Corvette / Chevrovet Engine Removal

by Bill Schroeder

This procedure applys to 1953 to 1982 non computerized cars with a standard transmission. I found the service manual only gives a cursory view of the procedure. The manual states to remove the engine / transmission as a unit. We removed the engine with the bellhousing attached and after you see the procedure with pictures I'm sure you'll agree the procedure is a snap!!! The advantages are that you have less length to deal with when the engine is pulled out of the engine compartment, and you don't have to manipulate the shifter, linkage and driveshaft. Ask anyone how has dealt with the access area around the shifter and they'll agree it's a "Bear" to deal with. During the procedure I determined there are three different versions as to the way the engine is pulled.
Nine "seasoned" NCRS and NCCC members participated in the tech session --- many of whom raced cars in the past or were mechanics and are well aware of this procedure.

Ready to go...........
Being that I want to remove the engine in my Vette, I took diligent notes and photos at this tech session. There were six members of the Adirondack Chapter of the NCRS and three members of the Vettes in Perfection Chapter of the NCCC. Many thanks to Bill Steffes for the procedure performed in his garage - he did a spectacular presentation.

Real Corvette Guys.................
After talking to the experts I discovered there are three versions of the "Motor Pull" procedure.

VERSION #1: Pull the engine with the transmission attached - if you are going to service the transmission (you will have to deal with the trans linkage which is a "bear" to deal with).
VERSION #2: Pull the engine with the transmission left in the car, especially if you don't need to service it. Works exremely well with a lift -- this is the version we used in this article.
VERSION #3: Pull the engine only - leave the bellhousing and trans in the car - works well when a lift is not available
OK, now that you have determined the method to use, now the "blow by blow" for VERSION #2 Transmission left in the car and engine and bell pulled as a unit.
1. Disconnect the battery.
2. Remove the hood and mark the hinges first with paint or appropriate marking pencil
3. Remove the air cleaner, carb, distributor,coil and cables at the battery. Drain the antifreeze remove the          radiator and heater core hoses.
4. Remove the fan blade then the shroud, the radiator and lastly the radiator support
5. Disconnect wires at the starter, alternator, temperature switch and coil (removal of the alternator is optional).
6. Disconnect exhaust pipes at the manifold flanges.
7. Disconnect fuel line and oil pressuse line.
8. Disconnect accelerator linkage at the pedal lever.
9. Remove the power steering pump and the inspection cover on the bellhousing
10. Disconnect clutch linkage at cross shaft and remove cross shaft at frame bracket.
11. Connect the engine lift of your choice ( a leveler is reccommended) -- attach
      it to the chain to tilt or level the engine during the pull
12. Raise the engine to take the weight off the motor mounts and remove the front mount thru bolts.

Removing transmission bolts
13. Remove the transmission to bellhousing bolts and secure the transmission with a small hydralic jack
Support under the transmission
NOTE: Bag and tag bolts - sandwich bags work well
14. Remove engine by using the appropriate engine puller using care to clear all engine bay components

Bolts to the transmission removed
15. Remove the bellhousing, clutch, pressure plate, and flywheel.

Readying the hoist
16. Attach engine stand plate to the block and ease the engine on the stand.
A leveler is a necessity

The chain hooks in the leveler

Engine away from trans and up

Bellhousing unbolted

Bolt on the engine stand bracket

Engine on stand and ready to GO ------

  • Want even more information? Buy "How To Rebuild Your Smallblock Chevy" it gives information and tips for the engine pull
  • If you leave the bellhousing in place secure it so as to not disturb the shifter