Saturday, January 22, 2011

Up and Out

Well Folks, here's the big entry. The engine has come out of the car! It seems like I did this forever ago, but it's been less than a month. It wasn't really as hard as I thought it was going to be. Thankfully I've become a little more mature than the 24-year old I sometimes still think I am, and took my time. After thinking everything was disconnected, I spent most of time trying to figure out how to actually hoist the engine out. Should I disconnect the transmission and only pull the engine? Or should I keep them attached and pull them out as one piece? Luckily I got some help. When I first thought about buying this car, I scoured the web for any and all info I could gather. Were parts still available? Were there shop manuals? Did anyone know about them? The web was full information. My decision on buying came from the fact that I was pretty confident that there were enough clubs, forums, and "old" guys out there who would be able to help or steer me in the right direction with the car. I utilized these forums for the first part of my classic car journey. I fired off questions to 2 different forums, and sent emails to the Presidentsof the 2 Rambler clubs I had officially joined. That's right, I'm a member of 2! Car clubs! So my questions were the same as I had asked above: Pull them out separate, or together? I got about 7 responses and all of them were helpful. I've found that with the internet and my friends, it's hard to read people's intentions or voice, but I think I've been a pretty good judge of character, even if just from some typed words. It was nice to be able to notice when someone was just being sarcastic or running off on technical facts than actual good advice. The winning advice was to pull the engine and tranny together (I will refer to the transmission as the "tranny" from now on. No wise jokes out of you Cruiser.) With that question out of the way, my next dilemma was where to put the lifting points on the engine. I actually lost some sleep over this. I was afraid I'd choose the wrong positions, or bolts to hold the chain attached to the engine hoist. Nightmares of the engine crashing down on the ground, or worse, part of the car, were a constant fear the week leading up to pulling it out. Back to the forums I would go. I posted pics of my position points and got a couple of responses. One of my spots was good, but the 2nd one at the rear of the engine was in question, one of my questions to begin with. So I noticed I had bolt holes on the side of my engine that could be used as position points and decided I should use those. The only problem was that these empty bolts holes had no bolts. So I read around a little more, with no luck on if people had used these before. Most of the pics and videos I saw were of guys wrapping a chain around the bottom the engine to do it, and that was just the engine alone. I did find info on what strength of bolts I should be using, so I made the choice of finding 6-grade steel bolts that would fit in these portholes on the side of the engine. I found bolts that were about ½ an inch too big. Whether this is right or not, my redneck logic told me to put some nuts on the bolt, to make it “seem” like there wasn’t half an inch of the bolt exposed that might make it bend.

Wrong or not, it worked. The bolt held. I say bolt but it was actually 2 bolts. In the midst of my delirious fear about lifting the engine, I decided on buying an engine leveler. This device is amazing. I don’t think it’s possible to lift an engine and a tranny out together if you didn’t have a leveler. The leveler has 4 chains with L-brackets attached to the bottom of the chains. These chains hang from a support beam that hooks to the engine hoist. On top of this beam is a turning rod that allows you move the center of the leveler allowing the load to raise, drop or level out. There are two chains at each end so that one chain can attach to one side of each the back or front of the engine. I attached both chains at the back-end of the engine to the two backside engine holes.

So, here I am, with the hoist attached to the engine, the correct (or doable) bolts holding the engine up, and it’s time to go. I had detached the engine mount brackets from the engine as the last measure of holding the engine to the car, and started hoisting away. The bolts held and did not bend or break or slip off. Finding the correct level with lifting and the leveler was a bit of a task, but I eventually got the engine to where it was ready to lift out. As I pumped away at the hoist, the engine didn’t seem to be going anywhere. I looked around and found one cable that before hadn’t looked like it was connected to anything. Well, apparentlyI forgot to detach the speed-odometer cable that was attached from the firewall to the left-middle side of the transmission. So another 8-minute delay, and the speedometer cable was detached. I went back to raising the engine and got it as far as I could before it needed to switch the hanging position. The front part of the engine was above the front wall/grill of the car, but the rest of the engine and tranny were sloped in a downward angle that was preventing it from moving forward and out of the car. Luckily my girlfriend and the owner of the shop, Leslie and Ziggy, were there to help. So I moved the engine and tranny to a diagonal position as Ziggy and I lifted the back of the tranny up and over the front of the car as Leslie pushed the car back so the engine and tranny would clear.


After we got the engine and tranny out, we lowered it so I could remove the tranny from the back of the engine.

That was enough for one day, so I cleaned up as much as I could (leftover spilled radiator fluid and leaking tranny fluid-red stuff) and took off.

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