Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year !

I hope 2014 is full of happiness and joy to you and your families! Be safe and responsible.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Removing a 5.3 liter out of a Yukon

Saturday we got to work pulling the engine out of the Yukon. We were too busy to capture the whole thing in pictures but here are some of the ones I took. Here Ian is pulling some of the top things off the engine.
 The intake was a nasty mess. It makes me want to look at mine in my truck to see if it looks like this one. The new engine we are putting in looks a lot better than this one.
 I have said this a lot on this blog and I will say it again. When you are doing a big job like this take lots of pictures because when it comes time to put everything back together you can reference them and remember how it all went. This is what this picture is. I took a picture of the wiring plug so we could remember how it was routed.
 There are a ton of wire connectors to remove off of  these engines. It seems like there are about 4 times as many plugs as a there are in a smaller foreign cars engine.
Remove all the front stuff like radiator, fan shroud, fan etc... We are just about done at least in the front of the engine.
 We decided that it would be much easier to remove the front radiator support so we wouldn't have to lift the engine as high up when we removed it. It all came apart very easy with bolts. GM did this one right by not welding it all together.
 We got to this point and then jacked up the car. Under the car we removed the exhaust, starter, torque converter bolts and the lower bell housing bolts. We lowered the car and then looked for the upper bell housing bolts. They are pretty much buried and so Ian called his buddy at the Chevy dealership. He said we needed to remove the intake manifold to get to them. Soooo........
 We removed the intake manifold and then we were able to remove the upper bolts. Here Ian is having a great time cramming his hand in between the engine and the firewall to remove the bolts. I am always telling him I will make him famous. Here he is famous in this blog.
The heads on these engines are interesting.
 Make sure you put a jack underneath the transmission at this point. We are ready to pull it. We had to pry the engine and trans apart from each other but it went really smooth.
 Here it is on it's way out. It was really nice being able to just pull it forward and out instead of jacking it up to the sky to clear the grill.
 And it is out. The engine bay looks like a mess at this point.
The heads on the engine are pretty grimy. This engine has 200,000 miles on it though.
 It's hard to see in this picture but you there is water in the right side head. The new engine looks a ton better and is really clean. It should be a good engine.
 The wrecking yard that we bought the engine from requires a new oil pan gasket, valve cover gaskets, front and rear seal, spark plugs, water pump and you need to inspect the timing chain to have their warranty not voided. We are changing the oil pan gasket here.
 It is super clean under the pan.
 More pictures.
We installed the pan with a new gasket, flipped the engine back over and replaced the spark plugs, drilled out the broken bolts in the head and now we are waiting on parts to arrive from rock auto. All in all it was a pretty good, productive weekend. The goal is to get the new engine in next Saturday. Hopefully the parts will arrive and they will be the right parts. This isn't the best time of the year to be getting things shipped fast but we have our fingers crossed. Check back in a week and see if we can burn the tires with the new engine in this Yukon.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Merry Christmas!

It's that time of year again so I thought I would wish everyone a Merry Christmas by playing my my 2nd most favorite Christmas song. Here it is:

and I have a link below that has my favorite Christmas song of all time.

Listen to the music and I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas and has the chance to spend time with your families and celebrate the real reason for the season.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Changing a fuel pump in a GMC Yukon

Saturday, me and my friend set out to change the fuel pump in the Yukon that was in my garage. Changing a fuel pump is a pretty basic job but it's really nice to have 2 people when you are wrestling the fuel tank out of the vehicle. Here is the Yukon. We jacked it up as high as my jack stands would go so we could fit under the car easier. I really blew it with the pictures on this one but I posted what I did get so here it is.
 We went with an airtex fuel pump. We found it to be the cheapest from amazon. It was over 100 dollars cheaper there then it was from auto zone or o'reillys and there was a year warranty. That is the longest warranty you will get for a fuel pump.
 We opted to remove the rear wheels so we could place the jack stands out near the hubs. That was the best place for them so they weren't in our way when we removed the fuel tank.
 Here Ian is getting ready to remove the charcoal canister. You can see why we wanted to get the car as high up in the air as we could. I swear someday I am going to get a lift in my garage. That would really make jobs like this go so much nicer.
First thing to do is remove these 2 hoses. They are for the filler neck and the vent for the filler.
 You then need to remove the charcoal canister. That is what Ian is doing here. It has 3 hoses going to it and it is held on by 2 bolts. The hoses have quick disconnects on them but they are different then the white ones GM usually puts on their quick disconnects. These ones are a little trickier to remove. From here you need to put a jack under the fuel tank to support it and remove the 2 straps that hold it up.You can then slowly drop it down. The rear of the tank will come down first. The front of the tank will be held up by the front support. That is OK, lower it just enough to remove the 2 fuel lines that go to the pump and the 2 electrical connectors. You then will need to push the tank towards the rear of the car and lower it the rest of the way. You can then drag it out from under the car. You are now ready to change the pump.
 Whew, the tank is down. It was half full so it was a little bit heavy. It is still better then all the way full which they usually are. I had to include this photo because it cracked me up. I think Ian is picking up the bolts to make sure we have them all. We spilled some fuel so we opened the garage door and shut off the heater. Ian had fuel spill on his crotch but luckily he had multiple layers of clothes on. Ha Ha.
 To get the pump out, there is a big ring that holds it in. You need to get a screwdriver and a hammer and hit the ring off. It comes off easy, just make sure you clean off the tank really good before removing the pump to keep any crud from falling into it. You will have a bunch of crap on the tank from all the road debris that gets blown there. Here is the old pump removed from the tank and discarded. Our new pump came with a new float. Some do not so make sure before you throw away your old one. Our new pump did not come with new quick disconnects and one of ours had a broken tab so we had to make a run to autozone to pick some up. You should probably replace them anyways just to be safe.
Here is the new one installed and the tank is ready to be re-installed. GM has upgraded their wiring harness. If yours is not upgraded already you will need to splice the new plug into your harness. Ours was already done so we didn't have to do that. I hate cutting into a factory harness but you will have no choice if you have the old plug because it will not plug into the new pump. Even if your wiring has been upgraded, you need to still inspect it. Poor connections will cause a pump to fail prematurely. Installation is just the reverse of removal at this point. Push the tank under the car and lift it onto the jack. We poured out most of the fuel so it was much easier to install. When it's on the jack lift it up slowly and tilt it so the front of the tank is on the support. It will be tilted so now is the time to connect the fuel lines and the electrical connectors. When that is done you can jack it up completely and install the 2 straps. Get rid of the jack, connect the charcoal canister and the 2 hoses at the filler neck and you are good to go. Fill it back up with fuel if you drained it and take it for a test spin.
 The pump worked great and we drove the Yukon around for a little bit. We are still going to change the engine soon. We got the donor engine mounted on the stand and did a quick inventory of parts that we needed to get for the swap.
 We found a broken bolt on the exhaust manifold. That sucks because we then had to remove the exhaust manifold to fix it. If the bolt wasn't broken, we wouldn't need to remove the manifold.
 This is what happened when we removed the manifold. Another bolt broke off so now we have 2 to fix. You have to love aluminum heads and steel bolts. This is a common problem with these 5.3's Both our bolts are broken below the surface so we will need to drill them out. That's OK though, I have drilled literally hundreds of bolts out of jet engines. (high heat and brittle bolts cause great fusion) Jet engines cost a lot more so these 2 bolts don't bother me too much.
 That is where we ended the weekend. I will bring my extractor set home on Monday and remove those bolts and then we have to replace the valve cover and oil pan gaskets, the rear main seal and inspect the timing chain before we install the engine. We decided to wait until after Christmas before starting the swap.That will give me enough time to borrow my Dad's heater, insulate the garage door and get the garage stereo working. You just have to have priorities.
I figured this weekend was a real success! We changed the fuel pump, didn't blow up the garage or ourselves, and I finished all of my Christmas shopping. Woo Hoo, the only thing left to do is just enjoy the holiday. I hope everyone has a great Christmas. Check back to see how the engine swap goes.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Another winter engine change for the shop.

It looks like Dixie gets temporarily kicked out of the garage in the winter yet again. It happened, of course, to be during the biggest snow storm of the season so far. The other crappy thing is that I have got the boot also. Hmm, I am going to have to make this a quick one. It seems like I always have at least one engine change to do in the winter and it always seems to snow at the same time. This winter it is a 2000 GMC Yukon. It all started with me and a buddy looking at it and troubleshooting it because it wouldn't run. We quickly diagnosed a bad fuel pump. The problem was that as we were looking at it we noticed a lot of water in the oil. It was towed to my garage and the plan was to change the fuel pump and filter and let the owner drive it until the engine blows up. At this point the engine will spin a bearing at some point no matter what happens. The question is when will it happen not if. Anyways here it is in the garage all ready for a quick fuel pump change.
 The owner decided to be proactive and change the engine before it blows up so she won't have to chance breaking down on the side of the road. It's a good choice and that is what brought us to this point. We found a good running engine with 115,000 miles for $650.00 That's a bargain and so we picked it up. Here it is in the side of the garage that my bug usually sits and that is the reason the bug is outside. We decided to get it running by changing the fuel pump and then after Christmas is over we will start on the engine change.
 I am kinda excited about changing this engine. It has been a long time since I changed a small block Chevy.
 It is crammed in there like most cars these days but it shouldn't be too bad. I will blog about it so if yours is leaking water into the oil, (which is a problem with 5.3 liter Chevy engines) you might want to check it out. You can just change the head gaskets and possibly the heads if they are cracked but 9 times out of 10 it will spin a bearing sometime down the road. It's just cheaper to find a good engine that isn't leaking water and swap it.
It's hard to see here but the dipstick is pretty nasty looking. You can tell you have water in the oil when it looks like you have a milkshake on your dipstick.
 Here is the top of the dipstick. It is really rusted badly from the water in the oil.
 Another good way to check your engine is to pull the oil cap. It should be fairly clean and it should NOT look like this one. Here you can see more of the milkshake.
So that is the next few weekends for me. It should be fun. I am really trying to figure out why I haven't run my gas line out to the garage for the heater I have sitting in my basement. I never seem to think about it until I have projects like this in the middle of winter. I really need to get that gas line run. Anyways, if you want to know how to change a fuel pump and filter on a 2000 Yukon or Tahoe check back tomorrow and I will post how to do it. It should be a quick job which is good because I still need to go Christmas shopping and it's suppose to snow. That means that there is doughnuts to do in an empty parking lot somewhere. See you tomorrow!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Balancing tires with air soft BB's revisited.

I said in my previous post that I would do an update on how the air soft BB's worked for balancing my tires on the bug so here it is. They work awesome! I have felt no vibrations whatsoever. I am now 100 percent convinced that they work and they work well. I am going to run them in all the tires on my bugs. If you missed my first post on the subject I will give you a rundown on what I did. I bought a bottle of air soft BB's and separated them into bags of 3.5 ounces each as you can see here. I got 10 bags out of 1 bottle so I have 2 1/2 cars worth of beads.
 I used Airsplat BB's because they seemed like the best quality. Make sure you get the heavy (.20 g) ones. I think I payed 20 bucks for this bottle so it comes out to cost 2 dollars a tire for balancing. That's a lot cheaper than going to a store to have them do it if you have the capability to mount tires.
 These are the tires and wheels I put them in. I poured them in right before I seated the beads onto the rims. These tires are 215/75/15's. I thought I might have to adjust the amount of beads I put in the tires but I have had absolutely no vibrations so 3.5 ounces works perfectly in this setup.
 The last storm we had I took the bug out and did some doughnuts with my boys. The beauty of having beads is that it will balance your wheels perfect every time no matter what happens to your wheels.
 As you can see here, this might of been a problem with regular tire weights on the wheels. In my case I didn't even know snow was packed in like this. I had a Honda CRX once that I did doughnuts in. It had packed snow on the wheels like this. When I went to go to work the next morning I almost got thrown off the freeway because the wheels were so off balance. I actually thought I had bent a wheel or something because it shook so bad. When the snow melted it drove just fine. I wouldn't of had that problem if I had beads in those tires. Ha Ha.
So, I recommend beads for balancing. I have read that they aren't as good in low profile tires and I am going to keep running regular weights on Dixie's van but if you are running bigger tires on a truck or change tires a lot like I do on my bugs this works great. It's also good if you run in the mud because your tires will balance themselves no matter how much mud is on them. This gets 2 big thumbs up from me.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Let it snow, Let it snow, Let it snow!

This is what we woke up to today! Beautiful white snow everywhere.
 Ed the bug is low but this is still a lot of snow. I have always loves snow ever since I was a kid. I still love it!
 I decided I had better snow blow before we went to Church so we wouldn't drive over it. It was a beautiful day with the sun shining and everything was white.  
 Starting to clear the snow. I actually like to snow blow. If I had to shovel it might have been a different story. Ha Ha.
Finished the driveway and now it was time to Dig out Ed.
 I couldn't resist playing in the snow. I told Steven and Isaac to hurry and get their shoes on and we would go have some fun. I knew that the roads wouldn't be this fun after we returned from Church so we hurried and took Lulu the bug out for some fun! The snow was deep all over the neighborhood and Lulu did awesome in it. It had good traction but also would do doughnuts when I wanted too.
 Here is the proof that we did doughnuts. Ha Ha.
 More proof. I didn't get better pictures because we were having too much fun. We had to hurry back so we weren't late.
All in all it was a perfect day. I loved the snow and we had a lot of fun messing around in it. Hopefully we have many more days like this this winter. Remember that you are never too old to do some doughnuts in the snow. It brings out the kid in you.