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Preferred method of reinstalling engine/transmission?

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  • Preferred method of reinstalling engine/transmission?

    I've in the process of restoring a 1960 T-bird sedan. I pulled the engine separately from the transmission and had a very difficult time getting the block to clear the steering linkage enough to get separation from the transmission. Based on this, it seems a dubious challenge indeed to reinstall in the same way. Therefore I'm considering installing the two (engine/transmission) as a single assembly, but am concerned with managing the weight and snaking that assembly back into the car that will be freshly and expensively painted at the time. Suggestions? What has worked well for others?


    Thx

    Rancherman

  • #2
    I've done it that way before and didn't notice any major issue with the steering linkage. Did you leave the torque converter in the transmission? If you raise it straight up it shouldn't hang on the linkage. It helps to raise the front of the transmission so it's almost touching the firewall when you put it back in.

    John
    John Pizzi - Squarebirds Administrator

    Thunderbird Registry #36223
    jopizz@verizon.net 856-779-9695

    http://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm

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    • #3
      The last one I helped to put in, we put the engine and trans back in the car as a unit. There were 3 of us on the job to help guide and push, but it slipped in nicely. No damage to the paint or engine compartment. We also had one of the engine "heavy duty levelers" from Harbor Freight. It really helped to adjust the angles as we wiggled the engine/trans back into place. Took about an hour to get it in and sitting on the mounts.
      Nyles

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      • #4
        Engine alone or engine and trans as a unit - either works. Make sure you engine hoist is rated to deal with the weight of the assembly. Have a couple of helpers when you do this and also some old carpeting to lay on the inner fenders. Should you bang into something, hopefully the carpeting will keep you from chipping the paint. Shouldn't be a problem.

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        • #5
          Preferred methid of reinstalling engine/transmission?

          Not knowing what a Heavy Duty Load Leveler looked like, I looked it up on Harbor Freights website and the cost. Cost, not to bad. Brad told me that he is not quite ready to do this, but did want to find out if it was feasible to do it as a unit. I had told him that others on here have. Now he has a better understanding of the way to do it and the number of people it is advisable to have to do it. Thanks for the input. Here is what I found.
          Attached Files

          Ray Clark - Squarebirds Administrator
          '59 Tbird "The Yellow Rose Of Texas" aka "Tweety Bird"
          "It's Hip To Be Square"
          Thunderbird Registry #33025 VTCI #11178

          Contact me via Private Message for my email address, or (Cell) 210-875-1411 (Home) 210-674-5781

          http://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm

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          • #6
            I did both the remove and install of my 430 with the trans attached. That is what the service manual recommends. You'll need to disconnect the idler arm mount from the frame and drop the linkage (at least for the 430).

            I used the Harbor Freight tilt device and it was really not that hard. I had 2 other guys to help.

            All said and done, I would not want to do engine and trans separately. Too much chance of smashed fingers.

            Pictures show removal (2008) and installation (last month).

            John
            Attached Files
            John Orwin
            1960 HT 430
            VTCI #11290
            Tbird Registry #1590

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            • #7
              I LOVE the chain attachment in these pictures.
              Please, do not use those intake manifold plates, mounted to the 1/4" carburetor bolts. Every time I see one it makes my skin crawl. I use bolts with washers through the chain, screwed into the heads. I have used the ends of the heads or intake manifold holes. I've also choked Y-block exhaust manifolds with flat nylon safety straps but I prefer chains.

              I use a 2-ton hoist and it works well within the margin of safety. Remember, the farther the arm is extended, the more 'load rating' DECREASES.

              So, how did Ford stuff engines on the assembly line? One guy on top, controlling the air hoist and one guy in the pit guiding the tail shaft. The engine and trans were already assembled and they stuffed one engine per minute while the car body was moving on a conveyor, all day long. Think about that. The line is moving ~ 25-feet per minute. They get about 15 seconds to actually stuff the engine and unhook the hoist. While the rest of the car is moving out of the way, the guy on top is hooking and hoisting his non-adjustable spreader to the next engine/trans. The guy in the pit is starting the fasteners, to be tightened down the line.

              Assembly workers are amazing to watch. They work together with no wasted motion. Not every single engine mated with the body mounts the first time but they knew which way to finesse each short up/down motion with each 'rocking' command. In no time, both assemblers made the other's job much easier by working in unison. They stuffed over 450 power plants per shift into painted bodies, five or six days per week. - Dave
              My latest project:
              CLICK HERE to see my custom hydraulic roller 390 FE build.

              "We've got to pause and ask ourselves: How much clean air do we need?"
              --Lee Iacocca

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              • #8
                When I restored the 60 Bird 3 years ago, the restoration shop installed the tranny first and the engine second vs. together. It took a LOT of time and hard work with 3 people to get the tranny mated to the engine. In my opinion, I would try installing them together as I think it would be much easier to attach the tranny and would save time overall. You will most likely need the leveler to squeeze everything into the engine bay.

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                • #9
                  At Wixom, engines came in on racks and transmissions came in on other racks because they came from different plants. Automatics were mated in an 'overhead' conveyor setup with the toque converter in the trans.

                  There are two flex plate holes for the torque converter's drain plugs and there are four torque converter studs. I've seen many re-installed transmissions where the drain plugs were covered by the flex plate. Obviously, that is wrong. Working underneath, the correct holes/drain plugs are apparent IF you're looking for them when lining-up the converter.

                  The assembler starts a couple bell housing bolts when he gets the converter bolts into the flex plate. Then he uses a tool to 'ratchet' the flex plate by hand from underneath as he starts the four nuts on the converter studs. Hand rotation 'pops' the components into alignment then all the fasteners are tightened. One guy does it and he makes it look easy.

                  Down the same off-line, exhaust manifolds and final dress components are added. This complete subassembly is added to a long overhead conveyor of correct engine/transmission assemblies that fit the schedule for when they arrive at the Final Assembly line. Then it's ready to rock, just stuff it in and bolt it down. Next...

                  I've seen guys bolt the torque converter to the flex plate first but there is a greater danger of breaking transmission parts. It's much safer to offer the trans with converter TO the flex plate. - Dave
                  My latest project:
                  CLICK HERE to see my custom hydraulic roller 390 FE build.

                  "We've got to pause and ask ourselves: How much clean air do we need?"
                  --Lee Iacocca

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by orwin View Post
                    I did both the remove and install of my 430 with the trans attached.
                    Guess there is no chance of getting 430 out and leaving hood on?
                    Really not looking forward to removing hood, ever really.
                    59-430-HT

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by OX1 View Post
                      Guess there is no chance of getting 430 out and leaving hood on?
                      Really not looking forward to removing hood, ever really.
                      It's a snap, circle where the bolts are sitting before, put them in the same place after. It's also a chance to clean the bottom side of the hood, but I did it myself, mind you I have monkey arms!!!
                      Scott
                      South Delta, BC, Canada
                      1960 White T-Bird, PS, PB that's it
                      Red Leather Interior!
                      www.squarebirds.org/users/sidewalkman
                      Thunderbird Registry #61266
                      http://www.squarebirds.org/picture_g...ibrary/trl.htm

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                      • #12
                        I have seen people drilling a small alignment hole through the bottom of the hood and into the hinge arm to make realignment easier. Wish I would have done that.

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                        • #13
                          I agree with Scott. Just outline the bolts with a pencil and put them back in the same place. That's worked for me without having to drill any holes.

                          John
                          John Pizzi - Squarebirds Administrator

                          Thunderbird Registry #36223
                          jopizz@verizon.net 856-779-9695

                          http://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm

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                          • #14
                            Removing the hood is mandatory but not a big deal, really. As said, there are a host of methods for putting things back the way they were.

                            I've used a spritz of spray paint in the corners of opposing hood hinges. Nothing is more positive than a 'guide pin' hole. If you don't like the way it looks, make the hole diameter 1/8" and put a pop-rivet in there. Not only does it locate exceptionally well but it looks 'finished' when done. (But, who is ever going to look?) Aluminum pop-rivets are also easy to drill out.

                            Work safe and take your time. This is a two-man job. When I pull/stuff an engine, I make sure the body is off the suspension (so it doesn't move), solidly on jack stands and high enough so I can work underneath. Laying on cardboard makes it easy to slide around, it keeps me off the floor, anything that drops is easily retrieved and it absorbs. Give the body a good shake before going under. The rear wheels can be on ramps but the front subframe must be on stands for stability.

                            If you want to see how your engine went in at Wixom, CLICK HERE and go to 4:22 in the video. They show a few people on top but that's for the video. Actually, one on top and one underneath is how engines are stuffed. Also notice all the 'final dress' components that are already on the engine like the exhaust crossover pipe. - Dave
                            My latest project:
                            CLICK HERE to see my custom hydraulic roller 390 FE build.

                            "We've got to pause and ask ourselves: How much clean air do we need?"
                            --Lee Iacocca

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              i vote both come out

                              I have had mine out about 3 or 4 times in the last 2 years. first time i did them separate. But i take the both out now. but the leveler is almost required and 2 people makes it crazy easier. also i removed the radiator which gives alot more room.
                              Last edited by StealthSRT10; November 12th, 2018, 10:58 AM.
                              1959 Thunderbird 397ci
                              Cruise-O-Matic
                              Flamingo Pink.
                              Thunderbird Registry #8442
                              Daily driver

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