Is this a general guideline or is it compulsory for changing the timing belt ? Does the engine need to be taken off its mounts too or only jacked up a bit ? Does it apply to any car or just to some ?

Pulling more data from the other question

Scenario: Suzuki New Vitara, APK416D engine [duplicate]

I wonder if i could do it in my front yard. Main concerns I guess would be not dropping the engine to the ground and installing the mounting bracket back after job is finished.

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Also, first step is called "Engine Assembly Removal" which itself comprises some 60-70 things to be done, mostly taking the whole front of the car apart (overkill?)

25)Support engine and transaxle using jack.

26)Remove engine right mounting bracket bolt (1), nuts (2) and left mounting bracket bolt (3) and nuts (4).

Can some wood blocks be used instead ? Biggest worry - mounting bracket nuts and bolts won't align after the job.

  • What vehicle are you talking about? Please edit your question and put in the year/make/model/engine of the vehicle. Every vehicle is different, so this is VERY pertinent information in order to help you with your inquiry. May 28, 2023 at 22:57
  • @Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 I have made it into another question: mechanics.stackexchange.com/questions/92990/…
    – kellogs
    May 29, 2023 at 9:51
  • 1
    Compulsory? No. Very common? Yes. For instance on a Toyota Prius, the right engine mount must be removed to replace the timing chain, this can be done without jacking, but when reinstalling the engine mount it helps to jack the engine back into position. On a Chrysler Pacifica the right mount must be removed while the engine is supported with a jack and additionally persuasion must be applied to move the engine away from the wheel well to remove some pulleys. Conversely, on most American V8s, no engine mount removal or jacking is required to replace a timing chain.
    – Glen Yates
    May 29, 2023 at 16:04
  • 1
    Ok, after the added info, your engine is not going to drop to the ground, because in general you only have to remove 1 engine mount to access the front cover of an engine. It still helps to have a jack to position the engine correctly for reinstall, but you could but a board down on the ground under the jack.
    – Glen Yates
    May 30, 2023 at 14:22

2 Answers 2


While the official workshop manuals often demand specialty tools and accessoires, jacking the engine up is practiced commonly.

The main danger is a crushed oil pan when someone places the jack onto the pan to raise the engine. On metal oil pans it is common practice to use a sturdy piece of wood to distribute the load.

The pan is especially fragile when it is made of composite plastic, then it isn't advisable to use this method.

  • 1
    If I need to jack up the engine using this method, I'll put a piece of 2x4 between the jack and the pan to spread out the load on the pan. Has not failed me yet. May 30, 2023 at 15:11
  • 1
    @Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 thank you. I updated the answerr
    – Martin
    May 31, 2023 at 6:57

Your other question contemplates using blocks of wood to support the engine instead of a jack. That won't work because although blocks would provide support, you can't raise or lower the engine with blocks alone, or adjust its position as you work.

As an alternative to using a jack from below, you could use a so-called "Engine Support Bar" from above. Google that term for examples. These can also be fabricated from scrap lumber, a threaded rod and some chain.

This photo (photo credit: me) shows such a device in use. In the lower left you can see how the bar's support legs rest on the fender rails inside the hood enclosure. For me, this was much more convenient and precise than jacking the engine from below.


  • Wow, there is so much space in there that you can hop in yourself, keeping company to the little fellow! Nice idea with that bar + big bolt nut. I suppose the bolt needs to be perfectly aligned with the engine's lugging point so as not to move sideways. Did you have any trouble putting the engine back on its mounts, or anywhere else ?
    – kellogs
    May 29, 2023 at 19:23
  • 1
    @kellogs No trouble at all, the TB replacement went like a dream. The threaded rod slides to any location left/right, so it was easy to line up with the lifting eye. The driver's side of the engine remained full attached; only the passenger side needed to be tilted up. Since the driver's side remained attached, the engine mount on the passenger side lined up automatically and perfectly when I lowered the engine.
    – MTA
    May 29, 2023 at 19:40

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