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Help, my engine is lifted and I can't get it up! (Remounting Engine on Subframe)

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    Help, my engine is lifted and I can't get it up! (Remounting Engine on Subframe)

    Hey there. I've got a '89 325i, and I cracked the oil pan a couple of days ago (because of course I did), and I tried to swap it myself. I actually was successful in doing so minus the part where I snapped a bolt in the engine block while screwing the new pan in but that's neither here nor there. The issue I'm currently dealing with is that in order to get the pan out and in, I lifted the engine off the subframe, but far enough out that I can't figure out how in the world to realign it and lower it back onto the subframe to secure it. Right now the engine is being held up by an engine support bar. Has anyone dealt with this before and have any advice?

    Thanks!

    #2
    Lower the subframe (which is what you should have done), lower the engine back where it should be, raise the subframe to meet it. Replace your engine mounts while you are at it.
    2006 GMC Sierra 2500HD 4WD LBZ/Allison
    2002 BMW M3 Alpinweiß/Black
    1999 323i GTS2 Alpinweiß
    1995 M3 Dakargelb/Black
    - S50B32/S6S420G/3.91
    1990 325is Brilliantrot/Tan
    1989 M3 Alpinweiß/Black

    Hers: 1996 Porsche 911 Turbo Black/Black
    Hers: 1988 325iX Coupe Diamantschwartz/Black 5spd

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      #3
      How do I know where it should be? Will it just naturally go back to that position at rest? I was told that without the subframe that the engine would be "dangling" and that that's bad.

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        #4
        Engine support bars are meant to hold (dangle) the engine in place, NOT to raise or lower the engine by more than an inch or so.
        If you have the engine held by the provided hook (directly in front of cylinder 1), then the engine should be level. The hook is perfectly capable of supporting the engine, if the front subframe isn't holding it up. Nothing bad about that.
        I would loosely install the front subframe first, then see where the engine should fall. Put the engine mounts on the engine first, then the subframe (this'll help you align the subframe engine mount holes).
        Good luck!

        While you're at it, buy and install a skid plate...
        "Time doesn't heal anything... It just teaches us how to live with the pain." - My Cracked Dashboard

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          #5
          Have you looked at your transmission bushes? If they got messed up maybe the engine shifted?

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            #6
            Loosen the metal arms at the engine block, as well as your rubber engine mounts. Work on one side at a time, to get it properly reorientated.
            Autobahn Motorsport - Portland, Oregon
            @autobahnmotorsport
            '88 M5 | '88 325i | '88 325is | '88 330is | '91 325is | '91 M-Technic 325ic | '93 740il | '03 325it

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              #7
              To clarify, the situation as it stands is that I lifted the engine with the support bar first (I didn't know you weren't meant to raise or lower it with this), then I needed more space so I jacked the engine up further, and re-tightened the support bar (so there wasn't a single point of failure). The engine is still probably lifted and not flat at the moment. If I remove the subframe to lower the engine I'll need a point of reference to figure out where the engine needs to be lowered to. The subframe is still where it's supposed to be - I left it untouched, the only thing I did was unscrew the engine from the subframe. I will also look at trying to loosen the arms of the engine block to see if that might work, as well as upload a few pictures.

              Thanks for the help!

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                #8
                If the engine is too high, then I'd lower the engine by placing a floor jack under the new oil pan (use a buffer tho, as aluminum is quite soft) and removing the engine support bar. Check transmission mounts, as was previously suggested, and make sure they aren't busted!
                Post pics.
                "Time doesn't heal anything... It just teaches us how to live with the pain." - My Cracked Dashboard

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                  #9
                  Alright, got some pictures! (Click to enlarge)

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                    #10
                    So what's the issue? Start lowering the motor a bit, then use a bar to knock the one engine mount that's touching the subframe into place. After it's in place, keep lowering the motor until the other one touches.
                    AWD > RWD

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                      #11
                      Loosen the rubber motor mounts at the top so they have some free movement. Align the bottom stud in the mount with the subframe hole, then tighten the mount on both ends. When I did my engine swap I had to use a pry bar to get the old mounts out (they came with the engine), but I made UHMW mounts with a through-bolt so I didn't have to mess with this.
                      "Tires are our fuse" -Matt Juengel
                      1986 325e Sedan | M20B27 parts available for sale |

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                        #12
                        Just slowly lower the engine and make sure the engine mounts align properly with the subframe and land in the correct spot, that should be all. The only other reason I can think of this being an issue is if you lifted the engine too much, you may have ripped the transmission mounts and the whole engine-tranny shifted backwards a little, making it more difficult to the engine to "land" aligned and properly on the subframe.

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                          #13
                          Where are the transmission mounts located so I can check to see if I ripped them out?

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                            #14
                            Originally posted by marmalade View Post
                            Where are the transmission mounts located so I can check to see if I ripped them out?
                            At the rear of the transmission.
                            2004 525i Manual - 1985 325E Coupe Manual

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                              #15
                              bruh
                              I hate you E30spdfrk

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