Disassembly
 
I got a lot done this weekend. It started with cleaning my garage so that I could fit a car into it again. I’ve got quite a collection of old engines now, they really take up a lot of space in my garage. I also installed some new lights (more lights) in my garage. It’s lit up like mad in there now. Anyways, I went and picked up my Omni from my father-in-law’s house, where it’d been parked for the past month or two. I really need to fix the door seals, there was quite a bit of water on the floorboards. I sucked it up with the vacuum and tossed a space heater in the car to dry things out. But I digress. I made quick work of the engine removal. Now you see it....
 
Disassembly
Sunday, February 4, 2007
Now you don’t. For those of you who haven’t removed an engine from a TD before. I find the easiest way is just up and out the top. Disconnect the hoses, cables, exhaust and remove the axles. Remove the radiator/intercooler. Remove the front motor mount, unbolt the passenger motor mount. Hook up the crane, lift the engine some, remove the bolt from the driver’s motor mount, drop engine some, remove the driver’s motor mount. Oh yeah, and remove the crank pulley and waterpump pulley. Then just up and outta there, comes right on out. If you have to use an engine crane in the dirt, move the car out from under the engine! Don’t try to move the crane.. Knocked my crane over twice trying to move it in the dirt at my old house. Man I love having a garage. Once I had the engine out I took a close look at how the passenger mount is set up. I do believe I can make this old mount work with the Neon mount adapter I plan to buy. I made some measurements from the surface the transmission bolts to to the mount, so I can compare to the new engine. 21.5”
That may look really hard to see, I simply made the picture small to keep bandwidth usage down. On the full 6megapixel shot I took, I can see every last notch on that tape-measure. Really quite amazing how far camera technology has come. Anyways, this measurement should be useful on the new engine. The transmission is the same, so it needs to be in the same place it always was. I’m using it’s mount surface as my point of reference for the new engine. Hopefully the front to back location is the same, I don’t have a real good way of measuring that.
After that I moved on to the wiring harness. No point leaving all that old SMEC/SBEC crap in there, it just looked horrifically messy. I had originally swapped in a ’88 Dodge 600 harness, it was a SMEC of course. Well at one point I decided I wanted the smooth idle a SBEC would give me, so I re-arranged the SMEC pins into the SBEC orientation (which included cutting and splicing some pins from the power board into the 60 pin connector). Needless to say it really looked like a rats nest. So I removed the harness from the engine bay.
I spent about 2 hours unwrapping it all. Some of the original gaffer’s tape they used on the harness at the factory was really unwilling to come off. Most of it fell apart in my hands like mummy wrap though. Amazingly, I really didn’t need the factory service manual’s wiring diagrams for 99.9% of the disassembly/removal. I removed things I knew about, and things I knew hadn’t been used. I was really just left with the lights, the horn, a couple relays, and a handful of fusible links. Speaking of which, I fully intend to install a fuse box in the engine bay and eliminate every last one of those stupid things. I don’t have a picture of the completed harness, as it’s waiting for the engine to be installed and the megasquirt to be ready to be installed so it can all be integrated together. But I do have a shot of all the wires I removed from the harness in a pile on my floor. It’s probably 75% of the harness’s original mass.
That about covers what I did this weekend. I’ll probably work on installing the clutch pedal assembly and shifter/shift cables next weekend. Oh, and I’ll be pressure washing the horrifically greasy engine bay/k-member. It’s going to be at least 3 weeks before parts start arriving to be able to start moving forward on this project again. I’m waiting on my tax return before I order them up. But that gives me time to do more research and make sure I’m getting the right things. So far I already realized I’m not going to have to track down a Neon motor mount, I can just use my ’88 mount, one way or another. And I think I’ve decided to buy the MegaSquirt 1 rather than 2. Why?! Because the MS2 can’t read the Neon crank trigger yet. I can upgrade my MS1 to MS2 later on when the MS2-extra code is completed and out to the public. This saves me having to rig up an EDIS trigger wheel to the pulley or anything crazy like that. I’ve also decided to buy a wideband O2 sensor. This will make tuning the engine a breeze, even at full throttle. And my dream of running really lean on the freeway can be more easily implemented. (There are equations to be able to do it based off the 14.7:1 the narrowband gives you).
Everything seems to be moving along quite well, I do believe I’ll have this car done and driving before summer. We’ll see!