Reinstalling engine and gearbox

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Steven collins
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Reinstalling engine and gearbox

Post by Steven collins » Fri Apr 17, 2020 11:17 pm

As I am SI and do not have anyone to help, how difficult would it be to install the engine and gearbox on my own? Also should the starter motor be fitted before installation or when the engine is almost in position, bearing in mind the steering column getting in the way.
Both possibly daft questions but don’t want to get started if it’s a no go from the off as it were.

‘66 MGB’
Many thanks.

Ian Fozzard
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Re: Reinstalling engine and gearbox

Post by Ian Fozzard » Sat Apr 18, 2020 8:54 am

Hi Steven. There's no doubt it's much easier if you have assistance, but I have done the job by myself a couple of times.
It largely depends on what equipment you have available. I first removed and replaced this lot with a fixed beam (couldn't afford a engine crane!) and in that situation you need to move the car around to do the job. An engine crane makes the job so much easier, as does a tilt mechanism for the load. You also need to raise and lower the car body to make it easy.

I would leave off all the ancillaries, and I would use lifting eyes on the rocker pedestals , PLUS a safety sling around the whole thing (big ratchet strap is useful).

Ian F

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Peter Cresswell
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Re: Reinstalling engine and gearbox

Post by Peter Cresswell » Sat Apr 18, 2020 10:47 am

Hi Steven,
I refitted the engine/gearbox by myself and these pointers might be useful to you.
Firstly Ian is correct that having an engine crane and load leveller (from Machine Mart for around £45) are useful, but I would say the load leveller is almost essential if fitting it by yourself. The reason is the engine with gearbox attached balances (ie when lifted it stays horizontal) above the rear rocker pedestal but you can't fit the unit unless you tip the engine and gearbox at about 30 degrees to the horizontal with the back end of the gearbox lowest. The lift point for the correct angle is somewhere around the centre of the engine itself, but there needs to be a fair bit of adjustment to get this just right, and the load leveller is perfect for this. Once you have the rear of the gearbox well under the transmission tunnel you then need to level the engine/gearbox unit to nearly horizontal otherwise you will find that you can't push the unit any further in as the back of the engine block hits the baulkhead. Keep checking under the car to make sure the rear of the gearbox goes over the fixed crossmember under the centre of the car. It is easier if the front of the car is raised up somewhat. I put axle stands under the rear of the front chassis rails near the bulkhead to help with the angles and viewing what is going on under the car.
If you car has the pre-engaged starter then fit this before you put the engine in as it is a difficult job once the engine is in the car; the inertia starter is lighter and smaller so it is less of a problem to fit after the engine and gearbox are fitted. I normally would leave the carbs and exhaust manifold off until all is fitted.
With a bit of luck it should be go in easily and then you just have to sort out the gearbox crossmember!
Pete
1969 MGB Roadster
2011 MG 6 TSE Magnette
2007 Mercedes SLK
Plus 32 other cars since 1965

Steven collins
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Re: Reinstalling engine and gearbox

Post by Steven collins » Sat Apr 18, 2020 7:08 pm

Brilliant thank you.
The crane can lift upto 1ton and comes with a leveller so all good on that front, will look at modifying the crossmember for ease of assembly once engine/gearbox back in.

Steven collins
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Re: Reinstalling engine and gearbox

Post by Steven collins » Wed Apr 22, 2020 10:49 pm

Well engine & gearbox installed today, speedo cable connected, prop shaft reconnected, clutch slave cylinder also connected, oh and yes nearly forgot ..🥴😳😱 crossmember installed....... .. eventually, boy was I glad I modified it first although it was still fighting me all the way!!
Day of rest tomorrow.....

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Peter Cresswell
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Re: Reinstalling engine and gearbox

Post by Peter Cresswell » Thu Apr 23, 2020 9:53 am

Hi Steven
Well done! Yes the mod to the crossmember is well worth doing, and does make life easier but as you say it fights you all the way! Now it is all done up just check the front engine mounts are not being stress (ie the rubber is distorted) and correct if necessary by loosening the 4 bolts on either side to let the rubber relax.

What I don't understand (and perhaps someone else on here can enlighten me) is the MGC used a very similar gearbox/overdrive, but had a very short gearbox crossmember that bolted to the floor on either side of the transmission tunnel. This allowed the engine/gearbox to come out as a unit without taking the crossmember off the gearbox. So much easier for maintenance and I would have thought for the assembly line where it would have been one less major operation on the line. Why wasn't this adopted for the Mk2 MGB onwards which (I understand) from the bulkhead rearwards was the same as the MGC?
Pete
1969 MGB Roadster
2011 MG 6 TSE Magnette
2007 Mercedes SLK
Plus 32 other cars since 1965

BrianMac
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Re: Reinstalling engine and gearbox

Post by BrianMac » Thu Apr 23, 2020 12:12 pm

This is all good advice. Removing and fitting a gearbox and engine as one unit is no trivial task, and even less so alone. I'm just imaging the procedure and was thinking that it may be easier to remove the gearbox cross member to facilitate a less problematic installation, or removal, for that matter.

By how much or to what angle to the horizontal is it advised to raise the front of the car?

Brian

Steven collins
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Re: Reinstalling engine and gearbox

Post by Steven collins » Thu Apr 23, 2020 1:14 pm

Peter, I had a bit of a fight to get the engine mounts to line up - would have been easier with another pair of hands!! So when I then tackled the cross member I left the bolts on the mounts just less than finger tight to take into account any movement/settle only fully tightened everything once all in place - been caught out before with things tightened up fully too soon. Appreciated your input, most helpful and made things a bit easier. 👍

Brian,
I raised the front by about 1 foot or so (300mm +) around 30 degrees, which I found to be more than enough.

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Peter Cresswell
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Re: Reinstalling engine and gearbox

Post by Peter Cresswell » Thu Apr 23, 2020 3:27 pm

BrianMac wrote:
Thu Apr 23, 2020 12:12 pm
This is all good advice. Removing and fitting a gearbox and engine as one unit is no trivial task, and even less so alone. I'm just imaging the procedure and was thinking that it may be easier to remove the gearbox cross member to facilitate a less problematic installation, or removal, for that matter.

By how much or to what angle to the horizontal is it advised to raise the front of the car?

Brian
Hi Brian
You have to remove the crossmember to take the engine and gearbox out as a unit as the crossmember is too wide to pass between the chassis rails. To remove the crossmember you have to dismantle it under the car, so it is vital that you mark each part of the crossmember before to take it apart so that you can put it back together under the car once the engine is back in situ on the front mountings. Depending on the type of crossmember (which varied by the year of the car) there are either 16 or 32 ways it can go together!
As I mentioned above the MGC used a different and narrower crossmember and that didn't have to be dismantled when taking the engine and gearbox out as a unit.
Pete
Pete
1969 MGB Roadster
2011 MG 6 TSE Magnette
2007 Mercedes SLK
Plus 32 other cars since 1965

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