After getting my Project Van Hell '66 Dodge A100 last weekend, I was a bit apprehensive about removing its rod-knockitty engine through the doors. I've done plenty of engine swaps, but never out of a mid-engined van. No problem!

Surprisingly, it turned out to be an extremely easy process. Remove the doghouse, disconnect a few wires, pull the fan, detach the torque converter from the flexplate, all the usual stuff. Everything was quite accessible, no fastener put up a death struggle, and the van's big ground clearance meant I didn't really need to jack it up.

For those of you who work on cars built in the last, oh, 20 years, feast your eyes on the engine wiring harness for a 1966 Chrysler LA engine. Yes, that's about seven wires, three of which go to the alternator. Which isn't to say that I won't be ditching the points distributor and carburetor for electronic ignition and fuel injection as soon as I can, because old automotive technology sucks.

The old engine turned out to be a smog-era 318, not the 273 that the factory would have installed in 1966; note the EGR valve on the intake manifold. I'll take it apart and see if it's rebuildable.

The starter, distributor, carburetor, alternator, engine mounts, and all the accessory brackets and pulleys will get swapped over to the replacement engine.

Yes, another Malaise Era 318, which I like to think came from a Chrysler Cordoba equipped with soft Corinthian leather.