I want to switch my engine out since it is not working, what options do I have

  • 2003 SATURN VUE
  • 200,000 MILES
Hi, my name is Robert I have a Saturn vue 2003 with manual transmission. The engine is currently not working and I would like to change the engine. Can the engine with automatic transmission fit in a manual transmission. The engine is 2.2 liters, I have an option for another engine, which engine would you say is the best for the car(these car have the same engine):
Saturn vue
Pontiac Prusuit 03'-06'
Saturn ion 03'-06'
Chevy Cobalt 03'-06'
Chevy Malibu 03'-06'
Chevy HHR 03'-06'
out of this cars which do you think would have the best engine for my Saturn Vue
Do you
have the same problem?
Saturday, January 21st, 2012 AT 8:51 PM

1 Reply

The best option is to get the engine that is closest to yours. Even though the engine is the same, if it is in a different car it will have different mounts for all the accessories and the motor mounts as well as the transmission.
Even the Saturn Vue might have some sensors and/or mounts that might need to be swapped over. I have done swaps with the same engine but different years and ran into problems like the power steering pump bracket was different on the new engine and I needed to use the old pump. You could not see it until it was time to put it on but the mount was about a centimater off which required that I change the bracket and it would have been easier when it was out of the car.
Different years, even one model year difference, may use different temperature, oil pressure sensors, etc. So, just make sure that you swap over the parts that are different between the 2 motors. When you have it in the car changing parts is much more difficult. Even the most minor thing that may not be easy to see the difference, as the bracket problem I mentioned, can be a pain once you realize you need to change it.
You may even have to change the crankshaft pulley over which is very tough. It often takes a lot of soaking the bolt in WD40 of PB Blaster and an impact gun to remove it. Sometimes you have to get a special holding tool and a breaker bar, I had to put a fence pole on one and stand on it to get the bolt to come loose. Make sure you use a 6 point impact socket as anything else will either break or strip the bolt and that will be the end of that. Since you have it off, it is a good time to do the timing belt. You can find kits that come with the timing belt, idler pully, a water pump, and all accesory belts as well as other parts that need replacement like gaskets and such. Shop around to make sure you get the most complete kit. Also, buy a new crankshaft pulley bolt as it is not reccomended that you re-use it. I put blue lock-tite on mine as well as any other hardware that is a safety issue or may rust in place and seize up.
There are many things that you might need to change over and services you might want to perform, the rear main seal is easy to replace when you have the engine out. A leaking main seal will ruin a clutch. You might have to replace the oil pan seal to replace the main seal but it is worth it. Basically anything that you can get to while it is out that may need to be changed, seals deteriorate with time even if the engine has low mileage, is a good idea as you want to get it all done while it is out and easy to get to and not have to deal with anything for a long time. There is nothing more frustrating thatn having to replace a seal on a motor that you just swapped.
So, don't get rid of the old motor until you are all done with the swap. Also look into anything that you can replace, you might want to get a whole gasket set, while you have this opportunity.

If you are intending to attach your manual transmission to the new engine that has an automatic you will have the following to keep in mind;
The tranmission will bolt up to the engine if it is the same.
You will have to remove the flex plate and torque converter to replace it with the flywheel and clutch.
You will need to replace the pilot bearing, at the end of the input shaft and it sometimes ends up getting stuck into the hole that the shaft goes into in the crankshaft.
You will need a clutch alignment tool which will come with a new clutch if you decide to replace it and it is a good time to do so.
The flywheels on newer cars do not have much room to be resurfaced as they are generally intended to be thrown away and replaced with the clutch. Otherwise you can either look for a complete clutch kit with clutch, flywheel, pilot and throwout bearings and a pressure plate. Or, you can take some wet/dry or emery paper, if the surface does not have any gouges, and do a circular or coss hatched pattern to give the clutch a new surface to break into.
If the flywheel is gouged, it will be best to replace it. Try rockauto. Com or usautoparts. Com for good deals on kits. You can also use this site to find good deals on parts as well by using the search engine. The page will have links to reputable and inexpensive retailers.
You will need to use the hardware from the manual transmission as well as the starter, sometimes the stater might be the same but you will have to check and use the newer one.
You should replace the motor and transmission mounts when you swap the motor.
As long as you are putting the manual transmission back into the car it came out of, there should not be anything else to worry about.
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Sunday, January 22nd, 2012 AT 12:34 AM

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