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Lots to Do

After I got the engine out, the engine compartment was a lot emptier. But it still had a lot of extra stuff in it, and it was pretty dirty. For a car with only 50,000 miles on it, it was filthy. Of course, the car is 19 years old. So I got some rags, a five gallon bucket, and some Simple Green&trade. After some work I could see that the engine compartment is actually green. It still needs work, but it's better.

New Parts

i emailed Andrew to order some wear parts. I wanted to replace the brake lines and pads, the steering and subframe bushings, steering rack boots, springs, and the sway bar. Andrew convinced me to replace a number of other parts, such as the tie rod ends, control arm bushings, and ABS pressure tank. It was more work and cost than I planned, but Andrew made a really good case for each item. I'll feel more confident about the steering, suspension, and brakes on a 19 year old car with an unknown maintenance history.

Keeping Busy

While I waited for the parts to arrive, I started pulling out stuff that was obviously extra. The coolant overflow tank, the charcoal filter and all its hoses, the P/S hoses, the A/C hoses, the engine mounts, and some relays and controllers that were part of the injection and ignition systems. I still had the big fuel injection harness, though. I went under the passenger side of the dash, and found the other end of the harness. I unplugged it from the computer, and removed the computer, but still couldn't get the harness out. So I emailed Andrew again. I set up a page here with pictures and and questions. Andrew answered every question in detail, and I posted the answers after my questions. I was a little nervous cutting through the ignition harness, but his description of the under-fender area and where to cut to harness were spot on, so I got the hacksaw and went at it. I was able to pull out everything else except the fuel injection harness. I'm going to have to go back under the dashboard and remove that vacuum tank to get the harness out.


I had already loosened the front subframe bushings in anticipation of the swap. When the parts arrived, those bushings were the first thing I did. Next was the rear subframe bushings. Both were easy. The steering rack bushings were tough, though. I finally had to pull out the entire steering rack, and use a hacksaw and punch to get the old bushings out. It took a couple hours. It was pretty clear that someone had been in there before, as there was a stack of fender washers taped together to act as spacers. After I put the steering rack back in I replaced the boots and tie rod ends. Then the sway bar. I was not able to connect the ends of the sway bar, because there wasn't enough weight in the car to bring the upper control arms down to the sway bar ends. I had the same issue when I tried to remove the springs. There's a workaround where you put a jack under the spring plate and jack the car up, then remove the plate bolts, then lower the jack and plate and spring. In this case, though, the missing 700 pounds meant that the spring wasn't compressed far enough to remove. I'll have to wait until the engine is in to swap the springs, connect the sway bar, and change the control arm bushings. I was happy that I got most of the parts replaced in an afternoon, though.


I'm sort of getting close to rolling the Jaguar out and driving the Caprice in. I still need to do the brakes, which includes flushing all the old brake fluid, changing the front hoses and pads, and replacing the ABS pressure tank. I also need to get the rotors turned or replaced, and while I'm in there I will repack the front wheel bearings. I'm hoping I don't have to rebuild or replace the front calipers. There's also more cleaning to do in the engine compartment. Once I get all that done I'll pull the engine out of the Caprice. I also need to get rid of the V12 engine, transmission, and lots of parts. I offered them to a guy in Kentucky, but I haven't heard back from him yet. All the clutter is really starting to get in my way. I haven't cleaned up for a few days, and I have tools, parts, and dirt everywhere.