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Transmission Removal

Yash Gode

An irreparable damage to the transmission system may need a transmission removal, either for replacement or for standalone diagnosis of the problem. Troubleshooting of this mechanism is very important for your car's overall wellness.
The transmission system of a car or truck has a very complex working mechanism. Higher the complexity, greater are the chances of glitches and troubles. In cars, especially with automatic gear shifting, this mechanism is the vehicle's mainstay. It is the component which has to endure the highest amount of stress, thereby, causing wear and tear to a greater extent.
Transmission problems are one of the most commonly encountered car problems in such vehicles, and if not repairable on board, there may be a need for removal of the assembly. This is because scrutinizing the problem can be much easier when the system is independently diagnosed. Or you may need to install a completely new system by discarding the old irreparable one.

Tools Required

You are likely to find most of the tools in your car tool kit. Apart from them, you may have to visit a car parts store for a basic socket wrench set, having a scale in metric units. While using the socket wrenches for the job, you would also like to have a T-handled wrench for accessing the sockets placed deep in the engine block.
Also, keep a regular-sized angled socket wrench handy. You may need a set of jacks, which should have a floor jack to hold up the car, a jack stand in order to balance the car, and a transmission jack to support the assembly while it's being disconnected by you.


There is a properly controlled and prescribed procedure for removing the car transmission system.

1. The first step is to drain the transmission fluid out of the gearbox. This will ensure less tacky and cleaner working conditions.

2. Disconnect the car battery cables, as there is no need to have a power supply for diagnosing or replacing the system.
3. Get rid of the air filter or air cleaner.

4. Now, remove the transfer case shift lever knob and the boot in case of models with FWD shifting.

5. Disconnect the shaft linkage given for gear shifting from the assembly.

6. It is time to use the jacks to raise the vehicle. It would be advisable to disconnect the fuel lines to relieve the fuel system pressure.
7. Get rid of the speedometer cables or the Vehicle Speed Sensor (VSS) connector, vacuum modulator line, shift linkages, downshift cables, throttle linkage, or any other component that you think can hinder the process.

8. Remove the dipstick used to measure fluid levels. It has no other use in the mechanism.
9. You can have a choice in removing or ignoring the starter motor and catalytic converter. If their presence proves a hindrance, get rid of them.
10. Support the detached system on a transmission jack, and open the rear mount or the transfer case adapter from the crossmember. Now, remove the crossmember as well.

11. Unbolt any support braces, and note their exact positions for reinstallation later.
12. This is the final bond which when done away with, can give way for removal. In some cars, you may need to move aside the exhaust system to completely extract the assembly.

13. Remove the system from beneath your vehicle.
Note: Make sure that the torque converter is fully seated in the transaxle before reinstallation. Remember to install new snap rings on the inner constant velocity joints.
As far as the cost of this process is concerned, it completely depends on the car model and varies accordingly. Furthermore, it requires around 5 to 6 hours of manual labor which is a major deciding factor in the cost.
However, to provide you with a rough estimate, you may not have to shell out more than USD 4000 for this job. Most of the expenses would be on the tools you may need to buy and the labor charges.
It is advised to pursue professional help for this job, as doing it yourself may further complicate things. However, if you have enough knowledge on auto parts, you can go ahead and do it yourself.