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Guest Message by DevFuse

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So, how do YOU install a transmission?

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12 replies to this topic



    Pastor of Muppets

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Posted 12 October 2003 - 08:17 PM

I did my second transmission job today, and I got to thinking, how do you guys do it? Maybe if we all put in our tactics, it can make the job easier for all of us.

For this job, here's what I did:

Drove the car up onto Rhino Ramps. Jacked up one wheel at a time and turned until each was in the right position. Then I pounded the axle pins out.

Then I unbolted the exhaust at the heads and muffler, and pull the whole thing off the car.

After that I unhooked the battery and pulled the starter off. Then I unbolted the carrier bearing and pulled the driveshaft out, and being the environmentally concerned guy that I am, I caught all the fluid in a drain pan.

Then I pulled all the electrical connectors, speedometer cable, cooler lines, and shift linkage.

Then I unbolted the rear crossmember. After that I got to work on the bellhousing bolts/studs.

Once they were loose I cranked the engine around with a 7/8 wrench and pulled out all the torque converter bolts.

Then I used a pry bar and popped the trans off the engine. Once it was sitting on the crossmember I popped the axles off.

Then... THUD. With a little prying the trans landed on the soft cushy pile of gravel under the car.

Putting the new trans in was a little harder...

Here's where all the innovation comes in, where everyone's own tricks come into play.

I have no engine hoist, and I work on a gravel driveway. Unfortunately gravity pulls things *toward* the ground. Makes it kinda hard to toss a transmission up onto the engine, doesn't it? Using a couple of tiny floor jacks I raised the trans up enough to throw a cinder block under it. Then I spent the next couple hours slowly raising it up enough to where I could put a cinder block and a 4x4 board under it, then a pair of 4x4's and a 1x3, then 2 cinder blocks, etc. Finally I got the trans up high enough to fit over the crossmember.

The problem is, I'm working on a gravel driveway, and jacks won't exactly roll. We jacked it up high enough to hit the studs, but how to move it forward?

So here's how we got the trans into place:

You know that little piece of metal that runs from one bolt to another just under the pitching stopper? We hooked a tow strap onto it. Then... HEAVE. Had a friend pull the trans forward. After enough prying and pulling, we had the trans on the studs. To move it forward, we enlisted the help of another friend....

We had one guy pulling on the tow strap and one guy each pushing on the DOJ's with his foot, with axles connected of course.

With a couple pops the trans went on. Then we ran the bellhousing bolts through and cranked the lump together. At that point it's time to go inside and drink some beers, then the next morning we go put everything else back together, which only takes about an hour. Whoomp, there it is.

#2 Turbone


    The Original Rob

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Posted 12 October 2003 - 08:47 PM

To make things a little easier on you next time, throw a piece of plywood down under the car. Jacks roll alot easier then. I've been working on dirt and gravel for the last 14yrs.:banghead:

#3 Subafly


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Posted 12 October 2003 - 09:39 PM

You get a big strong guy and too other people then you all grunt and gasp, weez...

#4 calebz


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Posted 12 October 2003 - 10:41 PM

Last time I did it, the engine was out, so I ust hooked the tranny up to a cherry picker and slid ot in theough the engine bay.. had someone control the cherry picker while I bolted up the crossmember.. took about 15 minutes to get the tranny mounted in the car that way

#5 electryc_monk


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Posted 12 October 2003 - 11:16 PM

as for install... IF you don't have playwood then afew or more large slices of corrigated paperboard(FYI 'cardboard') and then use it to slide the tranny under said car for install.

first part of install that'd I do is :
A.) if auto = attach torque converter to tranny (yes it'll add 35 lbs. to it but, given the environment its a bit less frustrationg then trying to line up the tranny shaft with the orqueconverter at the install angles from underneath the car)
B) if standard = install the clutch parts to the flywheel first then slide the tranny underneath for install.

(lumber jack) PUN intended
one time i did this solo and had a nice big pile of 2X4 and other lumber pieces laying around the house

as the tranny is basically 125 odd pounds its also reasonably easy to tip from side to sideor front to rear (right?)

then using the wood and this tipping ability you endup with a low strength method of raising (or in my case lowering and lifiting) of a tranny.
for you it would be tilt to the side and stick a 2X4 under the front of the tranny then one under the rear of it.
Then sometimes the wood is different sizea so you may have to have a 4X4 that is on its end that would stand up and slide under the front of it(or rear) [up against the pile being built] and then the next piece of wood will go under the front jack pile.

Thnik tetris like and your able to do this with only short bursts of energy to "lift" the tranny and then the rest is sliding the wood thru and supporting it

admittedly this is slow but if your willing to pretend your doing a "lincoln log build" then it's gonna be fine and at the same time you don't have to worry about it "falling off the jack" or worse hurting the body of the installer.

the next style is what was done back in 2000 on the silver gl-10 as seen on the webpage i have.

car raised as high as safetly possible and allow the tranny to sit on the nice hydralic jack and be rolled under the front of the car.
the we (Trouble and I) slid under the car and stuck the 4X4 plate between the jack and tranny to give us that extra height for attaching it to the engine. (clutch already attached to the flywheel.

lifted it up with the jack and then slowly pulled the jack towards the engine and then lifted it the rest of the way over the subframe and then tilted it onto the engine studs... once on the studes we slightly lowered the jack and "trouble" helt the tailshaft as I lowered and then eased the jack toward him. Once it was close enough to the tailshaft support area he held the wood and tranny and i jacked it up and raised the rear of the tranny smoothly. This allowed the tranny to be slid up onto the two lower engine studs and also to have the shifter arms slide into the tunnel hole for attaching to the arms.

hows that basicly?

Or if your truely sadistic or massachistic (forgot which is which)
you could prep the engine and tranny from straight drop out and the only issues to be undone are the hoses, the engine torque rod attched under the spare tire, the ground wires, speedo cable, remove A/C compressor from bracket, disconnect the two big wire looms, take off the 3 nuts for each front strut top, the O2 wire, vacuum hoses and fuel lines, the two ebrake cables (up in the console), and then go under the car and brase it while looosening a total of 12 or 14 bolts from the underside [ 2 engine subframe each side] [3 controlling arm plate bolts per side] [ 1 or 2 per side of tranny support mount]

this will effectively allow for that joyious lift kit install.

OR (silly grin)

the stripping of a car in short order! LOL



    Pastor of Muppets

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Posted 12 October 2003 - 11:27 PM

as the tranny is basically 125 odd pounds

Holy crap... those things weigh 125 pounds!?

And I was able to carry one from the street all the way to my porch last month?

#7 ByTheSea


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Posted 13 October 2003 - 12:07 AM

I put the rear wheels on ramps, Front end on stands,,,all over plywood and dirt. The critical piece for me is the $50 2.5 ton wide base floor jack from Autozone. And the crossmember is the last thing I unbolt and the last thing I bolt up not counting the exhaust. I also find it easier to take the exhaust hanger off the back of the tranny before trying to drag the tranny around.

#8 mcbrat


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Posted 13 October 2003 - 07:54 AM

I usually work alone, so ...

I had a hell of a time doing my first one...luckily I had gotten the trans crossmember in place, then could "rest" the engine on it and the engine crossmember while I rested between rounds of trying to bench press and slide it into place.... (this is where leaving the pp bolts loose whould have really worked slick!!!)

arms were very tired that night...

my second one I did a similar trick to yours as far as slowly placing stuff underneath it to get it up on a jack, but then I just had to get is positioned correctly, and she slid right in (since I was on cement)

#9 Caboobaroo


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Posted 13 October 2003 - 03:38 PM

for install...
got one strong guy like me, under the car and grab the tailshaft of the tranny
have someone else stand up top to help "guide" the tranny in with a pry bar
the guy on the ground will wiggle the tailshaft around while pushing on the end of the tranny and it should pop right in:D
I did this with Andrew on his turbowagon when we put the 5-speed dual range in it.
Yeah Mick, I'd have to agree with you, my arms were very tired later that night:drunk:

#10 GeneralDisorder


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Posted 13 October 2003 - 04:51 PM

I call a couple guys over, and do this:

1. Car on Jack Stands, with tranny slid underneath.

2. One person uses the starter hole as a grip, and lifts the front of the tranny, another person uses a length of rope around the tail of the tranny, and lifts using the rope through the shifter hole area.

3. Third person slides under the tranny while it's being held up, and guides it into place, with the help of the front person guideing the shaft. The person in the front then slips one of the bell housing bolts in.

tighten everything up, and your done.


#11 MilesFox


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Posted 14 October 2003 - 02:08 PM

i will undo the motor mounts an d jack up the motor on the oil pan, it will get the studs up high enough so the tranny doesnt run into the front crossmember before the bellhousings meet.

and as far as drain pans go, regardless of being environmentally conscious, i always drain into a pan, because, i myself prefer not to lay in all that mess!

#12 Nug


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Posted 14 October 2003 - 02:48 PM

ever have about 8 quarts of ATF slide down your shirt collar and into your armpit, ending up well south of your drawers? Nasty, burned, fish-smelling ATF???? That day sucked.

#13 Hondasucks


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Posted 14 October 2003 - 03:02 PM

"At that point it's time to go inside and drink some beers"
The trick is to have the beer outside while you're workin, just not to much, cuz drunkenness and heavy car parts don't mix.

Also, about putting the T/C on before you put the tranny in, it is essential that you do it this way and MAKE SURE it is ALL the way into the tranny, and fully engaged with the hydraulic pump stuff, otherwise, you run the risk of destroying the hydraulic pump. It's harder to do on a Subaru, where the "front pump" is actually in the BACK of the transmission, driven off of a shaft instead of driven directly off a drive lug on the T/C like a RWD tranny is.

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