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sfm6s524

Install Engine With Trans, or Engine Then Trans?

Install Engine With Trans, or Engine Then Trans?  

11 members have voted

  1. 1. Install engine and trans as unit? Or install engine, then trans?

    • Install engine and trans as unit, just like FSM says.
      10
    • Install engine, then trans, a little extra work.
      1


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Getting ready to install my rebuilt motor.  Just wondering if I should install engine and trans as unit like the FSM suggests.  Or get engine settled in, supported in the rear, then lift trans into place.  I've never installed/removed engine/trans as a unit in a Z, but have in other cars.  I've got trans jack and load leveler, and a helper, could go either way.  Harbor Freight load leveler is scary, hold my breath every time I use that dang thing.  Hood removal, reinstallation, and alignment seems the only disadvantage.

Anyway, just wondering what others do.

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I think it's 50/50.  If you do the transmission separately make sure that you have the car lifted high enough to slide it underneath before you start.  Or put it under the car through the engine bay before you install the engine.  Otherwise you have to rig up some device to hold the engine in place while you lift the car if you didn't have it high enough.

A trick I learned if you do both together (after I had already installed both together, and struggled mightily) is to tie a rope around the tail of the transmission and lift from the inside through the shifter hole to get the cross member installed.  Use a piece of wood to roll up the rope to hold it in place.  It's very difficult to get underneath the tail and lift when you have the weight of both hanging there.

I don't know how much range you have on the load leveler.  You might run it through it's range with the engine and transmission to see if it will work before you get it all hanging over the car.

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I can chime in here. I do mine by myself too and Zed Head is, as always, 100%. Also mark around you hood hinges before removal and it'll go back just fine, no alignment problems.

If you'll read this one page of my build thread you can see a great photo and advice from @Jeff G 78 and then my OCD rambling but it worked perfect at the end of the day. EDIT: after reading that again myself there's a whole slew of great advice from the guys on this forum. Click on the "April 7, 2016" reply.

Take your time and all possible precautions. Good luck with the install. 

 

Edited by siteunseen
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The bipod, use the bipod.  That weird looking knobby thing in the right hand corner.  For sharing.  There's a lot of pages in that thread.  Thanks for the compliment too, I do try.

 

Edited by Zed Head
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A good read on Site's thread, thanks!  I've got the same leveler, so I guess I shouldn't worry about it too much.  Years ago I pulled the motor sideways over the fender after removing trans.  I guess I'll do the the engine with trans method this time.  Hopefully no need to remove the front bumper, I'll do some measuring first.  

Engine is not as great as some I've seen here, but will hopefully run good.  Decided to try to keep this 73 on the stock side, even the smog stuff.  Well, it does have earlier carbs.  I'll probably regret that choice later.  🙄

 

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Edited by sfm6s524
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32 minutes ago, sfm6s524 said:

A good read on Site's thread, thanks!  I've got the same leveler, so I guess I shouldn't worry about it too much.  Years ago I pulled the motor sideways over the fender after removing trans.  I guess I'll do the the engine with trans method this time.  Hopefully no need to remove the front bumper, I'll do some measuring first.  

Engine is not as great as some I've seen here, but will hopefully run good.  Decided to try to keep this 73 on the stock side, even the smog stuff.  Well, it does have earlier carbs.  I'll probably regret that choice later.  🙄

 

IMG_6198.JPG

 

Love the paint color you went with. Can you share what you used? Looks so much cleaner than mine!

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Looks good! Your's is the right color blue too. @Captain Obvious makes fun of my baby blue. LOL

That leveler scared the bejesus out of me when I first used it, popping and jerking about with my motor hanging over my 280. I tweaked it a little and used a socket instead of the turn handle. 

Scraped the paint off the bottom where the roller is. That made it smoother.

20201002_144058.jpg

Then I used some axle grease on the roller and the bottom, even smoother.

20201002_144154.jpg

Socket on the other end too.

20201002_144215.jpg

 

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27 minutes ago, Muzez said:

Love the paint color you went with. Can you share what you used? Looks so much cleaner than mine!

I ordered it from California Datsun.  Felt stupid at the time spending 30+ bucks for a rattle can, but is does look right!  👌  1 can did the block, brackets and air pump pulley, and still a bit left.

https://www.californiadatsun.com/paint-body/datsun-engine-true-blue-green-spray-can-paint.html

 

IMG_6199.JPG

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2 hours ago, sfm6s524 said:

 I guess I'll do the the engine with trans method this time.  Hopefully no need to remove the front bumper, I'll do some measuring first.  

You can also raise the back end of the car,  that will make the angle of the engine/trans less and therefore easier.

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5 hours ago, siteunseen said:

. @Captain Obvious makes fun of my baby blue. LOL

Only in jest!    :beer:

My local Z buddy here painted a block a couple years ago with that custom blue can from CA Datsun. Looked great compared to the stock color (when compared to other things like the harmonic balancer from that engine). Then he bought a second can about a year ago to do a second block and now it's a lot darker that it used to be. Doesn't match the stock color very well. Too dark and not enough green.

sfm6s524,  It's hard to tell from just a pic, but yours looks like the darker batch. There might be some overspray on the plate between the block and trans for a comparison?

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Thanks Cliff!

I've R&R'd dozens of Z powertrains and I almost always keep them together.  I hate trying to line up the trans under the car.  I'd much rather do it while the engine is hanging from a hoist.

As for hoists, if you have a folding hoist, you might have to pull the front bumper to get enough reach to be centered on the engine.  I had to buy a fixed leg hoist to do mine with the bumper in place.  You can get the engine out, but lining it up during install is almost impossible if the reach is too short.

The first dozen or so engine pulls were done with a Farmall Cub tractor with a custom boom hoist.  It was 100 times easier than any engine hoist I've ever used.  I could pull an engine in a gravel driveway as easy as in a shop.  I'll have to see if I can find an old picture of that setup.  I miss that tractor!

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I hanged (hung?) a hoist from my garage rafters and rolled the car back and forth.  People generally hate to read that but if you know how rafters work it can be safe.  Spread the load and know the loads is the key. 

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sfm6s524,  It's hard to tell from just a pic, but yours looks like the darker batch. There might be some overspray on the plate between the block and trans for a comparison?


Not much original paint left on the plate, but it does look pretty close. Here’s a pic in better light (old fan belt). But I may be a bit color blind too. I think my spray can is about 3 years old now.4a84dda6cc477a3da54ac9bc9caea9fc.jpg

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I’ve done it both ways a few times now, but believe putting the engine and transmission in as unit is easiest. I can imagine that just a small difference in the geometry of one hoist/leveler setup vs. another could make an annoyingly big difference, but here’s what worked well for me:

 

Jack up the rear of the car and set it on jack stands (lowest level, about 12in from the floor to the top of the stand. Make sure you leave enough room in front of the Z for the full length of the engine+transmission hanging from the hoist.

 

Aside: My son and I (mostly my son) devised this approach to minimize the vertical clearance needed (my garage ceiling is 10ft) while leaving room under the car to finagle the transmission crossmember into place. It works perfectly.

 

Put some folded towels over the core support and draped in front of the firewall from the cowl. Lubricate the screw threads on your engine leveler.

 

Raise the engine+trans until the transmission clears the core support, then wheel it over the engine bay, centering it right-left as best you can. Using your leveler start tilting the whole thing back (transmission down) and raising the whole thing up so that the oil pan clears the core support. Between you and your helper, one keeps a hand on the tail of the transmission and steers the whole thing, the other guy manages the hoist (up/down, forward/back, tilt/level). Hoist man should be confident in his ability to lower the hoist at a slow rate and stop its decent - practice before this point can’t hurt.

 

As the oil pan crosses the core support you will probably approach the backward-tilting limit of your hoist. As you lower it into the bay, start tilting it forward (transmission). Continue lowering, pushing, and tilting until the the engine is almost resting on the drivers side mount (it’s higher than the other one). Make sue the fore/aft tilt looks good compared to the engine brackets and mounts.

 

At this point, it may be useful to loosen the engine brackets bit to make threading the bolts into the engine mounts easier. Put the bolts on the driver side first, then lower the engine a bit more so you can get the bolts on the passenger side. Getting all four transmission mount bolts threaded can be one of the most fiddly, annoying, swear-inducing things you can do on a Z (at least, on mine), but you WILL get them. Having your helper push tail piece of the transmission forward/back, in/out, up/down from under the Z can help.

 

Once the front engine mount bolts are finger-tight, the transmission crossmember can be installed.

 

 

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk Pro

 

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9 hours ago, sfm6s524 said:

Not much original paint left on the plate, but it does look pretty close. Here’s a pic in better light (old fan belt). But I may be a bit color blind too. I think my spray can is about 3 years old now.

 

 

You're right. That does look pretty close. If you bought that can three years ago, it's probably the older formulation.

I don't know if it was intentional or an oversight, but the newer cans (from that same source) are different than the old cans.

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9 hours ago, pogden said:

I’ve done it both ways a few times now, but believe putting the engine and transmission in as unit is easiest....

 

Thanks pogden, detailed!  And everyone else.  I should make a time lapse video of install.  Waiting for a couple parts, and maybe get my 16 year old grandson over to help.  But I'll probably keep him away from the hoist lowering valve as engine is dangling over the car.  :finger:

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I actually had once where the engine slipped right into the transmission without much fuss. It's the 12 other times (slow learner) that finally made me:

A. Always pull the ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION as a unit.

B. ALWAYS reinstall the ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION as a unit.

We exclusively use the "Raise The Rear End method" when we re-install.

Someone told me once to cut the heads off four head blots and round the ends. Screw them into the block. Now the engine has GUIDES to make a perfect re-alignment into the transmission. He SWORE by it. I SWORE while doing it because it didn't help me at all (I'm obviously not as skilled - it seemed like the perfect method)

The one interesting thing about the L-series when installing an engine (where the transmission is still in place) is it's "lean" to the left. If you can't get that lean right (I mean correct - and I'm not talking politics here) it's more difficult to mate them. 

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28 minutes ago, cgsheen1 said:

Someone told me once to cut the heads off four head blots and round the ends. Screw them into the block. Now the engine has GUIDES to make a perfect re-alignment into the transmission. He SWORE by it. I SWORE while doing it because it didn't help me at all (I'm obviously not as skilled - it seemed like the perfect method)

Yeah, that seems to work okay with trans studs into bell housing, but not so much for bell housing to block.  

Install has gotta be a be a bit easier than my Sunbeam Tiger!  Engine has to be pulled with trans to get to trans or clutch.  Tight fit!  😓.   On Tiger you can go out the top, or drop subframe and drop out the bottom.  Choose the scary way.

IMG_4552.JPG

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I just did them both together.  This is my first build and I had a hell of a time getting the transmission mated up even out of the car. I think I would have just quit if I’d tried to do it with the engine already in. 
 

Putting them in together was pretty straightforward with my cheap Harbor Freight hoist and load balancer.  I roped my fiancé into helping me guide it in, but probably could have done it myself with only marginally more cursing. 
 

 

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Edited by rcv
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On 10/6/2020 at 2:58 AM, siteunseen said:

I had the same problem, on the garage floor. I thought I had a wrong 5 speed. It was tough.

I ended up un-mating and re-mating the transmission about 5 times before the engine went in (see my clutch thread for that fun story).  I finally got really good at it. The trick was to get the vertical alignment of the friction disk just perfect. To do that, you have to wiggle it up and down while it’s being held by your alignment tool, and torque down the pressure plate when the disk is in the middle of its range of motion.  Once I got that right, the transmission would slide in very smoothly with no issues. 

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A bit off topic, but primed the motor today.  Found a 7/16" diameter rod about 18" long, and ground a flat to fit the oil pump.  Ran drill CCW for a minute or two and made sure oil was squirting out of all the cam oiler bar holes.  A little messy having to remove oil pump afterwards, but should be good to go.

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Why will you remove the pump? I don't think I had to.

I did like you but my Dewalt was on #2 and I had oil everywhere from my oiler cam. This is on low speed setting.

Screenshot_20201007-163143_Samsung Internet.jpg

 

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Having worked as a journeyman mechanic for 30 years, I have changed out hundreds of engines, transmissions, and differentials, in all manner of machinery and vehicles. The process is pretty much the same, be it a tractor, car, heavy truck or trailer mounted equipment.

Most important is good planning beforehand, selection of quality tooling, and having enough room and an organized work area.

Reasons for removing (and subsequently reinstalling) an engine or transmission separately might be that one requires repair or maintenance, while the other doesn't, or, when performing a full restoration of a car. Then it makes sense to join the engine and transmission before installing them in the car. I even dress the engine fully before dropping it in to reduce the amount of time spent bending over the fenders afterwards.

I lost count of how many times I have removed and replaced the engine in my race Z, but the last time was after the crankshaft broke. Nothing wrong with the transmission, so I rigged up a way to hold the front of it, and pulled the engine only. 

Soon, I will be pulling the engine and transmission from my brown 72 Z. I will be pulling them together, as the engine needs a rebuild, and the transmission (an automatic) won't be going back in. And when I reinstall everything, it will most likely be as a unit.

So there isn't really a right or wrong way to remove and install these things, provided it is done safely. 

 

 

 

 

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