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Old 02-13-2018, 08:22 PM   #6
oldmanina2005vu will become famous soon enough
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Posts: 116

2004 VUE 2.2L
2008 SKY Red Line
Default Re: 2.2 ecotec removal top or bottom 05 Vue

I have done it both ways but in my opinion it is much easier to do by dropping the cradle. I remove the hood first thing so I have plenty of working room. I remove the cradle entirely with the steering and knuckles attached. The cradle is not very heavy and can be lowered one side at a time after removing the four cradle bolts and having the cradle supported by jack stands. You will have to remove the lower engine and transmission mount center bolts. Make sure you have 18mm sockets and wrenches on hand. Drain all fluids including transmission fluid first. The car will have to be elevated in the front to where you have at least 26" of clearance through the passenger side wheel well. The valve cover will need to be removed along with the exhaust manifold and intake manifold, all the wiring harnesses, radiator hoses, fuel lines, and vacuum lines will need to be disconnected. Both drive axles need to be pulled. Be darn sure you disconnect the battery before you remove any ECM, TCM, or ICM connections.

After I drop the cradle it is supported by the two end motor mounts. I then connect my engine hoist and lift the engine slightly to allow me to remove the three engine mount bolts from each end. I then lower the engine onto my garage floor. I use my engine hoist on the passenger side lifting eye and lift the engine slightly. You can then muscle the engine and transmission out the passenger side. Having some heavy cardboard or 1/4" plywood under it helps it slide. I am 69 years old and medium build and I have no problem doing this.

Word of warning. If you live in the snow belt or this SUV has you may find that the front cradle bolts spin in the pocket they sit in. If this happens then your only alternative is to open up the hole that you can look through to see the nut. The nut has a little flimsy (thanks GM) sheet metal sleeve that holds it in place. It will probably be rusted gone. If you open up the hole you will be able to get a 7/8" open end wrench on it to hold it. Plan on using lots of rust penetrant.

Reassemble in reverse order.
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