"Vinny" – Engine Out

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      I thought I would have a go at putting together a step by step photo guide on pulling an engine out of a Traction. Mine being a 1955 11B with a Perfo engine. I recently restored the engine as part of my “Barn Find” project which you can find in My Projects in this forum. So I “should” have no rusty or seized bolts and it “should” be a relatively straight forward task, although this is my first time taking out the lump since the car was built. Last time I took it out, it was piece by piece, so please bare with me. I am sure there are better or easier ways but for me this was the most straight forward.

      So firstly I needed to clear the garage for space as I have 2 other unmovable projects blocking the main part of the floor. My son’s Mini and my Renault 4CV. So I needed to be able to take the engine out of the Traction, move it to the side and then role the Traction into the garage.
      I have my tools ready and the engine lift ready as when the car is in there will be no room to move. [Remember this, specially if you have a single garage, the engine takes a lot of space to take out and manhandle around]


      “Vinny” is driven in giving me enough space at the front to manhandle the engine lift around the front of the car. It is still very heavy and as my concrete is not too even, there is a chance of “Engine Swing”.



        Even though my wings are not perfect (body work done, just not painted) I still want to protect them so I used a couple of IKEA single mattress pads. They seemed to work quite well ๐Ÿ˜€ Quick slit to go over the light pods and they sit on the wings perfectly. Also a good place for tools as now they don’t slip off.


        So first job is to take the bonnet off, couple of screws front and back and then the two inner supports and with the help of the wife the bonnet lifts off (this can be done on your own of course but easier with 2 people). [Again, make sure you have somewhere to put all of this, a blanket on top of the car is a good tip, although I used the top of the 4CV in this case ๐Ÿ˜‰ ]


        Next is the front grill. A little fiddly with 4 bolts either side plus brackets attaching it to the radiator. Try and be careful not to scratch too much of the paint work ๐Ÿ˜ฏ With this removed it gives full access to the front of the engine and also allows the engine to come out of the car towards the front. No more body panels need to be removed.



          Next is to drain the radiator. I used a small plastic pipe on the drain tap at the base of the radiator. This worked very well, with zero spillage and takes out most of the coolant from the system.


          Then around the side of the engine to the drain plug on the block itself. If you are careful here you can loosen the drain plug and direct the coolant downwards into the bowl. If you pull the plug right out it will squirt forward messing up the engine bay.


          Now onto the main task, disconnecting everything that connects the engine to the car.



            So onto disconnecting everything that connects then car to the engine. I started off at the front with the speedo cable connection to the gearbox. This is a simple locking bolt that you loosen, pull the cable and then put the bolt back in. Tuck the cable out of the way.


            Next is the horn assembly, I unbolted the bracket and tucked the bracket complete with horn(s) away to the right. Put the nuts back onto he gearbox for safe keeping.


            Next job are the electrical connections on the left side (looking from the front). This part of the cable loom should be running across the bottom of the radiator. Un screw the connectors (taking note of where each wire comes from) and tuck away with the horn assemble to the right. I have re-wired my car and each cable is numbered but a simple labelling system of putting a different colour of insulation tape on each of the 4 wires and then a tab of the same tape on the connector screw (thanks Dave – OSL282 for the tip, see post below)



              Next is the radiator. Off with the top hose. There might be some remnants of coolant in there but hopefully most will have gone. I have a temperature sensor on the top hose, so this needs to be disconnected and put to one side also.


              Bottom hose next, easier to undo the lower connection, leaving the bottom hose attached to the radiator.


              Then the two securing nuts underneath the radiator. The radiator will become wobbly but it doesn’t fall out, it will need a quick tug upwards to free it from the car.



                Radiator out of the way


                So now onto the top of the engine. I took off the air filter unit and stored it away. Then disconnected the accelerator mechanism and choke cable to the carburettor. Tuck all of these away from the engine.


                Next is the starter motor connections. One electrical and one mechanical.



                  Alternator connections next (or Dynamo) and tuck all of these out of the way. Make sure you photograph the cables and take note where they go.


                  I have an oil pressure gauge so make sure you disconnect the pick up tube from the rear of the engine


                  One connection that is easily forgotten about is the earth strap from the battery to the rear of the engine. I disconnected from the battery as this was easier than trying to get in-between the rear of the engine and the battery itself. Right at the start of this procedure I isolated the +Ve of the battery (I have an isolation switch but you can just take the cable from the battery).



                    Onto the exhaust. Disconnect the 3 nuts and remove the Alternator (Dynamo) heat guard.


                    You also need to disconnect the support strap underneath car that connects the gearbox to the bottom of the exhaust tube. Once you have done this the pipe will pull off easily and sit out of the way.


                    Now go around the other side of the engine. The next thing is to disconnect the low voltage and hight voltage connections to the distributor as well as the dwell angle adjustor cable.



                      Onto the fuel line. I just disconnected from the inlet of the pump. A small amount of fuel does drain from the pump but as long as you don’t smoke you will be fine. And if you do smoke then the old say “Smoking Kills” is pretty much correct ๐Ÿ˜ฏ


                      Looking a down a little further you will see the clutch cable. Disconnect this and then release the outer cable from the cable clamp. Tuck this out of the way, making sure you don’t have your eye out in the process (same goes for all of these wire cables, they tend to spring up just as you look down into he engine ๐Ÿ˜ฎ )


                      Now the two gear selector rods. undo the nuts, release the shafts, making sure you don’t lose the springs and then screw on the nuts for safe keeping. Fold these back up to the windscreen, wrapping a rag around the ends to stoop any scratching.



                        Now it is time to undo the 4 nuts holding the drive shafts onto the output couplings. At this point it is better to jack up the car and put axle stands as far as possible towards the front wheels. This allows you to spin the driveshafts to ease the undoing of the nuts and also provides the best clearance to wiggle the driveshafts free of the gearbox. It also allows you to get the engine hoist under the car – mine would not fit under the bottom suspension arms unless it was jacked up.

                        [attachment=2:1uucgjd6]Screen Shot 2015-09-12 at 15.47.37.png[/attachment:1uucgjd6]

                        Rotate the driveshaft to remove each of the nuts.


                        Next I unbolted the top gear box support. This was a little fiddly and I pulled one long bolt out from each side. I had to loosen the large nut (holds the front suspension assembly to the car and the bumper bracket). This allowed free movement of the support. I didn’t take out the other two long bolts (one either side) at this stage – I wanted to support the engine/gearbox with the engine hoist first. You also need to disconnect the two angled struts. I released the bottom two bolts on either side, leaving the struts still attached to the support brace.



                          I slid the engine hoist under car and using a strap around the rear loop on the back of the engine and around the water pump I took the strain of the engine. This allowed me to disconnect the gear box from the top support assembly. This can be taken out attached to the gearbox but it was messy and more chance of scratching the car etc.


                          So up she comes. Very gently lift the engine wiggling the hoist towards the front. This allows the rear engine mount to disengage from the front bulkhead. Another option is to go inside the car and remove the box panel in the centre of the bulkhead. This gives access to the rear engine mount (rubber square unit bolted to the engine with 2 bolts) which can be disconnected and retrieved inside the car [maybe easier on smaller cars ๐Ÿ˜€ thanks Dave, OSL282]


                          As you can see on the left, I strapped the gearbox to the engine hoist, just to stop it swinging about. This is a very heavy engine and with the unevenness of my garage floor, the hoist only rolls/moves in a jerky fashion. So try and have the final resting place of the engine not too far away from the car.



                            Engine bay all empty


                            And the engine on top of my tool chest using the engine stand (detailed in the workshop manual) that I built for the engine earlier this year.


                            So that is my method for the engine removal. As I say it may not be the perfect procedure but I just worked from the front and the left of the engine and then right of the engine, raised the car and pulled the engine.

                            Took me an afternoon on my own. It may be better with a helper, specially when man handling the hoist and engine. I did get my wife in at this point, who supervised me very well ๐Ÿ˜•


                              You didn’t mention the rear engine mount on the bulkhead. It’s better off when trying to refit the engine and will give a bit more room to manoeuvre the engine about, especially on a small bodied car.

                              Tip for anyone else pulling the front of a car to bits. When I rewired the front of my car I colour coded the wire ends with insulating tape and the top of the Terminal Block screws to match, (also did the ends where they attach to the bulb holders) that way you can take them off, put them back quickly and easily with no errors…..



                                Ian, thank you for this. I will put it to good use as I set about removing the engine from my Traction.
                                It’s good that you used a clean engine etc., so you can actually SEE what’s going on. If I were to try such a thing, it would be a waste of time, as the nuts are buried under years of grime or covered in rust!

                                Your wooden engine stand looks like just the thing. Unfortunately, I can’t find the drawings. My old maintenance manual has a drawing of a metal engine stand. Not easy to decipher, and less easy to build than your simple wooden stand.


                                  @OSL282 wrote:

                                  You didn’t mention the rear engine mount on the bulkhead. It’s better off when trying to refit the engine and will give a bit more room to manoeuvre the engine about, especially on a small bodied car.

                                  Dave/Ian, pardon my ignorance, but where is this mounting on my Light 15? Is it easy to get to?

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