Engine removal on a 1995 Saab 900 SE turbo.

This job was performed as a part of a car rebuild, so you see more parts taken off the car than it's usually required to pull just the engine. It also makes it easier to access everything and see where things are (which is good for a photoshoot).

Before the engine can be removed from the car, it has to be freed from all the wires and hoses connecting it to other components inside the engine compartment. This section covers most of those, although you need to use your common sense and mind any design differences applicable to your model. It might not cover trivial procedures like belts or hoses, it's assumed that if you're taking on the engine, you have sufficient mechanical knowledge about the car.

Once everything is disconnected, the engine is ready for removal. There are multiple options for engine extraction, which mostly depend on the equipment available to you:

  1. If you have a lift and a support table, you can raise the car, roll the table under the subframe, unbolt the subframe and side engine mounts, and lower the whole engine and transmission assembly resting on the subframe onto the table without taking it apart.
  2. If you have a lift and a crane, you can suspend the engine with the support beam, raise the car, unbolt and drop the subframe, and then use the crane to lower the engine and transmission to the floor.
  3. And finally, if you're doing it on jack stands, the only way is to remove the engine is through the top. You can attempt it without removing the transmission, but the space is rather tight, and unbolting the transmission is easy, so lifting the engine separately sounds like a better approach.
I was doing this job in my own garage at home, so I'll be describing the procedure #3. For subframe and gearbox removal refer to this guide.

Tools:

  • 22 mm wrench: oil cooler lines;
  • 19 mm socket: flywheel;
  • 19 mm wrench: brake booster hose;
  • 16 mm socket: A/C compressor;
  • 15 mm socket: passenger side engine mount;
  • 13 mm socket: oil drain plug;
  • 13 mm wrench: steering pump bolts, radiator drain plug;
  • 12 mm socket: pressure plate;
  • 10 mm socket: cruise control unit;
  • 8 mm socket: MAP sensor;
  • 7 mm socket: hose clamps;
  • Torx T25 screwdriver: BPC;
  • long ½" extension: belt tensioner release;
  • engine support beam;
  • shop crane;
  • car jacks and axle stands;
  • 8 mm (5/16") fuel line disconnect tool;
  • needle nose pliers (curved nose preferred).
15.05.2006
Engine support

The car is on jack stands. The subframe and gearbox are already removed, and the engine is hanging on the support beam.
09.05.2006
MAP

Unplug the connector and the vacuum hose from the manifold absolute pressure sensor. Alternatively, you can unbolt the sensor. I just removed it with the strut bar to free up some room.
12.05.2006
Airbox

Remove the airbox and the rubber part of the turbo inlet hose.
12.05.2006
Belt

Insert a long ½" extention into the tensioner socket and release the belt. Lock it with a 2 mm Allen key or a nail. Remove the belt.
12.05.2006
Steering pump

Undo three bolts holding the steering pump to the engine (13 mm wrench). Bend the hoses and move the pump out of the way.
12.05.2006
BPC

Unscrew the boost pressure control valve (Torx T25) and detach its cable from the fender. Put the valve and the cable on the engine.
19.05.2006
Cruise control unit

Unplug the cruise control unit connector. Detach the control unit (two plastic 10 mm nuts), lift it and move it aside.
18.05.2006
Fuel tank vent line

Release the clamp and detach the fuel tank vent hose from the back of the throttle body.
18.05.2006
Fuel lines

The rubber fuel lines are attached to the fuel rail via a special locking joint. The release mechanism is covered by a rubber plug.
18.05.2006
Fuel line cap

Use curved needle nose pliers to pull the rubber plug out of the joint and move it up the pipe so it doesn't get in the way.
18.05.2006
Disconnect tool

Get a 8 mm (5/16") fuel disconnect tool (it looks like a hollow plastic cone with a rim) and put it on the line. Push it down the joint until you hear a click.
18.05.2006
Disconnected

Wiggle the hose while pushing the disconnect tool in, and the joint will come apart. There might be some fuel left in the lines so have a catch can ready. Repeat with the second line, plug the hoses.
19.05.2006
Throttle cables

Detach the accelerator cable from the throttle body. Detach the cruise control cable.
20.05.2006
Brake booster hose

Unbolt the brake booster hose from the intake manifold.
19.05.2006
Clutch

If you need the access to the flywheel or the main seal, remove the pressure plate now (12 mm socket). Most engine stands bolt to the gearbox mouting holes, and there will be little room to reach the clutch.
19.05.2006
Flywheel

The flywheel is held by eight big 19 mm bolts. In order to get them off, you need to attach a flywheel stop or otherwise ensure that the crankshaft won't move.
19.05.2006
Coolant

Unscrew the radiator drain plug (13 mm wrench) and drain the coolant.
19.05.2006
Coolant hoses

Detach coolant hoses from the driver's side of the engine (flat screwdriver or 7 mm socket). More coolant will come out of the heater core hoses, so have a pan ready.
19.05.2006
Lower hose

Remove the lower radiator hose from the passenger side of the engine. If you unhook the lower part of the hose, be ready for more coolant spills.
19.05.2006
Turbo

Remove the intercooler hose from the compressor outlet on the turbo.
19.05.2006
Oil

Drain engine oil (13 mm socket). Don't pour it down the drain, bring it to the nearby recycling facility (around here, Canadian Tire collects used oil free of charge).
19.05.2006
Oil cooler lines

Unbolt the oil cooler lines from the oil filter housing (22 mm wrench). Some oil will drain from those. Undo the lower A/C compressor bolt (16 mm).
19.05.2006
A/C compressor

Unbolt the two upper A/C compressor bolts. Unplug the compressor clutch control wire from the connector on the radiator.
19.05.2006
A/C compressor

Lower the compressor (it's quite heavy) and hang it off the towing hook. Be careful not to bend the lines too much.
20.05.2006
ECU harness

Inside the car, remove the glovebox and locate the wire cluster coming from the engine. One half goes to the ECU, while another feeds the data to the dashboard. Unplug both.
20.05.2006
ECU harness

Pull the rubber gromet in the firewall and carefully retrieve the ECU harness through the opening. Put it on the engine.
20.05.2006
EVAP valve

Unplug the connector from the EVAP valve.
20.05.2006
Positive cable

Detach the positive battery cable from the fuse box (10 mm socket).
20.05.2006
Axle

Remove the passenger side axle by tapping it gently from behind, until it comes off the shaft.
20.05.2006
Crane

Bring the crane and lift the engine slightly so it takes the weight off the support beam and the remaining engine mount.
20.05.2006
Engine mount

Unbolt the passenger side engine mount (15 mm socket). Be careful as the engine might shift suddenly when you remove the last bolt.
20.05.2006
Beam removed

With the crane holding the engine, you don't need the support beam anymore. Remove the beam (in my case the lifting hook got stuck in the chain, so we just left it there).
20.05.2006
Engine out

Lift the engine out of the car. Watch closely while lifting it, to ensure you won't break anything.
20.05.2006
Plate attached

Attach the lifting plate from the engine stand (if you're planning to put the engine on the stand). Some of the bolt holes required unusually long bolts, the ones that came with my stand were too short.
20.05.2006
Engine stand

Lower the engine and secure it on the stand. I had a friend helping out with the engine removal. It's always a good idea to have a second pair of hands while doing serious work like this.
20.05.2006
On the stand

Engine out. Job done.

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