09 July 2008


There was some bleeding. The heart was taken from the great black beast last night around 9:30, with much finger-crossing and many whispered prayers. My dear, dear cousin was sweating like a hog in heat as he worked the leveler (a neat gadget that can tilt the engine to get it around/through those tough spots) and inched it out of the bay (that's the cavern that's left when the heart's gone -- looks kind of lonely in there). He worked it just right with enough tilting and coercing and then we encouraged the hood a little higher and some metal softly scraped.....and she was finally free! This was monumental as it meant that we didn't have to take the entire hood off to complete the extraction. I held the flashlight, I asked questions, I even got to pump the hydraulic lift on the engine hoist a couple of times. It was fascinating. I was nervous, giddy, shell-shocked, and a little sad. Adrenaline was pumping and mom and I kept warning him through clenched teeth, "oh don't hurt yourself pleeeeease!!!" No appendages or digits were harmed or lost in the process, I am glad to say.

We cleared the grill with the behemoth engine (probably about 700 pounds) and then lowered it slightly and got it lined up with the engine stand that stood ready and waiting. It is unfathomable to me that this whole piece is held onto the stand with four 3-inch-ish bolts attached on only one side. Unbelievable. Takes a whole new brand of faith to stand next to it and not expect it to falter and render me footless. Yikes. That's the stuff of nightmares. So now it falls to me to order the new engine (which I'll be doing shortly) and to disassemble a few things on the old one.

They are:
- valve covers
- exhaust manifolds
- fuel pump
- harmonic balancer (doesn't that sound way too lyrical to be a part of an automobile??)
- water pump

Can you believe I even know what any of those things are?? I can't! This project is giving me such an education, and Jason is just the best teacher. He wants me to be aware of what's going on and tells me everything that he's doing while he's doing it, I'm sure I ask some stupid questions but he answers them patiently and encourages me when I get something right. This is really fun. I think I may have missed my calling.