I cut the front transaxle mount out using a cutoff wheel and my sawzall. Came out easier than I thought.
I trimmed it with the idea of attaching it to the rubber mount and bolting that to the transaxle before slipping it all back into place. But I didn’t like the first trim so I just attached the mount, which will butt up against the torsion tube.
The I tried to install the engine and trans together, thinking the extra leeway would let me get it in over the subframe. Nope.
Took it out, separated the components and set the transaxle back in as far forward as I could, with the rubber mount attached. I also shimmed it up with a bit of wood to try to get it close to the height it will be when it’s mounted. (It’s in without the rear “cradle” mount.)
Here’s where it was when I was done. The low line was where the edge of the valve cover was on first install, with all the mounts as normal. The X line was my goal–if the back edge of the valve cover is even with that, my body panels will cover the engine.
So I got it twice as tucked-in as I need to, meaning there’s a half-inch adjustability. Went back to the front of the trans to see if I could fit my reverse light sender. I could. So I settled the whole assembly back about a quarter inch to open up enough space between that front mount and the torsion tube to (theoretically) slip the cut-down frame mount back in there and weld it up. That’s going to be some fun meansure-cut-measure-cut-measure work, on my back with not much light, but there’s no reason it won’t work.
Now I only have to figure out how to actually mount the engine.
Last week I tried to get the rear trans cradle to reverse. That hasn’t worked so far.
This time I put the engine in with the Soob mounts in place, dangling under the engine to get an idea of what it might take to use them. They’re nice and beefy and they place the mounting points further back, under the actual engine.
Looks like I could make something–probably out of 2×3-inch rectangular tube–to come off the frame horns and/or the steel subframe. It would have to extend 6 1/2 inches back and be three inches wide on each side to envelop the Soob mounts.
They would likely interfere with my supposed exhaust pipe routing–unless I made them sort of Z-shaped.
To make the frame mount work with a 2-inch exhaust pipe running under it, each would have to look roughly like this:
The mounts will be tilted in on each side to match the angles of the motor mounts, which should create room: the low sides can be left open to let the exhaust pipe pass under/through and the high sides closed off with a gusset that ties the Z together so it won’t just collapse.
Hope to find time to mock that up in cardboard before the end of the day.