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914 Engine Removal Made Easy

Pelican Technical Article:

914 Engine Removal Made Easy


2-4 hours






Metric socket set with 3/8-inch, 1/2-inch and 1/4-inch drives, 3/8", 1/2" and 1/4" universal joints, 12-point Snap-on or Mac Tools star tool, hex key socket driver set, metric wrench set, rubber mallet, flathead screwdriver, stout furniture cart (holds at least 800 pounds), floor jack, four jack stands, safety glasses, torque wrench, shop rags, large plastic bags, large rubber bands

Applicable Models:

Porsche 914 (1970-76)

Performance Gain:

Access to your engine and transmission for doing what you need to do, like rebuild the engine or replace the gear oil in your transmission

Complementary Modification:

Replace the clutch

This article was originally started about two years ago, but I never got around to finishing it and publishing it...

Having the experience of a few engine pulls under my belt, I thought that I would document the troubles and joys of pulling a 914 engine, for those who are doing it for the first time. I wish that I had something better than the Haynes manual when I pulled my first engine out of a 914.

I developed this particular method of removing the drivetrain knowing that I didn't have too many people willing to give up their Saturday to help me pull an extremely heavy object from an old car. I also didn't like the method described in the Haynes manual; I thought that there was a bit too much room for error. I had vivid thoughts of the possibility of explaining to my girlfriend the exact reasons why I dropped an engine on my foot.  Therefore I developed a method through trial and error which minimizes the risk to both you and the engine. You don't have to remove the fuel injection or carbs, and the engine and transmission come out together.  In addition, you can perform the entire removal process by yourself.  I have done this sucessfully several times now.

The entire drivetrain can be removed in about 2 hours (just did it yesterday), if you know what your doing and if you've done it before. I can't stress how much a good strong set of tools is worth in this job. I would recommend as the minimum:

  • A Metric Socket Set with 3/8", 1/4" and 1/2" drives. I have a Craftsman Metric only set that has never let me down. You need just about everything from 8mm to 19mm.
  • A set of 3/8", 1/4", and 1/2" universal joints. Especially useful for disconnecting the transmission from the engine. (not necessary for the engine drop)
  • A 12-point star-type tool required to remove the CV-joint bolts. Although tempting, don't attempt to use a torx or hex driver on these bolts. You will strip at least one of them, and then have to cut it off with a dremmel tool (been there, done that).  Get a Snap-on or Mac tool if you have the opportunity; I've had the Lisle tools strip on me.
  • A set of hex-key socket drivers. Hex keys can sometimes break, and they don't always give you the leverage you need.
  • A set of wrenches, most notably 19mm and 17mm to remove the engine and transmission bolts. Other sizes are useful for removing other various engine artifacts.
  • A rubber mallet & screwdriver for helping to separate the CV joints from the transmission.
  • A furniture cart. You cannot proceed without this. These are available from Home Depot for about $25. They are simply four pieces of wood hammered together with four wheels on the end. The one I have is rated for 800 lbs. I wouldn't get anything less, just in case the cart suddenly becomes the only thing keeping the car from crushing your arm.
  • 2-ton jack and FOUR jack stands. I use a minimum of four just in case the fellow making the stand was sleepy one day and let quality slip. I always place a backup stand underneath the car, right near where the load-bearing stand sits.  You can use only one jack if you'd like, but the process becomes tremendously easier with two.

When I first started working on cars, I bought a cheap set of tools. Time and again, that turned out to be a short-sighted move. With any big job like this, having the right, good-quality tools will save you a tremendous amount of time and heart-ache. Plus it's also safer to be using the right tool for the job.

The most important step in performing this job is the diligent attention to the check list of tasks.  We have provided a convenient check list for you to use while you are working on the car.  Without the checklist, there is plenty of opportunity to miss or forget small detail steps in the process.  Click here to download this check list.  The document is encapsulated in an Adobe Acrobat file, and the reader for the file can be found at

Ok, time to pull the engine.

Start within the engine compartment.  You should disconnect or remove anything that goes with the engine itself.  Start by detaching and removing the engine lid.  You will see later on that this is a good step, and well worth the effort.  Loosen the two screws that hold the hinges on and be careful that the lid doesn't fall into the engine compartment.  Now, disconnect and remove the battery; it will only get in the way later on if left inside the car.  Separate the starter wire from the positive terminal of the battery wire harness.

Now, it's time to empty the fuel tank.  For specific instructions on emptying the tank, see the Pelican Technical Article, Replacing the 914 Center Tunnel Fuel Lines."  It is not necessary to empty the fuel tank, but I think that it makes the job a bit safer.  Once the tank is empty, you can cut or disconnect the fuel lines from the right side of the car to the injection.  If you are cutting the rubber lines, (these lines should be replaced anyhow) make sure that you don't damage any of the plastic lines that are difficult to replace.  If you decide not to empty the tank, you can simply clamp the lines before you cut them.  Do a good job of clamping though, and make sure that you have a bolt and a hose clamp to stick inside the hose when you cut it.  The fuel lines are shown clamped in Figure 1.

Now detach and remove the air cleaner assembly.  There is usually a little screw that holds it in at the bottom of the air filter housing.  You need to remove this air cleaner in order to gain extra clearance when removing the engine.  Now, disconnect the charcoal canister if it's located in the engine compartment.  If it is located in the front trunk, then the lines will still need to be disconnected from the fan housing, and one or more places on the engine.

Now, move to the left side of the car near the relay board and remove its plastic cover.  Disconnect the fuel injection harness, the alternator harness, and the starter harness.  You can leave the primary chassis harness attached (it's the one that attaches to the the front of the relay board).

Now, move over to the passenger side, and disconnect the oil pressure sender from the main wire harness.  This should be a single green wire connected to the sender which sits below the sheet metal near the oil cooler.   Disconnect the blower motor hoses from both sides of the car if you have them installed.

The next step is to disconnect the fuel injection computer from it's mounting location against the firewall.  It is not recommended to disconnect it by unplugging the harness, because these plugs are very old and you want to minimize the amount that these plugs are connected and disconnected.  On the right side, detach the pressure sensor (1.7 & 2.0) and air regulator valves.  If you have a 1.8L engine, then detach the resistor and capacitor pack that are attached right below the battery tray.

At this point, loosen the end of the accelerator cable.  The entire cable can be removed without removing the bracket that holds the air cleaner.  Simply lift the cable up, and it should slide out of it's slot.  The accelerator cable slot is shown in Figure 2.

At this time, everything that is important should be disconnected from the car.  The left side of a typical 1.7 injection with everything disconnected is shown in Figure 3.  The right side is shown in Figure 4, where the entire engine compartment can be seen in Figure 5.

With the wheels firmly mounted on the ground, first loosen up the four lug nuts on the two rear wheels. If you lift up the car, you will have trouble locking the wheels enough to loosen the lug nuts. You could use the parking brake, but this often slips if the nuts are tight.

The next step is to loosen the CV joints. I often do this in the beginning, because it's the most difficult task in my opinion. With the car still on the ground, use the 12-point star CV-joint removal tool to untorque and break loose the CV joint bolts. There should be eight of them.  You will have to reach up into the car to get to these, and you may not be able to reach all of them.  The reason for doing this with the wheels on the ground is that they won't turn when you try to loosen the CV joints.

Once you have loosened as many of the CV bolts as possible, jack up the car and support it with two jack stands placed under the motor mount bar.  Keep them placed far enough away from the jack points near the rockers, because you will be using these points to lower and raise the car later on.

At this point, move to the CV joints and loosen the remaining CV joint bolts.  They should be loose enough to slide around in their holes.  Do not remove the bolts, as they will not fall out unless appropriately coaxed.  After all the CV bolts are loose (may require you to rotate the wheel and apply the parking brake), you then separate them by carefully prying them apart with a small screwdriver.  Place the screwdriver on the separation nearest to the transmission, and tap around the outside of the CV joint until they begin to separate.  This process is shown in Figure 6.  The CV joints are positioned with a pretty tight toleranced dowel pin, so it may take quite a bit of coaxing to get them separated.  Don't use too much force, or you could damage the mating surfaces or the joints themselves.  Once you have them disconnected, as shown in Figure 7, make sure you place a bag over the ends of the axles, and the flanges on the transmission.   This is to protect both the joint from dirt and you from grease.  If you skip this step, you will regret it later when you have CV joint grease in your hair.

After the CV joints are taken care of, disconnect the speedometer cable.  This is done by loosening the large nut that attaches the cable to the speedometer drive on the rear of the transmission.  Figure 8shows the speedometer drive with the cable removed.  Next, disconnect the clutch cable.   Start by loosening up the adjusting nut and removing the V-shaped piece at the end of the cable from the throw-out arm.  Then remove the nut and clip that retains the clutch cable pulley, shown in Figure 9.   The clutch cable should slide right out and away from the transmission.  The third and final item to disconnect from the transmission is the shift linkage.  The shift linkage is attached to the front shifter bar by a coupling that is held in with a cone screw.  This coupling is shown in Figure 10.  Remove this screw and inspect it to make sure that it is not damaged.   Becareful not to strip the screw, as they are almost impossible to drill out without damaging the shifter bar.  Next, move towards the rear of the car, and remove the cone screw from the rear shift coupling.  This coupler (side-shift transmission) is shown in Figure 11.  The shifter bar should now slide out of the coupling in the front and rear, and can be removed by feeding it through the motor mount bar.  Be careful not to misplace the coupling as it can now easily slide off the shaft.  At this time, you should inspect the shifter bushings and replace if necessary, as detailed in our technical article, 914 Shifting Improvements.   Remove the accelerator cable if you have a 914-6.

After the shift linkage is removed, remove the transmission ground strap.  This step is often overlooked until the transmission mysteriously hangs in mid-air when you lower the jack at a later step.  Plenty of ground straps get broken or damaged in this way.  The ground strap is located on the top of the transmission, and attached to the bottom floor of the car, as shown in Figure 12.

If you have any other accessories or modifications to the car that may interfere with the removal of the engine, you should disconnect them now.   Some examples may include an external oil cooler, or a hot-start relay that is attached to the bottom of the rear trunk.

Now, move to the front of the engine, and disconnect the lower heater hoses from each side of the car.  Also disconnect the heater cable from each of the flapper boxes.  Figure 13 shows both the hoses, and the cable attachment.  Disconnect the oil temperature sender (if you have one) located at the bottom of the engine case.  Make sure that you feed the accelerator cable through the engine sheet metal.  Take the cable and pull it through while underneath the car.  At this point, you may want to drain the oil out of the engine, since it will not be as easy later, and also reduces the weight by a few pounds.

Once you have everything disconnected, double-check and make sure that you didn't forget something.  I have not done this procedure without either forgetting something, or having the motor hang in the engine compartment on a cable or a hose.  You may want to tie off some of the hoses and cables so that they don't catch on the motor as you remove it.

Start the removal process by placing the furniture cart underneath the car.  Take all of the cables that are still attached to the car and wrap them up so that they loop around towards the front of the car, away from the engine.  Remove the two rear wheels off of the car.  Then place the two floor jacks under each of the jack points.  If you only have one jack, it's worth borrowing one from a friend for this process.  Work from side to side lowering the car down until the engine bar is about 1/2 inch from the top of the furniture cart.  Figure 14 clearly shows the correct location of the motor mount bar with respect to the cart.  Make sure that the cart is centered between the two heat exchangers.  The rear of the cart is shown in Figure 15, supporting the transmission.  Note:   Make sure that the engine/tranny/car is not resting on the clutch cable bracket.  The 2000+ lbs. weight of the car will most certainly crush this bracket against the cart.  Figure 16 shows the transmission resting on the cart without crushing this bracket.  Also note that despite the angle in the picture, the throw-out fork and the heat exchangers are not touching the cart at all.  Also note at this time, that your rear trailing arms should be resting just above the floor, as shown in Figure 17.   You may want to place a block under the inside of the trailing arm to prevent the brake shield from resting on the floor.  If the shield rests on the floor, then it will damage the shield.  Watch this as you lower the car.

When you get the car to this point, you may want to just leave it suspended on the jacks, or you may want to support it by placing blocks of wood underneath the chassis near the rocker panels.  The safest approach is to reinforce the car and place it on blocks.  This is not an easy job, but it also guards against the jack dropping the car on your body, or the jack creeping over the time that you are working on it.  Under no circumstances, should you place your arm or body under the engine during the removal process.  The only slight deviation to this rule is when you disconnect the motor and transmission mounts.  Hydraulic jacks have a tendency to creep over time.  Be aware of this, and continually check the jacks to make sure that the car is not slowly dropping without your knowledge.  If the car drops onto the cart, its weight will surely crush the cart.

After you have the engine and cart in position, disconnect the engine mount bar from the car.  You can do this by loosening and removing the two long bolts on either side of the car.  As you loosen the bolts, the engine will slowly lower onto the cart.  When you remove the bolt, the engine may drop down about a half inch or so.  This should happen pretty slowly, because the engine is still tightly wedged into the compartment.  Figure 18 shows the bar with its bolts removed, and the engine bar sitting on the cart.

After you have the two engine mount bar bolts removed, remove the transmission mounts from the rear of the car.  Disconnect the mounts, not the transmission, as shown in Figure 19.   If you leave the mounts on the car, then the transmission end cover will catch on them as you raise the car.  When you remove the final bolts from the mount, the engine will 'plop' down on the cart slightly.  Figure 20shows the engine and tranny resting completely on the cart.

Now, it's time to raise the car.  Using the jacks, raise each side of the car about 1 inch.  The car chassis should lift up, and the engine really shouldn't move at all.  If the engine begins to lift, you've probably forgotten to remove something.  Check inside the engine compartment.  Look for the engine hanging on any item inside.  If everything looks good, raise the car another 1 inch.

At this point, there should be a gap between the chassis and the engine sheet metal.  Figure 21shows this gap as the engine begins to be removed.  Very often the engine compartment seals will catch the engine sheet metal (especially if they are new).  You need to take a screwdriver (using your finger for this is not recommended as the engine may shift) and make sure that the seal separates from the sheet metal.  Forgetting this task will result in mutilated sheet metal and an engine that will catch as you raise the car.   Figure 22shows the sheet metal where it usually catches on the engine compartment seal.  At this point, also check the injectors for clearance with the side of the chassis.  Very often the fuel rails will catch on the side of the car.  With the 4 cylinder motors, the fit is very tight.

Now raise the car up about a foot.  Check to make sure that the rear axles don't catch on the transmission or the engine.  Also, check the engine to make sure it doesn't move.  If it does, you probably forgot to undo something.  Figure 23 shows the car about 1 1/2 feet above the engine, with the rear axles safely positioned.

Once you have made sure that everything is ok, raise the car up to the HEIGHT where the motor can be pulled out from the rear of the car.   Make sure that you keep checking the rear axles.  They will have to be placed on top of the fuel injection as you pull out the motor.  This is shown in Figure 24.  As soon as everything is clear, pull the motor out about a foot.  Place the axles on top of the motor, and pull the engine out from underneath the car.  Figure 25 shows the drivetrain after being pulled out of the car.  Most people are surprised at how big it is.  Figure 26 shows the engine bay with the motor removed.  Figure 27 shows the entire drivetrain sitting on the cart.  You probably want to keep it on the cart since it is really easy to more this way, and even easier to replace into the car.  Now, replace the rear wheels, and lower the car back down to the ground.

Well, there you have it.  If you have all the info, (we give it to you here) the removal process is actually quite easy.  If you have any questions or comments, feel free to email them to us.  The engine shown in this article had a very interesting hole blown in the top of the case, and is shown in our other tech article, "Rendevous with a Dropped Valve Seat."   Please remember that your continued purchases and support of Pelican Parts has a direct impact on the support and expansion of this website.  Please give us your business if you like what you see here, and would like it to continue into the future.   Thanks, Wayne.

Figure 1

Clamping Off Fuel Hoses

Figure 2

Accelerator Cable Removal

Figure 3

Engine Compartment Left Side with Components Disconnected

Figure 4

Engine Compartment Right Side with Components Disconnected

Figure 5

Engine Compartment with Components Disconnected

Figure 6

Separating CV Joints

Figure 7

CV Joints Disconnected

Figure 8

Speedometer Cable Removed

Figure 9

Clutch Cable Setup

Figure 10

Cone Screw Located in Front

Figure 11

Cone Screw and Rear Shift Coupling

Figure 12

Transmission Ground Strap

Figure 13

Heater Hoses and Pull Cable

Figure 14

Engine Bar Resting on Front of Cart

Figure 15

Transmission Resting on Rear of Cart

Figure 16

Transmission Case Resting on Rear of Cart, No Weight on Clutch Wheel Bracket

Figure 17

Clearance Between Brake Covers and Ground

Figure 18

Disconnected Engine Bar Bolt

Figure 19

Disconnected Transmission Mounts

Figure 20

Rear View of Engine Resting on Cart

Figure 21

Engine Beginning to Drop About 2 Inches

Figure 22

Engine Seals and Sheet Metal

Figure 23

Car Lifted About 11/2 Feet Above Engine

Figure 24

Axles Need to Be Lifted Above Engine

Figure 25

Drivetrain Pulled Out From Underneath Car

Figure 26

Car with Engine Removed

Figure 27

Drivetrain Removed from Car

Comments and Suggestions:
pierce jens Comments: First off, great guide and checklist- thank you!
I want to add that you need to watch for the trailing arm nuts, I think they are 19mm see photo. Both sides go snagged on the sheet metal on my '73 2.0 and it took me a bit to figure out what the deal was.
October 23, 2017
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional info and feedback. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
Amphicar Comments: Here is a gotcha that those with a 4-post lift should be aware of.

Everything was going just great. I was slowly lowering the engine by raising the lift, stopping frequently to check. Oh crud! At least on my lift, the space between the two sides that the wheels normal sit on are too narrow to let the engine support bar drop down through. Even the sheet metal might be a bit too wide.

Took me quite a while to come up with a solve. I'll post some pics or something tomorrow. Essentially had to jack back of car up even up even higher to lower it onto cart with engine crossbar and tin sitting above the ramps, then roll cart back as far as you can and transfer it to a second cart over the lift's crossbar.

The lift certainly made things much easier up until that point. Perhaps someone else has done this with a 4-post lift and has a simpler solution.
January 27, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional info. We appreciate it. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Amphicar770 Comments: DUmb question. I have just about everything undone except disconnecting oil pressure sending unit from harness. Where is the sending unit? I can't find it!

January 17, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: What vehicle are you working on? - Nick at Pelican Parts  
James914 Comments: Do you have to drop the motor to replace the motor mounts?
July 18, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I don't believe so. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
nick Comments: need a complete pic of a 914/4 engine
September 3, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I opened a post in our forums. A Pelican community member may be able to supply the photo.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
Mike Comments: Great guide. Might be helpful if these were available as a pdf so that you dont have to enlarge and print each picture individually.
May 30, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the feedback. Glad we could help. You could try printing it to a PDF.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
plumber Dan Comments: i want to replace my alternator. can this be done without lowering engine? i have removed some heat sheilds, i am in the process of putting my porsche 914 on jacks so i can work easier underneath . please help-thanx!
March 24, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Try this tech article: - Nick at Pelican Parts
Kevin Comments: Great guide! No comments on the shift linkage though. I had to pry with several tools to separate the front of the shifter bar from its mate; most useful was using a 5/8" wrench as a puller. But, how on earth am I going to get the rod from inside the car pushed back into the shifter bar? Is it safe to put vice grips on the rod coming from inside the car, or will I crush it?
April 22, 2012
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: If you are careful you won't crush it. However, can you try to lever it back up using a prybar or large screwdriver? - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Revoracer3 Comments: A transmission jack works great also if you have one! :

Just my .02

March 10, 2012
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the input on this one. We appreciate the help.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
W Comments: why can't you add 1'X 8" boards and screw them to the top of the mover dolly for a little more hight.
January 21, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional info. We appreciate it. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
jim Comments: thank you wayne, So I can assume that it would cost anywhere from shop rate to about $300.00?
January 17, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: That sounds about right. - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
breezerman Comments: does any one have an idea of what would it cost if one wanted to have the removal done as opposed to doing it themselves?
January 15, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: My best time dropping a 914 drivetrain was about 2 hours and 20 min. I would count on about 3 hours from an experienced shop. - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
Bent 914 Comments: Thanks, the guide was extremely helpful. One thing to watch out for is to make sure your jacks will go low enough so that the engine will be able to rest on the cart. We had to borrow a scissors jack, as our hydraulics were too large.
October 10, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional info. We appreciate it. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Cy Comments: Thanks for the guide, it literally took me a few hours to take my 914 engine out with your guide!
January 14, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the feedback. Glad we could help.
- Nick at Pelican Parts

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Page last updated: Fri 1/19/2018 02:20:22 AM