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How to Remove a 2.2L Engine From a Cavalier

by Cayden Conor

You might need to remove the 2.2L engine from the Chevrolet Cavalier for the purposes of replacing or rebuilding it. The process is physically demanding, requiring an engine lift and a stand. Care should be taken to ensure that everything is disconnected as you could cause damage to electrical and other components by pulling on them. The 2.2-liter engine is a front-wheel-drive, four-cylinder engine and sits sideways in the engine compartment.

Drive or tow the vehicle to a service facility that is licensed to work on the air-conditioning system, and that has a reclaimer, if there is Freon in the system. Have them evacuate the Freon, as the EPA mandates that it cannot be released into the atmosphere.

Locate the relay box near the driver's side fenderwell. Lift the cover, and using the diagram on the underside of the cover, locate the fuel pump relay. Remove the fuel pump relay -- you should be able to pull it out with your fingers. Start the car and let it run until it stalls. If the car won't start, turn it over five or six times to relieve the pressure in the fuel system.

Slide one of the drain pans under the oil pan. Remove the oil drain pan bolt and allow the oil to drain. Reinstall the oil drain pan bolt. Slide the other drain pan under the radiator petcock valve. Loosen the petcock and allow the coolant to drain. Dispose of the fluids in the appropriate manner.

Matchmark the bolts and the hood, so that you know where the hood adjustments are when you put it back on. Remove the hood, using the appropriate socket. Remove the negative battery cable, using the appropriate wrench. Remove the positive battery cable.

Loosen the clamp on the air cleaner assembly, then pull the air duct off. Unbolt and remove the air cleaner box, using the appropriate socket. Loosen the clamp on the brake booster line at the engine. Pull the brake booster line off the engine. Remove the fuel injector sight shield.

Remove the accelerator and cruise control cables, using the screwdriver and appropriate socket. Label all wiring harness connectors on the engine and its accessories. Label all vacuum hoses on the engine. Unplug the wiring harness connectors. Slip the harness out of its brackets on the engine and lay it aside. Remove all vacuum hoses from the engine. Unbolt and remove the cruise control module.

Remove the air-conditioning line from the accumulator, using the appropriate line wrench, then set it aside. Slide a socket onto the bolt in the center of the tensioner pulley. Rotate the pulley toward the center of the engine to loosen tension on the belt. Lift the belt off of the pulleys.

Loosen the clamp on the coolant overflow tank, using the screwdriver, then unbolt and remove the overflow tank, using the appropriate socket. Loosen the clamps on the upper and lower radiator hoses at the engine. Remove the hoses from the engine, then tuck them under the frame or behind the radiator to keep them out of the way. Remove the fuel feed and return lines from the engine, using the appropriate line wrench. Remove the coolant pipe assembly, using the appropriate wrench.

Loosen the lug nuts on the wheels, using the lug wrench, but do not remove them. Jack up the vehicle supporting it with jack stands. Remove the lug nuts and the wheels. Remove the wheel well splash shields, using the appropriate socket.

Support the bottom of the engine, using the floor jack. Remove the following components with the appropriate sockets: the engine mount strut that located between the engine and radiator, the torque converter dust cover and the exhaust pipe connected to the exhaust manifold.

Remove the wiring from the starter, using the appropriate wrench. Screw the nuts back onto the studs, so you don't lose them. Remove the starter, using the appropriate socket. Unplug the air compressor, alternator and power steering pump wiring harness connectors. Remove the air compressor and its bracket, using the appropriate sockets. Remove the alternator, using the appropriate brackets. Remove the power steering pump, but do not loosen the lines on the pump. Set the pump out of the way.

Remove the torque converter bolts and the upper front engine mount, using the appropriate sockets. Support the transmission with the floor jack. Remove the transmission-to-engine support brace, using the appropriate sockets. Separate the engine from the transmission, taking care not to bend the CV axles.

Attach the engine hoist to the 2.2-liter engine. Start lifting it out slowly, ensuring that nothing is still connected. Completely lift the engine out of the engine compartment, then put it on the engine stand.

Items you will need

About the Author

Cayden Conor has been writing since 1996. She has been published on several websites and in the winter 1996 issue of "QECE." Conor specializes in home and garden, dogs, legal, automotive and business subjects, with years of hands-on experience in these areas. She has an Associate of Science (paralegal) from Manchester Community College and studied computer science, criminology and education at University of Tampa.

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