Engine, bellhousing and gearbox assembly

I was expecting this to be much harder than it was. It’s probably the simplest job after mounting the steering rack that I’ve taken on so far. The weight of the components are such that you would be well advised to have help.

The pieces went together so quickly, I was a bit remiss in taking pictures. However the process, for me, worked like this.

1. Bellhousing off engine.

It’s held in place by 8 caphead bolts on my Duratec. Six of them have no spring washer. Two, which are also inserted in the opposite direction (bolt head to front of engine) do have spring washers. I remove all the bolts and lay them on the floor in the pattern they were in when in position in the holes in the casting. Not all the holes have a bolt in them, so a bit of care is needed.

Bellhousing removed, exposing flywheel and clutch.

Bellhousing removed, exposing flywheel and clutch.

I also slack off the two bolts holding the starter motor in place. All bolts out and…the bellhousing does not want to move. It needs to be gently prised off the engine with a large flat-head screwdriver. Care is needed here as there are a couple of collars for the bolts that means the bellhousing must be kept about square when coming off or going on to the engine.

2. Gearbox onto bellhousing.
Machined face of bellhousing that will face the gearbox.

Machined face of bellhousing that will face the gearbox.

There are four bolts mounted in the gearbox end of the bellhousing. There are also four bolts in the bellhousing end of the gearbox. I chose the capheads in the bellhousing, but think it does not matter which you pick. Bring the gearbox into line with the bellhousing, pop the bolts through and torque them up. Sorted. You can see the four bolts still mounted in the bellhousing in the photo on the right.

3. Gearbox and bellhousing onto engine.
Bellhousing and gearbox on the way back onto the engine.

Bellhousing and gearbox on the way back onto the engine.

This is simple, but awkward, as you need to line up the splines on the driveshaft with those in the engine. It’s just a case of trying it and if it doesn’t slot home not forcing it, but reversing out and giving the driveshaft a turn before trying again. The weight of the gearbox is the problem, but with help it’s just a matter of patience.

Once home, taking care to line up for those collars on the engine, pop the bolts back in the same position and orientation and torque as per the manual, and you have the front end of the drivetrain ready to load into the engine bay.

About 20 minutes from start to finish. I step back to admire my work. Job done. There is also a lot more room in the garage after getting a couple of the larger boxes emptied and flattened, ready to be turned into chassis protection for the big engine install day.

Front end of drivetrain.


2 thoughts on “Engine, bellhousing and gearbox assembly

  1. Don’t forget to remove alternator, inlet manifold, at least left hand engine mount & thermostat from engine. Also I unplugged to ECU and tucked wiring loom out of the way and removed battery to gain more room for installation. Feed gearbox into tunnel do not let it drop below as it will not lift up into the tunnel.

    Regards Robin

    PS been out in mine today, just clocked 105 miles the build is enjoyable, frustration when it comes to paper work for IVA and registration. Order your registration application from dvla as it takes nearly 10 days to get form,(not downloadable).

    • Cheers, great advice Robin – especially not letting the gearbox drop below the tunnel. I was thinking today would have been great to be out in it. Unseasonably warm up here, 14C for the end of October is unheard of. As soon as the engine is in, I’m going to send for the form and get the centre in Livingston allocated so I can book my appointment for the test at some point in Feb.

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