Imperials by Year -> 1973 -> Kerry's Restoration -> Part 21
Since I decided to change the bearings in the hope of increasing my oil pressure, the first thing to do was drop the oil pan. Obviously, you have to get the car off the ground either on jack stands or a lift. The center link has to be broken apart so it will drop down out of the way. You will need to pull the cotter keys and loosen but not remove the castle nuts. Then take a "pickle fork" and separate the joint. You will feel it 'pop'. You can then remove the nut. If you remove the nut first, the joint will spring as it separates and hurt something, probably you. In the photo above, the joints have already been removed.
The other thing you have to do is drop the exhaust head pipe. Pull the nuts off the exhaust headers. You probably need to go ahead and drop the starter. I took mine down without it but had to fight it and could not get it back without pulling the starter. OF COURSE, the battery must be disconnected. You will get a BIG spark if you short a wrench against the starter hot lag. Makes you hurt yourself!
The pan drops down once the 7/16 bolts are pulled and you wrap it a few times with a rubber mallet to brake the gasket loose. I pulled a main and rod cap to see what they looked like.
To get the top half of the bearings out, I used a Popsicle stick (craft stick) as a punch and tapped it with a small brass mallet. The stick bends as it pushes out the bearing and will not damage the engine.
Here is the thrust main cap and a rod cap. They don't look too bad but show enough wear that I am going ahead and change them all.
This is what the main bearing caps look like. I left one in place loosely to keep strain off the crank. It can't really fall out because it's bolted to the trans and still hooked to the pistons but there is no reason to just let it hang.
This is a sneaky pete rear seal puller installer made by Leslie and available most anywhere. The remover has a small corkscrew on a flexible wire. You simply screw it into the old top half of the seal and...
PUUULLLLLLL and it comes out.
This is about the only way to do it.
This is not very clear but you can see the copper spot on the bearing. This is where the babbit surface has worn away. Bearing failure is next.
Make SURE you use assembly lube when you put the bearing back together. You must NOT put the engine together dry. It will seize! Put the crank bolt back in and turn it with a ratchet after every new bearing is installed and torqued. Any problem with it turning and you need to STOP and fix the problem. It will be stiff to start turning but once you get it moving it should rotate freely with considerably resistance.
Took about a day to get this done.
Kerry's '73 Restoration Saga Main...
This page was last updated on 08/22/2001. Please email me any comments at firstname.lastname@example.org
and come join the Imperial Mailing List - Online Car Club