Working for Six Hours, Accomplishing Nothing
Sunday (yesterday, by the time you read this post) I accomplished nothing. I worked for seven hours, and I have nothing to show for it, other than dirty forearms. Accomplishing nothing of substance is understandably frustrating, so I’ll share with you what I’d intended to do this past weekend.
In no particular order, I’d hoped to:
- Install the fan shroud (again)
- Install the radiator (again)
- Connect the vacuum advance line to the carb and distributor
- Fabricate and adapt the choke heat stove lines
- Seal the rear window
- Install the rear window stainless trim
Those last two are more time consuming than the first four, but ticking off all of these items was certainly within the realm of possibility. Dealing with the bad reproduction oil pan, however, was not on my list. But after thinking through the first four items, it occurred to me that if I wanted to try adding a few washers between the block and motor mounts, now was the time to do it. Once the shroud and radiator are installed, it’s a lot harder to rock the engine up on one side without damaging something, etc. And since I’ve struck out in locating a good, used 289 oil pan, the one that’s on there is going to have to work for the time being.
Raising the Engine by 1/8″
So, after taking 20 minutes to finish installing the new battery cables on the Edsel (success!), I spent the rest of the day farting around with the engine mounts in an attempt to raise the engine 1/8″. I’d wanted to install the motor mount heat shields anyway, so trying out the addition of a few washers made sense. Of course, I’ve already installed several of the accessories, so attaching the hoist chain involved some removals.
The alternator had to come off again, along with the belt, which I’d just tensioned the other day. No big deal, but it still takes time to pull it off, hang it out of the way, track the hardware, put it back together, and re-tension the belt. And while I was putting the belt back on later, I realized I probably need a slightly shorter belt because this one is almost at the end of the adjustment.
I pulled the bolts that hold the block to the rubber isolators and the starter cable brackets, and then I lifted the right side of the engine 1/4″. Raising the engine 1/8″ seemed like enough, so I used two 7/16 washers for each hole on top of the heat shield. Getting them aligned with each other wasn’t an issue, but getting the block holes aligned with the mount was. I couldn’t get the back bolt to thread. So I lowered the engine, raised it, lowered it, raised it, and cursed a lot. Then I cursed some more. I repeated that process for an hour and a half; I was not a happy camper.
Figuring it Out
Part of my frustration came from the fact that I had to keep crawling under the car, shimmying my way into tight spaces. And when whatever position I’d tried didn’t work, I kept having to shimmy back out and raise or lower the engine hoist. Also, there’s not much space to work on the passenger side. Eventually, though, I had the engine properly positioned and could finally pry the mount into place.
With one side complete, I approached the drivers side with trepidation. It was easier, but I still ended up doing the shimmy on repeat for a while. Between the setup and clean up, it took four hours to finish the two front mounts.
Excitedly I proceeded to examine the new amount of steering linkage clearance. Guess what I found? The drag link still rubs the oil pan, though now it’s only at the end of its travel. Is it better? Sure. Am I satisfied? Nope.
Okay, so what now? My next victim is the rear engine mount, a.k.a. the transmission mount. Maybe it needs a lift, too…
Up in the Air We Go
So far accomplishing nothing, since I’d already committed to the washer solution, raising the transmission seemed like the next logical step. But once I had the car in the air, I realized two things. First, my transmission jack doesn’t lift very high. Second, there’s definitely fluid seeping at the junction between the main case and tailshaft housing on the transmission. Working in a crouched position, as I began to pull the first bolt on the cross-member, I had a thought. At this point, I ought to just pull the transmission. It’s going to have to come out anyway to fix the leak. The most logical place for shim washers is where the mount bolts to the transmission, which means I need to pull the cross member and the mount off the trans. If I’m gonna go that far, I might as well pull it out and do the job right.
And that’s where I stopped for the night. I was frustrated, night was coming, and I’d worked all day accomplishing nothing. Pulling the transmission will have to wait for another day.