Author Topic: Engine Removal Options - drive train, suspension work  (Read 603 times)

rwmastel

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Engine Removal Options - drive train, suspension work
« on: January 23, 2023, 22:16:08 »
I've read threads about removing the engine (and transmission) the "normal way", up out through the top of the engine bay with a traditional hoist.  Also, people have written about lifting the body up and leaving the front subframe, engine, steering, and transmission on the floor if plans include working on those systems.  Since my restoration's primary objective is to work on the mechanicals front-to-rear, I'm thinking of going the route of lifting the body off of EVERYTHING, like done when assembling in the factory (pic).  This must be doable in some way, as I have see many photos of bare car bodies on various kinds of jigs for restoration.  I don't know how you transition the car to a jig like that.

I envision being able to accomplish my goal by using a 4-post lift "backwards".  That is, putting the lift platform above the car, attaching the car to it from below, and raising it.  I have 11'6" garage ceilings.  Max clearance under the lift I'm considering buying is 7'0" (84").  A Pagoda is about 42" tall, so that, minus a 6" gap between top of car and bottom of lift platform, would leave about 36" open space below the suspended car - enough to get to everything out and take it apart.  Right??  I believe that the front of the car could be lifted by the points where the subframe connects to the body in the engine bay.  I'm not sure yet where the back of the car could be connected.  Would the rear bumper mounts be strong enough?  I can't figure a way to use the rear shock towers or differential mount in the trunk.  It looks like they're using the jack points and straps in the factory photo below.  Some thoughtful engineering ideas need to be discussed.  (A 2-post lift would make more sense for this, sure.  I'm planning to use a 4-post lift because for the years following my little restoration, I will need a storage lift much more than a mechanic's lift.  Also, I don't trust my residential garage floor to properly support a two post lift.  I believe the gravel back-fill below the floor has settled in places and left gaps below the concrete.)

So, in general, is this a crazy idea?  Is being locked into having the car suspended above while all the other restoration work happens a problem?  I'm assuming I will be putting assemblies on dollies and moving them to another garage bay to be worked on.  Should I risk getting a short 2-post installed so it can directly support the body of the car and lift?  (Bottom of car would be 80" off floor.)  What problems am I not thinking of?  And, how do people get their car bodies on restoration jigs?

Thanks for your advice.  You can tell me if I'm being an idiot, I can handle it!   :)
« Last Edit: January 23, 2023, 22:53:47 by rwmastel »
Rodd
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1966 230SL (waiting patiently for me), 2006 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon (off-roading), 2017 C43 AMG (daily driver)
1980 450SL (for sale)
1997 E300D (sold in 2022), 2006 C230 (sold in 2015), 1994 E420 (sold in 2007)

mdsalemi

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Re: Engine Removal Options - drive train, suspension work
« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2023, 23:16:54 »
Rodd,

I suspect Joe Alexander can shed some solid advice on engine removal, either from above or below! I did remove my radiator from below, and it was relatively easy.

Regarding the lift(s) you are considering, it isn't uncommon to have to cut out a small section of the concrete floor and install a new footer for a lift. The reason is simple, and that is your garage floor is probably just 3000 PSI concrete, maybe 3" thick. If you are lucky, it may be 4000 PSI concrete and may be 4-6" thick. How can you tell? You cannot unless you do some destructive testing or know the builder, and you can ask. The way I see things being built these days, I'd probably only put any lift in with new footings poured for the posts. I doubt that many residential garages are built to the proper specs unless this is dictated and specified to the builder in advance.

Michael Salemi
Davidson, North Carolina (Charlotte Area) USA
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rwmastel

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Re: Engine Removal Options - drive train, suspension work
« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2023, 00:07:21 »
Joe got me thinking about the "lift the car" method.

I told the builder I wanted 4" floors.  Yes, if I want a 2 post lift it would be wise to redo the concrete under it.
Rodd
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1966 230SL (waiting patiently for me), 2006 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon (off-roading), 2017 C43 AMG (daily driver)
1980 450SL (for sale)
1997 E300D (sold in 2022), 2006 C230 (sold in 2015), 1994 E420 (sold in 2007)

badali

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Re: Engine Removal Options - drive train, suspension work
« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2023, 00:51:50 »
A 2 post lift would be the best way to lift the car off of the suspension.  The other way would be too involved and may be unsafe.  The concrete under a lifts posts need to meet the manufactures specs whether it is a 2 or 4 post lift.  If you need to redo the concrete I think a 2 post would suit your needs better overall.  You can work on most any part of the car without the lift being in the way.
Brad

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Garry

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Re: Engine Removal Options - drive train, suspension work
« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2023, 01:05:15 »
Rodd,


When doing up the undercarriage and engine ten years ago, every thing was taken out from below and was lifted off using the two post hoist as per photo. The interior and doors were still on the car at that point.


I imagine it would be pretty easy then to lower the body and fit to a rotisserie from front and rear bumper fixing points provided interior and doors were also off for weight purposes.
« Last Edit: January 24, 2023, 01:12:08 by Garry »
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Vander

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Re: Engine Removal Options - drive train, suspension work
« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2023, 01:42:17 »
Rodd,

You are an idiot if you try and use a 4 post as an industrial hoist to lift the body off the frame. 😁
Despite the stated clearance I don't think it would work. I have my Pagoda parked under one of my 4 post lifts if you want to come over and visualize it. It won't work.

4" concrete floor is more than safe for you to install a 2 post lift. If you are going to do any serious kind of restoration work you want a 2 post.
1969 280SL

Cees Klumper

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Re: Engine Removal Options - drive train, suspension work
« Reply #6 on: January 24, 2023, 03:10:09 »
Rodd - here's a picture of me re-uniting the Lancia body with its engine/transmission assembly last Summer. I just lifted the body using a cherry picker (engine hoist) while the rear rested on the rear wheels. If you unbolt the driveshaft on your Pagoda, I think you should be able to do the same. Move the engine/subframe/transmission away to where you will be working on it, and lower the body back onto a dolly.  You can then repeat the process in the rear. No lift required.
Cees Klumper
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ja17

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Re: Engine Removal Options - drive train, suspension work
« Reply #7 on: January 24, 2023, 07:33:20 »
Lift manufacturers will supply you with the minimal requirements for your floor. Four post lift requirements should be less, since the load is applied in four areas instead of two. Either a four post or two could work depending on your imagination and skill level. Be carefull not to imbalance your car on a two post when you remove heavy weight from either end, or you'll drop the car. You would need at least 72" clearance to do the job with a four post lift, I suspect. In the past I have done it with just two floor jacks and four large jack stands. If you take the head off the engine before you begin, it decreases the lift needed by almost a foot.
Joe Alexander
Blacklick, Ohio
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stickandrudderman

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Re: Engine Removal Options - drive train, suspension work
« Reply #8 on: January 24, 2023, 08:00:07 »
Only a two post lift will do IMHO. The beds of a four post lift restrict access for a lot of jobs.
Be advised that the inlet manifold will need to be removed if withdrawing the engine from beneath.

Dave H

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Re: Engine Removal Options - drive train, suspension work
« Reply #9 on: January 24, 2023, 10:50:53 »
My garage floor was block and beam so could not use a 2 post , I considered digging out and fitting solid foundations but to be honest the posts would of always been a nuisance plus the arms a continuous trip hazard. A small 4 post would have fitted but posts would continuously be in the way and access beneath restricted for what I wanted to do. This is why I opted for a full height scissor lift. It’s perfect for what I wanted and , the load spread over a larger footprint does not overload the garage floor . As you can see I built a wooden support for the engine, even fitted the getrag 5 speed and posted it all from beneath. Position and locate the engine on its support  by dropping a plumb line from the body frame mounts to the subframe mounts, you then know it’s blob on and can then raise and lower to your hearts content. I had to do this to get the getrag to fit central in the tunnel as they often do but with a standard box it’ll pop straight in.
On one of the photos it shows paving slabs at the rear which is also how I refitted the rear suspension. I still have the wooden support I made should I need to drop the engine again and I could post more pictures of it plus dimensions etc if needed.
Full height Scissor lifts may be the way to go for yourself with access and foundation restrictions and what you want to do regarding engine removal and refitting .I’m 6 3” and still don’t need to bend or stoop beneath it . Best of luck with your restoration. PS tap on the photos or links to open the pictures up bigger.
Dave.
« Last Edit: January 24, 2023, 11:09:21 by Dave H »
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Dave H

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Re: Engine Removal Options - drive train, suspension work
« Reply #10 on: January 24, 2023, 10:57:31 »
More pictures.
Mercedes 250SL    1967
Mercedes 250SLK  2014
Alfa Romeo 166 3.2 Ti
Fiat 500

Dave H

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Re: Engine Removal Options - drive train, suspension work
« Reply #11 on: January 24, 2023, 10:59:57 »
More pictures
Mercedes 250SL    1967
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rwmastel

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Re: Engine Removal Options - drive train, suspension work
« Reply #12 on: January 24, 2023, 15:57:15 »
If you need to redo the concrete I think a 2 post would suit your needs better overall.  You can work on most any part of the car without the lift being in the way.
Yes, I did write above in my admittedly long post that I know a 2-post lift is best for this work.  But I won't want a 2-post after this work is done because I need more cars inside garages. At age 56, I'm hoping to have 20 more years with my Pagoda, so I need a 4-post storage lift to get more cars out of the weather.

You are an idiot if you try and use a 4 post as an industrial hoist to lift the body off the frame. 😁  Despite the stated clearance I don't think it would work. I have my Pagoda parked under one of my 4 post lifts if you want to come over and visualize it. It won't work.  If you are going to do any serious kind of restoration work you want a 2 post.
Ha!  I was wondering who would be the first to take me up on my name calling offer!   ;D  Yes, I'll text or email you about coming over to your place.

Rodd - here's a picture of me re-uniting the Lancia body with its engine/transmission assembly last Summer. I just lifted the body using a cherry picker (engine hoist) while the rear rested on the rear wheels.  No lift required.
Nice!  That adds another option.  I see engine hoists rated up to 2 tons.  The entire Pagoda weighs less than that, and even better with one axle still on the ground.  I think I've heard of people doing this with a Pagoda, and needing to have the rear wheels on ramps??  I'll have to research, and re-think my usage of floor space.

Only a two post lift will do IMHO. The beds of a four post lift restrict access for a lot of jobs.
It might be an English (UK) to English (USA) translation issue, but what are the "beds" on a 4-post lift?  The little feet on each post?  They don't seem like much to me, maybe 16" square and 1/4" thick??  I'm sure it varies by mfg.

I opted for a full height scissor lift. It’s perfect for what I wanted and , the load spread over a larger footprint does not overload the garage floor.
Dave,  This looks like a great option!  Function of a 2-post (lifting by the body), and structural stresses spread out across the floor.  Nice option!!  Still not good for a storage lift as you can't park under it, but it might be inexpensive enough that I could keep it and then buy a 4-post storage lift in 2024.  Or, maybe it would be easier to sell on the used market than a 2-post lift.
Rodd
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1966 230SL (waiting patiently for me), 2006 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon (off-roading), 2017 C43 AMG (daily driver)
1980 450SL (for sale)
1997 E300D (sold in 2022), 2006 C230 (sold in 2015), 1994 E420 (sold in 2007)

Dave H

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Re: Engine Removal Options - drive train, suspension work
« Reply #13 on: January 24, 2023, 17:10:41 »
Google them, they are relatively inexpensive ,suits your purpose and as you say, sell it on when you need a four post storage lift. PS..2024 😂…your hopefull.
Good luck whichever way you go .
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rwmastel

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Re: Engine Removal Options - drive train, suspension work
« Reply #14 on: January 24, 2023, 21:24:49 »
Google them, they are relatively inexpensive ,suits your purpose and as you say, sell it on when you need a four post storage lift. PS..2024 😂…your hopefull.
Good luck whichever way you go .
Thanks Dave.  I am hopeful, as I'm only doing mechanicals, and I'm sending off the engine to be done as I don't have the nerve to do that myself.  No chrome, paint, carpet, leather, etc...  I've seen these lifts here in the USA at some pretty high prices, and it is difficult to find them without a bar spanning the two sides on the floor.  There are cheap low rise options for under $2000, but those don't have enough height to get the engine out the bottom.
https://www.bendpak.com/car-lifts/full-rise-scissor-lifts/sp-7xlf/
https://www.bendpak.com/car-lifts/mid-rise-scissor-lifts/mds-6lpf/
https://www.tooltopia.com/Atlas-Equipment-ATEATTDSLP9K
https://www.astontechnologies.com/product-page-1/asl-fr90?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI99PnlpDh_AIVSMmUCR1ePg4JEAQYBCABEgJTC_D_BwE
https://stratusautoequip.com/stratus-commercial-grade-on-ground-or-in-ground-mount-low-profile-full-rise-scissor-lift-sae-ut8000/?setCurrencyId=1&srsltid=Ad5pg_FuZ0X4dnMdgcnQ1Y7nMphVIrjcoXRdt4X_blyNwh5BhlhA7mRSmZM
Rodd
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1966 230SL (waiting patiently for me), 2006 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon (off-roading), 2017 C43 AMG (daily driver)
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rwmastel

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Re: Engine Removal Options - drive train, suspension work
« Reply #15 on: January 24, 2023, 21:54:28 »
Maybe a plan like this will work.
1. Create some dolly/cart contraption for the front of the car to rest on once engine/trans/subframe/axle removed.
2. Use an engine hoist (rent one??) to lift the front of the car up to get everything out through the bottom. 
3. Same for rear to drop the rear axle, drive shaft, etc. and set the car on some dolly/cart contraption.
4. Somehow roll these major assemblies and parts over to another garage bay and put them on a 4-post lift.  Lift would have panels filling in between the two ramps to make a large platform.
5. Park my C43 daily driver under that lift.
6. Move the C43 out every time I drop the lift to work on Pagoda parts.

The only thing better would be to put the Pagoda body on top of the lift, but I don't think the Pagoda body sitting on a dolly/cart system could get rolled out of one bay, into another, and up on to the lift platform.  Would need strong winches for that, I would think.
Rodd
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1966 230SL (waiting patiently for me), 2006 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon (off-roading), 2017 C43 AMG (daily driver)
1980 450SL (for sale)
1997 E300D (sold in 2022), 2006 C230 (sold in 2015), 1994 E420 (sold in 2007)

Cees Klumper

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Re: Engine Removal Options - drive train, suspension work
« Reply #16 on: January 25, 2023, 04:07:14 »
I created a 'cart' for the Fulvia out of maybe $80 worth of lumber and 6 of those swiveling wheels. I was able to move the car all through garage, outside, back inside - wherever I wanted to take it. Could have pushed it around the block if I had wanted to. Certainly strong enough, took only an hour or two to make. You could roll it on a 4-post lift if you watch the dimensions. Get swiveling wheels that lock!

Cees Klumper
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ja17

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Re: Engine Removal Options - drive train, suspension work
« Reply #17 on: January 25, 2023, 05:27:12 »
Nice job Cess, as I said it depends on the "imagination and skill level". With a heavier pagoda, some plywood gussets in the corners would be helpful.
Joe Alexander
Blacklick, Ohio
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1982 300TD Wagon turbo 4spd.
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Cees Klumper

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Re: Engine Removal Options - drive train, suspension work
« Reply #18 on: January 25, 2023, 15:41:51 »
Thanks Joe! Yes, absolutely, some simple gussets would further reinforce the frame significantly.

(I will be making a similar but improved design cradle to accomodate my current '61 Alfa Romeo restoration project, will post picture here when done).
Cees Klumper
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1961 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Sprint Coupe 1600 red
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rwmastel

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Re: Engine Removal Options - drive train, suspension work
« Reply #19 on: January 25, 2023, 17:57:28 »
Cees,

So how the heck do you get the car on that, if you only lift one end of the car at a time?
Rodd
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1966 230SL (waiting patiently for me), 2006 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon (off-roading), 2017 C43 AMG (daily driver)
1980 450SL (for sale)
1997 E300D (sold in 2022), 2006 C230 (sold in 2015), 1994 E420 (sold in 2007)

Cees Klumper

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Re: Engine Removal Options - drive train, suspension work
« Reply #20 on: January 25, 2023, 18:18:55 »
I jack up the rear of the body with a floor jack, place it on jack stands (not where the cradle supports will go - the cradle is underneath the car at this point, a little 'back'), then I lift the front with the engine crane, roll the cradle forward, position it, then lower the front onto the front part of the cradle - then I raise the rear, remove the jack stands, and lower the rear of the body onto that part of the cradle. 

One of those things easier explained in a video than in text, but I hope you get the idea. It can be done fairly quickly once you get the hang of it. I did it several times during the restoration to accomodate working on the bottom, epoxying the bottom etc. It was all very effective, easy to do and also quite cheap.

I was renting this garage for a 2 year period so was looking for a temporary solution and certainly was not going to invest in a lift. After it was all done, I took all the various-length wood construction screws out which I saved, I donated the lumber to someone who could use it, and saved the wheels. I am now using them to do the same thing in the new garage with the Alfa. It really works well and for less than $100. No need to weld up heavy metal frames or buy a lift. Engine crane/cherry picker the 1 ton version from Harbor Freight, less than $229 currently.
Cees Klumper
1969 Mercedes 280 SL automatic cream white
1961 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Sprint Coupe 1600 red
1972 Lancia Fulvia Coupe 1.3 rosso corsa "Luigi"
1990 Ford Bronco II 2WD colonial white

rwmastel

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Re: Engine Removal Options - drive train, suspension work
« Reply #21 on: January 25, 2023, 18:57:06 »
One of those things easier explained in a video than in text, but I hope you get the idea.
I do get the idea.  Thanks!!
Rodd
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1980 450SL (for sale)
1997 E300D (sold in 2022), 2006 C230 (sold in 2015), 1994 E420 (sold in 2007)

getsmart

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Re: Engine Removal Options - drive train, suspension work
« Reply #22 on: January 28, 2023, 01:43:37 »
One other suggestion is to use/fabricate an A-frame gantry similar to pic below to lift the front of the car, anchor points the front bumper mounts as an example....

Rgds, Joe

***edit*** though you could just as easily do the motor from the top with that  ;D
« Last Edit: January 28, 2023, 01:55:27 by getsmart »
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rwmastel

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Re: Engine Removal Options - drive train, suspension work
« Reply #23 on: January 28, 2023, 06:50:04 »
I saw those at Harbor Freight and that's a bit too much for my needs.  I bought a 2 ton engine hoist that can fold up and use very little floor space when not in use.  I'm going to try Cees' method.
Rodd
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1966 230SL (waiting patiently for me), 2006 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon (off-roading), 2017 C43 AMG (daily driver)
1980 450SL (for sale)
1997 E300D (sold in 2022), 2006 C230 (sold in 2015), 1994 E420 (sold in 2007)

mdsalemi

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Re: Engine Removal Options - drive train, suspension work
« Reply #24 on: January 28, 2023, 13:03:26 »
One other suggestion is to use/fabricate an A-frame gantry…

Many years ago, my family had a couple of Austin America cars, (Austin 1300) and these needed engine transplants now and then. We were able to find spares at both junkyards and private sales. These were transverse front engines with the transmission in the sump.

My father fabricated an A-frame out of 2x4s and a hand crank “come along”. The whole contraption was easy to assemble, disassemble, and transport. We used it on the road to get used engine/transmission combinations out of donor cars as well as reinstalling at home.

If I asked him today (he’s 100 years young) he’d be all over that project!
Michael Salemi
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