How to remove an RB26

The engine is held in by (2) 14 mm nuts. Thats it

Tools needed

  • A lift is nice
  • A friend or two to help with the transmission
  • Various metric hand tools


There is more than one way to do this , depends on what you like to do. You can pull the engine out after disassembling it off the transmission , you can drop the whole front subframe ,you can pull it as an assembly , but its so heavy, and you need so much clearance - I dont recommend it, or you can pull the trans , then the engine.

1) Inside the car , remove the gearshift lever . This always seems to get forgotten until the transmission is hanging under the car , and people trying to figure out why it wont drop.

2) Drain all the fluids

3) Disconnect the battery

3a) A small block of 2x4 behind the engine to keep it from rocking back too far saves some crunching.

3b)Take the intercooler pipes that connect to the body off. They will prevent the engine from rocking too far when you pull the transmission. You want it to move back some, but not be supported by the hoses.

4) Disconnect all electrical. - the main engine harness above the injectors can be removed and put under a wiper to help it clear.

5) Drop the transmission. If its a late clutch , you need to read the procedure on releasing a pull style bearing. If it feels like its "STUCK" its not. Its not released yet. Its pretty simple to release when you know how to do it.


6) The front propshaft needs a good 12 mm box end wrench to clear properly. One side is staked in place, the other side you can loosen. No fluid comes from the transfercase when you remove the front propshaft.

7) The exhaust/ downpipe/ cat needs to come off , be moved out of the way. The exhaust can stay on, but the donwpipe needs to come off.

8) The line going to the rear of the transfercase is for the ATTESA system. It will drain down , but a plug in it, put a glove on it. You are going to need to refill this , and bleed it later.

9). The transmission needs to be rotated down , clockwise to clear the body. You can do it with a tranny jack , you can do it on your back , I do it with 4 people . 2 in the front , 2 in the back , and its on the ground in seconds. The transmission and transfercase weigh 150 lbs.

10)You can leave the clutch on the engine , but you get a little more clearance to get the engine out if you remove it now.

11) Also while under neath the car move the starter , and transmission wires to clear

12) The engine is held in by (2) 14 mm nuts. Thats it . They can be seen though the subframe.

13) Remove both front axles. The left side axle is held in by 6 nut/bolts.It will separate and clear enough to get out. The right side axle is a little more difficult. Its held in by a C-Clip in the front diff. It seems to be held in by more , but thats it. Many times it will fight a big fight to get out. You need to take the wheel , axle nut , clear the outer end of the axle , then get the inside of the axle. Here a friend can help also. There is a groove around the inside edge of the axle. A prybar and a hammer at the right angle and it will pop out about 50% of the time. DO NOT PULL on the outer end of the axle , you will break the boot , and the diff end will still be stuck.Sometimes two prybars and it will pop. Otherwise drain the front diff , remove the cover , and you will see the end of the axle in the diff near the spiders. Pop it out. It will be really easy, and you will wonder why it fought so much.

14) Heater hoses

15) Other electrical connections - drivers side.

16) Vacuum hoses.