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Day 144: Engine and transmission Out!

Funny how all frustration about a project can go away when some big milestone happens.  That was Saturday when I pulled the engine and transmission.  Many people told me that I should do this and that it would not be terribly difficult, especially considering what I had already done to remove most of the auxillary pieces on the engine. Compared to some things I've done to later cars, this was pretty easy!  Unfortunately, I do not have many images of the actual event because I was working by myself and did not want to get my camera all greasy.  There was grease everywhere. (I went through no less than 15 pairs of shop gloves....all of my tools are now coated witha thin layer of grease...)  I'm actually a little embarrased that I don't have more images but I will share what I have.  You can tell where the grease thing got to be too much and the pictures stop.   

 

After reading dozens of threads and notes from folks who recommended pulling the engine, I finally got over the mental block and realized that it was the only way I was going to get the result I want with this car.  Pretty much everything was already disconnected except for the guibo and the tranny/engine mounts, so it wasn't much effort.  

 

I bought a 2-ton engine hoist, the smaller engine leveler, an engine stand and a couple of furniture dollys from Harbor freight and spent about an hour assembling the hoist and stand.  If you buy one of these hoists, be sure to buy some hydraulic oil as the thing comes with only a little oil in it. Mine took about a quart and a half.  Also be sure to put a little axle grease on the inner-rotating portion of the engine stand so it is easier to turn once the motor is on it.   The small HF furniture dolly is the perfect size for placing under the transmission so you can roll it around.   

 

While you are out shopping, stop at Home Depot and buy some foam pipe insulation tubes.  These things come in incredibly handy whenever you have to place your removed hood, trunk or doors on their edges. 

Also buy some M8 and M10 bolts, nuts and washers to attach the engine to the engine stand.  I used the starter bolts (M10) and a couple of 80mm M8 bolts.  Use however many washers are needed to tighten the bolts without bottoming out if you use threaded holes on the engine.   

 

Because I was working by myself and I do not have much room, I decided to break everything down as much as possible.  That meant removing the transmission and then taking the engine out of the top of the engine compartment rather than dropping everything down in one piece.  I get that the one piece approach is fewer steps and I might try that when putting everything back, but this was the way I felt I needed to do it to stay safe and comfortable.  I still plan on dropping the front subframe but can do it a little more easily now. 

 

First, I decided to remove the hood.  I am working on the car in a pretty tight space, could not  raise the car as high as I wanted to because of an overhed obstruction and was really getting tired of having to manuever around it to reach anything in the engine compartment.   

 

Here are the steps.  Easy peasy.

 

The grill should be out so you can get to the hood bolts.  If it isn't, remove it first. 

 

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Remove the tortion bar first, starting at the body and using a 2x4 of appropriate length to support the hood. 

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Scribe the bolts on the body side of the front hinges.   Take pictures of everything!!  You will need them later!   

The right side hinge had spacers and a brakcet for the auxiliary a/c fan.  

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Lower the hood and remove the bolts accessible through the grill opening.   Make a note of how any spacers are used.  

Lifting the hood off the car was the only thing I needed a hand with.  My wife had this "Really? Me? Lift that?" look on her face when I asked her to help, but the hood really isn't that heavy.  

I temporarly set the hood flat on some empty boxes until I was able to put the pipe insulationon one edge and lean it upright.  The hinges, when down, also work to keep the front of the hood off the floor.  

 

 

Then, the transmission came out.  There are a couple of very good punch lists for this elsewhere, but I will summarize:  

 

2 notes:

The transmission weighs about 70-80 pounds, so it is not terribly difficult to wrestle around or even lift.  

I have rubber "topper" covers for all of my jack stands and floor jacks so they don't mar any soft metal or scratch paint.  I highly recommend them.  

 

Jack up the car as high as you are comfortable with and place on jackstands. You will need to jack up both the front and rear of the car as the rear wheels and drive shaft need to be free to spin.

Inside the car, remove the shifter, unscrew the 4+ screws holding the shift-boot extension to the console and remove that.  remove the little donut foam piece (mine was gone).  

Turn the steering wheel hard to the right to swing the tie rods as far forward as possible. 

Under the car, disconnect the speedometer cable, reverse light switch and hydraulic line to the slave cylinder (once you do this, you won't be able to change gears again, so make sure it is in Nuetral).  

Unbolt the exhaust mount from the transmission. 

Unbolt the exhaust down-tube and set it aside.  (I wanted to remove the exhaust system completly, but the connector by the axle was frozen so I set it to the side and put a jack stand under the front end. (I have a lot of jack stands.))

This is where my punchlist deviated a little from others.  

Disconnect the shifter linkage and remove the linkage assembly.  I had a later model car and the assembly differs from that in the Haynes manual.  Mine had a flat C-shaped retainer spring that covered a pin.  Once I figured that out (with the help of folks here on the BB), I was able to disconnect the linkage and remove the shift assembly.  Several bolts were already missing or loose, so this was pretty easy. 

There was a splash-guard on the transmission support that prevented me from getting to the guibo bolts.  So I put a jackstand under the transmission and removed the transmission support.   

Disconnect the guibo,ideally, so that it remains attached to the driveshaft.  I used two wrenches and used the transmision mount bracket as the stop for one of them. (This is where you need to rotate the driveshaft to get to the guibo bolts)

Put a jack stand under the drive shaft and disconnect the center support bearing from the car.  The 2 bolts loosen and are slotted into keys on the body.  Just slide them back until they are free. 

support the driveshaft with a jack stand.    

Remove the clutch inspection cover (roll under from the front of the car) don't forget the one larger bolt near the slave cylinder. 

Roll a floor jack under the transmission to support it and raise it up so it is against the transmission and taking weight.  Note: align the floor jack so it can roll straight back.  

Remove the jack stand placed under the transmission earler and place it under the rear of the pan on the engine. (Once the transmission is free, the engine will be balancing on two engine mounts and you don't want it to tilt too far back.)  

From the engine bay, work around the top of the bellhousing to remove the bolts securing it.  Once you think youhave all of them, wiggle the housig a little.  If you can see it move, you got all the bolts. 

With a scewdriver or similar tool, GENTLY work your way around the bellhousing to push it back away from the engine.  The transmission may rotate a little, which is further confirmation that it is free.  

Get back under the car and pull the transmission backwards.  Do NOT lower it yet, just pull it straight back until it seem free.  

Once the bellhousing is clear of the tie-rods, you can lower the transmission.  Note that if it rolled onto it's side, it is likely that the transmission tunnel is keeping it from rolling off the floor jack so hold onto it as you lower it.  

For me, even holding the transmission, it rolled off the floorjack when almost at the floor and clanked onto the floor.  The clutch pivot and throw-out bearing popped of the transmissionwhen this happend.  Perhaps a strap around the transmission would have prevented this.  

Some suggest strapping a small Harbor Freight furniture dolly to the transmission and lowering it with that attached, but I could not figure out how to make that work. 

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Image showing relatively new guibo, part of support bracket and splash guard thing that I had to remove.  Loose wires are from the reverse light switch. 

 

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Center support showing slotted bolts. 

 

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What you see once the flywheel access cover is removed.  

 

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Looking down at the tranny with the wheel turned hard to the right.  The tie rods are still behind the transmission, but only by an inch or two.  Note the two or three bellhousing bolts visible in this image.  

 

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Shift linkage.  For my car, the circled sleeve had a spring-type cover that hides a pin.  You have to pop the sleeve off and manuever the pin out to disconnect the linkage from the transmission. 

Somebody put a Urethane bushing on the transmission mount but forgot to tighten anything afterwards.  See the video below to see how loose it was!  Kind of hard to drive that way... 

 

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Here it is once out.  What a filthy thing!  

 

 

 

And finally, the engine came out through the top:

 

I already had the intake and exhaust manifolds off, all of the cooling lines disconnected, the fuel pump off, the A/C compressor and air pump off, the radiator out and the distributor removed.  In other words, the engine was only connected to the car by the two motor mounts.   

 

Extend the boom of the hoist out to the 1/2 ton mark (i.e. all the way)  The engine weighs less than 1/2 ton and you will need the room.

Attach the leveler.  I removed the chain that came with the hoist and attached the leveler directly to the boom using 2 links.  (Use 2 links if you are taking the engine out with the hoist on the side or 3-links if you are taking the engine out from the front.  This way, the leveler will be hang correctly.)

My car was jacked up enough to get the hoist under it wth the wheels attached.  You may need to remove a wheel to get the hoist underneath if you are coming at it from the side.  

Attach the balancing bar chains to the engine through the eylet above at the starter and through your alternater mounting bracket.  There may be a better place in front because the engine tilts a little, but this is what I used.  

Lift the hoist enough to be taking some of the weight of the engine.  

Unbolt the motor mounts from the engine.  2 bolts on left and 3 on right.  The engine may shift a little. Adjust the hoist and leveler as needed. 

Ok, just lift the engine out and carefully roll it over the side/fron of the car.   

 

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Here's how I attached the leveler to the engine.  

 

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And here is one showing how I attached the engine to the stand.  It took a few tries to figure this out because one arm on the stand was never quite short enough for this small engine so I had to turn the bracke sideways.   

 

And here is the now empty but still nasty engine compartment!  everything will be coming out of here starting this weekend! 

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And here is the temporary resting place for the hood and how I used that pipe insulation I mentioned earlier.  That stuff is great for protecting edges! 

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OK, that's it!  

 

Now I am really excited about removing the front subframe, building a dolly for the car and really starting to get things cleaned up!   There is still a LOT to do before paint, but I feel like there is a decent pace now and I'm no longer crawling along, or worse, waiting.  I am decideing what to do to refresh the engine and whether I should tackle that myself or send it out.  Same with the transmission.  And of course, as always, there are more parts to buy!  

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

 

 

 

 

 

   

 

 

 

 

 

 



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For future reference, I never use the adjustable "arms" on standard engine stands. I remove them, then drill one or two 1/2" holes (as needed) in the flat plate of the stand head, making sure they line up with three engine mount holes on the exhaust side of the block. Sadly, I don't have a photo showing the exhaust side. (EDIT! I found one!) This is how BMW mounts them to stands, and it offers more balance, and easier access to so many things. Usually one or two of the "slots" will line up with one of the threaded motor mount brkt holes. The other(s) I just measure and drill. These are light engines. Three bolts is PLENTY. 

 

For removal of the engine... on the passenger side, simply remove the single, solitary 13mm nut on the top of the rubber mount (time required: about 25 seconds) . No need to take the larger 3 bolt bracket off, and this greatly reduces the chances of the engine shifting (and crushing fingers), until you decide to lift it. Also reduces the chances of those bolt holes getting damaged if the weight shifts and makes a loose bolt go crooked in the process. On the driver's side - loosen the outboard 17mm nut NOT the inboard one. It's about 15 times easier to reach. The mount will stay in the slot of the subframe / steering box mount until you lift the engine, but it will allow you the freedom of rocking the engine for and aft - which can be handy. Sooooooo much simpler and safer.

 

For install, I loosely bolt the passenger side mount to the 3 bolt brkt, lower the engine in to the car, then use alignment dowels to line up the lower mount foot holes after the stud of the rubber driver's side mount just enters the slot of the steering box brkt. **(make sure you have the hook / J shaped limiting plate in place under the passenger side mount! These are crucial for final engine alignment / adjustment. Use the original style allen bolt here, so you can reach through the hole provided in the underside of the subframe. Once that's in, you still have loads of adjustment / wiggle room, to mate everything else up.  

 

Also - seeing that hood and the $230(?) piece of nose trim sitting face down brings me ***actual physical pain***. You'll be doing yourself a favor if you rest it on the rear corners, instead. They are far more robust and stable. I'd kill for nose trim that looked that nice and didn't whistle like a bottle rocket above 45 mph.

 

For removing hood - no need to remove the tension beam on the hood. Just unbolt the fender arms from the fenders and remove the bolts holding the hinges behind the grilles. Easier Peasier! You can adjust the hood height and fore/aft location once installed, by reaching up through the triangular holes in the radiator support with a ratchet, etc. 

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Edited by wegweiser

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