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The Insane Inline: Part 2

Engine Drop View
Christian Hazel
| Brand Manager, Four Wheeler
Posted November 22, 2005

Out with the old engine.

The Insane Inline, Part 1
The Insane Inline, Part 2
The Insane Inline, Part 3

Here in magazine land every day is gumdrop-covered fun for all, where magical gnomes build our project vehicles while we frolic with busty beer maidens in an elfin forest. Nah. Actually, the staff of Jp spins wrenches and thrashes on their own junk more than all of the other off-road rags combined. About 90 percent of the time we don't rely on shops for our installs. Instead we get dirty and bust knuckles so when you ask what an install or bit of fabrication entails, we can tell you firsthand. Plus, most of the time if we can do it, chances are you can do it, so we like to think this lends a bit of credence to our stories.

The point is, often stuff doesn't exactly go as planned. This month we had hoped to bring you the full driveway install of our 4.6L stroker in our 1999 XJ project vehicle, but we flat ran out of time. The engine didn't arrive at our offices before the story deadline, so instead we'll bring you as many tips and tricks as we can to yank your engine and prepare your rig for its new engine.

Next month we'll be showing you how to make the 4.6L live and breathe in its new home. In stark contrast to the diatribe at the beginning of this story, we'll be taking it to Turbo City to have the fuel and ignition curves dialed in perfectly. We'll also hit the smog rollers to see if we can squeak the engine by the strict California Air Resources Board testing, generate some true rear-wheel dyno numbers, then see if we can break into the mid-14s at the quarter-mile.

Step By Step

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  • The more time you spend taking your old engine out, the smoother your new engine will go back in. We carefully removed the air intake system, throttle cable assemblies, fuel rails, and wiring harness, making sure to label each connector. We use Scotch-Blue painter's tape since it doesn't leave a sticky residue. We were also able to unbolt the power-steering and air-conditioning pumps and set them aside so we didn't need to drain the systems.

  • Most modern medium-pressure connections, such as those for transmission-coolant, fuel-injection, and air-conditioning lines, have a special four-prong spring that keeps the connection from separating. NAPA carries its tool set (PN 61059) which consists of two tools that will fit virtually any Ford, GM, or Chrysler connection of these types. It's a real headache saver.

  • After draining the cooling system, we removed the 10mm nuts and Torx bolts that hold the radiator support to the body and carefully removed it with the electric-fan and manual-fan shroud attached. We then removed the fan, radiator, serpentine belt, plug wires, and starter. We were able to leave the air-conditioning condenser in place, so we don't have to recharge the A/C system.

In addition to labeling each connector and fitting, it's a good idea to take lots of digital or Polaroid photos and keep a pad of paper handy to make notes so your scribbles on tape make sense to you. We usually just label the tape numerically and write our notes for each number on the pad. It also helps to set aside a clean, safe space to put all the junk you take off so it doesn't get lost or damaged. Put any hardware in Ziploc bags labeled with where the hardware came from.

Before you go unbolting the bellhousing bolts, support the transmission with a sturdy floor jack. Use a piece of wood so the pan doesn't get damaged under the tranny's weight. Now is also a good time to disconnect your exhaust at the manifold collector, unbolt the lower engine-mount bolts, and hook up your engine hoist, adding a slight amount of tension to hold it up.

Step By Step

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  • On an inline-six there are two 12-point 3/8 head bolts at the top of the bellhousing. It's a pain to get to them, but it is possible. You'll also need to remove all the 10mm bolts that hold the steel engine-to-tranny adapter plate and the lower-torque-converter access plate. With these removed, you can then use a 5/8-socket to remove the lower two large bolts that hold the engine to the tranny.

  • The torque converter bolts can be accessed from the front of the flywheel with the engine in the vehicle, but we decided to remove the torque converter with the engine. Before lifting with the engine hoist, remove the upper bolts from the engine mounts, then slowly lift until the brackets are clear of the mounting studs. At this time it helps to use a pry bar from below to gently separate the engine from the transmission.

  • With the engine and tranny separate, slowly raise the engine from the vehicle, making sure not to hit any of the wiring loom, tranny lines, or A/C and power-steering components. We removed the engine with the front fascia installed. With the torque converter just touching the firewall, there was barely a credit card's width in between the crank pulley and the fascia. Once the engine was free, we dropped the fascia so the new engine would go in easier.

We stuck a rag in the torque converter so it wouldn't leak on the garage floor. Once the new engine arrives, we'll transfer the valve cover, water pump, and other accoutrements one at a time from the old engine to the new engine, using new gaskets where necessary. To avoid possible damage to the tranny seal, we'll install the torque converter on the tranny before the new engine goes in. Pour a quart of tranny fluid in it, then spin it two or three times until the shaft indexes the pump.

The 4.6L Powerhouse
Part of the delay in getting our engine was the fact that we asked for the optional engine dyno break-in and power test from Golen Engine Service. Here's what our 91-octane pump gas beast belted out using 24-pound injectors, a Hesco adjustable fuel-pressure regulator, a 66mm throttle body, and a Hooker header.