When Mice Attack
Q: I have a ’98 Z28 with a manual trans, and completely stock. A rodent found its way into my garage and chewed through a lot of wires, many located between the left cylinder bank and the firewall. I’ve been trying to figure out how to pull this wire bundle up through the engine bay so that I can splice wires together and make everything functional again. I can’t get my hand down there to try to free things up. I’m thinking that moving the engine down and forward might give me enough room to get to the damaged section of the wiring harness.
Do you think it would be possible to shift the engine and trans enough to give myself a few more inches without going through the whole engine removal procedure?
A: Mice can be a real problem when it comes to eating wires and building nests in the most unwanted places. We’ve seen them build complete homes over the winter in the heater box of early Chevys. And back in 2003 they ate through the injector wires on a friend’s brand-new Z06 Corvette. The local Chevy dealer didn’t have any humor about this and wanted to charge my friend $2,500 for a complete new engine harness!
Moving the engine forward and down to extract the harness sounds like a great plan. Removing the engine from fourth-generation Camaros can be a real pain if you do not have a vehicle rack to work with. The proper way to remove the engine in these cars is from the bottom. You can sneak the engine out the top, but it requires you to trim on the firewall lip and hold your mouth just right to get it out. Disconnecting the radiator lines, removing the radiator, pulling the driveshaft, removing the shifter tower, and removing the side engine mounts and cups should allow you to drop the engine several inches and move it forward a couple also. You will also need to remove the exhaust crossover pipe from the exhaust manifolds. Support the engine with an engine hoist and place a floor jack under the transmission to roll it forward.
If only mice didn’t like the taste of the wire insulation! CHP
Technical questions for Kevin McClelland can be sent to him at firstname.lastname@example.org.