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2005 Outback 2.5i - 5 speed - 191K
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276 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
During my engine reinstall, after I swapped out head gaskets, I had a serious issue getting the engine to mate with the transmission. I was fighting the engine weight.

Logie_OBXT suggested removing the front bumper but I just could not see me doing that. I wanted to put stuff back on....not take more stuff off!

So... I ran into a similar issue when I went to install the new engine in my car with it not wanting to push together with the transmission. Let me guess: you're using a Harbor Freight 1 ton engine lift and you didn't remove your front bumper.

I could not get the engine to pull together with the transmission with the bumper in place. The engine lift just won't reach and you're fighting yourself. But once I pulled the entire bumper and support, the engine slid right on to the transmission with no problem.
I needed about 3-4" more extension from the Harbor Freight 1 Ton Engine Hoist I was using. The hoist was pushed fully against my front bumper and I could do almost nothing to get it to work. I finally used the bolts to pull the tranny and engine together however that screwed up the lower engine cover and I had to remove the engine again. Grrrrr.

I worked up a modification of the engine hoist.

I used a 4' length (3' would have been fine) of 1/4" Angle Iron. I got it from Lowe's

I removed the back bolt on the lift and the front bolt (the one that hold the chain with the hook on it). I drilled 5/8" holes into the angle iron at the locations where the front bolt and back bolt were located. I drilled a 1/2' hole at the end of the angle iron for a 1/2" Eye.

I slid the angle iron into the square tube on the hoist. I secure it with the two bolts and put a length of chain attached to the 1/2" eye with a new hook. This gave me an extra 8" to move the engine closer to the transmission.

Also, and this was probably the biggest benefit, I could gently twist the 1/2" eye to allow me left and right movement of the engine (A large screwdriver was all I needed to twist the eye). This allowed me to move the driver side, or passenger side, of the engine closer or further away from the transmission instead of having to move the entire hoist.

I would not recommend using more than 10" of extension.
Any further may risk an unbalanced hoist. ALSO, I would not try this with an engine much heavier than the 4 cylinders in our Subaru's

It worked great!
 

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85BRAT97SVX03Baja5mtHonda's
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2,170 Posts
don't do this on a EJ22T, or a EG33 or any H6....

on a ea71-ea81 you can borrow a friend and lift it out...but there would be no need to do so, as the headgaskets could be replaced while still in the car, and no timing belt jobs ever, as they were timing gear.
 

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06 OBW 2.5, 05 Forester, had 03 H6 OBW
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5,966 Posts
don't do this on a EJ22T, or a EG33 or any H6....
...
...
A presume the caution is regarding heavier engines which will move the CG out past the ends of the legs...

I took a ride to the ceiling putting a 455 with attached trans into a 67 GTO, I wouldn't recommend duplicating that experience!

For an engine far below the hoist's capacity I would do this same thing in a heartbeat, square tubing for the top extension would be better, and if CG were ever even a small risk I'd extend the legs as well.

Oh, and lifting eyes are pretty cheap at McMaster-Carr, I'd feel better about the eye at the end at least having a fully welded eyelet.
 

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2002 3.0 VDC Wag + 2018 2.5 Leg Ltd
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2005 Outback 2.5i - 5 speed - 191K
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276 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
AFTER. that was the inspiration for the modification. I could not get the engine close enough.

2" square tube would been better but I was in a hurry. The angle iron worked perfectly.
 

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Outback 2.0XT, Audi TTq, Ducati M750
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333 Posts
Pic for reference, use threaded locking links instead of the hooks seen in this picture, I swapped them out since they put too much stress on the liftpoints.

 

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'18 OB 3.6R
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64 Posts
Good tip. i had the same issue with the same lift when i did the engine swap in my '05 leggy. I just removed the bumper tho because it was already falling mostly off. Man getting the motor aligned with the trans in the car was a pain by myself.
 
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