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Carpe Diem: Making the most of his senior year, Kin Staton rebuilds an engine.

Working+in+the+autos+shop%2C+Kin+Staton+%2812%29+lowers+the+rebuilt+engine+into+his+truck+on+Sep.+29.+
Working in the autos shop, Kin Staton (12) lowers the rebuilt engine into his truck on Sep. 29.

Working in the autos shop, Kin Staton (12) lowers the rebuilt engine into his truck on Sep. 29.

Working in the autos shop, Kin Staton (12) lowers the rebuilt engine into his truck on Sep. 29.

Calasandra Spray

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Completing his four-month project of rebuilding an engine and putting it in an 81 Chevy K10 pickup truck, senior Kin Staton drove out of the West Delaware High School’s autos shop on October 28.

Staton began the project in August working in the driveway of Garrett Bickell, a family friend. He rebuilt and repaired the Frankenstein engine with little outside help. Testing his skills as a mechanic, Bickell asked Staton what step he thought went next instead of telling him.

“It helped me understand (the process) a lot better, and it helped me to decide that I want to rebuild motors instead of fixing cars,” Staton said.   

Rebuilding the engine took around six hours, but that was only the beginning. Moving the project to the high school’s autos shop, Staton then took apart the engine bay of the truck in order to install the newly refurbished engine.

Utilizing parts from other vehicles to replace the broken ones in the truck, Staton dismantled parts from under the hood and reassembled them adding the engine and the new/used parts.

“Mixing and matching parts from different vehicles was difficult because getting everything to fit properly and bolt correctly was a challenge,” Staton said.  

Additionally, he rebuilt the clutch and the exhaust system.

“Getting everything to fit onto the motor was hard. I had to get creative with all the accessories (clutch, brake etc..) because they were from different vehicles. I had to tweak it, modify it, or spit on it occasionally (so it would fit),” Staton said.

According to teacher Jason Guyer, he has about one student do an engine swap each year. Doing the engine swap took skill and time because it is an advanced project.

“He is an advanced mechanic for his age group. He’s not afraid to tear into things, which is good when you’re learning,” Guyer said.  

Finishing his project on Oct. 28, Staton was glad to move his truck out of the autos shop. His favorite part was hearing it start for the first time.  

“When you turn the key (in the ignition) and you hear it run right, it´s a magical feeling, knowing that all your hard work has paid off,” Staton said.  

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Carpe Diem: Making the most of his senior year, Kin Staton rebuilds an engine.