SECTION 2 - REMOVING THE ENGINE FROM THE
AND SERVICING IT PRIOR TO FITMENT
Here are some pictures of my friend Chris and I taking the halfcut from
the driveway to the garage. You can see my new engine hoist and the rest
of the shed. I am the one on the right in the far right photo.
Photo 4 (Plugs of Dash)
Photo 5 (Photo of Pedal Retaining Clips)
Photo 9 (ECU Tray)
1. Remove the dash (and cabin half of wiring loom).
Here is the halfcut sitting in my shed...(Photo 1)
The first thing to do is to remove the dash. This is much harder said
than done as many of the dash components are captive (hidden). Now
if you want to keep the dash take it methodically.
- Remove the glovebox this will reveal some bolts
and nuts to undo.
- The front aircon grill pulls out this will reveal
more nuts and bolts.
- Remove gearstick shroud.
- Remove airconditioning tubes that run from aircon
system to the floor giving access to the box underneath (see
- Remove steering column - (Photos 2 & 3) there
two brackets holding it on (before the universal joint near the firewall),
there also sundry brackets hold part of the wiring loom and ignition
so take extra care with these. Some can be cut or reefed out as they
are held in by pinch plugs (this will become obvious). To remove
the steering column completely requires you undo the pinch clamp.
The end of the steering column goes into here and has a slightly
splined end to it. Simply undo the pinch bolt (generally completely
if rusted as mine was) and then work loose. Make sure you have undone
the connectors to the indicator binnacle at the top of the steering
- Remove speedo binnacle - this will also necessitate
removal of the speedo cable (which uses a clip to attach it and should
come off fairly easily. Once removed this should allow access to
the back of the dash on this side. The actual gauges are connected
by three large plugs, undo these and label them. Note: Getting
access to the back of the binnacle and the front surround of the
binnacle is very difficult if you do not remove the top of the dash.
My friend ended up taking an angle grinder to the top (the bit of
plastic at the bottom right of Photos 4 & 6 with
EP82 written on it) of the dash, and slightly cut part of the loom.
Not recommended so try to find some other solution!
- Remove small clock as
there is bolt behind this holding the middle of the dash to the firewall.
There are no screws holding this in just use a small screwdriver
to jimmy it out
- As highlighted in Photo 4 there are also four
plugs that hold the top of the dash in place these should come out
with a bit of elbow grease. But make sure that everything
else had been undone!
- Remove the foot pedals (Photo 5) . Now both the
brake and clutch link shafts (that go to the master cylinder and
clutch respectively) are held in by pins and a clip.
Trace back to the pedal shaft and you should locate the pin. Remove
the clip and slide out the pin. The pedal should come away. Then
undo the mounting bolts for these. The brake and the clutch systems
aren't that important but the accelerator is. The reason? The ECU
takes input from the throttle position sensor which forms part of
the pedal mechanism. Make sure you keep these parts as you will have
to graft them onto the mini assembly or vice versa (graft the Starlet
pedal into the Mini otherwise the car won't run properly if at all.
- You should be left after this process with the fan (far left box
and air con box(es) (Refer Photo 6). Even after
removing all the retaining nuts this will not come away as there
are metal tubes running into the back of the aircon system (See
photo 7). Now you have a choice to
make. You can either leave this till you have the engine out or you
can try and get the box apart and undo the linkages. I went the second
option as essentially I just want to get the loom off not really
worrying about the air con as I won't be installing it in the Mini
(no room essentially). Now the box is put together as part of the
dash which means that essentially you will have to possibly destroy
the airconditioning casing to get at the connectors, whereas if you
wait and disconnect from the firewall side things will be much easier.
- Below the centre left box you will find a tray with a metal box
in it (See Photos 8 & 9). This is probably your
ECU so be careful. It should have a large plug coming into it from
the right hand side as part of the loom that then runs along and
into the engine bay by the centre of the firewall. There will be
a screw directly at the front of this tray that will allow the tray
to fall away. This then should allow you access to the two mounting
bracket screws. Undo these and the big plug and voila you have removed
- In Photo 10 you can see the loom completely removed
except for the final plugs that exit through the firewall. Now I
am at the stage where I am ready to remove the engine. That is about
it the rest you have to figure out for yourself...
Don't forget to label the wires as well (something I forgot to do
this during the first day of removal). The next step is removal of ancillaries from the engine
bay to get the engine out of the halfcut.
2. Remove the Wiring Loom and Engine Ancillaries in engine bay.
Hopefully by now you have labeled all the plugs, connectors etc on
the dash. At the end of this process you should have 3 large plugs that exit to the engine bay from the cabin. This is pretty much as far as you have to go with the dash side
of things. The next step is the engine bay.
By Ancillaries I mean such things as the air filter system, radiator, fuse box etc. So that ultimately you have something resembling the final photo opposite. That way when you remove the engine you don't snag on something or have try and remove things while lifting the engine out.
I could list them all here but if your doing it, you can probably work out what needs to come out! But here are the basics:
- Remove battery leads from battery (if present)
- Remove Intercooler and hoses.
- Remove airbox (See photo)
- Remove thermatic fans (there is two one each side of the radiator core)
- Remove radiator (this creates a lot more room at the front of the engine
Number distributor cap and remove leads.
||Very Important Note: Number the distributor leads and the cap and also mark between the cap and the head so that you make sure it goes back on the way it came. Working the firing sequence (between the distributor cap and the cylinders) from scratch is a messy annoying affair indeed!
- remove lead to alternator;
- Remove the lambda sensor from the turbo (Label this even though
it should be obvious. Once out the car the loom can look like spaghetti
and any visual reference is lost. (See Photo)
- Remove aircon condensor (silver box like thing on left hand side of engine bay)
- Remove fuel management system from back firewall and connections. Label this clearly.
- Disconnect and remove fuel return tank and metal fuel line running to back of car.
- Disconnect HP (high pressure) fuel pump and remove. Without petrol you don't have worry about damaging it through disconnection. Though you will want to make sure that there is a source of fluid (in this case petrol) connect when you start it up as sucking pure air can damage the HP fuel pump very quickly.
- You have a choice here. Remove headers and turbo or Not. Make sure you disconnect the exhaust from the turbo and the pipe to the EFI system if you so choose. Otherwise you can simply disconnect the exhaust from the base of the turbo and leave in place, to be hoisted out with the engine. This is my choice as you don't have to worry about things going missing and you can do it properly when the engine is out of the car.
- On the left hand side of the engine will possibly be a silver unit
with steel brake tube like connectors. These run to the brake booster
and also to the power steering. This does not have to be removed
for any particular reason apart from the fact that the lines go over
the top of the brake booster stopping its removal. This is a messy
and annoying job.
- Remove the the wiring loom where it plugs into each fuel injector
(be cafeful here these plugs are what fire the injectors). There
is also unfortunately a wire that then leads from the end of the
fuel rail underneath the back of the engine. I have to get this out.
Note: Make sure you label all the wires as you take them off the engine prior to removing the engine. Given that wiring looms on the modern jap cars are a little more intricate than that of a '72 clubman it can make things a lot easier even if you only do the ones that attach to important bits on the engine. Place somewhere safe..
Try and get hold of a wiring diagram for the Starlet GT (courtesy of www.toyotagtturbo.com). This can come in handy. Also note that the wiring to the rear (usually run along the sill on the drivers side) will obviously be cut at the same point as rest of the halfcut, which will require you to match up those wires that perform functions at the rear of the car (i.e. brake lights, reverse light etc etc, and some of these may not work with the Mini items). You may elect to try and combine the two at the dash rather than try and work out what these wires do, up to you.
3. Remove gearchange mechanism
This is as easy or as difficult as you want to make it.
As per the photos there are two rods/cables for up and down shifting.
They are both connected to the shaft by swivel bolts (there is a technical
name for these but stuffed if I can remember it). Originally I suggested undoing these but you can actually have the whole unit intact and just remove the connections at the gearbox side and withdraw through the small aperture in the firewall.
This becomes a much easier proposition with the heater out of the
way (as you can see in photo 3 & 4). The next part is tricky but. You have to remove the cables from
the gearbox. With the actual gearchange chassis removed from the floor plan you have a bit of give and take. Make sure you label these "left" and "right" otherwise you will have to drive in reverse all the time (a little joke there!!).
You may want to think about removing the metal surround that sits around the aperture in the fire wall where the cables exit. You can then graft this onto the mini when installing the gearshift.
In photo 5 you can see the linkages on the gearbox. One slight hitch.
There are shims in place and buggered if those bastards are goin to budge.
There are nut like parts just in front of the shims but these just rotate
but don't release pressure on the shims. I will investigate and report
back. If these won't budge then it is back to step one of removing them
(the cables) from the gearchange mechanism and when withdrawing the engine
to just slide them out and deal with them when the engine is out of the
car. If anyone has a secret solution please post a message to
my answers board. Cheers.
4. Remove the Engine
- Support engine with the engine hoist (use a engine leveller if you have one)
- Check the whole engine for wires that are attached or cables such
as the speedo or tacho cables
- Raise the hoist ever so slightly as this should make undoing the
engine mounts that much easier
- Lower the engine slight and then remove driveshafts or if difficult
remove wheen hubs from the upper and lower wishbones. It can be done!.
- Lower the engine until it is stable and secure.
- Attach hoist to actual car and hoist so the bottom front of car
is above engine.
- Reattach hoist to engine and move from underneath engine bay and
- Once clear place securely (an engine mounting frame would be good but if
not on the ground, preferably with some thing soft underneath like
carpet or cardboard. Secure it, as a broken fuel rail or turbo, because the
engine fell over would not be good)
- Give it a clean.
Author's Special Notes:
From what little info I could get off the internet, getting the drivehshafts
out was a case of wedging a large screwdriver in between the diff housing
and the driveshaft and lever and hey presto out come your driveshafts.
Two probelms I found:
- you have to loosen the nut on the end of the
wheel hub and unfortunately I could not find a socket deep enough
to reach it (its a 30mm nut but on a long thread).
- And because it was a halfcut it is very difficult to get the whole thing off the ground safely to get underneath and even then trying
to lever these things was going to prove impossible! So what did I do? I left the whole drive shaft assembly include wheel hubs and brakes and remove
it from the wishbones. Much easier! I then lifted the car over the engine and then hoisted the engine away. Reason? I realised that the engine was originally
installed from under neath so lifting it out of the top wasn't really going to work! Anyway check out the photos...
5. Engine Maintenance prior to fitting
The warranty document requires me to do quite a bit to the engine
before I even get a chance to work on the subframe. This is the list
as source from the warranty document:
- Fitment of Cam Belt - I guess they mean the timing chain (or belt)
- A full service once in - I worry about that when it's in!!!
- Professionally clean radiator and replace thermostat
- Replacement of seals at fitters discretion
Nothing too bad there. The engine has done 91,000kms so it is about
due for a timing belt anyway and since I will have it out of the engine
bay I will be replacing this. I may even go for a lightened flywheel?
But I will definitely replace the clutch with a new one. Since I am
going to have to use an alternate radiator (this one is huge) I may
just void my warranty instantly...! I may think about replacing the
sump gasket depending on it's condition. Sometimes it is best to leave
While the engine is in good nick allot of the alloy parts (cam cover,
fuel rail etc) are in need of a polish (they don't rust they just tarnish). You may want to go as far as
painting the block. And lastly a good degrease does wonders. Pics once the engine is out...
ON TO STEP 3 CREATING THE SUBFRAME
BACK TO STEP 1 - CREATING THE SUBFRAME
BACK TO START - JAP ENGINE CONVERSION