The first thing youre going to need is an engine hoist. Make sure the legs are low enough to fit under your car and the reach is long enough. If at all possible, get a hoist with a valve handle that is not activated with the jack handle. A lever makes it much easier to control while lowering the engine. We love our BlueBird hoist, but good ones can be mail-ordered from Harbor Freight for as low as $199.99. Our local rentals are around $35 a day. The first thing youre going to need is an engine hoist. Make sure the legs are low e Your next choice is whether youll pull the engine with or without the trans attached. With manual trannies, we almost always remove the trans and leave the bellhousing on the engine. When doing this, or when leaving an auto trans in the car, you can often pull the engine almost straight up. That allows you to use a lift plate that bolts to the carb flange. We found ours at Jegs for $19.99. Your next choice is whether youll pull the engine with or without the trans attached If you’re going to leave the trans attached, then you’ll need to angle the engine/trans combo a bunch when removing it. That’s tough with a pull plate, so a weight-rated chain attached to sturdy bolt holes on the front and rear of the cylinder heads is best. This gives you the option of grabbing the chain in a number of places to cant the engine. Wanna spend more for trick stuff? TD Performance sells an engine-tilting tool so you can adjust the angle as you pull. If you’re going to leave the trans attached, then you’ll need to angle the engin Unless you’re living in the s, your street machine has a hood. And unless you have a 5.0 Mustang and can open the lid really wide, the hood’s gonna have to come off to remove the engine. You’ll mess up the alignment unless you mark the hinges so the hood can be bolted back on in the same place. You can scratch marks with a screwdriver, outline the hinge with a marker, or be more friendly by using masking tape, as shown. Once the hood is on, ease it down to make sure it fits correctly or you might chip the paint. Also, your new engine might have a taller intake--don’t put a zit in the center of the hood with the carb stud. Unless you’re living in the s, your street machine has a hood. And unless you When removing the radiator, make sure to properly dispose of the antifreeze; animals love the taste, but it kills ’em grotesquely. Once we removed the radiator, we put the hoses back on it so we didn’t have to remember how they went; it’s also a good way to store the hose clamps. Don’t forget the heater hoses too. It’s most convenient to remove the engine with the most possible drive accessories still attached, but it’s common to have to unbolt at least the fan so the engine can clear the radiator support as it’s removed. When removing the radiator, make sure to properly dispose of the antifreeze; animals love If the car you’re working on has air conditioning, unbolt the compressor from the engine without undoing the hoses and releasing the high-pressure refrigerant into the atmosphere. Use the same technique for the power-steering pump to avoid a mess. Just leave the A/C compressor and the pump plumbed into the engine compartment. Mechanic’s wire can also be used to support the transmission if you leave it in the car once the engine is removed. If the car you’re working on has air conditioning, unbolt the compressor from the eng It’s easy to overlook the one or two electric cables that attach to the starter studs. If the headers clear, when you’re removing the trans or bellhousing with the engine, it might not be necessary to unbolt the starter. To make swaps simpler, Moroso offers a quick-connect starter plug for GM or Tilton starters (PNs 74250 and 74245, respectively). Note that we removed this 318 Mopar with the bellhousing and clutch fork intact. It’s easy to overlook the one or two electric cables that attach to the starter studs It’s rookie, but it works: Use masking tape and a marker to label all the wires and vacuum hoses you remove from the engine, or else you’ll forget where they go. Be careful not to obliterate your labels if you wash the engine compartment while the engine is removed. You can also aid reassembly by shooting pictures of all the linkage and accessory-drive brackets before you unbolt them. Quick tip: Frequent engine swappers put all the wiring on quick-disconnects to save time. It’s rookie, but it works: Use masking tape and a marker to label all the wires and v There’s lots of linkage to remove: throttle, kick-down, TV, shifter, and clutch. Again, take photos. Here we’ve removed the carb to use a lift plate, and if we cared about the engine we would have taped the plenum closed The distributor cap was removed, as that’s usually necessary just to prevent smashing it. If you use a chain to lift the engine, you might need to pad the carb and distributor with rags. There’s lots of linkage to remove: throttle, kick-down, TV, shifter, and clutch. Agai Exhaust manifolds often neednt be removed, but with full-length headers, theres no choice. Soak all the exhaust bolts with rust penetrant long before you begin. When youre unbolting the headers, take note of the bolts that go into the water jacket. Its best to put studs in those locations to ease future R&R, assuming the headers have room to slide on and off the studs. Also take note of the location of any specialized header bolts, such as those on 440 Mopar manifolds. Finally, keep in mind during engine removal that some headers capture suspension components and may not slide upward out of the car without some disassembly of the suspension. Exhaust manifolds often neednt be removed, but with full-length headers, there With an auto trans, it’s virtually impossible to avoid massive leakage unless you drain it by dropping the pan. Otherwise, the dipstick is sure to come out and puke everywhere. We always plug the tailshaft with a spare yoke to prevent spillage, but even some rags and duct tape will help. With an auto trans, it’s virtually impossible to avoid massive leakage unless you dra We normally remove a manual trans from the bellhousing before pulling the engine; otherwise the engine would need to be pulled straight forward very far to disengage the trans input shaft. We never remove the motor-mount bolts until the trans is removed (no need dropping the engine on your head) and always support the engine with one floor jack while we use a second to manipulate the tranny. We normally remove a manual trans from the bellhousing before pulling the engine; otherwis The very last thing to do before yanking the engine is to remove the motor-mount bolts (usually one per side, sometimes two), but never stick your finger in the mount-bolt hole while fishing out the bolt. Now you’re ready to hook up the hoist and battle the headers and anything you forgot to unhook as you and a friend work out the engine. You’ll usually have to use a jack under the tranny and repeatedly work the engine up, forward, and eventually out of the car without bashing the firewall or the radiator support or draining fluid everywhere. The loose engine should be put on a stand (many are under $100 from Harbor Freight), but it can also rest in the center of a used tire. The very last thing to do before yanking the engine is to remove the motor-mount bolts (us All the loose bolts always end up in the battery tray, and they always get mixed up and lost. It’s best to take the time to bag them and label them as they are removed so you can remember where they go when you’re ready to reinstall an engine weeks or even years later. All the loose bolts always end up in the battery tray, and they always get mixed up and lo It's a grueling task, but all gearheads have to do it. Pulling engines is a fact of life. Motors demand more-power upgrades; stuff breaks; and you haven't lived until you've bought a beater, pulled the engine, and sent the body to the junkyard all in the same day. Some guys swap engines so often that they should have Velcro motor mounts. But if you're not at that point, then jerking out an 800-pound chunk of iron from under the hood is probably way intimidating. That's understandable if you need to yank the engine from a late-model car with every trick gizmo, every computer-controlled option, and miles of smog stuff. Frankly, we'd hate to be you. But if you have a typical fullsize, carbureted musclecar, you should have no problem liberating the engine in a couple of hours. That's why we're here to give you a few pointers. Enjoyed this Post? Subscribe to our RSS Feed, or use your favorite social media to recommend us to friends and colleagues!