Day by Day cartoon

Monday, June 14, 2004

Follow-up on my weekend

Well as previously mentioned, mine was not a weeknd of leisure. Instead it was filled with fun challenges, grease, (the grimy black kind, not the grilling kind) and a trip to the airshow.

Friday was "get the stripped out Subaru out of the driveway" day and that wasn't too tricky except that we removed the steering column, making changing its direction a real challenge. Lucky for me that I didn't take for granted the scrap metal collector being good to his schedule as I called to try to nail down a time and found out that my pick-up had fallen off their calendar. He did make it over pretty quickly after I got back on the schedule but he didn't bring me the $15 I had been promised the first time I called. I'm just happy to have it gone!

That Subaru had to depart to make room for Lily's similar Subaru which needs a transmission transplant. Her car began slipping mighty quickly after she bought it and has gotten worse in a significant way. From a stop the car barely will climb any of the local hills and it revs quite freely for a number of seconds before the parts all get spinning and engaging in the proper manner. So, Saturday morning, up on the jack stands it went for it's transplant.

I really thought that since son Noah and I had already gotten good and dirty on the donor car that this swap would go smoothly. Hah! In reality, nothing went terribly wrong but there was a lot of steps to the removal process and it took us until almost dinner just to get the transmission out from under the car.

[Ed note,there's a 5 hour break right here.]

The first complication turned out to be the torque converter to flywheel bolts. The book says you are to remove them through a small port on the top of the engine case or through a tiny gap between the oil pan and the crossmemember. WRONG! Removing bolts through either of those two choices would have required a miracle and probably words detrimental to a miracle actually being performed. Hmm, what to do? Well, there's no dust cover on the bottom of the bellhousing like most cars with the engine in the front and the transmission behind it, that area is covered up by the crossmember and the power steering rack. But hey, there's a big slot in the crossmember just above the rack and its only held in place by 4 bolts. I'll pull that down and see what I can see.

I can see a big slot and just above it the ring gear. I can even see the 4 bolts I need to remove, I just can't get a wrench on them. Where's my air powered cutoff wheel? I'll enlarge the slot! And that's what I did. It took two different tools with cutoff wheels but I enlarged just enough of the existing slot that I could get the torque converter bolts out. Heh!

Next, you must remove the lower control arms to get the axle shafts loose from the transaxle. That leaves everything hanging down low and in the way of my head. More words get said here, again preventing any miracles. And it seems that there is just no room to actually move the transmission out from under the car now that there are suspension bits hanging down and the leg of a crane that's been brought into action to tilt the engine and the jack stands that hold the entire mess up off my head, so- I removed the entire driver's side suspension. There wasn't much holding it in place anyway by this point and with just a couple more bolts and a brake hose removed it was loose in the driveway. That opened up the hole where the tranny could finally emerge into the daylight.

Of course there was more shaking and lifting and grunting before the tranny could finally be coaxed away from the engine and be lowered to the ground. The good news is we didn't break anything getting it out. By the time we were to this point it was too late to consider getting the new tranny back into the hole and reassembled so we knocked off for the night and had a good cleanup. Tricky work over all and son Noah and I were both pretty worn out.

The tranny still has to go back in... But that will have to wait until next weekend because Sunday was dedicated to homework and the air show! And you will have to wait to read more about it because its 9 PM and I still must write a review for tomorrow's writing class! And I'm tired because I came home and mowed the lawn tonight since I can't do it tomorrow night and the trash truck comes on Wednesday.

Crap I'm tired!

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