|The mickeymouse motor mount. This thing lasted a week without any sign of failing.|
When the motor mount failed, and I couldn't get the one at the junkyard, I decided to rig something together. In the above photo is 18gauge steel and fender washers at the mount bolt points.
|Photographed from the other side.|
I got a used front mount from a saabcentral.com user for $15 +ship. Came with the bracket, the mount itself, and all the hardware.
After installing the steel strap, I drove it for a week until I could replace the mount bracket. Surprisingly, it showed no sign of wear. The motor was rock solid to the frame. Not a good thing for tooth fillings, but it was drivable.
When I was finally able to replace the mount, I simply removed the strap and the hardware, jacked the engine up at the front of the transmission housing (bottle jack and block of wood) installed the new gear, and removed the jack.
But there was a hiccup. The used mount I got had a rubber insert that was more worn than the one in my car. So I tried to unbolt the bracket from the insert. The used one was from Texas, and was quite rusty. In the efforts to unbolt the rubber center, I bent it. Not a lot. In fact, I didn't even notice until I was trying to align it in the car. So it took 2 hours instead of one.
After installation I noticed that an exhaust rattle I had hoped was motor mount related was still there. Crawling around I found that the 2 year old Walker muffler had broken free from its welds and is rattling along the exhaust pipe:
Wow, that is an awfully clean break from the welds there... I emailed Walker about it. Not because I expect a new muffler from them, but because they should be made aware of a quality issue like this. The rear welds broke just as cleanly.
In the end I did figure out why the distributor was having so many problems during this... When the front motor mount fails, the engine rocks back, sending the front of the engine higher. And what is the highest and furthest forward part of the engine? The distributor. It was slamming into the hood.
Makes MUCH more sense now.