Sunday, October 12, 2014

Back Together, Test Drive

In my last posts, I covered the hazardous re-assembly of the engine-to-transaxle and the install of the combined unit at 15*.  Today, completes that journey.  In order to do the re-assembly as quickly as possible, I tried doing it a little differently.  I usually do system by system.  This time, I did it based on where I was and did everything I could before I moved.  I'm not sure I'll do that again, but it was interesting.  I cleaned every part with brake cleaner before installing it.  It made a world of difference, and I'll do that every time now.  Handling a clean part is just so much better than the oily, greasy alternative.

Lower Right Rear
Starting below the right side of the engine, there are a few things to do, starting with the CV joint.  I place a jack under the lower shock-absorber mount and lift until the tire just barely leaves the ground.  Then, with 6 new Allen-head bolts (one striped last time), attach the CV joint to the side of the transaxle and drop the tire back onto the ground.  At the front of the transaxle on the right side, is the ground strap.  It requires a 13mm socket.  Install the starter.  It requires a 17mm socket (need to verify) for the 2 bolts plus a 13mm for the B+ cable from the battery.  Plug in the trigger signal wire to the starter.  Connect the B+ wire to the Atlernator and plug in the sensor wires.  Double check all the other visible sensor wires (like on the cooling system) are plugged in.  Last, zip-tie the cooling pipes up out of the way from the axle.

Put in the rear support bar.  Don't forget to put the rear bumper mounts back in when you do the bar; they use the same bolts.  Install the support tower and the rear engine-frame mount.  If you get this far and the mount isn't lining up, check the support bar install.  If the mount and tower are on different angles, you probably mated the engine to the transaxle at something other than 15*.  Go back one posting :)  Once the rear mount is in, hook up the exhaust.  The muffler pipe has a hook that fits onto the rubber mount which is hanging off the right side of the rear support bar.  Once hanging, it should fit with enough room to maneuver the rest of the pipe without it hitting the ground nor the bus and no jacking required.

The exhaust-to-turbo mating has a gasket and 3 13mm nut/bolts.  One mount is a stud coming out of the turbo.  Because of the design, at least one of the 13mm needs to be tightened with a wrench instead of a socket.  Next comes the intake system.  Start with the non-charged air pipe from the air cleaner to the turbo.  This is held on with 10mm bolts, and most of the work is from above rather than through the rear hatch.  Next, the charged-air plumbing with the intercooler is most easily installed as a unit.  Slide the turbo-end on first, then set the intercooler and complete the system to the intake last.  The pipe clamps are a combination of slotted-screwdriver and 10mm socket.  The intercooler is held in place with bailing wire (yes, bailing wire) looped between the mounting hole on the intercooler and the open loop in the engine mount attached to the engine.  This allows for the vibration of the entire system to resonate as one.  Route the vacuum to the turbo and snap it into the channels on the plastic tubes.

Lower Left Rear
Shifting back under the bus, repeat the CV joint process for the left side.  Verify what's been done thus far from the new perspective: the turbo plumbing, the air system, the vacuum.  Hook up the bowden tube and the clutch cable to the clutch activation arm.  If you run out of adjustment threads, you need some head-washers (I used 4) between the bowden tube and the mount it slides into.  That mount is held on with 2 13mm bolts.

Lower Middle
Mount the nose of the transaxle.  Plug in the reverse wires for the reverse light switch.  Don't brain yourself on the radiator.  Thread the short hollow tube to connect the gear selector at the front of the transaxle to the long gear shift tube coming from the front of the bus.  Zip-tie the tube into place.  I'm sure that last line will upset some purists (as if the whole project hasn't already), but the original bolt/nut solution falls out; the zip-tie doesn't.

From Above
There's little left now.  Mount the coolant overflow bottle, verifing the top coolant line runs where it's suppoed to.  Plug the sensor into the bottle.  Note the coolant level, and come back and check again if its not spot-on.  Verify the vacuum bulb is set and tight.  Put the fuel filter into it's mount and tighten it down, making sure that the lines run properly.  I have a cheap $1 clear filter in front of the spendy stock filter to extend its life, but it also shows me that fuel is getting that far.  I check that for a fuel level at this point.

All Over
Last, the battery is hooked back up.  Before that, all of the electrical connections, including all sensor plugs should be double checked.  This is where the "do everything you can see" model falls apart.  By doing it one system at a time, you know everything was done.  By working zonally, you don't really know for sure without checking system by system.  At that point, you may as well have just done it that way.

This is the part everyone wants to jump to: grabbing the keys and giving a test fire.  The first time I tried this time around, I got nothing: I'd failed to hook up the battery.  Once resolved, he started right up.  I applied the clutch and shifted through the gears.  Nice and smooth.  Seatbelt on, and on the road to test.  There was less noise than I remembered.  The gears shifted easily up through 3rd (never got to  4th), and the bus felt peppy.  Overall, it was a great, albeit short, drive.  I declare the bus road-worthy again.  By the way, there wasn't a single drop of oil on the transaxle nor engine after the test drive and cool-down.  Success!

Thanks for following along.  Next time, I look at the ceiling of the bus and/or knocking the dents out of and painting the rear bumper.

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