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Removing and reinstalling the drivetrain


Removing the differential, gearbox and torque tube was not as difficult as I was lead to believe. I used a jack for the engine, a jack for the torque tube and a transmission jack for the rear subframe and differential. The torque tube slid out of the bellhousing easily, and I had adjusted the rear transmission jack so that it kept the whole assembly in balance as I removed it from under the car.

I forgot the fact that the rear subframe  is attached to this assembly only by one single point - the differential mount. It is only a piece of rubber with 4 posts sticking out of it, so it was bent at close to 45 degrees. I need a new differential mount, fortunately I had a replacement ready.

I disconnected the rear brake lines and removed them, as I found it stupid to bend brake lines this much to get past the drive shafts. I will reroute the brake lines before reassembly. I see no logical reason for the brake lines to run down and behind the rear differential, when they can simply be routed directly to the pickup points in the wheel wells.
The most challenging task was actually to remove the bellhousing, as the bolts were difficult to access.  I've previously done the same work on a BMW 1 series, so I knew a combination of extenders and u-joints would work. I was relieved to discover that, unlike in the BMW, there were no bolts on the top of the bellhousing!

"Assemble in reverse"
Again, the upper bellhousing bolts caused troubles, with no space for my hands or any socket tools to get the threads engaged. The solution was to loop a wire around the bolts, which I could use to guide the bolts in place.

I've decided to reinstall the drivetrain in three stages:

1. Torque tube
2. Transmission and differential
3. Rear subframe and suspension

This makes it easier to get the torque tube lined up correctly, as there is less mass to move around.