First job in getting the engine out was to strip off various ancillary bits like the carburettor, fuel pump, various brackets and the remaining water hoses. These all came off fairly easily but the starter motor proved a bit more difficult, mainly due to the inner bolt. Access to the heat shield, cable connections and outer fixing bolts was straightforward but the inner bolt proved impossible to reach with the tools that I have. It needed a socket extension of the right length so that the ratchet would fit through gaps in the exhaust manifold. Despite trying various combinations of 3 different lengths, nothing gave me the right reach. Removing the exhaust manifold continued to prove difficult due to the size of the bolt heads which didn’t fit perfectly either with metric or imperial spanners/sockets.
I was intending to take the gearbox off before removing the engine but despite getting the bolts undone easily, it didn’t want to part company with the bell housing. I didn’t want to take the bell housing off since this would have meant supporting the engine from underneath which would have meant losing the ability to roll the chassis out of the garage. It was therefore going to be necessary to take out the engine and gearbox as a unit.
The engine mounting bolts came loose after a bit of a struggle and I was able to test how easily it would lift out of the chassis using a hoist fixed to a garage roof beam.
The engine came off the mounts easily but the exhaust manifolds were fouling the chassis towards the rear so they would need to be removed before finally lifting the engine clear.
Getting the manifold bolts undone with my tools was proving impossible so the mechanic who was going to rebuild the engine came over one evening to help. He had those special sockets which increase their grip when rotated onto the bolt head and these proved to be the right choice with all the bolts coming free within minutes. As I’ve owned the car since it was a year old I assume that these manifolds are original – I can’t remember any work being done on them at any stage. That would indicate that the ugly lower joint on the offside manifold is original!
With the manifolds removed it was decided to roll the chassis outside and use the engine crane to lift the engine out since this would be the easiest way of getting it into the back of his van.
The observant amongst you will notice the oil pouring out of the back of the gearbox. This should have been drained off before removal but I hadn’t realised that the prop shaft forms the oil seal at the back of the gearbox. With the gearbox tilted down so that the engine could be lifted from the chassis the oil came pouring out – much mopping up and sand required to get the mess cleaned up.
With the engine and gearbox removed, the rest of the chassis was surveyed for condition with no nasty surprises – some paint, some bare metal, mostly surface rust and most importantly still no lace-work on view.
So not quite a stripped chassis before the end of October but with the engine and gearbox out and at the re-builders, I’m happy with progress so far. November should see the rest of the suspension and differential removed so that the chassis re-finishing can begin.