate also came from the Red. The intake and exhaust manifolds were from the '88 engine as the intake is in my opinion a better looking intake and the exhaust manifolds were in like new condition.

The transmission was a recent rebuilt unit from a yard in West Bend [where I also found that nice 1990 Reatta] that comes with a 6 month warranty.

So Monday morning we started with disconnecting all electrical connections, attaching the "cherry picker" to the engine and disconnecting the motor/tranny mounts, throttle lines, removing the radiator, cruise control, A/C compressor, starter, drive shafts, etc.

We started the removal in the afternoon and  after a brief argument with the A/C compressor [ it kept getting in the way]. We ended up pulling the engine out part way and then fished the compressor along the condensor and stood it up in the front drivers side corner of the engine bay. This really cleared things out and the lift was completed.

 We removed the old rack and pinion and installed the new one.

As time for that day was running short we did a bit of work removing the parts we wanted off the Red's engine to go one the new engine.

The next day we completed the parts swap from the Red and what we wanted from the '88 engine as well as installation of new parts. Time was also spent cleaning old gasket matieral off parts and then installing them. Kendall also spent time on the oil pick up and checking other parts. Later that afternoon we turned our attention to the transmission, swapping shift linkage, shift module, etc. We had to take the Red's engine/transmission apart as we needed the flywheel. We had one from another engine but we wanted to be sure the flywheel was correct so time spent on that.

Last project for the day was removing the engine from the stand by use of the cherry picker and mounting the tranny to it. Starting to look like we are going to finish tomorrow!

Wednesday we installed the tranny's pan gasket and checked everything over one last time. Looked good. So installation commenced.

On purpose we left off the front exhaust manifold to give us more room and for some reason we needed it. We started to drop it in place everything was looking good but when we tried to move the A/C compressor back we were too low so we had to raise the engine/tranny up and finangle the A/C back into the general area it belonged and the install once again commenced. It got a little tight right at the Teves unit but I was able to hold the engine away as Kendall contined lowering the engine. All of a sudden everything looked right and it didn't take much more effort and the engine/transmission was sitting on the mounts. Then things really started to happen. Sensor leads, hoses, connections, throttle lines, front exhaust manifold, spark plugs/wires all went back on. Power Steering pump, alternator and coil pack back on, serpentine belt installed. We didn't forget the little engine shock mount either. Installed the drive shafts put on the knee assemblies and for the most part we were done.

The last thing to go on was the fuel rail. We decided that with the low miles of the '88 we should use it. Hooked up the battery, filled up the fluids, hit the key and almost ground the battery down due to a no start condition. We checked the plug wiring, checked for spark then tried fluid through the plenum. Then it fired and ran. We would squirt fluid in and it would run and die, After several times it would stay running with a lot of throttle manipulation. We determined that the fuel rail was the issue and swapped in the Red's fuel rail. The it started and ran great.

We then put the hood on took it for a quick spin after checking all the fluids once again. We had to quit for the day as it was my anniversary and Kendall had a Bible Class he had to get cleaned up for.

This morning back over to Kendall's to once again check the fluids topping off the transmission and power steering resivoir. Antifreeze and oil was good. I started it and took it for a quick drive as my concern was the cold start first shift from first to second. It was/is cold today 30's with rain/sleet so it was perfect for this test. The tranny shifted flawlessly.

The car needs an alignment badly so we didn't do and highway speed driving, but I think everything turned out as great as I had hoped.

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Thanks for the great write-up Dave. I enjoyed reading it. You should get lots of service out of that Reatta.

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2seater

I saw Dave and Kendall's handiwork this morning and it looks even better in person. I don't think I have ever had one of mine idle that smoothly? It just needs a chromed alternator to complete the look or perhaps black to complement it :) Those nice lights and seat that Dave scored are also a real find.

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