Saturday, April 11, 2009

So much to disconnect

This is going to be a long one, so I'll split today's entry into two. There are fewer and fewer connections between the engine/transmission and the chassis and I was determined to sever them all today one way or "another" (more on that to follow). First up was to disconnect the transmission.

The speedometer cable connects into the side of the transmission and is easily removed (in fact I think I could have removed it with my fingers).

There are a couple of electrical connectors for the reverse and (apparently) neutral switches (I have no idea what purpose the latter serves - but maybe I can make use of it later). Although both are on top of the transmission (sheesh - who thought of that?) the neutral switch connection was easy to see. I marked one of the pair of connectors so I could match them up correctly later and disconnected them.

The reverse one was impossible to see without a mirror and I wasn't able to mark them - I hope I can get them back together properly later.

There was also a bracket holding the cable bundle going to the back of the car bolted to the passenger side of the transmission so I unscrewed that.

Then I removed the 3 bolts connecting the transmission to the the 'torque arm' (a brace running from the back of the transmission and the differential). The Haynes manual says to remove the torque arm (and I'll need to later) but for now there's no need. You can see the speedo cable hanging loose in this picture too.

And the bolts go in a marked bag for reinstallation later.

Since the transmission is coming out, the shifter needs to me removed and that means that the center console is coming out. First the shift knob and ashtray (what's an ash tray for anyway?) come out.

The screw under the ashtray and two screws under the armrest come out.

As do two screws on either side of the console at the front.

And with that the center console is out. The wires underneath are for the parking brake so I marked them. Then I removed the insulation material round the shift knob exposing the lower shift boot which is held in place by 4 bolts.

Hmmmm - appears I be replacing that - after 17 years of gear changes it's pretty much shot.

The shifter itself is held in by 3 bolts (note in the picture I've reinstalled the 4 bolts for the shift boot - that way I have fewer bags of loose connectors to find when I come to put things back together again).

Once out, you can see the lubricant in the turret. I covered that with some duct tape to stop it spilling out when the transmission is tilted to get it out.

Here's the shifter removed and the (pieces) of the boot.

Now back into the engine compartment to disconnect the remaining connections accessible there. There is a tube going from the near the air intake to the EVAP canister (also known as the charcoal canister ... I guess because it contains charcoal) used to reclaim emissions from evaporating fuel. Too hard to pull off (and I didn't want to risk breaking/bending the nozzle on the engine) so I simply cut it.

I cut the fuel lines too and capped them (both ends) with some duct tape to prevent fumes.

The brakes in the Miata use a vacuum assist to reduce the amount of pedal force required to apply the brakes. This vacuum is provided by the engine and there is a hose going to the brake assist, so off it comes. This is another system I'll have to come up with a replacement for.

The Haynes manual suggest removing the clutch release cylinder which is attached to both the engine and transmission when pulling either. However when I looked at it I realized that it was far easier to leave it in place for now and simply disconnect the clutch fluid line at the top of the firewall when it connects to a flexible hose going down to the cylinder.

As you can see it below leaked a bit of clutch fluid. In fact it kept dripping and dripping until I realized that it was draining the clutch fluid reservoir. So I put a container under it and pumped the clutch pedal a few times until the draining stopped, then bagged both ends.

Whew ... that was a bit ... time for a lunch break.

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