I guess this is as good a place as any to document my car's engine swap. I put it under the "Carb" subcategory because it will be carbureted.
To make a long story short:
I bought #2613 in 2007. At the time, it was stock, except for the exhaust. I started having problems with mysterious engine death, and after trying to troubleshoot and swap out K-Jet parts to no avail, I decided to swap K-Jet for carburetion. This was achieved in 2008, just before DCS Gettysburg: I limped #2613 up to Bill's house in NC and we performed surgery in his driveway.
Thereafter I had no fuel problems, but #2613 started having other problems: on my way home, the distributor cap caught fire, resulting in the car being off the road for several months. After resuscitation in early 2009, block rot reared its head. I patched a hole with Moroso A/B Engine Epoxy, and it wasn't long before oil reappeared in the engine valley. I patched it, too, and within weeks engine oil showed up in the valley again.
Circumstances conspired to keep #2613 off the road for a while: a/c failure combined with an increased work schedule meant that it took a while for me to swap out the original high-pressure hose that blew. Over a period of several months, I replaced all hoses and the compressor, taking the opportunity to convert from R-12 to R-134a. In the process of swapping out hoses, I caused a breach in the evaporator, so the evaporator was replaced, and a new VOV was installed, several more months later. All the while, the engine was more or less OK, except for leaking oil into the engine valley. I drove the car in this condition for some time, until the air conditioning failed again.
In 2013, while diagnosing and repairing the a/c leak, #2613 developed a new symptom: the engine would start and run for 30 minutes or so, and then slow down until it died and would not re-start for at least a couple of hours. I would go for a test drive and get towed home. I would check fuel, air, and spark, and all seemed OK. I was told that my car was exhibiting the "classic" symptom of pickup coil failure in the ignition distributor. Despite essentially equal resistance readings across the original and replacement coils, the pickup coil was replaced with a new one - in a Volvo distributor kindly provided by Bill Robertson.
In 2014, I replaced the ballast resistor with one matched for my (MSD) ignition coil. I was getting flaky readings from the 1981 resistor, so I thought a new one might help with the no-start problem. It didn't.
Despite everything I'd done, taking photographs etc., to make sure that I could get the distributor close enough to start the engine upon reinstallation, the engine still didn't start. I was told the only way to make certain that it was in the right place was to turn the engine by hand to line up the timing marks on the pulley and the distributor. To do this, I had to remove part of the car's 2004-installed "Performance Exhaust," which by now was very rusty. The earliest incarnation of "Performance Exhaust" had a very thick muffler, which prevented me from getting a wrench on the crankshaft nut. I removed the exhaust except for the headers, because the connections at the muffler were rusted solid. At this time, I decided to replace the rusty exhaust with stainless steel. I removed the headers and started planning my new "homebrew" exhaust.
In 2014-2015, I was working full-time, attending college two classes at a time three semesters a year, and getting ready for my wedding. It took over a year to save up the money for new exhaust parts and find time to install them. After installation, I made sure everything was lined up for proper initial timing, and decided to change the oil before starting the engine. The oil was full of coolant. When I checked, the coolant overflow bottle was bone dry.
Knowing now that the engine had either a failed cylinder liner or a bad head gasket, I decided nonetheless to see if I could get the engine running. The engine still would not start. All electrical connections were checked. The battery was charged. The engine did not start. I decided to check the spark plugs. There was nothing unusual there, except for one that broke off in the engine. I noticed that when I filled the coolant, it poured out the back of the engine: the rear main seal had failed.
In early 2015, I gave up entirely on #2613's original engine. The community's advice was to replace, rather than repair, considering that the engine had at one point been overheated (something the previous owner never told me, but was evident from the missing plastic screen at the bottom of the oil filler), and the recurring/worsening block rot. Rebuilding an engine with block rot simply made no sense.
May 2016: the wedding is over with, I've graduated college, my workload has decreased, and now it's time to get #2613 back on the road.
The car and the replacement 3.0L engine are both in NC at Bill's house, waiting for the two of us to get the time and parts together to install the engine. I imagine Bill will eventually chime in here on this thread, but for now I can tell you that he has figured out a way to use the car's current fuel system by way of adapter plates, and he has figured out a way to use an ignition distributor that is not computer controlled. For now, I am using the Premier/Monaco service manual to try to figure out what parts I will need to buy and bring with me to Bill's garage. So far, I have figured out that I will need:
- serpentine belt
- a/c compressor
- alternator (or 6-groove pulley)
- replacement parts for whatever else on the car has failed while sitting
The car sat for over a year with a quarter tank of (ethanol-free) fuel in it. The fuel went bad. I added five gallons of fresh fuel in a plan to let it mix with the old fuel and then pump it out, removing varnish bit by bit as I repeated this process until the fuel looked good and the varnish was no longer present, but I was only able to do that once before the car was hauled to NC in March 2016.
To make a short story even shorter:
#2613's revival is tentatively scheduled for next month. I will document progress here on this thread for anyone who's interested in following the process, and also as a reference for myself in the future. Stay tuned.