Gentlemen, Drop Your Engines

21 Sep

References: Pelican Technical Article: 914 Engine Removal Made Easy ( and Tech Tips 700 book by George A. Hussey,  Appendix R, Powerplant Removal.

It was good having both references, because in steps that one glossed over, I generally found in greater detail in the other.  Tech Tips included the size of the bolts (mostly 13mm and 17mm) that have to be removed, so that helped save some time as well.  The two differed dramatically in the actual dropping step.  Pelican calls for the removal of the rear tires, lowering of the car to about an inch above a furniture cart, and easing the engine/tranny onto the cart.  Tech Tips, on the other hand, wants you to raise the rear of the car to about 4 feet, drop the engine/tranny onto a plywood board supported by a floor jack, and pulling the rig out, after of course lowering the jack.

I was torn between the two methods for a few days, time spent removing all the components from the engine compartment as well as underneath.  Yes, I didn’t do everything in “one sitting”.  I liked this leisurely approach better, because I ran into a few snags along the way and didn’t end up tired when I reached the final and potentially dangerous step.  Yes, snags like the transmission oil drain bolt freezing up on me, and the CV bolts not cooperating, among others.

The Pelican way won out, but with an innovation that I came up with.  Instead of removing the rear tires, I raised the height of the furniture cart using layers of scrap styrofoam.  I happen to have 1″ thick styros from a tool packaging box, and several pieces stacked together raised the cart adequately.  After the engine/tranny assembly settled on the cart, it took no more than a minute to pull out all the foam until the cart wheels settled on the garage floor.  Here are some pictures:

Here’s a picture of the engine before it got dropped:

And here it is, sitting on the furniture cart:

Since I needed to see the flywheel in order to order the correct adaptor plate for the electric motor, I immediately separated the engine and the transmission, and removed the clutch and flywheel.  Here’s a picture of the tranny:


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