So far I’ve been really bad with the blogging.. The plan was to work on the truck during the day and take lots of pics and videos, and then each evening make a blog entry for that day. Instead, I’ve been working on the truck till I’m exhausted and then I just want to wind down and go to sleep. Right now I’m making an entry for what was done 12 days ago and changing the post date.

In any case, Vern came over a couple days after xmas and the goal was to get the transmission and the motor fully attached to the vehicle.  The first step was to locate the transmission so that it would fit into the crossbar (the thing that bolts to the frame on both sides of the truck and supports the transmission in the middle). In order to do this, we needed to move the transmission in three different directions. It needed to go back 2 inches, toward the right 1 inch, and we also needed to rotate the transmission about 5 degrees. There did not appear to be a science to this and we were mostly trying stuff till it worked.

We could move the transmission/motor combination in 3D space using a jack on the transmission, and the motor supported with tie-downs to the engine hoist, but it was not obvious how to get the combination to rotate. I’m also not sure how or when it got to be rotated incorrectly. Its probably related to how the dog ears (see pic below) on the motor are resting in the engine mounts. I say this because we got it to rotate back by raising the motor and placing a small piece of wood in one engine mount and then lowering the motor. Doing this, we were eventually able to rotate the motor/transmission pair the few degrees that were needed.

Here is a picture of the electric motor. You can see that it is being hugged by a large round metal “motor mount” which has dog ears on it. In this picture, we have already drilled holes in the dog ears and attached them to the engine mount… but before we did that, they were just resting in the “engine mounts” which is the thing mounted to the frame of the truck which used to hold the engine using the same bolts that are now going through the dog ears. I’m thinking those are some big time strong bolts.

So our next hurdle was what I call the “giant piece of rubber” (GPOR). Here is a pic of it from under the truck. You can see the large black crossbar holding the transmission where it is supposed to be, the rusty drive shaft which heads back to the rear axel, and the giant-piece-of-rubber (gpor) between the transmission and the bottom of the truck. The gpor is plugging the hole in the floor of the truck that allows the gear shift inside the cab to fit right into the top of the transmission.

Here is the same gpor inside the cab and surrounding the base of the gear shift. We spent quite a long time trying to attach the gear shift to the transmission, but this gpor was impossible to work around. When Ray was extracting the transmission from the vehicle the previous week, it was in the way big-time as well. Normally you can get to the bolts that attach the gear shift to the transmission, from inside the vehicle, but on this particular vehicle, the bolts are on the lower side of this gpor so you can only get to them from under the truck. However, it didn’t seem possible to do that either, because by the time you press the transmission up high enough to attach the bolts, you can’t get to the head of the bolt in order to tighten them (or maybe there is some magic incantation that we didn’t know).. In the pic above, the bolt head is between the gpor and the transmission which is being pushed up into the hole with a large amount of force.

So eventually we took a knife to the donut shaped gpor, and sliced through it and removed it. Once we did that, the whole attachment process was trivial. Then we dropped down the transmission a bit, slipped the gpor back where it was suppose to be, and jacked everything back up into the hole, and bolted in the crossbar. In the picture above, you can see that we did a poor job of getting the gpor positioned back uniformly, but it would take several hours to fix that, and the console will hide it… so we left it. Note that the place where we actually cut it, is on the other side of the gear shift in the picture, so you can’t see it. Its a very tight fit, so we are confident that everything is still water tight..

Next step is to bolt in the motor..