A couple of really interesting things happened when we got this car back home, just outside Woodstock in Oxfordshire. Firstly, I removed that spoiler which made me feel quite a bit better about the world but secondly the car dropped about 1/2 litre of oil in a pool on the workshop floor and now wouldn’t go into gear.
I’d made the decision before I embarked on yet another round of car tinkering that I would no longer roll around on a dusty floor underneath a car trying to work in a gap six inches taller than my chest. Screw that. So I made a few calls and ordered a very reasonably priced two post ramp. A nice South African chap turned up a few days later to install it and we were in business.
I’m not going to lie, I wasn’t at home when the chap came to install it in the workshop. Do you know that scene from Raiders of the Lost Ark where Indy first see’s the golden obelisk at the beginning? Totally me when I first walked back into the workshop.
I digress. Back to more interesting stuff.
We got the car up into the air, had a minor geek out that after 12 years of lying on my back I could now work on cars standing up and then got to tinkering.
First the good news:
Underneath the chassis of the car was really tidy. No rust, fresh looking bushes everywhere and it had been undersealed. Also, engine bay wise there was no holes in anything which is always helpful. The engine oil was also nice a clean. Unfortunately, folks, that’s about it for the good news.
Now for the not so good news:
Jesus titty fucking Christ, I don’t know where to start. It was like a Jurassic era bukaki party underneath there.
- There was engine oil leaking out of the engine
- There was engine oil leaking out of the bell housing
- There was gearbox oil leaking out of the tail shaft
- There was fuel leaking out of the main fuel line under the car
- The engine wasn’t done up (no, jokes – the nuts were on with a couple of threads)
- All four shocks were leaking
- The exhaust looked like it had been welded using a bloody gas hobby mig welder
- It was missing one of the rear diff mount bushes
- The fuel filter was just hanging in mid-air (probably what caused the fuel leak)
Much lol – in fact, so much lol that we forgot to take a picture of it (sorry). So yes, painfully crap spannering had been enacted by somebody on this car. Nothing we couldn’t handle though, so we got to work on the clutch/oil issue.
We whipped off the gearbox and everything was covered in yet more oil.
Removed the clutch plate and clutch and a number of these fell out on the floor.
Yup, you guessed it. Mr spaz spanner seemed to have forgotten to do up the flywheel on the car and that rattle I hear you ask? Yes indeed, it was the flywheel bolts rattling around inside the clutch cover. Out of the 8 bolts, 4 had fallen out and the rest were finger tight.
For those not familiar with JZ engines, the flywheel bolts act as an oil seal. When they come loose, the oil runs out of the holes (or down the threads) and into the clutch. In this case, in great quantity. Lunching the clutch.
Every cloud has a silver lining, the engine was fine (bonus) and the flywheel was a lightweight XTC one. However, the clutch and the cover were both so contaminated with engine oil that I ditched them both.
The threads at the end of the crank were ever so fractionally damaged on two of the holes, so we ran a tap through them just to be sure and then changed out the rear crank seal for safety’s sake. MUCH cleaning up of oil then commenced and many litres of brake cleaner was sprayed. Our buddy Chaz put the flywheel through the parts washer at work and Matt brought in some new high tensile flywheel bolts.
So now I needed a clutch and cover. So as per usual, a quick call to Garage D yielded a 2JZGE competition clutch plate and cover. Result. Later that day it was all back on and a quick test drive showed it no longer leaked oil and all was well.
At this point, we also did a bit of additional front undersealing and painted up the front tow eyes.
Matt also skimmed up and grooved the break discs.
Click for the next chapter Part Three: A Story of Two Halves