Wednesday, January 22, 2014

A moment of terror: Installing the engine

Installing the engine in a Dino is not a terribly involved process but it ideally requires three people and some good preparation. In our case we had coverings over the body, an engine hoist with sufficient reach, and Paul, Dad, and I to make up the three people needed.

With me wielding the camera here is 2/3 of our team ready to go. We chose to install the clutch cable on the engine and then feed it into the chassis rather than try to attach it when the engine was either partially or fully installed.

The fit is very tight and requires a high entry with a steep tilt of the engine for everything to clear. Here we are just before the big lift and forward advance. At this point I put my camera down and got to work myself.

With no intermediate photos as I was at work here is a photo of the engine in its final resting place. There is still a lot of connections to be made but the big entry is done and bolted down.
So why the title 'A moment of terror'? Well while installing the engine we did have the biggest fright of the project. With the engine hoisted above the car, and just beginning its lowering, what can be described as nothing more than a momentary muscle twitch caused a loosening of the hydraulic ram on the engine hoist. The result was the engine dropping some 10-12 inched under the full force of gravity before the error was caught and the engine was stopped. It all transpired in the blink of an eye and AMAZINGLY the engine did not touch anything as it dropped coming to rest less than 2 inches from the right side flying buttress. Some 500kg of engine and gearbox falling on the buttress would have crushed it like a grape and set us back months. For sure the big guy upstairs was looking out for us and we were incredibly lucky to get away with it. We hope for no more such dramas as our collective hearts are getting old and can't take such stresses any more.

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