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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have decided to do the tranny myself instead of paying the 7 hours of labor to have it done. I will be putting a J-modded tranny in. My question is: what is the best way to remove and reinstall a tranny? and What is the fastest way to remove and replace the tranny?

I need to know both because this will need to be done quickly, but I would like to have every step planned out. Im on a semi-tight schedule with school and work. Step by step directions would be best if possible.
 

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I think the fastest and the best are both from under the car. The easiest though would be attaching it to the engine with the engine out, but then that no longer qualifies as the fastest way.

Steps to remove the trans.

1) Unplug the battery!
2) Rotate the engine (18mm bolt on balancer) so that the torque converter drain plug is facing the ground. Then remove the drain plug (usually 3/8" or 7/16") and allow the torque converter to drain.
3) Disconnect the exhaust. Remove the nuts holding the y-pipe to the exhaust manifolds. There are four altogether, three accessible from the under the car and one on the driver's side accessible from the top. They are 15mm, and a deep socket will be necessary. PB Blaster or a similar product may be necessary to help loosen them. Once loosened, disconnect after the third cat. Remember to disconnect the oxygen sensors before letting the exhaust hang down so as to not damage the sensors or wires.
4) Remove the starter. There are three bolts (10mm), the top one being the hardest to get to, although with the exhaust out of the way it might be a tad easier.
5) Remove the driveshaft loop near the differential. You'll need some long extensions (13mm bolts).
6) Using a 12mm 12-point wrench, remove the 4 bolts holding the driveshaft to the differential. The easiest way is to get the rear wheels off the ground, put the transmission in neutral, rotate the driveshaft so the bolts are accessible and then set the parking brake to hold the differential in place.
7) With a jack and a block of wood or with a transmission jack (preferred), lower the gas tank. Place the jack under the center of the tank and remove the 4 bolts (13mm) holding the straps. Lower enough so that the driveshaft can slide out under the differential. Before removing the driveshaft from the transmission, place a drain pan under the tailshaft.
8) Raise gas tank and secure the straps.
9) Once the torque converter has finished draining, reinstall the drain plug and rotate the engine to gain access to each of the 4 nuts holding the torque converter to the flexplate. They are 14mm.
10) After all 4 torque converter nuts are removed, disconnect the transmission cooler lines from the side of the transmission. A 1/2" wrench will do the trick.
11) Disconnect the two electrical connections by the crossmember. One is a big square and the other is rectangular.
12) Disconnect the shift linkage by the MLPS. You'll see it as a cable that comes down from the top of the hump and snaps onto a ball. With a screwdriver you can pry it off. Then remove the nut holding the cable onto the bracket and move it out of the way.
13) Remove the dipstick tube from the transmission. It is secured with a 10mm bolt to the back if the cylinder head. Remove the bolt and wiggle while pulling up to get it out. Have a drain pan under that section of the transmission.
14) Support the transmission with a transmission jack under the drain pan. Remove the nut (21mm) holding the transmission mount to the crossmember.
15) Remove the two bolts (15mm) holding the crossmember to the frame and remove the crossmember.
16) Now you can begin removing the transmission bellhousing-to-engine bolts (13mm). There are some all around the perimeter of the bellhousing. Some extensions and u-joints and/or ratcheting wrenches will make this easier. You can also lower the transmission jack to help gain access to the bolts on the top.
17) Once all bolts are removed, the transmission can be slid backwards and removed. It may take a little persuasion and some gentle rocking back and forth since the dowels might be stuck. A prybar can help separate the two.
18) Once it is separated, lower the jack and slide it out from under the car.

Installation is the reverse of the above. Be careful when reinstalling the transmission to line up the torque converter studs with the holes in the flexplate. You can do some serious damage forcing it on if the holes aren't lined up.

You also have the option of disconnecting the top cooler line of the radiator placing a rubber tube on the end of that line to feed into a drain pan. Then start the engine at leave it idling until no fluid comes out of the line. Then shut off the engine. This will drain a lot of fluid from the main section of the transmission and eliminate the need to have a drain pan under the transmission when removing the driveshaft and the dipstick tube.

Note: You may want to support the engine with a jack and block of wood under the oil pan while the transmission is out so the engine isn't leaning back and putting strain on the mounts.
 

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This is why I love this place

Thats one hell of a great set of directions the even a beginner(me) can understand. I hope one day this site will have real time videos of people doing all the major stuff. Thats worth all the tools that you need to buy to do it. :D
 

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so um...did you get those directly out of the chiltons? Cause that's what mine says almost exactly word for word :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Lowering Gas tanks is for Newbs. Drop the diff down on it's mount and slide the driveshaft back.
Alan
I was wondering if that would work. One of the mechanics at work said they would do it for $300 and 3 cases of Budweiser. I might do it myself. The bolts on the exhaust are going to suck, any preparation tips out there to make this easier.
 

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I'm about to do the same project, so I'm eating this thread up... lightevergreenfrost, where'd you get your transmission and is it stock or has it been J-modded or anything? On another note, are you gonna get this puppy done in time for the KY meet?
 

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I'm about to do the same project, so I'm eating this thread up... lightevergreenfrost, where'd you get your transmission and is it stock or has it been J-modded or anything? On another note, are you gonna get this puppy done in time for the KY meet?
You are like 20 minutes from me. It would probably be in your best interest to stop by my place. I was born and raised in latonia and went to holmes.
Alan
 

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Lowering Gas tanks is for Newbs. Drop the diff down on it's mount and slide the driveshaft back.
Alan
Agreed, the diff is the way to go.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
You are like 20 minutes from me. It would probably be in your best interest to stop by my place. I was born and raised in latonia and went to holmes.
Alan
Heck, whatcha got, I may be willing to take a short drive. I don't yet have a tranny, Im still shopping. Students budget makes it hard to get what I wanted. I was kinda hopeing this tranny would last til the summer when I will (hopefully) be making more money than I am now. BTW, if I find a transmission in time I will be taking it to the meet, but regardless I will be there.
 

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Heck, whatcha got, I may be willing to take a short drive. I don't yet have a tranny, Im still shopping. Students budget makes it hard to get what I wanted. I was kinda hopeing this tranny would last til the summer when I will (hopefully) be making more money than I am now. BTW, if I find a transmission in time I will be taking it to the meet, but regardless I will be there.
I can always come up with something or fix yours. I'm not very fond of the 95 transmissions,but for stock power they can be built fine.
Alan
 

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Don't forget to swap the Lever for the MLPS...

It's a total pain in the ...shoulders... to do under the car. The pan must be off to do it.

A Gran Marquis lever will NOT work; it points up, instead of down. (noted while installing the cable...:rolleyes: )

The harness the transmission connector is on unplugs, making it easy to repin.

The magnetic speed sensor has a different plug, so you want to swap it, but the screw mount hole is slightly different, so you will have to elongate the hole while it's out. (oval shaped hole works fine)

Did this today; got everything back in except the mlps lever, which I'll hit tomorrow.

You really want both transmissions out, side by side, for part swaps. I will next time, for sure.

Some tips:

Don't let one of your buddies round off one of the flexplate bolts by trying to use a wrench in the inspection plate hole...there's a nicely located, removable rubber plug that a ratchet will fit thru to remove these; (Actually, don't let your friends near your car with a wrench, period!) Use a six point socket, 14mm...there are apparently no standard bolts in the transmission removal process, anywhere.

EDIT: The flexplate bolts are english! 9/16" Get new ones before you start. The nut remover set from Sears removes the damaged ones great, lol.

PB Blaster the night before works wonders on exhaust bolts.

Yes, there are three starter bolts; the third one can only be seen with fingertips...barely... A really small 1/4" ratchet with a 2" extension helps with #3; but it wont break it loose. EDIT: A 10mm socket, attached to a 1/4" extension, attached to a u-joint, attached to a longer 1/4" extension, attached to a rachet will remove this fine. :)

Wear mechanics gloves during the unbolting process; know what you are punching when the bolt breaks loose...punching an exhaust manifold stud as hard as you can won't hurt the stud AT ALL!...work above your head, that way you wont punch yourself in the side of head (with a wrench, no less) if the wrench slips, on the first driveshaft bolt, at 8am...Also, less stuff drops in your eyes...safety glasses are a good idea, if you can stand having them on. Mercon V in your eye burns like fire, btw.

Ford still apparently ships new transmissions with mercon 3; the 22k mi GM trans was full of it, and still had the toy inside...BTW, the toy will work as a plug on the outside of the dipstick hole as well.

Total damage: 8 minor cuts, 1 roadrashed elbow, several good bruises, 1 completely wasted case of Heineken. (no beer till I'm done for the day)

Well, back to the beer; Peyton is on SNL...

Edit:

It's in, works great, just need to figure out which gear to get to make the speedo correct...I'll use the gps tomorrow to get speed readings, and calculate from there. I have a 3.08 rear end, and odd tires; should be interesting...

My magnet in the old trans was covered in metal shavings...I spent over two hours flushing the cooler/lines, no metal shavings, but a little bit of black particles...flushed, backflushed, till it was clean. Nothing would stick to the magnet I put in the pan; the black stuff could have come from the rubber lines I used to flush with.
 

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My car's transmission doesn't have overdrive. I bought it this way. The guy I bought it from said that he had the transmission rebuilt but the guy who did it, screwed it up and it doesn't have OD. With my very limited knowledge of transmissions, I have cooked up a theory (based on my reading of previous posts) that maybe the OD band had come off. I also have a '96 parts car that supposedly has a recently rebuilt transmission in it. What would be the best bet: try to have my currently installed tranny repaired or take my chances just doing a swap with the one in the parts car? Sorry to hijack the thread, lightevergreenfrost, but I may just have a spare tranny that may be able to let go cheap.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Keep me posted on a tranny. I will call some places here around Lexington and see what they got. If anyone else local has something I may be willing to purchase. I would like to get this done by April 21st so that I can make the Kentucky Meet (see sig).
 

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Keep me posted on a tranny. I will call some places here around Lexington and see what they got. If anyone else local has something I may be willing to purchase. I would like to get this done by April 21st so that I can make the Kentucky Meet (see sig).
If you give me an idea of what you are looking for and your budget I will see what I can find.
Alan
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
If you give me an idea of what you are looking for and your budget I will see what I can find.
Alan
My price range is actually pretty low. I will be using my tax money on it and will be finding out how much that will be sometime over the next few days. Right now I am looking for probably another T-bird tranny, I have been asking for a 96-97 T-bird or Cougar transmission.
 

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I have a couple of t-bird tranny's I could rebuild. I don't suggest using a used one because of the problems with them. No matter how cheap it is it always costs more to do it twice. some things must be updated.
Alan
 
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