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From: John De Armond
Subject: Re: Engine Installation Tricks
Date: Thu, 03 Aug 2000 01:54:48 -0400

BILZfanNok wrote:

> Anyone have an tricks they use to make the bellhousing and automatic
> transmission line up during a one man installation? (2.8 in a Cherokee)
> Thanks

Since I always work alone, I have a few tricks.  Assuming you left
the tranny in the vehicle,

I strap up the transmission using a ratchet-type tiedown strap.
Strap is anchored to whatever strong attachment points exist on the
firewall.  I try to angle the bellhousing up just a bit so that the
engine will align with it without too much interference with motor

I use one of those engine lift gadgets on my engine lift that lets
one move the balance by cranking a threaded rod which moves the
attachment point.  This lets me tilt the engine to the correct angle
without straining.

If the tranny is a manual one and the lay shaft has to engage the
clutch spline, put the tranny in high gear and make sure the
emergency brake is fully on.  This locks the shaft so that it will
remain still while you rotate the engine with a pulley wrench or
socket and breaker bar.  This makes it easy to align the spline.

I have on rare occasion used all-thread in the bolt holes as
alignment guides, most times this is more trouble than it's worth.

An air speed ratchet, a wide assortment of extensions and a QUALITY
set of flex-head sockets are worth their weight in gold.  I'm at the
point where I'm not sure I'd do an engine R&R without compressed
air.  A speed ratchet doesn't need that much air so even a cheap
compressor will work.  A flex adapter and straight socket almost
always will not work because of the limited room.  I have a homemade
flex shaft extension that consists of a length of large speedo cable
silver-soldered into a socket on the ratchet end and a drilled-out,
cut-off stubby extension on the socket end.  I understand that these
are commercially available now.  This thing has saved the day on
more than one occasion when I just couldn't quite reach the bolt
with conventional hardware.  If you make your own, keep the male end
of the stubby socket immersed in water while you're silver-soldering
the cable in or you'll anneal the spring in the ball detent and the
socket won't stay on.

Others have recommended a transmission jack.  Wonderful if you have
it.  Not worth the money for me as a hobbyist.


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