Engine Swap – Part 1

In the first post about the swap, I’ll talk about how the physical swap went. Removing the engine is extremely simple and really doesn’t take too much time. The only thing that makes it somewhat challenging is reaching everything that needs to be disconnected. The starter and alternator were particularly annoying.

Drain transmission fluid, disconnect all wires attached to it. Remove shifter, driveshaft and if possible, the PPF. I can not get the rear PPF bolts removed, so I had to struggle with working the transmission around the front of the brace.

Next step is to remove the header and catalytic converter. I’m sure you could wiggle the engine out with the header still attached, but I figured it wasn’t worth the hassle.

I removed the alternator before taking the engine out. This definitely wasn’t ideal thing to do, but I could not get the wire unplugged from it at the angle it was at. This worked out in the end as removing the intake manifold brace made it easier to disconnect the starter.

We didn’t have a load leveler for the engine hoist, so I was under the car pulling down on the back of the transmission to get it to clear everything. Once we started, it only took maybe five minutes to have the engine sitting on the floor. Overall, the process took close to two and a half hours as it was the first time any of use had pulled an engine from a car. I’m sure an hour or so could be shaved off of that time.

Once I had the engine out I needed to swap a few sensors over to the new one. This was pretty straight forward – just find the sensors on the old engine and the corresponding place on the new engine.

We would have had the new engine back in the same day, but we hit a snag with the new flywheel. Other people claim to be able to press the pilot bearing in with a socket or something similar. Couldn’t do it. I ended up slightly messing up the bearing. This meant going to the local Napa to get one they had in stock, then driving 35 miles to a friend that had a 20 ten press. He had the bearing in the flywheel in about two minutes. Lesson learned. After all that, it was six o’clock and figured it wasn’t worth trying to put it all back together that night.

The only other snag was the fuel rail. I purchased a ’99 fuel rail and bolted up the FPR from my car. When I tried to put the intake on, a tiny part of it hit the fuel rail and prevented it from sliding on all the way. I simply notched the part that was hitting with a Dremel. I also notched the area right behind the throttle body where the vacuum line for the FPR comes out. It looked like the vacuum line would bit slightly kinked if I didn’t, so I figured I’d take the safe route and make a little more room now before getting it all back together and find out there was an issue with it. I am also using the 2001 fuel injectors as the ones that came out of my car were too disgusting to even think about putting them back in.

The next morning, I put bolted the transmission up to the new engine, and my Dad and I put it in ourselves. I hooked up all of the connectors that are staying the same (coolant, alternator, power steering, oil sender, main harness connector, etc), and left it at that.

Here are some pictures that a friend took during.


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