Hi do I have to take the engine out to replace the crankshaft in a 1965 Buick Electra
Saturday, October 27th, 2012 AT 6:44 AM
Typically, yes. You might be able to sneak it out but getting it back in with no damage is almost impossible. You'll be able to remove the oil pan and front cover / water pump, but then you'll have to unbolt the flex plate from the torque converter and pull the crank down with the flex plate attached. That alone is real difficult if even possible.
Stuffing it back in presents a huge problem with trying to guide 16 connecting rod bolts around the journals without touching them. It takes very little pressure to gouge the journals, then all your hard work is out the window. At a minimum you'll want to use the little rubber boots made for installing pistons and connecting rods into the block. You might have better luck using 16 pieces of rubber hose on the bolts.
Next, you won't just hoist the crank up and expect it to go in. A floor jack might work but I think I would make two supports out of two pair of 2" x 4"s that you can use as an upside-down "V", and pull the legs together as you get one end of the crank to go up. You'll have to fish the journals past some of the connecting rod bolts, then turn it various ways until some more journals go past their bolts. Your arms won't last long enough to hold the crank that long, and you'll need four or five hands to move the connecting rods. I did this job once on a Ford engine that was out of the vehicle and upside-down on an engine stand. Two of us working together dropped one end of the crank less than an inch onto a rod bolt. That was enough to make a gouge that required us to pull it out again to grind it down and polish that journal. Just putting it in took over an hour with gravity doing the hard part. It will be ten times harder doing it upside-down.