Current progress so far
Links to parts and information websites
Where I will be building my diablo
Where most of the important bits come from
The stuff it all bolts to
What makes it go
What makes it pretty
The cars nervous system
Where you sit
The gubberment bit
Who really cares?
Stuff that will not fit anywhere else
Other diablo replica websites


Due to the size of these pages, I have split them over a number pages for quicker loading. You can click on some of the images to link to a larger version:

» Index Page Introduction, About the BMW M70 V12
» Page 1 Engine removal
» Page 2 Fault finding, condition checking
» This Page Stripping and cleaning
» Page 4 Re-assmebly, Timing chain & heads
» Page 5 Ancillaries

Stripping and cleaning

Here you can see the various timing chain covers soaking in a diesel/petrol mix. After a few days it becomes really easy to remove the hard black gunk, so its worthwhile taking your time to save on elbow grease.

You can see clearly that the diesel has discolored to the point of being completely opaque. This is without agitating the mixture for several days.

Here is a nice picture of the engine part way through cleaning. Most of the grime is first removed with a power washer, an airline used to blast off most of the water. Do not use wire wool to scrub the block, as small fragments of the wool get stuck on the aluminium and cause it go 'rusty'. After all the crud is removed, you should be left with a clean but corroded block. The next stage is to use alloy wheel cleaner to remove the corrosion. This stuff smells awful, the closest smell I can think of is concentrated cats piss, but it really does the job. It washes off with water and leaves the block looking brand spanking new.

You can see from this picture the good condition of the bores. The dark ring at the top is where the combustion actually takes place. Any scoring on the bores of the block would mean this engine being scrapped, and another one needing to be sourced.

It should be noted that if you need to clean the surface of the block for a new head gasket, do not use a scraper. The light alloy of the block is soft and easily damaged, the tool of choice to use here is a drill with a nobly nylon pad attached. Go slowly and polish the surface clean. The same rule applies to the timing covers.

This is the gentleman who is allowing me use of his tools and workshop space to undergo yet another of my hare-brained schemes. I have known Danny for a good number of years and can say he is the only honest car mechanic I have ever met.

Here is Danny gazing upon my engine in a pose you are likely to find him in, i.e. holding a cup of coffee and laughing.

Here is why you should wait until your significant other is out of the house for a while before completing some jobs. Dishwashers are great tools for removing crud from hard to reach places. Just remember to run a cycle on the machine empty to get rid of the smell. These timing covers came out looking brand new.

As I am not painting the engine, I will be looking to get each component looking as good as possible before putting it all back together again. Time taken now getting everything to look clean will pay dividends when it comes to finding elusive oil leaks in the future.

Keeping everything as clean as possible also serves the very practical reason of making sure that grit or dirt does not find its way into the engine during the rebuild. You don't want anything getting into the oil which could damage bearings or block oil passageways.

This is the steam cleaned sump cover. Most of the dirt and grime have been removed but its still pretty shabby looking. The valve covers are not much better either, with lots of surface rust from leaking coolant.

First job is to remove the oil level sender unit from the sump cover. I wont be using it, I have a dipstick for telling me the oil level anyhow. The oil level sender only has two readings. Oil ok, and not enough oil. I will machine a cover from aluminium to replace the hole left by the sender at work.

The paint off the valve covers had mostly fell off anyway, removing it did not take too long.

Here the sump cover has been repainted and is ready to reinstall. The paint I used was high temp aluminium colour paint (Three for two at halfords). It is supposed to be baked on but my significant other came back home early so I didn't get a chance to pop them in the oven.

The dents and scratches are still present in the sump, but the fresh paint makes it look a hundred percent better. All of the old paint needs to be removed first with a wire brush or coarse sandpaper. You must take all the paint back off, right back to bare metal. No primer is needed, just a good key to the metal. So I made sure it was nice and scratched all over before applying paint.

Here are my nice clean and repainted engine covers. Much better looking than before. The colour is pretty different to what it was before, but seeing as my other choices were black or red, its close enough. I have removed the valve cover breathers as well, the rubbers were shot and will require replacing anyway.

The old paint came away from the rear of the engine easily. In fact most of it here had peeled off. The paint closest the timing chain was much tougher to remove. Again these covers need to go back to metal before repainting. The rust was very deep and I thought about sandblasting these but decided against it as I did not want sand anywhere near something covering sensitive parts like the camshaft and valves.

Here is one of the inlet manifolds before cleaning and machining. The manifolds are of the log long header type. It provides better torque at low to medium range rpm's. The manifolds are quite a clever design in that they are both identical and are designed to interlock. The temperature senders and the throttle bodies can bolt to either end which is useful as they will need to in my application.

The BMW logo and the long stripes will be machined off and I will make plates bearing the lamborghini logo to dress these manifolds. I wanted to do it this way so that I can screw up making the plates any number of times. If I machined directly into the manifolds and make a hash of it, I would need to get new ones.

You can also see that these manifolds are once again pretty dirty. There's a lot of this yellowed lacquer which will need to be removed. I plan on painting these black, and use yellow paint to pick out the highlights on the new logo.