Monday, January 28, 2013

A milestone has been reached!

So, today Michael "Hamo" Hamilton and myself set out to acheive a simple goal - to remove the temporary motor from the E21 and to finish welding the firewall. I must say we progressed far further than I expected in the timeframe! Read on for more:

First we began by removing the radiator and radiator support. The front of the E21 has to be lifted by the k-frame with a trolley jack otherwise the engine crane does not fit under the lower control arms; this has been the case even prior to lowering the car, so no changes there! Undid the tailshaft and centre bearing and removed the tailshaft, undid the gearbox mount and engine mounts and out came the engine.

It barely put up a fight, only getting stuck for a brief time on the steering rack.

Hamo took a while to get into the swing of things, preferring instead to take up his traditional position as supervisor. Progress was slow until he kicked into gear!

Here's a shot of my rather nasty hole chasing welds along the top of the firewall; They aren't pretty but they serve their purpose! I have some proper resedagruen paint, however I prefer to retain that for the exterior of the car, and am just using paint I have lying around the shed to cover up welds, hence the "aged bronze" rustoleum coating seen here:

Our preferred method of moving these cars around the yard is the trusty mower - Since summer has all but killed the lawn (notice the colour) - there isn't much other use for it at present!

Turned the EB around with more help from the mower; I've a very amusing video to cut together to show this in action! Pushed it into the shed and put the bonnet in the "engine removal" position - for those of you that don't know about this, you remove the struts from their normal mounting position and then push them into the holes which are slightly below and inboard of the standard mounts; you should be able to get the gist from the image below:

Hamo decided to get stuck in; and we made short work of the wiring looms, grounds, engine and gearbox mounts, shifter, fans, radiator and all the other parts which require removal prior to pulling an engine. It helps that we've each done this in excess of 10 times.

I really need to invest in a load adjuster for my engine crane. Getting to this point and having to man-handle the gearbox is really not worth it!

When that proved too hard, we used a combination of brute force and a ratchet tie down to lift the back of the gearbox, before finally lifting it the last few inches clear of the radiator support.

Finally, it was out! Note I knocked the CV out of a tailshaft yoke and installed in the rear of the gearbox to retain the fluid, which has probably only done about 10,000-15,000km of service.

It started to rain, right when Hamo began to change the distributor (I believe the hall effect sensor is the reason my EB was suffering from a progressively worsening intermittent ignition issue) so I grabbed some builders plastic and created an invention that I shall now refer to as the Outdoor Engine Maintenance Clean-Room or OEM-CR

From this point, now oblivious to the rain, Hamo proceeded to change the distributor and engine mounts ready for installation into the E21. This is the point where things get "interesting"; he discovered that a couple of the bosses used on E-series motors are not drilled or tapped on an AU motor (which this is) - as a result only two of the locations I had set up for one of the mounts could be used. The other has three. I don't think it's that big of an issue to be honest; when removing the old ones - one was only held in by a single bolt! Seems I've been leaving a trail of engine mount bolts behind me on the odd occasion as I certainly installed them all with the motor!

 We set-up a heater bypass; yes we did use hose-clamps - this is just to make sure the curve and lengths are correct.

While Hamo was busy in the OEM-CR, I cleaned up and quickly sprayed the K-Frame, steering rack and chassis rails.

Installing the motor; had to slide it over a block of wood to prevent the steering piping from being caught and bent; and had to remove the belt and power steering pump after this shot as the pump was fouling on the brake booster; however now the engine is sitting in it's correct location, the power steering pump should clear with a small amount of wiggle room.

The bigger issue that we ran into is the sump. The AU sump is MUCH larger than an e-series sump, in my EB I had to modify the K-Frame for it to fit comfortably; there's no such luxury in the E21. I'd only had what I shall refer to with the very technical term of "a bee's dick" of clearance between an e-series sump and the swaybar in the E21. I'd always wanted to remove the front swaybar; however the logistics are a bit of a nightmare as it also serves as the castor rod or front control arm in this setup; Since I now have NO option, I had to cut the swaybar to clear the sump. I'll be looking into making some new control arms and possibly adapting an E-series rear sway-bar for use on this car now. I didn't have the right size cutting wheel for my grinder so I very carefully used one that was much too big (pictured)

See, the engine fits, as long as the sway-bar doesn't need to be there as well.

Finally in place in the bay! Now I only need to reinstall.... everything. Build an exhaust, etc. Still a lot of work to go yet, but it feels like we achieved a hell of a lot today; and it's good to finally have a capable engine in the car just WAITING to be fired into life!

I leave you with this image, and the promise that there's more to come!

Edit: here's the video compilation of some short clips showing how we move things around the yard with the help of a ride-on lawn mower.

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