Soob Swap VI: Transaxle removal

The tranny was comparatively easy. Much of today I spent, not pondering some impossible stuck bolt or un-removable assembly, but on the future. Future failure and disaster.

With Bridget’s old engine out (and somewhat the worse for wear) I’m fast approching the point of no return. Next week I’m giving up the old transmission for a much better new one–a new one that’s geared for a water-cooled Subaru engine, not an air-cooled engine.

I measured the fore-and-aft distance again inside Bridget’s cramped engine bay and the realization hit me that the Soob, while possibly shorter front-to-back than the Type 1, is substantially more substantial in the corners.

That’s because it has overhead cams. Those cams have to come all the way to the front of the engine, where they get these big pulleys that get turned by the crankshaft. On the Type 1 there’s none of that. Just some malleable tin in front of the cylinders.

This could matter, since Bridget’s fake “gas tank” engine cover leaves quite a bit less room laterally across the back of the car than the VW Bug or Porsche 356 replicas have.

Measuring, it looks to me like the new engine will be about an inch, maybe an inch and a half, too big on the ends to fit.

Modifying those tank ends would be both very difficult and make the car look more replica-like. I’d also have to make a new spare tire carrier, as the existing tank ends are sized to the ones I have.

I looked at the transmission mounts and thought I might get the extra inch by pushing the tranny forward. That would have the salutatory effect of moving Bridget’s center of gravity ever so slightly forward as well. I called Sartwell and he told me it was impossible–the trans is against the torque tube. I told him what I was looking at–that a bit of cutting and welding on the mounting brackets (and the shifter pipe, which would be the most pain in the ass part, imho), might do it.

He agreed it was possible if all I need is an inch or maybe 1.25 inches.

I told him I have to test fit the mess I have to make sure I’m in trouble. Wish I had time and energy to mock it up now.

Instead I proceeded to take out the transaxle. Took an hour.

B trans out1Getting to the shift coupler was the hardest part. Had to loosen the seats, pull off the seat belts. And the carpet was well-glued. I did that.

Only trouble was one of the CV joint allen bolts was stripped. I got to it with a vice grip and set it aside. Hopefully I’ll remember to get one from Jimmy when I go up next week.

B trans out2

The transaxle only weighs maybe 75 pounds. I was surprised by its lightness–given that it’s both a four-speed and a differential. 
B trans out3

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About stuntmidget

I'm a poor mechanic and general wisenheimer. I love old cars and the stories behind them, true or not.
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