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Joined: Dec 30 2015
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Lpgc wrote:
realised I may have some time toward the end of this month.

Oh, you do, do you?

(just kidding, they're both running great - thanks!)

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Joined: Jun 07 2017
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I just have to dive in here - father bought a bombed house in Bickley, Kent and built our new house on the land. The garage he built was over the remains of a cellar so we had a large inspection pit covered in wood planks for free. Above was a steel beam so with a cord/rope pulley I was able to hoist my Willys jeep engine out and do any work. One such exploit I had lifted the engine and turned it sideways when the pulley slipped, dropping the engine back into the compartment, the sharp rear of the bell housing guillotined the main steel braided wiring loom leaving me with an extra repair job. If I was in the pit I had to push the car back from underneath to be able to climb out and pull it over me to work on it ! Do I qualify for the entrepreneurs club ?
Not sure what this has to do with dead engines in Cornwall but I didn't start the deviation !

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Morat wrote:

Lpgc wrote:
realised I may have some time toward the end of this month.

Oh, you do, do you?

(just kidding, they're both running great - thanks!)

Argh hehe!

Really need to do some work on my own stuff.. have an Elgrand that still has a dead engine, ML that needs at least one wheel bearing and probably a driveshaft, I write this sat in my 'outside office' Chrysler Grand Voyager with busted radiator, bad nsf wheel bearing and needs a battery (although I bought a new battery that I made sure would fit the GV on the caravan). Out of the 3 the GV would be the easiest fix unless MOT man found anything else wrong with it... I'd better check it's sills. I've been pestering the girlfriend to learn to drive for years but now she's up for it.. so will probably buy a little manual car for her before starting on the ML so will at least have a working car while others are off the road.

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Joined: Nov 16 2016
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I've now got a supposedly good engine on a pallet in the garage.
After I'd bought it the scrappies told me that if I want to know anything about the engine I could ask the dad of the bloke who wrote the car off... the dad runs a local garage and should be in the know! Oil in it is a bit black, would've thought a bloke who had spent so much on custom parts for his car and is also the son of a garage owner would have changed the oil before it got like that.
Scrappies removed it with the front subframe and gearbox, they asked me if I wanted to buy as an assembly.... If the price was right I might have if it was the 4wd version but this was the 2wd setup so the gearbox didn't have the transfer case I might have wanted, plus they (or the crash) had bent a bottom arm. If mine was 2wd and I was definitely going to go with Gilbert's method of putting in from underneath with the engine on the frame I might have paid the extra but I'd probably rather split the engine and gearbox than get into the unknown realm of seals etc between gearbox and transfer case on this setup.
No local mechanics I've asked so far want to take on the job of fitting the engine (begs the question why not?) so I'll probably end up doing it myself. Just two more garages to ask including the dad of the bloke who rolled the car. I'll ask him about the engine and if he says it was a good 'un I'll ask if he wants to fit it, if he says there was something amiss with it I might end up digging into the engine myself before I still end up fitting it myself.

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Lpgc wrote:

Oil in it is a bit black, would've thought a bloke who had spent so much on custom parts for his car and is also the son of a garage owner would have changed the oil before it got like that.

Nope, that's called maintenance and is a mystery to most of the kids these days. I'm not far from the East of England showground where they hold the Modified Nationals every year. The roads are clogged up with lowered, wide wheeled, custom paintjobbed, drainpipe exhaust equipped cars and a fair number of them clog up the hard shoulders too. Seems kids these days will think nothing of spending a grand on wheels, another grand on a stereo system, a couple of grand on body mods and paintwork but can't stretch to 25 quid for a gallon of fresh oil.

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Joined: Nov 16 2016
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Finally started doing a bit of work on the dead Elgrand - Removed the front bumper and radiators which allows good access to the front end of the engine and PAS / AC pipe and wiring connections, obviously would need to do this if I were removing the engine from the front anyway.

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Since the pic I've removed the PAS pump, alternator and AC pump.

Now I'm umming and ahhing as to whether to remove the engine or engine and gearbox from the front or to go with Gilbert's suggestion of dropping the entire front subframe with engine, gearbox, front diff etc still on it. Problem with just pulling the engine out the front is access around the bellhousing bolts is tight, problem with pulling the engine and box out the front is the front diff might be in the way of the transfer case/gearbox, problem with dropping the lot out on the subframe is that the van will have to be very high off the ground to clear the height of the engine -Just out of shot low down in front of the engine there's a chassis crossmember that isn't removable and isn't part of the front subframe.. Would be easier to cut the crossmember out and weld it back in when the new engine's fitted but I'm not going to do that lol.

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Joined: Nov 16 2016
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Went with dropping the lot out from underneath but instead of using the garage beam and pull lifts used an engine crane to lift the front of the van

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Already had swapped the engine at this point, putting the gearbox back on here (for the 2nd time... read on!).

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Just a bit dodgy!

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This was the second time I've dropped the running gear off...

The first time around I dropped the subframe and removed the gearbox from the engine while they were on the floor under the car and used the ML to pull the engine and subframe out while leaving the gearbox on the floor under the car, used the crane to swap engines on the subframe, pushed the subframe and engine assembly back under the car and re-attached the gearbox under the car. However I wasn't confident that I'd located the gearbox input shaft in the TC correctly and I didn't check it by trying to spin the crank before putting most of the car back together, I did have a look at flex plate clearance through the starter hole and it seemed OK.... But then when I did try to spin the crank using a ratchet after refitting the job lot (exhausts, props, steering, ancillaries, lots of wiring, etc) it wouldn't spin, so then I realised I'd goofed up in a big way and the gearbox would have to come off again!

Second time around I pulled the whole lot out with gearbox still attached to the engine, used the crane to help me get the gearbox back on properly after making sure I hadn't bent the flex plate, made sure it was mated up properly.

At the moment the subframe with engine and gearbox on are still sat on the floor in the yard waiting for starter motor etc putting back on.. But at least have learned a bit about what parts must come off when dropping the subframe now and will be a bit quicker at putting it back on this time. Starter motor, AC compressor, front drive shaft, possibly downpipes and heatshields can be left attached, PAS pump and alternator still have to be fitted when the subframe is back on.

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Simon, you definitely march to the beat of your own drum :)

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Joined: Nov 16 2016
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Hehe! Yep I did the lot in the yard in the same place I dumped the van with it's seized engine, as usual been having to scrape time tio work on my own cars between working on customers cars and couldn't have my own car in the way. Much of the weight is on 2 x Calor forklift bottles but I wouldn't get underneath it like that, I'll push the assembly back under the car and get the front of the car supported by the engine crane first.

I converted 3 cars in the last 7 days. The last car for conversion came in early on Friday afternoon, so I worked on it Fri afternoon, sat afternoon and all day Sunday to get it done so I had yesterday to fix a few little problems on other customer cars, drop my subframe again and put the gearbox on properly this time. This morning I've had a Lexus dropped off to convert so my car will have to wait again until I've got the Lexus converted.

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Joined: Jun 16 2018
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"Much of the weight is on 2 x Calor forklift bottles"

I thought that bottle was just in the foreground of the picture - lol

Respect due, that's a piece of work. Don't you just love doing stuff twice! (don't ask me how I know!)

Good luck

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and you've found a use for old toroidal gas tanks.......

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Joined: Nov 16 2016
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Hate doing stuff twice, was kicking myself when I realised I'd put it back together with the input shaft not in properly even though I had doubts about it so it all had to come off again but at least it'll all go back on the car easier this time and I know the input shaft is in properly. Judging by the amount of waddling the box about it took to get the input shaft in properly there'd have been little chance of doing it under the car anyway but with the bulk of the gearbox weight taken up by rope from the crane I was able to bounce it about a bit on the elasticity of the rope and adjust the crane height to line it up - I think in this case better than using an adjustable angle gearbox jack and far easier than the 2 jacks and bits of wood that I actually did use last time.

At various points throughout I've had the weight of the front end of the car (without and with the engine box and subframe) supported entirely by the old tanks. I've had the weight of the front of the car just on the forklift tanks but not with the weight of the subframe etc on. When dragging the subframe assembly out the car was just on the forklift tanks, the exhaust downpipes were still on the engine on the subframe at that point... had to keep making sure an exhaust didn't swipe one of the forklift tanks so when driving the ML I just drove a few inches at a time before rechecking clearance between exhausts and forflift tanks, side-swiping a forklift tank supporting any side of the car could've been unfortunate!

Yes nearly all the weight is on the 2 Calor bottles at the moment, I put the tanks and chock of wood back under the front end just in case (it gets windy etc) to prevent it all going sideways lol. Much safer when the weight is on the old tanks than on the forklift bottles. I could use the crane now to lift the front of the car, shift the bottles and let it sit on the tanks again but that'd mean repositioning the bottles again when I need to slide the subframe back under.... and I don't think it's forecast to be windy ;-)

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Joined: Nov 16 2016
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Saturday evening after seeing my daughter I shifted the subframe/engine/gearbox assembly back under the van, dropped the van onto it and bolted up, connected steering, prop, struts, refitted the alternator PAS pump, belt pulleys/tensioners, belts, TV fan.
Sunday afternoon I refitted the rads, fitted LPG injectors and manifold/plenums/TB, heater pipes, fill with coolant and pas fluid. Still hadn't refitted the front bumper but at this stage it should have been able to run/drive properly. The ignition is the type where you can leave the key in your pocket and turn the ignition to start the engine but the keyfob battery was dead so I tried the actual key (which removes from the keyfob) in the ignition.. Instead of the engine cranking nothing happened except that the horn beeped once. Around 9pm at this point so I left it for the evening.
Monday morning I fitted a new keyfob battery, had to work on customer cars all day, just as I was packing up I tried to start the car again, still no joy but the horn didn't beep this time. Then I noticed the dash shift indicator wasn't showing a P (for Park) or any other gear selection. Checked under the car to make sure I had plugged the loom onto the gearbox, I had. Then I tried shifting from P through the gears and the dash display did go through RND321 etc... So I put the shifter in N, turned the key and the engine fired straight up :-) Drove around the yard a bit, no probs. There's a bit of adjustment where the shift cable attaches to the selector arm, I had bolted the cable back in the same position where I'd removed it from (could see the shiny bit where bolt had previously been), this will just need a bit of adjustment. Bonus - the 4wd is working again now! It had previously failed to work straight after I'd broken an ABS sensor whilst changing a wheel bearing, the ABS code cleared itself when I fitted a new sensor but the 4wd ECU didn't self clear it's code.. seems those months without a battery cleared the 4wd ECU code.

Now I just have to refit the front end (bumper / lights / etc), fit a fog light, change a CV gator (I know I could have done that with the frame off), oil change (engine still has the black oil it came with) and take it for MOT going the long route to shift rust from brakes etc. Since I spilled ATF when putting the box on (came out the dipstick until I blocked the hole properly) I'll top the ATF up with Carlube ATFU (dex6 synthetic), it's supposed to use Nissan Genuinematic 'S' fluid and it's difficult to find data on equivalent specs but what research I've done leads me to believe ATFU should be compatible. Then at an early point I'll fit a new trans filter and new ATF... May try to get hold of genuinematicS for the complete fill but if I can't get hold of any of that may complete fill with ATFU or Mobil synthetic stuff. Not like you can ever completely change the ATF anyway with the TC holding so much.

Currently converting a rare VW Caravelle (Transporter), rare because it's one of a few made with a 3.2 VR6 engine. 2005 model, owner paid £18k for it! Next week have mostly repairs to do but one car to convert, week after that 2 cars to convert including a Bentley Continental GT 6L W12 twin turbo. The Caravelle and Bentley are both narrow angle V engines and both a pita.

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Lpgc wrote:

The Caravelle and Bentley are both narrow angle V engines and both a pita.

They will be, the Bentley W12 is basically a pair of VR6 engines using a common crank.

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Joined: Nov 16 2016
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Gilbertd wrote:

They will be, the Bentley W12 is basically a pair of VR6 engines using a common crank.

Exactly. Converting a V12 is usually about double the work of converting a V6 and it's the same between a VR6 and W12 except with the W12 the manifold is a lot easier to remove and work around than on the 6 because on the 12 the manifold is top central instead of at the front with no space to work around it or get it off (VW) or side (Porsche). Although then again this W12 is a twin turbo and the engine bay is a lot tighter for bits such as the reducers as the VR6 lol.

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Joined: Nov 16 2016
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Just about finished the R32 VR6 Caravalle conversion today, runs great on LPG, straw injectors were a pita to fit as expected but I have a novel way of fitting them ;-). So I can finish the odd bits on the the Caravelle tomorrow, check calibration and warm-up, got a few 'diareps' booked in (diagnostics/repairs) which I expect to rattle off in no time... and hopefully I'll be able spend a bit of time putting the rest of the Elgrand together, sorting the shifter adjustment, swap CV gators and oil change. If everything goes really well I might even get it MOT'd. Ahh bolox I forgot about having to fit the fog light!

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Joined: Nov 16 2016
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All back together, bumper on, engine oil+filter changed, fog light fitted, haven't yet topped up the ATF but will only have lost about a litre and it holds 10 so that can wait a bit until I change the box filter. Haven't changed the CV gator but it's only a small split and it's raining lol... will change it soon but will go for MOT first. Just about to make a battery bracket (never had one), MOT booked for 4pm. Already been down the road in it about 10 miles trip to the foreign hand car wash, run will have cleared rust from disks. Runs well :-)

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Joined: Nov 16 2016
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MOT passed and taxed :-)

Back on the road! Now I just need to fix the aircon..

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Joined: Mar 26 2016
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Well done!

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Joined: Nov 16 2016
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Thanks OldShep.