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Old 07-12-2012, 10:10 PM   #1
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Default 99 GXE engine change

Hey all. I am going to pick up a new to me car sunday. Awesome car, it just needs an engine. At 172k miles it doveloped a light rod knock. It scared the owner so he parked it the day it started. A few questions and i hope you guys can help me with a shopping list.

I am buying a complete motor/trans asembly out of a wrecked car with just under a hundred thousand miles. Accessories, harness, pcm, everything. I have pland on changing gaskets on the valvecovers, oil pan and trans pan. Changing the supercharger oil. Should i do intake gaskets while the replacement engine will be on a stand in the garage?

Also planning on new radiator and heater hoses. Power steering hoses.

If the intake gasket change is recomended is there any benefit to polishing the runners? I spent hours doing that to a dodge 318 for zero gain but i was later told that the heads were the airflow bottleneck.

New motor mounts?

Any easy mods or other preventative maintinance i can do to the engine before it goes in?

Its alot of questions, but i have a habbit of going above and beyond when i have things apart. I would like to do whatever i can in hopes of trouble free service.
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Old 07-12-2012, 10:17 PM   #2
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Lets see here, last I knew, there were about 4 of us that have any engine yanking experience, Boosty is the Buick guru.

Yes, it is much easier to clean/strip down an engine while its out. This includes changing any and all parts needed. If your going that far, I suggest doing the head gaskets also. Why not right?

I can't stress this enough....hold on, I CAN'T STRESS THIS ENOUGH. Don't install the engine with the oil pressure sensor installed.

Gimme the specifics again. What is the donor year/type and recipient year/type?
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Old 07-12-2012, 10:21 PM   #3
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Donor is a 98 regal GXE and the recipient is a 99 regal gxe. Should be exactly the same right?
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Old 07-12-2012, 10:27 PM   #4
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How do they do inspections in your state? Hook it up to a computer? The mismatched PCM might throw the computer off because of the VIN.

Everything else should be fine. Swap the engines, trans and harness and your good. PCM is a different story. Somewhat.
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Old 07-12-2012, 11:04 PM   #5
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Haha. This is Ohio. No inspections. No emisions.

I was planning on keeping the harness and pcm onthe shelf. Should the PCM follow the motor its been paired with?
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Old 07-13-2012, 05:24 AM   #6
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Then I guess you wouldn't really need to worry about the VIN matching.

Considering the year difference, 98-99. Sometimes sensors on the engine change from year to year. Here is your homework for today... compare the part #'* of these sensors at www.rockauto.com between 98 and 99. If your 98 engine has a sensor that is not compatible with the 99 PCM, then it might cause an issue....
Throttle Position Sensor-TPS
Inlet Aircontrol Valve -IAC
MAF sensor
Knock sensor
Cam sensor
Crankshaft sensor
Oil pressure sensor
Oil level sensor
Coolant temp sensor

I think thats about it. If the donor doesn't match your 99, swap it over.
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Old 07-22-2012, 02:19 AM   #7
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Well got my new(used) engine/trans. Trans fluid was still nice an red. Not too much sediment in the tranny pan. Cutting the filter apart did not roduce any metal flakes or anything alarming.

The cylinder walls look great. Not a drop of sludge or varnish anywhere inside the thing. Oil must have been changed regularly or kept topped off. It was seeping from both valve covers, the pan and the thing the oil filter mounts to.

Tore down the toop half. LIM and plenum gaskets. I was ready with new plastic coolant elbows thanks to the forums here. I tried my best to get them out without breaking them anyways but they were stuck in there good. The lower gaskets diddnt look like they were leaking but the shape of the ports was all distorted and the gasket itself was really brittle and thinner around the colant pasages. Polished the head and manifold mating surfaces with 500 grit sandpaper. I have a hard time trusting gaskets without a dose of RTV. Hope i dont have any troubles.


First time i have ever tore into an engine outside of a vehicle. Gotta say. I like it! No sore back. No nuts/bolts lost,never to be found again. And i am nowhere near as filthy as i normally get when i work on my hoopties.

Now i have to get it swapped in. I am anxious to see how this thing runs.
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Old 07-23-2012, 11:54 AM   #8
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Next time you are working in the car, jack it up. So simple and yet most of us forget that we can raise the car to save our backs.

What year/model did the donor come from?

To pull your drivetrain out
Drain trans, coolant and oil pan
Pull axles
disconnect wiring harness from engine/trans
Pop trans cable
Lower ps pump
lower ac compressor (meaning unhook from brackets and let them sit on the subframe so you don't discharge and recharge)
Unbolt motor mounts at subframe.
Unhook exhaust at downpipe to rear manifold.
unhook battery cables from trans/starter
Here'* the W body trick Remove the two 15mm nuts that hold your master cylinder to the booster. Then allow those flex brake lines to let it sit by the strut tower. This gives you a bit of additional room to sneak the whole drivetrain out at once.

On your new motor. I'd highly recommend changing the rear engine cover gasket. Reason is..most oil pan leaks are actually a rear cover leak that is misdiagnosed. A little locktite on those bolts helps too. ps.. lower conversion gasket set is cheaper at advance auto than an oil pan gasket by itself.
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Old 07-24-2012, 12:23 AM   #9
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Rear engine cover? Doyou mean rear valve cover gaskets? The rear one was leaking so i replaced both of them. Also did the intake gaskets. Fuel injector o-rings. If you are talking about a different cover please explain.

I did not replace the oil pan gasket because it is a pretty expensive gasket. It does not seem to be leaking at the moment.

The donor motor is a 1998 going into a 99 car. From my inspection, everything looks exactly the same. Even the electrical connectors on the sensors look the same.

I have been thinking about paying someone to swap the drivetrain for me because a few people have told me that it will not fit out the top unless you seperate the engine from tranny. If you say it will fit then i will be doing the job myself. Likely starting tomorrow.
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Old 07-24-2012, 08:50 AM   #10
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It does appear Bill is talking about the valve cover.

Don't be fooled by the electrical connectors. They may seem to fit, but the sensors themselves do change. Thus why I said to keep every 99 sensor.
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