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  #1  
Old 06-23-2011, 09:44 AM
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Default Engine Changing - Removing Front End for easier access

This thread is to discuss the easiest way to swap a motor in a Gen 2 Blazer, particularly to determine if indeed removing the front end, or front clip, makes an easier and better job in the long run.

1) The front clip would include both fenders, inner fenders, radiator core support, head lights/turn signals, gril, core-support (what the radiator bolts to), and all the modules bolted under the hood.

2) I understand there would be a LOT of stuff to keep track of and get hooked back correctly. That is one thing I think needs to be discussed and documented.

3) Once all that stuff is out of the way, access to exaust, motor mounts, and many of the things needed to R&R a motor should be much eaiser.

4) QUESTION #1;- With the clip OFF, is it possible to remove Motor-Tranny as one unit?

5) QUESTION #2;- Same, is it possible to remove Motor-Tranny-Transfer CAse as one unit?

6) Question #3; Given the greater ease of access to work on the motor, and the difficulty of removing the clip, IS THIS THE BEST WAY TO CHANGE THE MOTOR?

If it IT the best way, then I will begin the process on my 1997 Blazer and make a detailed list of the bolts and things I remove as I do it.
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Old 06-24-2011, 09:57 AM
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Question one's answer is a definite yes.

#2 Also yes.

#3 Same as 1 & 2. It really isn't difficult to remove the clip from what I recall. Basically unbolt the panels from the frame and the cab and remove it as one assembly. (after removing wires, etc that connect to it) and then you have very easy open access to everything you need. By comparison, your other thought of removing the cab is much more difficult to do.

The other option is to leave it all in place, remove the trans and T case from under the car (while it's on a lift and using a tranny jack so you don't dent your dome) then try to squeeze into all the places and remove the engine from the top. Much easier to undo a few bolts on the front clip and go that route.

If you're concerned about not remembering where things go, take pictures. Take a good clear picture of where everything is before/during removal, and you'll have reference points to put it all back together properly.
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Old 06-24-2011, 09:26 PM
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How hard is it to get the front clip re-aligned with the cab and squared up?
Do you need body work experience or is it just a matter of putting the bolts back in and tightening them up?
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Old 06-25-2011, 12:53 AM
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Bolt them up, adjust, tighten a little, adjust, tighten them all the way, make sure it's all straight, and voila.
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Old 06-25-2011, 10:09 AM
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TheRandom1;

I used to do it this way when I was working on 1970's Chev Pick up trucks. Front clip came off easy and I was surprised that everyone did not do it that way.

Clearly, the 1990s have a lot more stuff on the inner fender to contend with. Before I began, I was looking for someone just like you who had already done it.

I have two more questions if you don't mind;

a) What year and make did you do this to?
b) Would you recommend this process to the average mechanic or do you think special skills (plugging and unplugging wires maybe, or taking photos) are needed?
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Old 06-25-2011, 10:20 AM
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I actually haven't done this but I have seen it done several times both in person and on tv. I've seen it done on our trucks, 80s cars (monte carlos, etc) and whatnot.

Pretty much the only thing I would say don't try it on is a unibody type car. Like a Jeep Cherokee. As far as who can do it, anybody can. Just make sure to pay attention to where EVERYTHING goes. Shims, bolts, etc. You do not need to be a photographer for the pictures I say to take, just be able to take clear pics and you'll be fine.
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Old 07-01-2011, 12:36 AM
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I personally would not take off any body panels,I do not pull the hood off when I change out a motor.There is plenty of room without removing body panels.I have found that if you raise the motor and pull the motor mounts off on the engine side then let the motor back down you can remove the top four bellhousing bolts a lot easier.

I just pulled and replaced the motor in my 97 4wd blazer just a few weeks ago,I removed the motor in two hours without a lift,just an engine hoist.

I would pull the steering shaft off(the one between the column and the steering box),this made it much easier pulling and installing the motor.

Last edited by lt1/ta; 07-01-2011 at 12:41 AM.
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Old 07-01-2011, 02:45 AM
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Except that you have a helluva time removing the engine and trans as one unit doing it that way as he has suggested wanting to do.
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Old 07-01-2011, 03:03 AM
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Some people use small strips of masking tape to label everything like hoses and wires. An old trick we used while working on construction equipment was to use colored telephone wire to mark the dozens of hydraulic hoses and fittings that they attached to. For example a hose with a red piece of wire would attach to the fitting with the same color wire. Colored zip ties would work too. You can get a big jar of them at home depot or lowes.
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Old 07-02-2011, 02:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheRandom1 View Post
Except that you have a helluva time removing the engine and trans as one unit doing it that way as he has suggested wanting to do.
Yes,he would have a hard to removing both,but in question#3 he asked what is the best way to remove the motor.

I think removing the clip just for pulling the motor would be more work than it is worth.

I have changed out two 2nd Gen 4wd 4.3 motors and they are not that hard to do.
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Old 07-02-2011, 02:42 PM
 
 
 
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