6-27-2004 beginning at 11am:
Since I left work on Friday 6/25/04, that marked the beginning of a week long vacation for me, I decided that the first Sunday of that vacation seems like a good day to remove a Camaro engine. I made plans to borrow an engine stand and a cherry picker. I also got the help of Kyle Fisher (my step brother) and Rich Kennedy. The day before, Kyle and I pushed my Camaro out of my garage and drained the oil and anti-freeze out of it (so we would hopefully not deal with that mess on Sunday). The first pic below shows how the engine/engine compartment has looked for years (except I did remove the air ducts from the dual snorkel air cleaner).
Since I have never pulled an engine before, Kyle and Rich led this Sunday project of getting an engine out of a car. If they could point me to something I could do, I'd put my hands on it. To be honest, I was mostly the guy that got them tools for this or I operated the engine hoist.
It did not take long to get to the point of connecting the engine hoist (I believe about 3 hours). The original goal was to attempt removing the engine only (leaving the transmission on the Camaro). Rich removed most of the bolts that connected the transmission bell housing to the engine (Kyle and Rich worked together to remove a couple towards the top). We attempted to lift the engine out, but no matter how far seperated the transmission seemed to be, both the engine and tranny seemed to be coming out together. My father stopped by to see how progress was going and he noticed that we needed to alter how the engine hoist was holding the chain connected to the engine (we had it positioned to lift by the back part of the chain). Dad also took a look in my Helms shop manual and if I recall, they recommended disconnecting the 4 bolts that hold the transmission bell housing and transmission together (I did not know that a manual shift transmission and bell housing were two seperate units, so I learned something new today).
Once we repositioned the chain used for the engine hoist to lift the engine and decided to pull the engine with the bell housing, that 305 came out super fast and easy.
It took a few hands to hold the engine steady on the hoist and some other hands to unbolt the fly wheel and clutch. Then all of us played a part in getting the engine bolted to the engine stand.
Shortly after the engine was secured to the engine stand, Kyle and Rich were anxious to find if what I was told about two years ago that this engine had a bad rod bearing was correct. We removed the carb, flipped it over and Kyle and Rich went to town removing the bolts from the oil pan.
Within a short time the pan was off and Rich wiggled the things around and found the offending rod. After he removed two more bolts, he found it was a spun bearing that was the source of my problem.
Both the spun bearing and the crank shaft have some bad scoring marks (can be seen best on the pic of the bearing). I was glad this part of the problem has been found.
By the advice of my friend Jeff Lewis who stopped by and the support of Kyle and Rich, we decided it would be best to also remove the transmission from the vehicle (since nothing was supporting the front of it). Rich and I removed the last couple of bolts that were holding us up and then Kyle, Rich and I all worked at sliding the tranny out from under the Camaro.
Once that was done, we all worked at cleaning up the mess. I was gathering nuts and bolts and putting them in sandwich bags that I then labelled what they belonged to. We then pushed my Z28 (now engine less) back into the garage. Kyle and Rich cleaned up tools, we covered the driveway in kitty litter (had a tranny fluid mess on the ground). And as I promised Kyle and Rich, I cooked some hamburgers and hot dogs on the grill (plenty of good east for a job that took around 6 hours).
Now that the engine is out, I face a few other tasks ahead. With the help of my father, I plan to research the best way to repair the front strut towers. The front nose and fenders will probably be removed in attempts to restore the engine compartment (and so the engine compartment can get a much needed new coat of paint). I also want to look at new engine sensor wiring.
I also have to decide how I want to proceed with the engine. I want to keep a 305 H.O. (L69) engine. So do I get some help and rebuild the one I have? Do I simply buy a replacement? I'm not a mechanic, so I'm not jumping to get a 350 (I've heard too many rumors of problems with 350's and what I have right now). A 305 H.O. stock puts out a 190HP, not a lot, but this Camaro is a cruiser car to me (not a drag strip racer).
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