Not a whole lot has been en happening at the Melbourne Bloke Centre. ntre After a quiet Januar y, y it seems like ever y editor I’ve ever worked for wants a million words on t he latest big thing. And they want ’em now. As a result, the RS2000 is still not back on t he road after I cooked t he head-gasket back before Christmas. But fear not, because it’s not fa r of f, and t he litt le white monster will be out terrorising t he hot-hatches again soon.
How far is not far of f ? Well, af ter checking t hat t he head was still stra ight and lapping in t he va lves to correct a lea k or three, my old mate Bondini and I f inally got around to bolting the head back on and timing the camshaft. Mind you, that could only happen after I’d bought a new belt tensioner and we dug around Bondini’s workshop tr y ing to find the tensioner spring that somehow managed to make a brea k for freedom. It didn’t get fa r on foot.
The other hurdle was that I had to buy a new torquewrench to do the head bolts. Torrens borrowed my old torque-wrench a while back to tighten the heads on his Dak-Dak, but before he’d tightened up t he f irst nut (air-cooled V Ws use a nut on a stud rather than head bolts) his experience told him that my wrench was telling pork ies. Another borrowed wrench confirmed his hunch. So the old torque-wrench got the f lick and I lashed out and bought a brand-newie. Not before I actua lly needed it, of course, which meant another trip to t he tool shop cutting into our actua l working time. Ever noticed t hat doing any particular job is usually equal parts tack ling t he actua l job and faf f ing about tr y ing to f ind/buy/borrow t he stuf f required by t he task in question?
Anyhow, the head is now on and I’ve re-set the rocker clearances which is not actua lly too hard to do on a Pinto if you have a set of feeler gauges and enough brains to pick an ex haust va lve from an inlet. Next step is to bolt on the manifolds, hook up the plumbing and bolt down t he rocker cover. Then I’ll f ire it up, r un it for about 20 minutes to get it warm, shut it down, rip off t he rocker cover and do a f inal torqueing of t he head bolts.
Speaking of Pinto head bolts, I noticed t hat t hey use a Tor x head which, in my limited experience, suggested to me t hat t hey were a stretch-f it deal and could only be used once. But a phone ca ll to a loca l Pinto specia list revea led t hat t hey could, in fact, be reused, sav ing me a few bob. It’s common enough adv ice, but when in doubt, ask a grown-up.
Project Duckpoop, meantime, has a lso been sitting around like a sta le bott le of you-k now-what wit h only litt le jobs getting done. But even if progress has been slow, some has occurred and the brown girl now has padding on its roll-cage. And, wit h t he car back on its wheels, I could f inally borrow a mate (Torrens again) and do a f inal tighten on t he roll-cage mounting bolts. That would have been easier with the car on the hoist, but that may have meant that any t wist in the body (some cars get so much t wist on a hoist that they won’t allow you to open one or more doors) would have been perpetuated by t he roll-cage. By tightening t he cage wit h t he car on its wheels on f lat ground, it gets locked into its natura l, rela xed position by t he rat her extensive, eight-point cage. Much better for something t hat is hopefully going to handle like a sca lpel. Okay, a butter-k nife, but you get t he point.