For those of you ready to dive into this project, we can skip to the end of this important service announcement to say that if you plan on working on an Evo X regularly, get a lift. The entire design of the engine and everything around it is to come out as one piece. The odd angles that they position bolts and your inability to put a torque wrench on anything suddenly makes sense when you remove the engine and transmission together to work on it. To make matters worse, the motor and transmission really only come out of the bottom of the car safely. That is how the engine went in at the factory and is the natural process of things for most modern vehicles.
This is a big difference in working on the motor in the older DSMs versus the new Evo’s. Coming from that older generation, I thought I would dive right in and remove the motor from the car from the top. Sadly it took me until I had almost disassembled everything to realize that the safest way to still remove the engine was out the bottom. Of course it didn’t keep us from making a valiant effort to try to pull it from the top.
We removed everything from the front of the engine, including the radiator support and radiator. We found out that the crappiest transmission jack on the planet is actually really good for dropping the front subframe when you have the car on jacks. Disassembling everything around the engine block was absolutely not needed, but I didn’t understand until it was too late. I still had some hope that I was going to pick the motor from the top until I had nothing left to remove and realize it still wouldn’t clear.
The Engine Hoist Oath
Harper was nice enough to drop off his engine hoist, which comes with a long standing clause. Some call it a curse. You see the engine hoist isn’t even Tim’s. He borrowed it many years ago with the same curse. “He who borrows the engine hoist, must store the engine hoist until the next person asks to borrow it”. So I must store this thing until the next chump needs to pull a motor. The only good things is that borrowing an engine hoist from Tim, is sort of like borrowing a boomerang that has already been thrown. Your odds that it is headed back to Tim is pretty much guaranteed.
Hoist Becomes a Lift
This is not approved by the safety committee, which is how to get your car high enough in the air when you don’t have a lift. In this case I used the engine hoist to lower the motor down onto the creeper, since it was the lowest thing I had with wheels.
Now use the engine hoist to get the car into the air, by lifting it from the front frame. Without the weight of the engine, it actually works rather well. Normally I would not have entertained this little maneuver for fear of damaging something. Frankly, the perspective changes a little after you have your car go in in flames and blow the engine. It becomes a little less fragile to work with.
It was about this point where I phoned the guys at Magnus to tell them I had walked the path of enlightenment and now I understood. From the beginning the explained that everybody just drops the motors to work on them, but I didn’t choose to believe until now.
There is a rather happy ending to this whole story, as my ridiculously supportive family lead by my wife all went in together to get me a 2 post lift for the barn for Christmas. So the engine will return in style, hopefully before the spring race.