Thursday, September 10, 2015

Front Subframe Install

Back in this post here, I decided that the only way to do a proper job of getting the new engine in was to drop the front subframe. After a lot of work, I now have a freshly painted front subframe and a decent looking engine bay, so it's time to put the the two back together.

Starting with the front of the subframe, I needed to buy new mounts as the old ones were truly knackered, so I decided to splash out and go for the decent quality items rather than the budget ones. Hopefully this will mean they last a bit longer as changing them once they're in place isn't something I want to do very often.

I decided it would be easier to bolt the mounts to the car rather than the subframe, this is because there's a locating stud in the mount that marries up with a hole in the car body. This stud ensures the mount is straight. What you can't see in the photo is the fact that I smeared the back of the mount where it attaches to the car with grease in the hope that that it keeps the water out.

I decided to reuse my existing rear mounts as they're not that old and are still in pretty decent condition.

Just like the front mounts, I slapped a helping of grease on the back of these mounts also .

Now, when it comes to these rear front mounts, there is a wrong way and a right way. I decided not to wing it and referred to my 'before' photos to make sure I got it right.

Once all the mounts were in place, it was time to get the subframe out of the house and set it in place below the engine bay. I used an old carpet to help protect it. To lift it up enough to get the plank of wood across the jacking points and a jack under it, I used small blocks of wood either side and propped it up from the suspension arms.

Once the jack was under the plank, I could start the job of lifting the subframe up to into the car and line the holes up with the mounts. The whole thing was pretty stable and I was able to crank the jack with one hand and hold the subframe with the other.

When it was high enough, I was able to get the front bolts through the mounts and into the subframe, doing them up just finger tight for now. After a little more wiggling, the tops of the towers found their home also and were furnished with new mounting rubbers. The tower bolts were dropped in and loosely done up.

Moving under the car, I made sure the rear mounts were located properly and put the nuts and washers in place, again finger tight.

After a little shunting here and there, I was satisfied with the subframe's position and it was time now to torque tighten up all the nuts and bolts. I didn't use a specific torque value, rather I just made sure they were tight, but not too tight. I also used threadlock on all the nuts and bolts except the tower bolts.

And that's it really for getting the thing in place, nowhere near as difficult as I though it was going to be. Last job now is to re-connect a few things, starting with the front 'engine steady'.

... and the main cable from the battery

... and lastly, the brake line that connects to the limiter valve

That's it for now, the front subframe is in place and ready to receive a nice shiny new engine. It's a good job I just happen to have one lying about the house!! Better get it prepped for it's new home.

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