|Before the disassembly.|
Once I removed the battery, air filter assembly, all the coolant, various fuel lines, hoses and the distributor cap, I was able to pull off the manifold (cables and carbs still attached) and place it on the side of the engine on top of a big pad. At that point, I could easily pull out the link pipe, which was corroded quite a bit. See pics - with the new one on the left and the old one on the right:
I put the new o-rings on the new link pipe, a new intake manifold gasket, cleaned things up and proceeded to put everything back together. I was pretty pleased with the way things were going, but little did I know that Murphy was right around the corner ready to strike. With the manifold on the head, I put on the new screws. When I went to torque them down, all went well until I torqued the final screw - as I turned the ratchet, it would get tighter, tighter, then loose. Tried it again - same thing. I even pulled out the new screw and tried an old original screw - same thing. I had to face the fact that the hole in the head was stripped. Darn you Murphy.
|Intake manifold with carbs and cables still attached sitting on|
the valve cover.
Concerned, I went inside to figure out my options. One was to use a larger screw. That sounds easy, but having one odd size screw in a set of six didn't sit well with me. Surely there has to be a better option. There is: HeliCoil - a thread repair kit. I went that night to local auto parts store, talked with them, and decided to go that route.
The next morning I was pulling off the intake again. I then found myself doing something that I never thought I would be doing: drilling into the head of the TR7s engine. But sure enough, the HelioCoil was very easy to install. And when all was done, you can hardly tell by looking at the head that anything was done - and best of all, the same size screw was used.
Now with a newly threaded hole, I reinstalled the intake and this time all screws torqued down fine. I then hooked up all the coolant hoses (installed a new thermostat and gasket) and double and triple checked all the connections. I then slowly added water to the system to see if it would leak. At that point no leaks!
Finally I reattached the fuel and vacuum lines, hoses, distributor cap, battery and air intake and started the car - or at least tried to. The car still doesn't want to cold start. But that's a different issue. A single shot of starter fluid in each carb, and the 7 comes alive. I let it idle for awhile and check for leaks. All dry. Chalk one up for success. The following day, I drained the water, added the proper mix of antifreeze/distilled water, and burped the system.