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Removing An Engine

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#1 AndrewC


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Posted 14 February 2018 - 02:51 PM

Removing Toyota Sera engine.


Removing and replacing a Sera engine is something that can be tackled by an amateur mechanic & assistance with a moderately comprehensive toolkit.   The only specialist equipment needed is an engine crane – these can sometimes be borrowed or rented or a block and tackle can be used on a sturdy beam.   You may need to borrow a larger socket for the front hub nuts.


Rather than a step by step guide, I’m covering the major areas.    Make your own notes, take drawings and photos as you go.    Whilst I don’t think you can get the wiring wrong, referring to photos for routing is helpful.


The way I do it is to remove engine and gearbox as one unit, lowering them to the ground, then lifting body and sliding engine out from underneath.


Depending on your working area you may find it advantageous to remove the bonnet.  4 bolts and split the screen washer hose.   That parts really a two person job.   Store safely on something soft so you don’t damage the paint.    However, it can be done without.


Position the car into the working area.    Disconnect battery.   Apply handbrake.  Drain coolant (tap on drivers side lower tank) and once drained, dispose or store coolant and remove radiator.  Two water hoses – top and bottom and if automatic two oil cooler to gearbox pipes, all held with spring loaded clips.    Radiator fan will unplug and the top radiator support clamps can be undone and the radiator lifted out.

The next job is to remove the front section of exhaust.    There is a clamp on the downpipe to remove, and you have two bolts to separate the downpipe from the catalyst.   These may be difficult to undo.    I would use a 6 point socket to reduce chance of rounding.   I’ve not known one shear, but they can be bl**dy difficult to undo.    At the other end you can either remove exhaust at the manifold to head joint or between manifold and downpipe.    If you remove at the cylinder head you have to remove the heat shield – there are 4 10mm bolts which often shear off – penetrating fluid such as WD40 may help.   Whilst you are underneath undo some wiring – knock sensor on rear of block, as well as starter motor and alternator wiring.


There are some trims to undo – a LH and RH undertray.


Remove each wheel and remove the hubnuts.  There should be a split pin to remove, with a castellated cover.    Then you need to undo the hub nut, but you may find it useful to have someone one the brake pedal to offer resistance.      Once that is undone you can undo the two bolts holding the upright to the shock absorber, and then you should be able to knock the driveshaft out of the front hub.    Reassemble damper, but don’t fully tighten.


I would then slacken the belt that drives the power steering pump and the air conditioning compressor, and then unbolt both pumps.   The Power steering pump will sit on the inner wing area quite happily (assuming the car doesn’t have ABS), and the air conditioning compressor will unbolt from the block.   Tie up securely in such a way that strain isn’t on the hoses.

Now the jobs are to disconnect wiring and hoses.     The is a fuel supply and a fuel return hose to undo, cable tie up so they don’t drain.   You can take off the flexible hose between airbox and inlet manifold. You have already removed half the cooling system, the other section is the two pipes from the engine to the heater matrix on the bulkhead.    Most of the wiring has unique plugs so it’s a question of systematically unplugging things.  There should be no need to   In some places the loom is clipped to the engine or gearbox, and the clips have a tine which releases the clip from its metal mounting tag.    The hardest to get at is the knock sensor which is best accessed whilst doing the exhaust.   The throttle cable can be loosened and unclipped, and there are some thin vacuum piping going from inlet manifold to bulkhead, and from inlet manifold to power steering rack.   These should easily pull off.


The clutch hydraulics can be unbolted from gearbox (if manual).  If automatic, there is a selector cable to unbolt and a couple of electrical connectors.


You should now be in a position to lower the engine and gearbox.    Put something on the ground – a small trolley, some matting, sheet of plastic to make it easier to drag the engine out with.      Attach the engine crane to the engine using the hooks on the engine in such a way that there is sufficient downwards travel.      The top engine mount splits in two, and there is a hidden bolt underneath to get at.  You don’t need to dismantle the rubber section from the car.    The gearbox mount unbolts easily and the rear gearbox mount should undo.    The engine and gearbox can not be lowered to the ground, the crane reslung and used to raise body fairly high and the engine and gearbox can be slid out.


The gearbox can be separated from the engine, and the replacement engine attached.    Whilst out its an opportunity to wash down components and the engine bay or fit new water pump / timing belt / clutch kit.

Reassembly is really just the reverse of dismantling.


This job is the sort of job one person or two people can achieve over a weekend.


As usual, take precautions – don’t rely on jacks when working underneath a car – use axle stands.  


Tools – most of the smaller fasteners will use a 10mm, 12mm or 14mm spanner / socket.    13mm were not used by Toyota, but if the car has been in Europe for some time, you may find one or two have been fitted.

Some wide pliers are useful for some radiator hoses, and needle nose pliers are handy for the smaller clips.


The most difficult item will be splitting the exhaust due to age / rust.
The fiddliest thing to do is removing the knock sensor wiring.

Everything else just requires a methodical approach.


1992 Toyota Sera ph3 ï1977 Lancia Montecarlo ï 1999 TVR Chimaera ï 2005 Fiat Ducato Motorhome ï Norwich Photo Motorsport Photography ï Racing Exposure ï Facebook ï Twitter ï Instagram

#2 AndrewC


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Posted 14 February 2018 - 02:52 PM

If you are swapping engine from an automatic to a manual, you may need to swap flywheel to the gearbox flex plate, but also remember that the thermostat housing on automatics is different to manuals, and the throttle body has two cables on autos and one on manuals - the other is for the automatic gearbox kick down cable.    Easier to swap off the car than when refitted.

1992 Toyota Sera ph3 ï1977 Lancia Montecarlo ï 1999 TVR Chimaera ï 2005 Fiat Ducato Motorhome ï Norwich Photo Motorsport Photography ï Racing Exposure ï Facebook ï Twitter ï Instagram

#3 AndrewC


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Posted 22 October 2018 - 10:55 AM

Removed an engine this weekend.   Wrote this up, but then found I'd covered the basics. 


This is the method I use to remove an engine from a Sera.    I always remove engine and gearbox and lower to the ground.  It's just easier.




Axle stands

Engine crane


Socket set comprising 10, 12, 14, 17 and 19mm sockets

Long 10mm socket needed (or spanner)

30mm socket for hub nuts (check sizing as some may be different sizes)

Breaker bar


Pliers to remove clips holding hoses in place.

Screwdriver – useful to insert small screwdriver to break seal between hose and hose stub.




Take notes, sketches & photos.

Use Tipp-Ex pen to mark dots on vacuum pipes in a manner that makes sense to you when refitting.




Remove battery,

Remove air trunking to air filter housing

Remove air trunking between air filter housing and inlet manifold.


Drain radiator and dispose of coolant correctly


Remove radiator

  • Remove two radiator top fixings
  • Disconnect top hose (at engine)
  • Disconnet bottom hose (at engine)
  • If auto - disconnect two oil cooler hoses.   Block off hoses with caps or tie wrap plastic bags.
  • Unclip fan plug
  • Unclip lambda sensor wiring
  • Remove radiator & header tank


Undo Fuel system

  • Main fuel pipe to fuel rail
  • Return pipe



  • Slacken and remove throttle cable
  • Slacken and remove gearbox kickdown cable
  • Remove gear selector cable (if auto) or cables if manual, and if manual unbolt clutch slave cylinder etc., from gearbox.
  • Undo speedo cable

Vacuum pipes

  • Remove various vacuum pipes leading to inlet manifold
  • Remove brake servo pipe
  • Remove the two leading to steering rack



  • Unplug wiring from around the engine.   The wiring snakes around back of engine with two plugs to alternator, and two to starter motor, both of these will need a socket.     Knock sensor is on back of engine can be difficult to get at.    Wire to idle control valve on end of inlet manifold needs socket.     Fuel injector harness requires unbolting, and PCV to inlet manifold hose disconnecting (the PCV valve itself is brittle)

                All wiring should unclip from various cable tidies and can be hoiked out of the way on passengers side

  • Unbolt various earths from passenger side battery area to gearbox.
  • Unplug two sockets from automatic gearbox, or one from manual gearbox



  • Remove heater matrix pipes where heater matrix pass through bulkhead.



  • Slacken wheel nuts
  • Jack car up and place on axle stands using rear of front wishbone to body mounting.
  • Remove front wheels
  • Undo front hub nuts – remove split pins and securing washer and undo hub nuts. (30mm nut?)
  • Split upright from shock absorbers by undoing the two bolts (19mm)
  • With hub nut loosely screwed on, knock driveshaft out of hub.    The nut helps protect threads.
  • Re-attach shock absorbers to uprights
  • Repeat for other side.

Rear Gearbox Mount

  • With a 14mm nut on a very long extension, remove bolt for rear gearbox mount


Splash guards

With 10mm socket remove  LH and RH splash guards.    Spray with WD40 or similar before hand.   Its very easy to shear bolts, which then need extracting afterwards.


Decision:    If you plan to refit an engine to this vehicle, you can move A/C and PAS pumps out of the way.



  • PAS pump.   Slacken and remove belt.
  • Unbolt pump and move PAS pump to one side and locate on inner wing structure


A/C compressor

  • Unbolt from block (4 screws)

(saves discharging a/c system)



  • Remove downpipe clamp.
  • Split exhaust at catalyst (not always easy)
  • Remove downpipe from exhaust manifold (3 screws)


With engine crane as high as bonnet allows, connect to engine and take load.

Undo the two bolts on the underside of the gearbox mount.

Undo the nut from underneath the drivers side engine mount, and then the two bolts from above on the drivers engine mount.

Engine and gearbox should now be free and can be gently lowered to the ground.

Place on trolley or cardboard / carpet and drag out.    May have to use engine crane to lift body slightly.


Can now refit wheels, remove axle stands and lower car gently to ground.


You can now split gearbox if necessary.   

  • remove starter motor.  
  • If automatic, rotate engine clockwise and remove the 6 screws holding flywheel flex plate to torque converter.
  • Undo the three 10mm screws along bottom edge of gearbox
  • Remove the other gearbox screws, a mixture of 14mm and 17mm sockets
  • Its now possible to knock the engine off the gearbox.   Slinging engine and taking load makes this slightly easier.


Also a good opportunity to drain engine of oil – again dispose of oil correctly.

1992 Toyota Sera ph3 ï1977 Lancia Montecarlo ï 1999 TVR Chimaera ï 2005 Fiat Ducato Motorhome ï Norwich Photo Motorsport Photography ï Racing Exposure ï Facebook ï Twitter ï Instagram

#4 AndrewC


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Posted 04 November 2018 - 10:08 PM



Knock sensor has different wiring from early to late engines, so check before putting engine back in.   If you need to swap it, do it before refitting engine.  


If you need to do it in situ, you need to remove the brace that supports inlet manifold to block from underneath - 3x 12mm fixings (2 bolts, one stud & nut) and then use a 27mm socket to undo.


Throttle position switch has a different connector, early to late cars.


Alternator has different connectors, early to late

1992 Toyota Sera ph3 ï1977 Lancia Montecarlo ï 1999 TVR Chimaera ï 2005 Fiat Ducato Motorhome ï Norwich Photo Motorsport Photography ï Racing Exposure ï Facebook ï Twitter ï Instagram

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