How to Change a Car Engine

A car engine is a vital component of a car, and a faulty car engine is analogous to a defective heart in a human being. Changing the engine of a car can be a very demanding task to an individual regardless of the experience of the person.

The entire procedure differs with vehicles, so it’s imperative the instructional manual of the vehicle is consulted before making this change. However, the overall process has a set of basic steps common to most cars. These fundamental steps are grouped into two different phases:

Detaching the Faulty Engine

This phase consists of initially dismantling the hood of the vehicle since the hood obstructs the removal of the car engine. Dismantling the hood would require you to remove the bolts holding the hood in place, and this should be done with caution.

The working of every engine is dependent on their utilization of different fluids such as the engine oil and the coolant in the same way we require. Some fluids will need to be discharged before you remove the engine such as the engine oil and the coolant. Do not attempt to use the discharged fluids in the new engine rather the discharged fluids should be stored after which each of the fluids can be disposed of.

Detach every connection the exhaust system and the cooling system has with the engine of the car. Also, detach the intake from the engine by disconnecting the pipe that enters the throttle plate in the engine. Adequate use of your car manual will provide more details of the intricate location of every component which should be disconnected. It should be noted that unlocking the exhaust system of a car could be an arduous task so a water displacing spray such as WD40 should be used with an adequate breaking bar.

To effect a change in the engine, you will need to detach the wires connecting the different components. Later car models have more intricate wiring compared to older models. Tread with caution when detaching the wires of your car as they could get mangled if not handled carefully. The manual of your car should play a vital role in locating every wire within the car.

Though the exact location of the transmission varies with the car, its connection with the car engine is always the same – at the back of the engine. Remove the bolts which connect the transmission and the engine. After disconnecting the engine from the transmission, the transmission should be held in place by the use of a transmission jack. While removing the bolts do not do so one by one, loosen all the bolts before removing each of the bolts.

Every car engine has about three motor mounts which serve as cushions reducing the impact of vibrations on the user. These motor mounts made of steel and rubbers are connected to the engine through a bolt. Using two wrenches, secure the motor mount in place while loosening the bolt from another end. Depending on how you envisaged the removal of the old engine, you might require a cherry picker if you intend lifting the engine from above or an engine jack if you prefer lowering the engine to the ground. Lowering the engine to the ground requires supporting the engine on an engine jack and subsequently removing any cross member encountered. Lifting the car engine requires the use of a cherry picker to lift the engine up. Extreme caution has to be taken to avoid the engine dangling aimlessly putting you and your car at risk.

The Setup of the New Engine

Ideally, before you begin the process of changing your car or 4×4 engine, you should have a replacement ready. Conventionally, there are two ways to obtain a car engine if you don’t already have one: By purchasing a new or refurbished motor from retailers or by obtaining one from another vehicle with the permission of the owner. Whichever means you choose the engine should still be in good shape.

Before having the engine setup in your car ensure the new and old engines are similar in all ramifications. There are engine codes on the engine, and this assists you in deciding if that is the proper engine for your vehicle. Should there be any of the complementary components of the engine absent, then it should be replaced with the old engine.

Place the new engine in the location vacated by the old engine using the ideal method for your vehicle by either using an engine jack to support the engine from below or by using the cherry picker and lifting the engine into the bay. Ensure the engine doesn’t swing around when lifting it into place. Avoid removing the cherry picker as soon as the engine is aligned as this could be dangerous.

Using wrenches, connect the motor mounts with the engine after the engine is in its rightful place. Ensure the cherry picker is not removed from all three motor mount are connected with the engine. Removing the cherry picker puts the pressure on the car. Ensure no segment of the motor mounts is damaged before connecting mounts to the engine.

After connecting the motor mounts, the transmission is connected to the motor engine using the bolts loosened previously. Ensure the transmission aligns with the engine perfectly during and after connecting the engine. In ensuring the bolts are tightened expertly, a torque wrench might be required.

As stated earlier, the time and effort required to connect the necessary wires to the engine are dependent on the time of manufacture of the car. Cars produced more recently are quite intricate to connect their wires to the engine compared to cars of an older model. Also, this is dependent on the manufacturer of the car since every firm has its unique technique. If the wires are not connected appropriately to the engine, then either the performance of the engine is affected negatively, or the interior of the car is affected or both.

Connecting the cooling system, the exhaust system and any other components disconnected when the old engine was removed is a very important but laborious but time consuming task. Any component not present in the new engine will have to be removed from the old engine and connected as well.

The intake is a component that should be placed back in its position and connected to the air filter and the throttle plate in the engine. Before you reinstate the intake, confirm it has no openings.

Connect the radiator to the coolant pipes from the engine. Use the appropriate tool such as a hand wrench in tightening the pipes. Avoid using excessive force in tightening the pipes as this could damage the pipes.

Cross examine the engine for any components which isn’t connected. Ensure all sections of the engine are well connected before you start the ignition because turning on the engine with a wrong connection puts your new engine at risk.  After confirming that all components of the engine are properly connected, fill up the radiator with water and a coolant mixture in equal proportions. Fill the engine adequately with quality engine oil. Your instructional manual should provide adequate details on the exact amount of oil required for your engine.

To ensure your new engine and the other components of your car glides, drive the car around at different speeds for a certain distance. Then accelerate for a while then apply the brakes. Try the same process but increasing the acceleration. After this exercise, there should be a rapport between the components of the car. Endeavor to drain the engine oil and replace it appropriately. The durability of your engine is assured if this process is properly done.

In conclusion, changing a car engine is an arduous task, requiring skill, time and perseverance.