(909) 838-4587 ed [at] le-suspension.com

There are so many good titles for this post that I have to list them all:
Why you should never start a job without a manual.
Harbor Freight Rocks!
Don’t Try This at Home!
The down side to 4 wheel drive.
Toyota makes a good clutch.
I still have all my fingers and toes.

My wife’s ‘99 Toyota Rav 4 needs a new clutch. After 170,000 miles I can’t complain to much and I don’t want to wait till she gets stuck somewhere. After crawling around under the car I decided I can drop the tran and change the clutch no problem.

So I start the job. The rear engine mount really gives me a hard time, almost like you can’t remove it with the engine in the way. After a few hours, OK, half a day I call my wife and ask her to pick up a service manual on the way home. She is driving my truck.

The manual informs me that with 4 wheel drive Rav 4’s not only must you remove the engine and tran from the car as an assembly if you want to replace the clutch. But also that the job should not be attempted in your drive way because it’s unsafe to raise the car high enough on jack stands to remove the engine from under the car because it won’t fit out the top. You really should take it to a shop with a lift to raise the car up after you lower the engine/tran to the ground.

We thought about putting it back together and selling it. But that would mean admitting defeat and the car will be paid off in October of this year. On line at the Harbor Freight web site, folding engine hoists are on sale, I wanted one anyway, and the wife makes a stop to pick one up. She is driving my truck.

It rained all day yesterday so I worked on Wendy’s R-6 and Michael’s D-Bug mini bike.

Today I went after the engine. I disconnected all the wires and hoses. Checked again that all the wires and hoses were disconnected. Placed the front of the car on Harbor Freight jack stands using my Harbor Freight floor jack. Connected my new hoist to the engine with chains that the wife picked up for me, in my truck. Removed the sub frame that holds the wheels and stuff. Lowered the engine/tran onto the legs of my hoist. Placed a six foot long 4×4 on top of a 6×8 block of wood under the car where the sub frame was and jacked the car up till I could roll the engine/tran out from underneath.

By the way. My dog Cix thought we were going for a ride when I started working on her car and went bonkers until I let her get in. She slept in the back seat all day as I was working.

I rolled the engine/tran into my shop and removed the tran from the engine. How I’m going to lift and line everything up to put it back together is a problem for tomorrow.

Yes, there are tarps on the floor under the car and in my shop under the engine. Cars are dirty and I don’t want my shop to get dirty too.

The clutch friction plate is truly worn out but the fly wheel looks like new, I’m impressed.

Tomorrow with be the same as today was but in reverse. After my wife picks up the parts. You guessed it, in my truck.