Polish Tickler – Valiant Engine

Finally – it’s engine time for the little Valiant. We’ve all been looking forward to this.

Cleaning parts with George.

Scott polishes the crank.

On the stand for assembly.

Cam specs. It should have quite an attitude in a 273!

Rods are re-sized, and the bottom end was balanced. Bushed rods and full floating wrist pins were factory.

The pistons USED to be down in the bore. Block was decked to bring up the compression.

Heads were milled for more compression, and the valve job was touched up.
Heads have new Perfect Circle valve seals and valve springs. The combination of decking the block and milling the heads puts compression at 9.1:1

The look is that of a ’65 273 Commando engine. No, they didn’t make a Commando in the ’64 Valiant. So what?


The engine is in. So is the trans.


Master cylinder is for a ’72 Valiant. It’s a dual master, but doesn’t look too out-of-place.

Fair warning to other early 273 (’64-’65) owners: There is a LOT of stuff that changed in ’66.

The heads and intake use different screws, drilled at a different angle. By hunting down a factory Commando intake, everything fit. Early heads do NOT match up with a late manifold.

The front cover is different. The late model front cover can be used, but there is one tapped hole in the block that has no corresponding hole in the late-model cover. We plugged the tapped hole in the block. The hole is drilled into the water jacket, so it needs sealer.

The original front cover had the timing marks on the passenger’s side. The later model cover is on the driver’s side. We scribed a new line on the balancer.

The water pump is also different.

The flywheel will not accept a 10-1/2″ clutch, but will bolt up to a 10″.

Modified trans crossmember. TTI has the dimensions to notch the crossmember for dual exhaust. Just a little LESS notching would have been better, but this will work…

P11 makes some calls. IT RUNS! It sounds really good too. The cam is pretty aggressive and has a pretty lopey idle. It idles around 900RPM.

Check out the custom “break in” exhaust. It worked out pretty well too.