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Engine Transplant

Chris Youngson's inquiry to the AMC Pacer List about transplanting an engine prompted responses from Charles Patterson and Glen Hoag. (24-25 November 1999)

From: Chris Youngson
Date: 24 November 1999

I have located an engine and transmission from a 1980ish Concord for
$200CDN to replace the blown engine in my Pacer wagon. The tranny was
recently rebuild as well, so I am going to use it even though the one in
the car is probably OK. How easy is it to R&R the engine and tranny from
the Pacer? Are there any tricks? I assume I need to remove the hood. Any
help from those in the know would be greatly appreciated.

Thanx all,
Chris Youngson, VE7CST
West Vancouver
British Columbia


From: Charles Patterson
Date: 25 November 1999

In any event, I can quote from the 1979 TSM, the steps they suggest. Tricks
and Details, I will leave to others. Also any differences that might be
necessary to adapt.


The engine and transmission are removed as an assembly.
1. Mark hinge locations at hood panel for alignment during installation.
   Disconnect underhood lamp, if equipped. Remove hood assembly.
2. Drain cooling system and crankcase.
3. Disconnect heater and radiator hoses at engine.
4. Run windshield wiper blade to centre of windshield, to provide
   clearance for cylinder head removal.
5. Remove battery.
6. Disconnect automatic transmission oil cooler lines and cap, if
7. Remove radiator assembly and fan shroud, if equipped.
8. Remove radiator fan, spacer and pulley.
9. If equipped with air conditioning
     a. Turn both service valves clockwise to front seated position.
     b. Bleed refrigerant charge from compressor by slowly loosening
        service valve fittings. [ed note: not EPA approved now]
     c. Disconnect and cap condenser and evaporator lines from
        compressor and cap compressor service valve outlets.
     d. Disconnect receiver outlet at disconnect coupling.
     e. Remove condenser and receiver assembly.
10. Remove air cleaner assembly.
11. Disconnect wires at the following components, if equipped:
     - Starter Motor
     - Coil terminals
     - Distributor
     - Alternator
     - AC Compressor
     - Temperature sending unit
     - Oil pressure sending unit
     - Solenoid vacuum valve
     - TCS solenoid control switch [right rear of cylinder head]
     - Brake warning lamp switch
12. Disconnect the following lines, if equipped:
     - Fuel lines from tank at fuel pump
     - Vacuum line for power brake at intake manifold
     - Fuel return line at fuel filter
     - pressure vent line at carb
     - Vacuum line for heater damper doors at intake manifold
     - Power steering pump [and plug at pump]
13. Remove carb and seal intake manifold.
14. Remove cylinder head cover.
15. Remove vibration damper.
16. Disconnect accelerator cable at accelerator control bracket.
17. Raise and support car.
18. Disconnect exhaust pipe at manifold.
19. Disconnect transmission linkage and clutch linkage, if equip.
20. Disconnect speedometer at transmission.
21. Remove propeller shaft and cap transmission output shaft.
22. Support transmission with floor jack and remove rear crossmember.
23. Attach lifting device and support engine assembly.
24. Remove engine mount bracket-to-front support cushion attaching bolts.
25. Lift engine slowly and remove front support cushions.
26. Lower floor jack supporting transmission.
27. Raise car with floor jack positioned under front crossmember until
    bottom of front bumper is approx 3 feet from floor Support car with
    support stands.

WARNING: Be sure car is supported firmly

28. Remove oil filter and starter
29. Lifting at point near front of cylinder head, partially remove engine
    assembly by pulling upward until rear of cylinder head clears cowl.
30. Use floor jack to remove support stands and lower car.
31. Remove engine assembly completely.


From: Glen Hoag
Date: 25 November 1999

As someone who has removed and reinstalled an engine in a Pacer, I
have a couple of additional notes on the factory instructions.

1. Remove the hood latch and move it aside.  I broke the clip off the
cable at the latch when part of the engine hung up on it.  Had to get
a new (used) hood release cable.

2. You don't need to discharge the air conditioning.  Remove the
belt, disconnect the clutch wire, unbolt the compressor from its
bracket and tie it off on the passenger side fender.  You'll have to
move the compressor hoses around a bit, but this beats discharging it
and buying more Freon.  If you do this, put a chunk of sheet metal
against the back side of the condenser so that if the engine slips,
you don't put a hole in the condenser.

3. When doing the swap, you'll need to keep the motor mount brackets
from your original engine.  They just swap over.
--Glen Hoag
                                '75 Pacer 258 (x2)
   Limestone County, Alabama               '76 Pacer 258 (for parts)
   AMO #7895    AMCPC #471                 '82 Spirit 151


From: Charles Patterson
Date: 25 November 1999

Tell me, I wasn't clear from the TSM. Is the motor assembly removed
horizontally from under the Pacer when it is raised? or through the top,
when lowered?


From: Glen Hoag
Date: 25 November 1999

We pulled it up and out.  The setup my friend has in his garage has a
fixed mounting point for a hoist, so we lifted the engine and pushed
the car back from under it.

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