Archive for March 2010

Spring Cleaning

March 26, 2010

I’ve been going through fuel filters very quickly ever since I did the engine swap.  I decided that it was time to clean the drum that I heat my oil in.

It took a couple of hours but long story short there was about 2 inches of muck in the bottom of the drum.  I still have to clean the spare tank in the back of the rabbit to complete all of my ‘spring cleaning’.  My goal is to finish cleaning and make a batch of grease tomorrow after work.

Hopefully this will fix my fuel filter problem :/

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Finally, a fuel up

March 22, 2010

I fueled up last week for the first time since I’ve been running on grease with the new engine.  I went over 1500 miles on just over 9.2 gallons of diesel.  This gives me an efficiency roughly equivalent to 163 MPG. 

I’m back in business.

Finally… What you’ve all been waiting for

March 9, 2010

So I’m finally getting around to posting some pictures from the engine swap.  I’ll embed the pictures I took, and give links to Facebook albums for the pictures that others took.

The swap in its entirety took the whole weekend.  I started around 4 PM on that Friday and the car didn’t pull out of the barn until 7PM that Sunday.  However, the car was running by 7PM on Saturday night… Sunday was more for buttoning everything up and fixing leaks.

The swap went about as well as it possibly could.  One of the major snafus was that the new water pump had the incorrect hub for the pulley from the engine.  We had to cut the hub off the new pump, beat the hub out of the old pump, heat up the hub and press fit it onto the new pump!  That kept Josh busy for several hours on Friday night and Saturday morning.  One other thing that kept Donnie busy for a few hours was switching out the motor mount on the transmission side.  It was press fitted into the mount… Donnie burned the rubber out of the old one and cut it out of the mount.  A trusty vice and a few hours was all it took to press the new motor mount into the bracket.  There might be a couple of pictures of that event 🙂

On Saturday morning, Bob spent a lot of his time taking apart the shift linkages so that we could clean everything up and replace the bushings.  Once he had all the linkages off the rabbit, we discovered that there were no bushings on the linkages!  We put the new bushings where they were supposed to be and I can’t believe the difference it’s made in the feel of the vehicle.  Shifting is so much tighter which really helps in taming those ponies!

If you told me 3 years ago that I would be performing an engine swap I wouldn’t have believed you.  It was definitely a stressful project but through the help of great friends, the support of a wonderful wife, and entirely because of a great God, it was a complete success.  The rabbit runs better than it ever has.  There is so much more acceleration through each gear, and top end of each gear is a lot higher.  I have been averaging 50 MPG (was only averaging 38 prior to the swap) and have put over 2000 miles on the new engine since the end of January.  I recently switched back to running on vegetable oil (technically, I’ve been running on fuel oil since I’m trying to get rid of it before it gets warm) and have put over 800 miles on less than 5 gallons of diesel.  I’m anxious to start eating through some of the reserve fuel I have in my garage (I don’t know where to store all of it!!) but it looks like I’ll be eating through it slower than I used to (aww shucks… :P).

Thanks again to Josh, Dad, Donnie, Bob, and all those that came out to help (or in Jonathan’s case, just eat our food).  A special thanks to Donnie for letting us dirty up his very clean barn.  Thanks to my wonderful wife Liz for her support and patience for this project and vehicle.

Jonathan’s Photo Album:
http://www.facebook.com/#!/album.php?aid=6192&id=100000599640058

Donnie’s Photo Album:
http://www.facebook.com/#!/album.php?aid=39381&id=1638841109