June 17, 2003

Engine Dropped My wife’s Father’s Day present to me was a helping hand all day on Sunday with my first engine pull. The weather couldn’t have been better. We took off all the fuel injection wiring, disconnected the various hoses and labelled everything. I learned the Muir book is a major pain in the ass to go through the engine removal section. I also learned the Bentley is about as nuts and bolts as it gets. While reading it, I had no idea what it meant when it said the “upper left engine mounting bolt is pressed into the engine case to facilitate engine removal.” Twenty-five bucks later (spent on two Craftsman 17mm wrenches) and with the engine otherwise completely detached from the transmission, I realized that the cryptic note meant that there was actually no nut at that unreachable space behind the air distribution manifold pipes, but rather you had to completely unscrew the bolt from the backside. Duh. What a nightmare that was. Just getting the wrench in that tight a spot was a complete nightmare. The engine was being supported by the jack and I had already taken the jack stands off the car so that I could easily drop the engine. I crawled underneath and tried to get some room to loosen the bolt. Felt something pop in my wrist as I tried to get enough leverage to work the ratchet and started pulling on the bolt to loosen it up. Funny enough, it’s the other wrist that’s all swollen this morning (Tuesday). I know that happened during this “procedure” as well, but I don’t know how it happened.

So I finally got the bolt off. Took me about twenty minutes. After that, the engine slid out nicely and I lowered it onto the engine cart with the help of a few bricks and some crafty work with the floor jack.

A couple more things about the automatic transmission… Russ Wolfe from the Type 3 e-mail list offered a great way to support the AT when pulling the engine, and it works great. Basically, it involves using a wire coathanger threaded through the AT bellhousing and fastened through the drain hole under the front part of the engine cover seal in the center. Once the engine is pulled, the tension on the coathanger keeps the AT from sagging. I also found out that a $2.99 tailpipe hanger kit at Auto Barn works great for a torque converter support bar. Just use the bracket with the holes in it and cut the bottom rubber piece off. I’ll post a pic soon.

Torque Converter Holder Once the engine was on the cart, I went to jack up the car’s rear end a bit so that I could slide the engine out from underneath the car. The right rear of the car was supported on a jack stand, and I was raising the driver’s side above the height of the jack stand there just temporarily. As I lifted, I heard a giant *pop*, as if a tire had blown. My first thought was that the jack had blown, but it’s a heavy-duty Craftsman jack meant for SUV’s. It also seemed to work fine afterwards. None of the tires looked like they had lost any air either. Since most of the weight had been on the front right suspension at the time I heard the pop, I thought maybe a shock blew. I haven’t checked it for leaking oil yet though, and right now I have no idea what the noise was. When I think about it though, it makes me a little nervous. I’m sure I’ll eventually find out what it was.

So Monday was spent doing all this and once the engine was out from underneath the car, my stepson helped me start taking the air intake system and cooling tin off the engine. It’s a wonder the engine didn’t completely burn up. Dirt and other debris was absolutely packed into the space between each fin of the cylinders. This is obviously one place that hadn’t been seen in a long time. I’m actually debating whether or not I should just remove the cylinders altogether and clean them at the same time I’m replacing the heads. I’ll probably post the question to the Type 3 list and see what people have to say. Part of me is thinking that while the engine is out I should just do a complete rebuild. I think I’ll wait on that though. I was surprised how easily the nuts on the exhaust connection came off. That penetrating oil sold by aircooled.net is just miracle stuff. More later.