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Which way do you remove your GT engine?

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Remove Engine on a GT?

62035 Views 206 Replies 73 Participants Last post by  Yellow73GT
change engine

about to begin removing and replacing my engine.....(GT - 1.9)....in my garage. does anyone have a method of doing this that makes life any easier...?? i have a floor jack, small transmission jack on wheels.....and two jack stands. any ideas appreciated.
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There are two schools of thought:

1) Remove the engine downwards - drop it out from under the car
complete with gearbox.

2) Unbolt the engine from the bellhousing and lift it up and out leaving the bellhousing still attatched to the gearbox in the car.

Just type "engine removal" in the bottom line of the Search Box
over to the left of the screen by moving the cursor arrow over there above the A of the tiny "Advanced" and clicking once to clear that box - then type in engine removal.

All that is known about engine removal, on this site will be listed for you to read through.

PS: I'm a drop it out the bottom man myself - but it does require the front of the car to be lifted about three feet into the air to clear the engine/gearbox unit and allow it to be slid out from under.

Let's know how you get on.
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I'm with GTJim. I follow the factory procedure and drop it out the bottom. You need to lift the body 24 inches off the ground at the front jack point , and 22 inches at the rear jack point (with four TALL jack stands). Kind of like this (by the way, the engine is just being "stored" above the car, while I rebuilt the front suspension and paint the engine compartment. And paint the bathroom, install new hardwood and all the other stuff that is keeping me from finishing the GT).
You can use an engine hoist (I happen to have one slung from a trolley on a ceiling beam), but a transmission jack can probably be made to work. But you will have to lift the car higher to make up for the height of the jack.
This has been discussed ad nauseum in several other threads, so have a look around. There are as many ways to do this as there are GT owners!


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These guys are right, the engine can be taken out the top, but requires more under the car work and the engine has to be tilted down in back to pull it out the top. Everything has to be disconnected for either method. IMHO, take it out the bottom. Rent a cherry picker if you don't have one. After everything is disconnected put the engine on the ground on top of a piece of plywood with the cherry picker, then lift the car off the engine and slide the engine out. See attached pic.


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Keith, a question. How wide is the footprint of your body stands and are they bolted down? I'm just wondering if there's any wobble as it looks like a good setup you have.
if you dont have the things like these people have, it can be changed through the top in a good full day. the only dowfalls i've found pulling through the top is you have to pull the waterpump off and the manifolds need to be taken off, then you can slide the motor far enough forward to get the input shaft out of the flywheel, although it can be a pain in the ass to get the input shaft to slide into the pilot bearing sometimes.
Yes, these are terrific when in use. But a PITA when I have to store them. Which I haven't had to do for a couple of years, which explains why I am storing the engine from the ceiling.

The stands are simply 20 inch "plough" discs (as in agricultural) that have 2 7/8 inch tubing (oil field variety) welded to them. Originally they had saddles welded to the top, but they were a bit taller than required, so I cut the saddles off and notched the top of the tubing to receive the jack point tubes.

If I were to do them again (which I might after I am done this restoration), I would weld half a threaded "collar" (the piece that is used to join tubing joints together in a well bore) to each disc and insert the "pin" (threaded) end into the collar, so they could be disassembled when not in use. It would also give a bit of adjustment for uneven floors.

Here's a picture of one close up:


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When I dropped Kat's GT engine last winter while my stands were in use, I just built a temporary "cribbed" stand using 4X4 timbers, and placed a regular (albeit good quality, 3 ton) jack-stand on top. I added three layers of 4X4's, in a "pyramid" shape, so that the bottom was about 14 inches square, and the top was 12 inches off the ground. That gave a total height of up to 27 inches, adjustable by the jack-stand. I made sure that the stands and cribs were VERY level and stable before I got under the car. The GT may be relatively light, but 2000 lbs will kill you a couple of times over. Here's a picture. DO THIS AT YOUR OWN RISK AND BE VERY CAREFUL!!! There, that's the lawyer stuff out of the way.

For a longer term restoration, I would prefer to build a "dolley" to lift the car on, that allows the body to be "rotisseried" as well as rolled around. The perfect solution would be to have it on a small trailer axle and tires, so it could be towed to the paint shop as well as moved around the garage. There are a few threads here that describe such a beast. Oh, to have unlimited time! And more importantly, unlimited space!!!



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Here's a good thread on this subject: http://opelgt.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=929.

There's a pic in there of the stands I use. They have an acme threaded rod so the height is adjustable.
Living in earthquake country, estimating the intensity of ground shaking, and estimating the odds of earthquakes for clients, it just scares hell out of me to crawl under a car, even one as light as the Opel. So I always throw the wheels & tires under the car as a final wall of defense in case the jack stands buckle, or, in case of one other forum member - an irate wife kicks the jacks out.

Got a question, has anyone figured out an easier method to unbolt the bell housing (specifically the top bolts) when the engine / trans is still in the car? I've done it, but we're talking multiple extensions and universals.
I've taken out the bellhousing bolts a couple of times with the engine/tranny installed. Once I used a regular wrench and slid my hand behind the head from the top, if memory serves, I could only get a little bit of a turn on the wrench, so it took a bit to get the bolts out. Other times I've used a 24 inch 3/8" extension with a universal jount on the end. If push comes to shove, I still prefer to pull the whole ball of wax to get it all out. IMHO, it's a bunch easier to assemble the tranny to the engine with both out of the car. HTH.

I use a box end wrench to get the top two bellhousing bolts. its easier if you use the wrench in the backwards direction from intended use, you know the way the wrench is slightly bent so your fingers fit between the wrench and whatever your working on....? then i discovered the lovely tool called "ratchet wrench"......damn them things made that so much faster, went from 5 minutes takin the top bellhousing bolts out, to about a minute!!!
Question of safety from earthquake country

West Coast GT said:
Living in earthquake country, estimating the intensity of ground shaking, and estimating the odds of earthquakes for clients, it just scares hell out of me to crawl under a car, even one as light as the Opel. So I always throw the wheels & tires under the car as a final wall of defense in case the jack stands buckle, or, in case of one other forum member - an irate wife kicks the jacks out.
This is a little off-topic, since I'm not removing the engine, but I do need to jack up the front high enough to crawl under there. This post got me thinking because I moved to earthquake country and I'm paranoid about working under the car. I believe the jack points on the chassis are still solid and I know other people use them all the time, but in general is it safer to support the car on the suspension crossmember, say right in front of the spring? The only problem with that is that the stands are in the way more there, but I'll work around it if it's safer.
You can use the jacking points for the jackstands no problem. If you're really concerned about unannounced "E- Ticket Rides" put a floor jack under the suspension crossmember and jack it up just enough to touch the crossmember and hold it in place. I've been over and under and through my GT with four jack stands under the four jacking points, no problem. Although my car sits on an inclined driveway, I just run a come-a-long out the front cross member to a concrete anchored fence post, just like you, to be on the safe side. HTH.

I myself do not use the jack points, I have had a few come apart because of unseen rust. I put a jack stand under each end of the front cross member, and I always have that jack under it. Lately I tend to have a cinder block on end the other side of where I am working, if I'm under right front it is by my right side. Note on original thread, seeing the pics of the GT,s high enough to remove the motor out the bottom makes my skin crawl. Not that I have any reason to be scared or anything, but I was thinking about a block and tackle set up tied to the top of the car and my ankle, If the car moves it pulls me out. And a glock, but thats another story.
Nobody, I want you to understand that I did not get under my GT when I had it that high to pull the engine. Notice the come-along attached to the motor. It was anchored to my mail box post, a 4 X 4 set in 12 inches of concrete. If you read my previous posts, you'll note that I use more than just jack stands to anchor the car while I'm under it. I can understand rust being a concern on the jack points, I'm lucky in that regard, the whole underbody of the car was coated in oil after I had two oil filters blow out on me, but that's another story.

I understand that, I am still scared of being under one. It's me I am paranoid but extremely cautious now. I got paranoid the other day when a neighbor went to change his oil in a 4x4 ranger.

I did put this motor and tranny in from the top in one piece tho.

just flashbacks
nobody said:
.....just flashbacks
Made me think of the time I was putting a Chevy drive train in a '48 Ford. I was 16 and had the body held up on jack stands while my friend and I were taking measurements for the '57 Chevy rear end. I was on my back and noticed the car rock a little, yelled to my friend and we rolled out from under it. A few seconds later, the back of the car was flat on the ground. Never went with a single block method since then..... Even while changing brakes, I'll put the tire under the car.
When I was 16, a tire width would have saved my life, and may have actually allowed me to slide out from under the car. Now, I am afraid that a tire would just cause me to be substantially "compressed" :)
I've got wood

aside from the risk of splinters, which isn't that big a deal, I like wood the best for blocks. Little chance of tip over, and can't break or sink into the asphalt.

On my trip to pick up my firetruck, I needed some blocks in a hurry. I stopped at a lumber yard and had an 8' 8x8 cut into 1' chunks. Easily one of the best tool investments I ever made. I usually stack a couple instead of jack stands, and use others to chock the wheels. I also sit one next to me under the car, just somewhere to one side. If there is a fall, the block will bear the weight and I can squirm on out.

I spent a few hours pinned under a Kadett once, and it's no fun. The piece of mind afforded by $20 worth of lumber is very well worth it.
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