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Old 11-22-2018, 11:05 PM   #1
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Dropping Boxster engine with a 4 post lift - anyone have tops on doing it?

so, I am going to swap the engine in my 2002 "S" model. I'm very fortunate to have a 4 post lift in my garage. It works out great for me. Unfortunately, it's not so great for dropping a Boxster engine - the engine won't fit down to drop between the non-movable ramps that the car sits on.

I know I can notch out the ramps, but I'm not real keen on doing this, as I lose the ability to use the sliding jack in the back of the lift; it'll drop to the ground as I slide it over the notch. Also, I don't even know how big the notch would need to be.

I know some have dropped the engine with the car somehow hanging off the end of the lift. I know Woody has a thread where he posted some photos of doing that, but I can't get the photos on the thread to appear thanks to the fine folks at Photobucket. I have seen many photos while searching for this method of 911 engine drops with the car hanging off the end of the lift with the front tied down, but of course with the engine in the center of the car in the Boxster rather than hanging off the extreme rear of the car, as in the 911, I just don't see that same geometry working.

Does anyone have a good bunch of photos or a very good description of how to do this? I know it's not the best/safest way to do it on a repetitive basis but I do know that it's been done on many occasions, and I only need to do it once. Of course I'll take every possible safety precaution.

Thanks in advance for any help with this.

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Old 11-23-2018, 07:21 AM   #2
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this sounds like a dangerous recipe for disaster.

I would just do it on jackstands.
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Old 11-23-2018, 07:37 AM   #3
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I know it's not ideal, but for reasons too long to go into, doing it on my back is simply not an option. I do appreciate the concern, I really do, and I do not in any way want to come off as snide or unappreciative of he input. However, given that doing it on the lift is really my only option, I'd really like to hear from the numerous others who have actually done it successfully on a 4 post lift. If anyone can chime in here on the method I aould greatly appreciate it. I know Woody has done it but I feel tremendously guilty taking up his time to keep asking him. He's a busy guy!

Anyone?
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Old 11-23-2018, 08:40 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Doug427 View Post
I know it's not ideal, but for reasons too long to go into, doing it on my back is simply not an option. I do appreciate the concern, I really do, and I do not in any way want to come off as snide or unappreciative of he input. However, given that doing it on the lift is really my only option, I'd really like to hear from the numerous others who have actually done it successfully on a 4 post lift. If anyone can chime in here on the method I aould greatly appreciate it. I know Woody has done it but I feel tremendously guilty taking up his time to keep asking him. He's a busy guy!

Anyone?
We have done it on a four post lift, but one with sufficient spacing to allow the engine to drop straight down on a lifting table. Trying this with the car hanging off the end of the lift is a recipe for a disaster, period. If the engine won’t pass between the ramps, do it on the ground or find another lift.
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Old 11-23-2018, 09:52 AM   #5
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We have done it on a four post lift, but one with sufficient spacing to allow the engine to drop straight down on a lifting table. Trying this with the car hanging off the end of the lift is a recipe for a disaster, period. If the engine won’t pass between the ramps, do it on the ground or find another lift.
Or build ramps over the ramps? Pics would be nice, but 4x4s and 3/4 in plywood are moderately cheap and will carry a lot of psi.

I did mine with an air jack, lots of blocks of wood and tall jack stands, a reinforced furniture dolly, and a cherry picker that I previously had used to lift a V8 out of a dodge ram. In this case, I used the cherry picker to lower the engine out the bottom.

First time is difficult, it's really a puzzle and you end up going back to correctly disconnect things. And actually, it was a rather easy reinstall.
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Old 11-23-2018, 09:54 AM   #6
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I've probably dropped 20 and installed two motors/transmissions on my 4 post before I notched my 4 post so the drive train could go through the middle. Now I drop everything down the middle. To drop it off the rear I would disconnect everything except the motor and transmission mounts. I would use the ramps that you use to drive up on the lift as extensions. I had big blocks that would support the ramps as I pushed the vehicle out onto the ramps. Remove the engine/tranmission mounts, lower the motor on a lift cart, push the car back onto the lift and you're done. I would ratchet the front of the car to a front cross-member on the lift to keep the car from moving backwards. Sure it's not the safest way, but sometimes you work with what you have. I've used the same process for removing drive trains out of 911's and camaros.
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Old 11-23-2018, 10:39 AM   #7
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I used my 4 post for dropping my 356's engine. Once. Its a big pain if it does not drop between the ramps and that is with a light engine. I used a small ATV lift to lower the engine. A tall hydraulic table would be ideal. Now I just do it on the open floor. There is a bigger benefit to doing it with a Boxster because there is a lot more work to do underneath to drop the engine. Distance between ramps will be critical.
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Old 11-23-2018, 01:35 PM   #8
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I've probably dropped 20 and installed two motors/transmissions on my 4 post before I notched my 4 post so the drive train could go through the middle. Now I drop everything down the middle. To drop it off the rear I would disconnect everything except the motor and transmission mounts. I would use the ramps that you use to drive up on the lift as extensions. I had big blocks that would support the ramps as I pushed the vehicle out onto the ramps. Remove the engine/tranmission mounts, lower the motor on a lift cart, push the car back onto the lift and you're done. I would ratchet the front of the car to a front cross-member on the lift to keep the car from moving backwards. Sure it's not the safest way, but sometimes you work with what you have. I've used the same process for removing drive trains out of 911's and camaros.
Any idea what the dimensions of your notch are Woody? Total width x total front to back?
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Old 11-24-2018, 05:32 AM   #9
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Sorry I didn't measure how how long but you'll need a minimum of 37 inches between the ramps. You need to be very careful of the solenoid cable sticking out of the head as it breaks very easily.

I added reinforcement to the backside of the ramp where I cut out for the notch. I've had heavy diesel trucks on it and there was no signs of bending. Sorry the picture's upside down
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Old 11-24-2018, 10:48 AM   #10
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Thanks so much, Woody - that'll get me a starting point at least.


Edit - Just measured my lift - if I notch it back the same exact way you did yours it'll give me 37 1/2" wide maximum - whew, that's close!


Last edited by Doug427; 11-24-2018 at 10:51 AM.
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