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Vehicle: 1985 W150 with a 1983 5.2L.  4" suspension lift.  33" tires. 
   
So I have a cracked flexplate.  I was thinking about dropping the tranny and transfer case, but I want to do some engine work anyway so I figured I could pull the engine instead.  I have a few questions though: 
 
1. Could a engine crane with a 78" lift bring the motor up high enough to clear the front clip? 
2. Do I need to remove the hood to remove the engine? 
3. Could I replace the flexplate with just the engine removed? 
4. If I pull the engine, should I brace the transmission under the truck? 
5. Do I need to worry about engine/transmission alignment when I reinstall the engine? 

 

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1. It should.  If not you can always pull the wheels off the front and lower it some on blocks or jackstands.
2. Not normally.  You can't have a bunch of useless chain in the sling on the engine though.  Keep the attachment point down as close to the engine as possible.
3. Yes.
4. Yes, a jack or ratchet strap under the transmission, hooked over the frame rails will hold it up just fine.
5. Yes, it only goes one way and the dowels will need to line up, and you will need to spin the torque converter to line up the bolts on it.  One bolt is offset, to ensure they are clocked correctly for balance.  Be sure to use Blue threadlocker on the flexplate to crank and flexplate to converter bolts.
 

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depending on your mileage/wear, this is when I would look carefully at the freeze plugs, rear main seal, oil pump, etc since the engine is out.
 

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and you wanna keep the converter from falling out of the trans , it must be engaged in the trans front oil pump all the way , then bolted to the flex plate AFTER you install the transmission , mark the converter and flex plat before you unbolt the 4 bolts , it only goes 1 right way and marking it makes it easy ... IF ITS an automatic.... ;) 
 

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My preferred way of pulling an engine is to pull it with the transmission still attached. The reason I like doing it that way is, because to me, it's easier to separate or put back together, the engine and trans on the ground, or on a stand. It's usually a matter of disconnecting the d-shaft (and putting a bag over the slip yoke, if equipped with a slip yoke) disconnecting all wires, linkages, and hoses, and unbolting the trans mount and engine mounts, and out it comes. I don't like trying to access the top bell bolts while in the vehicle and I don't like trying to line up the engine and trans in the vehicle. I like doing all that on the ground or stand where theres all sorts of room to work on it. Makes life easier.

Downsides...it's a lot more weight to pull out at one time. If you can't roll the cherry picker around, this job becomes more miserable. You may have to tilt the engine/trans a lot more to clear the body (as mentioned put a bag over the tail shaft and rubber band it on, if it has a slip yoke)

Ed
 

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tip : with out removing the 4x4 transfer case , and the radiator support , you need a good amount of crane height because you will be tipping the assembled engine / trans quite a bit to clear the firewall/radiator support . 
 

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If I were to remove the engine and transmission as an assembly, I would probably pull the front clip. It's a lot of weight swinging around and you are already going to have to remove the hood so the fenders and core support aren't too much more work usually. That gets rid of the old problem of pulling the engine and needing a buddy to try and lift the tailshaft of the transmission over the core support. I have never seen a automotive engine crane that will lift as high as mine and I doubt it will lift enough to clear the transmission over the core support due to the angle needed to get it out and the engine eventually hitting the arm as it goes near vertical. Also note that an engine crane becomes really unstable at around 6' and up and most engine cranes I have seen I would not trust to that much weight that high in the air. Sometimes it's better to lift the weight and then roll the vehicle out from under it rather than try to move the crane. Be safe. Just my .02

 

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I'm also a believer in removing engine and trans as one unit.
I remove the front clip every time I pull my engine/trans (which has been too many times with this 360/727 for various problems).

It takes a total of 12 bolts and 8 screws to remove the front clip if I remember right:
1. Remove cowl: wiper arms and 8 screws
2. Remove 4 bolts (2 per side) from top of fenders, under cowl.
3. Remove fender to cab bolts from in between the fender and the door (1 per side)
4. Remove the fender to inner fender to cab bolts at the bottom of the fender by the door (1 per side)
6. Remove inner fender to cab rail bolts (1 per side), access from inside the wheel well.
7. Remove the 2 core support to frame bolts.
8. Remove whatever wiring is attached to the fenders. I have very little myself but I have eliminated basically everything aside from the starter relay.
9. Grab two friends and lift it off as a unit, hood and everything.

Boom, easy access to everything for engine removal.
 

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yah I'm a fan of unbolting the hood to have it completely out of the way as well, and also like was mentioned mark the converter relative to the flexplate - I use a can of spray paint and just mark a single spot where the two shall need to meet up again in exactly that orientation.
 

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Mad Max said:
yah I'm a fan of unbolting the hood to have it completely out of the way as well, and also like was mentioned mark the converter relative to the flexplate - I use a can of spray paint and just mark a single spot where the two shall need to meet up again in exactly that orientation.
I've had my trans out soooooo many times I have punch marks on my flex plate... one through four dots.
Converter has numbers marked with permanent marker pen. Can't miss.
 

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Sounds like it's time to swap to a manual transmission.  ;D
 

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Elwenil said:
Sounds like it's time to swap to a manual transmission. ;D
#1 Nope. ;D
#2 They suck in the sand.
#3 You can't beat an auto on a tough hill.
#4 If I didn't cause most of the problems with my trans... I wouldn't have so many problems. ;)
 

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Sand?  Who wants to play in sand?  Cats poop in there, ya' know.

And a manual does just fine on hills if you know how to work it.  ;D
 

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personal preference
 

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Elwenil said:
Sand? Who wants to play in sand? Cats poop in there, ya' know.

And a manual does just fine on hills if you know how to work it. ;D
Sand is awesome.
It cleans the tires real nice.
And it test your horsepower like no other terrain.
Hills and manuals... you need 3 feet or a really good emergency brake set up.
I would challenge anybody with a manual to stop on a really nasty uphill and start again without issues.

Like dodge82273 said... personal preference.
I'd prefer to out climb a truck with manual transmission with my auto. ;D
 

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Horsepower?  Well, I don't have much of that, lol.  That's why I have gearing, which tends to help out a lot on the steep hills.  It's a lot easier to start out on a bad hill if your gearing is low enough that you don't spin and don't need to rev much to keep from stalling out.  If you don't have all that, you better have a hand lever for the E-brake, lol.  {cool}
 

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Elwenil said:
Horsepower? Well, I don't have much of that, lol. That's why I have gearing, which tends to help out a lot on the steep hills. It's a lot easier to start out on a bad hill if your gearing is low enough that you don't spin and don't need to rev much to keep from stalling out. If you don't have all that, you better have a hand lever for the E-brake, lol. {cool}
A left knee... a right knee and a wee knee! ;D
I've been on hills that you need a combo of lots of things. it can be a big challenge dealing with a clutch/ brake and throttle. I don't have those kinds of skills. ;)
 

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If it gets too bad, I can always use the winch.  ;D
 

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slappinfeeshes said:
Vehicle: 1985 W150 with a 1983 5.2L. 4" suspension lift. 33" tires.

So I have a cracked flexplate. I was thinking about dropping the tranny and transfer case, but I want to do some engine work anyway so I figured I could pull the engine instead. I have a few questions though:

1. Could a engine crane with a 78" lift bring the motor up high enough to clear the front clip?
2. Do I need to remove the hood to remove the engine?
3. Could I replace the flexplate with just the engine removed?
4. If I pull the engine, should I brace the transmission under the truck?
5. Do I need to worry about engine/transmission alignment when I reinstall the engine?
The last time I pulled an engine on one of these, it was a 1984 W150. There were a bunch of other issues besides the engine just being worn out. (332,000 miles, you'd think they would last longer than that!) I left the hood on the truck and removed the radiator support and grill. Open the hood and pull it straight out. The truck sat outside and the hood protected the engine compartment from the elements. I put a couple of bolts in the mounting holes on the transmission and used heavy baling wire to the firewall to support the front of the transmission. Then I removed the jack underneath so it wouldn't get stolen.

I put a used engine into the truck. It had around 90K on it so I put it on the stand and replaced the expansion plugs, timing chain, oil pump (used a high volume, not a high pressure.) and the brass bushing inside the block where the distributor goes through. Fresh plugs, wires, cap and rotor of course.

Before you put the engine back in, remove the torque converter. Check the new flex plate to make sure it will fit. (Ma Mopar used different sizes. Also, the 318 and 360 are balanced differently.) Install a new seal on the front pump of the transmission. Always do this as it's several hours of aggravation to replace a $20 part. Make sure the converter is seated and reinstall the engine. Now would be a good time to put in new engine mounts.

The '84 ran for years afterward. The tin worms finally got to it just shy of the 400K mark. The roof popped up in a rain storm and a week later the frame broke behind the cab. I figured it was time to go. (sniffle.)
 
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