Hopefully soon I will be removing the engine out of my 1964 Mercury Comet Caliente in order to do a rebuild of it. While I know all of the steps that are required to remove the engine, I was wondering if there are any rules as to the order of operation for the engine removal steps to follow?

Should the engine be uncoupled from the transmission before doing anything else? Should the motor mounts be loosened first? Should the exhaust system leading away from the engine be my first concern?

It can be assumed that the car is a classic car (carbureted/older) so not a whole lot of electronics involved, but I was just curious as to what the order is that the steps should follow.

1 Answer 1


I'd generally go for the following, adjusted as appropriate for your car (as some things may be easier to get to in a different order)

  • If the paintwork is in good condition, cover and protect the wings/fenders and front panel. Ideally remove the bonnet/hood
  • Fluids - oil and coolant
  • Battery
  • Other electrical connections - to the starter, alternator, coil/distributor, ground straps, etc
  • coolant hoses - don't forget the ones to the heater
  • radiator (usally needs to come out to get enough access to other bits...)
  • fuel lines
  • vacuum line, if you have servo brakes
  • starter motor
  • exhaust - this and the starter often get in each other's way.
  • oil lines, if you have an oil cooler
  • any ancilliaries that are in the way, which may include alternator, manifolds, etc depending on the design of the car. Think about the path the engine will need to get clear - will the manifolds foul the wings, etc
  • support the engine
  • attach crane
  • unbolt from transmission
  • unbolt from mounts
  • lift just enough to disengage from transmission
  • remove the other wires, hoses, etc that you missed in the earlier steps
  • lift engine clear
  • swear loudly because you forgot the second step and you now have oil all over the floor
  • move engine clear, lower it and attach to stand
  • have fun rebuilding it...

On some cars it's easier to take engine and gearbox out together, then separate them on the floor, in which case there's a few extra steps in there to disconnect driveshafts/propshaft, gearstick, wires etc from the 'box

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