13 February 2015

Engine Out / Engine In

This is going to be a long post, and I'm mostly putting it here for posterity - so a few years down the road, we can remember what we did.  But the long and short of it is that we took the engine and transmission out, cleaned them both up, replaced some parts, and then put them back together.
It's a pretty impressive before and after, no?

First things first.  Unhook all the things!  Kyle is my hero - it was a cold night, and he had no qualms about laying on the cold cement while getting doused in frigid fuel, trying to block off the fuel lines.
Since we started in early January, we didn't have much daylight to work with so the first photos are few and far between.  Most of them look like this, except blurry.
However, we got lots of photos of where hoses and wires hooked up to help us when we were putting everything back together.  For the disassembly process, Kyle drew on the boundless knowledge of ratwell.  There was some bus yoga involved.
Finally, it was time to take out the engine and transmission.
Most likely, we're looking at nearly forty years of dirt buildup and oil leak sludge.
From there, Kyle continued to pull it apart, but it was a solo mission and it was dark out so we don't have any photos of how dirty everything was!  It looked a lot like the photo below, except everything was black.
And then we cleaned.  And cleaned.  And cleaned.  Most notably, Kyle tackled the "tins."  First he scrubbed.
 Then paint remover and more scrubbing.
 Finally, abrasion to removed the paint and rust.  He was really wishing for a sandblaster at this point.
Then we painted the tins and a few other things.  And I swear I took photos of the painting but they must be on Kyle's laptop.  Anyway, the oil leak caked grime over everything.  Check out the before and after on the fan shroud:
Most of the time stuff had to be scraped, then scrubbed with a wire brush.  Here's another buddy with the before and after.
We replaced some parts, mostly seals, with the goal of stopping (or at least slowing) the oil leak.  We also replaced the drive plate in the clutch - the rivets are supposed to have at least a couple millimeters of material above the rivet head, but ours were pretty well ground through.  It was time to replace it...
It felt like we worked day and night to get everything cleaned up and put back together.  This whole thing consumed a lot of our time, but it still took us a month to get it back together.  We finally started the reassembly, and it looks pretty good!
Everything went really well though - I kept expecting something terrible to happen, like a bolt/nut rusted together and impossible to loosen.  We stripped out one stud but it was a relatively easy fix.  The real challenge came when we were trying to reattach the transmission.  The clutch drive plate floats freely in the clutch (until you tighten down all the bolts) and the transmission shaft needs to line up with the drive plate, etc.  The Samba claimed you could "just eyeball it."  By the second night, we had learned that was NOT TRUE.
So you can see the splines.  Just beyond the splines, the diameter is a bit smaller.  We search HIGH and LOW for something that would fit snugly in there.  We finally found a paint marker that would fit perfectly, then Kyle added tape to meet the spline diameter.  Our hero:
And then the transmission slid right on.  This was fairly late at night so most of the photos were pretty crappy and blurry by then.
Okay!  So that was Friday night.  We called it quits after that.  We were hoping to pop the engine back in Saturday morning and be at the campground by Saturday night.
It was not to be.  It took the better part of Saturday to reattach hoses and wires.  Oh, we also changed the transmission gear oil. 
By Saturday night I was so exhausted I gave up.  Kyle kept working, because he's a MACHINE! He called me out when he was ready to try starting it.  He hopped in...and immediately hopped back out.  No clutch.  So that was a little more work.  Finally, everything was ready.  It fired right up...and then died.  We couldn't get it to run for more than a few seconds.

And that's where we're at right now.  We know we have a problem with the AFM (air flow meter) one or more vacuum leaks but that's as far as we've diagnosed.  We needed a day off so we had a Sunday Funday - first seeing if anyone was left at the campground, then out for Mexican, then a brewery, and then collapsing in a tired, sore heap at home.

We should get more work done tonight, and then hopefully a test drive. 

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