After many hours of difficult, dirty work and hard-earned dollars spent, you’ve almost reached the point where you can reap the rewards. The average manufacturer’s shop manual reads, “Reassemble in reverse order of disassembly,” or words to that effect. Well I’m here to tell you that it isn’t quite that simple. But with proper planning and preparation, getting the engine back into the car shouldn’t be too difficult.
This is a great time to break out your notes and photographic record of the steps taken during the engine removal and give them the onceover. I prefer to leave as many of the bolt-on accessories off the engine as possible during installation for two reasons. First, without accessories, the engine is more compact and easier to manipulate. Second, access to important things such as engine mounts is much easier with as few obstructions as possible.
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Take the time to prepare the engine compartment by ensuring that all wires, linkages, etc. are safely out of the way. Make sure that the car is level and secure from rolling or falling and cover or pad any painted or soft surfaces to avoid damage. Enlist the help of a couple friends, which makes lowering the engine into the car and aligning the mounts to the frame much easier. And remember: take your time. There is no need to rush, so if something isn’t going correctly stop, assess the situation, and then proceed. Once the engine is securely bolted into the car, you can set about installing the external parts and accessories. Referring to your notes and photos will be of great assistance here.
Step-1: Install Flywheel/Flex Plate to Engine
Once the engine has been unbolted from the stand, the flywheel/ automatic transmission flex plate is installed just prior to lifting the engine into the car. Remember, the flywheel bolt holes will only align to those in the crankshaft one way, so if you neglected to mark them during disassembly, some fiddling will be required. Torque flywheel bolts to 75 to 85 ft-lbs.
Step-2: Install Exhaust Manifolds
Install the exhaust manifolds on the engine before it goes back into the car. This will help you avoid a sore back and skinned knuckles later. These pieces are heavy and there is very little room to work around them once the engine is in the car.
Step-3: Prepare the Engine Compartment
We have prepared the engine compartment to receive the 429 well in advance of the actual install taking place. Aside from the obvious cleaning and painting, any hoses, wires, brackets, etc. that might interfere with the engine going in have been secured out of the way. The fenders have been heavily padded to avoid damage from dropped tools or belt buckles.
Step-4: Lift Engine into Vehicle
Think safety first and foremost when lifting the engine back into the car. The car should be leveled and blocked against rolling. The help of at least one or two friends to guide the engine and/or operate the hoist is a must.
Step-5: Maintain Pressure on Hoist
The engine is back in place, but we must maintain pressure on the hoist while the final alignments with the engine mounts are completed and the engine is secured in the chassis.
Step-6: Align to Mounts
With the engine almost in place, be extremely careful when aligning the mounts to the chassis. In our case, we found it easier (and much safer) to align the mounts from the front through the core support than having someone crawl under the car. The frame mounts for the Torino can be easily accessed this way.
Step-7: Correct Any Misalignments
If you keep maintaining pressure on the hoist, a slight misalignment between the engine mounts and frame brackets can be easily corrected using a small pry bar or drift. Once the holes line up, the hardware can be installed, and the engine secured to the chassis.
Step-8: Bolt Engine Securely into Place
With the engine bolted securely in place, you can slowly release the pressure on the hoist and remove the lifting chain. Note that we have opted to use two intake manifold bolt holes to locate the chain. We did not, however, use the engine’s intake bolts for this task. Instead we selected longer, heavy-duty hardware (grade-8 bolts) that are slightly longer than the actual intake manifold bolts to accomplish this task.
Step-9: Install Bolt-Ons
With the engine securely back in the car, you can set about installing bolt-on accessories such as the carburetor, fuel pump, lines, hoses, and wires. This would be a great time to break out the photos you took during disassembly. We found that in our case, the oil cooler/filer adapter to the block would have interfered with aligning the engine mounts, so we installed it after the engine was back in the chassis.
Written by Charles R. Morris and Republished with Permission of CarTech Inc