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Engine Removal


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Like a fool, I let the timing chain on my Datsun slip when taking off the cam sprocket, and it is now about a quarter inch short of getting back on the cam. My belief is that I need to take the front cover off to reposition the tensioner and get the cam sprocket back on. Trouble is, the L18 in my roadster was of course not designed to go in this car and it appears impossible to remove the front cover without removing the engine.


I already have all of the components removed from the engine, so it appears to be pretty straightforward-6 bolts on the transmission, 2 engine mounts, and (I believe) that's it. Is there anything I am missing, in terms of separating the tranny and engine, that I need to know? I often see datsun engines being removed from the bottom, but it appears the engine would be easier to remove from the top (unless it is easier still to remove the engine and tranny together).


I've never separated an engine and transmission before so I am wondering if there is anything I should know. It has a manual 5 speed. My goal is to lift the engine out, get the timing chain on, then put her back and reassemble the whole thing, and my concern is that there is more to this task than I can see. If any of you have experience with this, I would greatly appreciate it. Thank you!

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It's just like a VW -- only a few bolts plus all the wires, tubes, cables and other stuff.


It is fairly straightforward. The most important thing is be patient. Most of the time when the engine is being pulled, I need to stop and disconnect some item or other before pulling it the rest of the way.

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It might be difficult if clearance for the front cover is already an issue - make sure that there is enough space to slide the engine forward and disconnect it from the transmission (maybe at least 4" or so?)


If there isn't space, you'll need to remove them as a unit. just know that you'll need to lift them at a pretty steep angle. ...and remember to drain the engine AND transmission before trying to remove them. I forgot to drain my transmission and created a nasty oil spill as it was being lifted out of the engine bay.

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Well it's the lower crossmember that looks to be giving me trouble, I can't access the oil pan bolts to drop it down so I don't damage the gasket. More than anything, it just seems easier (believe it or not) to take the engine out than to try to work on it while it's in the bay. Glad to hear it's pretty straightforward. Thanks!

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Most auto parts stores rent what called a transverse engine support bar. It's used mainly to hang the engine of a front wheel drive car while removing the trans/subfrane, etc...


You could hang the engine and remove or just lower the front crossmember enough to slide the pan out from the bottom.


I actually put new rods and pistons in my 240sx using this method. That's the route I use when doing oil pan gaskets on bmw's.


And what is in the way of the front cover that's giving you trouble?

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