Until last night, I had never removed an engine from a car.
Motorcycles & lawnmowers, yes, but never a car.
First, some background. The last time I drove the Alpine was the time
Scotty Paisley visited Huntsville last fall. I drove it to work that
day, and had to get a jump start to get home. You may recall that I
was supposed to pick Scotty up at the hotel for a trip to the local
pub in the Alpine, but could not get it started. Fuel was leaking
out of the carbs like there was no tomorrow, so I had to give up and
take the truck. Probably just as well, since it rained like mad that
Anyway, that carb rebuild that I swore I'd do over the winter never
got done. Also, there are just remnants of the firewall grommets, and
the thing leaks so much oil that your clothes get oil spots on them
when driving. So this spring I planned on pulling the engine, fixing
all the oil leaks, and probably replacing the bearings, since oil
pressure is dangerously low at idle (~10 psi, if the gauge is
Martin Frankford, a friend from the local Britcar club (and a recent
subscriber to this list), loaned me his shop crane back in March or
April, and told me to keep it as long as I needed it, since it meant
less clutter in his garage. I promised him that it should only be a
week or two. Yeah, right.
The Clymer's manual gives a 12-step process for removing the engine.
Steps 1 and 2 were accomplished in short order back in the spring.
Then, a combination of major household landscaping, heat, working
overtime, another new hobby (homebrewing), and just plan laziness
caused March/April to turn into July, with no progress. Martin
mentioned recently that he would be needing his shop crane soon.
Uh-oh. So this weekend it was time. After about 9 hours of sworking
over the 2 days, steps 3-12 were completed (plus one extra that
wasn't mentioned: disconnecting the oil cooler), and the engine and
tranny cleared the engine compartment at about 11pm Sunday. What a
sight! And that shop crane worked magnificently. Many thanks,
After lowering the assembly to the floor and separating the tranny, I
lifted the engine back up to put on the stand which I had bought used
a while back. But I can't figure out how it's supposed to hook up,
and there are no instructions, so dear old dad is coming over tonight
to lend a hand. I've studied it many times over the months, but still
can't quite see how the engine is supposed to attach. Well, you
learn something new every day, so I guess this will be my lesson for
So, major progress was realized with relatively little pain. I am
feeling a great sense of accomplishment, and am ready for the next
phase: cleaning & dismantling. Since I've never attempted anything
like this before, I'm feeling a little fearful as well, like I'm in
over my head. But I hope that between my car club friends (Kevin R.,
I'll be in touch!), my dad, and this list, I may eventually come up
for air, enginewise. But it won't be for a long, long time.
As elated as I'm feeling now, I can't imagine how it must feel to
crank up the first engine you ever rebuilt yourself. I can't wait!
Wish me luck as I plunge, with grease under my fingernails, into the
T.J. Higgins | email@example.com | (205) 730-7922
"Pull me under,
Pull me under,
Pull me under, laughing..." -- Dream Theater