Sparky's winter/spring/summer/autumn work

That guide I can see in the last pic looks like it is tapered where it comes through into the inlet port, so the guides are not stock. Think I can also see a black stem seal on one guide.
I wish I had fitted the modern lip seals on my guides, but as the guides were already in the heads it was a step too far, now sometimes on start up there is a puff of smoke, but not on my Cobra, which has seals on all the guides. Those inlet ports do not look to be overly opened up.
The piston crowns look fine, if you get anal in cleaning do not remove the carbon around the edge.


Well-Known Member
Oooh looky at those boys !
Don't forget to check the clearance over the top of your guide seals to the spring retainer at full lift on your new cam, oh and that the spring does not coil bind, Oh and if you have to change the springs the new spring installed height......... did someone mention slippery sl ope :)


Staff member
It'll be fun they said, you can do it they said :oops:

I am prepared however, I have even bought one of these engine stand thingies with the money I was left: -


There are a few reasons I am doing this to an engine that actually works, and fairly well at that.

1/. Although Sparky does go well, the engine never actually came up to my expectations, it always lacked a certain something. Also, he has developed a small knock in the top end, probably just a follower, but needs looking at.

2/. Lockdown boredom.

3/. I have been left this money and asked to spend it on something important for me.

4/. This is the only bit I haven't build myself.

5/. I have rebuilt standard engines, my first was a 2000TC unit back in the late 70's but have never built an engine to my own spec.

6/. I am getting to an age where I won't be able to do this sort of thing, so now or never.

7/. I want to.

Few other things too, but those are the main ones :)


Well-Known Member
Only pulling your leg a little. It is the fun bit, doing the research, cleaning, measuring, assembling in a nice environment with the engine at a nice height, luvly jubly.
See if you can figure out how to properly measure your compression ratio when you get your pistons back. The pockets will make a wee difference, you must have an old head gasket. Speak with V8 D to see what they recommend for the cam, you may still be quite low if it is 4.0 Rangie lump.
The right CR, deck height checked, good cam, nice 3 angle job to seats and valves, shortened bulleted guides ( you have) EFI ( you have ) headers ( you have ) free flowing exhaust. Sparky should go like stink !
I skimmed heads 0.40" and used tin gaskets to get what I had to work, but there are many ways to do it, I was trying to keep to a budget - ha !


Staff member
V8D recommend building it with a 9.75 CR, all I have to do is measure the volume in the top of the pistons when they have been pocketed and they will ensure the heads are at the correct volume.

I was thinking of putting them back into the engine, at top dead centre then clamping a small sheet of perspex over them using the head bolts and some tubes. Bit of grease around the piston, then pipetting liquid into a hole in the perspex until full. V8D can tell me what the heads hold and then the gasket thickness. Add this volume to the swept piston volume and divide by something or other, and hey presto :)

Looking forward to getting the pistons back now :cool:


Well-Known Member
IIRC Paraffin was the liquid of choice, I used WD 40, seemed to work well. I went for 10 :1, and really should have gone more, next time ................
When I go to the quacks I am always on the scrounge for used large syringes ;)