What the heck am I doing?


It should be noted in advance that I pretty much have no clue what I'm doing. I've never pulled a motor from a car with help, let alone all by my little ol' self. But here I am, on a friggin Tuesday at midnight o'friggin'clock with my flood lights on in my driveway trying to yank out a several-hundred-pound motor and transmission.

So, I Ran Into Some Issues...

Of course I ran into isuses, only a complete idiot would think they'd not run into issues doing something for the first time. But hey, lessons learned, right?

Exhaust Issues

I figured it would be super simple to pull the exhaust first since it's pretty exposed and easy to access. Partial credit there - it was easy to access, but the passenger side muffler did NOT want to let go of the tailpipe which needs to be finessed out of it's little area next to the fuel tank. Is there a way around this? No, just take your time and assume everything is difficult and you'll be okay. Second mistake with the exhaust was leaving the headers on. I measured at least 5 times to ensure that the headers would be able to squeeze out with the motor and to my credit, I was correct. HOWEVER decided that I was going to pull the motor and transmission at the same time. I didn't account for the tilt of the motor and everything the exhaust would catch on. Big mistake, huge! The lesson here is that you should just take everything off. It's not worth the hassle of trying to take headers off of a swinging motor because you thought it would save 10 minutes of work.

Engine Hoist Issues

This was the dumbest one but I set all of the chains to their longest length on the crane which made it so that the motor would not clear the front fender. So I had to lower the motor back on to the motor mounts and attempt to unhook everything, shorten it all, and reconnect it. Lesson learned - always set the hooks and chains as short as you can for maximum clearance!

Transmission Issues

So after looking at a hundred different driveshafts I assumed (wrongly) that I could just decouple the yoke and we'd be off to the races. WRONG! The way my driveshaft connects to the C4 transmission is that it mates directly with the spline at the transmission. So I searched and searched and came up with a plan. I'd remove the driveshaft from the rear, slide it forward a bit, enough to get the back down and then slide it off of the transmission. EASY! Wrong again. It wouldn't go far enough forward for me to pull it completely out of the rear. So I bolted that back up because I didn't have enough hands to pull the engine forward as I pulled the driveshaft from the rear. Next idea: I'll slowly and carefully wiggle the engine forward and the transmission would slowly decouple from the driveshaft. It worked, but it took a ton of back-and-forth on my part. I also saved myself some grief and built a small wooden stand to "catch" the driveshaft so it didn't smash into the concrete and get all dinged up. First smart thing I did all day.


All in it took me something like 6-7 hours to pull the motor and transmission. Lots of lessons learned here. Hopefully someone somewhere will find this useful. I'll probably come back here next time I do this to remind myself not to be dumb and to take my time. It was actually a ton of fun too. 10/10 would pull engine and transmission again.

Engine Details

Item Casting Number Notes
289/302 block D1ZM-6015-AA After inspecting the block it's clear it's been bored to 4.030
Crankshaft 2M This crank has a 3.00" stroke which makes this a 302
Heads D0OE-C-351-28 These heads may be from a similar year 351W - could possibly be original to this motor too
Transmission N/A This is a C4 transmission, no doubt
Rear End N/A This is 9" ford rear end - unsure of what gears are in it currently