Open heart surgery (part 1 of 2)
It happened this past weekend. After many weeks of preparation and hard work, we would finally get to turn the key and see how the transplanted heart would beat.
The big leap
On december 3, I took the big leap: we pulled the SOHC engine out of my favorite among favorites Honda del Sol. To do what with? Put it into my troubled 1996 Honda Civic. The idea being to save my Civic from a certain death, and fit a better DOHC engine in my del Sol.
Transplanting the stock engine into my civic took us a whole weekend. Preparing the del Sol would prove to be even more strenuous. The cost of such a weekend? A mighty long Friday evening - in the shop from 8 pm until 3 am - after a regular day's work to remove the first engine, and a further seven hours Saturday to remove engine No. 2, trash it, and drop No. 1 in place.
We didn't stop there. Ahead of us lay intensive cleanup, painting, new parts purchase, refurbishment and assembling! Quite the renovation project!
Cleaning up the place
First on the list, we had to clean up the engine bay. We removed all the wiring, the brake lines, the rubbers... absolutely everything! Then a few touch-ups on the rust spots, some surface sanding, useless whole blocking, some more cleaning and off to paint.
There is no easy way around good workmanship. Either you roll up your sleeves or you pay someone else to do it... those are the only two ways out. The cost of this other weekend? About 35 hours and a fair amount of money in preparation and painting.
During the painting, we had to get the engine ready. This meant, again, more cleaning. After all, this little buddy has had a long journey: it has traveled halfway across the world to get here since it came from Japan. The engine-donor car looks something like this: Honda Orthia.
I managed to get the engine block, the CV joints, the transmission, the conversion wiring harness and the computer. I now have everything in hand to get my car going.
While the engine is out, however, there are a number of parts that are much easier to change. While we were at it, we took the liberty to change the thermostat, gaskets and bolts!
Some parts were sent for some powder coating freshening up: the brakes and power-steering hardware amongst others. Same goes for the valve cover and the exhaust heat shields - they came out "kandy black".
At his point, we've reached the halfway marker. In the next part, I'll tell you all about how fitting everything under the hood went!