View Full Version : 62 Thunderbird engine removal

05-16-2015, 10:30 PM
Is it possible to remove/install 390 engine and transmission as a unit?

05-16-2015, 10:39 PM
Yes, as far as I know that's the way the factory installed them.


05-16-2015, 10:45 PM
Yes. There is a thread on this site describing how to install that way

05-17-2015, 06:37 AM
The factory had one guy in a pit under the car, guiding the tail shaft into position while the guy on top ran the hoist and shook the engine side-to-side. The guy underneath also guided the motor mount studs into position.

They 'stuffed' a car per minute using this technique. Of course, there is a 'learning curve' but after doing 500 cars per shift it doesn't take long to work together and to know what 'the other guy' will do next.

When the engine and trans are out of the car, all the bolts are easily accessed. The starter motor was in place as well as the exhaust manifolds.

If one of the engines was bad (wouldn't start) two guys would manually change four engines (max) on a hoist per shift. This took much longer because they prepped the engine for removal by detaching the exhaust pipes, cooling hoses, radiator, linkage, etc. So, assembly goes much faster. That's why the engine plant started and ran each engine before it got to Wixom Assembly. - Dave

05-17-2015, 07:41 AM
Dave, I find your historical recollections of the factory fascinating. Keep at it!

05-17-2015, 08:59 AM
Steve, Assembly workers make it look easy. No motions are wasted and they learn exactly where to 'bump' things in order for the engine & trans to seemingly slip right in place.

It's kinda like watching how easy Michael Jordan shoots hoops with 'nothing but net'. Now, YOU try it.

Another part of this always fascinated me: Some folks think Assemblers make too much money. At $25/hr divided by 60 cars, that's less than fifty cents per car. Let's double or quadruple the money just for argument... they're still stuffing engines for less than $2 per car. Now, offer a mechanic to drop an engine and trans in your car for two bucks and see what looks you get. - Dave