Is motor mount replacement a do-it-yourself job?

Dear Car Talk

Dear Car Talk | Dec 01, 1998

Dear Tom and Ray:

My father-in-law has a 1991 Cadillac DeVille. The car is making a clunking noise
when taking off from a dead stop. We brought it to a transmission shop, and they
said it was the motor mount. We both have moderate mechanical experience and were
wondering if we should tackle this job ourselves. -- Harry

TOM: It depends on your relationship with your father-in-law, Harry. If you're at
all concerned that he might be trying to knock you off, this is a project to

RAY: It's doable, but it's not an easy job. And there are certain dangers
involved -- including having the car fall on you.

TOM: Here's the drill: The first thing you do is unhook the negative terminal of
the battery. You won't make any "planned" contact with anything electrical, but
you never know what's going to happen when you start moving the engine around. So
take that precaution.

RAY: Then you take a hydraulic jack, lift up the front end of the car, and put
the front wheels on jack stands. Then put a piece of wood between the oil pan and
the jack, and use the jack to lift up the motor enough so you're able to unbolt
the motor mount. You'll probably need four to six inches of clearance.

TOM: This is the point at which it's possible for someone to "create" an
industrial accident. So if Pappy's still annoyed about you running off with his
baby girl, you may want to suggest that he stick his hand in there and remove the
motor mount.

RAY: Once the motor mount is unbolted, you then have to work it out of the sub-
frame, which isn't easy. By this point, several of your knuckles may be bleeding.

TOM: Once you do that, you can install the new motor mount, bolt it in place, and
let the engine and car back down again.

RAY: This job is somewhat easier for us to do at the shop because we can put the
car up on a lift, and stand under it while we work. You, on the other hand, will
be crawling around on the garage floor trying to reach in there.

TOM: But of course, the advantage of doing it at home is that, should Pop
"accidentally" kick out one of the jack stands, the car has less distance to

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