Well, with confidence now I was about to make a start from the subframe and work upwards but to my astonishment, I found that the subframe is seriously misaligned as the photos suggest! I do not understand how this is possible, given that the front posts/legs with the long bolts are securely in place and have been tightened by the engine builder who told me that I could proceed with completing the subframe installation now that the main locating bolts have been tightened?
The tunnel shield goes under the subframe and don't forget to install the double stud on the subframe before tightening it up. Don't tighten the front long bolt all the way yet, use the jack to support the subframe and lift it up to the body of the car then put the rear mounting bolts in. Slowly tighten all the bolt evenly, tighten one a little bit then move to the next bolt, repeat until the subframe is in place then torque them to spec.
Nothing should be tightened before they are all in. Turn bolts only enough to have full thread contact but the should all be loose by a number of threads before any fine positioning and tightening begins.
You should be able to screw in all the subframe bolt with your hand, if they are binding up, the subframe is not in the right location. Support it with a jack, loosen the bolts a little bit and try shifting it around.
The bolt is pretty big with big threads, I wouldn't worry about it if he didn't use an impact gun or a long wrench to tighten the bolt, but I think you should take them out and inspect to make sure. With 2 front bolts loosely attach, it's normal for the subframe to look misaligned, when you lift it up with the jack it will naturally fall in its location, you might have to shift it around a bit, but if the car is straight and the subframe is straight, there is no reason for it to not be able to bolt back in.
If one of the bolts is tight, it is good practice to remove it and inspect the threads to ensure there is no excess abrasion marks. If there is, then worst case scenario is a a new bolt and cut open the inner wing to cut out and weld in a new captive nut. That is unlikely as the fasteners are of good quality but cleaning up the threads before refitting and using some assembly compound is always a good idea. Supporting the subframe properly to ensure it is level when starting bolts is obviously essential.
I prefer to use ridiculously expensive assembly compound such as this;
Adjustable thread restorer to suit Metric and Imperial threads from 31.75 to 127mm (1-1/4" to 5") external diameter. Simply attach to undamaged section of thread, then wind back the thread with the knurled adjuster and the chaser will restore the damaged thread section. Built in storage for six...
Overkill perhaps but I have a hatred of seized or damaged threads and stuff like this as perhaps already paid for itself. I find the copper based stuff is not as effective as I'd like.
I decided to start with the right front engine mounting to build confidence but the mounting cannot be tightened into the engaged position and sits proud. Any attempt to tighten the bolt further just leads to the twisting of the rubber.....what am I doing wrong?
Almost there but not quite.....It feels as though if I try to tighten any more something might break...I'm using 3/8 drive at the moment. Is it normal to reach very stiff resistance at this point? Please see photo:
I'm not sure what's the problem, I usually just undo the 3 short bolts and leave the rubber mount along with the rigid mount attach to the engine/gearbox. You could remove the rubber mount and the rigid mount and tighten together outside of the car, so you can see what's going on from the top of the rubber mount.
I decided to go back to the subframe because I noticed that in fact the engine builder had not tightened the front long bolts fully so I tried jacking the subframe up towards the body and after something of a "bang" the subframe moves slightly! I will go ahead with the rear mounting stay bar, alternator bracket, and the pins that fit behind the tunnel onto the subframe. I will also try get the subframe bolts in at least finger-tight.