I'm headed to a u-pull on thursday to hopefully pick up a new engine cradle for my 2000 LS, I let someone drive my car and they bottomed it out bad. Does anyone have any tips for how to do this safely in a junkyard and what tools should I bring?
Hmmm. Thought I responded to this but I guess I didn't. I believe you can use a temporary engine brace to support the engine while removing the cradle, but holding the engine there permanently would be difficult without replacing the cradle with your old one or fashioning some sort of brace you can leave there in place. You would need to remove the engine/transmission mounts and the power steering rack., then the engine cradle should drop out, with some other things that probably will need disconnecting as well. I have lowered the engine/cradle in my car to replace the PCS in the tranny, but did not remove the cradle completely.
Interestingly, I ran a search on this site, but could not find anywhere where someone has replaced the engine or dropped the cradle.
Personally, I'd talk to the yard owner. Sometimes they can be helpful and may even see some profit out of helping you to remove the entire engine so that they can ship or offer it to someone else. Then again, some yard owners are just dicks, but I'd think it's worth asking.
04DetroitLS has removed the engine from his car a handful of times. He's hardly a regular here anymore but if you send him a PM he might be able to give you some information.
On the Grand Prix forums, I beleive I recall hearing about them switching their steel engine cradles for our Aluminum ones to save some weight. You may be able to find a how-to over there as well (try OQCGP)
I don't know about your junkyard, but the one I frequent will pull the engine out of a car for you with one of their loaders. Give them a call and see if they can help you out. If not, you might be better off buying a new cradle.
Protip: If you don't know what you're doing, don't do it.
Bring some rope, or cut out a seatbelt. Tie the rope/seatbelt to the strut bar, or find a RWD driveshaft and place it over the fenders and tie the engine to it.
Then remove the 4 cradle bolts, the engine/trans/cradle will drop somewhat but will still be supported by the rope. Remove the engine and trans mount bolts, control arm bolts and steering rack bolts, and you should be able to pull the cradle out from under the car.
I've seen PLENTY of cradles removed this way in the junkyards, but do NOT, and I repeat, DO NOT, place any part of your body under the hanging powertrain!!! Without a properly engineered engine support, I would never dare venture under an engine supported by a rope!
I have to say, when I see an engine hanging like that, I cant help but cut the rope and see it fall to the ground.
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