Thursday, April 20, 2017

Engine Mounts - Remounted!

In the previous post, I spent quite a lot of time faffing about swapping the flywheel to see if it was the source of the annoying vibrations I've been enduring with the new engine. As it turns out it wasn't, so with that ticked off the list of things to check, I'm left pinning all my hope on the new engine mounts being too hash and not absorbing the engine vibrations sufficiently.

But before I can swap them over to my older and softer ones, everything flywheel related and beyond needs to be reassembled again, so let's get stuck in...

After re-mounting the new flywheel once more onto the nose of the crank, it was torqued with a large torque wrench to the rather tight 152Nm and then the locking tabs bashed into place with a large screwdriver and a hammer...

Now the most important photo of all, the one that would have me waking up in the night panicking, thinking; did I put the clutch sleeve back on. Well this photo takes all that panic away, because, yes I did so I can rest easy!! The very last thing I would want to find after completing the job, would be this thing still on a shelf in the shed!!

With that worry out of the way, I now have the job of getting the clutch cover/bell housing back on.
Now, if the engine were our of the car and sat on a bench, this would be a simple sub-five minute job of just putting in eight bolts and torquing them up. But one of the problems with a Mini of course, is a lack of working space; this blog post here highlights the problem perfectly.

Anyway, if you can't be fussed following the link, it's basically nigh on impossible to get these two bolts in and tightened up without a lot of fiddling, cursing and knuckle scraping due to the tiny gap you have to work with.

But, with a lot of time and patience it is an achievable job, one that would really benefit though from some flexible ratchet spanners. But as I don't have such luxuries, I had to make do with standard ring spanners and tiny turn repetitive madness to get the job done.

Once the clutch housing was back in place, I could turn my attentions to what I probably should have checked at the very beginning: The engine mounts. The reason I suspect these to be the problem is that the newer ones I bought for this project are so much harder than the ones I already had in the car to begin with. I could tell this by simply pushing a screwdriver into the rubber compound part of the mount and feeling the resistance as it deformed.

There was a stark difference with the newer ones feeling more like plastic than rubber.

Also just from just a visual inspection, I could see that the new ones looked to be of lower quality from the molding patterns, see below...

New mount, Hmmmm!

Good old tried and trusted mount pulled out of storage.

One of the downsides to going back to using the older mounts is the lack of a captive nut to help get it in place. This was the only reason I bothered to buy the new mounts in the first place as they had a built in captive nut making the job of installing them much easier.

When it comes to fitting them, the bolt at the front of the mounts are easy to get in place, the problem comes though when trying to get the other bolt in as it's real pain due to there being virtually no room to work and having to work blind. But there are ways and means to make this job easier and the method I use is to push some wire (or string) up through the hole from under the car and pull it out the front grill.

Then attach the bolt to the wire with some electricians tape...

Then gently pull it back through the hole and hope that the bold pulls through before the tape comes loose. Thankfully in my experience, it mostly works.

Once through, I pull the tape off and thread a nut on the bolt, with a dab of threadlock.

Now comes the next tricky job of finding a way to hold the bolt while the nut is torqued up. I use a ring spanner and just blindly use trial and error to locate the head of the bolt from the rear and then once it's engaged, quickly tighten the nut.

All this faffing about makes it easy to see why it's so tempting to use the captive engine mounts. I must admit that once I have a welder, I'll experiment making my own captive mounts, but until then, this is how I have to do it.

The last thing to finish off the job, was to remount the clutch slave cylinder which was just a bolt on job as I'd left all the hydraulics intact and simply pushed it out of the way.

So, with all that work complete, did it make a difference?

Well... after firing up the engine, I could tell straight away that there were less things vibrating than before, which was a good start. The biggest tell-tale sign was the bonnet, which when open, would wobble around quite a bit on idle and thankfully it was not doing it now.

After a quick spin around the block, I was very pleased with the change as it was much, much better. Not perfect, but so much improved on what it was that I could enjoy driving the car once more, which was a huge relief I can tell you.

Well that's after I fix the small exhaust leak I've just spotted!! These's always something...

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