Saturday, 24 December, 2005

The engine comes out

After more time than I thought it would take, the engine is out of the truck.  I had planned on spending maybe one full day disconnecting things from the engine and transmission before hooking up the cherry picker and pulling the engine.  It ended up taking closer to three full days to get everything disconnected and labeled and by the time I was done, the only major piece of equipment still attached to the engine was the distributor.  I ruined a few bolts in the process by rounding them off with the wrench.  I think somebody got a little carried away with the air impact wrench.  Or, perhaps the steel bolts in the aluminum cylinder head just corroded enough to be really difficult to remove.  Maybe a combination of both.

The picture to the left is of the truck finally giving up the engine and transmission.  My neighbor Tom, who has a small collection of 1950s era automobiles, was kind enough to lend me his cherry picker and his expertise.

Now comes the fun part.  With the engine out of the truck, it's time to clean ten years worth of accumulated oil and grime from inside the engine compartment, take parts (alternator, starter, transmission, drive shaft, etc.) to be examined, fixed, or replaced, and replace the bolts that I had to destroy in order to take things apart.  One of the transmission dust cover bolts was amazingly resiliant.  It took us over an hour with a hammer and cold chisel to get it to turn.  This was another case of a steel bolt in an aluminum housing.  I wonder if there's a Never Seez product to prevent that.

The old engine now sits on the floor of the garage with all of its old parts removed.  The new block is on an engine stand, waiting for me to start bolting parts to it.  But first I have to clean all the old parts and decide just how much I'm going to attach to the new engine block before bolting the transmission back on to it and sliding the whole mess back into the truck.  Maybe next weekend.