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#1
FTodaro

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I am going to swap the motor out of my 1999, with a crate motor. The book I am reading about the topic says that It is easier to either pull the trans with the motor or drop the trans first. The process of re installing the motor with the trans in place is difficult to get it aligned up again. Just wondered if it was that big of a deal, as I was wanting to leave the trans in place and just swap the motor.

How difficult is it to just pull the motor and then reinstall it compared to pulling both.

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#2
MPR22

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I am going to swap the motor out of my 1999, with a crate motor. The book I am reading about the topic says that It is easier to either pull the trans with the motor or drop the trans first. The process of re installing the motor with the trans in place is difficult to get it aligned up again. Just wondered if it was that big of a deal, as I was wanting to leave the trans in place and just swap the motor.

How difficult is it to just pull the motor and then reinstall it compared to pulling both.

Its super simple to just pull both, once you get the new engine bolted to the trans it slides right back in.
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#3
Keith Novak

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I've pulled my motor about 6 times, so I'm no expert but suddenly there are several extra things you're trying to line up all at once, while lowering the engine on a cherry picker. Sounds like a freakin' nightmare to me. I'd bet you'll get the engine 2/3 in, try to get the spines lined up with the engine turned and tilted a bit funny and decide this was not such a good idea.

I pull the motor with the trans. Set it on the floor with some blocks of wood to help level it out. It does take a few minutes with a load leveler to keep raising/lowering and tilting the motor, but I've dropped the trans first and wouldn't do it that way again. It's really only about 15 minutes or so solo in or out.

Granted I have a '95 but they're not THAT much different. I do remove the header and the steering column but that's pretty quick once you resolve yourself to the fact you're going to do the head-first into the footwell operation to remove the steering column.
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#4
FTodaro

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I have a floor lift with a load leveler, I am just not sure I can lift both the trans and the motor high enough to get them both to clear the the bumper. Are you using a floor hoist type or do you have a ceiling mount type. I will put both together if I can clear the car with them.

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#5
Keith Novak

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I have a floor lift with a load leveler, I am just not sure I can lift both the trans and the motor high enough to get them both to clear the the bumper. Are you using a floor hoist type or do you have a ceiling mount type. I will put both together if I can clear the car with them.


I don't have a lift. I get the car up about 20 inches or so on my big jackstands to give room for me on the creeper under the car, and your standard 2 ton harbor fright engine hoist. The important thing I learned doing it that way is don't have the front end of the car too close to the garage door. (I don't have a huge garage.) If it's too close to the door, I can't back the hoist up enough before the door gets in the way, and if I roll the door up, it leaves very little clearance up above for the hoist arm. If you watch your clearances, it's not too hard with a standard 7' high garage door and probably 6' of clearance to the door to maneuver the hoist. I keep my load leveler well lubed because there's lots of leveling going on. Move a few inches, look where everything sits, change the angle, repeat as necessary.

If I had a lift, my first thought would be drop the front subframe, then drop the engine rather than lift it, but not having one, I don't know what tools it would take, and whether it's actually easier.
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#6
Keith Novak

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BTW- doing it that way I'm trying to clear the hood latch, not the bumper. I take the hood off and the radiator out but otherwise I just angle lift and pull.
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#7
FTodaro

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BTW- doing it that way I'm trying to clear the hood latch, not the bumper. I take the hood off and the radiator out but otherwise I just angle lift and pull.

Thanks Keith, I think I am going to give it a go pulling both out. everything I have read says its a B%8ch to put the motor back in and align it if you don't pull the trans too. I think I have the room to get the hoist out in front of the car.

How critical is it to pull the steering column? Have not seen that recommended.

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#8
Dan Cooper

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Thanks Keith, I think I am going to give it a go pulling both out. everything I have read says its a B%8ch to put the motor back in and align it if you don't pull the trans too. I think I have the room to get the hoist out in front of the car.

How critical is it to pull the steering column? Have not seen that recommended.


You don't need to touch the steering column. With my harbor freight engine hoist, i find it easier to take the bumper off in order to get directly over the engine.

If you don't have a leveler, someone putting some pressure on the trans to get it out of the shift boot hole and also getting angle over the sway bar is very effective.

Once you do it once, it's pretty simple.
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#9
Keith Novak

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You don't need to touch the steering column. With my harbor freight engine hoist, i find it easier to take the bumper off in order to get directly over the engine.

If you don't have a leveler, someone putting some pressure on the trans to get it out of the shift boot hole and also getting angle over the sway bar is very effective.

Once you do it once, it's pretty simple.


I think I found "remove the steering column" in the Miata enthusiasts manual. Quick and not horribly difficult unless you're claustraphobic and it does take one extra thing to clunk into out of the way. Haven't done it without but sounds like it's not necessary.
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#10
Dan Cooper

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I think I found "remove the steering column" in the Miata enthusiasts manual. Quick and not horribly difficult unless you're claustraphobic and it does take one extra thing to clunk into out of the way. Haven't done it without but sounds like it's not necessary.


Put it this way:

I've never thought to take it out because it doesn't get in the way. I suppose it would give you more side to side room but once you take either motor mount off, you shouldn't need much more than that.

I can see how it would be a convenience though...
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#11
Cy Peake

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The problem with removing the engine/trans as one unit is the height that the car is at. If it's not high enough you won't be able to tilt the assembly enough to clear the firewall without the tail of the trans contacting the floor and stumping the entire project. The steering column is easy to get out...one bolt on the rack and 4-5 under the dash. Makes changing the exh manifold easier too.

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#12
FTodaro

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I got the motor out with the trans. Not really that difficult. I used a Harbor Fright motor lift and worked perfect. Having a load level bar was a must however.

We will see how things go when we put the motor back in.

I did run into one bump in the road. The crate motor has a real small threaded shaft for the oil filter to thread onto. and the old motor has a real long threaded shaft that the water cooling device threads onto. I assume that is what it is anyway, the oil filter threads into it. I need to figure out how to swap this out on the crate motor.

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