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Discussion Starter #1
not quite ready yet, but doing some research on installing engine/trans.
found a few ideas and wanted to get a few more. I have a 2 ton HF engine lift and plan on using a leveler.
289 SBF and T5z trans. Shorty headers already on.

1)car on the ground, on jack stands, or on wheel dollies? I've read someone moving the car instead of the engine hoist.
2) should I jack up the rear of the car? I've read that this helps with the acute angle necessary to get the trans in to the tunnel
3) transmission A frame off or on prior to install? I've read both ways.

I've read to attach the engine mounts (making sure they're on the correct side) but to keep them loose for now.
anything else that i'm missing?
Thanks in advance.
 

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You should have plenty of room with a 289 SBF/T5 combo. Do some quick measurements to make sure your drivers side exhaust manifold will clear the steering shaft (if you're planning on installing with those mounted). I had to mount my 4.6 (a lot bigger engine) sans manifolds to get past the steering shaft.

Shouldn't have to jack-up the rear of the car, as long as you have enough working room under it, so the trans can angle-in without hitting the ground. You'll have to level the engine out and lower it as you push it more and more into the engine bay.

Definitely remove the trans a-frame. Have someone in the cockpit to guide the trans in, then have them secure it with a ratchet strap across the bottom rear of the trans to give you working room to get the a-frame mounted.

Take pics - we wanna see the results! :)
 

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I used a leveler. Made it a lot simpler I think. Mind the distributor I broke my cap.

Me and my friend did it. It really was simple. Go slow. Plenty of room.

I did it on jacks.

I did not have headers. My big 302 headers I think would not have been possible. (For a novice atleast.) Though puting the headers on later was extremely frustrating.

I did not have the transmission A frame on. I think this would have made things super hard. I found out this week that you can move that transmission tail very easy. I stalling the A frame later was no problem.

Go slow. One guiding and one operating the lift. Little bit by little bit.

Put some cardboard or tape on places you may scuff. We did not hit anything.

The one worry with the car on jacks was being able to lift the whole thing high enough to clear the frame. I did with some clearence. I should have lowered the frame before hand. So this is ameasurement you can do before hand.

With the leveler you have the luxury on having it level and not at a angle. Then angle it down when you cleared the frame. That was probably the trickest part.

The other was getting the end of the trans into the tunnel. A little finesse is necessary.

Also consider how you want to approach the engine bay. I thought I would go from the side but that was not going to work for me though some make it work.

I thought front was much easier. Make sure the frame sitting back in your garage so that you do not have obstacles to roll over. Garage entrance. Also if you using jack stands most likely they are in a spot that will interfer with being able to push the light close enough. Test to make sure they are not in the way and you can push the lift all the to the frame or close to it.

Level. Lower. Push forward. Lol

I had no issues lining up the engine mounts. I made sure I knew exactly how they should sit before I installed them on the engine.

Jason
 

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Before you put the A frame and mount read my last couple threads. Make sure your drive tran angle is good. Sounds like most people need to raise the tail end. Forte sells a kit.
 

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Every time I've tried to install the motor with the engine mounts on I've ended up taking them off and slipping them in at the end with the engine raised up slightly. Also think those shorty headers will be in your way to manipulate the mounts. I'd take them off.
 

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All good points above. Did this by myself. The leveler makes that possible. If you don't have one get one = 90 degree air ratchet. This tool allows you to work the leveler and guide the unit into place easily. Did mine on jacks, did not tip body. Not sure about headers. Good luck

Krusty
 

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Headers off, mounts on, A frame out. An engine leveler is invaluable. Set the chassis with the rear as high as possible and the front low, just high enough for the hoist legs to pass under.

Approach from the front with the assembly level:


Once you get above the X member adjust the leveler so that the tail is pointing down:



As you get the end of the trans stabbed into the tunnel you'll start a 3 way manipulation of lowering the assembly, adjusting back towards level and moving it rearwards. Repeat the lower, level, move routine until you drop the engine mounts into their place on the chassis. At that point use a jack to raise the trans high enough to put the A frame in place and then lower it so that the trans mount is in place.



Using the leveler it's a 10 minute job working alone. Really!

Good luck :)

Jeff
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Headers off, mounts on, A frame out. An engine leveler is invaluable. Set the chassis with the rear as high as possible and the front low, just high enough for the hoist legs to pass under.

Approach from the front with the assembly level:


Once you get above the X member adjust the leveler so that the tail is pointing down:



As you get the end of the trans stabbed into the tunnel you'll start a 3 way manipulation of lowering the assembly, adjusting back towards level and moving it rearwards. Repeat the lower, level, move routine until you drop the engine mounts into their place on the chassis. At that point use a jack to raise the trans high enough to put the A frame in place and then lower it so that the trans mount is in place.



Using the leveler it's a 10 minute job working alone. Really!

Good luck :)

Jeff
Thanks Jeff. Do you have Jack stands under the front in your pic or something else? I'd think Jack stands might get in the way of the hoist. Maybe just having the car rest on the front wheels with wheel chocks? I've read that it's possible with shorty headers attached, as it's difficult to get the bolts in afterwards. Any experience with that?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
found this thread re shorty headers on SBF engines
i guess i'll find out of the install will be possible w/ headers on or not. stay tuned.

 

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Thanks Jeff. Do you have Jack stands under the front in your pic or something else? I'd think Jack stands might get in the way of the hoist. Maybe just having the car rest on the front wheels with wheel chocks? I've read that it's possible with shorty headers attached, as it's difficult to get the bolts in afterwards. Any experience with that?
Actually the car in the photos had a couple of 6X6 blocks under the chassis tubes in front simply because the FFR wheels were still on backorder and I wasn't going to let that stop me from putting the engine in and doing a first start! I've done others with the front wheels on wheel dollies to gain an extra couple of inches clearance for my hoist's legs. The rear is always on fully extended jackstands.

I've only ever done one car with shorty headers and those went on after the engine was in. I've not tried but suppose it might be possible to put them on before. RE: the comment about Stage 8 bolts---just don't! I've used them and they work but what a pain in the a$$. If you want to use a locking header bolt I recommend Percy's Vibe-Lock. Install them, go through 3-4 heat & cool cycles retightening after each and then turn the key to activate the lock. Soooo much easier and they work great!

Jeff
 

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Kleiner for the win here. Notice all the padding cardboard. I had towells draped everywhere. that tailshaft will bash everything if it can.

Don't worry about it too much, I ended up doing it multiple times by myself and It's not that hard.
 

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I did exactly as Jeff described and it worked great by myself with my then 8 year old helping to keep the engine from rotating out of line. I did have my front on jack stands with the rear stands raised up. The leveler makes the difference if doing it on your own. It took less than an hour going pretty slow.

 

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Discussion Starter #14
Is your engine in yet?
not quite. I want to fire up the engine on an engine stand outside the car to check for leaks etc, and am waiting on a buddy to help me out with that .
i'm also going to have the donor transmission looked over at a transmission shop to make sure none of the gears or bearings need replaced. that'll likely wait until the pandemic is over.
just doing some planning while i have the time. i think i have some good guidance from the responses here and on other forum.
 

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I want to fire up the engine on an engine stand outside the car to check for leaks etc...
Eugene,
Is this still a flat tappet engine? Are the cam and lifters new? If so are you aware of the correct break in procedure? The first few minutes of operation with a flat tappet cam are critical and if not done properly quite often leads to an almost immediate failure. Just trying to look out for ya'

Jeff
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Eugene,
Is this still a flat tappet engine? Are the cam and lifters new? If so are you aware of the correct break in procedure? The first few minutes of operation with a flat tappet cam are critical and if not done properly quite often leads to an almost immediate failure. Just trying to look out for ya'

Jeff
Thanks Jeff. I'll keep it in mind. Don't want to ruin the engine before I get it in the car
 

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Trying to keep this build fun/easier I got the Blueprint 347 EFI full dress kit with transmission installed.

Tip, don’t try to be too smart and fill the transmission with fluid before dropping the engine in. I took the shifter plate off the trany and taped a rag over it so it would not catch on anything but found transmission fluid poured out on the floor when I was angling it down into the tunnel. Got a catch bin under it pretty quickly so it wasn’t too bad but ...
 
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