I borrowed a Porter Cable polisher from my friend Karlis and went to town on the car this weekend. I got most of the fine scratches out, but another pass is probably still required. The advantage of a silver car is that it doesn’t snow scratches or swirls as easily.
No pics now because of rain, but hopefully.
I replaced the rear main seal. It wasn’t too bad of an install, I hope it doesn’t leak.. After that I installed the resurfaced flywheel from Vast and the Southbend OFE stage 3 clutch & RS4 pressure plate. It felt good to finally install some new parts. I feel like I’m making forward progress.
Today, with the help of my father, I removed the the motor and transmission. It was not a complicated process and as many have said before it is a series of small steps. There is a lot of unplugging and looking around. With a mechanical ability and time and patience this could be tackled by anyone.
After removing the front core support, disconnecting the battery and removing the airbox, Y-pipe, intercoolers and draining the oil I raised the case on jackstands.
Under the car
- Disconnect and remove the cat-back exhaust
- Remove the drive shaft heat shield, 4 10mm bolts
- Remove the transmission tail cover. I forget the size of the 2 Torx bolts. Becareful not to strip these!
- Remove the 6 6mm hex bolts on the drive shaft to transmission. Jam a screwdriver in the center U-joint to prevent the DS from rotation. Use a long extension and be careful not to strip these! If the DS is stuck to the transmission go at it with a hammer.
- Unbolt the transmission mounts (2 13mm on each mount) and the engine mounts (13mm). Removing the transmission mounts gives you a little more clearance, but I didn’t find it necessary.
- If you have a drive train stabilizer bar (DTS) you only need to unbolt the center mount from the bar.
- If the front axles have triple square (12pt) bolts you must use a 10mm triple square socket to unbolt them. If you try to use a hex socket there is a strong chance you will strip it. I stripped one but fortunately was able to remove the bolt with a borrowed triple square socket.
In the cabin
The shifter linkage is easy to disconnect but it is adjustable so be sure to mark the two linkage rods before unbolting them! They may already be marked. The rubber boot also needs to be pushed out of the shifter box.
You’ll want to remove the AC compressor from the motor and swing it out of the way so that you don’t have to drain the AC refrigerant. Unbolt the oil pan bracket for the lines and also remove the front coolant pipe, oil filter and unbolt the hard coolant pipe that goes up behind the timing cover to the coolant reservoir. This should give you some room to get the compressor out. It is held with 3 13mm bolts. 2 in the front and 1 in the middle of the back. It’s difficult to see but if you look up from the side you can see it. Removing the lower charge pipe gives you some additional access.
Behind the motor
Every wire that goes from the engine to the firewall needs to be pulled through the firewall and laid on the engine. Look around for things to disconnect, there’s a lot of little things.
- The brake booster hose disconnects by pulling straight out of the grommet in the secondary firewall.
- Disconnect the power steering hard line, some fluid will drip out.
- The coolant hoses from the back of the engine go up under the secondary firewall to the heater core. You can either disconnect them at the heater core and push the grommet out of the bottom of the firewall or disconnect them at the back of the engine. The connections at the back of the engine are the same as the radiator (the difficult pressure ones). If they’ve never been disconnected before they will likely be on very tightly and it will be easier to disconnect at the heater core.
- The ecu box has a bunch of connections. There’s the 2 big ECU harnesses. Those are easy. The group of connectors down in the back of the box are “wiggle out” connectors. You don’t need to pry on them. Just wiggle back and forth while pulling upward. It’s a little difficult to get your fingers in there.
- The positive battery cable gets pulled through the firewall with the grommet. It runs down the frame rail in a plastic holder. That’ll pop out of the frame rail using a flathead.
- There are two ground locations: 1) underneath the passenger frame rail at the front next to the motor mount, and 2) on the secondary firewall underneath the ECU harness.
When removing the engine and transmission you will need to put a floor jack under the transmission to lift and support it over the cross member. You will also have to reposition the jack to get past the cross member.
When you start to remove the engine and transmission be careful not to break anything you may have forgotten to disconnect. You will probably spend a lot of time looking around to check clearances. Be specifically careful of items behind the motor that can get crushed between the transmission and the tunnel.
When the motor is about a foot or so forward you can reach back and disconnect the slave cylinder. It is attached with a hard line that can kink or break, so be careful when moving the motor/tranny out and when moving the slave around.
In my case, everything came out as expected with the exception of the front axles. They were a big pain because I was trying to remove them incorrectly. I thought they had to come out under the transmission then realized they came out the side of the car.
Once I got the axles out everything was smooth sailing.
Today, after finishing the drive shaft install, I removed the front core support and some accessories in anticipation for removing the engine and transmission. I’ve done this many times so it didn’t take long to have it all apart.
Replaced the fuel filter today. Looked like it was still the original filter after 145k miles… Getting the filter out of the housing was a huge pain. After an hour of prying it finally came out. The new one took 1 minute to install.
Then, tonight I got pulled over and was ticketed for my rear plate lights not working
I’ve had a vibration at over 60mph since the spring so I had Jason put the car on the lift. We ran the car at speed on the lift with the wheels/tires off to try and locate the source of the vibration. Jason & Zac think the vibration is the result of crusty brake rotors. I have Jason order new brake OEM rotors and ECB green pads from ECS.
Zac replaces all 4 brakes with OEM rotors and ECB green pads. He also does a brake fluid flush and rewires my front brake sensors to fix the dash light. He also puts a cap on my headlight squirter to keep the fluid from leaking. I <3 Zac. Unfortunately, after $750 in parts, the vibration still exists..
Today I tackled the timing belt job. The car has about 127,000 miles and had the last timing belt job done at 67k. I noticed the balancer had come apart and worn a hole in the back of the timing cover, exposing the timing belt. Pretty lucky nothing fell in and got caught in the belt.