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Well its been little over 2 years since I pulled this 390 for a rebuild and upgrades. Now for the install; does anyone have any tips for lining the tranny up to the block? I can get it within 1 to 2 inches from each other but no closer. I know that the torque converter bolts need to be inline to slide through the flywheel, but I feel that it should at least get close enough to start my tranny bolts. I am currently trying to do this by myself so any tips would be appreciated.
 

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In my own experience, you'd be better off pulling the trans backwards, then drop the engine in, then slide and bolt up the trans from below. I find it awfully hard sometimes trying to fit the trans and converter while trying to line up engine mounts etc.
 

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Make absolutely sure the torque converter is fully engaged into the trans pump. Turn, press, and wiggle the converter untill it drops into the pump drive. Take some clearance measurements if you have to. If not fuuly engaged you will end up with a damaged pump and broken bellhousing when tightening the bolts.

Nathan
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the advise. I was just setting here thinking that it may be easier to drop the driveshaft, loosen the crossmember and slide the tranny back and then bolt the engine down loosely. Then climb under the car and wrestle the tranny into place. After a few hours of raising, lowering, tilting, and swearing I figured it was time for a break and to regroup. Lol
 

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make sure the torque converter is in all the way
jack the tranny up some to make the angle closer to the engine angle.

you want the engine and tranny to match angles

try to get the alignment pins to engage,keep tweeking the engine ect till they line up , get a bolt started.. then get the torque converter/flywheel together.


it takes show man power to get it together ... two people make it much a simpler job ....
 

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get some bolts about 4" long that are the same thread size as your bellhousing bolts and cut the heads off. thread them into the block and use them as guides.
 

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get some bolts about 4" long that are the same thread size as your bellhousing bolts and cut the heads off. thread them into the block and use them as guides.

That's what I did, though maybe I just used a long bolt on both sides. just make sure you will be able to get them out later. Also, do you have a jack under the transm? Are the motor mounts lined up? Is the engine clearing the transmission coolant tubes?
 

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That's one good looking engine you have there. Maybe cleaning up and painting the engine bay would set her off even more? Just another day or two worth of work to make it stand out under the hood. Just sayin, much easier with the engine out.
 

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It's been about two years since we installed a 390 in my Galaxie in my garage (twice). As a "helper" on the project, I can't remember any serious issues.

But, my mechanic definitely had a jack under the trans for alignment.
 

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I installed mine several times by myself. #1 problem I see from your pics is that you have the motor mounts already bolted to the engine. Here's what worked for me.

If the car isn't on jackstands, raise it up and put it on stands so you have room to work and so that is doesn't settle as the weight of the engine transfers from the hoist to the car. Remove the motor mounts from the engine. Leave the transmission attached to the tranny mount on the crossmember and jack the tranny all the way up in the tunnel.

Make sure your torque converter is fully engaged in the transmission and rotate it so you have two studs vertical and two horizontal. Be sure to rotate your crankshaft so your flex plate orientation matches the torque converter and so that the drain plug lines up with the hole for it. When you get the engine nearly in place, you can take a pair of long screwdrivers and put through the lower holes in the bell housing and wiggle them until you are able to start a bolt. You will need to check and adjust your engine height a few times until you can wiggle it into place. Once you've drawn the pieces close enough together that the torque converter studs touch the flexplate, make sure your gap is reasonably even so you can see that the transmission is lines up fairly straight (not pointed up of down, or left or right relative to the engine). Rock the crankshaft back and forth a little until the studs slip through. Snug a couple of the engine/transmission bolts and then install the motor mounts on the engine and let the engine down.

I've done this a few times and the key to making it go easily is getting the motor mounts out of the way so you can slide the engine back and forth while keeping it lined up with the tranny.
 

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Good catch on the motor mounts. I do remember what a b*tch it was bolting the drivers side mount after the engine was in.
 

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Make 150% sure the converter is all the way back in the trans. If the converter is fully seated the block and bellhousing will go together and when it is bolted together, the converter will pull forward into the flexplate holes.
 

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As others mentioned, be sure to check your fit when installing the converter or it'll grind up your pump. I recently had my transmission rebuilt, and they said whoever did it last time installed it wrong. Also, the first stock one they tried to replace it with still wasn't aligning properly - they had to have the manufacturer custom-build one.

Good luck!
 

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That's one good looking engine you have there. Maybe cleaning up and painting the engine bay would set her off even more? Just another day or two worth of work to make it stand out under the hood. Just sayin, much easier with the engine out.
I agree. That motor is too pretty to put in an unfinished engine compartment.
 

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South,

1.get some bolts about 4" long that are the same thread size as your bellhousing bolts and cut the heads off. thread them into the block and use them as guides.

2.you want the engine and tranny to match angles

3.Make 150% sure the converter is all the way back in the trans

ALL the above is very good advice from others. I've got a little to add.

RE #2. Angles must match top to bottom and side to side! You can't see both those angles at the same time, so step back and eye ball it really well. That is the most common mistake I see.

RE #3. When the converter is all the way back it should actually rub up against the bell when you spin it. Make sure it does not work its way forward when you are jockeying the engine and trans into place

Good luck...it'll go in, keep at it.

Steve
 

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I have done them alone before, but it's hard as heck. You will get within an eighth an inch and something will shift, for example. I've never been able to do it without some brute force at some point. Dowels do help as do large phillips head screwdrivers to line up. I know everyone keeps mentioning ensuring the torque converter is seated, so I'll say it too, BECAUSE I have broken one myself! If you can get ANY fingers behind your converter, it's not fully seated! There are like 2 sets of gears that all have to match up as you shove it in for it to fully seat and thunk against the front pump. I guess it's splines not gears, but you'll feel it seat TWICE, do not make my mistake of lining up one set and thinking you're there, keep spnning the torque converter. do not underestimate this one step or you'll be out several hundreds of dollars before you know it.
 

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I have pulled and reinstalled hundreds of motors and trannys. My best success has been when the motor and tranny are bolted together before hand and the radiator support is out of the way. When I have done it with them apart it always calls for a jack under the tranny to get it lined up and a little finagglin with a screwdriver. Almost always have to jack the bellhousing really near or against the tunnel.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Yes I do have a jack under the tranny and I did remove the motor mounts. The mounts was the first Thing I noticed getting in the way. I checked the converter prior to installing the engine but I will check it again Saturday when I begin to tackle it again. There were some really nice tips that I never thought of that I may try, so thanks for all that posted. I do have plans for cleaning up the engine bay and should have already done it but I have not. I'm just hoping the engine runs ok for it is my first so so high performance build.
 

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South, for testing you can build a run stand out of 1x6s. If anything is wrong you don't have to pull the whole engine.




here you go, running, with a garden hose supplying the coolant and a vicegrips supplying the power

 
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