A momentous occasion


I finally finished off the engine mounts today. I decided to bolt them in rather than weld them in, mostly as I feel that it will be a lot stronger. To do this I fabricated a plate to fit on the inside of the engine bay tin. This helps spread the load out and reinforce the panel. It will also prevent the bolts from pulling through the metal.

The plate needed to be bent to miss the recess pressed in the panel where the bracket sits, which was easy enough to do on the bender. I then spotted through some holes to allow them to be bolted together.

With the backing plates fabbed up it was time for a trial fit. I removed the engine bar and cleaned up the gunk and gunge from it (the donor engine had leaky oil cooler seals) I then bent the bar slightly rearwards on each side to allow the engine mounts to be fitted to a flat surface. Any further forwards and the engine bay metalwork starts to bend inwards due to the rear wheel well. I trial fitted everything to see how much clearance I had between the carbs and the engine lid, and also between the alternator and the engine lid.

To get the clearance I wanted between the carbs and the engine lid I've dropped the rear of the engine  a little, so to make sure everything fitted, I also trial fitted the bellows to make sure that I could get it in position. It was a little tight but eventually I got the bellows in place.

With everything in position, I could finalise the engine mount locations. I spotted through the holes on the brackets and then drilled holes in the engine bay.

With the holes in the engine bay drilled I bolted everything up and fixed the engine bar to the engine mounts.  I then let the weight down off of the engine stands - the engine is finally in!!! This is the first time in probably 20 years that the car has had an engine fitted in it, and a milestone in the build.

After double checking everything, the mounts were taken out again and given a couple of coats of enamel black ready for permanent fitting next week. There's a couple of welds to do to refix the inner engine bay tin work into position. I had to crack the welds to allow the tin to bend out slightly to fit the mounts into position, I decided that this was easier than re-forming the engine bay tin, which was my original plan. The change in direction was partly as a result of remaking the brackets to be smaller and therefore require less modification to the engine bay tin to fit and partly as I decided to bend the engine bar backwards to allow the mounts to be fitted further back. In total the engine bay tin has only needed to be bent out by about 5-1omm and the overall result is that the mounts do not look too out of place. I'm really happy with the results, and can't wait to get cracking on the engine build.

All in all a momentous occasion, and one that I'm now celebrating with a glass of red :D

back in the day
What got you into VW's?

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