PDA

View Full Version : Remove the Cradle?



Techfizzle
03-16-2008, 10:58 PM
I am about ready to replace my headgasket in my motor. The forecast this month is RAIN RAIN RAIN:eek5::confused: I am wondering how it would be to remove the cradle with the motor and tranny on it. That way I could wheel it to the garage and work on it high and dry:)

85_Ciera_Rebuild
03-17-2008, 12:24 AM
....wondering how it would be to remove the cradle with the motor and tranny on it

This is what I am planning to do...drop the cradle complete (motor/tranny) with tires out of 1987 Olds Ciera...and put the complete assembly into 1985 Ciera.

On 1985, I have no interest in AC, so all the hoses/etc are history on it...so it may be easier to install.

I will be doing this within next week or two....but I have not concluded which method:

1. Unbolt McPherson Strut at tower
2. Unbolt McPherson Strut at wheel assembly (mark it first)

I have a pallet jack, and plan to have this underneath cradle, but either I will use an overhead hoist or a farm tractor to raise front end of vehicle. In theory, the front end should not weigh much...but I don't know if I will have to put a 12" block under rear wheels so I can tilt vehicle enough to pull cradle out. Using a 12" block may be a tricky situation...if the rear wheels move too far, KaBoom; I may use a block and jack stands....or I may forget this idea, and if bumper hits, kept on raising vehicle on bumper.

When I do this, I will be taking some pictures....timewise, I think it is faster, but I'm disconnecting all electrical/fuel cable/lines at their sources. For ECM cable, this means going inside vehicle and pulling the clip at the firewall off, and unsnapping other cables.

I just haven't thought this method thru yet...nor looked at the angle of the dangles yet...but I know it can be done...but you need an overhead type of hoist setup...or a cherry picker that has good vertical clearance. I may use just a cherry picker, and not use pallet jack...in this case, I will place at front/rear of cradle two blocks to kept it from tipping forward/backward...and set them up so the engine could be moved a pinch or two in either direction.

I know how much work is involved doing it the normal way, and I think pulling out the whole assembly may be an easier way to do it...

mickstan_VR
03-17-2008, 01:22 AM
Techfizzle, it will be far easier to leave the engine in the car. You have a 4-cyl, correct? All of the stuff you need to get at is in plain view and easy work around. You've got plenty of room to pull the head. And it won't take too long. Its not a big project. You can have it out of the car in a saturday afternoon.
Go get yourself a repair manual(or 2) for your car. Many of your questions can be answered by simply reading a book.

85_Ciera_Rebuild
03-17-2008, 02:04 AM
replace my headgasket in my motor.


Uh...if this is all, then leave cradle alone...

85 Holiday
03-17-2008, 03:25 AM
Uh...if this is all, then leave cradle alone...

x3 on that! Talk about thinkin backwards

87Cutlass Ciera
03-17-2008, 03:27 AM
Uh...if this is all, then leave cradle alone...

Agreed. You could throw a tarp over you and the engine bonnet, and you wouldn't know the difference. I pulled the valvecover on mine in a raging snow storm, and I was going to do the head, but decided to go lowside before I took the motor out. I just had my trouble light and a blanket over me and the engine bonnet and I didn't think anything else of it. Don't make anymore work for yourself than you have to.
CRC

85_Ciera_Rebuild
03-17-2008, 06:33 PM
x3 on that! Talk about thinkin backwards

I don't know if that is the case...I'll let you know after I take the Cradle Complete out....the beauty of doing it is you get easy access to it all. Yes, a few xtra lines/wiring will have to be dealt with, but that's not much extra time.

I plan on replacing transmission axle seals and transmission input shaft seal, installing another motor (if all goes well), adjusting valves, etc; having it out in the open makes, I would think, makes it easy to access and work with.

I think the only problem is having an overhead hoist handy, with a pallet jack...but putting the whole assembly back in requires getting it level to vehicle, and "centered" on all four mounts, which may require a few extra bottle jacks, and a pinch of extra time, but it can be done.

SCREECH
03-18-2008, 04:02 AM
...having it out in the open makes, I would think, makes it easy to access and work with.
I did this on my Trans Sport when I had to change the transmission (it's the only option on those vans with the cowl that sticks halfway out over the engine bay!). From experience, let me tell you - if there's ANY reason that you have to suspect any problem or pending failure with your steering rack, do it while it's out. If your plugs and O2 sensor are not VERY easily accessible under the hood, do them while it's out. Literally weeks after I got my van back together after having the cradle out my rack failed, and I decided to do a tune-up. I was KICKING myself for not doing it all when the cradle and engine were sitting on my garage floor. :rant:


...but putting the whole assembly back in requires getting it level to vehicle, and "centered" on all four mounts, which may require a few extra bottle jacks, and a pinch of extra time, but it can be done.
It's actually MUCH easier than you'd think to get a cradle back in. You don't have to have the cradle level with the vehicle, at least not totally. You can get one side or one end up against the bottom of the unibody and get the bolts started, then jack up the other side/end and torque 'em all down to spec (180lb/ft I believe).

Do yourself another favor while you've got the cradle out and COAT the bolts and retainer plates for the mounts with grease. I've had those bolts snap off, and I've had the retainer plates that go between the bolt head and the actual rubber mount rot and fall apart, allowing the cradle to fall on that corner. If either the bolts or the plates look bad, either clean them up with a wire brush, or better yet, replace them with new units. I was still able to buy them from GM a few years ago. Hopefully nothing's changed.

LordDurock
03-18-2008, 04:54 PM
Techfizzle, it will be far easier to leave the engine in the car. You have a 4-cyl, correct? All of the stuff you need to get at is in plain view and easy work around. You've got plenty of room to pull the head. And it won't take too long. Its not a big project. You can have it out of the car in a saturday afternoon.
Go get yourself a repair manual(or 2) for your car. Many of your questions can be answered by simply reading a book.

+1 tech head gaskets are a easy job on most motors. if you need to take the a pice of trap and hook it to the hood and the garage door to keep the rain off you head

you do know how to remove and re touqe your heads right?

87Cutlass Ciera
03-18-2008, 05:48 PM
Yeah I can understand dropping the cradle if it were a V-6 but Techfizzle is talking about the 4cyl, so if it were me, and unless I was doing some major transmission work, I wouldn't drop the cradle, don't even have to touch it when doing the head on the Dukes.

CRC