Unlike modern Porsche engines, classic Air-Cooled Porsche engines can be easily removed for repairs as demonstrated here by Appalachian PCA member, Charlie Hickey. Charlie identified an oil cooler leak in his 1972 Porsche 911T Targa and the only way to make the repair is to remove the engine.

A crew of Appalachian Region members including TD King, Mark Cigal, Bob Disney, Joe Esposito and Don Therien pitched in to help Charlie with holding lights, passing tools, etc.  President and author Jim Moore choose to photograph the  steps to demonstrate how to remove an air-cooled Porsche engine. 

Charlie is an advanced “shade tree” mechanic and has his garage set up with a two-post lift and a full complement of tools that makes the job easier. This was not the first time this numbers matching 2.4-liter flat-six engine had been removed, and will probably not be the last time.

As an aside, the unique feature of a 1972 Porsche 911 is that it has a side oil fill door that was on 1972-only models.  This only appeared in 1972 because too many customers were confusing the oil door and fuel door.

The author was fortunate to be able to observe the two-hour engine removal process, documenting it photographically.  Please be aware that every step was not photographed because there are many wires and cables requiring disconnection.  Only the major mechanical steps were recorded.

Top Side and Under Side of this 2.4 liter flat-6

Step One – Start the process by draining the oil.  Since this car requires 10 quarts, allow time for everything to drain completely.

Step Two - Disconnect the shift linkage in the tunnel as opposed to at the shifter so that you can re-hook-up at installation without having to adjust the linkage.

The Shift Linkage access tunnel in the back seat.

Step Three – Set the proper placement of the jack points to lift the car so you can start disconnecting all hoses and wire connectors.  On many early Porsches these lift points are crushed from owners using floor jacks without a lift puck.

Lift on Porsche jack point                                     Disconnect hoses

 Step Four – Disconnect the Universal joints.

Rear suspension underside view

Step Five – Disconnect clutch cable, throttle linkage, speedometer and ground cable.

Step Six – Disconnect half shafts

 View of transmission where half-shaft was disconnected.

Step Seven – Disconnection of oil lines requires special large Porsche wrenches that Charlie has owned for years.

Step Eight – Lower lift and check that all wires and cables are disconnected in the engine bay.  In this case Charlie is disconnecting the electronic ignition.

Step Nine – Slide lift table under engine. A floor jack is positioned under the transmission while the lift table is positioned under the engine.  Two by four’s are used on the lift table to provide a cushion for the heat exchangers to rest on.

Step Ten – Unbolt the two engine mounts on top and the two transmission mounts on the underside.

Step Eleven – Lower the lift table slowly and then slowly start to raise the lift to separate the engine from the chassis.

Step Twelve – Notice the combination of the lift jack and lift table that needs to slide out from under the car.


The engine and transmission are now removed.

 Mechanical Fuel Injection System with belt drive.

Oil Cooler on the engine and disconnected from the engine

All gaskets had been replaced on a previous engine-out service so this time the oil cooler will be sent to a radiator shop for pressure testing and repair.

Thanks to Charlie for sharing this process with the Appalachian Region..

 Jim Moore – Appalachian President