Remember our budget shop truck? We just took the next step in resurrecting it from the (almost) dead by pulling the motor and assessing the real damage to its components. This would be a major undertaking even for a truck in good condition, and after 235,000 miles of wear, tear, and generally getting beat to hell, our big blue “piece of Chevy” is showing the signs of Mother Nature and Texas roads.
Gunked (or rusted solid) bolts made for a fun day, but any day in the shop is a good day, right? Read on to see how we fared and what issues took us by surprise.
A couple of our friends from Stanley, Jimmy Addison and Jeff Carlson, stopped by with a crate-load of mechanics tools to try out on the job. But more importantly, they brought their own brawn and willingness to get dirty — and we mean dirty — under the hood. After unpacking the tools, we drug the Chevy into the shade and got down to the business of stripping hoses and accessories.
First we drained all the fluids and disconnected the battery. Yeah, it’s messy, but we just slid a few buckets under the truck and took the plunge. We definitely went through a few paper towels. Next we tackled the radiator and the nastiest shredded hose any one of us could remember finding in a vehicle.
We unleashed GearWrench’s serpentine belt removal tool which, as far as the Toolmonger shop is concerned, is the best and only tool you’ll ever need for removing a push-rod serpentine belt.
As we continued the pull, we ran into a crap-load of the previous owner’s “homemade” solutions — many of which made us laugh (and sometimes shudder). The zip-tied alternator and zip-tied O2 sensor stood out as some of the funniest. The creative wiring — most definitely a bad idea — made us glad that most of it would be replaced or fixed after the tear-down.
But the real fun began right after we employed this uber-professional binding material (read: twine) to hold the A/C compressor assembly away from the engine. We hooked up our handy pulley puller to the power steering pump and started the removal — only to find that the pully’s steel wasn’t as durable as it once was. The lip quickly tore away and rendered our efforts completely fruitless.
Obviously we could’ve spent a bunch of time trying to remove the pump, but decided instead to swear a great deal and club it a few times. We then moved on with the intention of figuring it out once we had the motor out of the bay. The Texas sun heated the shop to about 102 degrees, which helped us none at all.
Read on to page two to see the main event — getting the block loose.