Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Dropkick Murphy's and a Hungover Engine Pull

This weekend I attended the Dropkick Murphys at the University of Calgary. That was Friday night. It was loud, scary, loud and drunken. We were standing exactly where this video looks to been taken. My Friend Bryan, of road trip fame, threw up during this song (The Who's Baba O'riley). This was the first encore. We left shortly after. I was a little disappointed, I could here "Shipping Off to Boston" playing as we left.

Saturday I was hung-over with many people in my house. About noon the place cleared out and I quickly headed up to Red Deer to do what? - That’s right; pull the engine and trans on dad's TR. This schedule is not recommended.

The TR6 room was warm with its new heating system. I, dressed in shorts and a t-shirt, slowly I started removing the bonnet (hood) and labelling wires and hoses. It was a slow lethargic process.

Over time I built momentum. I removed the radiator; which was neat because it had water and coolant in it. I find that exciting. It also had some black oil in it. I suspect that's engine oil from a hole in the block but that's yet to be seen. Remember this car stopped running because a piston or rod through the block in 1980-81.

I then removed the cross member bolted in front of the engine block. I had to remove the cooling fan blade to dislodge the cross member. I suspect the cross member is in place to stiffen up the frame as convertibles are notorious flimsy. Thus their handling suffers.

Being quite hung-over I had to stop a couple of times and dry heave. I also had to hydrate profusely.

It decided to pull the engine and transmission together. The idea is that it will be easier to replace the clutch with the trans out of the car.

Dad's TR is a full load. This means it had both options available: removable hardtop and overdrive. Nowadays overdrive seems to be built into transmissions. Essentially I think of it as fifth gear.

It wasn't until I remove the transmission tunnel from the inside the car did I get an idea that overdrive on a TR is a different beast. It's even a different drive train item. It looks so cool.

Essentially older American cars work like this: from front to back: engine > trans > driveshaft > rear-end. This TR is: engine > trans > overdrive unit > driveshaft > rear-end. This simple variation is so cool.

Why they did this?

Triumph..., British Leyland, or whoever, decided to add the overdrive after the trans because it maintains the short-shift nature or the trans but adds long legs for driveability and economy over long distance. It's a sort of a best of both worlds situation: small gear ratios for quick acceleration and overdrive for long drives.

I also think it's cool that they just tacked it on the end of the transmission.

There three brackets holding the engine and trans in the car. One each side of the engine and under the back of the trans or overdrive unit if equipped.

After supporting the engine by a hoist I disconnected the front two brackets. the one under the trans has to be removed through the cockpit. The cardboard transmission cover is removed. Unfortunately, after disconnecting the driveshaft and trans from it's support bracket, you still can't get the engine and trans out. It seems the support bracket also has to come out.

I'm not sure anyone else has done this but the bracket removal was confusing as I could only access one bolt out of a possible four. This frustrated me for some time and I have to say it was the hardest part of the process so far. In my short-patience-hung-over state I removed the overdrive unit instead. This shortened the drive train so it could clear the bracket.

The engine and trans pull free from its surroundings - with some engine lift magic, some shimmying and a little brute force. The brute force had to come in when the front of the engine wasn't high enough to clear the grill but couldn't go up because the gearshift lever passed the mouth of the trans tunnel. Some brute force applied and engine was free and clear.

The Haynes manual said this process should take 3 hours. It took me 5.5 hours hung over and tired. I crawled into bed about one AM with the engine and trans resting safely on the floor.

Sunday I had to do the brakes on my truck. Next week I'm going to separate the engine/trans, inspect the clutch setup and mount the engine on an engine stand.

Sorry for the crappy I-Pics better pictures next week.

Post script: Found dad's car to be in excellent shape and turning bolts was easy. Especially surprising was the condition for the exhaust system as they usually rot out quickly. The exhaust on this car was solid as a rock - but not nice enough to keep.

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