<VV> engine only vs engine and trans removal review (with procedure outline)

Ray Rodriguez III grymm at echoes.net
Thu Oct 1 07:01:45 EDT 2009

Someone mentioned I should post back after trying this out and give my opinion, so here we go...

Last time I took the engine and trans out of my 65' Corsa the conventional way.  This week I took the engine out of my 66' Corsa to change a bad pilot bushing using the "engine ONLY" alternative removal method.

This being the first time, and not having detailed step by step instructions it was a learning experience, and thus took me MUCH longer then it will the next time (now that I know what order to things etc.).  I also moved VERY slowly because I was afraid to damage anything.  Still I found it much less work then the conventional removal procedure.  Re-installing the engine was also much easier than I expected...  it took hardly any time at all and I managed it alone and with a standard floor jack and a good size piece of 2x12.

Next time I expect I'll be able to have the engine out in no time at all, which is good because I have to take the engine back out of the 65'.  

My biggest concern was all the warnings I got about the possibility of damaging the differential "snout".  Using the "Guide pins" idea some of you mentioned I found that this was no problem at all.....  I felt there was zero risk to the snout.  I used three guide pins.

Here is a rough outline of the procedure for the archives:

Disconnect everything in the engine room that will interfere with engine removal (throttle linkage, wiring, ground straps, air cleaner assy., heater hose etc.).  Pop the perimiter seal loose of the engine shrouds.  

It is best you remove the oil filter mount assembly, you can get away without doing this if its the kind of car you dont mind some scraping and scratching in the engine room... it will make some scratches and dent the perimiter seal retainer if you dont remove it... the filter adapter catches on the perimiter seal retainer as the engine drops.  Since the 66' has an unrestored engine room I just used a "shoehorn" method rather then remove the adapter.

Jack up rear of car as high as possible and place safety stands (as high as possible) just forward of the rear wheel arches.  Rear of the car 30" off the ground recommended, My jack/stands wouldnt get that high (maybe 26") but I didnt have any problem.  Be certain to chock the front wheels.

Under car disconnect fuel line, starter wiring, heater hoses etc. 

Remove rear body panel/grill.

Depending on your exhaust you might have to remove that, mine was able to stay on the engine.

Place jack under engine and raise till its supported.

Remove rear mount nuts.

Slowly lower the engine until the engine is level (if you are less then 30" up you might have to go down past level as I did).  It will get to the point where it wont drop any lower, when this happens jack it back up a bit so its not hanging and straining things more then need be.

Remove the heater hose adapter sheet metal from the front of the engine, they are blocking two of the bellhousing bolts.

Remove Starter

Use wood blocks and/or a jack on TOP of the differential to prevent the differential from moving back up when you remove the engine....  I used wood blocks and a bottle jack.  Be sure to use a nice wide wood block on top of the diff so you dont put strain on the sheetmetal top diff cover and damage it.

Remove bellhousing bolts one at a time.  Replace removed bolts with home made guide pins.  (Buy three or four 6 inch long bolts, cut off the heads... cut to the longest length you can get in place and round off the cut end).  I got three guide pins in and it worked great, best bet is probably 4 for added safety... the two bottom bolt holes and the two that were blocked by the heater hose nozzles.

Roll the engine jack back away from the diff/trans a couple inches.

Use a pair of vice grips with tape on them to grab the trans input shaft and slide it back into the trans/diff

Continue to inch the engine back away from the car untill it clears the guide pins.  Guide pins will keep anything from even touching the snout.

Once clear of the guide pins lower jack all the way and roll out from under the car.... depending on how tall your jack is and how high you got the car it might be a tight squeeze.

To re-install simply reverse the procedure.

Make sure to match angles on engine and trans before starting onto the guide pins, I wound up shimming the front of the engine up a little on my jack to get it to line up nicely.

To get the splines lined up on the input shaft I put a breaker bar and socket on the harmonic balancer bolt.  Set the e-brake to keep the rear wheels (and therefore diff) from turning.   I used the breaker bar to turn the engine a little at a time, and tried pushing the engine forward into place untill it went.  If you have a hard time getting the input shaft engaged fine tune your alignment of engine to diff up down, left and right.

Ray Rodriguez III
CORSA member
66' Corsa 140/4 coupe
65' Corsa 140/4 coupe (under construction)

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