Pulling the engine

After finding a cracked piston skirt whilst trying to replace the rear main seal, I have now decided to pull the engine so I can remove the top half of the rear main seal (rope!!) and then put it all back together again and see if I can keep the engine running whilst I source a new engine.

I’ve had a load of people tell me that a cracked piston skirt, although not good, is not necessarily the end of the world. However a new engine is ultimately where I will go as a rebuild is actually coming out more expensive.

To get ready for the removal, the carb, radiator, monte carlo bar, power steering & alternator have been removed. I purchased a carb plate which should allow me to pull the engine using the crane, which I also bought and will probably only ever use twice 😦

Whilst the car was up on cribbs I removed the inspection plate to access & remove the four torque convertor nuts (I had a socket on the crank nut which I used to turn the engine until I could see each of the four nuts). I then removed the earth strap which was part of the transmission dipstick tube (bolted to the rear of the block and then the distributor, oil pressure and temperature wiring.

After double checking I had everything disconnected I loosened the 5 x bellhousing to block bolts. I was able to get to two of them with the impact gun from below the car. The other two I used a wrench with an extra bit of pipe for more leverage. Once they were loose I dropped the front of the car back on the ground, leaving the rear up.

Thankfully I had a friend help. Neither of us had pulled an engine before, but having two people certainly made it safer. I also have a jack under the transmission oil pan so that it doesn’t drop when the engine is out.

The engine separated reasonly easily from the transmission although we did need to use a flat blade screwdriver to help it along.

Once the engine was out I lowered it to just off the ground and removed the 6 flexplate/crank nuts. I didn’t need to mark the location as someone had previously done that for me, as you can see in the bottom right picture above (This is to ensure balance is the same when reinstalled)

Next the engine stand bracket was attached before raising it and sliding the braket into the engine stand. I had a bit of a scare as the stand bracket bolts were loose which allowed the engine to move around too much. After hitting the nuts with the impact, everything was a lot more solid and I was able to (with my friends help) rotate the engine and remove the oil pan.

After replacing the top of the rear main seal (here) I replaced the oil pan gasket before getting ready to put the engine back in the car.

A friend helped me with this and after 4 hours we had it back in. I can’t see how this can be done without help as there were so many factors to take in to account. The main one being ensuring the torque convertor bolts went throught flex plate at the same time as the block dowels slide into place!

The radiator and carb were next to be reinstalled, which went smoothly (it’s about the 20th time I’ve removed and installed these now!). I did clean up the carb spacer by removing some old gasket material to ensure I don’t get any vacuum leaks though.

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