Project Ruze The UK's first all-Japanese RX7 V8?

Mid-Sump stage 1 – Soarer V8 Engine

I bought an older 1UZ engine from Smiffie at the Soarer Sanctury, which I need for the sump. As per this post the VVTi engine has the sump in the wrong place for the RX7 engine’s bay and it can be moved by bolting the underside of the Soarer engine onto the rest of the LS400 engine. I don’t know the exact age of this engine but it looks from early investigations to have very thick rods, which would make it pre ’94 I think. This is great because it means I can just fit those rods if I move to forced induction!

So, I collected the engine in my mule:

It was a bit of a pig to get it out of the car once I got back, but here’s the 2 engines together:
 

A V16?

No time was wasted in getting the parts off that I need, and to see how it all fits together. A bonus was that Smiffie had left the oil level sensor in the engine as the one on the LS400 engine is snapped off. I decided the easiest way to tackle getting it apart was to tip the engine over so the belt end of the engine is in the air. Otherwise I’d have to have it on the stand which would mean taking the VVTi engine off, which is a lot of faffing about.

Here’s the engine tipped up for easy access:

Round the oil pan there are a bunch of 10mm bolts and 2 nuts that need to come off. After that a swift whack with a mallet frees it up (in theory).

Oil pan off, you can see how gunked up the oil is in this engine! I think it must’ve been left outside or water got in it when it was steam cleaned.
 

With the oil pan off the engine looks like this. Clearly visible are the (gunked up) oil pickup and the float for the oil level sensor.

 

The oil level float comes out next (4 x 10mm bolts on the outside of the upper sump), and then the black windage/baffle plate can come out. Again, this is a bunch of 10mm bolts and 2 10mm nuts, and looks like this when it’s out:

 

With all of this out of the way, the upper sump part can be removed from the engine. This is mostly 10mm bolts, mostly exterior, but the ones nearer to the flywheel are 12mm (including 2 12mm nuts inside the sump, and 2 10mm bolts inside the sump). You can see how it all bolts together with these photos:

 

With the upper sump removed access is granted to the oil pickup, which is what the pump uses to suck the oil up from the oil pan and pump it round the engine. If the oil pan is going to be in a different place then we need this too! It’s got some gause on the end to act as a last line of defense against any crap that makes it past the oil filter.

It comes off with 2 10mm bolts which bolt into the block (more on this in a minute) and 2 nuts that attach it to the base of the oil pump.

 

Now, the 2 support arms that brace the oil strainer to the block could be a problem. On the Soarer block, there are 2 different places this can go, as when this engine was made it was installed in both front and mid sump configurations. You can see them in this photo:

The problem may be that when the VVTi block received some modifications for oil channels and the like, that they did away with the mounts marked in red, as they would never be used. What’s more likely is that the holes aren’t drilled or tapped, though, as removing the area altogether would be a big retooling, where simply not drilling them is much easier. We shall see.

One more thing to note is dipsticks. With the oil pan relocated further back, the LS400 dipstick won’t reach and the tube is the wrong shape. I’ve got the Soarer dipstick, so I will only have to relocate the mounting tab to fit it. Soarer one on the left:

And finally, here’s the Soarer bottom end (including those thick rods).

 


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