101 1300 rebuild part 9: It’s in there.

Tonight on my way home from work I made a spur-of-the-moment decision. I decided the engine was going in the Sprint. I have spent 3 weeks talking about it, worrying over getting help, clearing the headers, centering the lot on the engine mounts and a thousand other things, it was time to put it in and tonight was the night.

The catalyst was Conrad telling me he usually put the engine and trans in Sprints separately, that it really ended up being about the same amount of work. I got to the shop, unbolted the transmission from the engine, hoisted it up and dropped it in. It took maybe 15 minutes and I had the motor mounts resting in their cut outs. The only hard part of putting the engine in was I had to remove and then reinstall the exhaust side motor mount to clear the headers.

img_7622Here it goes. A good quality hoist is key so you can lower it really slowly, allowing you to check clearances and guide it. Note the engine mount on the head.

img_7623A little deeper in now. I was surprised by the lack of fuss. One omission that can be seen here is I still need to install the lower exhaust manifold studs that were removed during machining at NRG. Looks pretty good despite the poor finish on the valve cover.

Once I had the engine resting on the engine mounts I crawled under the car to see what it would take to get the transmission lined up. The engine needed to tilt up in the front so the transmission shaft would point up when installing, making it easier. I stuck a block of wood under the front lip of the oil pan to keep the engine tilted correctly while I struggled with the transmission.

img_7624‘The Giving Tree’ never thought about a chunk to keep the engine tilted during a Giulietta Sprint transmission install. Too bad. Note handy timing pointer on the water pump, I still need to put a mark on the pulley.

Okay, hardest part of the job. I jacked the car up really high and basically layed on my back with the transmission on my stomach and lifted it into place. About 10 minutes of struggle ensued until the shaft slid home and I breathed a sigh of relief. It’s no joke having a transmission on your torso while your laying on your back under a car and then trying to lift it. Tightening all the nuts and bolts up took maybe 15 minutes as access was limited.

img_7625The jack held the transmission at a good angle to install the prop and drive shafts. Once I got the two in place it was time to go home. I haven’t spent much time under this car and I have to say there is NO rust in this car. Good for me.

img_7626One hour and forty five minutes later I took this picture. Is the 1300 really so much smaller than the 1750? I’ll find out when the rest of the parts go back home.

I have to admit that installing the engine was underwhelming. I had expected a lot of a fussin’ and a feudin’ but it really just went together. I have tomorrow off and most of the rest of the parts are ready to just bolt on so look for an inspired update if everything goes the way I imagine it will. Up next: manifold, carb, fan, radiator, headers, distributor and lots more. Stay tuned!

Part 10 of the rebuild can be found here.


2 thoughts on “101 1300 rebuild part 9: It’s in there.

  1. Neat! I’m pretty surprised that you put the tranny in by yourself. I’d want at least someone else around to call the ambulance if it fell on you!! You are a brave dude. All’s well that ends well though, right?

  2. As I recall there’s something oddly relaxing about resting a 5 speed on your chest before levering it into place with arms, elbows and knees. Or was it that it felt so good getting it finally stabbed home? It’s been 20 years or so since I have done it, and it seems my belly is now much closer to the floorboard.

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