Archive for October, 2008

Motor Model

Tuesday, October 28th, 2008

Last weekend we went to the craft store looking for something that would be useful to build a model of the motor. I was originally thinking a foam block that could be trimmed, but then we spotted some cardboard boxes that were about perfect. They are 11.75″ diameter and the motor is 11.45″, close enough. Here are some pictures of the process and what the model looked like in the engine bay. I’ll probably continue with cardboard to add detail to the ends and a dowel through the middle to act as the shaft. Working up the adapter to go between the motor and the transmission is still going to be a challenge. Molly Cat said she’d help me figure it out.

I’d like to go with the WarP11 because of the weight of the car. I may have some issues with clearing the steering rack though at that diameter.

Take That Engine Out!

Saturday, October 18th, 2008

The engine is out!  Combination of jacking the transmission and removing the engine mounts from the frame and it came out relatively easy.  Jeff and Mike helped.  That sucker’s heavy.

This is where the lift needs to go, where I neatly piled all my parts

This is where the lift needs to go, where I neatly piled all my parts

Actually we ended up putting the hoist around the front right tire (after moving all those parts).  We tried removing the tire but the jack was already supporting the engine so we couldn’t lift the car.  Neighbor Mike went to get his jack and while he was gone we worked on loosening the lug nuts.  Instead of loosening, the whole tire would twist, so we just turned the wheel to the left to give us the room we needed.

Take that El Guapo!

Take that El Guapo!

Excuse me, have you seen my engine?

Excuse me, have you seen my engine?

At this point the transmission was only supported by the jack and the mounts near the driveshaft.  I’ll remove the center console and support it from within the car with a pipe and a ratchet strap like I did when I changed the clutch (400 miles ago).

Here it is!  That clutch sure looks good.

Here it is! That clutch sure looks good.

Hello world!

Saturday, October 11th, 2008

Thanks to my brother James for setting up the fancy site for me.  Below are the updates I’d been writing as this goes along.  The first one is here.

Still to come is a page that keeps tabs on time and expense.

Another Trans Am is going EV too.

October 10, 2008 – More Progress

Friday, October 10th, 2008

James came over this morning and helped take some more stuff apart.  Before he got here I drained the oil and removed the filter.  There were many metal sparkles in the oil – lovely!

We removed the passenger side cylinder head first.  I saved the hard bolts for James because it’s fun watching him put all his weight behind it to get it to budge.  We got the cylinder head off without too much difficulty, but it is held on by 17 bolts and to get to 4 of them we had to loosen 4 rocker arm bolts.

We removed the water pump, optispark distributor and crank pulley.  I forgot the trick on the crank pulley to put the jaws of the puller towards the inside instead of the outside.  Also, we had a 19 mm socket on the 17 mm bolt so for a while we weren’t even turning the screw on the puller.  I applied 350 lb-ft on the center bolt and rotated the engine a few times to watch all the rocker arms go on the passenger side and the pistons go up and down on the drivers side.

We also removed the starter.  It was cracked between the solenoid that engages the gears into the flywheel.  I guess because it was bolted in there so tight it kept working.

We removed the bellhousing the engine bolts.  The transmission is now supported by the tunnel brace and the jack under the front.

We lowered the car, removing both the jackstands from the front and the ramps from the rear wheels.  Now the car looks normal except for the hood on the roof and the exhaust under it.

Last was clean up.  I put as much of the intake and heads back together as I could and boxed everything else up according to future use.  Everything but the exhaust is neatly stored under the card table out of the way.

Next step – remove that engine!  I’m amazed at how big the engine bay looks now.  Hopefully plenty of batteries will fit in there.

October 3, 2008 – Engine disassembly

Friday, October 3rd, 2008

Neighbor Mike offered me his fuel disconnect tool.  Since the fuel lines were one of the few remaining attachments to the engine I took him up on it, as well as his offer of help.  We couldn’t get the tool to work with the tight spacing under the cowl, so we removed the fuel line and injectors from the intake.  Once we had room to work it just took brute force to push the tool into the release clips, freeing the fuel lines from the rail.

Mike was willing to stick around and keep helping so we tackled the passenger side exhaust manifold.  We removed it out the bottom after disconnecting the AIR fittings from the top and the EGR pipe near the y-pipe connection.  Those things are heavier than they look.  I’d like to bring the bathroom scale out and weigh everything that is coming off to get an idea of how much extra weight is being added once complete.

Because I’m removing the engine from the top, I’ve decided to remove as much as possible from the block to make maneuvering easier.  So we removed the intake and the driver’s side cylinder head.  We found out that when you remove the first cylinder head bolt coolant spews out.  We decided to let it since it comes out more controlled there than from the water pump, but I’m sure that more will come out the water pump when that comes off too.  I also found out that the coolant line that runs between the cylinder heads is a major pain to get a wrench on strong enough to break free.  After almost stripping it, I opted to bend it by rotating the cylinder head so I could get a socket on it.  Then it removed easily.  Hopefully if it is needed again the bending didn’t hurt it, it seems pretty flexible.

Why would someone put a bolt way back here?

Why would someone put a bolt way back here?

It was neat to see the cylinder heads off the car and poke around at the valves and springs.  The engine bay is really opening up as some of the larger parts come out giving me hope of squeezing a couple of batteries up there.

140k Miles

There were some metal flakes in the back 2 cylinders, on the pushrods too.

Neighbor Mike takes parts off fast

One of the junkyards near us has changed to a scrap metal dealer so I’m hopeful I can take the exhaust and other miscellaneous metal there instead of just throwing it out.  If I can get $70 or more for it, the project thus far would actually be a gain as far as budget.  I’m sure that wouldn’t last too long though.