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Wed Mar 26, 2008
So, a little more than a week and a half ago, I started the high compression ABA engine for the first time. Since I half expected the engine to explode, I consider this a minor success. Ignition timing issues, alternator issues, and a clearance problem with the adjustable cam pulley kept me from running the engine for more than a couple of minutes.

Here are a couple of shots of the new engine, installed, and in a ready-to-run state:
High compression ABA engine, ready to run

High compression ABA engine, ready to run

And here is a close up view of the clearance problem with the Autotech adjustable cam gear - note the back surface of the gear, where it has "machined" itself against the edge of the valve cover.
High compression ABA engine, ready to run

I e-mailed Autotech to see if they had any advice as to whether I should shim the gear, or clearance the valve cover. I was leaning toward shimming the gear, since the timing belt was running just a hair over the outside edge of the gear. I never heard back from Autotech, but in the meantime I ordered a Techtonics 268 camshaft to install at the same time I addressed the cam gear issue. What I ended up finding was that the Techtonics camshaft was just a tiny bit longer than the stock camshaft I had been using, and so the cam gear sat that much further away from the valve cover, which eliminated the clearance problem. The new cam is now completely installed, and at the same time I addressed the ignition issue I was having. One of the pins on the ABA distributor body wasn't completely removed (it was sheared off) and that was limiting the amount of adjustment I could make to the ignition timing ... I couldn't get it advanced enough to run right before that pin got in the way.

So, I'm looking forward to starting it up with better ignition timing, and with the more aggressive camshaft in place.

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