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Joined: Apr 29 2020
Posts: 15

Hi all,

I've got a 1999 NAS Thor P38 as a part's vehicle and this coming weekend I plan to pull the engine. I'll rebuild it in my spare time and later install it in my 2001 P38. The parts vehicle is on standard height wheels and rims, and springs not bags. I'm wondering if a standard 2 Ton (Imperial) engine hoist will have a long enough boom for the engine to clear the front end. This being my first engine removal ever I'd like to get to the job and not loose the weekend running around spending time and money if that makes sense. If the first step is to pull the springs, pull the wheels, and cinder bock the axles to get it low enough I'd like to know that before the engine is dangling there!

So far I've reviewed RAVE as well as leftlanetruckin's check list - Engine removal/reinstall procedure w/ check list. All seems straight forward enough.

On a side note, initially I'd planned to also pull the tranny and the transfer case; Rebuild all three, and later install them in my 2001. But they're big and heavy and I'll be doing this all on my back. Is it worth it?

Always appreciated!

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Joined: Aug 19 2019
Posts: 186

I recently removed an engine, trans and t-case as a unit from a parts P38. I won't do them as a unit again, unless I have a garage with a 14' ceiling. I just followed the steps in Rave and all went fine.

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Joined: Dec 30 2015
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For some unknown reason RAVE says to remove the engine leaving the gearbox in place on a GEMS but to remove the whole lot as one lump on a Thor. As Harv says, if doing it in one lump you need the car high in the air as it's a long unit so engine alone is much easier. I found the boom on my 2 ton engine crane wasn't long enough unless I pulled it all the way out and even then it was hard up against the front number plate. With the boom all the way out obviously the safe working load was reduced but still OK and there's a reachet strap stopping it from being able to pull out any further. See pic and on this car the job wasn't made any easier with the bullbar in the way (and the fact we were working under a tent because it kept raining).

enter image description here

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Joined: Feb 24 2017
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@Gilbertd, that water looks too clear coming from the engine to have had coolant in it.....

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Joined: Dec 30 2015
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It didn't. The guy that owned it had only had it for 3 days when a bodged throttle body heater pipe burst and it lost most of the coolant and reduced the engine to scrap. It had been filled with plain water just to see if it would run again but with no compression at all on 6 cylinders and about 60 psi on the remaining two, we figured pulling it out and putting a replacement in was the best option. So a completely shot 4.0 litre came out and a very nice low mileage 4.6 went in. Took a weekend to do it but the results were definitely worth it.

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Joined: Apr 29 2020
Posts: 15

Looks like it should be straight forward then. I'll update with pictures!
Thanks all.

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Joined: Dec 30 2015
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Not on the list but I always take the radiator out too. With that out and the fan and viscous off, you've got acres of room at the front (and less chance of damaging the radiator). In case you may want to use the gearbox, jam a bit of wood into the hole in the bottom of the bellhousing to stop the torque converter falling out of the gearbox.

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Joined: Apr 29 2020
Posts: 15

Gilbertd wrote:

Not on the list but I always take the radiator out too. With that out and the fan and viscous off, you've got acres of room at the front (and less chance of damaging the radiator). In case you may want to use the gearbox, jam a bit of wood into the hole in the bottom of the bellhousing to stop the torque converter falling out of the gearbox.

Will do.

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Joined: Mar 22 2016
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I agree with the rad taken out, it’s sometimes easier to get at the top bell housing bolts with the inlet manifold removed, put a ratchet strap around the chassis and under gear box to take the weight, last but not least, fold the bonnet back to the screen, flip down the locking tabs on the inside of the hinges, that bonnet weighs a lot..

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Joined: Apr 29 2020
Posts: 15

A quick update... Not questions per se. Got to the point of actually pulling the engine today and we couldn’t get the transmission and engine to separate. It was getting late so we had to stop. I’ll review everything and start again next weekend.

We initially thought the issue was not removing the lower engine mount bolts , since I had done the top ones but that wasn’t it. Got the four 13mm bolts connecting the flex plate to the torque converter, all 8+ bolts on the bell housing, all trans cooling lines (I think).

I realized the transmission was left in Park and not Neutral. Does that matter? The transmission, transfer case, and diffs will also be pulled.

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Doesn't matter what gear the gearbox is left in as you've disconnected the flex plate bolts so that is clear. There's the 8 (2 at the top, 2 at the bottom and 2 down each side, which can be a pain to get a socket on) bellhousing bolts and the starter motor bolts and that's all that connects the engine to bellhousinhg. There are dowel pegs to align everything and it might just be stuck on them. Get something in to lever the engine away and see if you've got any movement. Make sure the gearbox weight is supported too, in fact, with a jack under the bellhousing you should be able to see a gap open up if you try the raise the gearbox.

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Joined: Dec 29 2016
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There’s one bell housing bolt on the drivers side of the car, feel down the side of the engine. It’s not easily visible and is tucked above the starter motor. It can be awkward to see if you don’t know it’s there. I made the same mistake when I took my first couple of engines out.

The starter motor is bolted to the block and not the gearbox so can be left in situ when removing/reinstalling the engine.

Once all the bolts are out it should split very easily.

David.

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Joined: Mar 22 2016
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dhallworth wrote:

There’s one bell housing bolt on the drivers side of the car, feel down the side of the engine. It’s not easily visible and is tucked above the starter motor. It can be awkward to see if you don’t know it’s there. I made the same mistake when I took my first couple of engines out.

The starter motor is bolted to the block and not the gearbox so can be left in situ when removing/reinstalling the engine.

Once all the bolts are out it should split very easily.

David.

I’m with David on this one, just above the starter if I recall correctly,, just run your hand round, engine side, then gearbox side, they hide that one bolt somewhere 😂🤣

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Joined: Apr 29 2020
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You guys were right except it was the obvious bolt opposite side of the starter.

Trans and transfer case tomorrow. Pulling axles, diffs and radius arms too. Coulda had it all today but, ya know, summertime / beer / friends.

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Joined: Apr 29 2020
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Joined: Apr 29 2020
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I'm wondering what the next few steps should be in the rebuild. Should I bother pressure testing the block if it's going to be re-sleeved anyway? My next planned task was to degrease it and then start tearing it down in preparation for pulling the sleeves. If none of the piston heads are steam cleaned that would be a good sign that the sleeves are still intact?

The engine did pass a combustion leak test, and also it never ticked. The issue was that it was drinking a ton of coolant, and coolant was starting to drip off the oil pan bolt. I don't remember how much exactly but it overheated once b/c I wasn't watching it. Maybe even 4 liters a month but I really don't remember now.

Thanks, as always.

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Joined: Dec 30 2015
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I would expect whoever is putting the new sleeves (top hats?) in would pull the old ones and pressure test it anyway. Coolant leaks could well be core plugs but again, I would expect whoever does the engine work to replace those too. Degrease, pull the heads and ancillaries off and it should be ready to go.