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I'm working on a 98 Mazda 626 2L and I'd like to change the transaxle oil filter. However, a number of the pan bolts are blocked by a beam which has an engine / transmission mount sitting on it ( see the following pictures ). Is there a safe way to get this support out of the way so I can change the filter? This is a different version than the American or European versions, and still uses the GF4A-EL transmission it seems like, not the CD4E.

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You can see the engine mount in this other picture:

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EDIT

I found this video showing the removal of this support and the one further back which is perpendicular to it. It's also a mazda ( not sure which one ) and the setup underneath looks exactly the same. He doesn't put anything to support the engine.

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  • So I had to change this transmission mount because it was worn out, and in fact it does not bear any load, I didn't even have to jack up the engine. Feb 27, 2016 at 19:03

2 Answers 2

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I believe what you have pictured there is a "dogbone" or side engine mount. These mounts are intended to counteract the the rotational forces on the engine that result from the torque between the engine and the transmission. These mounts are not typically under and load when the engine is not running - it is the front and rear mounts that "hold the engine up", as it were.

That being said, it should be safe to remove this mount without having the engine shift. Nonetheless, you should still utilize safe practices.

  • Place a lift under the engine and raise it up to just under the engine pan. This will prevent the engine from dropping on the ground in the worse-case scenario
  • 'Break' all the bolts on the mount - in other words, turn them about a quarter to a half turn counter-clockwise
  • once all the bolts are broken, begin to slowly loosen one of the bolts. Is it coming out easy? Or is it getting harder to loosen the more it comes out?

If the bolt get's harder and harder to loosen, then this indicates that the mount is indeed bearing some sort of load. This could be because

  1. It is not a side-mount as I suspect
  2. The engine is slightly shifted onto that side

In order to check for number 2, try rocking the engine back-and-forth sideways a few times and see if the bolt loosens up. If you can, have a friend hold the engine in a few different tilted positions in order to fully check if the bolt gets loose. If it does, then you can confidently take out all three bolts, with our without your friends help (it will be easier if your friend holds the engine in position). If tilting the engine does not relieve the strain on the bolts, then they are indeed holding the engine up.

In the case where the mount is holding the engine up, you will want to use the lift to relieve the load on the mount. Raise the lift up until it is just barely holding the weight of the engine. Continue to raise the engine slowly and keep trying the bolts until they become a bit easier to take out. If you lift the engine too high, it will only make it harder to take the bolts out. Your best bet is to raise the lift enough so that it is holding the weight of the engine, but has not lifted it appreciably. At this point, put a jack stand under the engine to ensure it does not fall. Now you can take out the mount and proceed with your repair.

Either way, when you go to put the mount on, you will need to align the bolts back up. If it was a side mount, you can usually do this pretty easily yourself by rocking the engine back and forth while trying to start the bolts with your hand. Having a friend helps. If it is a load-bearing mount, then you'll have to raise/lower the engine until you can get the bolts started. This is harder because the hydraulic lifts are usually difficult to operate with fine control.

Hope this helps.

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I prefer large wooden blocks to jack stands, A safety issue. the alignment is solved by the use of a bull prick or a large phillips screwdriver for bolts installment. the rubber mounts wear out and shear. change all of them. lube the bolts with small amount of grease, the mounts wd-40. wire brush all mounting points. davez

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