Sunday, April 29, 2007

One More Step to Extinction

The Porsche-saurus Rex has been extracted from its lair!

Charlie and I posing with the beast

I had problems getting to sleep last night. That engine was still hiding comfortably in my Porsche and I needed to get him out. Charlie planned to come down today so we could finish the job and I got started doing a few little time consuming tasks before he made it down, so we could get right down to the engine removal business.
The experience was exhilarating and a bit stressful. There were a few minor mishaps on the way. We had difficulty getting the engine bar bolts removed. We then went over to the transmission side to remove the bolts holding that up. There seemed to be quite a bit of space 2 or 3 inches, at least, between the transmission and the back of the cart. I tried to remedy that by placing some styrofoam on the cart. That worked about as well as using cardboard to stop a bullet. The tranny dropped down with a thud and cracked the back of the cart. As best I can tell, no damage to the transmission, but it was a little unnerving. I don't know whether getting the front engine bar bolts all the way out first would have helped or not, but I would recommend that if you have that much space between the transmission and the cart, stick a 2 X 4 on the back of the cart so it doesn't have as far to drop.

This Is an Example of a Bad Idea. My Intentions Were Honorable...

We then solved the front engine bar bolt mystery (there was a nut at the top that we couldn't see that prevented us from completely unscrewing the bolts. Once solved we had the full engine on the cart.
Now it was time to jack up the car so we could slide out the engine. This started out well. The engine stayed on the cart as the car lifted up. We started pulling the engine out and got stuck at that pesky CV bar. We needed to lift it out of the way and the various contortions we tried could not get us past it. We needed to get the car higher, but the jack was all the way at its maximum. This was a bit precarious and there didn't seem to be a good solution. I then decided to ask my neighbor if he had another jack with better clearance.
My neighbor calls himself Vanishing Wolf and he spends many hours in his oversized garage working on old-fashioned hot rods. As I approached, Vanishing Wolf was casually working under his latest hot rod with a cigarette dangling from his mouth. "Just set your jack stands, lower the jack and put a piece of 4 X 4 on the jack, then jack it back up," he said flicking the ashes from his cigarette. He had to repeat this suggestion twice more before I understood what he was talking about.
I shuffled back to give this idea a try. We did it only on the passenger side which allowed us to slide the engine sideways and get around the driver side CV arm. My friend Stacey dropped by just at this pivotal moment and was able to watch as we slid the engine out from under the car (I'd like to say it went smoothly, but it would be fair to say that in my zeal to finish the job, I failed to notice that Charlie and Stacey were a bit traumatized by the precarious nature of the jack with the 4 X 4 sitting on top of it).

I think that part of the 4 X 4 is touching the Jack. Charlie wasn't so sure.

Getting that engine out was quite the adrenaline rush, and it was nice to finally sit back and enjoy the Sierra Nevadas that Brent brought by the previous day (thanks Brent). Like a cowboy, Charlie then headed off into the sunset. Unlike our President, I think we earned our swagger today. After a couple of Sierras, Stacey and I took a hike up a nearby hill. In the distance, you could just make out tip of the old engine peeking out from my garage. I felt on top of the world. It also reminded me that soon, I will be looking down to the sea from the mountains of the Amalfi Coast of Italy. The trip will be that much sweeter with this engine drop behind me. It's off to bed and back to work tomorrow. I'll put up a "Step 3" technical post tomorrow.

No comments: