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Using cam tower as rear lift hoop?


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So I'm doing a turbo conversion, taking out the engine (hopefully soon) but I don't have a rear lift point on the engine (for whatever reason it wasn't there when I bought the car). I do however have a front lift point and I also have a junk p79 head without a cam in it. The question is can I bolt the head on, wrap a chain around the rear cam tower and take the engine out successfully? The only thing scaring me is the thought that the weight of the engine causes the tower to pop off taking the head bolts and threads with it. So anybody think it'll work?

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You'll be putting some off-center loads on an aluminum piece designed for relatively light perpendicular loads. Could be risky. It might work, but if it doesn't there will be some noise and carnage. Take a video.

 

There is a whole thread on here somewhere about bolting a chain to the top of the engine using the head bolt holes, to pull an engine. The hardest part is finding a short bolt with the right threads so that you can clamp it tight to the deck. Put a smooth flat washer or other protection under the chain to avoid damaging the deck surface. Others have run a strap completely under the engine and lifted that way, it seems popular. If the transmission is out, one of those holes would be convenient.

 

I've clamped a chain loop to the exhaust manifold stud in the back. But the stud was in good shape and I angled the pieces for load distribution. It looked uncomfortable, but it was essentially the same load as the original engine hanging piece. If you have a piece of flat steel you could drill a couple of holes and make a new hanger.

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Go get some 1/4" steel flat barstock from your local harware store and make one. Tools required- saw(die grinder), drill,dremel. It will take a little bit of time and effort but it is soooo worth it in the end. Here's what I built for mine- I drew this up in MS Paint. It's rough but makes the point. You can probably get away with 3/16" thick steel also.

post-9176-092265500 1326136630_thumb.jpg

Edited by macambra
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This summer I pulled the tranny and motor together and I hated it. Things were real tight once all the tilting began. I'm just glad my paint was crap then. If I do it again, I'll pull the tranny first then the motor. I used 3/16 inch flat steel and bolted it to the bell housing and made my own load leveler.

15motorandtrannybefore.jpg

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The thing is I was really just hoping to pull the engine alone by itself, I'm on a bit of a time crunch to rebuild the engine. Everyone keeps saying its much easier to remove the engine and tranny at the same time, and it probably is, but I really just don't want to have a transmission sitting in my already crowded garage space.

 

So if the cam tower isn't ideal then I was going to get a piece of scrap steel and make a little bar to go across the rear intake and exhaust bolts at an angle with a loop at the end to hook up a balancer. Or my friend said that I could try hooking the balancer directly to the intake bolts (see attachment, keep in mind it will have shorter bolts)

 

Keep the suggestions coming guys, the alternative to rebuilding the engine out of the car is doing it in the car. I do love working on my car but I don't like squeezing under it and trying to pry pistons out from the bottom while oil drips into my mouth and nose

post-5235-002045700 1326313530_thumb.jpg

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You're totally right about picking the engine by itself. Together they are a PITA. The only trouble is, I'm pretty sure you'll have to pull the tranny first. I could be wrong, but I don't think you'll be able to slide the engine forward enough to pull it alone. I think the oil pan would hit the cross member before the clutch clears the tranny. There is some room to pick up on it though so maybe it would work. I'm sure someone else in here has tried it, hopefully they'll chime in on this.

 

Even if you had to pull the tranny first, then the motor, I still think it's easier. I know what you mean about not having room under there. My car was just on jack stands for 6 months and there wasn't much more I could do for room other than buying a larger floor jack to get it up higher. It sucked, so glad to see it back on the ground.

 

What do you have as far as jacks and car stands? It's easier to work under it when the car is up high, but the real trouble I ran into pulling my motor and tranny together, is that I bought the smaller 1 1/2 ton cherry picker. I had it tilted enough to clear the fire wall, but my motor ran into the cherry picker arm because it was almost at full tilt to get it all up high enough. It would've been easier if I could've lowered the car back down before I started to pull, but I couldn't because then the tranny tail shaft would've hit my firewall. This could have all been avoided by removing my tranny first. Food for thought.

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I have 2 2 ton stand and 2 4 ton stands, i would lift the car higher onto the larger stands but my crappy jack can't go up that high and I don't have anything to place it on to make it go any higher. My cherry picker is a 2 ton that i borrowed from a friend. The more you guys tell me the more it seems easier to just pull the moto/trans together.

 

But in theory could I take off the 2 side motor mounts, jack up the trans so the engine sits at an angle, slide out the oil pan (PITA for sure) and then use the cherry picker to lift the engine out (provided I have something on the rear to hook up to, maybe remove the heads rear freeze plug and hook up to that?)

 

If it feels like you guys are talking to a brick wall just know that I am listening, this is just how I am I'll try to do things my way until the very last minute then i'll do it the right way :P

Edited by WreZ
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Sometimes you just have to find out for yourself, but my suggestion is get a jack on the bell housing and since it alredy looks like you have the head off you can use your 90* hoist adapters and find a bolt that fits the block go block, washer, 90*, wacher, bolt on opposite ends of block bolt them down tight. Take out bell housing bolts lift up motor/ tranny, support bellhousing up aginst firewall. If you cant slide the motor out dropping the crossmember is 5 bolts, too easy.

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I've pulled a motor and trans together. It should be fairly easy with a load leveler and some patience. I had lots of patience but no load leveler, but it was still doable. It's harder to install together because the tail section is so heavy, tilted to get it back in, that it's hard to get it lifted to bolt the rear mount up.

 

One other option, if you can't get the car high enough would be to remove the drive shaft and transmission, but leave them under the car. That way you won't have to lift the car high enough to get the transmission out. Actually, you could pull the trans out through the engine bay after the engine is removed. Lift car high enough to drop transmission, leave it underneath, remove the engine, slide transmission forward and pull through engine bay. Reverse procedure for installation.

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since it alredy looks like you have the head off you can use your 90* hoist adapters and find a bolt that fits the block go block, washer, 90*, wacher, bolt on opposite ends of block bolt them down tight. Take out bell housing bolts lift up motor/ tranny, support bellhousing up aginst firewall. If you cant slide the motor out dropping the crossmember is 5 bolts, too easy.

 

That seems like the best way to go, didn't think of attaching the leveler directly to the block. I'm thinking that since I have the radiator out I should have enough room in the front and with the head off and the cherry picker at 1 1/2 tons the arm is pretty long so it should have lots of room there and if I can't clear the cross-member then I can try removing the pan. If that doesn't work out then I'll remove the transmission and the engine together.

 

Thanks guys

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If you have enough space to work with, then consider removing a front tire and getting the picker in from the side. This will allow you to get the car lower to the ground (many pickers have contact issues all over the place with the front suspension, doing this you just slide the legs in and slide out), giving you more vertical lift capability without having the engine contact the hoist.

 

Also, a good leveler is a real patience gainer. You have to have LOTS of patience to do it with a bad one, let alone none at all.

 

Also, I know it might be "duh" but leaving the radiator in makes this job a lesson in anger management.

 

I've pulled motors in S130s and S30s and the S130 is quite a bit tighter than the S30, but it's totally doable, and without hurting paint if you've done it before and know the angles.

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