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Do I have to Remove the Engine Again?

(video transcript)

All right. Going out here to the driveway and look at what I found here. Look at all of this all of this on the ground.
You! (camera pans to the SUV)
You did this.

I just finished swapping the engine in my SUV three weeks ago or so. The car is running great. Everything is fine, and then I find oil all over the driveway. Now what? I’ve got an oil leak.
So I go in the car. I’m going to the hood I’m looking for where is this engine leaking? An oil leak is the hardest thing in the world to find so I’m just going to take it over to Firestone and ask them to take a look at it see if they can find the source of this leak, maybe find out what it’s going to cost to fix it. But we’ll see.

(Big Red drives to Firestone)

(After returning home)

So okay. So let’s see here: $2041.23 to fix a leak in the front cover. This is a leak in an engine that’s brand new. I just put it in and now it’s leaking.

All right so this bill for $2041.23 also says that we’ve got two other leaks. We’ve got the oil leak and we’ve also got an air conditioning leak and a power steering leak. They didn’t even quote how much it cost to fix all of those but they did tell me where the oil leak was coming from, which is the most important.

If it was just an air conditioning leak it wouldn’t be all that pressing. Or if it was a power steering leak which, I think it had before honestly. That wouldn’t be as huge a deal. It was a fairly slow leak, but this oil leak is spilling oil all over the driveway. It’s terrible. I’ve got to put oil in the car every week and a half or so. Plus this is our family car so it’s got to be fixed, but two thousand dollars! And they said that to fix it they’re going to have to remove the engine.

That’s because of this. (holding up the front cover from the old engine) This thing is from the old engine that I swapped out. This is the engine front cover. This thing right here is the water pump. The reason I have an engine front cover here is because I had to buy a new one. There was something wrong with this one and it doesn’t really matter what it was.

But what I want to show you is when you replace the engine front cover there’s some little grooves right here if you can see those. You’re supposed to fill those with gasket maker and the gasket maker comes in a tube, which I wish I had right now and I could show you. You’re supposed to fill it in with two to three millimeters. When I did it, it was the first time I’d ever done anything like this, the first time I ever swapped an engine. So I filled in all of the spots. But it could be that when I filled it in I didn’t quite fill it in right.

So what I’m thinking is that since this is the part that is leaking, that I didn’t get enough gasket maker on that engine front cover. So what they’re saying is to put new engine gasket maker on that front cover, they’ve got to remove the engine. And that’s what makes it so expensive.

And for the air conditioning, they want to replace the air conditioning condenser. Now that thing sits behind the front bumper. Not just like the bumper cover, but the front bumper, so you have to remove the entire bumper assembly to get at that thing. That’s actually a big job as well.

And then there’s the rack and pinion which needs to be replaced. To replace it, you’ve got to unbolt and lower the engine, so it makes it a big job. So now we’ve got these three massive jobs that, like I said, they didn’t even quote me for what it would take to fix the front cover. And removing that engine again is just not something I want to do.

So there is a way that I can fix the oil leak without taking the engine out. I looked it up and people do change the timing chain in this car without removing the engine. You’ve got to remove a lot of parts. Essentially you’ve got to take everything out– all of the moving parts off of the engine. I could do that. It’s a huge job. All the bolts are hard to get to. It’s a very difficult job.

Then on the rack and pinion to fix the power steering leak, you need to unbolt the engine cradle and lower that. You don’t have to unhook any of the electrical or any of that stuff, but you do have to lower the engine cradle so that is a huge job.

And then again there’s the air conditioning condenser. It runs across the front of the car. You’ve got to take so much of the front end off the car and the bumper–all of this so I can avoid removing that engine from the car.

I could do all of that work just to avoid removing the engine. Or I could remove the engine and then do all that work, since removing the engine would make getting at the front cover a whole lot easier. I won’t have to do so much reaching around and reaching under. And getting at the bolts would be easier.

It’d also be easier to see how well I put that gasket maker on the front cover. I’ve got to take the front bumper off to get the engine out anyway. I’ve also got to take the condenser off and the radiator. So all of that stuff that’s got to come off just to take the engine out. Since I’ve got to replace some of that stuff anyway, that would be a plus.

Then there’s that rack and pinion. Once the engine comes out the rack and pinion is right there in the engine cradle. So I could just remove that and replace it while the engine is out. So since I’ve done it before: it took 61 hours the last time. I’m pretty sure I can do it a whole lot faster than that. I think I’m going to go ahead and pull the engine out and do all of this work with the engine removed, then put it back in. So it looks like I’m going to be removing the engine again right here in my tiny two-car garage. I’m going to record the whole thing.

But I’ve also recorded the first time I did it. I turned it into an instructional course, indexed everything, with beautiful video, great sound—everything. Visit me on to find the video find the course. And also check us out on TikTok at big red media and on Instagram at big red media.

That’s it for today we’ll see you next time.