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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello guys I have a question and this is a new one for me. I have seen many times before where the person installed the engine connected with the transmission and installed it that way and is very common for some to do. My transmission is coming out because I have a lot of stripped threads that need fixed on it and a few other things. My engine is about done and just needs a few things done to it for it to be done and they will be both bolted together to be installed into my truck.

This is a small block chevy with a th350 transmission and I know many folks have done it but I came across a guy on youtube the other day that was talking about torque converters and that you should never install a transmission installed to the motor into the vehicle as you can damage the torque converter and the transmission pump on the front and the pump seal. I have seen so many times folks do this method without any issues at all from what little I know.

Is there any tips or safety concerns I should look for when having this procedure done? The one doing this will be my Father who has worked on vehicles and even heavy equipment stuff for over 45 years which is along as I have been alive and I know amongst some mechanics there opinions will vary. Any input will be appreciated and your guys experience will be appreciated if you can share your experience of this method being done. He just wants to install it all together so as not to having to have the issues of cramp space with my s10 getting the bell housing bolted to the engine along with the exhaust pipe stuff etc being such a pain when doing them separate.

Thanks guys and take care and for any help.
Eric
 

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Not having any particular tips for you about this procedure, I do wonder about what that YouTube video says: how can you damage converter, pump or seal, as these are all pretty protected, between engine and trans. It is also easier (and therefore limits the chances of damaging anything) to mount the trans to the engine on your shop floor than laying on your back under your car/truck.
I have installed and removed an engine-trans combo a couple of times, and the main issue is that space can be very limited in some vehicles to swing engine-trans in place (with the SBC, be careful with the distributor hitting the firewall, in particular), and this may require removing radiator, rad support, grill...
 

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Race it, Don't rice it!
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Exactly why you tube can be informative or misinformation. Unfortunately you don't which it is.
Engine/Trans together is heavy......Be careful, work slow and it'll be fine.
 

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This is a lot of overhung weight on a typical engine engine cherry picker see the link to be sure we’re talking this device.

As with anything you need to size this to the load it can carry at the reach you need, ‘one size does not fit all’ kind of thing. Other than that there are no particular problems beyond the heath limits. The vehicle may need to be raised to get swing clearance to the floor, the hood removed to get vertical clearance, and of course the need for sufficient ceiling clearance.

These devices work much easier on concrete than gravel so if you’re on gravel covering it with sheets of 3/4 plywood spiked down with very long spikes, or lengths of rebar hammered through it into the ground will add stability. A concrete slab is ‘numeral uno‘ if you got it.

Bogie
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
This is inside a garage with a cement floor with plenty of room and my s10 sits pretty low in the front to factory specs and the only information that the guy stated in the video which was about installing a torque converter on to the transmission is he stated you don't bolt the transmission to the engine with the torque converter bolted up to the tranny because it can break and damage the converter or the transmission pump and nothing else beyond that and he says it puts a lot of pressure on the hub on the converter and the tranny pump and it can break. That was the only minor thing he stated about and nothing more then that.

My father is using a lift plate that goes on top of the intake manifold which he uses to take the engine out and also to put back in and the lift he is using can handle up to I think 1000 pounds plus at the longest setting. This is just a small block with a turbo 350 which I think would be no more then about 750 pounds with aluminum heads on the engine itself. I have seen it many times without issue. He has plenty of room to maneuver things around with no problems. Using floor jacks and also jack stands etc he has a lot of stuff to do this sort of deal as like I stated he had done this for 45 years. He had done more then what I can list on things automatics stuff. I was just wondered by that comment that guy said about when installing a transmission and all he said you never install a transmission with the converter on it with the engine at the same time as it can damage the tranny pump and the thrust bearing with things wanting to twist from the weight etc.

That is all I know but it seems odd to me though but I am no expert.
 

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The factory doesn’t use the intake manifold to hang the engine trans assembly. If the engine was unmolested there are two stout brackets off the head’s staggered front rear, this is what they lift from.

The thought of 800 pounds hanging on four, 5/16ths bolts screwed onto aluminum scares the crap outta me, I don’t do it. A long time ago I was under one when that failed, got damn lucky but that was close enough I pee‘d in my pants got a busted first knuckle on my left thumb that is enlarged and painful to this day 50 years later and gouged left calf that still shows the scar, could of been a lot worse.

There is no problem with the converter bolted up. It is held from falling into the pump by being bolted to the flex plate if the trans is secured to engine before installation to the vehicle. The damage issue is from those that don’t have the converter seated in the pump drive before bolting the bell housing to the block, that is what busts the converter and or pump. I make use simple brackets configured to fasten to the lower part of the bell housing to keep the converter seated in the pump while moving the tranny for whatever reason arises. These do not get removed till the bell housing and block are attached to each other.

Bogie
 

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Old(s) Fart
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The thought of 800 pounds hanging on four, 5/16ths bolts screwed onto aluminum scares the crap outta me,
I don't disagree, but frankly I don't know how you can balance a mated engine and trans with one of those carb flange lift plates anyway. The load leveler bolted to the heads is all that I use.
 

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The last time I installed the engine/trans in dad's S-10 Blazer I installed them as an assembled unit. I have one of the load levelers that 49 Ford shows, and I did not remove the front core support. I did raise the rear of the Blazer up on jack stands as high as I could. It was snug, and I had to crank that leveler a lot to get it done. I'm with Bogie in thinking that the carb lift plate is not a good idea with the two joined together.
 

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No, i don't see how a converter would be damaged if you install an engine/trans combo together into a car. Maybe what the youtuber was referring to was if you didn't already fasten the converter to the flexplate, when you tilt the engine/trans combo backwards to fit in the car, the weight of the converter MIGHT push up against the pump and damage it, but even then i don't think it's likely. And, why would you install the engine and trans together without attaching the converter to the flexplate and making sure the converter is correctly seated.......?

i prefer to take the engine in and out separately, but there's nothing wrong with doing both at the same time IF you're more comfortable that way.

A lot of cars (GM's at least) are very tight around the bellhousing area, but what i find is using a wobble socket and extentions on the 9/16 bellhousing bolts, it's really not a big deal.

Example:

NOTE: This is a wobble socket, NOT a u-joint socket. U-joint sockets tend to flop around-----causing frustration, and rude sayings to be said out loud, which really disturbs the peace of the neighborhood...... Wobble sockets allow a range of angular movement, but don't flop uncontrollably.

Also, i'd like to recommend this tilter especially if you're going to do the engine and trans together:

i'm likely going to get one soon.

Now, there was a concern about using a lift plate, or something like the above recommended tilter on an aluminum intake. That MAY be a valid concern, but i don't have time to research right now. i recently used a lift plate on the 4.3 v-6, but that was a factory iron q-jet intake and the engine only weighs 425 lbs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I agree that I am not comfortable with the carb plate being in place but that is what he has used in the past with no problems and I just myself even with a motor don't like it. I also don't like my intake being held like that and even with a two hundred motor attached I don't like it. I will have to buy one of those levelers from harbor freight as I have been needing one anyways and that will help me be safe about things. Thanks for the heads up on that one. I was never a fan of the engine plate deal and just with 5 bolts and I don't like the risk of the engine falling down. Yikes. Thanks guys for your input and I appreciate it a bunch.
 

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We used to install engine/trans assemblies quite often and still do if it comes up. I agree with the amount of weight on a intake mounted contact point. I think the engine angler deal is a good idea plus it will help with angling the trans downward as you get over the radiator mounting.
I don't have any problem with the plates with just an engine hanging on them. Assuming that the intake threads are not shot, you bolt it down tight with washers on the bolts they've worked for me as long as I can remember.
 

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My 383 with 7-quart Milodon oil pan and TH350 would not go in my first gen S10 as a tilted assembly, even with the front clip completely off. Oil pan would not drop behind the crossmember with valve covers against the firewall.

That said, there would be absolutely no issues with bolting the trans to the engine, and then bolting the torque converter to the flex plate.
 

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In my picture I am lifting a engine, trans, and transfer case in a lifted ride on a hill.

The issue is more the angle then anything. I have installed several manuals and automatics attached to the transmission and never had a issue besides planning for the height or the mess.


Weight adds up fast. You can quickly out reach a 2 ton lift having the waterpump pulley pushing against the hydraulic cylinder.

I broke several "truck" bed lifts. Before building my own. Its overbuilt and can still slide through a 36" doorway.

If your going to do it use multible ratchet straps to pull the rear of the transmission up so it is level.

Removing the front clip/hood is almost always required. You want to leave the wheels on the ride and push the ride back not the lift.

Keep everything as low as possible, never get under or in between the load that could pinch, and work on a level surface( most floors/driveways are sloped).
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
At the 5:36 video mark is where this guy makes the mention on not doing that of what I stated above and asked about and to me it seemed to me an overkill situation as I have seen it done many times before. I was trying to help on another post about putting your torque converter on all the way and I caught that comment and that thought about my current build getting done. I do plan on buying the leveler from harbor freight anyways to be safe and since I have a engine hoist anyways it will go with it and is money well spent.

 

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Old(s) Fart
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One more time, GM has no issue hanging the complete trans and even the transfer case off the back of the engine during install.

 

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Video says nothing about not bolting trans to engine, says not to pull trans and leave torque converter bolted to flexplate, also not to bolt torque converter to flexplate before installing transmission (like you would a clutch!)
 

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In many cases , the height & reach. of the lift , when the vehicle is raised off the floor high enough to work under ,is simply not sufficient .
 
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