How to Install an Engine

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Now that you are finished assembling the engine or have the engine replacement on hand and hanging on the hoist, you are ready to install it. Installing an engine requires patience, coordination and planning. First, make sure the intake and exhaust manifold, brackets, sensors and other accessories will not interfere with engine installation. This will make your final job much easier. Then follow these simple steps to help you couple the engine to the transmission and mount it in the engine compartment. Let's get started.

Things You'll Need

  • Engine hoist Jack Crowbar Wrench set Ratchet and socket set
  • Raise the engine 2 to 3 feet off the floor and roll the hoist next to the vehicle. Now raise the engine high enough to clear the top of the hood and roll the engine into position over the engine compartment. Once in place, you can raise the engine higher and work the angle position if necessary.

  • Support the front of the transmission on a floor jack and clear the engine compartment of any tools, bars and wires that might interfere with engine installation.

  • Turn the flywheel on the engine so the large hole faces down. Next, turn the torque converter on the transmission so the drain plug is facing down as well. If your vehicle has a manual transmission, apply a light coat of oil to the pilot bearing at the end of the crankshaft and a light coat of grease to the splines at the end of the transmission input shaft.

  • Lower the engine in small steps, making sure it is leveled, until the crankshaft centerline is aligned with the transmission input shaft centerline; constantly check for clearance around the engine compartment as you lower the engine.

  • Align the engine dowel pins with the holes in the transmission bellhousing and slide the engine against the transmission. You might have to use a crowbar to help you work the engine angle as you mate the engine against the transmission.

  • Fasten an engine-to-transmission bolt on each side using a wrench or ratchet and socket to fix the engine position but do not tighten the bolts. Creep underneath the car and make sure the torque converter is properly aligned with the bolt holes in the flywheel.

  • Install and tighten the rest of the engine-to-transmission bolts, align the engine to the motor mounts and fasten the through bolts or nuts. Use the crowbar to shift the engine as necessary.

  • Remove the hoist, chain and install hoses, fuel lines, and accessories. Follow with the rest of the engine external components.

Tips & Warnings

  • Never try to roll an engine mounted too high on a hoist. You might get seriously injured and damage the engine if the hoist flips over.
  • Photo Credit Photo courtesy of Stahlkocher at Commons Wikimedia.org
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