Our Houston Junkyard’s Guide to DIY Transmission Removal (Part 2)

replacement vehicle transmission

In our previous blog, we started the process for transmission removal so that you could install your used replacement transmission. Here are the last few steps.

How to Finish Removing Your Vehicle’s Transmission

7: Starter

There are 3 bolts holding the starter in place. You will see oxygen sensors, so get the wire out of the way. Next, remove the nut and the metal mount. There’s a bolt that holds the starter in place, and a second bolt may be behind the starter. In this case, our salvage yard in Houston recommends you start from the front of the engine. Remove the bolt located here with a long extension. For the third bolt, use a 1/4 inch ratchet with an extension to remove it. Now you can remove and set aside the starter.

8: Wiring Harness

Start at the end of the harness. Remove the clip with a trim removal tool by sticking it under the clip and prying it up. Now, a speed sensor should be visible. Disconnect it by pressing down on the tab and pulling it out and unclipping it. Next, unplug the reverse light switch and remove the clip again, then the harness is free and you can set it aside. Afterward, remove the dust cover from the transmission and then remove the clutch cable with a pry bar. Next, use a flathead screwdriver to remove the retaining clip so that you can then remove the clutch cable from the transmission.

TIP: place a large plastic zip bag around the end of the transmission and secure it with a rubber band so that when you remove it, if any liquid comes out it’ll fall into the bag and not on you or the ground.

9: Unbolt the transmission mount

You are almost done! Soon you can install your replacement transmission! Slide the transmission jack under the transmission, strap it in, and raise it so it can provide support. Now, remove the two bolts holding the transmission mount.

10: Unbolt the transmission

Unbolt the transmission from the engine by removing the three bolts on the driver’s side, then the bottom two bolts, followed by the two bolts on the passenger side.

You can see two more bolts from the back of the driver’s side. The easiest way to remove them is by reaching from your back driver’s side view with your long ratcheting wrench.

TIP: place the bolts in the order they came out of the transmission so it’s organized for later.

11: Remove the transmission

Last step! But first, take some safety precautions. 

There’s a lot of dust build-up inside the bell housing, and older clutches may be made from asbestos, so you don’t want to inhale any of this dust. We recommend you spray the inside of the bell housing with plain water. This weighs the dust down so it doesn’t become airborne.

TIP: for extra protection, wear a full-face respirator that filters out 99% of airborne particles.

Now it’s time to safely remove your vehicle’s transmission. Support the engine by using your jacks and laying some wood over them to evenly distribute the weight. Then, crank it up. This protects the engine from tilting and becoming damaged when you remove the transmission. Once this is done, you can finally separate the transmission. A pry bar may help as well. 

Next up, our Houston junkyard will cover how to install your used replacement transmission. If you would like to find out what we have in stock, then please contact us so we can assist you.

Our Houston Junkyard’s Guide to DIY Transmission Removal (Part 1)

mechanic working with a used transmission

If you’ve read our blog on the signs it’s time for a used replacement transmission and determined you need a new one, then this blog will be useful as you begin the transmission installation process. Here is part 1 or our Houston salvage yard’s detailed guide to DIY transmission removal.

Tools You’ll Need

  • Ratchet
  • Socket set
  • Extensions
  • Universal joint extension
  • Wrenches
  • Torque wrench
  • Breaker bar
  • 12-inch jacks + jack stands
  • Drain pan
  • Transmission jack
  • Transmission fluid

Steps for Removing Your Old Transmission

1: Safety First

Using your jack stands, raise the car about 24 inches high. Place them under the sides of the transmission so as to create space for the transmission jack later. We also recommend you place a ramp or something similar underneath the front tires, as well as a jack under the cross-member for further support. All of this ensures that, if your transmission bumps anything, your car won’t fall on top of you.

2: Battery

Open the battery cover and unscrew the clamp. Then, slide the cable off of the battery post. Set it aside so you make sure it doesn’t touch the post.

3: Shifter

We recommend you remove the shifter now, as doing so keeps things from getting greasy and messy inside the car. You do this by unscrewing the shifting knob and then removing it. Next, remove the shifter trim by prying it upwards and sliding it off. Now you can unscrew the nuts holding the shifting lever so you can also slide it off. At this point, you should see the shifter boot. Remove the 4 bolts holding it in place, followed by the shifter. This will aid in pouring in the transmission fluid later.

4: Exhaust

Not all cars require exhaust removal, so it helps to check how your transmission and exhaust pipes are laid out. If you do need to remove it, start with disconnecting the oxygen sensors from the downpipe. Next, disconnect the wiring harness, since this is easier than unscrewing each sensor. Simply press on the clip and pull the harness apart. Now, remove the nuts that hold the pipes with an 18mm socket from top to bottom. A universal socket will also work. Afterward, use a ratcheting wrench to remove the bolts behind the x pipe. Separate the exhaust pipes and set aside.

TIP: Spraying the exhaust fasteners with penetrating fluid will make this job easier.

5: Transmission Fluid

Now it’s time to drain the fluid. Doing so before removing the transmission will make it lighter and easier to remove. To drain it, place the drain pan underneath and use the box end of a 3/8 ratcheting wrench to open the drain plug. Be sure to screw the drain plug back in, but not too tightly.

6: Driveshaft

Ensure your car is in neutral and then turn the driveshaft so you can see 2/4 of the bolts. Set the parking brake and then use a 12 point wrench or socket to remove the bolts. Once removed, release the brake and turn the driveshaft again so you can see the other bolts. Re-engage the parking brake and then remove the bolts. Now you can easily slide the driveshaft out. Place the drain pan underneath the transmission just in case more fluid spills out.

TIP: If a driveshaft bolt is really tight, you can heat up the metal around the bolt to loosen it. You may also consider using a longer wrench for more leverage.