I haven't been able to find if you can pull just the engine and leave the transaxle in the car? Mine is a 2005, and the clam is already off. If there's a best procedure to pull same, I'd appreciate hearing about it. Thank you in advance.
I've done a clutch job on a similar Toyota transverse drivetrain package (removing just the transaxle), and I've taken the whole driveline out at once. Trans-only was easier just because there was less stuff to disconnect and reconnect.
I can't imagine a circumstance where the pain and suffering of unbolting the bellhousing in the confined space around the firewall and subframe and supporting the oddly-shaped transaxle would be less work than just undoing the shifter cables, clutch line, a couple of ground straps, driveshafts, etc. and pulling the whole power pack at once - particularly on an Elige, where the whole thing only weighs about 300 lbs all up because of the aluminum block, and you have clear access from three sides once you have the clam off.
What are you hoping to achieve by leaving the shafts and transmission in, anyway?
I'd like to thank everyone who replied, I've never pulled an Elise engine, and I'd have felt stupid if there was a far easier way to pull and replace the engine than just dropping it all. I often hear about the tricks after I do it the hard way. Thanks again for your advice!