Engine Partial drop

Here is a slightly more partial way to do a partial drop.

1) release the shift coupler by loosening the rear setscrew.  the coupler is below the plate with 4 sheet metal screws you need to remove to get to it on top of the shift tunnel between where the rear passengers' feet would be if ever anyone rode back there.  This is a precaution, and when you put it back it will be just as before.

2)Take loose the connector on the wire loom which connects the rear of the engine to the relay etc panel on the left rear of the engine bay.  Also loosen the greasy and oily oil breather hose which connects the engine to the oil filler/dipstick assembly - you can do this at the filler area (the engine breather line you couldn't release from its other end if your life depended on it).  And the hose which connects the air filter area of the air box to this oil filler area. 

3) Put your jack under the rear of the engine and jack it up until the rear tires are off the ground.  Put jack stands under the rear using the ends of the torsion bars at the spring plates and lower the car until it is just about to rest on the jack stands completely. 

4) remove the two rear engine mount bolts over at the sides of the engine compartment.

5) watching all other lines, wires, and so on which connect the engine to the rest of the car, lower slowly.  When anything looks like it is getting tight or is going to get tight, stop.  Don't come down too far, you just want some reaching and looking room over the air box and fuel distributor area, and you will get a bit more of that when you remove the rubber boot connecting the throttle body to the fuel distributor.

 In your case you have already drained your oil and removed the oil line connecting the sump tank to the engine via the bottom of the oil cooler. It's been a while since I did this, so watch things closely.  The engine scavange oil line to the external oil thermostat should have enough flex for this, but you may want to disconnect it also.  And it isn't hard to disconnect the two fuel lines.  The efficiency of this sort of tilt lowering comes in not having to remove the CV s and the sway bar and the tranny mount bolts and the heater hoses from the heat exchangers to the valves, and the accelerator rod .

6) as a precaution, put some sort of wood blocks under the engine at this point to back up your jack (I once had a jack slowly lower the engine/tranny assembly over night, even though I thought I had tightened the release mechanism).

This will give you enough room to inspect the idiot light sender area and to replace the sender on general principles.  If it is original it might indeed be leaking after 18 years.  However, it is near the breather exit and that area seems always to have stray oil.

The discerning reader will notice that this general procedure of rotating the engine/tranny unit down using the compliance of the rubber in the tranny mounts is the same as the procedure you can use to remove the entire engine without having to remove the tranny also.  Except you don't have to remove quite as many fuel lines and such, and needn't jack the car up as far.

Walt Fricke   FrickeW@ci.boulder.co.us