Yikes, almost a year. I received the cylinder head back from MIA and had a chance to swap it onto the car over the christmas holidays. James and Brett were hesitant when I said I would be doing the work myself, particularly as I'd never dialled in a camshaft before. But this is what I love most about the project - challenging yourself and learning new skills along the way. Collecting new tools is also very satisfying, as I had to buy a degree wheel, dial gauge and a few other goodies.
First up was to remove the old head. As you can see she was very sooty inside and slightly oil in a few chambers. Guessing the valve seals must have been worn? I didn't touch the bottom end however there has never been any smoke blowing from the exhaust at all. My previous stock camshaft had extreme wear on some of the lobes when I bought the car, i suspect due to over tightening of the valves, poor oiling, or both. Didn't snap a photo however there was a visible 0.5-1mm groove on some lobes. Inspected the bores and there were no signs of damage, Bores measured right on 83mm too.
The new head from MIA came up a treat. I had a basic recondition done with parts replaced as required. Head was already in great condition with almost no corrosion. Had a regrind Clive/Wade camshaft fitted with specs as per the cam card. MIA also fitted thicker lash pads to suit. Kicking myself now however I forgot to ask them to cc the chambers. From what I have read these have ~39cc chambers, can anyone confirm? Its an E88 efi head from the MR30 L24e. That would put me at around ~10:1 compression approx.
The part I enjoyed most was dialling in the cam. MIA was very helpful over the phone to explain how to do this, and there are many great sources online too. I purchased a Kameari adjustable cam sprocket, along with a new timing chain/tensioner kit. Carefully cleaned the carbon build up from the top of the pistons and scraped the deck surface cleaning before fitting the new gasket and head.
Lastly, decided to replace the sump gasket while I had the timing cover off. Managed to do this without lifting the motor at all! Lots of patience and small tools required, but its doable. I also snapped a bolt in the front of the timing cover from over tightening and this added a few more days to the whole project... thankfully Dad always knows how to fix any problem and was able to drill it out of for me
All in all, extremely happy with the upgrade. Car is sooo much more responsive now and you get a lot more out of the motor without having to use as much throttle.