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Thread: Accessing the van engine!

  1. #1
    Administrator llamavan's Avatar
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    Accessing the van engine!

    See THIS Library Article for basic access to your van's engine.

    Gwen
    1985 5-speed window cargo van set up for llama haulin'; 345K ("Trustyvan")
    1989 4WD 5-speed DLX; 410K and an odd sense of humor ("Skylervan")

  2. #2
    Administrator llamavan's Avatar
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    Accessing the van engine, part two removing the passenger side access panel

    See THIS Library Article for an illustrated tutorial on removing the passenger side engine access panel.

    Gwen
    1985 5-speed window cargo van set up for llama haulin'; 345K ("Trustyvan")
    1989 4WD 5-speed DLX; 410K and an odd sense of humor ("Skylervan")

  3. #3
    Van Enthusiast brentlehr's Avatar
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    New to forum - Center Console Removal on Auto Trans

    I've owned my 1989 AT van for almost 2 years, covering over 45K trouble free miles all over the country in every condition imaginable. I just recently learned about the passenger side access panel but want to make sure I remove the center console / gear selector correctly. Anything I need to worry about? I read the 'Accessing the van engine' post but it only shows a manual trans.

    This is going to chage everything, and perfect timing too b/c I'm getting ready to replace the distributor cap and rotor, plug wires, plugs, fuel pump, and power steering return line. Wish I would have know about this panel the fist time around.... that was a nightmare.

  4. #4
    Administrator timsrv's Avatar
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    Re: New to forum - Center Console Removal on Auto Trans

    Other than a couple more wire connectors to unplug, there really isn't any notable difference between auto and manual. Yours being an 89 you will have to deal with the gas door release cable but that's easy. You can either pop the cable out of the release lever mechanism or remove the entire release lever assembly (it's only held on by 1 screw after the plastic console is removed). Have fun with your project. Tim

  5. #5
    Van Enthusiast joegri's Avatar
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    Re: Accessing the van engine!

    when i got my first van i did,nt know how to access the passenger side till i started bumpin round the internet, then i found out how to. now after all these years i have it down to a nas car pit stop. i aint braggin but i can have the side off and opened up in a few minutes. i use a sparkplug wrench thing kinda shaped like an old hand drill. i think theyre called a brace. anyway access is easy and assembly is easy. but the coolest thing is ya hardly ever have to open that side !!!! theses darn vans make me nutz but i,m glad i have em !!

  6. #6
    Van Enthusiast User1's Avatar
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    Re: Accessing the van engine!

    Hey Tim,

    As always, great job on explaining and posting the layout. If it wasn't for your post I would be completely lost! I have a question on your very last photo you posted on the thread. I don't have a clue where you are referring to. I think if all the text was on the side on that one, I might have a chance.

    When I've taken my seat out I have a wire that I'm not sure what it is, any idea?
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    I've taken the console box out of mine. I could use another;

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    Any ideas on finding another, other than junkyard?

    Also need to replace this part,

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    For now I'm just gluing as best I could.
    Last edited by User1; 04-14-2012 at 08:01 PM.

  7. #7
    Administrator timsrv's Avatar
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    Re: Accessing the van engine!

    Give your kudos to Gwen (llamavan) as she's the one who made this awesome write-up . The wire in your picture is not stock. That's something that was added........you'll have to chase it down to see where it goes. As for the parts you're looking for, I think the salvage yard is your best bet. Tim

    PS: In that last picture she's referring to some PITA clips that tie the shifter and throttle cable to the underside of that cover. You'll find out if your van still has them when you go to lift the cover. Tim

  8. #8
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    Re: Accessing the van engine!

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but that last pic is looking at the passenger seat area at the top?

  9. #9
    Administrator llamavan's Avatar
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    Re: Accessing the van engine!

    The last photo is taken from the driver's side, looking under the rear portion of the passenger side access panel; I held the panel up maybe six inches to take the photo. It looks pretty much the same as this if you just lift the driver's seat and look at the shifter cables disappearing to the rear ... except you will want light and a goose's neck to see the clips (if they're present).

    Gwen
    1985 5-speed window cargo van set up for llama haulin'; 345K ("Trustyvan")
    1989 4WD 5-speed DLX; 410K and an odd sense of humor ("Skylervan")

  10. #10
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    Re: Accessing the van engine!

    well crap! that makes things a whole lot easier now doesn't it? I didn't even know you could get that thing off, I should have known

  11. #11
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    Re: Accessing the van engine!

    Ya know, If I knew the other side came off, I probably wouldn't have sold my LE... oh well, but in a few weeks, I will have another one and spare parts falling out my wazoo! yippie!

  12. #12
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    Re: Accessing the van engine!

    Man I'm getting so good at getting this panel off, I feel like I can go for the world record now!

  13. #13
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    Re: Accessing the van engine!

    Thanks for this thread!! That passenger bolt on top of the tire!! I tell you I couldn't figure it out!!

    Thanks again!

  14. #14
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    Accessing the van engine!

    Hello, I removed my passenger seat panel below it, and the center and console and shifter to access the engine. I did this to change out my plugs, wires, distributor cap and rotor. This is the first time I've ever done any of this on my van, seeing as I'm a new owner of my 87 converted cargo. Now that I'm pitting everything back together, I cannot attach the cable back to the shifter box when it is in park. I can attach it when I have it in drive, but when I go to put it in park, it gets stuck on the metal on the cable that is set into the groove on the back of the shifter. I am really stuck here, anything would help me greatly. Thanks!

  15. #15
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    Re: Shifter won't go back into place.

    It's hard to visualize exactly what the problem is, but if I was fighting with this I would disconnect the shifter cable from the transmission, install the shifter, then re-attach the cable to the transmission and adjust/set-up from scratch. In the future, there's no reason to disconnect or remove the shifter. The brake & shifter cables are flexible enough for you to move the entire access panel into the back & out of your way without messing with these at all. There may be a couple clamps attaching the cables to the cover, but these can be easily removed, allowing the flex/movement you need to remove the cover. Tim

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    Re: Shifter won't go back into place.

    Thanks Tim, I got it all sorted out, just had to reset the cable to park. Appreciate your input.

  17. #17
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    Re: Accessing the van engine!

    When removing the passenger seat side, what do you do with the brake and shifter cables, do you leave everything intact and just push the cover to the side?

  18. #18
    Administrator timsrv's Avatar
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    Re: Accessing the van engine!

    Yes, there is enough flex in these cables to swing the entire engine cover assembly (with shifter & e-brake attached) over to the PS side back seat area. The factory put 3 clamps on the cable run that attach it to the underside of the cover. If these are still there you will need to remove them before there's enough flex to move the assembly. The clamps are attached with 12mm bolts & are somewhat of a PITA to put back. For this reason most of the time these clamps and/or bolts are gone, so they may not be there on yours. Tim

    PS: It's recommended you use/put back these clamps as they help prevent chaffing of the cables on other components. Tim

  19. #19
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    Re: Accessing the van engine!

    Hello everyone. I'm about to embark on the passenger's seat for the first time (1989 CRG Automatic). I have two concerns. From outside the Van looking at the rear of the passenger's seat, I have a flat stud instead of a hex bolt, so I'm not sure how I'm supposed to get that off??? I will figure that part out, but my question is, am I to unscrew the top of my automatic shifting lever? Does that really unscrew? Doesn't seem like it would. Thanks.

  20. #20
    Administrator timsrv's Avatar
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    Re: Accessing the van engine!

    Leave the shift lever there. The center console will lift off and clear it. Then leave the entire shifting mechanism attached to the access panel and move the panel/shifter assy to the back seat area. Maneuver it in such a way as to avoid any unnecessary stress on the cables. The cables will flex enough to allow you to do this. Tim

    PS: I'm not sure I understand the other concern, perhaps you could post a picture?

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