Taking Big Daddy Out!

During the week a friend from work gave me a hand to remove the engine hood.

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That meant I was ready to remove the engine today.  I started by hooking up the load leveller, which proved to be a bit more complex than I first thought.  A couple of extra links in the chain provided would have been handy.  In the end I used a longer length of chain to wrap under the inlet manifold.  It was then time to remove the last 2 bolts and start lifting.

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I checked everything twice to make sure I hadn’t forgotten anything, and then it happenned….lift off!

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I cautiously lifted it out, with a little help from Tom and his friend Hamish 😉

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The whole thing went really easy.  10 minutes and it was out!  I think I may have bumped the dipstick tube for the auto transmission during the process – I will check and see if is damaged when I start working on the engine bay.  The first thing I checked was the rear freeze plugs – as I had previously seen from under the car, they are pretty trashed.  I am glad I didn’t try and drive it any distance.

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The next task was to mount the engine on the stand I bought.  I decided to buy the 570kg engine stand so I had plenty of safety margin.  The best estimate I could get for the engine was 360kg.  I mounted the flange on the engine and then installed it onto the stand.

I couldn’t believe my eyes as I started to lower the crane and the engine stand started to bend….big time.  I understand mechanical principles, and this was flexing way more than I was happy with.  I ended up putting a shim on to reduce the flex a little.  I still don’t trust it – lucky I didn’t buy the 450kg rated engine stand!  Rotating the engine is just about impossible.  Chinese rubbish unfortunately, but I really didn’t have any other choice available.

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I scraped off as much sludge as I could off from the outside of the engine.  It was really caked on in places, almost like soft rock, which suggests it has been there for a long time.

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The next step was to start removing stuff from the engine to try and make it lighter.  First to come off were the exhaust manifolds.  There were a couple of bolts missing here, so I will have to make sure I get some spares.  The rear port on both sides was oily, however the oil came from the rocker covers.  I tried to remove the heat deflector flap from the LH manifold, however it cracked and crumbled as soon as I tried to move it.  I won’t be using it anyway, so I am not concerned.

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I next removed the LH rocker cover, expecting to see a sea of sludge.  I was surprised to see that the inside of the rocker cover was spotless.  It had clearly been removed and cleaned.  The the rockers and springs had a layer of grey slime on them like I expected.  I guess someone removed the rocker covers to paint them.

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The heads were next to come off.  I started with the LH side and removed the bolts.  The head would not move, even when I gave it a good tap with a hammer.  After 20 minutes of tapping it all over trying to get it to move, I realized that I had not removed the rocker shaft, and the shaft bolts were also head bolts.  What a knucklehead!

The dip stick tube extends above the top of the block, and I didn’t want to break it off when I removed the head so I gave it a gentle wriggle to see how tight it was.  It had a little bit of play in it which suggested it might be easy to get out.  I wriggled it a little bit more, and it broke off.  I guess that was one of the oil leaks!

The LH head then came off easily, and wasn’t as heavy as I expected.  I then moved to the RH head and removed that just as easily (this time I undid all of the bolts first).

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With the heads off I had a good look at the cylinders and the combustion chambers, hoping to get a hint of why it was running on 7 cylinders.  Everything looks fine – no evidence of water in the bores or leaking across cylinders through the head gasket.  The chambers and piston tops are a little black, which suggests it may have been running a bit rich, however everything looks good.  There was a large amount of rust and crud in the water jacket, so I am glad that I decided to pull the motor down.

That’s it for today.  Phew!

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