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I consider myself handy with tools and comfortable doing my work on cars. I want to install my new 400 engine into my 1969 pontiac Grand Prix. Now the tranny is still in the car and supported by a chain and ratchet strap. Engine bay is empty except for the power steering. Im going clean up all the wires. My question is im a visual learner and cant seem to find a pontiac book that has detailed instructions and pictures for installing a engine. Does anybody know where to point me so i can purchase it and continue to do research into it so im ready come march.
 

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I consider myself handy with tools and comfortable doing my work on cars. I want to install my new 400 engine into my 1969 pontiac Grand Prix. Now the tranny is still in the car and supported by a chain and ratchet strap. Engine bay is empty except for the power steering. Im going clean up all the wires. My question is im a visual learner and cant seem to find a pontiac book that has detailed instructions and pictures for installing a engine. Does anybody know where to point me so i can purchase it and continue to do research into it so im ready come march.
Who pulled the engine out? Just reverse the procedure.

Factory Service Manual. That might be a good start.

 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Who pulled the engine out? Just reverse the procedure.

Factory Service Manual. That might be a good start.


Somebody else did..so got to put the new one back in. All the bolts and everything i need is still organized so i have all that. Motor mounts are brand new. I got a buick book for 75 lesabre but it not the same
 

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Anybody ever use this one?
I have it. It won't show you how to do the install. His other book "How to Rebuild Pontiac V8 Engines" (or something similar) may help more. Same author. Both are great reads and worth getting even if you don't need them for the install.

Honestly, getting the engine in there is the easy part. I'm assuming your car has an automatic trans. You need to have a couple buddies help with the hoist (I used my kids), make sure to have the mounts on the engine already, and lower it in place. I suggest raising the engine and rolling the car under it but that's just me. Have a floor jack handy as you may need to rock the engine a bit to get it to sit in the right place. Personally, I would try and line up the bolts to the trans before the long bolts through the mounts but others can weigh in. I had the bell housing and clutch already on the engine and the trans went in after. The hard part is putting everything else back together. I think for that PJ's suggestion of the shop manual would be the most help. Unless, you are doing a ton of modifications, then the shop manual is a guide with some things you just need to figure out.
 

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I'm not aware of any books that have a detailed procedure, even the factory shop manuals. I just now scanned the index of my set of '69 service manuals and didn't find a reference to a procedure.

You're going to want to have the car high enough do that you can get under it, but not so high that your hoist won't be able to lift the engine over the core support. It's easier to move the engine around if you remove the distributor so that it doesn't hit the firewall during the process. I use a bottle jack or two, one under the transmission so I can raise and lower it and sometimes one under the engine oil pan (use a short 2x4 between the jack and the pan(s) to distribute the load so that the jack(s) don't dent the pan(s).

You have to "thread the needle" a little bit and just work with things, adjusting as you go. You have to get the motor mount 'saddles' over the frame mounts so that you can drop the the engine down over them, and you have to 'stab' the rear flange dowel pins into the transmission. This is where having the jack under the transmission comes in handy, raising the front of the trans so that you'll be able to get the engine and trans mated up so you can move it far enough back to drop it down over the frame mounts.

Having one of those "engine load levelers" on your hoist, like one of these, is very helpful because it lets you tilt the engine while it's on the hoist.

It can be a challenge sometimes because until you get the two mated up you may not be able to move the engine far enough back to drop it down, and if the rear of the engine is too high you won't be able to mate it up with the transmission. It might give you more 'wiggle room' if you unbolt the trans from the rear cross member, but if you do that BE CAREFUL you don't let it slip off! That can ruin your whole day.

Bear
 

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+1 on the "engine load leveler". It can be done without it, but may require the engine to be started into the bay, lifted back out, chains adjusted, back in the bay, lifted back out, adjusted...and so on. The load leveler allows that fine tuning of the angle so that it can be mated with the transmission.

Make sure the torque converter is in and in all the way before the engine goes in...been there, done that...lol.

I suggest watching a few YT videos on V8 installs regardless of the make and models. That will take the edge off as it's not a tough job, just one that takes some patience and a fair amount of safety awareness. Don't squash yourself, your helper, or the car.
 

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X3 on the engine leveler. I used this one on mine Performance Tool W41036 Performance Tool Engine Levelers | Summit Racing I used a cheaper one to pull the old engine out but the plastic handle on the crank kept falling off. This one was a bit more pricey but worth it's weight in gold.
I guess you got your cheap one at Harbor Freight like I did. Same thing happended to mine. Plus, a guy who saw it in my truck on the way home warned me the handle would fall off. Still functions, just less convenient.
 

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I guess you got your cheap one at Harbor Freight like I did. Same thing happended to mine. Plus, a guy who saw it in my truck on the way home warned me the handle would fall off. Still functions, just less convenient.
Worse. My dad bought a used Harbor Freight one at a yard sale and I was dumb enough to actually use it. It probably had only been used once but did not work that good. On top of the handle issue, it was a bit jerky. Not really ideal when you have a heavy Pontiac engine hanging from it. This is really not a place to skimp and I found out the hard way.
 

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I'm not sure where my leveler came from as I traded for it used. It did not even have a handle when I got it. I started using it the first time with a box wrench, then switched to a ratchet wrench, but the bomb is, using an impact on low settings. I always add some grease/oil to the threads prior to use and let the impact do the work. It really cuts down on the time you spend climbing up over the engine bay where you are already in a bit of a fit of nervousness. I have to admit, most of the time I am pulling/pushing a motor and transmission together and the impact makes easy work of the sharp angles and thread travel of the leveler.
 

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I'm not aware of any books that have a detailed procedure, even the factory shop manuals. I just now scanned the index of my set of '69 service manuals and didn't find a reference to a procedure.

You're going to want to have the car high enough do that you can get under it, but not so high that your hoist won't be able to lift the engine over the core support. It's easier to move the engine around if you remove the distributor so that it doesn't hit the firewall during the process. I use a bottle jack or two, one under the transmission so I can raise and lower it and sometimes one under the engine oil pan (use a short 2x4 between the jack and the pan(s) to distribute the load so that the jack(s) don't dent the pan(s).

You have to "thread the needle" a little bit and just work with things, adjusting as you go. You have to get the motor mount 'saddles' over the frame mounts so that you can drop the the engine down over them, and you have to 'stab' the rear flange dowel pins into the transmission. This is where having the jack under the transmission comes in handy, raising the front of the trans so that you'll be able to get the engine and trans mated up so you can move it far enough back to drop it down over the frame mounts.

Having one of those "engine load levelers" on your hoist, like one of these, is very helpful because it lets you tilt the engine while it's on the hoist.

It can be a challenge sometimes because until you get the two mated up you may not be able to move the engine far enough back to drop it down, and if the rear of the engine is too high you won't be able to mate it up with the transmission. It might give you more 'wiggle room' if you unbolt the trans from the rear cross member, but if you do that BE CAREFUL you don't let it slip off! That can ruin your whole day.

Bear

Hmmmm. My '68 Service Manual has a procedure called "Engine - Remove and Install." No photos, but it is a step-by-step procedure that pretty much outlines what to do.

It does not show/tell of what type of engine lift or where to hook the chains. To get something having photos or step-by-step pictures, you might find these in a book/magazine article that covers engine swaps.

Here is a pic of the brackets and chains used with the leveling bar. Key is to drop the engine in fairly straight. You can bolt most of the items on the engine and drop it in or add them later. Once the engine is down on the mounts and bolted, install the trans. Make sure it also goes on level to the engine, you don't want any big angles. You should be able to easily slide the bell onto the alignment pins on the back of the engine - never force the trans bell over the pins. Install a couple bolts to secure the bell to engine, and go from there.

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thats the best instructions i have read so far. One thing that got me wondering. The engine mounts. Would it be easier to put the screw through by removing both front tires so i have easier access? And do you put the exhaust manifolds on before you install the engine or after? Which way would be easier?
 

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Thats the best instructions i have read so far. One thing that got me wondering. The engine mounts. Would it be easier to put the screw through by removing both front tires so i have easier access? And do you put the exhaust manifolds on before you install the engine or after? Which way would be easier?
Manifolds on before, unless you're running headers. It'll be way easier to install them on the engine out of the car than have to install them after the fact. You shouldn't have to remove the tires to get the long bolts in. Unless your car is lowered, you probably wouldn't even need to jack the car up in the front. There is a lot of room to get these in on the GTO/LeMans. I can't imagine the Grand Prix would be any tighter.

The one thing you will want on hand is at least one helper. A buddy, your wife, neighbor who owes you one, even one of your kids if they are not too young. This seems like a scary job, but the physical install only takes about 20 minutes, and that's if you are really taking your time.
 

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Just find some local car club members.
Throw in some free Grub & Beer and have done in a weekend. ;)🙂
 
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