Over the last week I have been cleaning up under the car and preparing to lift the motor and transaxle cradle back into the Fiero. I purchased some solid cradle mounts from Rodney Dickman but when I tried to hammer out the old mounts, found that they were not going to just pop out.
SOLID ALUMINUM CRADLE BUSHINGS
I got on the internet and started looking for information on how to remove the front cradle bushings and on Pennock's Fiero Forum, found a post from a guy who had made a simple tool to remove them.
CRADLE BUSHING REMOVAL TOOL
I had a tail pipe adapter but did not have any all-thread that would work so stopped at Home Depot on my way home from work to pick up all-thread, washers & and nuts and Saturday morning I started the bushing removal. After applying tension, a little heat was added to the center of the bushing bore with a propane torch and the bushing started sliding out. Ok, getting the bushing out was one thing but cleaning all of the rubber stuck to the inside of the bore was another! I had to heat and scrape, and heat and scrape, (of course being careful not to breath any of the smoke coming off of the burning rubber.) The solid bushing kit came with a flapper wheel to put on a drill, so after most of the rubber was scrapped off, was able to get it down to metal. The new aluminum bushing were machined perfectly and went right into the bore with a few light taps from a rubber mallet.
It was in the upper 80's with high humidity in Ohio on Saturday, so after getting the bushings installed in the cradle, went into the house to cool off and get a dry shirt. When I got on the computer to check my email, my hands started cramping, I guess too much work in too much heat and not enough water caught up with me! After resting and watching a little of the Ohio State football, I went back out and started rigging up the jacks to lift the cradle. My wife wanted to go to the Millersport Sweet Corn Festival, so I wrapped up work on the car, got cleaned up, and we put the top down on the Miata. After walking around the festival for several hours, we had a very nice top down night ride through the country on the way home.
MILLERSPORT SWEET CORN FESTIVAL
Sunday morning, I slept a little later that normal and watched part of EVTV's Weekly Show before heading out to the garage.around 10:00. The transmission jack that I planned to use to lift the front of the cradle would not lift it, so I had to use a floor jack on the front of the cradle, the transmission jack on one rear corner, and a scissor jack on a dolly to support the other rear corner. It would have been nice to have had someone (my son) to operate the jacks while I was aligning the bushing holes but I was able to lift it into place and get it bolted up by myself. Having the cradle back in ROCKS!
MOTOR CRADLE INSTALLED
The cradle went in fairly easy but now the brake bleeding, adjusting the the parking brake, and getting the shifter linkage adjusted begins. I am going to put batteries in front of the motor and maybe a few to the rear of the motor so the motor and transaxle will be visible. During the 24 hour film festival shoot last year, the movie crew wanted to see the car but all they could see were batteries and a table with the controller and a bunch of relays. When the Fiero is done, I want people to be able to see the electric motor.