Out! Out!

Engine Out

28 September 2008

Well, that was a bit of an epic...not unexpectedly, as these things always seem to end up that way. In short, we got the engine out and it is now sat on blocks next to the car. In long, it went like this...

On Saturday afternoon, I pushed the car back to make room for the crane, disconnected the last few bits, and loosened the engine mounts. Well, two of the three anyway. These were simple affairs, where the mount sits over a stud and is secured by a nut...with an extension bar and a bit of effort, they cracked nicely, no worries there.

The third one was at the back of the engine and quite innacesible. It consists of a bellshaped upturned metal cup which is attached to the chassis, with a giant rubber stuck in it from underneath, and another bell-shaped metal cup screwed up through it all and up through the engine mount. The top nut was completely unreachable - you couldn't get at it from the top, and from the side it was obscured by various pipes which themselves were attached in impossible-to-reach places. According to the manual, there should have been a bolt head underneath, inside the lowest of the metal cups. However, at some point this had obviously changed; this one had a stud welded to the cup, and there was no bolt head in site. You can see the offending item below:

Behold, my nemesis

So after a couple of hours of swearing, wondering, fiddling and faffing, I resorted to Mr. Angle Grinder. Follow another couple of hours of laying under the car grinding, swearing, getting hot sparks in the face/mouth/ear/down my overalls, and filling the garage with noxious rubber smoke. Then we (the missus agreed to help me with the crane, against her better judgement!) tried to lift the engine. But no, the reluctant mount would not let go and we just lifted the whole front of the car off the ground. So back under the car, grind, swear, sparks, etc. The problem was just the limited space...it was very hard to attack the mount because of this. Given either a set of hydraulic ramps or a plasma cutter, I daresay it would have only taken twenty minutes or so.

This went on for several hours. In fact, we gave up on saturday and came back to it sunday. After several more rounds of grinding, swearing and lifting, it finally came free at about lunchtime. So after a quick bite to eat, we returned to it with renewed energy.

Now I'd like to say that we just lifted it out, but it wasn't that easy. I take my hat off to anyone whos ever removed an engine from a 164 that they wanted to put it back into, because it was very awkward to manouver out of the engine bay - and I didn't have to worry about things like damaging brake lines. It took a few goes, readjustment of the lifting slings and a bit of shoving until we got it out...but, finally, success:


After that, I seemed to be on a bit of a roll. First off, I attacked the exhaust to get the lambda sensor out. Alas, due to a rather bonkers bit of design, the nut is hidden in a valley, and once again impossible to get the necessary purchase on. So I ended up cutting the boss out of the exhaust, until I could get the thing in a vice and remove it that way. I hope it's ok after that, but I guess since it lives in an exhaust it must be pretty tough.

  Awkward, again....but the angle grinder conquers all.

Then, after pushing the car back into the garage, packing the crane away and generally tidying up, I took out the engine loom. The cable to the ecu came out through the bulkhead with a bit of gentle tugging, and in the end I had to cut just one set of cables that was going into the passenger compartment. I'm pretty sure that these are nothing to do with the engine though. So I should have a complete set of sensors and connectors needed to make the engine run.


29 September 2008

Bought a gearbox today. I used one of those internet spares finder sites, and within minutes had people ringing up left, right and centre. As it turned out, the cheapest one was in a breakers which was only 35 miles away, so I drove down after work to pick it up. It's from a Honda s2000 with 17,000 miles on the clock, so should be fine. Everything seems to turn as it should, it can easilly be turned over by hand, even in gear. The gear selection is very positive, I've heard it likened to a rifle bolt action and that's pretty accurate. Nice! Not sure where reverse is though...

So, next job is to take the gearbox off of the alfa and start seeing how to mate japanese with italian!

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