Engine removal tips?

  • Thread starter Thread starter dave84gn
  • Start date Start date


Well, my car will be out of commission for a while. She overheated on the way home from the track last saturday, and now's making a terrible knocking and screaching sound from the bottom end of the engine -- both very inconsistent and variable. I'm thining: collapsed piston, main bearing, or rod bearing. In any case, this engine could use a rebuild; 105miles on it.

Anyway, although it sucks that I won't be able to drive the car for the (probably) rest of the summer, I'm fairly eager to attempt my own removal & rebuild.

So my main concern is: will I be able to get it all back together when I'm done? My plan is: take lots of pictures and video of the parts under the hood assembled, and then refer back to that later when I'm putting everything back together. That and grab a copy of the engine assembly manual.

So right now I'm going about unbolting anything that can be unbolted (alternator, A/C compressor, turbo pipes, turbo, intake tube, etc) and carefully putting the parts/bolts in well labeled ziplock bags.

Since I'm sure there's a half dozen of you who've done this before: What sorts of tips can ya give me? What should I look out for? Be careful of? Anything really difficult?
sounds like you'll get it back together

the pictures will get used if its your first time.

if removing the engine anyway i would say its easier to drop the ext. headers off before pulling esp. pass side to make accaess to ac bolts from rear.

the crossover pipe will have to come off even if you dont remove headers mainly because the tranny lines go thru it.

pull the turbo off and you can use a spray paint lid to cover the hole in the intake just flip it upside down and stuff it in

while your back there its easier to get the top tranny bolts from up there

the harness coming across the front of the motor is a pain in the hinny i just get all the accessories off and push the harness down and work the motor over it.

other than that i dont think you'll have much problem
im sure others will jump in and fill in some more.

i hope by your user name its a hotair cause if not scratch all the above...:)

BTW: most likely a rod bearing or two

I did did the exact project you are doing - starting last fall. I labeled all the bolts and stuff too....sounds like you are on the right track. I pulled my trans at the same time though - got it painted and cleaned up while it was out.

Only things I did really was pull motor + tranny w/ exhaust attached (was easier to remove exh after it was out - less wounds). I replaced the turbo feed line with new brake line (bent myself) cause it was real dirty inside my old one. I removed my injectors too - got um cleaned and flow tested (cheap) and I also replaced all the hard to reach vac lines (also cheap) and heater valve (behing heat shield beside firewall).

Lotsa degreaser and a lil paint helped me clean my engine bay right up - along with a lil plastic wire loom (looks orig.). Let me know if ya need any other help during the project - I might be of help....too bad I cant get mine running after its back together tho...LOL;)
Did the same thing last summer......keep it all in labeled bags take pics...especially of bracketry and vaccum and don't forget to unhook the knock sensor in the back. It's work...I did mine in a month for the Turkey Rod Run in Daytona when I was living there...lot of late nites and hurried more than should have to. But very proud when I was done...redo that engine bay and frame.
Thx guys for the replies and encouragement, very much appreciated :)

REDS HOT AIR: yea, it's a hot air, 84. When you say drop the headers first to access the ac bolts, you mean the ones holding the ac compressor? I got that off last night after fighting with this one bolt that came out facing the rear of the car and yup, the headers/uppipe was in the way! Are the headers a b!tch to remove in-car? Any other reason I might want to pull em before lifting the engine?

Thx HOTSIX. One question, how come you pulled the trans with it? Was it easier?

One thing I haven't looked into yet: what will I have to do to get the engine detached from the rest of the powertrain? Just unbolt the torque converter? Is that hard/lota hard-to-reach bolts?

Oh also... my A/C still works, so I'd really love to not have to get it recharged if at all possible. I was thinking: unbolt the compressor and then somehow move it to the side, hopefully keeping all the piping intact. Think this is possible, or should I just release the charge and take the damn thing out of the car?

Thx guys.

3 torque conv. bolts come out easy by behind dust cover. Bell housing bolts I got from underneath the top one's (2) are kinda hard to reach but I am a short little feller. Use a extension and a swivel, they are hard to see from the top. I just blocked my tranny up so that it would not sag during the motor rebuild..it will sag. Pulled my compressor and cooling radiator around the side of the frame and had no problem working around it....it even still works. But I did pull the front clip cause of a 2500.00 paint job that was 2 mo. old. Nice time to blow a motor right. It wasn't that hard and I got it lined back up pretty good for not being a body man. But it made it really easy to work on with no fenders in the way and restoring the frame and inner fenders made the engine bay look new. Going in and out with the engine was kind of a trick...the motors sit at a little bit of a tilt...you will bang against the firewall a few times going back in.....make sure your headers are on. It's good to have a little help at this operation. Take you time and have fun....
no real need to pull them except for the ac bolts mentioned and the crossover pipe needs to come off because if you pull it without the tranny then you have the tranny lines going above it and will mangle your lines up.

my experiance with pulling the motor with the tranny is it is easier to drop the cross over pipe because when you try to move the motor/tranny forward the crossover hits the frame and if your not carefull at this point trying to work it out then you'll have a banged up heater box shield and possibly a hole in your heater box so i would say much easier to take out the crossover

really as for the headers ...your going to take them off once its out right? so its no big deal to pull them in the car and it gives you much more room to work with but thats up to you it will come out either way..

and yea that rear ac bolt sucks...:)
Well...the main reason for me pulling the trans at the same time was that I wanted to paint it and have a look inside it. I found also that if I had left the trans inside it the car becomes much harder to move around (in and out of garage) cause you gotta support the tranny.
Hey guys, thx for the replies. So far so good...

Got all the accessories off: alternator, AC compressor tied to the side, coil pack is off, all brackets off, turbo off, up-pipe off, lota computer connections unplugged.

Also, unscrewed the downpipe from the testpipe... no luck in getting the DP off yet though (the way it's bent it won't jimmy out.) Unbolted the cross-over pipe, broke one bolt on each side :) Got the Xover pipe off.

Popped off the torque converted cover, unbolted the 3 flywheel bolts from the TC. Also unbolted the 4 engine-to-transmission (bellhousing?) bolts. The top two were a pain, are there any more? Also took off the starter motor.

Can you think of anything I missed? Should the engine just slide forward and out now? I'm currently working on a rig to lift the engine out using the rafters in my garage. Question: what on the engine should I hook up a rope/cable/chain to? Do I bolt it on to the top somehow?

One more question: You know the big black cable holster that sort of wraps around the engine (it contains like.. ECM power, temp sender, coil pack connections, oil sender, etc). How do I get that out of the way? It *might* have enough slack to drop down below the engine, but I'm not sure... does that bunch of cables run from one side of the firewall to the other? it looks like it.

Thanks so much guys. My engine assembly manuals don't arrive for another 5 days or so, so I'm sort of winging it for now :)

oops you missed the part in my first reply about the wiring harness ..:p

there are 6 bell housing bolts 2 at top 2 at very bottom 1 on each side and 2 half way up 1 on each side....:eek:

as for the down pipe you can tie it to your ac crap hanging out the heater box while you pull the motor out..;)

and ahhhh slide back under there and do this :rolleyes: and you'll probly find the motor mount bolts that you didnt mention taking out yet.....1 on 1 side 1 on da otter side...:D

:confused: :eek: :confused: :eek:
Ahh yes, sorry about missing what you said about the wiring harness Red, so you did just work the engine out around it, gotcha.

6 bellhousing bolts eh. Damn, guess I got two more to go. When you say there are two at the *very* bottom, they are the ones that are right where the bellhousing starts, right? What I mean is: the bellhousing is not a full circle, it's a circle with the bottom cut off (sort of), so obviously there can't be any bolts at the VERY bottom of the circle. So from your description, I got the ones at the bottom, and the ones half way up, and now I guess I gota find two at the top.

Ahh yea, the motor mount bolts, can't forget those :)

So where did you guys hook up your lifting device to the engine?

Thx guys.


I ran a 3/8" bolt (with a couple washers on it) thru a nice strong chain to the bolt hole where the A/C bracket bolts to the head on the pass. side (the neg batt cable goes here also I believe) and then over to the rear of the head on the driver's side in the same bolt hole...*Note - use a real short 3/8" bolt here tho...it's too close to the firewall and u may not get it out if you use a long one !

The angle that this put the motor on (using the chain diagonally across the motor) made the motor come out easily - just gotta watch that firewall. There are 2 dowel pins (fixed to trans) on the tranny that slide into the motor. The motor must come fwd a bit to dislodge from the tranny. Those 2 other bellhousing bolts you missed are gonna suck...real tight back there. Mine had a big neon "NO VACANCY" sign there when I looked. We can compare wounds and scars when your done.;)
the very 2 top one are visible from the top now that you have the turbo off .

the bolts your pulling out of the bellhousing to motor work real well for bolting the chain to the end of the heads like HOTSIX described..
Haha, OMG, yup those top two bellhousing bolts were a B!TCH. Took me and two buds about 2 hours to get those beasts out. Rigged up a u-joint with two feet worth of extensions to get at from the bottom! Then was able the hand loosen them from the top. Yoow! Oh and while I was underneth working on one, my bro decided to move the heater hoses out of his way, and I got a nice bath of coolant in the face! YUCK that stuff tastes SICK :)

Went to the hardware store today and picked me up a rig to lift the engine out using the rafters in my garage. Got about 8 feet worth of chain, a come-along (sort of like a winch), and a chain with ends on it to attach to the engine... oh and one huge 9foot 4x4 piece of wood to lay across the rafters :) Hoping to try out this rig tomorrow, thx for the advice with where to attach the bolts... Sounds like you can basically use anything that looks strong enough, and connect it in two places diagonally.

Maybe you guys have some thoughts on this... I'll want to roll the car backwards once the engine is lifted out. So how do I do this with the tranny supported by a jack?? I was thinking once the engine's out, someone could lay under the car and move the jack backwards as others roll the car, how does this sound?

Thx guys.

once you pick the motor up you can get a piece of wood or pipe to go from inside the top of the bell housing to the dip you will see in the crossmember under the motor.. first jack the tranny up till it hits the top of the tranny tunnel then just measure from inside top of bell housing to the dip area of the crossmember and cut something to fit ,set it in and set tranny jack down then your set you can roll car anywhere you want....:)
Well, IT'S OUT! :)

Thx for the help guys, put together my rafter rig and pulled her out today. Wasn't too bad after all I guess :) A lot a spaghetti in the engine bay right now though, I can't wait until I've got to put it all back together :)

I'll save some of my comments for my next thread.

Thx again!

Removing Air Compressor

In taking the motor out of my car i need to take the air conditioner pump off, however how do i get the compressor of without releasing the chemical in it that is hazardous to the environment?
Dustin27987 said:
.......... how do i get the compressor of without releasing the chemical in it that is hazardous to the environment?
Can't be done. You do not need to remove the AC compressor to get the motor out. Leave it "hanging" to the side. I used a few bungee cords and coat hangers.

Correction. If you are looking at this issue from a purely environental point of view, you can have the AC system emptied profesionally to "capture and store the chemical". That way, you can remove the AC compressor and not get the chemical in the environment.