Saturday, July 22, 2006

Engine out, donor strip down completed

At last, the Metro and its subframes have let go of all the parts I need. I must say, compared to all the cars I have worked on in the past, it is a truly horrible thing to work on, and I am proud I have rid the world of one. That said, the subframe concept is ideal for kit cars and I am surprised not more kits took advantage of this - four subframe mounting points and two shock mounts and the whole front end is in place.

I digress. Back to the plot I dismantled the rear subframe for the trailing arms (for David Golightly) and the handbrake cable (for me). That done the subframe was thrown in the body shell. Then removed the gear linkage, which came off quite easily, then the steering rack, that didn't. The main mounts came off, but the track rod ends put up a fight - one didn't want to split the taper, but after some bashing of the splitter it did. The other taper came apart on its own, but before the nut had come off, so it would not allow the nut to turn without spinning itself. Out with the grinder and cut the nut in half, so steering rack was then out.

I then turned my attention to the hubs so I could get the driveshafts out. The brake calipers came off quite easily - I will dismantle these and have them sandblasted. I then undid the top balljoint and split it apart - again, we are going well. Then I tried to undo the bottom bolt - not happening - I put so much leverage on it the subframe lifted off the axle stands. Even hammer whacking the wrench didn't help. So I got the grinder out and cut the bottom arms so the hub would come away. Tray to catch the oil and a good few tugs and the drivershaft was out. Process repeated for the other side.

This now meant the engine & gearbox should come out. Strapped up the engine, lifted it on the the hoist.....and DAMN!!! The idea was the engine would go up and the subframe would drop away. But it didn't - the exhaust front pipe and rear engine mount were still on preventing it coming out. The mount could come off, but the pipe woundn't - the bolts joining it to the manifold had rusted and rounded off, so the manifold needs to come off first.....but the subframe is in the way!!! So I had to remove the top side of the subframe gearbox end, but of course the bolts were rusted solid, so out came the grinder again. And the subframe duly dropped away from the engine.

Engine now in garage, subframe now inside shell which is ready to go. Final job was to remove the dim dip unit from behind the front bumper.

What have I learnt.......take the engine straight out of the car. I ended up doing the job twice - once removing the subframe, then the engine from the subframe.


At 2:16 PM, Blogger chumly said...

Rusty bolts always put a hold, literally, on any project.


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