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Too Tight · 19 September 05
Hey, how about that pile-o-parts? We’re talking some serious mound of greasy metal and rubber accumulating on the side of the garage. Eve is shedding unsightly pounds.
Here’s most of what was removed Sunday night:
- Starter motor
- Exhaust manifold, pipes, and muffler
- A/C compressor
- Power Steering Pump
- More wires
- A couple brackets
- Left-top engine mount
- No knuckles or skin!
I hit the hardware aisle at Sears on Sunday afternoon, just to pick up a couple sockets and an 1/2” extension. As these things normally go one six sided socket was back ordered and the other one didn’t come in six sided for 1/2” drive. I compromised a bit and then started wandering aisles “just in case.”
All in all I did pretty well, putting back a whole bunch of impulse items before I hit the register. But I did buy one embarrassing thing…or so I thought at the time: mechanics gloves.
When did they come out with gloves for working on your car? There were three different types of gloves, well, four if you count the gloves with a built in LED flashlight. I tried on a $19 pair, all the while thinking about the chunk of thumb sitting somewhere in the engine compartment. Not bad, plenty tight, with little leather pads on thumb and index finger for those of us who loosen and tighten nuts with our bare (er, gloved) hands.
Sunday night, feeling like a wuss, I slipped on a long sleeved shirt, the new gloves, and headed into the garage to do some work. After about four hours of greasy, cramped, hand bashing work I started liking these gloves. Takes a second to take ‘em off if you need to go into the house or adjust the iPod. Best part is at the end of the day my hands weren’t caked in grease and dirt (or blood). Sweet!
But that’s not what I’m here to talk about. No, I’m here to tell you how close, how very close, I am to yanking that engine out. Really close. Amazingly close. Too close.
Our garage has a steel I-beam running across the middle and it is just the thing if you want to yank an engine. I bought a come-along a long time ago and it is my buddy. It’s been used to jack rocks out of the ground, pop engines out of cars and mowers, and countless other menial tasks. Teamed up with a sturdy nylon strap you can do about anything with a come along.
After getting all of the engine to tranny bolts off and a few stray wires I figured it was time to yank the engine. Come-along hung from the I-beam, nylon strap hanging off of that with its hooks into the two engine pulling brackets. Cranked it up and the engine started coming out, and then stopped.
The sledge hammer in the picture isn’t to vent frustrations or beat the car into submission: I used it and the board to help lever a few tight brackets and parts. At first I thought the engine could be pulled with the AC, power steering, and alternator in place, and when it wouldn’t pop I pulled them. Still won’t pop.
I haven’t got the shop manual yet and don’t have the “right” way to pull the engine. If memory serves correct the Mazda 626 just popped out, although we did a fair bit of motor wiggling (there were two of us). With Eve I’m thinking that the main pulley wheel needs to be pulled off or even the tranny partially or completely disconnected.
To unbolt the pulley something has to be done to stop the crankshaft from turning. My buddy Brian showed me a trick when we rebuilt my Mustang back in the Air Force. Pop out a spark plug and feed a rope into the cylinder until it won’t take anymore (the cylinder needs to be down a bit). Then when you start turning the pulley the piston will eventually top out into the coils of rope and stop everything from turning, without damaging the piston.
That’s the theory and my next plan of action.
Here’s a kind of strange composite picture showing the pulley up along the wheel well on the left, with the space between engine and tranny on the right. Close, but no cigar…