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Old 04-06-2021, 05:45 PM   #1
makebrickgovroom
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Default Walk Me Through An Engine Swap

Back and ready to cause trouble. A bit higher-order than my previous posts concerning wasted spark brackets & destroyed captured nuts.


I have a very nicely prepared 94' longblock from the amazing white855t. Awesome work done by hime, super excited to throw it in my ratty wagon.

Now, to the interesting stuff. I've obsessed for maybe the last few weeks every night thinking about the million different ways I can tackle this project. This will be my first solo engine swap, with no help, professional or otherwise (I've been lucky enough in the past to be overseen by very experienced mechanics during the process). The amount of space I have is very limited as well -- I'll be doing all this work on a driveway filled with potholes and cracks.
The nicest thing about my particular context is that I have until the end of July to have the car running (when my lease is up).

For those reasons, I'm trying to brainstorm things that would make this job much easier for a solo 20-something who's mechanical knowledge is... limited, to say the least. I'm not opposed to taking my time, and if that means drawing out what would be a weekend job for some on this board in to a months long process, so be it.

That being said, here's what I have prepared so far:

* Old b21 block is stripped down almost entirely. All accessories removed, save for shot alternator. All wires, hoses, and other bits and bobs tucked away.

And that's pretty much it. It's been sitting, waiting for progress, and I finally have the time to start tackling some stuff.

Now, for the three ways I've thought about doing this:

* Pull engine and trans out together
* Pull engine and trans separately
* Pull engine alone

The first seems to be the "easiest" in terms of time saving. However, I'm worried about how I'm going to be able to maneuver all that mass myself without seriously screwing something up, and access to the underside of the car is limited, to say the least.

The second seems more convoluted, but doing it in this piece-meal way may make it a little easier on me.

The third is what I'm most inclined to do. I'm planning on re-using the trans and clutch assembly for the time being, and it makes the most intuitive sense at this moment to leave the trans in the car, pull out the block, and bolt up the clutch and pressure plate to the new engine. However, I know this presents some new challenges, namely unbolting the bell housing and starter from the block, as well as removing the block in a way that doesn't destroy the input shaft.

So, if you were me, in my particular position, what would you do? I'm also trying to keep transport costs to a minimum -- I don't own a truck (and my subaru, I can say with some confidence will not fit both the hoist and engine), and I have decided that the easiest thing (though least affordable) is probably renting a uhaul van for the day to haul around the engines and hoist.

I'm also planning to do some minor work while I'm in there (oh boy). I need to replace the power steering rack, front wiper motor, and work on my ms setup so it doesn't run like an absolute dog (thinking of grabbing yoshifab's dsm cas kit to use a 4-post wasted spark tower from a vw, like so

https://www.amazon.com/Ignition-Coil.../dp/B06WRS3KJY


Let me know your thoughts, and I know this will probably get some frowns, but if you want a b21ft block that needs about ~4k in machine work to get back in running condition, let me know
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Old 04-06-2021, 06:44 PM   #2
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Pull the engine and trans together. They don't weigh that much (especially if the engine is stripped down) and it'll be faster to split them outside of the car.
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Old 04-06-2021, 06:48 PM   #3
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Do you have a transmission jack? Could you remove it from the engine and just moving it back a couple of inches to disengage the input shaft but still leave the trans under the car?
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Old 04-06-2021, 07:46 PM   #4
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Here's my suggestions:
1) setup a photo account and learn how to post pictures here. I use imgbb.com but flickr is probably better and should be around for a long time.
2) start a project thread, the more pictures the better.
3) buy a craigslist hoist, use it, and resell it when done.
4) here's a couple pictures of my swap (click for bigger):




Things to notice:
- the car is on ramps front / jack stands back. This gives a few crucial inches of extra clearance to swing the tranny into place, and to work from under the car.
- the radiator top panel / valence is removed to give easier access.
- the hood, and springs, haven't been removed but still clear the garage door.
- the leveler helps - position it as shown in 1st picture (2nd picture position was too far back)
- I installed the engine with turbo and alt pre-installed, but added the A/C compressor and PS pump later. I'm not sure if this is needed, but helped give a little better clearance.
5) Start your build thread with pictures of your car and garage/driveway space so we know what you're working with. Include a description of what you're going from and to. Show pictures of new parts.
6) Are you going to use a 60-2 LH2.4 flywheel/flexplate? You may need to notch your tranny if so.

I'm a couple weeks away from my 2nd Moderna, so there's hope we could get together after that.

-Bob
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Old 04-06-2021, 07:49 PM   #5
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For a 240 there are two things I've discovered that make removal & installation of engines/transmissions much more straightforward and far more stable in terms of hoist positioning.

1) Remove the front sheetmetal and bumper to create a big open hole at the front of the car. This might seem like a big deal but it really isn't. The slam panel comes off with about 10 bolts, the radiator should be already out of the way. On a pre-'86 car the two headlight support panels are fastened in only 3 or 4 places. Remove the side marker lights then disconnect the headlights and remove those as an assembly along with the headlight buckets - the buckets attach via 4 bolts. The bumper has 6 main bolts - 2 big ones down through the structural frame rails and 4 smaller ones that hold the bumper shock brackets at the ends, and then there are two bolts from inside the fenders holding the left and right extremities of the bumper. Once all that stuff is off there's just the lower fascia panel, which usually has one spot weld per side (if it's never been removed), holding it to each fender. Drill those welds out and just use bolts & nuts to reinstall. There are only 6 more bolts holding that fascia panel in. With it gone, you now have a huge open hole to slide the engine and trans out in a forwardly direction, and don't have to lift them very much, just enough for the oil pan to clear the crossmember really. Keeping hoist lift height low means everything is more stable, especially on a bumpy surface.



2) Pull the little clips and pull the pins on the hood hinge bars that are closest to you when you're standing in front of the car. This allows the hood to go fully erect up into service position. Having the hood fully vertical makes clearance to the top of the hoist a non-issue. Of course you can always just remove the hood altogether, but my method doesn't change hood alignment at all and can still be opened and closed (carefully).

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Old 04-06-2021, 08:21 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Duder View Post
2) Pull the little clips and pull the pins on the hood hinge bars that are closest to you when you're standing in front of the car. This allows the hood to go fully erect up into service position. Having the hood fully vertical makes clearance to the top of the hoist a non-issue. Of course you can always just remove the hood altogether, but my method doesn't change hood alignment at all and can still be opened and closed (carefully).
Well, I'll be dipped!
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Old 04-07-2021, 02:39 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobxyz View Post
Things to notice:
- the leveler helps - position it as shown in 1st picture
Agreed wholeheartedly. The leveler is the whizzimigig attached between the chain and the top of the engine -- you spin the crank to change the center of gravity and thereby the tilt. After struggling without one, and then finally trying it with... there's no comparison. Even with just an engine, it makes life easier. If you choose to do the engine/trans together, consider it mandatory. (Or just swear at it for hours as you struggle, and scrape all the paint you wish you could have avoided.)

Very, very good suggestion about creating a build thread with pics. That way, no one has to try very hard to guide you. And someone might even be able to steer you before you find your trouble.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Duder View Post
This allows the hood to go fully erect up into service position.
Hot dog, I'd forgotten that! Even in normal mode, the hood opens so much farther than any other car I've ever seen, I've been awestruck almost every time I even check the oil.
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Old 04-07-2021, 09:31 AM   #8
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Working under the car is going to be necessary and more than a little off the ground. You have exhaust, transmission, especially transmission, drive shaft and shift linkage to deal with. You will need to be about 16" up at the front at least. Even better up and level.

Removing the grill, radiator support and bumper is certainly the easy way to go. More work on radiator, condenser, horns, lights though. Slides right in.
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Old 04-07-2021, 01:13 PM   #9
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If you are going to try and mate the engine to the trans in the car, be prepared to curse for an hour or two trying to get the transmission and engine to line up and go together. My experience from installing exactly one engine.
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Old 04-07-2021, 01:33 PM   #10
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Find a junkyard and practice pulling their engine.
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Old 04-07-2021, 01:34 PM   #11
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I never knew 240's did that vertical hood trick, I thought that was a 700/900 thing. Huh.

I've pulled Volvo drivetrains a fair amount, PV, 122, 140, 240. And I've done it with a variety of techniques - engine by itself, engine and trans together.

IMO, it's somewhat of a wash on labor - pulling them together vs. pulling the engine separately. Granted, this is all with manual cars.

I never bother taking the radiator support/grille out either.

I do use a load leveler on the engine hoist, that's a VERY nice thing to have. Not a 'nice' to have. Well, at least if you're leaving the trans on, and leaving the radiator support in, you'll need to do some large angle changes as the motor comes up and out, you'll be cranking that load leveler from one end to the other. And if you're leaving the trans on, you're probably going to need to lift the front of the car up 6 - 12 inches - to give the tail of the trans enough room to swing down as the engine tilts up to come out between the crossmember and firewall.

Labor is roughly similar to leave the trans in and just undo the bellhousing bolts, wiggle the two apart, and pull the motor up and out. very little tilting needs to happen for this method. Pretty much just forward a bit, up a bit, forward a bit, up a bunch, forward out over the nose of the car.

I've never really had any issues mating up the engine/trans on reinstallation either. Just use a floor jack under the front of the trans (rear still on the trans mount/trans crossmember) to get the height right, and use a load leveler on the motor to get its angle right, and the hoist to get the height right. Have the trans in 4th gear, twist the driveshaft some (or rotate the flywheel/crank) to get the splines to line up, (go back in time and properly align the clutch disc of course!), wiggle, nudge, shove, etc. Just make sure the heights and angles are all correct and it will slide right on together.

On some of my cars I lean toward almost exclusively pulling the engine separate from the trans:
- PV - has a much smaller tunnel, there's very little room for the engine to come up before that hits, and the M41 trans is long... it's jsut awkward as hell, pulling the engine separately is easier.
- 240 with the 16V head - the 16V head is bulkier and taller, when you go to tilt the front of the engine up (and drop the trans) to get it pointed right to come forward up and over the crossmember, the head just hits the firewall. Too snug. Not worth the effort. I had a T5 trans swapped on, 4 bolts, that puppy was off the bellhousing quickly, then just pull the motor upward.

LS motor with the long and wide (TWSS) CD009 trans slid right on in together. Smooth as can be.
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Old 04-07-2021, 02:07 PM   #12
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A harbor freight $110 transmission jack and a couple long bolts with the heads cut off screwed into the engine and the transmission will slide right in. Gonna need concrete or a pretty thick piece of plywood to make this happen.
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Old 04-07-2021, 04:44 PM   #13
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Transmisson jacks are very helpful in extending my cursing and frusrtation until I just bench press the trans in.
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Old 04-07-2021, 04:47 PM   #14
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They're a bit less useful on a 240 where the starter hump on the bellhousing has to be rotated so much as the trans moves toward the motor.
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Old 04-07-2021, 04:53 PM   #15
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Remove both together. Replace the converter seal while it’s apart.
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