Dodge Intrepid Engine Removal

by Richard Rowe

Though many find removing the engine of a newer computer-controlled car a daunting proposition, the fact is that it's done every day by backyard mechanics. Removing an Intrepid engine is both complicated and time-consuming, but done correctly and methodically should be nothing the average backyard mechanic with an engine hoist can't handle.

Time to Dig in

First, do yourself a favor and remove the hood. It's not required, but makes life a lot easier.


Like any computer-controlled engine, the Intrepid has a vast array of wiring harnesses to disconnect before removal. In addition to the 11 to 15 sensors that need to be disconnected on the engine, the transaxle has three to five that need to be dealt with. A good way to keep track of what goes where when it's time reinstall is to label the chassis side of the wiring with masking tape, denoting with a permanent marker what wire connects to what sensor, and a number showing where it falls in the removal sequence

Disconnect the Ancilliaries

Do the fluid carriers first. Start with the lower radiator hose to drain the coolant. It really doesn't matter which side you disconnect from, but doing so from the radiator side will decrease the odds of a face-full of anti-freeze. Heater core from the firewall and power steering lines are next, followed by the tranny cooler lines and A/C lines. Vent the refrigerant into a vacuum canister. Disconnect all actuator cables next, like the throttle and transmission linkage. Vacuum lines next, and make sure to label these as it's very easy to confuse them.

Secure the Engine

Attach your lift to the two factory engine lift points, just above the water pump and behind the passenger side valve cover on the intake. Place a little pressure on the lift to tension the chains.

Unbolting the Hardware

Start with the exhaust pipes. Some find it easier to simply remove the entire front section before engine removal, others do not. Remove the radiator and electric fans to avoid damage. Move on now to the engine and transaxle mounts. There are four total. Have someone help rock the engine to work the bolts loose.

Free at Last

Raise the engine and transmission from the mounts very slowly, constantly checking to see if you missed any wiring connectors or lines. Have a friend nearby to check that the halfshafts are coming out of the transaxle cleanly. At this point the engine and tranny should be free, but don't get complacent; there's always a chance you missed something vital that will be very expensive to replace.

About the Author

Richard Rowe has been writing professionally since 2007, specializing in automotive topics. He has worked as a tractor-trailer driver and mechanic, a rigger at a fire engine factory and as a race-car driver and builder. Rowe studied engineering, philosophy and American literature at Central Florida Community College.