I’d like to work on the body of this van without fretting too much about getting sand in her… well, important places. Which means stripping everything, including the engine.

Taking it out on this model is pretty straightforward. Literally: unless the van is lifted and the front axle removed, the engine and transmission can only be removed in a straight horizontal trajectory.

The engine hoist we’ve got is made for light vehicles, where the engine is lifted out vertically. The hoist boom, when horizontal, is 20-30 cm too high in my case, and cannot be adjusted.

One could, of course, modify the hoist itself to be adjustable, but there’s a simpler solution: a purpose-built angled boom extension for a given van.

I started off by measuring the cross section of the original extension, which happened to be 60x60x4 mm. Got a meter of that.

Then took the hoist to the van, removed the original extension, lifted the boom slightly over the engine’s top line, and marked an angle. Inside the boom, this extension wanna-be o’ mine went slightly over the hydraulic jack.

Took the square pipe to the bench and cut at the marked line, then squared off the remainder by cutting out a triangle.

Extension cutout

This piece came very handy for reinforcement.

Extension puzzle pieces, before welding

The smaller square pipe is 30x30x4 mm, and there are two of them stacked in this side view. We reckoned smaller pipe would give more operating space in the engine bay. Two sections of approx. 60 cm were needed, and exactly two sections of approx. 60 cm were available (after I cut them off from longer pieces).

The engine here is an OM616, which has three suspension points. I took three big nuts and dropped them in an acid bath. Took ‘em out, dropped them in a lye bath. Took ‘em out, rinsed with water. These are improvised lugs.

After gathering the puzzle pieces, I handed them off to a professional welder friend (who happened to be procrastinating with a bottle of JD). Here’s what came back (this is not a shotgun):

Boom extension, side-view

Boom Extension, underside

Here’s how it looks attached to the boom:

Attached boom extension

A comparison of boom extensions, original and custom:

Boom extensions, original and custom

Notice how the new one looks a lot more sinister than the original. And no, that is not piss in the corner.

Finally, here it is engaged, doing what it does well:

Ich habe einen großen Fisch, ja!

Used carabiners for suspension here – chains would have been too constricting.