Gasoline Engine InstallationTips for the installing technician



This engine has been carefully manufactured to precision standards and specifications. It will perform properly IF certain steps are taken by the Technician performing the installation.

CAUTION – These recommended installation procedures and instructions are a partial list intended only as a guide. If you are not qualified to undertake this installation, do not attempt it as you may be liable for any resulting engine damage.

An engine is a complex component that requires the highest degree of technical knowledge to install. It is recommended that you, the installer, have an ASE certificate or the equivalent before you accept the responsibility of properly installing an engine.

When an engine fails to give satisfactory service, it can normally be traced to a source not associated with the workmanship or materials of the manufacturer. Incorrect installation practices, foreign material, detonation, pre-ignition, overheating, oil contamination, incorrect air-fuel ratio, under-lubrication, dirty tin ware, coolant loss or ineffective air filtering are a few possibilities. These above-mentioned reasons for failure are the responsibility of, and under the control of, the installing technician and not the engine manufacturer.

Evaluating and replacing where necessary, the following items with new or remanufactured parts is recommended; oil pump, new oil pump screen, spark plugs, sensors, motor mounts, oil filter, air filter, water pump, thermostat, belts, coolant hoses, fuel injection components, oil cooler and lines, PCV components and vacuum lines. Make sure the EGR valve and EGR passages are clean and operating to OE specifications.

Follow the manufacturer’s installation procedures; especially proper torque values. Refer to and comply with any OE manufacturer’s specifications and technical service bulletins concerning the engine being installed. Safety is always first. Always wear safety glasses and the proper protective clothing when working on an engine.

Contamination is an engine’s worst enemy. We recommend that you thoroughly clean all parts being transferred from the original engine before installing them on the replacement engine. The use of abrasive pads or discs is prohibited and the debris from using those products can cause engine failure that is not covered under the limited warranty. If the part or accessory cannot be properly cleaned, it should be replaced with a new part.

  • Do an evaluation of the failed original engine
  • Make an engine analysis data sheet showing the status of the engine and the engine support system before installation for comparison once the replacement engine is installed
  • Correct any component problems by repairing or replacing the parts before installing the replacement engine.
  • Check the engine and packaging thoroughly upon delivery and note any visible damage with the carrier before they leave.
  • Check for hidden damage and dirt contamination of the engine while unpacking
  • Check the application of engine – make sure the mounting holes, bell housing, crankshaft snout, flywheel mounting flange, bolt hole patterns, pilot shafthole, smog/non-smog application, EGR ports, dipstick holes, etc. are the same on the new engine as they were on the old by visually comparing the units and the casting numbers
  • Check for proper valve train timing
  • Check that ALL oil gallery plugs are installed tight and sealed
  • Check that ALL freeze plugs are installed and sealed
  • Check that temperature indicating heat tabs on the block and the heads are installed and intact
  • Clean all accessories to be transferred from the old engine to the new engine.  Resurfacing of the intake manifold and other machined gasket surfaces on the engine accessories may be required.
  • Inspect and clean the rocker cover oil baffles to eliminate possible restrictions.
  • Write down the engine serial number for future reference.
  • Inspect the cover for erosion, breakage, warping porosity and abnormal wear patterns
  • Measure covers that contain the oil pump housing for wear and replace the cover if not within OE tolerances
  • Before installing the timing cover, make sure the crank and cam sensor tone rings are in place and properly oriented
  • Some timing covers are not reusable and must be replaced. Follow OE manufacturer’s recommendations.
  • Check the seal surface of pulley hub and repair or replace if grooved or damaged (harmonic balancer seal surface wear sleeves may be available).
  • Follow the OE manufacturer’s recommendations to lubricate seal surface prior to installation to prevent damage to the seal.
  • Check outer ring for slippage as this could cause the timing mark to not indicate top dead center.
  • Replace any balancers that are set in rubber. (The interior rubber deteriorates with age, allowing the balancer to slip, possibly causing timing problems and detonation, overheating, vibration and unexplained noises).
  • Check dry lash at time of installation (if applicable).
  • Inspect all pushrods, rockers and followers to assure they are not out of place.
  • Check and adjust valve lash at 500 miles (if applicable).
  • Lifter rattle at cold start is not uncommon, and does not cause engine damage.
  • Foreign material can be trapped in the intake manifold from a previous engine failure. If the manifold has not been thoroughly cleaned out or replaced with a new part, any failures related to foreign material will void the warranty on the engine.
  • Clean off carbon (remove steel heat shield, if equipped, clean and reinstall).
  • Check for cracks using the appropriate method based on the intake construction material.
  • All EGR passages must be cleaned and free of obstruction.
  • Do not over torque manifold bolts. Use OE torque specifications and sequence ONLY.
  • Do not glass bead intake manifolds to clean.
  • Do not use abrasive pads or discs to clean any gasket sealing surface on the engine.
  • Check water outlet surfaces for corrosion.
  • Make sure the intake gaskets are properly oriented and sealed.
  • Check the distributor or oil pump drive gear for wear and replace as needed.
  • Check the distributor bushing, mechanical advance, vacuum advance, and total advance.
  • Check to see that the distributor or oil pump drive is fully engaged and locked in the oil pump to proper depth.
  • Check ignition timing against factory specifications, adjust if applicable.
  • Carefully inspect, clean, service or replace all components of the fuel system, i.e. pump, lines, injectors, regulator, filter, relay, wiring and throttle body.
  • Check fuel lines for breaks and crimps. Use only OE approved lines.
  • Check fuel pump for proper pressure and volume.
  • Check injectors for proper function and flow
  • Replace all filters at time of installation and at OE recommended intervals. These filters include air, oil, fuel, and crankcase.
  • Use an OE approved cleaning procedure for the air filter housing, intake housing, and MAF sensor.
  • Check to see if unit is free and operating properly, if applicable.
  • Lubricate with special high heat formula.
  • Adjust clutch to proper free pedal clearance BEFORE starting the engine, NOT after.
  • Make sure the torque converter is fully seated and engaged in the automatic transmission front pump before installing the transmission and assure it rotates freely before bolting the convertor to the flex plate.
  • Check crankshaft end thrust before and after bolting the automatic or manual transmission to engine.
  • PLEASE NOTE excessive main bearing thrust wear can be caused by the following:
    • Clutch not adjusted properly.
    • Interference between pilot shaft and crankshaft.
    • Interference between torque converter and crankshaft.
    • Torque converter ballooning.
    • Blockage and/or restriction of transmission oil cooler.
    • Bent, kinked, or damaged supply lines.
  • Preventing the causes of thrust bearing failure is the responsibility of the installing technician! Thrust bearing failures are not covered under the limited warranty.
  • Replace or re-core the radiator and test for proper flow.
  • Verify thermal conductivity. Minimum of 25°F temperature differential between inlet and outlet of the radiator.
  • Always replace the pressure cap and thermostat.
  • Replace all heater and radiator hoses.
  • Check the temperature sending unit for the electric fan.
  • Check the fan itself and if equipped, the fan clutch for proper operation.
  • Replace oil cooler housing and cooler lines as they may contain contaminates that will damage your engine.
  • Fill the engine to the proper level using only OE specified type and viscosity lubricant or equivalent.
  • Prime the oiling system to insure vital parts are properly lubricated to avoid a dry start.
    • Disable the ignition and fuel systems.
    • Use a pressure priming tank at about 40 pounds pressure to prime (pre-lube) the engine.
    • Use an OE approved priming tool to rotate the pump.
    • Use the OE approved priming method outlined in the service manual.
  • Always install a new oil pump and new pickup screen.
  • Install a new oil filter filled with new oil.
  • Check the oil pump intermediate shaft for correct size and shape to match distributor and oil pump, if applicable.
  • Replace the oil pressure sending unit.
  • Check for proper PCV operation – a plugged line or faulty PCV system may cause excessive oil consumption and blow by.

Don’t overlook small parts such as: belts, hoses (liquid and vacuum), grommets and motor mounts which become weak and worn with age. We suggest that these items be replaced at time of engine replacement.

 To avoid premature engine failure, be sure to service and inspect accessories such as the:

  • alternator
  • starter
  • water pump
  • power steering pump
  • air compressor
  • fuel system
  • EGR valves
  • all sensors
  • Check to see if the engine requires sealer on the flywheel/flex plate to engine bolts to prevent unnecessary leaks.
  • On engines that use a 1-piece full circle rear main seal and flangeless flywheel mounting system, torque the flywheel bolts to the OE manufacturer’s specifications. If not torqued properly the rear seal area may be distorted and cause an oil leak.
  • Be sure to service and inspect all electrical grounds, connections and wiring.
  • Use the OE approved sealers and lubricants on all connections.
  • Re-flash or upgrade the control module to assure the latest programming, if required.
  • Pre-prime the engine oiling system.
  • Double check that all accessory, electrical, fuel and cooling systems are mounted, connected and sealed properly
  • The engine should start immediately. Avoid excessive cranking.
  • Once started, make any applicable adjustments to the timing or fuel system.
  • Run the engine at 1500 to 1800 RPM for at least 10 minutes or until normal operating temperature is reached.
  • Check for proper oil pressure and temperature.
  • Check for any oil and coolant leaks.
  • Install the radiator cap after coolant is observed to be circulating (some thermostats may air lock and prevent proper circulation of coolant).
  • Test drive the vehicle to evaluate engine performance.
  • Monitor oil pressure, temperature and charging system.
  • Determine if all other vehicle systems are operating properly.
  • Replace oxygen sensor with a low pressure gauge.
  • Run engine at 2500 RPM for 1 minute.
  • High pressure reading should be less than 2.5 pounds.
  • A pressure reading over 2.5 pounds indicates an exhaust system restrictions which will cause engine damage. Check catalytic converters and exhaust systems for restrictions.
  • Inspect exhaust manifold and exhaust pipes for any external damage or leaks.
  • Check for check engine or service engine soon lights (computer-control problems).
  • Check for correct vacuum hose routing and for vacuum leaks.
  • Check for proper accessory belt routing.
  • Final road test the vehicle, do not return to customer unless you consider the vehicle operating according to OE specifications.
  • Give the customer printout of exhaust gas analysis.
  • Schedule a follow up inspection after the first 500 miles.

*The failure of some of these sensors can result in abnormal combustion temperatures and pressures, blown head gaskets, burnt pistons, piston scuffing and burnt valves, bearing failure and lack of power and may result in eventual engine failure.

This information is provided from the best available sources; however, Holman Parts Distribution does not assume responsibility for data accuracy or consequences of its applications. Please be aware that this pamphlet is not a warranty. If there is any question, refer to the product guide included with the engine or call 1-800-257-7418.

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