Life Support

The day of reckoning was here. Or the first day of reckoning, at least. On a nice and warm April day, the transplant team was assembled and the patient prepped.

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We had prepared The Burg by removing its heart earlier in the day, making way for the new (old) engine.

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Photo courtesy of Timothy Wade

With the M410 overdrive transmission attached to the B30 straight six, the powertrain combination for the 164 is incredibly heavy, and impossibly long.

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What do you do with a straight six and a bunch of empty beer cans?

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Before the engine went in, however, the prerequisite standing around and looking at things occurred. It’s like the adage measure twice and cut once – if you look at the engine bay long enough, you can visualize the mayhem that’s about to occur.

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Jim was kind enough to give me some pointers and tips, since this was my first foray into actually working on an engine and not just removing one.

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I’d say it needed a bit of spring cleaning, wouldn’t you?

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Everyone got into the act, even our photographer.

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Everyone was going fairly smoothly. We removed the transmission from Bitey to replace it with the good transmission from The Burg, checked out the clutch and verified it was in decent shape, cleaned up the face with a sander and buttoned it all back up. As we hoisted the engine up into the engine bay, someone noticed that this:

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It was a dirty, rusty mess, and after a few minutes of trying to remove it, the pulley broke into several pieces. The belt had melded right to the pulley itself, allowing water to pool and rust right through. I’m thankful whoever noticed it in time to give us the chance to swap it out.

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Of course we actually had to read the Haynes manual to figure it out after a few minutes of fruitless wrenching.

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Much more wrestling and grunting, shoving and pulling ensued before the engine finally went in. Haynes doesn’t recommend you remove or install the engine with the transmission attached, but when you take it out by removing the front end of the donor car, why can’t it go in the same way? Oh, that’s right, we didn’t want to plasma cut the front end off of the “good” car!

Much thanks to everyone who assisted in the transplant that day.

All photographs courtesy of Carrie Capizzano (unless otherwise noted).

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