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1969 Z28
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I've never pulled an engine before and need some advice before I jump right into it. I'll describe the situation first and then have some questions at the end. Any input is appreciated. Back about the mid 80's the original 302 was pulled and the heads and other parts were taken off and installed on a 327, which is in the car now. I want to take the 327 out, take off all the original 302 parts, and send them and the 302 to the machine shop. The m21 needs some work so now is a good time to pull it as well. I bought a 1 ton folding engine hoist from harbor freight assuming it would work, as well as a engine leveler, and tried to do a "dry run" to make sure it set into place. I had to jack the front of the car up slightly to fit the hoist underneath, but the hoist is too far forward of the center of the engine, just over a foot away, and can't go in any further because it is right up against the bumper. Also the hood is in the way.

1. It appears I need to remove the hood to pull the engine. Is that correct?

2. I need to push the engine hoist closer toward the engine another 16 inches (roughly) and it appears I could gain about that much if I removed the bumper, grille, header panel, etc up until the radiator support. Is that something that is normally done or would that be a big mistake to do? Or did I buy too small of a engine hoist and need a larger one? If so, would the 2 ton from harbor freight work? I might be able to buy a longer piece of square tube and modify the hoist arm to reach deeper into the engine bay, but that seems sketchy.

3. Should I leave the transmission bolted to the engine when I pull it? Someone told me it's a lot easier to install an engine and transmission (especially manual) together, is this true?

I have other questions but they're more about the reinstall process so I'll ask those separately. If anyone has any general advice for pulling an engine I'd be appreciative since it's my first time and the guys helping me don't have a lot of experience either.

Thank you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Your engine hoist should have a sliding adjustment on the beam, everyone I've seen from HF does. that should be plenty to center over the engine, I would think..

Removing the hood is a given. as well as the radiator, and I always remove all the front accessories and drives, it gives you more wiggle room to get the engine out, but not always necessary.

I haven't removed an engine from a Camaro with the trans attached, I know it can be done though, if your lift leveler can adjust to the required angle.
It does have the sliding adjustment, three positions, and I pushed it all the way forward to the outermost position. It's about 16 inches back from centered over the carb so either I modify the hoist, I take off the front end, or I need a bigger hoist. Not sure which is better.



If you pull it with the transmission attached either drain the transmission first and/or get a plug for the tail shaft to keep it from dumping oil on your floor. You just need to have enough room for your boom on the lift to go up so it can get it all high enough for the tranmission to clear the fenders / header panel area. You can lift the tailshaft to get somewhat raised but the engine still needs to be pretty high up. How much room do you have overhead for your crane boom before you hit something above?
Thank you, I will try and drain the transmission and will get a plug regardless. I have not checked clearance above but will tomorrow. There isn't a ton of room, just a standard 1960's garage. The driveway is "somewhat" flat so I suppose I could push it out if needed.

1) you need to remove the hood. Use a pencil to mark where hinges are on the hood so you can line it up when putting back on.

2) Do you have the boom extended? Your small block and tranny are far less than a ton in weight, thinking the HF hoist boom has adjustments that can extend it out.

3) pull engine and tranny together. You will need a floor jack under the transmission to allow crossmember removal. Lower down tranny as you lift engine.

Don’t forget:

A) Have an extra set of hands, hard to do by yourself.
B) Pull distributor before removing the engine or you will have clearance issues when lowering tranny
C) Plug tranny or you will have fluid everywhere. (you will only make this mistake once)
D) As noted above remove radiator and all drives. Don’t forget wires or ground straps
E) You will need someone to grab tranny by the tail and lift over front of car, your HF hoist won’t lift the assembly that high.
F) take lots of pictures, they will help you remember things when putting an engine back with in
Thank you, extremely helpful. Like I said though the boom is extended as far as it will go so either I pull parts off the front end or get a bigger hoist. If you think getting a bigger hoist is vastly easier then I'll probably go that route.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Here's the pictures I took. The first picture kind of shows how far back the hoist is when it is forward all the way. about 16in back from the carb, where I'm assuming is where it should be roughly. The second picture shows how close it is to the bumper and can't be moved any closer without removing parts of the front end. The third picture shows the settings on the arm. I mistakenly thought it was three settings, it's actually four but regardless is at the furthest setting. I'm leaning toward getting a bigger hoist unless anyone thinks it's not that big a deal to pull the front end off. I'll defer to your guys experience about whether or not that is worth doing versus getting another hoist that is long enough. I bought this hoist thinking it would suffice, I had no idea it wouldn't be long enough, I know camaros have long hoods by today's standards but it's no Monte Carlo with a football field hood.
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Never get underneath it when suspended. Bad enough if lift cylinder fails and drops an engine on your car, much worse if it drops on you or your helper.
Have a stand or cradle ready to accept.Years ago summit sold a cradle for like $30 bucks. Were
cheap POS but they worked.
Good safety advice. I do have two cradles waiting for each motor plus an engine stand as a backup.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Before you pull the hood, instead of pencil tracing, drill a 3/16” hole through the hinge into the hood mounting surface. (Carefully!). When you bolt the hood back on, use the drill bit as a locating dowel to get the alignment just right. The hole is small enough to not be noticeable, but it will survive sanding and paint.
Good idea, thank you. I may not end up keeping the current hood but will treat it as if I'm going to.

1. Yes, remove the hood.

2. The hoist you have doesn't extend the boom out farther? The Harbor Freight 2-ton hoist extends from 41" to 61". At the farthest setting you are down to a 1/2-ton rating. That's dicey if you plan to pull the trans too. Most long reach hoists will be more like 8-ton rated. You know that tool rental places usually have hoists, right?

3. If you have a manual trans, they are easy to drop (leave the bellhousing on the engine). This is the time to check the clutch situation.
That's as far as it extends in the picture. I need to measure to see if the 2 ton from harbor freight will reach or not. I might end up renting one.

2ton hoist would be the better choice.
Seems like that's the best option, I'm trying to determine which will reach.

If in a garage, look into attic to see if you can add some beef up on celling joists to use them to pull engine. Then go get a block and tackle , or -come-a-long ratchet system or a boat winch with steel cable to lift the engine out. I have used all three in my 45 years of pulling engines. Just need to add pulleys and any support to do it safely and easily.

Or get a larger hoist which has the needed depth from cylinder you need to pull engine. I think I got the 3 ton HF hoist 11 years ago and it has worked for me, so far, but I haven't pulled a Camaro engine with it.

Either way, you will need to change something to engine out, then back in. I would attempt modifying a 1 ton hoist to work as any mod will reduce it lifting capability. You are already at 1/4 ton (500 lbs) lift point that would be considered a barely safe minimum to pull the engine & transmission.

Don't cheap on this tool for your garage. It can create more damage than you want, if it fails.
If I had a bigger garage I'd consider an overhead system but the garage is small and cramped and I'd need to add structure. Maybe in the future.

I would get a different hoist before I took the front clip apart to make that one work. The job can be so much easier with the right lift and reduce the risk of damaging your car pulling the engine.

I would pull that carburetor off and get a lift plate that bolts to the intake manifold too. The Z-Bar for the clutch pedal linkage needs to come off too, that's an easy thing to overlook.

Before you start lifting the engine, tie up everything you've disconnected so you can roll the body if you find you need to move to your driveway to have enough overhead room to lift the engine.

Where are you located? Might be someone on the forum that can help if you are close to them.
Thank you. I do have a lifting plate. I may end up doing it on the driveway which is "kind of" flat. I'm located in San Diego.

Might as well add my take on it :)

1. Definitely need a bigger hoist. That one is way too small :( Might be easier to just rent one if you are only doing this one time.

2. I have never pulled an engine and trans together and just cannot imagine feeling comfortable doing it that way and I have been doing this stuff for a loooong time :) I do know one guy that put a Muncie tailhousing through his windshield many years ago :(

3. Pulling the hood makes it a lot easier but its not 100% needed.

4. Although I have done it alone a few times it is really a 2 person job in my opinion.
The bigger hoist seems like the inevitable choice. Sucks that i just bought the other one.

One more take:

I have R & R'ed many engines in my garage. I realize you don't have one of these suspended from a 5.25"X16" microlam beam above your garage
by Larry Madsen, on Flickr

Even with this I would be hard pressed to try and install (or remove) the engine w/trans attached ... alone/by myself.

I always use this (home-made) engine plate on the carburetor mount to hook up
by Larry Madsen, on Flickr

I removed the 350 from my Camaro (for my current build) with the trans attached, but I had my Son here to assist. I prefer to install them with the trans attached as well. It just makes the reassembly process much easier, but I wouldn't even think seriously about doing it alone.

I can easily drop an (or pull) engine and bell housing by myself with this set-up.

When installing (or removing) both at once you need to be able to maneuver the tail downward as you move the engine rearward (or forward) in the bay ... not a simple task. I would certainly want the radiator out of the bay to allow more front to rear space. If you had the adjustable engine mount that allows you to tilt the angle of the engine & trans you might stand a chance doing it alone ... assuming you are a daring soul. ;)
I'll have help for sure, at least one other able bodied guy but there will probably be several others.

Your hoist is too small. You can't modify it safely without running the risk of the lifted weight being out past the hoists forward wheels and possibly tipping. Buy or rent a 2 ton hoist. Drill 2 small holes in each hood hinge for easier re-alignment or mark the hinge locations using tape as an outline. I've done it both ways. Here's a pic of my 2 ton hoist when I installed the engine in my 67. Note the height comparing to the 8' ceiling height. Don't hook to the engine too short or you'll loose tilt and can bind.
Thank you for bringing my attention to that. The garage door frame, which I'll have to maneuver around, is 82 inches high. I may end up having to move the camaro to the driveway which is sort of flat.

Get the Harbor freight 2 ton. I have only pulled the engine with out the transmission once and to many times with always small block muncie combo. I have an extra yoke to stick in the back of the transmission you can put a plastic bag around for added security. As mentioned above hood off, rad out, accessories off. Carb plate works good have done it with chains as well, prefer carb plate.
Doo you suggest pulling the engine and trans together? I bought a plug that's supposed to jam in the back to stop leaks, but I'll try and drain as much as I can beforehand.
 

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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
Get the Harbor freight 2 ton. I have only pulled the engine with out the transmission once and to many times with always small block muncie combo. I have an extra yoke to stick in the back of the transmission you can put a plastic bag around for added security. As mentioned above hood off, rad out, accessories off. Carb plate works good have done it with chains as well, prefer carb plate.
I'm thinking that's the route to go. Either buy it and sell the 1-ton or I rent a 2 ton as needed and keep the 1-ton for moving engines around separately. Leaning toward buying the 2 ton just for the convenience of having it handy.

Harbor Freight 2 ton reaches fine. Princess Auto too short Canadian. I have always pulled together as mentioned. It is 6 of one half dozen of the other. If you do not remove transmission make sure it is supported.
Thank you

A two ton lift is what you need. Your wife will appreciate your new tool. It is good for pulling out old trees and bushes in the yard. I use my truck for the front yard.
She was pissed when I told her I needed another one. LOL. Let's just say I have a lot of things and it irritates her to no end.

LOL I did fence posts as well.
Nice!

Yes you need a 2 ton hoist to pull a V8 engine and transmission. Those HF 1-ton units are for 4 cylinder engines.
Thanks. I wish I had looked more into it before buying the first one. At least I used it a couple times and can sell it and get some money back.

All good advice.

And if you slice a finger open, forget a Band-Aid. Grab a paper towel/rag and the electrical tape and just wrap it up. Last a lot longer and easily replaced.
I work in construction and we call that a carpenter's bandage. Different trades call them similar names. Always doing tailgate triage out on jobs.

Have always pulled both as a unit mostly by myself except for the hood. You need the two ton. never used a leveler, just chains but leveler would have been easier that ratcheting the chain over the hook. Never crushed any body parts, mine or the car. But that was long ago, This many years later might look at it differently. pain is easier to get and harder to recover from.
Thank you, good advice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #41 ·
I went ahead and bought the 2 ton. It seems to be able to reach just fine. I ditched the jack stands under the subframe and mocked up some wood blocks to clear under the car, will probably take one out but just testing to see how high I need to go. I will end up needing to move out of the garage and onto the driveway to do the pull, which fortunately is wide and long enough. It's relatively flat but not completely. Using my 6 foot level it showed about a 3 inch drop over six feet. Not ideal but it'll have to do.


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Discussion Starter · #43 ·
I'm pulling the engine and transmission on Saturday, trying to prep before my help arrives. Radiator is out, fan and shroud are off, carb is off, lifting plate is on, fuel lines and radiator hoses and heater hoses disconnected, driveshaft is out. I drained the fluids as best as I can and have a plug and bag over the back of the transmission. I still need to disconnect the power steering hoses and various wires and pull the distributor. I have some questions though:

1. Do I need to disconnect the Z bar?

2. If I'm pulling the engine and trans together, do I unbolt the transmission crossmember and slide it back?

3. Do I need a transmission jack?

4. Should I unbolt the headers from the block or unbolt the exhaust pipes from the headers instead?

5. How do I remove the Hurst shifter? Is there a way to do it from inside the car?
 

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Discussion Starter · #46 ·
Got it out with some help. The only hang up was pushing the transmission crossmember out of the way, which I think was hung up because of really thick road grime with lots of sand stuck in it. Not sure how we ended up getting it out exactly, just wiggled it for a few minutes and somehow it slid out.

The 2 ton hoist worked like it should. I ended up keeping the 1 ton which helped me maneuver things in my yard. I have a narrow walkway between the garage and house which the 2-ton won't fit through without folding, so having one hoist in the front of the garage and one in the yard ended up being really convenient.

Transmission is off at the shop getting rebuilt, just got the driveshaft balanced and new u-joints pressed in, I'm currently cleaning the engine bay that is filled with literal pounds of grease and road grime (filled a shoebox nearly halfway full), going to wash the engine bay this weekend and hopefully have the engine bay painted by next week, and have the engine sent off to the shop.


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Discussion Starter · #48 ·
If it's the original engine...make sure the shop does not deck it, or at least makes sure they don't take the deck stampings off if they do deck it.
Yes it’s the original and I’m going to make sure to tell the shop to be careful with it.I’ll have a long conversation ahead of time about preserving the numbers
 
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