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HomeTech Articles > 911 Engine Removal Made Easy

Pelican Technical Article:

911 Engine Removal Made Easy
Page 2

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Figure 41: Fuel Filter and Accumulator

Figure 42: Fuel Filter Connection

Figure 43: Fuel Accumulator Disconnected

Figure 44: Fuel Hose Connections

Figure 45: Fuel Hose Connections

Figure 46: Main Engine Wire Harness Connector

Figure 47: Disconnecting Wire Harness and CD Box

Figure 48: Disconnected O2 Sensor

Figure 49: Oxygen Sensor

Figure 50: Breather Hose Disconnected

Figure 51: Breather Hose Connection

Figure 52: Accelerator Engine Mount

Figure 53: Accelerator Linkage

Figure 54: Cruise Control Unit

Figure 55: Cruise Control Bracket

Figure 56: Four Nuts that Hold Transmission to Engine Case

Figure 57: Engine Motor Mounts

Figure 58: Engine Dropping Down

Figure 59: Pulling Engine Away from Car

Figure 60: Engine Dropping Down

Figure 61: Engine Dropping Down

Figure 62: Engine Separating from Transmission

Figure 63: Separating Engine From Tranny

Figure 64: Separating Engine from Tranny

Figure 65: Top View of Engine Separating from Tranny

Figure 66: Top View of Engine Pulled Away from Tranny

Figure 67: Separating Engine from Transmission

Figure 68: Engine Pulled Away from Tranny

Figure 69: Motor Resting on Wooden Blocks

Figure 70: Make Sure the Engine Doesn't Rest on CAT

Figure 71: Engine Lowered on Blocks

Figure 72: Watch Not to Damage Hard Line

Figure 73: Engine/Car Clearance Problems

Figure 74: Engine on Cart and Almost Out

Figure 75: Engine Removed

Figure 76: Engine Bay Without Engine

Figure 77: Engine Removed (Time for a beer)

     With the compressor out of the way, we can now move on to what is perhaps the most annoying and dangerous part of lowering your engine - disconnecting the fuel lines.  In order to make some more room for this procedure, it may be wise to remove one or more of the blower motor hoses.  On the 911SC in particular, there is one hose that runs down the driver's side of the engine, essentially blocking everything.  Loosening a few clamps and hoses makes this large plastic hose easily removable.  Make sure that your garage is well ventilated, and that you don't have any sources of ignition or heat around.  Note that halogen lamps, and even shop fluorescent lamps can ignite gasoline.  With this process, there is really no way to avoid spilling at least some fuel in the engine compartment and on the ground.  Figure 41 shows the fuel accumulator (olive green) and the fuel filter (silver) on the right side of the engine compartment (fuel accumulator already disconnected).  I recommend that you start by disconnecting the connection at the top of the fuel filter, shown in Figure 42.  Be careful when removing this connection, as cars that are old may have some corrosion, and it may be difficult to untorque the nut without damaging something.  Also be careful not to strip the connection.  Now, remove the connection from the bottom of the fuel accumulator, as shown in Figure 43.  This also may be a bit frozen, and might require some encouragement to loosen up.  In addition to the two connections at the fuel accumulator and filter, you need to disconnect another line closer to the engine.  Figure 44 and Figure 45 show this connection point.  On different cars with different fuel injection systems, you will have to figure out what lines need to be disconnected.  If you look closely, you can usually figure it out without too much head scratching.  After you disconnect each of these lines, I would recommend that you leave your garage, and evacuate your house (if located above the garage like mine) as the fumes will be quite strong.  Gas odors and fumes have been found to cause cancer, so be advised to try not to inhale too much of the stuff.

     After the gas lines are detached, then move to the right side of the engine compartment and disconnect the electrical connections.  Start with the main wiring harness (Figure 46).  Be careful when pulling this apart - use a small screwdriver to remove the plug.  This will minimize damage.  Then, move on to disconnecting the CD box.  This is the small aluminum finned box located next to the fuel filter, as shown in Figure 47.  Be careful when pulling this apart too.  Be sure to disconnect any additional electrical connections like the heater blower motor (white plug visible in Figure 47).

     Now, you want to disconnect the oxygen sensor.  I believe that only cars from 1980 on had the O2 sensor installed.  The sensor has a plug that connects near the fuel filter and accumulator, and can be seen in Figure 48.  Disconnect this plug and tuck it out of the way.  For reference, the O2 sensor is located near the driver's side heat exchanger, right before the catalytic converter, as shown in Figure 49.

     After you unplug the O2 sensor, you want to disconnect the oil breather hoses.  This in general varies greatly with the different cars and fuel injection systems.  Figure 50 shows an oil tank breather hose that is attached to the filler neck.  This is common on most carts.  Figure 51 shows a breather hose attachment point for the CIS injection.  Depending upon your car, you will have to look carefully and inspect the hoses to see which ones need to be disconnected.  Don't confuse the A/C hoses with the oil hoses - the A/C lines are connected to the A/C compressor.

     After removing the breather hoses and oil lines in the engine compartment, you now need to disconnect the accelerator linkage from the motor.  On my 911SC, this was unusually difficult to do, and I ended up accidentally bending the accelerator rod - something you want to avoid doing.  The rod is connected using a small ball joint end that snaps into a rocker that is attached to a bracket located on the top of the engine.  This rocker/bracket assembly is shown in Figure 52.  It is barely visible from the rear of the car when the engine and all of the fuel injection is installed.  This assembly is connected to a long rod that runs from the engine compartment to the rear of the transmission.  You need to disconnect this long rod at the ball joint (Figure 53) and remove it, to avoid damaging it.  The ball end of the rod should simply snap off of the rocker located inside the engine compartment.  After it is disconnected from the engine compartment, you should be able to slide it off of the mounting point at the rear of the transmission.

     For those cars equipped with cruise control, you need to disconnect the cruise control cable.  The control actuator is shown in Figure 54.  This unit is normally located on the driver's side of the car in the engine compartment.  The long cable coming out of the unit is connected to the accelerator, and may be difficult to reach and disconnect.  If you follow the cable, you will find that there are two small bolts holding on a bracket that attaches the cable to the throttle body of the fuel injection.  You need to disconnect this bracket, shown in Figure 55, and put the cable out of the way somewhere inside of the engine compartment.

     If you have gotten this far, then you should have just about everything disconnected and ready for the final engine drop! Once, again, I cannot stress enough that there are significant differences between all of the 911s, and you will have to use some common sense to make sure that you disconnected everything.  Look for electrical connections, hoses, gas lines, breather hoses, etc.  Look, and then look again, as there is a likelihood that you missed something.  Also, when you are dropping down the engine, make sure that you do it slowly, and keep checking to make sure that nothing is still connected.

     Now it's time to disconnect the transmission from the engine.  There are four nuts that hold the engine to the transmission.  The engine case has four studs that protrude from the case and are inserted into the transmission case.  You now need to remove these four nuts.  Two are located on the driver's side, and two are located on the passenger side.  Three of them should be obvious - they are large, and look like they hold the engine case to the transmission.  The fourth one is impossible to see - you have to know it's there.  It's located above the starter.  This nut is also not your typical nut - it's a Allen barrel nut, and requires either an 8 or 10 mm Allen wrench to remove.  This nut, and the other three 'normal' nuts are shown in Figure 56.  Note that if your engine has already been out of the car (for a clutch job, for instance), then the person reassembling it may have placed a different type of nut in it's place.  Unfortunately, you can see up there, so you will have to figure it out simply by feeling around.  If you have a difficult time figuring out where these nuts are located, you might want to look at some of the later pictures in this article, where the engine is being removed from the transmission, as this will give you an indication of where the nuts are located. (Figures 62-68)

     After the four bolts are removed, it's time to lower your engine!  start by placing your jack under the engine, and jacking it up until the jack just begins to support the weight of the engine.  Place the jack under the oil sump plate, as this is a pretty good balance point for the engine.  Now move to the engine compartment and remove the engine mount bolts from the center of the engine mounts.  The engine mount with the bolt removed is shown in Figure 57.  The motor mount bar which bolt screws into it tapped and threaded, so there is no nut that you need to hold underneath the motor mount.  After you remove these bolts, you should feel the motor drop down slightly as the weight shifts from the car to the jack.

     Now, you want to slowly lower the motor down.  It's wise to have two people around for this job - one to lower the motor, and one to check to see if there is anything caught in the mess of hoses and wires.  Lower the motor down very slowly until you have enough room to pull it forward slightly.  This distance will probably be about 1 foot or slightly more.  Figure 58, Figure 59, Figure 60, and Figure 61 all show the process of dropping down the motor.

     When you get enough clearance in front of the fan to pull the motor forward, have your assistant look under the car at the seam between the motor and the transmission.  If you give a slight yank on the jack, pulling the motor away from the car, you should see the engine start to separate from the transmission, as shown in Figure 62.  This is a good sign.  In order to effectively remove the engine from the transmission, you need to have the angle of the engine lined up properly with the transmission, as shown in Figure 63.  If the engine is cocked with respect to the transmission (Figure 64), you will have problems removing it from the car.  You should move teh jack up and down until you find the exact point where it will separate from the transmission.  Once you have the proper alignment, you should be able to pull and yank on the engine in order to get it to separate from the transmission.  Figure 65 is a top view of the engine separating from the transmission.  Once you pull the engine completely away from the transmission, it might begin to waver slightly on the jack.  It would be a good idea to have your assistant help you with balancing the engine.  Figure 66, Figure 67, and Figure 68 shows the engine pulling away from the transmission.

     Once the engine is freed from the transmission, you can lower it all the way down.  I recommend resting the motor on wooden blocks.  This is a good way to go, because then you can remove your jack and transfer the motor to a furniture cart, which makes it much easier to move around.  I recommend using some 4x4 blocks of wood, and placing the motor down, resting on the heat exchangers.  While this is probably not a good long term solution, for the immediate need of transferring to a cart, this should work fine.  Figure 69 shows the motor resting on two sets of blocks.  Be careful not to have the motor sit on the catalytic converter (CAT), as this will damage the sheet metal and perhaps the CAT too (Figure 70).  Figure 71 and Figure 72 show the motor sitting firmly on top of wooden blocks.

     By this time, it will be obvious if you need to jack up the car higher, as can be seen in Figure 73.  At this time, you can take the jack and use it to jack up the car from the rear of the floorpan, near the rear of the car.  Make sure that you use a block of wood or newspaper to avoid damaging the floorpan.  Don't jack up the car in the middle of the pan, because it is weak, and cannot support the weight of the car.  After you have enough clearance, I suggest transferring the motor to a furniture cart, as shown in Figure 74.  This will make it really easy to pull out and roll around your garage.  The final step is to just pull the motor out from underneath the car.  Be careful of clutch cables and electrical wires that might be hanging down, and might get caught on the wheels of the cart.

     Well, that's about it!  Once you have your engine out, it should look like Figure 75.  The inside of the engine compartment, complete with transmission should resemble Figure 76.  Finally, the engine sitting on the cart is shown in Figure 77.  Now you're ready to replace your clutch, fix oil leaks, or rebuild your engine (all future tech articles).  Please remember that your repeated support of Pelican Parts is essential to the growth and upkeep of this site.  Bluntly put, if you don't think of Pelican Parts for all your Porsche needs, then we won't be able to provide this great resource for free to everyone!  Our toll-free number is 1-888-280-7799, and you can find our extensive Porsche 911 on-line catalog by clicking here.

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Click here to look at comments, suggestions, and feedback from other people who have read this article.  Or, add your own feedback, and help everyone else out by learning from your experience! 

Dave Kalokitis ( adds:

Wayne, I just completed R&R on my 911 engine. Now that I'm done, I found your article on the process. You seem to have covered al the bases. These is one thing I would recommend slightly differently. I used a plywood dolly between the engine and jack. It is layered plywood about an inch and half thick with 4 casters. Its about the size of your furniture dolly with a solid center. You could add a plywood center to your dolly and have a similar set up. Just screw the plywood to the dolly. This worked great. I set the engine down and the dolly was already in place. Now I could use my jack to pick up a corner of the car and wheel the engine out. I changed the clutch and reassembled. The engine never left the dolly. I removed the engine and trans as a unit. You should mention this option as clutch alignment is easier in this fashion. Hope this helps and thanks for the good tech articles.  I have used your valve adjustment procedure very effectively.

Dave Kalokitis
'91 C2T

Dale Pratt ( adds:

Your article on dropping the 911 engine was very helpful, and I thank you for  taking the time to write it. I have something that may prove to be helpful to others in respect to that fourth nut holding the tranny and motor together, the one over the starter. Mine was the original barrel nut (10 mm Allen) but the stud completely filled the cavity, preventing me from inserting an Allen wrench. I simply skipped this nut, and went ahead with the engine drop. When the engine had dropped down about two and a half inches, the nut was easy to get to from the engine compartment. I used a very small pipe wrench to loosen the nut, and the rest of the drop went normally. I hope this helps any others who may run into the same problem, I still don't know why that stud was so long, but on reassembly I intend to see if the stud can be seated into the block a little further. Thanks again for the article.

Just a little idea which you may like to add to your 911 engine removal (or others maybe).

We all know that when oil lines are disconnected that oil drips follow and whilst putting rags in the ends of lines may work for a while, if they become saturated they drip as well. A simple very inexpensive idea is to use kids ballons as oil line "condoms". Just stretch them over the ends of lines... they seal well and also act as a mini-accumulator of oil.
Photo attached of my engine showing balloons in place.

I was put onto the idea when assisting some guys in the Porsche Car Club of Queensland (Australia) work on engines.

Another minor point in articles on the site... eg "spark plug #1 is at the back on the drivers side" ... uh uh ... in other places the drivers sits on the other side of the car ... better to refer to #1 as at the back on the Left Hand side when viewing the fanbelt or whatever.

Your articles are never the less VERY VERY excellent and a great help to home mechanics like myself.

Keep up the great work and look forward to your 101 Projects book being released.


Barry Long

ballons.jpg (49776 bytes)

Comments and Suggestions:
gravy Comments: I have separated the engine on a 1980 Targa, I have 1 cable that I assume is the live from the battery to the starer motor Ive disconnected the starter the starter, but the cable is still connected to the engine and runs to the front of the car. Any ideas
April 15, 2017
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The ground cable? are you just trying to remove the cable or diagnose an issue with it? - Nick at Pelican Parts  
mikedsilva Comments: I have my car up in the air now, going to start undoing things tomorrow.. but If I am leaving the transmission in, then why do I need to undo any of the clutch stuff?
December 27, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: When the unit is lowered, it could stress the connections. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Tom Comments: Timing has been triple checked, do you think that it's possibly the chain tensioner
August 3, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The timing would have to fluctuate quite a bit, not sure if a faulty tensioner would be enough. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Tom Comments: i've had a tune up and oil change on my 1976 911sc 2.7 engine, afterwards the pop off valve pops non stop and the engine runs poor. After the work was done oil did come out of the oil breather hose into the airbox. The timing was set correctly. So i'm at a lost, the only thing left is to drop the engine and check the timing chain, unless you think that there is something that i missed.
August 2, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: popping is usually a timing issue. I would double check the distributor timing to be sure. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
ironhorse Comments: It's been more than 30 years since I removed or installed a 911 motor, so thank you for taking the time to write and post this article, Wayne, even though it's six years after the fact. It was written with enough detail, that even a caveman could do it - lol.

I've worked on 356s, 911s, 912s, 914s and VW products in the past, so I'm fairly familiar with the process, and planning to remove the motor from a SWB 67 911 next week end.

Since the transaxle appears to be in good condition no leaks and the CV boots look good, and I remember it shifted fine through the gears when it was parked in 2003, but this will be the first time I'll be only removing the motor.

As far as 911s go, I haven't worked on anything newer than a '67, so, as for the front of the transaxle tilting up as we're removing the motor, is there a difference in the type of transaxle mounts that were used over the years?

Would it be advisable to place a wide block of wood on top of the nose-cone to keep the shifting rod from contacting the under belly?

Any there any other recommendations and/or cautions we should be aware of pertaining to early 911 motor removal and installation?

Thanks again ...

... Mark
July 27, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The mounts may change year to year, I don;t recall off the top of my head.

A small piece of wood isn't a bad idea. I keep a bunch of cut 2x4s around for just that. Holding items in place and protecting other items. - Nick at Pelican Parts
Jim Comments: if the transaxle is left in the car,as in this article why do you need to separate the shift rod coupling?which is inside the car at the rear of the tranny. Please respond ASAP. I want to remove the engine this weekend.
November 12, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: This will allow for the transmission to be lowered a little if needed. Preventing it from hanging up on the shift linkage. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
bill g Comments: I have a 1982 Porsche 911 s/c been stored for many years I got it started and I get a popping sound when I accelerate, idles good no skip and no popping at idle. could it be a broken bolt in the head?thanks,bill g
May 11, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I don't know what you mean by "broken bolt in the head". You could have sticking valve. Use Marvel Mystery Oil in your gasoline and engine oil to help loosen sticking valves. Other than that I would need to know where the popping sound is coming from, intake? Exhaust? - Kerry at Pelican Parts  
DrThriller Comments: Hi Wayne,
I just dropped my engine out of a 1976 2.7 911S, followed your instructions and within 5 hours engine was out, Thanks. Couple of questions though, I ended up leaving the clutch lever arm in place, does that have any effect on the transmission now or when I try to install it??, also with that said, when installing the engine and raising it up to mate with the transmission, is there a specific procedure or is it easier if I dropped the transmission out now, and installed it on the engine while out and putting it back as a complete unit??
April 12, 2012
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I prefer to install the engine and transmission as an assembly. Speeds the process and makes aligning everything a lot easier.- Nick at Pelican Parts  
5ski Comments: I have to remove the engine from my '79 911SC - based on your detailed description above and the proper tools/equipment, how much time should it take to remove all of the applicable components and drop the engine?
March 20, 2012
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: If you have never done the job, I would set aside a good part of the day. Maybe 6 hours. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Marcel Kool Comments: GD Wayne,

First of all thanks for all the nice articles!.

Question: i removed my engine+transmission from my 911sc 1980. In your article you just separate the transmission by undoing the 4 nuts holding it to the engine. Is this possible because you first remove the clutch arms and springs?
In my Haynes manual they tell that you need to make 3 spacer rings to relieve the load on the release bearing before removing the transmission? see attached pic.

Your help is much appreciated.


Marcel Kool
The Netherlands
November 8, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Looking at the article, it looks like the clutch arm remained in place. See attached photo. - Nick at Pelican Parts
AusseIan Comments: When I read "driver side" should I assume a LHD car? What about us, the RHD Porsche owners, we love our cars too.
October 30, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: In the US market yes. I prefer to use left and right side. As they are good for both LHD and RHD. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
paul Comments: I have a 1979 930 that has been garaged for 20 years. Aside from cleaning the fuel tank, replacing the fuel filter and pump, what other steps should be taken?
Any suggestions as to how to clean fuel line without replacing it?
With 44k miles, this guards red 930 is in excellient condition. Do you know how many 930's were imorted into the U.S. ?
March 15, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Yes, I would change the oil, drain the tank, clean and check all of the lines, and replace the filter and the pump. I would also change out the plugs, wires, cap and rotor. Don't forget the fan belt too. Tires need to be replaced prior to driving, and you'll probably need some work on the A/C. - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
Kyle Comments: Wayne,
I have an opportunity to pickup a 88' 930. What are the differences in the removal proceedure? The motor has low mileage but has been sitting for a number of years. What should I check/replace i.e. seals, brakes etc.? Good stuff in the article! Kyle
February 1, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The main difference is the exhaust and turbo plumbing that you need to remove. Nearly everything else is very similar. The fuel injection in the engine compartment is similar, but more complicated. Take photos of everything (hundreds of photos) just in case you miss anything. For the stuff that I recommend replacing, see my Engine Rebuild book, - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
Dave Comments: When lowering the engine the transmission just wants to keep lowering, almost to infinity it seems. What keeps/stops the transmission bell housing/attachment point to the engine from wanting to hit the floor? As you lower the engine really goes to a steep angle, how does this effect the dampers/attachment point at the transmission? Picture 76 implies that you put your jack/jack stand under the transmission to support it. If the transmission does need supported at one point during the removal, then how would you jack the car higher to remove the engine?
November 11, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: If you let your transmission angle downwards all the way to the floor, then the selector rod on the other end of the transmission will get stuck on the chassis and become bent! Then you will need a new transmission. Hopefully this is not what happened in your case.

You can support the transmission with a jack stand, but it shouldn't need that either - it's held in place using the mounts and the axles. Just make sure the selector shaft on the opposite end isn't leaning against the chassis. - Wayne at Pelican Parts
jvt54 Comments: I have located a 1990 porsche 911 that had a minor engine fire on the driver side. It looks to have begun in the air blower motor and melted the air box, harness wires a bit and fuel lines. My question is could a small fire like this cause any damage to the engine such as the head. The fire did not even damage the distributor or plug wires so i am thinking if i drop the engine and replace the electrical components, fuel and misc the engine should run. Does anyone have an opinion or experience with this??? please give me your thoughts. The car is in excellent condition with only 67k miles. Thanks john
October 3, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Well, since the heads are really hot all the time from the combustion chamber, a fire is not likely to damage them. The only thing that it might really damage are the valve seals, but the fire probably didn't get in there. Also, be aware that stuff melts and then falls down into the intakes of the heads, causing problems. This sounds like a minor fire though, so it should be okay and repairable. - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
Jack Comments: Wayne,
Nice article, it should help me removing my 3.2.
Maybe you could tell me what one of these units
weighs in at. Just the engine
September 10, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: A 911 engine weighs about 400 lbs or so, depending upon what you have installed on it (intake / exhaust system). - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
scott.k Comments: i had some confusion on the wire for the reverse lights connecting to the transmission. Is it that thick black one that connects to the starter motor os is it that thin white one under it about a foor connected to the side of the transmission?
September 1, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: For the backup lamps, it's going to be a very thin wire. - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
Ray Comments: try that on a 993, and see how much fun that is...
May 22, 2009
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I have, it's not that bad. :) - Nick at Pelican Parts  

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