The Studeblogger

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Heavy Lifting.

As I mentioned, the engine came out of the Lark last Saturday, thanks to the invaluable help of my friends John Dick and Dave Gahlbeck, who came up to help get the beast apart.

We started around 10 AM by removing the hood (I had already pulled off as many accessories as I could the weekend before). Before we could pull, of course, we had to disconnect stuff underneath.

I hadn't gotten under the car yet because, with the parking brake inoperative, I thought it best to do that when others were around. So Dave dove under and pulled the driveshaft, while John disconnected the exhaust at the manifold flanges and pulled the pins from the accellerator and transmission connections.

After that, we realized that, for the transmission to come out, we would need to drop the trans support crossmember - and also that we'd need to support the transmission to keep it from dropping to the concrete!

Luckily, Dave carries a floor jack in the trunk of Sweet Pea (his '65 Cruiser), and we employed that to hold the tailshaft. Awfully nice to have a Navy chopper mechanic on hand!

John and Dave then started unbolting the transmission crossmember. The bolts on the passenger's side were loose and about ready to drop off, while the ones on the driver's side were torqued down tight. It took a little bit to get undone, but out it came and the transmission mounts dropped out.

Dave and I then hooked up the lift chains to the head bolts and undid the engine mounts as John lifted the engine slightly to take pressure off them. And then it was time to lift!

The actual pull took about half an hour, as we slowly lifted the engine (keeping the front high to get the trans clear of the firewall) and simultaneously rolled the car backwards. I had sucked out most of the trans fluid with my oil vacuum, so we only spilled about a pint on the concrete :)

So now the engine is sitting on a pallet on the side of the house. I still need to pull the exhaust and intake manifolds and separate the transmission from the block (it's in good shape and only needs a new flex plate. I'm also going to throw in a new torque convertor as long as it's out). Then, in two weeks, my brother-in-law and I will truck it up to Ken Pyle in Three Rivers for rebuilding.

By the way, Dave's Cruiser is a real beauty. Gorgeous car with a black interior and a 259 that purrs like a kitten. I especially like the white-letter tires and plain wheels - gives it a very muscular vintage look!

My son and I will definitely be rebuilding the suspension before the engine goes back in. On the passenger's side, where the engine mount had collapsed, the block was leaning right against the upper A-arms; the pressure had completely destroyed the bushing. I mean, there's no rubber in that joint at all. It does not exist! Also found that someone had deep-sixed the exhaust heat valve on the starboard manifold, probably because it froze, but that's a small detail.

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