Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The Phoenix.

At my shop I happen to have an enclosed double width loading dock. After getting the Phoenix (the name I now have christened the F250 with) back from picking up the motor, where it indignantly ignited its air cleaner and carburetor in an attempt at self immolation, it has sat with all my new Dodge/Cummins goodies in this loading dock. It’s been sitting there long enough that the other guys in my shop, with whom I also share this dock, began to grumble about the inconvenience of having to load bikes around my dead truck. My original plan was to drive or tow the whole truck with new diesel motor still in the bed to a mechanic who was going to help me with the engine swap. That fell through because the truck was in no shape to make the trip and I didn’t have a good tow vehicle. After some debate my partner Chris agreed to help me and convinced me that we should just bring the truck into the shop and do the entire swap ourselves. 3 years ago I owned a 1966 Ford F100 that I had brought into the shop when I needed to replace the entire braking system. So I know it can be done and exactly how to do it. By the way, my shop is on the third floor. Also there is no ground level access to the freight elevator, only loading docks.  The secret is hiring a flatbed wrecker to do the lifting. Load the truck onto the wrecker, back the wrecker to the loading dock and drive the truck off and into the freight elevator. Once on the third floor it gets a bit tricky as there isn’t enough space to move the truck under its own power and has to be put on dollies so that it can be spun in place. I’m leaving the country for a week in just under 5 days from this writing and I didn’t have time to find a wrecker to do the lift not to mention I didn’t want the truck sitting for almost 2 weeks blocking everything in the shop till I got back. I had to get the truck out of the loading dock area and back in to the parking lot and I couldn’t leave the motor in the back for 2 reasons. One the local gentry will steal everything that isn’t nailed down (I'll stop short of calling the area where the shop is a ghetto but if it isn’t it’s pretty damm close). Second, I didn’t want the engine sitting through any of the monsoons we’ve been getting recently. It doesn’t seem to drizzle around here anymore. All it does is pour when it rains. The intake and exhaust are open as well as a number of hoses. Better to have it inside. I built a quick wooden pallet so once out I could move the motor around with the pallet jack and headed to the dock with engine hoist and chain etc. Getting the motor out of the back of the truck was an easy 20 minute affair. Getting it onto the loading took 2 hours. Most of that time was spent figuring out how to do it, then welding up a bridge that would hold the motorcycle ramp (seen in pic 5) horizontal so that the motor could be lifted up over it and the pallet jack  slipped under the engine and then rolled onto the dock. Once on the dock it took me 2 hours to get the motor off the engine hoist and onto something secure and robust enough to hold what is by far the heaviest engine I have ever had to move. In the last pictures you can see the motor safely in my shop and parked right in front of my Smart CDI Diesel bike project (read about that here: ) it’s interesting to compare the 800cc Mercedes 3 cylinder CDI diesel with the 5.9L Cummins. The Cummins is disproportionately huge compared to the Mercedes or perhaps the Mercedes is disproportionately small (it only weighs 66Kg) Compared to the Cummins. When I get back I get the truck up to the shop and we will begin by first disassembling the front of the truck (hood, fenders, inner fenders radiators mount all come off). More Pictures then.
Fun Fact; The Cummins displacement at 5.9L is 360Ci. The motor that is in the truck now is the original ford 360Ci V8 gasoline engine. So I’m replacing a 360 with a 360.

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