Author: Bob Steinbrunn
Teching V8 kit is packaged cleverly in this metal cookie-type full-color tin, the lid of which is shown at the top. Below that there are two white vacuumed-formed trays containing the various parts, each part residing in its own receptacle shaped to fit and clearly numbered to correspond to the instruction booklet.
Photo 002 - The third tray holds the heavier parts, hardware, with the instruction booklet.
Photo 003 - Getting organized: three clear plastic trays with dividers are labeled with part numbers and the various hardware items are removed from their plastic bags and placed in the trays for easier access during the build. The two trays on the right contain springs, belts, screws, washers, O-rings, and three little bottles of lubricant. Yes, you need to lube many of the parts as in a real engine and the instructions show you where. The bottom tray holds the kit-provided tools: four Allen wrenches and a tiny Phillips screwdriver.
Photo 004 -Step 1 has you assembling eight connecting rods to the pistons using the steel wrist pins and steel circlips. The eye in the upper end of the connecting rods requires lube, and a small pair of pliers is very useful for squeezing home the circlips on the slots in the wrist pins.
Photo 005 -Step 2 is lubing the journals on the crankshaft, laying it in the crankcase from below, then securing it with the semi-circular main bearing caps and Allen screws.
Photo 006 -A view of the underside of the assembled crankcase with the crankshaft and connecting rods with their pistons in place shows the complexity of this engine. It’s imperative that all parts subject to friction be well lubed.
Photo 007 - The eight silver spark plugs had the porcelain portion masked off and airbrushed white. When this was dry the green rings were brush-painted with Testors Green and each has “AC” & “45” brush-painted by hand.
Photo 008 - The parts count increases with these 130 pieces for the operating intake and exhaust valves, springs, and the two cylinder heads.
Photo 009 - The valves are assembled onto the cylinder heads, and the top right item is an underside view of one while the lower right item is the upper view. The two items on the left are the camshaft mounts which will assemble on top of the cylinder heads.
Photo 010 - The camshaft mounts have now been screwed onto the cylinder heads, and next will be adding the four camshafts, the bearing caps, and the hardware. Everything here needs to be lubed as per the instructions.
Photo 011 - The completed camshafts and their drive gears are now mounted. It’s important to check rotational freedom. If the camshafts are too tight, loosen the bearing cap screws slightly and add lube.
Photo 012 - This step involves screwing the oil pan to the bottom of the engine block and adding the black mounting feet. Since there are a gazillion Allen screws to deal with it speeds the build up a bit if you use a miniature cordless screwdriver. There are many types available online and this one from Japanor came with 60 different bits for every imaginable type of screw.
Photo 013 - The 16 silver exhaust stacks were airbrushed a burnt color mixed up from Alclad II Burnt Iron, Copper, and Aluminum. After fitting O-rings on their inboard end they’re inserted into the red clamping brackets which are then screwed onto the sides of the cylinder heads. The instructions illustrate the stacks rising vertically but you can swivel them any way you wish. The kit provides three little bottles of a thick lubricant, but I found it helpful to fill a syringe (with the sharp point cut off with a separating disk) with Mobil 1 synthetic oil which allows further lubing into tight places after assembly.
Photo 014 - The cylinder heads with the camshaft assemblies are now screwed onto the engine block. This is a front view of the model thus far.
Photo 015 - The rear of the engine shows the cutouts which allow viewing the pistons moving up and down and the crankshaft rotating with the connecting rods visible.
Photo 016 - The starter motor has been assembled and attached to the right rear side of the engine. This component has a large electric can motor inside and will drive the engine into motion.
Photo 017 - On the left front side of the engine sits the alternator. This unit has a smaller electric can motor to support the pulley situated here. Surprisingly the can motor is not electrically connected to anything and serves only to fill the alternator and support the pulley.
Photo 018 - These parts comprise the water pump. From left to right are the pump box, the impeller, the main shaft, the front plate, attaching hardware, and the drive pulley. The impeller and other internal details will be hidden once the pump is assembled, but it gives a clear idea of the depth of detail in this model.
Photo 019 - The assembled water pump is now bolted up to the right front side of the engine just forward of the starter motor. The starter motor wires will later be tucked out of sight.
Photo 020 - The flywheel is now on the rear of the engine, along with the starter motor gear and housing cover.
Photo 021 - The front of the engine shows the installation of the timing chains, their guides, and five other guide pulleys. Two silver crown-shaped guides are also bolted on just below the two camshaft gears on each side.
Photo 022 - The left side of the engine shows the alternator on the left and the black oil filter to its right. The slots in the crankcase and cylinders allow viewing of the rotating crankshaft, connecting rods, and pistons.
Photo 023 - This ¾ left front view shows the two blue tension pulleys at the bottom either side of the gold main drive pulley that would have the fan bolted to it. These pulleys have Allen screws which tighten and tension the drive belts.
Photo 024 - This front view illustrates the complexity of the timing chains and their guides. The drive belts are elastic and are doubled, two on the left, two on the right for redundancy.
Photo 025 - This view shows the black water pump with its blue pulley.
Photo 026 - In this right side view we see the silver starter motor on the left which contains the main drive electric can motor. To the right is the black battery case.
Photo 027 - This ¾ right rear view shows the starter motor with its red drive gear engaging the blue flywheel. Above the flywheel is the case containing the printed circuit board, wiring with connectors, the off-on switch, and the circular charging port. The depleted battery charges in about two hours using the included USB charging cable.
Photo 028 - This rear view brings the spark plugs into view, along with the intake and exhaust valves.
Photo 029 - In this ¾ left rear view we can just make out a small hole in the switch housing at the top. A red LED within indicates the battery is charging, and when it turns blue the battery is at 100%.
Photo 030 - This top view shows the camshafts with their lobes that push down on the valve caps against the valve springs. The black item in the center between the cylinder banks is the intake manifold. There is no air cleaner or valve covers in the kit in order to allow maximum visibility of the exposed camshafts.
“Like the excellent Stirlingkit engines, both of Bob’s daughters were made in China.”
Bob Steinbrunn 2022/05/07