There will come a time when you’ll want to know how to put an engine in a car. In most cases, the engine that originally came with the car is on its last legs and the car needs another, more mechanically sound engine or maybe you just want a high performance replacement that packs a hell of a wallop. No matter the reason, you’ll need to know how to put an engine in your car. Replacing an engine is a pretty big task and it’s not something a complete novice or those who are mechanically disinclined should tackle on their own. Not only can a partner help spot issues you might miss during the process, the job can be done somewhat quicker.
What you’ll need:
- Engine hoist and stand
- Transmission jack
- Power tools
- Eye goggles
- Hand gloves
- New engine
Get the engine and tools. Make sure you have the right engine for your project and any extra accessories you may need on hand. Also, have all of your tools on hand. If you don’t have all of the tools you need, you can always buy or rent them from your local auto parts store.
Prepping the engine bay. The bay should be clear of any accessories that could get in the way when you drop the engine in. Now would be a good time to inspect the motor mounts since they wear with age and cause excess vibration and engine movement. The car should also be on jack stands or, if you have access to one, a hydraulic lift. This should give you better clearance for working underneath the engine bay and keep the car from rolling away.
Installing the engine. Attach the engine to the hoist and carefully move the engine into position. Make sure the mounting points align correctly. When you’re satisfied, carefully lower the engine into place.
Attaching major accessories. Once you have the engine in place, you can focus on installing the engine accessories. Reattach the exhaust headers and shielding, water pump, pulleys, power steering pump, AC compressor, radiator and fans.
Finishing up. At this point, you should be ready to install the belts, distributor, alternator and electrical harnesses. Afterwards, reconnect the fuel lines and engine coolant hoses. Finally, reinstall and reconnect the battery.
Test out the engine. After you’ve reattached your fuel lines, hoses and other accessories, add the appropriate amount of oil and coolant before starting the engine. Let the engine warm up for a few minutes. During this time, you can check for any leaks. When the engine is warm and ready, take the car out for a test drive to make sure everything’s mechanically in order.