Can I remove the Cylinder block Cradle without removing the engine from the car?

Tiny
HEQBASS
  • MEMBER
  • 1999 FORD ESCORT
  • 140,000 MILES
Escort w/DOHC Ztec engine. Trying to remove head to replace head gasket.
Crankshaft pulley bolt would not break loose. Stupidly used the TDC timing peg to try and hold the shaft from turning and bent the peg. Now I must gain access to crankshaft area to straighten peg to remove it. (I have since gotten the pulley bolt loose so I can remove the timing belt.)
Can I drop the cylinder block cradle from the bottom of the block to gain access to crankshaft area without removing the entire engine from the car?
Any alternate suggestions as to how to solve the bent TDC timing peg problem?
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Thursday, October 6th, 2011 AT 9:16 PM

5 Replies

Tiny
RIVERMIKERAT
  • MEMBER
When I did this type of repair or procedure, I would place a piece of wood, such as a 2X4, under the oil pan on a jack to support the engine, prior to removing ANY of the motor mounts or cradle bolts. Remember, the pan is light aluminum, so you need something between the bottom of the pan and the jack. The jack supports the engine while the mounts are out.
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Thursday, October 6th, 2011 AT 11:33 PM
Tiny
HEQBASS
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The Oct 06 reply did not answer my original question: can I drop the cylinder block cradle without removing the engine? No one answered my question, so I dug into it.
Yes, you can, after removing the right axle shaft, dropping the catalytic pipe, and removing the A/C pump and bracket from the cradle.
Hope you professionals enjoy my donation. It sure didn't get me a workable answer.
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Saturday, October 29th, 2011 AT 4:07 PM
Tiny
RIVERMIKERAT
  • MEMBER
To me cylinder block cradle means engine mount. It sounds like you're talking about the frame crossmember. And, since this exact make, model, and year is the last car I owned and I owned it for almost 6 years, and have never heard the term "cylinder block cradle", I feel pretty authoritative about my reply and stand by it.
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Sunday, October 30th, 2011 AT 5:32 AM
Tiny
HEQBASS
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You are correct, rivermikerat, that "cradle" on many cars would mean a motor mount. After searching the Ford service manual for this engine, I learned that Ford calls the the spacer pan between the real oil pan and the block the "engine block cradle". I learned that it is put there to stiffen the lower end of the engine and deaden sound. I was just trying to use the same nomenclature Ford uses in their manual so everyone was on the same page.
It looked pretty simple until I discovered I had to remove the right side brake assembly and axle before the cradle would drop.
(And it was no "rock-a-bye-baby" job either. I broke bolts on the right sway-bar connection that had to be removed to get the brake assembly away from the axle. And of course, I destroyed the axle seal in the transmission and had to replace that also.
Murphy's law certainly applied to this project.
But the car is now running fine!
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Saturday, December 10th, 2011 AT 7:55 PM
Tiny
RIVERMIKERAT
  • MEMBER
Murphy isn't a nice person, is he? Glad to hear everything is running properly now, though.
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Saturday, December 10th, 2011 AT 8:09 PM

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