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transmission removal


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30 replies to this topic

#1 DupermanDave

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Posted 15 July 2009 - 12:40 PM

Okay, so I'm doing the oil separator plate project. Here's what I have done so far:

removed exhaust, driveshaft, and both CV joints. I've drained the oil and transmission fluid and I have the transmission partially unbolted from the bottom of the car. I cannot seem to find all the bolts that keep the transmission on the engine. Do I need to remove something else to gain access to them?

-edit-
by the way, yes I did a search. Couldnt find any writeups or anything with pictures. Haynes manual won't arrive until monday :-(

Edited by DupermanDave, 15 July 2009 - 12:44 PM.


#2 johnceggleston

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Posted 15 July 2009 - 01:07 PM

IIRC, there are 4 bolts engine to trans left top and bottom and right top and bottom. there is the dog bone up top right behind the throttle body and there is a rear trans mount/ support. plus wires and shifter cable.

the driver side lower trans bolt is a b**ch. no easy way, you just keep at it. driver side top, you remove the starter, one of those is a trans bolt the other is a nut on a stud. but the starter must be removed, i think. i don't really remember the passenger side so i assume they aren't too hard to get to.

dogbone is easy, but with it and the trans gone, the engine may want to flop around a bit, so be careful. i usually pull the engine not the trans.

the rear trans mount, i removed the 2 bolts on the cross member leaving it attached to the trans just cause it was easier to get to.

there may be more i'm missing, but this is what stands out in my mind.

some one posted a pretty good write up on a trans jack / support / lifting type thing. you might look for that. careful not to dent the oil pan, it can damage the wires inside. this is an auto trans, right?

please correct me if i'm wrong.

Edited by johnceggleston, 15 July 2009 - 01:13 PM.


#3 grossgary

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Posted 15 July 2009 - 01:24 PM

That's a good list there JCE.

You probably would have been better off removing the engine.

There are two lower bolts that are hard to see and get to, try any number of socket extensions, wrenches or whatever you have to get them off. All you have to do (with any car) is look where the trans meets up to the engine - remove all the bolts there. Remove the starter, one of those bolts/nuts holds the engine/trans together as well.

If it's an automatic you need to remove the flexplate to torque converter bolts through the bellhousing access hole or the hole underneath.

If you've had this much trouble until now, I believe you're going to really hate separating the engine/trans. It's quite a task and there's no "straight forward way" to do it. I mean there is, but it's a bit of a guesswork involved going around the engine and back and forth to finally separate it.

To the OP - if this is an automatic transmission you should MAKE SURE you know how to reinstall the transmission. If you miss one important step, that people aren't aware of, you will ruin your transmission. Seating the torque converter is no easy task and it's a bit tricky to know if it's right or not. Based on your troubles so far, I'd be certain you know exactly how to do that and don't forget it.

#4 DupermanDave

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Posted 15 July 2009 - 01:28 PM

That's a good list there JCE.

You probably would have been better off removing the engine.

There are two lower bolts that are hard to see and get to, try any number of socket extensions, wrenches or whatever you have to get them off. All you have to do (with any car) is look where the trans meets up to the engine - remove all the bolts there. Remove the starter, one of those bolts/nuts holds the engine/trans together as well.

If it's an automatic you need to remove the flexplate to torque converter bolts through the bellhousing access hole or the hole underneath.

If you've had this much trouble until now, I believe you're going to really hate separating the engine/trans. It's quite a task and there's no "straight forward way" to do it. I mean there is, but it's a bit of a guesswork involved going around the engine and back and forth to finally separate it.

To the OP - if this is an automatic transmission you should MAKE SURE you know how to reinstall the transmission. If you miss one important step, that people aren't aware of, you will ruin your transmission. Seating the torque converter is no easy task and it's a bit tricky to know if it's right or not. Based on your troubles so far, I'd be certain you know exactly how to do that and don't forget it.


Yup, it's an automatic. The torque converter should be no problem, as I've found a few writeups on reinstalling that. I just need to re search that, but I see there's lot of help for installing that.

Does the starter have to come out to get to the bolt, or is that just for manuals?

#5 johnceggleston

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Posted 15 July 2009 - 01:46 PM

thanks gg,i forgot the flex plate bolts.

Does the starter have to come out to get to the bolt, or is that just for manuals?



the long bolt holding on the starter goes through the starter bracket, through the trans bell housing and threads into the engine block.

save this:

http://www.ultimates...light=converter

Edited by johnceggleston, 15 July 2009 - 01:48 PM.


#6 mdjdc

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Posted 15 July 2009 - 01:46 PM

You don't say what year car this is. If it is 98 or earlier, you will have 4 trans to engine housing bolts. If it is 99 or later, there will be eight bolts.

Once you get the housing bolts done, you will need to take off the flex plate bolts. you can get those thru the access port at the top of the engine. Take the dog bone loose and of course the transmission mounts. Detach any electronics y0ou see and the shifter cable.

Support the tranny and use a pry bar to seperate the trans from the engine. Make sure the torque converter stays with the tranny.

Slip the tranny back and down and you will have access to the rear of the engine.

Putting the trans back is just the reverse. You will probably have to jack up the front of the engine so that you can get the right angle on the trans and get it to line up corrently.

Personally, I would remove the engine, but I have alot of experience in that arena.

Good Luck.

#7 DupermanDave

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Posted 15 July 2009 - 02:05 PM

I was debating if I should remove the engine or not. I have an engine hoist I can borrow. But I'm already more than halfway there through the underside.

I got the starter out, so that big bolt is one of the bell housing bolts? I see one more on the passenger side, so that's -1 of the 4. The 2 underside shouldnt be an issue.

#8 grossgary

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Posted 15 July 2009 - 02:22 PM

yeah, one of those starter ones holds them together, you can see which one passes through.

the lower two are the tricky ones just because of room, but at least you have the axles and exhaust out of the way, that helps. try and use 6 point sockets and make sure you don't round the nut off on the bottom ones.

#9 DupermanDave

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Posted 15 July 2009 - 10:44 PM

Well, I ran out of time and patience to work on this project. I've started to put everything back togther. Got only as far as putting the bell housing bolts back in.

I got to the point of removing the transmission. We couldnt break the bell housing free of the engine. Before I got too deep in this and mess it up to the point of no return, I decided to give up.

What did I do wrong? How hard is it to pry the engine from the bell housing?

#10 grossgary

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Posted 15 July 2009 - 11:41 PM

crack, that sucks. good luck getting it back together. hopefully the torque converter didn't come out when you go to bolt it back up?

What did I do wrong? How hard is it to pry the engine from the bell housing?

i thought you might hit a brick wall here, so i answered that question before you asked it:

If you've had this much trouble until now, I believe you're going to really hate separating the engine/trans. It's quite a task and there's no "straight forward way" to do it. I mean there is, but it's a bit of a guesswork involved going around the engine and back and forth to finally separate it.


It's one of those things that's difficult but it's not. You just gotta get in there and manhandle the thing and pry it apart. But you gotta do it right and make sure everything is properly disconnected. It's not a rigid and formulaic process - like "insert bolt here". It's more like...

- get things aligned well, pry on one side, pry on the other, wiggle a bit, pry on the one side, pry on the other, shift things, take a break, get a wider pry bar/chisel, pry on the other side, get something to suport the rear weight of the trans, get another bigger one...wiggle it some more. there's just no cut and dry "method" for that.

shops have transmission jacks to help aide in all of this, but hardly anyone on here uses them.

but it's not hard either once you've done it and seen it. also - are you prepared for the weight of the transmission? those 4EAT's are quite beastly and dangerous if you're working underneath of them when they let loose.

it does seem like you're over your head. you've ran into too many issues this far. frankly just getting those strut bolts off should not be an issue. you're not torquing them enough and you don't know that you're not torquing them enough or how to.

my point is that pulling the trans out, while not terribly difficult, does require all that process outlined above and then reinstalling it which is way more complicated than dealing with a couple bolts and nuts.

are you sure it's not the valve covers or rear cap oring that's leaking? they can end up back the rear bottom of the engine too.

Edited by grossgary, 15 July 2009 - 11:45 PM.


#11 davebugs

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Posted 16 July 2009 - 06:24 AM

Pull the engine. It's no that hard and you can take advantage of it being out to do other major maintenance items.

I've yet to pull a Suby tranny.

A 14mm swivel socket is almost mandatory for those lower eng/trans nuts. Helps with AC lower bolts and other situations as well.

Start spraying down the dowel pins for kicks.

Other than plumbing and wireing it's mostly 4 (or 8 if 99) eng/trans bolts, 4 flexplate/TC bolts if an automatic, 2 front motor mounts, dogbone, to pull the engine.

#12 Gloyale

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Posted 16 July 2009 - 10:14 AM

Pulling the engine is so much easier.

Unless you have a tranny jack.

But still, you are gonna be working on the engine, so pull the engine.

#13 DupermanDave

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Posted 16 July 2009 - 10:22 AM

Pull the engine. It's no that hard and you can take advantage of it being out to do other major maintenance items.

I've yet to pull a Suby tranny.

A 14mm swivel socket is almost mandatory for those lower eng/trans nuts. Helps with AC lower bolts and other situations as well.

Start spraying down the dowel pins for kicks.

Other than plumbing and wireing it's mostly 4 (or 8 if 99) eng/trans bolts, 4 flexplate/TC bolts if an automatic, 2 front motor mounts, dogbone, to pull the engine.


Dont you have to disconnect a lot of hoses? And also drain the radiator? There's also lots of hoses going to the firewall that will have to be disconnected or cut.

#14 grossgary

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Posted 16 July 2009 - 12:02 PM

You probably shouldn't do either one. Either way the engine/trans are going to really throw you fits unless you have someone that's done it before or intuitive about this kind of stuff helping you.

The engine requires throttle cables, exhaust header, heater core hoses, intake hoses, engine mounts, radiator hoses, wiring harness, brackets, starter, ATF brackets, power steering and a/c hose removal and placement, and your nemesis - separating the engine/trans.

For removal - dropping the trans is the quickest - i've had them out in 30 minutes before. But good luck installing it, you're probably lucky you never got it out, again those auto trans 4WD are REALLY heavy and awkward to work with.

#15 DupermanDave

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Posted 16 July 2009 - 02:27 PM

yeah, I think I'm just going to take it to a shop. It's a real blow to me ego knowing I got so far, only to be stopped by the fact that the transmission refuses to separate from the engine.

I've done headgasket changes before, valve jobs, clutches, but never something on an automatic transmission with AWD.

#16 davebugs

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Posted 16 July 2009 - 02:46 PM

Dont you have to disconnect a lot of hoses? And also drain the radiator? There's also lots of hoses going to the firewall that will have to be disconnected or cut.


Thats the plumbing and wireing I spoke of.


Last week is the first time that I didn't pull the rad and just pulled the fans.


You need to do a skill, committment, and time assessment like GG basically said.

I work at my own pace (slow, emails, USMB, stock trading) and figure roughly 4 hours out, 4 hours in, 4 hours to work on the engine (HG's, seals, idlers, TB, etc.). I do most everything myself. Sometimes I'll have my dad come help with engine alignemnt, seperation, and have him start the car while I'm outside the car. But really I do all the work.

I do have a cherry picker, engine stand, and a car lift. The lift is really because I have a bad knee but it does give some advantage on this job.

Some folks claim to be real quick. I prefer to be thorough.

Now it's been 2 weeks ago that a Suby tech helped me fix a bad crankshaft end. We were both used to working alone. We had the engine out in about an hour. Fixed crank(weld, grind, Dremel keyway, grabbed parts off 3 parts engines(harmonic balancer, crank bolt, oil pump, TB cover) , TB, idlers, seals, WP, Oil pump O ring, etc. A little Pizza, etc. Trip to parts store (exhaust gaskets and I forget what else)

Reinstalled and running within 5 hours. He came at 10am and left before 3 but I didn't really keep track of how long it was taking us. But it was intense - definately not my usual speed.

There are some excellent Endwrench articles on the whole process.

And a link that I can't find from comcast.net skipnospam or something.

#17 DupermanDave

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Posted 16 July 2009 - 03:10 PM

So if a shop does it it's basically a 3-5 hour job? (if they're honest about it)

I'm mostly a DIY guy, and i'd love to do it myself. But living in an apartment and having to drive to my parent's to work on it is hard. Plus, I have to wake up to take the fiance' to work. It's stressful.

#18 davebugs

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Posted 16 July 2009 - 03:25 PM

I shouldn't say because I haven't done it.

But I believe that I could get a few local garages to do it in under 4 hours.

Not that tricky but look for someone that knows Subaru's if possible.

You gotta figure if you're starting the process is a good thing or a bad thing as far as them knowing what to do in what order, etc.

Then you gotta find someone who will pickup on a job you already started. I don't know but I'd imagine that'll be tough due to legitimate reasons and possibly finger pointing if there are any issues.

You may want to have exhaust parts ready for that flexjoint infront of the second cat.

#19 DupermanDave

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Posted 16 July 2009 - 03:29 PM

Well, it's already half apart, but I'm going to put it all back together so it's driveable again and drive it to the shop in a few weeks (when we have the money)

#20 DupermanDave

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Posted 16 July 2009 - 06:58 PM

grrr. It's hard for me to just stop at 49.9% of the job. I want to finish it myself so bad.

Maybe I'll tackle it again sunday. What are some good ways to separate the engine/transmission? Any areas to pry against? I remember when changing the clutch on a suzuki sidekick I had, we hooked some tow straps to the bell housing and tugged it back.

Would hammering it apart help, or would it crack the block?

#21 grossgary

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Posted 16 July 2009 - 07:18 PM

There's no shame in having a shop do it, don't let it bother you. Comes down to all sorts of other things really...time, other people, responsibilities, work, etc.

Frankly the easiest thing to help you learn to work on cars, you know what it is? Having more than one. When you're dependent on one or really put out when one is down anxiety and stress levels go up quick - and that's no fun way to learn and work.

So, don't feel bad if you have to have someone else do it. But it sounds like this is also financially motivated.

Take a stout screw driver or chisel and wedge it between the engine and trans. Knock it with a hammer until it starts to split. Work your way around...over, and over, and back over the same spots again until you can get something in there to pry with - crow bar, digging bar, etc. Lots of prying, pulling, yanking, i'm usually REALLY shaking that mojo - like the whole car and lift and stuff will be rocking.

It's also probable you'll have to play with angles which can be very tricky - like the engine has to be at a certain angle to come out and to come off the trans. Go through a bunch of effort then set the engine back down and readjust chains, links, etc, pull it up again, more yanking and all that jazz...then readjust again - it can be very cumbersome.

I hate to say it again - but if you had trouble with one 19mm easily accessible strut bolt, this is going to be shooting for the moon relatively speaking.

Did you take out the flex plate bolts yet in the torque conveter/flex plate? Those need to come out.

Make sure absolutely everything is undone before proceeding.

If you only have to do the separator plate i'm almost wondering if it's possible to just tilt the engine forward enough to seal the plate and then rock it back in place, never actually removing it.

I know folks have done that on older gen stuff to replace a clutch and clutch parts....just thinking out loud.

#22 DupermanDave

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Posted 16 July 2009 - 07:59 PM

If you only have to do the separator plate i'm almost wondering if it's possible to just tilt the engine forward enough to seal the plate and then rock it back in place, never actually removing it.


That's what my uncle does. He has a shop in california. I've been running on some tips from him (though he recommended I lift the engine...shouldve gone that route.) I decided to go through the transmission because I'm more familiar with this since I've done 2 clutch jobs and I'm less comfortable with the ej22 than I am with my Toyota engine. (22re).

That one 19mm bolt is still on the strut, lol. Every other bolt on that side is off but that one. It's solid on the strut. I got the passenger side off. It's just that one devilish bolt. I even borrowed my friend's dad's wrenches (he was a pit crew working for a race crew). Could not get the sucker off. I used pry bars, chissels, air wrenches. The Hulk would have a hernia trying to pull this one loose.

Edited by DupermanDave, 16 July 2009 - 08:14 PM.


#23 grossgary

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Posted 16 July 2009 - 08:37 PM

The tilting the engine idea is a bad one frankly, I probably shouldn't have mentioned it. probably be more trouble than it's worth until you've done a couple actual engine pulls, if it's even possible at all - that separator plate sits low on the engine.

Good luck whatever you get into.

And...you're positive this is a separator plate? Valve covers, cam cap oring and other stuff leak and end up in the same area as separator leaks, so hate to see you go through all that.

#24 davebugs

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Posted 16 July 2009 - 08:42 PM

Gary,

On the tilt.

I don't see that working.

I'm thinking it would have to be done from the top of the engine and don't see how to tilt the engine with the mounts, rad, condensor, etc and be able to clean the surface and make a good job of it. And probably all the same stuff would need disconnected as pulling the engine to be able to get much tilt.

From underneath I'd think it darn near impossible to reach with the cross member and all.

Just my thoughts.

Anyone ever done this?

#25 Fairtax4me

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Posted 16 July 2009 - 10:24 PM

I've done headgasket changes before, valve jobs, clutches, but never something on an automatic transmission with AWD.


The only automatic transmission that I've ever pulled, didn't go back in the car. Engine/transmission separations are kinda hit or miss. Sometimes they fall apart on their own, sometimes you have to fight it for an hour with prybars big enough to lift a house with.

The biggest thing is just to get a gap started. Once you get that you can work your way around the bell housing with a screw driver and slowly pry it apart.




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