How To: Drop Engine

This part of the engine drop process is a little more intensive than the drop prep. From here on out, it’s helpful to have friend to lend a hand. As always, be sure to have the proper tools for the job. If you need something, go to a store and get it. Be very careful supporting the car. A good jack, and set of jackstands are a must.

1.Those are 2 2×12 boards 2.5 feet long. When raising the car up and down, it rolls back and forth. The more level the car when doing the actual drop the easier to get it out. Thanks to Carl Crawford for this idea.


Wheels under the car when possible are a good idea in case something really bad happens. This is a good time to use jack stands under the rear of the car (in front of the rear wheels, not pictured).

2. Time to remove the axles. This will involve many steps. First, set the parking brake, and take the rear wheels off.

A: Take the cotter pins and axle end caps off.

Parking brake still on right? It’s 32mm socket and breaker bar time. Jeez.

This might help so the socket doesn’t slip off like it did on me multiple times. The pressure from the jack keeps the socket on the bolt where it would normally want to torque/twist off.

B: OPTIONALLY Remove the rear brakes. You do not have to do this if you are not changing your brakes out. I was putting 93 style brakes on, so now was a good time. Skip to C: if you do not need to do this.

This is a little trick to get more leverage out of your wrenches I learned from a local MR2-NW guy, Jay Atienza. Apparently he learned it in the Air Force. It’s probably common knowledge???


Bolt removed.

Lift the caliper up, and push it towards the engine to remove from the bracket.

It pushes straight off but you might have to do a little twisting to get there.

Remove the rear brake bracket. 2 bolts.

Remove the discs, the first bolt you took off the calipers can be screwed into the two small holes to get the disc to pop off the assembly if necessary, see pic…

C: Disconnect sway bar from the end links. 14mm wrench and hex wrench.

D: Disconnect balljoint from lower suspension arm. 2 17mm bolts.

E: Disconnect adjustment arm from brake assembly.

F: Pop axles through the brake assembly. Use a piece of wood and hammer to hit the axles straight towards the engine. This may take a lot of hits, keep at it, it will free up, and pop through. G: Remove right hand (passenger) axle. There are a few ways to do this, the one I used was to remove the axle carrier and just pull the axle out. This first pic is looking through the crossmember at the back of the engine. From below, remove the following

1: Two carrier bolts (removed already)

2: Support brackets nut (removed already)

3: Short support bracket end bolt

4: Long support bracket end bolt

Now, once the bracket is loose (pop it off the block with a screwdriver so it’s free) just pull on the entire axle assembly, and it will dance out of the tranny.

Here’s the whole thing. I think this way is much easier than the BGB way. Thanks to Shane Craddock for the idea on this.

H: Unbolt rear motor mount through bolt.

I: If the car has ABS, detatch ABS line from the crossmember. 1 10mm bolt on each side. Also, be careful to move the ABS line above the swaybar, or you might damage it when you drop the crossmember.

J: Unbolt assembly arm from car body.

The left arrow points to a crossmember bolt that’s coming up next. The arrow on the right shows you a better shot of the assembly arm.

K: Time to drop the crossmember. Break the bolts loose, but do not take them out yet.

Now is a good time to get another person to help, or use a jack to support the crossmember. Undo the four bolts the rest of the way. Lower the crossmember and pull it out.

3: Here’s two pics showing you what you should have…

That’s right, we’re leaving the drivers side axle attatched during the drop. We’ll get it out later.

Get ready to drop

I got this 1,000 lb capacity furniture dolly from Home Depot for $19.95. The oil pan should sit on the right side, and the tranny has two spots that will sit on the left side. With just these three spots, the engine will be balanced. Get the engine hoist hooked up (you’re probably going to need a load balancer in between the hoist and the engine to keep the sides even).

Another view. Notice the blue slave cylinder hanging (we’ll remove it in a minute). Be sure to support it so that the hoses are not being stressed.

4. Remove Slave Cylinder and Front Motor Mount through bolt and Tranny side of the motor mount

Time to get the slave cylinder off the tranny otherwise you’ll have to cut the lines which would not make things any easier on you later.

The Slave Cylinder can be challenging to remove and install. It’s hard to see the bolts, and to reach them.
There are only 4 bolts to worry about. In the past I’ve always seen people (myself included) undoing most of the pictured bolts just because you can’t see what’s holding it on from above or below very well. The top two just hold it down to the tranny. The bottom two sandwich it to the front motor mount and the tranny. The motor mount is not pictured in this pic.

The next few pics are of an install, but will still be helpful, just do the reverse. Under the car, lining up that bolt hole on the right to make things easier.

First step to installing it, temporarily mount the two lower bolts without the engine mount installed.

Here you can see the upper bolt on the drivers side being tightened down with a small wrench and small socket. This is to give you an idea where the bolt is.

Same as above.

Another pic of that bolt.

Here’s the upper passenger side bolt being tightened down. Notice the longer socket than the drivers side bolt.

Another angle of the passenger side bolt.

Finally, remove the lower two bolts which were loosely on there, and put the motor mount on, then re-install the two lower bolts.

Remove the through bolt for the front motor mount.

On the left, the through bolt is removed, and on the right in the tranny side of the motor mount there are two bolts that due to lack of space must be undone with a wrench. The reason to pull these off is because they are holding the slave cylinder to the tranny.

5. Remove drivers side motor mount bolts

From below, these bolts hold the tranny to the tranny side of the motor mount.

Can’t remember what this one was???????

The left two arrows point to the top view of the bolts we saw from below two pictures ago. The bolts on the right hold a stay bar, and a mount for the speedo cable.

Another view with bolts loose.

6. Remove passenger side mount completely

Now we’re attacking the passenger side motor mount. We ended up undoing all 5 bolts.

Here’s are some more shots to show you what needs to come off.



Start with the two bottom nuts (easily accessed from below with a long extension). Then the three top bolts.

Finally the through bolt (which can come out even with the intercooler in place).

7. Dropping the engine

Then, just slowly lower the engine. If it gets caught up somewhere, raise it back up a little, and see what the problem is. Take care of the problem :). We had to shake the chains a bit to swing the engine around and get it unstuck from this and that. Also, be sure you’re clearing the AC compressor if you have one.


Here’s some shots to help show the balance points.


Once the engine is down, you may have to raise the car up to get it out. To do this safely, get a good thick chain that the rear crossmember bolts will slide through, hook it so that it goes bolt through chain into rear crossmember hole – chain goes to hoist up top – chain goes to bolt on other side rear crossmember hole. Then use a towel or some old carpet to keep the paint from getting scratched by the chain, and raise the car up slowly. Watch what the front wheels are doing (rolling backwards) don’t let them fall off the boards (if you used them). You want the front wheels free so that the hoist isn’t pulling on the car enough to cause it to jump forward when you lower onto the jackstands. Raise the jackstands up to the new height, then lower the car down to the jackstands…. (Thanks Carl Crawford for the idea). Now hopefully you have a nice dolly to make this easier, pull the engine on out.

Ahhh, wasn’t that easy?

Now you could leave it on the dolly (or whatever you lowered it onto) or you could put it on a stand. To get it on a stand you have pull the tranny, pressure plate, and flywheel (well, you could leave the flywheel on, but why would you want to?). Then you gotta get some bigger bolts to hold the block to the stand. This will be covered a little on the tear down page.

This documentation in no way replaces the Toyota MR2 Repair Manuals. The purpose of this content is only to provide supplementary information to fellow MR2 enthusiasts. Midship Runabout and its contributing authors will not be held responsible for any injury or damages that may occur as the result of practicing any of the methods or procedures described within this website. Article and photo submissions are property of the contributing author.

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