As a car enthusiast, you and I, we all have to learn some mechanical skills to understand this hobby and ultimately to maintain our machines to passionately enjoy it too. Not everybody needs to learn how to disassemble a transmission or even replace valve seals because those types of jobs are daunting itself due to lack of knowledge, tools or simply lack of confidence. I personally understand and am here to encourage you that just like everything else in this world, anything is possible! You can do it! I did all myself and you can too!
Believe in your passion, the rest will follow.
Before I even modified my first Acura Integra, I knew I had to delve into the Automotive world by learning how to use a ratchet and wrench. I came from a computer gaming back where I taught myself to build an intense gaming desktop in order to play graphics-intense games such as Crysis or Battlefield. I knew my transition to being a car guy would come naturally but at the same time, it was frightening because I knew any type of errors in this automotive game could lead to possible, painful injuries or death. So of course, as a human being and fear having a good control over our mentalities, I was afraid. But with everything we do in life, we cannot live in fear because most things worth doing in life takes courage & self-empowerment to be a better, stronger person. It takes a strong will to truly feel alive. It takes faith in yourself to feel free and awaken to life’s joy.
One of the first things I had to learn was the obviously oil change. It was simple, straight forward but definitely scary since I comprehend that 3 ton of metals was hovering over me. I feared every time I had to work underneath the car because a lot can go wrong if you have improper safety procedures.
So to assure myself that I can do this hobby, I strictly enforced safety measures by any means necessary. In most cases, a jack, jack stands & stock scissor jacks were my minimum use of tools whenever I work under the car.
I cannot stress enough the importance of safety in the car hobby because there is so much of life to be seen and experienced that a few moments to ensure safety is worth it!
I hope you understand and take a personal vow as you read this to always practice good safety measures every time. I am a small guy, 5’ 7” and weighing 120lbs, who built a clean Acura Integra sedan that got a lot of appraisals. But I did not care for the attention because just driving a machine that you put your own blood, sweat, tears & stress into was worthwhile in itself and a sanctuary of happiness. I religiously protected the car, I meticulously detailed the paint & routinely maintained the motor. I did this all for the love & passion of the game. Just like any true passions in life, we must protect it because it brings us happiness. One of the purposes of life:
To Be Happy!
Disclosure: Please note that some of the links below are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase. Please understand that I have experience with all of these companies & recommend them because they are helpful and useful. Please do not spend any money on these products unless you feel you need them or that they will help you achieve your goals for your Project Integra.
Okay enough talk, let’s take out a engine! Keep in mind, I did not use air or power tools. I did this all alone and had a engine hoist missing a wheel. So if I can do this, I strongly have faith you can too!
Throughout this How-To/DIY article of How to Remove the Engine from an Acura Integra will be afiliate links that promote products I have personally used and recommend to you. I do make a commission for any sales that is made and highly recommend these products here:
Notes before we start:
• Use fender covers to avoid damaging painted surfaces.
• Unplug the wiring connectors carefully while holding the coupler and the connector portion to avoid damage.
• Mark all wiring & hoses to avoid misconnection. Be sure that they do not contact other wiring or hoses, or interfere with other parts.
• Anti-theft radios have a coded theft protection circuit so make sure to get the code before disconnecting the battery.
• I suggest jacking up the car, remove the wheels and its center caps, place the wheel back on and hand tighten the wheels on, jack back down so all the weight is back on the floor. This gives you the leverage needed to remove the axle nuts.
• I recommend using a long breaker bar to leverage torque when removing the axle nuts. Do not force yourself to loosen the spindle castle nut because it is not worth the possible injury or stripping of the nut. Get a longer, sturdier breaker bar.
• After the axle nuts are loosen, leave it on and proceed to jack the car up and have it properly supported by jack. It is also a good idea to place your wheels under the car just for added safety.
• Coolant will likely spill on the floor so have some shop towels to collect and dry up all that spills.
A Good Thought: Better to be safe than sorry.
The motor to be pulled out, a B20VTEC with a PR3-1-stamped Integra Type R cylinder head. Pulls so strong! But I rather go fast on my bike. 😀
Life the engine hood up & properly support it. Remove the strut brace. Disconnect the battery negative terminal first, then positive terminal. Disconnect the battery cables from the fuse/relay boxes.
Remove the intake air duct, air cleaner housing box & the bracket.
If you’re interested in replacing your stock, ugly looking black box intake system with an AEM one like the one in this picture, then check it out here:
AEM Air Intake Systems are designed to produce massive horsepower and torque gains as well as better engine sound when used as a replacement for the factory airbox and air filter.
Remove the evaporative emission control canister hose, brake booster vacuum hose & fuel return hose. The EVAP canister is located underneath the fuel filter. The brake booster vacuum line is attached on top of the intake manifold. The fuel return hose is the line under the fuel regulator on the right side of the intake manifold.
(Sorry but I forgot to take pictures of this part.)
Remove the engine wire harness connectors on both sides.
Relieve the fuel pressure by removing the fuel cap. Then remove the fuel feed hose. If you have the right sized wrench, place under the fuel filter to stop it from moving when removing the banjo bolt. I did not have the wrench so I improvised with a vice grip and worked fine.
Be careful not to lose the two washers and remember its order.
Remove the throttle cable by loosening the lock-nut, then slip the cable end out of the accelerator linkage. Be careful not to bend or kink the cable.
Always replace any kinked cables with a new one.
Remove the cruise control actuator, held by three 10mm bolts. I did not have cruise control so no images here.
Remove the engine and transmission ground cables.
With a 12mm socket, remove the adjusting bolt and mount bolts, then remove the power steering (P/S) pump belt and pump to the side. Do not disconnect the P/S hoses.
Loosen the idler pulley bolt and adjusting bolt, then remove the air conditioning (A/C) compressor bolt. Again, my car did not have air conditioning so I do not have an image for this neither.
Remove two 12mm bolts off the clutch slave cylinder and move pipe/hose assembly away from the transmission. Do not disconnect the pipe/hose assembly.
Now that all the small tasks are done, take a mini break
Remove the center caps off wheels. Loosen the 32mm spindle/axle nuts with a 1 1/4″ socket on both sides with a 1/2” ratchet with a long breaker bar. I had stock steel wheels on this car so the axle nuts were already exposed for removal. I recommend place wood pieces or even hammers to stop the wheels from moving to remove the axle nuts.
Properly have the car supported. Remove the splash guard if you is have one. I did not have one but it is held by 5 plastic clips & 4 bolts.
Drain the engine oil using a 17mm socket. Reinstall with a new washer. Do not over-tighten the drain plug.
Drain the transmission fluid using a 3/8” ratchet. Reinstall with a new washer. Do not over-tighten the drain plug.
Remove the radiator cap when the engine is at a cool temperature. If the engine is still hot, be careful when removing the radiator cap to avoid scalding by hot engine coolant or steam. Drain the engine coolant by loosening the drain plug in the radiator.
Remove the heater hoses.
Remove the radiator assembly. I recommend removing the cooling fan and/or condenser fans first then remove the radiator stay brackets held by two 10mm bolts. After all the engine coolant is gone, pull the radiator upward and out. Make sure not to lose the rubber stays on the bottom.
Remove the A/C Compressor held by four 12mm bolts. Do not disconnect the A/C hoses. This car did not have Air Conditioning so I could not show you images of the compressor removal.
Disconnect the primary heated oxygen sensor (HO2S) connector. Remove the two 12mm bolts holding the exhaust manifold to the catalytic converter.
Uninstall the shift linkage. Disconnect the extension rod, held by a 12mm bolt & 2 extension end washers. Disconnect the shift rod, held by a 8mm spring pin or famously known as the “bitch pin”.
If you’re wondering why the busing on the extension rod is red, it is because it is a hyper-flex performance polyurethane from Energy Suspension. This is a company that make polyurethane inserts to replace stock bushings.
I highly recommend this performance mod and upgrade because it provides more stabilized shifting and will not deteriorate unlike OEM soft bushing inserts.
Upgrade your bushings by following this link below:
A tip to removing the 8mm pin without using a pin punch is to reuse a header-to-catalytic converter exhaust bolt from Step 21. Of course, if you have a 8mm punch pin, I recommend using this tool instead.
It is a difficult task, probably the most difficult in my opinion, but definitely not impossible. Good luck and avoid injuries if possible.
Uninstall the damper forks held by a 17mm bolt/nut on the bottom & a 14mm bolt on the top behind it.
On the bottom, remove the cotter pin with pliers and remove the 17mm castle nut. Separate the ball joints loose to allow for free play of the knuckle.
Helpful Tip to separate the ball joints:
Use a jack to lift the knuckle high enough. Place a 1/2″ ratchet between the lower control arm and the lower part of the knuckle. Lower the jack, ensuring the ratchet is stuck in place. With the ratchet in place, smack the ratchet downward with a hammer. This will require a few tries due to the grease being seized. Be patient, ensure the ratchet has a good hold to avoid any rips to the ball joint boots. The images below will illustrate the separation of ball joints.
This trick basically allows a 1/2″ ratchet to rest in between both metal suspension components and separate the two without damaging the rubber ball joints. An alternative is to use a pickle fork which may tear at the grease ball joints if done improperly. If you have access to a ball joint separator, then I recommend using it as this is the proper method for ball joint separation.
Remove the 32mm axle castle nuts. Move the knuckle out of the lower control arm and outward to have the axle slide out. Remove the three upper 14mm bolts to remove the driver side intermediate shaft, located near the oil filter. Loosen the set rings with a flat-head and jiggle the axle shafts out the transmission housing; this will require a few attempts but be patient & pull outward.
Be careful not to pull to hard as it can dislodge the axle’s inner joints. Remove the axles and place plastic bags over the drive-shaft ends to avoid contaminants.
Finally we can now prepare the engine hoist and remove the engine!
Prepare the engine hoist to carry the weight of the engine & transmission and choose two points for the chain. Make sure to lift the chain at the middle point for an even pull outward.
I removed one transmission bolt and reuse the power steering bolt to mount the chain to the transmission and cylinder head, only slightly tightening the bolt down.
Remove the torque mounts held by 17mm bolts on the transmission and two 14mm bolts on the chassis. The driver side front mount has two 14mm bolts and one 19mm nut.
Here you can see a different transmission mount in a billet casing and polyurethane insert. If you want a stronger mount that can absorb the high vibrations from the engine or transmission, I recommend going with Hasport.
This kit below replaces all three motor mounts with CNC-billet casing and strong polyurethan. Plus it looks flash inside the engine compartment 😛
Remove three 14mm bolts holding the driver side engine mount then one 17mm bolt.
Now if the Hasport motor mount kit is too pricey, another good option is to go with Innovative. There casing is a different cast but still stronger than OEM and with polyurethane inserts. You can check out Innovative’s motor mount kit here:
Remove a 17mm bolt and two 19mm bolts from the rear T-bracket. Check that the engine is completely free of vacuum hoses, fuel and engine coolant hoses, and electrical wiring.
Slowly raise the engine upward in increments of six inches and check if the engine is hitting the chassis. Repeat until the engine is all the way out of the chassis.
Now the daunting part for me personally is that my engine hoist is indeed missing a wheel so in order to support the weight, I placed two wood pieces underneath.
Especially the part where pulling the engine hoist backward with the engine attached to the chain proved tricky but again, every movement should be done in increments. I would hammer the wood pieces backward, ensuring the engine hoist is supported throughout the whole time. Surely and steadily, the engine was out.
That is it! Finished! If you’ve gone this far, I would love to give you a virtual pat on the back because removing an engine out a car is a huge take especially if done alone! Congratulations! Now go grab yourself a beer and relax it up!