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Old 04-28-2012, 10:00 PM
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Best way to remove a trans am sub frame

What is the best way to remove a 1978 Trans Am sub frame without removing the engine or trans.

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Old 04-29-2012, 07:25 AM
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Theres a bar that goes across the fender lips you connect to the motor on front wheel drive cars that holds the motor and in place while you remove the sub frame,but I'm not sure if it can be used on rear wheel dr cars ,I dont see why not..I suppose you could use an engine hoist and a balancer..
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Old 04-29-2012, 07:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rusthater89
What is the best way to remove a 1978 Trans Am sub frame without removing the engine or trans.
Not sure what you are getting at...Are you saying leave the engine with the body? (impossible)....or leaving the engine with the subframe? (doable)
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Old 04-29-2012, 08:52 AM
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What DBM said. We have used the bar across the shock / strut towers and also have supported it with an engine hoist. Just double check everything to make sure it is safe.
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Old 04-29-2012, 08:53 AM
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gantry crane ?

Junk yard removal is to hang the motor with an old seat belt, and drive shaft across the fenders, , and leave the fenders dented , WE have a gantry crane that would straddel the car up on jack stands and we could hang the engine and try to drag the sub frame out. But I would just pull the engine and trans , safer and less chance of damaging a good car. WE pulled a couple Jag IFS in the junk yard hanging the engine but they were crusher cars.
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Old 04-29-2012, 09:31 AM
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The front of the car has been stripped down to the frame during my restoration. I removed fenders, inner fenders, bumper, radiator support, you get what I mean, EVERYTHING has been removed from the doors forward. I do not have access to one of those cranes to pull out the engine. I do not have anyone to help me either, except for my girlfriend, so you know that leaves me limited.

I was wondering, would it be possible to support the sub frame with cinder blocks that I can get from Home Depot? Maybe then I could then remove the sub frame bushings and lift up the body?
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Old 04-29-2012, 09:44 AM
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NO CINDER BLOCKS! That is a way to get yourself killed!

I am confused here, the motor is bolted to the sub frame, the exhaust would need to be removed to get the sub frame out, the shift linkage would likely have to be removed and a number of other things that connect the engine to the sub frame. The front sheetmetal is off so the radiator is out, what the heck is left? Pulling the motor and trans is my a hundred miles easer at this point than TRYING to keep it there.

I have to say, this is just my opinion here so don't take it personal, I am talking in generalities here.

If you don't have the tools, don't do it. And, why do you need to remove the sub frame at all? If you are doing a "restoration" you would be pulling the motor anyway, you need the right tools! You can rent a hoist, you can buy one at a cheapie place like Harbor Freight, but you really need a hoist if you are going to be doing a car like this and plan on pulling the sub frame.

Of course you could get creative and make it happen. If the car is in a building with a strong enough roof joists you can hang the motor from it, then simply drop the sub frame out from underneath. At that point, you know the motor will only be held by a few wires! You WILL be pulling the motor out at that point I guarantee it. But honestly, I would find a way to make it happen correctly, how about a nice swing set? The swing set I have (I made from thickwall industrial conduit) would probably hold the motors weight, if not a piece of extra metal across the top could do it, I would make something to be able to pull that motor and trans out. Then jack up the body unbolt the sub frame and drag it out from under the body.

How about renting an engine hoist, you don't have access to a rental place?

Brian
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Old 04-29-2012, 09:51 AM
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Yes, I know I have to remove the drive shaft, brake lines, steering column, and all the other goodies, which I have done by the way. I only wanted to see if I could do the job without using a engine crane.

Since I went this far I would like to remove the sub frame, I just do not have an engine crane. has anyone done it any other way.

If I did use cinder blocks I am not gonna be under them to get crushed.
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Old 04-29-2012, 10:09 AM
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You would have to support the motor somehow from above it, "hanging" from something. That or have the motor sitting on blocks under the oil pan. If you were to lift the car up and have the body on jack stands (BE VERY CAREFUL that you don't have it so when the weight of the motor and sub frame are removed it will still be safe on the stands and not topple over backwards). Then put the engine on blocks of wood under the oil pan and tranny pan. At this point the body and the engine would be held up by the jack stands and blocks. You could then unbolt the sub frame and slide it out forward. I don't know where the oil pan sump is but if it's hanging out in front of the sub frame crossmember then of course you would need to drop the sub frame down quite a bit before you slide it forward.

The motor will be very unsteady on the blocks, be careful!

Brian
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Old 04-29-2012, 10:12 AM
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Cinder blocks are VERY easy to break, under JUST the sub frame, yeah I guess you could use them. But if you went and got a couple of 4x4 posts and cut them up into 1 foot long pieces so you could stack them you would be WAY better off. They are more stable because they are so square, and it would be much safer.

Brian
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Old 04-29-2012, 10:26 AM
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Ok, So I could get wood and cut them to shape. I could then raise the car a little bit and stack the wood up supporting the frame and as well as wood stacks supporting both trans and engine oil pans. I then lower it onto the wood stacks. I then put wheel chocks on the rear tires so the car does not slide out. I remove the frame bushings. I Then carefully lift the body and rest the body on jack stands?
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Old 04-29-2012, 10:49 AM
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Isīnt the front sheetmetal supported at the rad core support,
which in turn sits on the sub frame ?
So hanging the motor off the fenders isīnt possible.
The motor has to come out with the subframe and if the trans crossmember is also a part of the assembly much better, if not itīs all going to flop about.

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Old 04-29-2012, 10:53 AM
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Well, now, that's another thought. Remove the engine and sub frame as an assembly and leave the engine and trans on it.

Why do you want to remove the sub frame? If it is to paint it you could work around the motor, PIA but doable. Plus you would be able to do a nice job on the firewall with the motor out of there.

Brian
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Old 04-29-2012, 10:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rusthater89
Ok, So I could get wood and cut them to shape. I could then raise the car a little bit and stack the wood up supporting the frame and as well as wood stacks supporting both trans and engine oil pans. I then lower it onto the wood stacks. I then put wheel chocks on the rear tires so the car does not slide out. I remove the frame bushings. I Then carefully lift the body and rest the body on jack stands?
A balancing act thatīs going to end in tears.
Better to construct a cradle for motor and trans and screw/nail/glue it all together, jackstands under the body.

When I was stuffed for a crane to get my motor out I ended up begging one off a local bodyshop for a couple of days.
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Old 04-29-2012, 11:02 AM
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Apart from all the problems youīll have to negociate,
just look at the size of the subframe....too much for one man and his girl.

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