GTE Engine Removal


Several months ago, I was sent to Gullwing Motorcars to inspect a 250GTE for a client. It was a car with some good history, and my job was to perform a Pre-Purchase Inspection to make sure it was to the best of my knowledge a decent car. Unfortunately, the morning I arrived in Queens to look at the car, the guys at the shop told me the car started making a ticking noise like an exhaust leak when they started it. When I heard the noise, I said,

“Shut it off, shut it off!”

That wasn’t an exhaust leak and when I did a compression test, it was confirmed with no compression in one cylinder a valve seat must have dropped that morning!

After some negotiation of the price, the buyer agreed to buy the car and have me look into repairing the engine. With a dropped valve seat, we will probably be looking at a full engine rebuild, because of the risk of the other seats falling in the future, but we’ll get the engine out and see.


Getting the engine out of a GTE began by removing the interior to access the transmission.


Since this is a new car to me, I was also making a list of things that needed attention while we were doing the engine work. One of the seat studs was stripped, so we’ll have to weld in a new stud.


With the seats out of the way, and center tunnel removed, I disconected the drive shaft and unbolted the bell housing.


Getting an engine out of a Ferrari can actually be done by one person, but the transmission is another story. For many Vintage Ferraris, the transmission comes out from inside the passenger compartment, and it takes one person inside the car pulling the transmission back, while another person is underneath guiding the input shaft out of the clutch. Once the transmission is clear of the clutch, both people have to wrestle the transmission into the passenger side of the car. I’m sure there are other ways to use some sort of mechanical help, but we’ve found this the best way to do it!


With the transmission out of the car, I will turn my attention to the engine to disconnect the wiring, plumbing, and exhaust. Stay tuned!