Thanks Patrick and Dennis. Now that I know which direction the engine runs I can start.
Patrick: I did not want to remove the sway bar, but I just reviewed the manual on removing it at it appears easy. With the sway bar out the pan will come out foward. I am not sure if a floor jack would leave you enough clearance but worth a try. I may try your method when the timing cover goes back on.
The motor was high enough to remove the oil pick up tube bolt(13mm). Then I set the motor back down, unbolted the timing cover and there was enough room to withdraw the pickup tube with the cover.
Do you have any leaks around your cam cover? I do. Been through two gaskets. The cover appears a little worped. Will try to have a local shop straighten it, if not will go with a new one: about $150.
I know how you feel about setbacks. My wife sometimes complains about keeping and taking care of older vehicles but I remind her we spend very little on repairs when you factor out tires, brakes, batteries and other normal wear items. Besides, our old Benzs ride and perform better than many new cars.
'00 Mazda MPV Family's car
'83 300D 235,000
'84 109E 175,000
'74 280C 125,000 in garage; needs rehab or sell for parts???