Sunday, April 5, 2009

Stuff starts to come out

Last night was not actually the last drive - in order to heat up the engine and transmission oil for draining I took a 10 minute spin this morning to warm the engine up. Since the gas gauge was now well below 'E' I brought along the gas can I use for my lawn mower 'just in case' - it was not needed.

I got the car up on jack stands and quickly realized that I need to go buy a better floor jack. While I can now crawl underneath it's still a pretty tight squeeze (the jack I got off Craigslist only lifts just over 14"). I made do with it today though.

Next problem was, of all things, draining the engine oil. I'm convinced that the shop I use must have used an impact wrench to tighten the oil drain plug. I could not get it to budge until, in desperation, I slid myself completely under the car, head under the diff, put my foot on the wrench and used that as leverage to loosen the plug. Luckily the transmission drain plug came off a lot easier.

Next up was the air intake system which was easy enough. The belts, however, gave me a bit of a problem until I realised that someone has installed the top bolt on the alternator (which rides in a slot to allow tightening of the belts) backwards (so that the head was to the rear of the car instead of the front). Having figured that out, the alternator came out too.

Next up were the water pump and drive pulleys, but I managed to skin my knuckles badly on the former (at the top of the engine) that I thought I'd give myself some more room before tackling the latter by removing the radiator and fans. So off came the splash shield under the engine and the fans (of the 8 screws holding the 2 fans in, the bottom left one is a real pain to get out). I then opened up the radiator drain plug and out came just over a gallon of coolant. That seems a little light and the Haynes manual says there should be a drain plug on the side of the engine block to drain fluid from it ... but I'll be damned if I can see it.

Oh well - time to stop for the day ... my wife left this morning on a road trip with my middle daughter to visit some colleges (it's spring break here in Fairfax County) so I have some 'daddy' duties to perform with my youngest. I'll get back to it tomorrow evening.

Just for the record, here's what I've removed so far:

- the engine and transmission oil
- the coolant (well some? of it)
- air intake system
- drive belts
- water pump pulley
- alternator
- engine splash shield
- radiator fans


  1. Need some eye candy :)
    Pictures, pictures, picture!

    Let the fun begin! Glad to see you digging into it.

  2. Camera went with my wife on the college tour and batteries are dead in our other one - I hope that's not a bad omen :0.