Engine install – preparation

The day of the install began with a load of preparation – of the engine and the engine bay.

Unlike many of my fellow builders, I decided not to invest in pipe lagging to protect the chassis members, but to spend 20 minutes cutting up the roll-over bar box (it’s huge) to roughly fit the space and protect the metal and coating.

I had just fitted the washer bottle back on the rail in the engine bay, and it stayed there for a grand total of about 15 minutes while I had a cup of tea and read some of the experiences on the blogs out there. It came off again (to be later re-installed from under the car). It’s a good job it’s only four bolts and a few washers. As per the instructions in the manual, I stripped some paint from the chassis with my Dremel and also from the LHS engine mount, then loosely fixed them in place with the supplied bolts. While on the bench I’d also worked the engine mount bolts into and out of the bushes to make sure when the time came, they would be easy to fit. Not much in the way of material came out of the threads, but the bolt slipped in much more easily.

Help in the form of Barry arrived and we spent some time thinking about how we would manoeuvre the engine and gearbox to fit it. We quickly deduced that in order to get the hoist in front of the car I needed to move the chassis back in the garage. Following Martin’s lead, I dropped the car onto it’s front wheels using a cargo strap and the hoist, as my jack would not reach to the height of the top setting of the axle stands. Then, lifting the chassis by the roll-over bar and positioning the hoist slightly behind the car meant as it lifted, the car rolled back. A quick shuffle with the stands and a couple of repeats and we’d made a foot of extra space. I also could not believe how low the car looked on it’s wheels.

Then it was off with the wheels at the front again, and we suddenly realised the tread pattern is handed and we’d had the wheels on the wrong side. Must remember that when I put the wheels on for real.

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Help in the form of Barry arrived and we spent some time thinking about how we would manoeuvre the engine and gearbox to fit it. We quickly deduced that in order to get the hoist in front of the car I needed to move the chassis back in the garage. Following Martin’s lead, I dropped the car onto it’s front wheels using a cargo strap and the hoist, as my jack would not reach to the height of the top setting of the axle stands. Then, lifting the chassis by the roll-over bar and positioning the hoist slightly behind the car meant as it lifted, the car rolled back. A quick shuffle with the stands and a couple of repeats and we’d made a foot of extra space. I also could not believe how low the car looked on it’s wheels.

Then it was off with the wheels at the front again, and we suddenly realised the tread pattern is handed and we’d had the wheels on the wrong side. Must remember that when I put the wheels on for real.

Now to prep the engine itself. Following blog study and a chat to Derek by email, I decided to remove the RHS engine mount from the engine, remove the belt via the self-tensioning pulley at the top right/front of the engine and undo and then cable-tie the alternator to the block. Rumour had it (thanks Martin) that removing the plenum is simple and it creates a lot of space in the engine bay when fitting pipes and electrics, so off that came too. Holes on both the plenum itself and the engine block got the tape treatment to prevent any foreign objects getting inside and causing trouble later.

We attached the load leveller to the engine. The load leveller comes with four angle brackets to attach to the object to be lifted. I could not make these brackets work with the lifting eyelets or the bolt holes when the eyelets are removed. A quick trip to ScrewFix and I picked up a bag of M10 shackles. Reversing the load leveller chains and attaching the shackles to the chain and eyelets sorted the fixing issues. You can see the arrangement in the “Torquing the starter motor bolts” picture above.

With that done, we picked the engine up about 1 cm off the floor and left it hanging there to check the hoist and fixings were going to be strong enough to cope when suspending the engine over the car, and went off to lunch. The install would follow in the afternoon.

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