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How to Pull your Engine

About This How-to
Author: moonwell
Added: 02.04.06
Updated: 02.05.06
Discuss (17)

This how-to shows you how to remove the engine from your J-body. It can be applied to removing an engine from any J-body, but it was written specifically for pulling a 2nd Gen V6 w/ 5 speed trans.


  • Engine Hoist
  • The more tools the better :)
  • Air tools are a big help
  • You can accomplish this with a basic mechanics set if you have to

How To Do It

Step 1

Remove the hood. It's just going to get in your way, so get it out of your way first. There are 2 bolts on each side holding it to the hinges.

Scribe a mark around the hinges onto the hood to aid in proper alignment upon re-installation. If you throw a heavy blanket or carpet remnant on you roof, you can just set the hood out of your way on top of the roof.

We'll do as much as we can from the top, and them move to underneath. On a 5 speed car, we will pull the engine and transmission still bolted together. If an automatic, it is generally easiest to leave the trans in the car. We will be pulling the motor out the top, not dropping it out the bottom. Remove the strut tower brace if equipped.

Step 2

It is usually easiest to pull the motor with the wiring harness attached. Which means you will have to remove the wiring at the firewall on the drivers & passenger side.

The drivers side connector unplugs right at the firewall. Unbolt & unplug it. The passenger side connector actually just runs through the firewall and into the ECM above the glove box. You'll need to remove the glove box and drop the ECM down, then unplug the connectors from the ECM. You can then pull the wiring through into the engine bay.

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Step 3

Unbolt the cables from the battery and remove any other electrical connections to the chassis and any connectors on the motor that get in your way as you work. Also remove any necessary vacuum lines.

You may find it helpfull to label all connectors as they are disconnected to aid in reassembly

Step 4

Unhook the cruise control cable (if equipped) and throttle cable from the TB. Remove the kick down cable if an automatic.

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Step 5

Unhook the 2 shift cables from the transaxle (if a manual) and move them out of the way.

Unbolt the brake master cylinder from the booster while you're over there, since you'll have to swing it out of the way for the motor to clear. Just remove the 2 bolts for now.

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Step 6

Remove the alternator, it's just going to get in your way.

The unhook the Power steering pressure & return lines from the PS Pump. You'll want to drain the excess fluid from the PS reservoir with a turkey baster to minimize the amount the leaks out.

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Step 7

Remove the Throttle body to give you better access to the fuel lines at the rail. Relieve the fuel pressure via the shraeder valve before removing the lines. Unbolt the lines from the rail using a flair nut wrench to prevent rounding the nuts. Nobody likes round nuts!

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Step 8

Depending on the year of 5 speed transmission, the slave cylinder setup is different. There are 2 styles of external, and an internal slave. External was used through 92, internal 93-94. If you have an internal slave, there is a quick disconnect that disconnects the line from the slave. If an internal, the slave is just unbolted from the trans and pulled out. If you have an internal slave, it can be ruined if the clutch pedal is depressed while the slave is out of the transmission. So it might be a good idea to disconnect the clutch pedal just to ensure an accident doesn't happen. Pressing the pedal on an internal slave model with it disconnected won't ruin anything, but it will spew fluid and possibly get air into the system that you'll have to bleed out later.

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Step 9

Remove the Radiator fan, it's just gona be in the way!

Step 10

Alright, now it's time to get dirty and get under the car! Apply the e-brake and chock the rear wheels. Jack up the front and put jack stands on both sides. Make sure it is sturdy. Remove both from wheels.

Step 11

Now drain the radiator, either by unscrewing the petcock on the passenger side of the rad, or just removing the lower hose from the rad. Be sure to have something under the car to catch all the fluid! Remove any plastic splash shields that might be in your way.

Step 12

Remove the upper and lower radiator hoses.

Step 13

Drain the transaxle fluid from your 5 speed. If the fluid is relatively new, drain it into a clean container for reuse. If you don't drain the fluid, you'll lose it once the axles are removed.

Step 14

Time to remove the axles! This is the fun part!. Hopefully you have an impact wrench for this, otherwise it can be a major PITA. First you'll need to pop your ball joints (unbolt the swaybar endlinks, if equipped, or you will have a hell of a time popping the ball joints). Then there is a 30mm nut that has to be removed from the hub. Then the axle can be tapped through the hub. The axle can then be carefully pryed out of the transmission on the drivers side, and from the jackshaft on the passenger side.

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Step 15

If you car is equipped with AC, you need to unbolt the compressor from the engine. DO NOT disconnect any lines unless the AC is broke and you plan to remove it. This means the AC compressor can't be completely removed from the car. Since it is quite heavy, you'll need to tie it up out of the way.

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Step 16

Time to unbolt the exhaust. There should be 2 spring bolts to remove at the downpipe. These are usually rusted pretty good, and you run a good risk of snapping one. Spray them with some PB Blaster and let me soak for a while before trying to get em loose. Different years used different downpipe setups. Do whatever it takes to get the exhaust separated from the motor ;)

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Step 17

Now, everything should be disconnected accept for the engine mounts. Pile all the wiring onto the motor and make sure you've got everything disconnected.

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Step 18

Hook the engine up to your engine hoist. It makes it a lot easier if you have a load leveler for you hoist, since the engine has to be angled quite a bit for the transaxle to clear when it's being pulled. There are 2 lift points, one on the alternator bracket, and one near the thermostat. Raise the hoist enough to put some tension on the chains. Don't use too long of chain, or you might not be able to raise the motor high enough to get it out!

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Step 19

With the hoist supporting the weight of the motor you can now unbolt the motor mounts. There are 2 motor mounts, a dogbone and a motor/transaxle mount. Unbolt the dogbone from the trans and cradle (You could actually remove the dogbone at any time, since it doesn't support the engine, it just keeps it from twisting under accel). Remove the frame mounting bolts from the front mount, which is down by the waterpump. Remove the 2 bottom nuts from the rear mount. Then remove the transaxle mount up top. The engine should now be free to swing.

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Step 20

Up until this point, it's pretty easy to accomplish everything yourself. While you can pull the entire motor by yourself, it makes it much easier if you have a friend or two to help. You'll have to do quite a bit of wrestling and angling to get it to slide out, so find a couple buddies to give you a hand. Offer em some free beer or something ;)

Step 21

Raise the motor slightly and one again verify that everything is disconnected and out of the way. Start to angle the motor, raising the passenger side higher and higher. This is where the load leveler comes in handy! You'll end up and about a 45* angle in order to get the trans to clear the body. Have somebody work the lift while another watches for hang ups and clearance problems. You'll probaly hit the brake master cylinder, which is why we unbolted it earlier, so move it out of the way.

Keep raising her up until it clears the radiator support and you can swing her clear of the car!

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Step 22

Congratulations! You now have a gaping hole in your engine bay! You're now obligated to jump in and take a Flintsone style photo! ;)

Hopefully you have big plans, such as a 3400 swap in store :)

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