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1990 Gl Liftback Restoration & Rebuild

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This is a shot of the same area from a different angle.


The section highlighted in white is where the hinge for the back rest bolts to - this is the bit that allows the rear seats to fold down.

The section highlighted in purple to the left labelled 'seatbelt mount' is where the seatbelt bolts onto the chassis. This much rust in this 'prescribed' area is an immediate MOT failure.

The section highlighted in red is the whole suspension turret - the turret is an integral part of the chassis; the rear suspension (spring and damper) bolt directly to this. Excessive rust on this component results in reduced torsional strength in the rear of the chassis. A crash with the turret in this condition would kill me and possibly poison local wildlife for years to come from the dissipation of rust particles.

The back seats also rest upon the turret - this is all usually covered with plastic trim however I had to remove mine after the flood.


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We made it! :D I called Admiral first thing, got myself insured and then whaddyaknow within a few hours I had the motor ready to go :D

These aren't pictures of everything as there was a mad rush to get out of halls today, but it's the main welding stuff. Plus I managed to drive her back without any hiccups... well nothing more than an asshat Civic cutting me up but what else can you expect? :P :lol:










Hole was patched since taking the photo.







I'll be tidying it all up and refitting the interior after the christmas holidays, for now this'll have to do! :D


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  • 3 months later...

Thanks Leccie I will take a look for these things - I've been poking around a lot more today to make more sense of things.

I managed to get the Head off, although I did spend most of my time labeling each vacuum line and junction before I actually started to take it apart. laugh.png

Anyway as far as I can tell the block is in good nick as are the bores, however they do need carbon deposits taking off the top lips.

I haven't had a chance to peel off the gasket yet but that will happen tomorrow morning when I bring the Head in for its skimming:



The pistons are getting pitted and coked up very badly so I will have to weigh up the merits of removing the engine and doing a rebuild.




And for the Head itself - the valves are also coked and in need of re-seating. I can see why it runs on so badly now!

Cylinder 1:


Cylinder 2:


Cylinder 3:


Cylinder 4:


Tomorrow is the skimming of the fireface and dismantling of the valvetrain. Hopefully I'll be able to get the skim sorted and start a little bit of porting and polishing.


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Ouch that's not fun laugh.png Thanks for contributing mate anything on the 2E is new to me. If someone could explain what each of the vacuum diaphragms does around the carburettor that would be excellent because so far I don't understand what half of them are. When I then start to look at the linkages and butterflies I've had it tongue.png

First to come off was the intake manifold and the carburettor which revealed that the lower bolt second in from the right was finger tight - not something that had happened during removal of the cylinder head; this was someone else's work. This should at least partially explain the air-leak Jasper! wink.png

Upon removing the valvetrain it seems the valves are all coked up even behind the valve head. The good news is that the guide wear is minimal as each valve shows little to no excess movement radially in the guide.

The second inlet valve of cylinder 4 was rather stuck so that needs to be checked for straightness and cleaned. One of the valves was run through a wire wheel which got it gleaming without any hassle. Next week will see the rest of the valves cleaned up.

The Head itself has escaped without any cracks or fractures. Further to that the coolant jackets also appear to have survived with minimal corrosion, unlike the 4A-GE engine in the GTi which had some rather corroded jackets.




Carbon build-up:


Scrubbing begins:




The combustion chambers took hours to clean up properly, and even then it still needs more work. Between over-used scotch-brite and chemicals that haven't been replaced since the place was built it is extremely difficult to clean anything properly. They do know a chemical cleaning company but it's £50 for this head... way too much for this build.




More to come possibly this Friday. Porting isn't happening as it really isn't needed although I will de-burr the edges of the ports and lap in the valves.




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Some big updates for the Liftback -

I have reassembled the head and manifold, but I am now waiting on the extra vacuum lines I ordered. Turn out there are more than 3 metres of vacuum line on this engine! jawdrop.gif

Here are a couple pictures of me lapping the valves to get them seated properly once again after I cleaned them up on the bench grinder.




When it came to reassembling the valve-train I had lost the spring seat to valve 12 when washing the cylinder head, so I had to wait a day for one of the engineers to knock up a new seat for me.


Luckily it was sorted soon enough:


The chemicals in the wash tank finished off the O-Rings for the electrical sensors so I had to replace those with fresh ones I had:



Next up was the carburettor and vacuum lines. I decided to change every single one whilst checking all diaphragms and one-way check valves. Everything turned out ok but I ran out of vacuum line laugh.png So I have some more to do later this week but there is always something to do.





The camshaft is assembled as well with new distributor oil seals to stop that oil leak. I have also refitted the fuel pump with new gaskets and silicone to make sure it all holds fast this time.


Shouldn't be much longer now until it's all up and running again! Can't wait to see if it's made a difference to power, idle, cold start and shut down biggrin.png


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Cheers mate.

I have been busy getting it back together now and I even decided to give the cam cover a quick lick of paint.



The Head is fitted now and I'll adjust the tappets once the engine has been heated up.

I took the time to clear up the piston tops too and I noticed that the water jackets have been corroding away where previous owners haven't been filling it with antifreeze.... so the deck will be scrap once they break through.


They were so coked up I managed to fill a cap from a screenwash bottle with the deposits I scraped out.




The new vacuum lines are mostly installed.


I also fitted up the cover among other things like a new oil filter and all sorts of misc. stuff about the engine bay.



I will be giving the cover another coat of paint but for now it will do - just need to touch it up later once I'm done knocking it about.


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Not to worry mate smile.png

Right well awesome news - I fitted the new carb and after a few adjustments it's running perfectly. Idle is bang on 850rpm without judder, the PAS idle up system works fine so no extra throttle is needed round corners even at very low speed high angle. The bastard thing also turns off when I ask it to!

Because the first cold start was blowing crap through we don't know if it works fine but I should find out tonight. In normal running its smoother with no judder in the throttle and the power delivery from 3900-4300 RPM is awesome compared to what it used to be - I can really feel it working now.

Gaskets had to be marked with pencil and cut with a stanley blade:





Alot of the idle issues were traced to a poorly adjusted (tight) throttle cable, which after a few tries was perfected biggrin.png


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The Liftback has always offered questionable braking performance - the pedal is often soft with no feel through the first few centimetres of travel and a progressive dirtying of trousers. In light of this I have spent my time this week replacing the braking system.

To start the whole lot had to come apart. The front calipers where the first things to come off and be sent away for refurbishment which was going to be £250 for the pair! jawdrop.gif


With them sent off I moved on to fitting new brake hoses and slave cylinders to the rear drums which went well for the rear left hose:


But beyond that it all went to pot - the feed pipes to the cylinders snapped on both sides, meaning I had to go out to get two copper lines made up before I could continue. They were only £3 for the pair which is more than ideal!

The rear left line went well too, with little bother fitting once I had carefully bent it into the correct form:


It was tricky getting the hard left bend from the back of the cylinder but I did it using a 3/8" ratchet extension bar:



However the rear right was a different animal altogether... both bolts were just not going without a fight. A spanner didn't work, my flare nut spanner didn't work and there simply wasn't enough room for the 1/4" ratchet with a 10mm socket.

So to combat the issue I found an old 10mm socket and took it to a garage owner who machined two flats into it so I could get a 13mm spanner onto the back of it. It took him ten minutes to make it while I explained what I had been through with the car and then when I asked how much he wanted he said "Nothing mate, I can't kick a man when he's down." Faith in humanity restored somewhat!

Sadly the spanner jaws kept spreading and it didn't work, so I had to go back and ask for some advice. He was kind enough to lend me his Snap-On Swan-Neck spanner, however it just couldn't get around the protrusion that sat close to the bolt head - just like the flare nut spanner couldn't. I went back to him and came home to the car and then just removed the bearing carrier to give me enough space to get the ratchet behind there. After carefully cleaning and greasing it up it went back together without any major hassle.

And here we are for the rear right:



The lead time on the front calipers went up over the days and I got frustrated so I replaced the knackered exhaust system.

I had to cut the old one off with a junior hacksaw...




I also got a good look at my old exhaust bodge!



Some problems arose mostly due to hangers coming apart from rust:


At last the calipers arrived! They were meant to be £250 but after all the hassle I had and the loyalty to their department I had shown over the last two weeks they did them for £107 and gave me a trade card!

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They did a really nice job of them though - acid dipped, bead blasted, powder coated and then new slider pins, seals, piston and dust boots are all fitted after a rebore.

With all that out of the way I went out for a test drive. Finally it sounds great and stops really really well. The only thing letting the braking performance down is the weight transfer onto the front springs, so some stiffer springs may be in order.

I also had to sort the sunroof out so a good friend of mine helped sort the whole thing out:


We got it painted and cleaned up then but a large bead of tiger seal around it, placing it back down, clamping it in by assembling it completely and wiped the excess. The results are good!


We then used lens restorer on all plastic lenses which made a big difference - the left light is done and the right is the before condition:


Finally we cleaned her up and got a bit of trim polish on there!











A busy week the say the least...


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  • 3 weeks later...

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