So my wrenching partner Steve stopped by to help me with the axles and driveshaft today. Last night I got the AC compressor and alternator off and a few other bits. Currently the vehicle looks like this.
Pretty much the same frontal as last time but missing the AC compressor and alternator. Not so amazing. Until you take a look at what I can only call absolute stupidity. First I should caveat something. I said before I am not new to this, and by not new I mean I have worked at several fabrication and custom speed shops over the years. I worked along side a legend in the turbo industry for a couple of years before I retired. So I appreciate the "Schooled by the noob" comment. Makes me feel like I have started all over again.
Now onto utter stupidity. Let's look at the design for the AC compressor.
This is a picture of the accessory side of the motor. The AC compressor is held in by two bolts on the front of the motor and slides on a stud on the side of the motor. I wouldn't mind this, if the serpentine belt tensioner wasn't then bolted to the outside of the AC compressor. This means, you can't just slide the thing off, you have to completely remove the tensioner. On top of that, the coolant line for the oil cooler is bolted to both the inside and outside of the same AC compressor bracket. One of those is bolted to the block itself. A tremendous waste of resources must have gone into designing this setup, and the person who designed it should be fired.
Anyway, here is the new exhaust.
It's not bad. Welds don't look robotic but have as good of penetration as I expect for 25 cents an hour in China. 5 cent an hour Chinese welds are crap. The flange is welded interior and exterior and the interior weld is ground down. The rear section is it's own pipe and has both the rear O2 sensor locations. Those will get plugged and I'll bring them closer to the header collector, closer to stock, so I don't have to extend any wires. It totally fits under the motor, clears the frame, but looks a bit short. Not a problem. I'll just cut and weld in a new piece of stainless and adjust the other issue, the rear flange to the cat back, which is clocked wrong.
The front manifold in place. Just wanted to make sure it fit and didn't hit anything, and it allowed me to see if the merge collector would fit as well.
So we got what we set out to accomplish. Both axles off, driveshaft off, all electrical connections off. The driver's axle, not problem. Passenger side? Huge PITA. It is connected by a three bolt retaining bracket off the back of the motor. I thought it was two pieces but it came out as one giant piece, all the way out of the transmission. I'm not sure if it breaks down into two pieces but if it does, I didn't figure it out in the short time I spent looking at it.
The driveshaft was a complete joy. The four bolts that hold the driveshaft to the tranny output are torqued down to about 9000 ft. lbs. and only two are accessible from the bottom at one time. This means, once we kicked them and broke two loose, we had to spin the driveshaft, which is a big problem. It's in park, and has no battery. Since the tranny is electrical, I couldn't put it in neutral. So we had to hook up the battery, reconnect that silly spinning tranny data plug, set it in neutral, spin the shaft, then put it back in park to lock the shaft back in place, to kick the other two bolts off.
All that being said, it's not too bad. A little more complicated than your average 4 banger but not much. Other than the three motor mounts, the motor is ready to come out. I got my engine hoist but need to pick up a load leveler tomorrow and a few feet of chain. Probably have the motor out by this weekend, swap the tranny and other bits, clean the engine bay, re-tape and tuck the wires a bit, build the cold air, mod the exhaust, and should be good to go.