Lowering the subframe was WAY easier than I anticipated. Here's what I did.
- Loosened front wheel nuts.
- Disconnected battery.
- Raised the front of the car and put on jack stands, removed front wheels and put them both under car for additional safety.
- Removed the three nuts securing the upper ends of shocks
- Removed UCA's from spindles
- Disconnected brake hoses
- Disconnected rag joint from steering rack
- Removed screws holding steering hoses to subframe, three of them, in the front.
- Placed the engine support cross bar and ran chains around the exhaust manifolds, adjusted nuts as needed to eliminate slack.
- Removed motor mount bolts
- Raised engine (by the oil pan) about one inch with jack and wooden block, adjusted the nuts on the cross bar to eliminate slack again.
- Made sure nothing was being pulled or damaged by the raised engine, then raised it another inch and adjusted cross bar again.
- Put the jack under subframe and load it very slightly
- Proceed to remove subframe bolts. 8 of them.
Here's where a tip from a fellow member (or maybe someone from Sccoa, I don't remember, sorry) came in REAL handy: Having four longer bolts with same thread as the subframe bolts to hang the subframe from them, instead of lowering the whole thing all the way down and then fighting it and dragging it out of the way and then putting it on the jack and realigning it... I figure that's a pita!!!.
This simple "long bolts" trick will make your life a lot easier if you're only removing the pan temporarily like I am.
As you remove one of the subframe bolts, then thread in a "long bolt" about an inch or so, just enough to make sure the whole thread in the nut has been engaged. Repeat in all four corners. Then remove the other four remaining bolts. If your jack was correctly positioned and the subframe is slightly loaded, the subframe SHOULD NOT move at all, even if you removed all eight bolts.
Once the four longer bolts are in and all 8 original bolts are out, start lowering the subframe litle by little as you check that the steering hoses are not being pulled along with the subframe or that nothing else is being damaged.
Don't worry about the subframe wobbling or falling sideways, that's the beauty of using the four longer bolts, they will let you lower the whole heavy thing without losing control and keeping it centered for repositioning it later, and it's WAY safer this way.
Drained the pan and that's all I did today, it was dark already.
I'll post another update tomorrow.