Chapter 17: Replacing the heart. Slant Six install

Things are moving right along now. A couple of days ago I got my 2 brother in laws together and we reunited car with engine. The slant six is officially back in the hole that has been under the bonnet for 18 months. Whats more, its looking a lot nicer than when it came out.

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A very grotty before

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Somewhat nicer after. No manifolds on yet (which will make it look even nicer) but you get the idea

First job was to install the flywheel, clutch, bellhousing, starter and transmission. I decided it would go quicker and easier to do all that in the shed with the engine out of the car and then just install the whole lot into the car as a unit. For the most part i think that was a good decision, you have far better access to everything in the shed, tools right nearby, and no need to contort yourself trying to access bolts in hard to reach places. As a result i could easily get the torque wrench on everything and do them up to spec. It made getting the whole assembly a little trickier to get back in the car, but nothing too difficult.

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Clutch in…looking good dad

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Bellhousing and Clutch fork installed

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Fitting the little Chrysler 3 Speed

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Torquing it down, much easier doing this work out of the car

To do the install, I ended up rigging the lift chain slightly towards the front of the block, so the weight of the trans made the rear hang low. The slant is well set up for this with 2 threaded bolt holes in the top of the block located perfectly for mounting a lifting point. In order to get the steep angle of attack required to get the trans into the tunnel, and the super long slant 6 fitted in the engine bay, we wrapped a strap around the transmission extension housing, and pulled it towards the front of the car, using the K member as a pulley. One we had lowered the whole lot low enough for the trans to fit into the tunnel, we just slackened off the strap and the whole thing just slipped into position.

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Preparing to drop her in

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Steep angle of attack, note the yellow being pulled to keep the extension housing low. Hillbilly engine leveler!

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Plop, its in

To level the engine up, a trolley jack with a block of wood on top was slid under the trans and jacked up. A little jiggling and the engine plopped into the mounts. Not so easy was the transmission mount. The crossmember the mount fit into was gummed up with dirt and underbody sealer. I hadn’t brought it out for a clean as the handbrake cable was seized inside it and i didn’t want to risk breaking it. Some underbody wire brushing and some taps with a rubber mallet sorted it out and it was soon buttoned up. Job done.

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The biggest holdup was the bloody trans mount. It just didn’t want to fit. The mount needed cleaning up, few taps, and we were in business

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Bonnet on. Done!

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Stanced a lot nicer now with the heavy slant back in the hole

Next step is wiring, plumbing everything up, fitting the manifolds, fluids, and we are ready to fire up.

I also have taken care of some odd jobs, including front shocks, fitting a new inner splashguard (in fibreglass…no rust!) and rubber seals.

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One of the true heroes of my recent efforts. My AEG impact wrench. These undo everything, don’t tackle an old car build without one

Next update i will hopefully have video of a running slant (with all the fluids retained on the inside). Fingers crossed.

Huge thanks to my Bro in laws for helping me out, an engine install is not a one man job. Double thanks to bro in law Warren for filming everything in HD, so i have some awesome momentos of the occasion.

Also did up the old extractors for the build. These were pretty rusty and grotty, but a run in the sandblaster and some high temp flat black had them looking sweet

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Chapter 12: Rebuilding the trans

Another 2 months fly by without an update.

To be honest, again with uni being back for another semester and the responsibilities of dad-hood, I haven’t really achieved too much. Well, compared to someone who knew what they are doing and has a few hours to spare per week anyway.

But…I have achieved something, and that something is rebuilding the old 3 speed transmission. I’ll make this pretty brief, because in between writing epically long essays for uni and work reports, I’m sorta over typing.

The trans rebuild has probably been the most challenging thing I’ve attempted so far. The first issue was doing this in a cramped shed without a hoist. But I managed to get the car up on jack stands and squeeze under it, fiddle around with various extensions to get the bolts holding the tranny to the bellhousing out, source the biggest breaker bar I could to undo the crossmember bolts, and slide the whole shebang out on a trolley jack without breaking anything! And the first thing I can say is, what a bloody mess. As you can see, the entire tranny was caked in years of mud and leaked oil. The top cover gasket, as expected, was the main culprit and was leaking like a sieve. The parts washer at work soon sorted that out

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After one late night and some mushed knuckles, the grimy, ugly 3 speed is out

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Looking slightly more presentable after a few passes in the parts washer

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27 of August, 1965. 49 years old at the time of writing!

After finding a NOS rebuild kit on ebay for 170 bucks (pentastar were asking 400!), I decided to just give the whole thing a birthday with new seals and perishables throughout. It seemed a bit daunting, but after some googling and juggling my two shop manuals, I managed to get it done (whether it blows up in the first 100km is another story). The hardest deal was the c clips holding the various bits together. The snap ring pliers I had were pretty hopeless, and I definitely recommend sourcing some decent ones (like the double x’s) before attacking one yourself. The needle rollers were also a bit fiddly, but nowhere near as bad as I thought. The box seems nice and smooth, and is easy to shift, so hopefully it’s a good thing. If nothing else, after a coat of Chrysler red it looks nice!

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The nice internals belie the crusty exterior. It was actually in pretty nice shape

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Everything torn down and ready for rebuilding

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New bearings pressed on the input and mainshaft

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Freshly painted and ready for rebuilding (sorry for messing up the laundry honey)

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As good as new…i hope

That’s pretty much the extent of the progress. My CV boot for my drive shaft arrived so I tried to sort that out. According to my books and the internet, you can install one of these without disaasembling the uni joint. Bull shit you can. After 3 hours of pushing and prodding I had 2 sore and bleeding thumbs, and a boot with a tear in it jammed halfway through the housing. I bit the bullet and disassembled the thing, slipped on the boot in 2 seconds and put it back together. The main issue will be centralising the uni joint which apparently you need a jig to do, but with some careful measuring I’m hoping it’ll be good enough. My mechanical guru mate reckons a bit of glue on the split boot will sort it out, hope so.

I’m now putting in the prep work to pull the motor. I wasn’t going to bother originally, but seeing as the trans is already out, I figure I might as well. Plan is to clean off the 50 years of accumulated oil and mud from the old slant and engine bay. As well as pulling the dent currently in the sump and cleaning out any sludge sitting in the pan. A few new gaskets and a clutch refresh should get me on the road. It will also make a few of the jobs I need to do much easier if I can access the engine bay. Stuff like cleaning and painting the K member and engine bay, and replacing a few bushings in the steering and suspension.