Thursday, August 27, 2015

Removing The Old Engine

<This post is part of the 'Engine Swap' project>
In the previous post I got the engine to the point where it was ready to just lift out. The problem is though, it's a heavy lump and no matter how much spinach I eat, there's just no way I'm going to be able to lift it with brute force alone.

So after a little pondering, I decided to have a go (like a hooligan) with some rope and a plank of wood. As the Mini is parked near a wall, I thought it might be possible to rest one end of the plank on the wall, strap the engine to the plank, then lift the engine up and swing it round. Guess how it went...


Badly of course!!! Once the rope was secured to the engine and the plank, I began to lift and realised very quickly that it was far heaver than expected. I had no real control and if I tried to lift it over the front of the car, it would have gone disastrously wrong and either the car would get wrecked or I would, or possibly both. Very quickly I gave this up as a bad idea.



Moving on then, it was obvious that I would need an engine crane to do the job properly and safely. The question was though, should I hire one or should I buy one. After weighing up the various options and shopping around, I decided to buy as I spotted just the item I needed on ebay for £107.



I also eyed up an engine load leveler that I thought would help to maneuver the engine around things. The order was placed and I waited patently and eventually some  mystery packages arrived...


Whoo, nice!

New toys, some assembly required...



After an hour or so's work, it looked like this...



Best of all, it folds up so it can be stored away in my tiny 6 x 8 foot shed!!



The next day the leveler arrived. Even though I knew they were coming and I had paid for them, it still felt like Christmas.



Now I have all the gear, it was time to put it to good use, so one evening when the weather was nice, I decided to give it a stab. Although the crane is heavy, it is drag-able and setting it up was no problem at all. The load leveler simply attaches to the hook of the crane and it has 4 chains that hang down, each with an 'L' shaped bracket.

After a little research as to where to attach the 'L' shaped brackets, I decided to use the head studs, In the previous post, I was trying to make the engine as light as possible so I'd removed the head but now it needs to be temporarily put back on in order to attach the 'L' brackets.

I tried several ways of attaching the brackets to the head studs, but quickly discovered that only 2 of the 4 could be used. According to various forums on the interwebnet, this should be okay. Gulp! - I hope so!



I chose stud 1 and stud 5 for the job as I wanted the engine to tilt clutch side down slightly.



Now that everything was setup and ready, I gingerly gave the crane a few pumps and watched as the engine started to lift. I left it at about an inch off the subframe for a moment just incase something was going to snap, I hoped that if it was, it would do it now and not when the engine was in the air. All was good, so I stood back and took a deep breath and decided it was time to go for it.

The crane made the job effortless and as the engine inched higher and higher, I used the leveler to tilt the clutch end down a little more to avoid the plastic air inlet. I wanted to avoid taking it out as I recall the last time I did, it was an absolute sod of a job to get it back in again.



I have to admit that when the engine was at the point where it would clear the grille, my heart was going a bit!! All my faith was in those two head studs, but I did feel brave enough to grab this photo.



Pulling the crane away from the Mini was a bit tricky as the ground underneath the Mini is quite rough. There is a handle on the back of the crane thought that helps with this, but with the combined weight of the crane and the engine, it wasn't an easy job. Once clear though, the engine was gently lowered to the floor and I breathed a massive sigh of relief.



Looking back at the engine bay, it's immediately obvious that the new engine cannot go into this tatty looking hole, something simply has to be done!!




Phew!! well that's another milestone reached. The new tools did their job and the old engine is finally out. Better get busy now making that engine bay worthy of a nice new shiny engine, but that's for the next post...




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