Your new engine is on the stand and it's time to remove the old and install the new. Considering you've spent months having all themachine work done correctly and choosing the best parts for your next engine, all you have to do now is drop it in and enjoy the power. To ensure the installation goes as well as the engine buildup-or maybe better-there are several tips and tricks you should have in your arsenal. It may seem a little time consuming and even monotonous at points, but the results will speak for themselves. Did we mention the extra coin you're going to save by doing it yourself? Add in a little elbow grease to polish up the engine bay, and your newfound look and power will make you the envy of everyone around.
First Thing's FirstBefore the first bolt is turned, it's a good idea to take a few moments and shoot several digital photos of the engine and the surrounding area. Pay particular attention to the radiator hose routing, engine brackets, pulleys, and wiring. Keep a pad and pen handy to jot down any obvious parts that need to be replaced.
Make sure the battery is disconnected and removed from the car. This is the perfect time to inspect the battery cables and replace them if there is extensive corrosion or if the insulation is becoming spongy. Check and replace hoses that are brittle, leaking, or soft. It's also a good idea to keep the old hoses until the new engine is installed and running. This way, if any fitment issues arise, you'll still have the old ones to reference. If the underhood area is grimy, now's the time to clean it out with a high-pressure washer.
As important as all the correct parts are to an engine swap, your work area plays a significant role too. Obviously, one of the best places to swap an engine is in a shop that has a lift and proper lighting. If you must perform the swap outdoors, choose an area that is level and on concrete. Asphalt pavement is not a good first choice, because if fuel or coolant leaks onto it, it will solidify and cause a mess. Asphalt is not a hard surface, either; the weight placed on the wheels of a floor jack, engine hoist, or the bottom sides of jackstands will often sink into the surface. Wherever you decide to perform the swap, there should be plenty of working area in front of the car, along the sides, and above the front (for an engine hoist to operate).
Once the hood has been removed,...
Once the hood has been removed, the battery disconnected, and the coolant, engine oil, and trans fluid drained, it's time to begin the disassembly process around the engine compartment. Keep track of any brackets and bolts you are removing. Old cardboard boxes and paper bags labeled with a felt pen provide a good place to store many of the parts you'll need again.
Before the trans is unbolted,...
Before the trans is unbolted, the driveshaft will need to removed. Store the driveshaft out of the way so that it does not get dented. Even a small ding can cause a balance problem later, during driving. To keep remaining trans oil from draining out during removal, an old trans yoke (shown) makes a great and inexpensive plug.