How To Guide – Remove Civic Engine

How To Guide – Remove Civic Engine


Whether you are planning a Honda engine swap or looking to replace it, you will need to know how to remove your Civic engine. Knowing how to remove the Civic engine can save you money and time, especially when you want to upgrade to a B series. Instead of taking your car to a mechanic or spending money to do it, simply renting a few of the needed tools can save you serious cash. Today I’ll be showing you how to remove your Civic engine in a 1998 Honda Civic DX with a 1.6 liter SOHC engine in it.

Before you begin removing your SOHC Honda Civic engine, you will need a few basic tools. These tools are listed below and while you can get away without having some of them it’s a good idea to have most of them ready.

Tools to remove a Civic Engine

Although you do need your basic hand tools to take out your D series engine, there’s a few things you definitely require.

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  • Engine Hoist – Cherry picker
  • Automotive jack
  • Jack stands
  • 24mm socket or 32mm socket
  • 10mm, 12mm, 14mm, 17mm, 19mm wrenches / or sockets

Once you’ve secured all of your tools, you can proceed with draining the oil and coolant from your Civic engine. When your Civic engine is dry you can begin our tutorial to taking out your D series engine. If you are unclear on how to operate safely around your engine or your Honda, check our safety guidelines here.

Step 1 – Prepare your Civic

There are a few steps before you begin disconnecting your Civic engine. Before beginning you should always disconnect and remove the battery. Set it to the side and don’t set it on the ground or you run the risk of draining the battery prematurely. Once the battery is taken out, you can begin to remove your Civic engine.

Now jack up the front of the Civic. Secure it with jackstands carefully and make sure the Honda is not going anywhere. Because there’s a good chance you will be lifting from this position make sure you have enough space in front and around your Civic.

Step 2 – Disconnect your Civic engine

Disconnect the spark plugs and remove the distributor. Once you have all the spark plugs removed from the engine, you can remove the three 12mm bolts that hold your ignition distributor. Once you have the ignition wires removed along with your distributor, you can begin to remove the intake pipe.

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The intake piping in our Honda Civic is easily removed, simply reach behind the airbox and undo the metal clamps. Remove the Civic IAT sensor and unplug the PCV hoses to free the top half of the intake.

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Begin unplugging your Honda Civic engine harness, starting from your IAT sensor and MAP sensor. Don’t forget your TPS sensor as well as the connectors along your fuel injectors.

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Finish disconnecting the rest of the engine harness from your Civic engine. One of the tricker ones to do is the starter, because of it’s location under the intake pipe. To disconnect the starter, pull up on the shielding over the 12 volt wire.

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Don’t forget the starter solenoid, which is a simple electrical spade. Pull on it gently to remove. Go through your engine bay and make sure you have all the electrical connectors removed and the harness freed. Unplug your alternator and disconnect it to flip the entire engine bay towards the intake side of the Civic engine.

Step 3 – Disconnect fuel lines

The next part of our guide will cover the fuel lines in your Civic. Begin by opening the fuel tank by unscrewing the gas tank cover. This process allows your fuel system to release pressure and it’s important to do before you undo any of the fuel lines on your Civic engine.

Taking a 14mm open end, undo the termination at the feed end of the fuel rail. Always wear eye protection because there still may be pressure in your fuel system. Remove the nut and pull off the banjo bolt for your fuel rail feed line.

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Make sure to keep track of your banjo bolt crush washers. Pull off the banjo bolt for your fuel feed line.

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Now turn your attention to the other side of the fuel rail and remove the fuel return line. This is held on with a worm clamp that you’ll need to compress to remove.

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Now that you’ve got the fuel system freed up, you can begin to remove the header system

You can do one of two things here, you can either undo the 12mm nuts to your exhaust manifold or disconnect the midpipe from your lower B header pipe.

Either way you will need to disconnect your exhaust system to remove your Civic engine. Next we turn our attention to the accessories such as your power steering and air conditioning.

Step 4 – Remove Civic engine accessories

Using a 12mm socket, you can undo the bolts that run through your power steering pump. This pump is located on the driver side of the engine.

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Now that you have the 12mm upper bolts taken out, turn your attention to the lower bolt that runs through the bottom half of the pump.

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Once the power steering pump is taken off, you can bend the rubber hoses and put them to the side. The next thing to remove from your Civic engine is the air conditioning pump, this unit has four bolts that run into the air conditioning bracket.

Pull off the air conditioning pump and use a bungie cord or rope to hold up the pump. You want to do this so you dont have to recharge your freon. Make sure to carefully tie up the pump so that you aren’t putting a lot of strain on the air conditioning lines.

Step 5 – Remove the coolant lines

Before you start taking care of your coolant lines in your Civic engine, you need to remove the radiator. Disconnect the radiator fan connector and remove the 10mm bolt through your Civic radiator stay.

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Disconnect and remove both the upper and lower radiator hoses. Now you can turn your attention to the heater coolant lines. These coolant lines run under where your distributor was, and can be easily removed.

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Now unclip the remaining connectors, including the engine coolant temperature sensor and oxygen sensor. There is also a grouping of ground wires that are on the thermostat housing.

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Make sure to undo the 10mm bolt that holds this group of ground wires in place.

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There are also coolant lines that run to your Civic idle control valve. Make sure to disconnect them and check through the wiring and hoses to your Civic engine.

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Before you start to remove the Civic engine, there’s a few more things to check over..

Step 6 – Remove your axles

Now remove the front wheels from your front hubs. You can of course opt to remove the axle nut and push out the axle, but we’ve got a faster way to handle the pesky axles in your Honda Civic.

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Using your 19mm and 17mm socket, remove the three bolts that secure the lower front trailing arm to your subframe.

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Now remove the 17mm bolts that run through your lower shock absorber fork and the bolt that runs through the lower control arm.

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Now you have to pull out the pins to the steering rack tie rod ends. Undo the castle nut to the outer tie rod end and remove from your shock assembly.

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With all of these removed, you should be able to swing your front spindle out and to the side. This should give you enough movement to pop out the axles from your transmission. This method is a far faster way to remove your axles, and it’s easier to pop them back in when you are ready.

Of course if you are planning a Honda swap, you may want to remove the axles all together. This of course depends on what axles are needed for a Honda engine swap that you’ve chosen.

Step 7 – Final steps before removing Civic engine

  1. Disconnect and remove the throttle cable from your throttle body.
  2. Disconnect shift linkage – you can do this one of two ways. You can either go under the vehicle and disconnect the 12mm bolt that holds the stabilizer rod and the pin that goes through the shift rod, or you can unscrew your shift knob and remove the 12mm bolts that hold the shifter to the chassis.
  3. Check through your engine bay to ensure that there’s nothing else holding your engine to the Civic.

Step 8 – Remove the Civic engine mounts

Now using a smaller jack and a piece of wood, gently jack up on the oil pan of your Civic engine. Never jack up on the oil pan directly using your automotive jack. By supporting the engine through a 2×4 or similar piece of wood, you can support the oil pan directly.

Remove the three nuts that is mounted to the top of the driver side Civic engine mount. You may need a deep 17mm socket for the inner nuts that are on the engine mount.

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Now turn your attention to the rear engine mount, which is a single bolt that runs through the rear subframe section. Undo this bolt and slide out the bolt and remove the nut. You are now ready to remove the lower Civic engine mounts, or the air conditioning mounts.

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You can remove the nut that’s facing outward, and then remove the two 14mm bolts that run through the chassis.

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Now all you have left is the transmission mount that must be removed. You can do this one of two ways. You can either remove the bolts that hold the bracket to the transmission, or simply remove the bolt that runs through the frame mount.

When you have your Civic engine bolts removed, you are now ready to connect the engine hoist and remove it.

Step 9 – Remove your Civic Engine

Position your engine hoist and connect the chain to your Civic engine. Make sure to place the chain in a secure and strong enough spot to support the weight of your 1.6 liter engine.

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Congratulations! you have now removed your Civic engine and you are ready to swap in another Honda engine or a replacement. Have any questions about our How To Guide? leave us a comment below and let us know!