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Engine removal and all that!

Engine removal, guidelines

I looked at the various solutions on the web, and feel it is very important to stress basic safety procedures.

Drain the fluids first, then lift; brackets are preferable. The small eye attachments that originally were screwed onto the rocker studs, are adequate, but don't just run a rope thru 'em and hoist away.

The best lifting eyes for the Mini are those fitted to the old 'B' series engines. ie Austin Cambridge. Morris Oxford etc. These engines had lifting hooks fitted to the rocker cover screws and are removed with the cover.

The brackets shown in the Haynes Book Of Lies (HBOL) are the very same items. Some traditional scrapyards may have some if you are lucky. It is important to get the 'angle of dangle' correct when lifting, so that the front of the engine is about 12 inches higher than the rear, thus allowing the gearbox tail to sit under the bulkhead until the front is clear of the cross piece (the bit with the bonnet lock).

The brackets are fitted to each end stud on the front of the engine, and secured with a second nut. This gives the correct angle.

Go find a hardware store and get some shackles, those horseshoe shaped things with screw-out pins, or maybe a rated hook, that fits thru the eye of the attachment or bracket. You can tie a good, strong knot to the bow of the shackle, but don't use anything less than 5/8" diameter rope and double it up, - preferably nylon or polyester. No Manila. Polypropelyne rope, the yellow or black & orange stuff that floats, is marginal at best and won't safely hold a knot if slacked off, so check your knots regularly if you let off load and adjust a lot.

Alloy Chain is the best for lifting from the brackets, as you can use a grade 8 bolt & nut to connect to the bracket. Do not lift with cheap shit stuff, you might regret it. As for lifting with nylon web slings or wire rope ( cable ) run underneath the tranny, remember, it's only aluminum and you should spread the load a little with some wood or extra padding.

Never work underneath an object being hoisted. If you are lifting and get hung up on something in the engine bay, don't force it, you might stress your rig beyond it's limits.

Always try to keep the distance between your hoisting points on the motor and the distance from those points to the hoist hook equal, like an equilateral triangle. If you make the triangle taller than it is wide, so much the better, and never put your hand or anything else inside the triangle. Don't let sharp edges contact your rope if at all possible.

As for the lifting device, a movable hydraulic floor hoist with a long arm is best, but if you use a lever chain hoist, or a hand chainfall, or a lever cable hoist, make sure its at least 1/2-ton safe load limt for capacity, and hook it on something substantial overhead - no broomhandles or just one 2 x 4.

Block and tackle, with rope, is ok, but you better be real sailor to reeve it correctly. Lift the engine out as expeditiously as possible, and get it off of the hoist ASAP. Don't leave it hangin' while you go get a brew or take a leak.

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Engine removal hints

If you remove the grille and cut out the cross member between the headlights (the one the bonnet hooks to) it lets you swing the engine forward easier so that the diff. clears the back of the subframe.

Once the engine is back in, you can reattach the cross member with some 'L' section steel and some hefty rivets. It also makes general engine access easier.

Engine removal hints #2 alternatives to rope

Further to your suggestions another good substitute for rope are lap sash seat belts. The mounting plates at each end of the sash have excelent "eyes" and you can adjust the length with the "sash adjuster" : Steve Coe added by FB 30 04 2003

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Engine removal, summary

Engine removal, which way is best? (I)

I have removed all engines that were going to to be replaced via the hoist, lift and push car out of the way method.

This eliminated having to bleed the brakes after re-assembly. I have found bleeding brakes to be temperamental/fiddly and not always successful.

Also, each removal/replace is usually done on my own. It is not difficult, just time consuming. To get the angle of the motor right I welded a loop to a short length of angle iron which is bolted to the front of the engine by the alternator bracket bolts.

Once on a wreck we removed the engine via the lift body off sub-frame method. This experience turned me off this way. Bottom line - each to his own.

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Engine removal, which way is best? (II)

I did my swap from the top through the bonnet hole with a hoist. I have just taken Merv's engine off from underneath with the subframe.

Here are my experiences:

Bonnet method Subframe method
Good - Easy to raise and lower engine, easy to work on once out. Good - Can be done alone (I did the other day), easy to disconnect bits (clutch, fuel, battery, wires), drop gear remote and exhaust with engine.
Bad - Got to get hoist, got to drift gear rod roll pins, got to remove LCB, got to tilt engine to clear diff, got to disconnect drive shafts, usually needs some helpers. Bad - Body is heavy to lift, got to then get engine off subframe, best to remove wheels/discs, tricky to reassemble (I haven't tried this).

Out of the two methods I found the 'with subframe' method more exhausting, but less hassle. This is how BL assemble them, but any garage would hoist the engine out the bonnet hole.

I found it a lot easier to hoist the engine WITHOUT the radiator fitted, but a lot of people disagree.

Try to drift the gear rod roll pins first. If they won't budge then do the subframe method. These must be disconnected to hoist the engine upwards.

Strip it down a lot first in either case. Head off, carb, inlet, water pump, rad, alto, starter all off. Makes it lighter and easier to work with.

It's good fun!

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Engine removal, which way is best? (III)

My first engine out was achieved by disassembling it in situ and removing the pieces one at a time. I still thought the block was quite heavy then :)

All the other manoeuvres were done by looping a sling around the two ends of the engine, and then tying that to a piece of 2"x4" of about 6-8' length.

To get enough height to clear the front of the engine bay (with the car on axle stands) anyone who is vertically challenged may find it useful to lay a wheel alongside the car to stand on.

Next step is to completely disconnect the engine. (Yes you *can* get the inboard CV's out in situ :) and then raise it within the engine bay on a jack. Now build a small platform about 2' high in front of the car - I used a stack of 3 wheels with a piece of board on top.

Now between 2 of us we place the 2x4 on our shoulders and lift - you can then clear the engine bay, take a small step to one side and lower the engine onto the platform so you can take a breath. From there make a second lift to lower the engine to ground level. You can then easily manoeuvre the engine around. It seems not quite as heavy when it's only 1" off the ground :)

I also found this method very useul as my driveway has a mean slope, which would make an engine hoist very difficult to use, I imagine.

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Engine stands What goes Where? Assembly & Use re: Engine Stand (Clarke CES-500A)

Q: Ive just got a nice new engine stand for this metro turbo engine and i
want to get the engine up on to the stand. However ive been told that i need
to make up a plate to attach the engine to the stand. As i dont have the
means to make up this plate, i want to just fit it straight on, which ive
also been told i can do(?!) so can anyone clarify the best way of doing it?
and where i should bolt the stand to the engine?

Engine stands usually have 3 or 4 sort of radial 'arms' with bolt holes in

You should be able to adjust these arms to match up with existing holes in
your engine.

Likely holes would be the ones for the transfer housing, but the head studs
could probably be used instead.

Answer by Ian (Spag) (added to IME 20 Dec 2002) - -

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