Do-it-Yourself Guide for a Rear Wheel
$750 to $1250 or more
faced with a transmission rebuild or replacement, you can reduce the
cost quite significantly by removing and replacing (R&R) the
transmission yourself. Depending on the year, make and model
your vehicle and the shop labor costs in your area, you can expect to
save between $750 and $1,250 or more.
The job of
removing and replacing an automatic transmission is not tremendously
difficult - it's just a matter of being prepared, being safe, and
Rebuild "Bench Job"
transmission is removed from the vehicle, contact several transmission
repair shops and/or independent transmission technicians to obtain
rebuild quotes for a "bench job". "Bench job" is the term
used for a transmission rebuild only.
normally find a good independent transmission technician that works at
a transmission shop but also does side jobs to do the rebuild. Look on
craigslist under "Auto Repair Services" in your area.
Expect to pay
between $300 and $400 for a transmission rebuild only (bench job) plus
the cost of the rebuild kit. Rebuild kits cost between $75
and $200 depending on which transmission you have.
Replacing With Remanufactured Transmission
you plan on replacing your transmission with a remanufactured, you can
use the Get Estimate button below to get an estimate for a
remanufactured transmission to your e-mail:
a Transmission Estimate online
FREE: Download Printable Transmission Rebuild and
Remanufactured Pricing Guide
Before beginning -
Please Read these Safety Precautions.
Automatic Transmission Removal (RWD)
YOU WILL NEED
> Hydraulic Floor Jack
containers and a marker for organizing nuts and bolts
assistant to help lower the transmission
> Can of
Penetrating Lubricant (especially if your car has rust)
Transmission Jack (optional)
NUTS AND BOLTS
bolts, washers, clamps, etc. organized is important for two reasons...
1) it will save you time and frustration when re-installing the
transmission and 2) it will insure all nuts and bolts are replaced in
their original locations.
For organizing nuts and
bolts, we recommend using labeled plastic containers or baggies,
whichever you have available. It's best to get all the
containers or baggies labeled before starting the job.
the transmission from a rear wheel drive vehicle, you will need the
following labeled containers/baggies.
Driveshaft Bolts/U-Joint Bolts
> Shifter Linkage Nuts/Bolts/Clips
> Cross Member Nuts/Bolts
> Transmission Mount Nuts/Bolts
> Transmission Oil Fill/Dipstick Tube Bracket Bolt or Nut
> Transmission Oil Cooler Line Fitting Washers
> Starter Bolts
> Exhaust and Exhaust Heat Shield Bolts/Nuts
> Bell Housing Bolts
> Flywheel Cover Plate Bolts
> Torque Converter to Flywheel Bolts (or Nuts)
Depending on your vehicle, additional labeled containers may be
your vehicle on a flat concrete surface, put the shifter in Park, set
the emergency brake, pull the hood latch and then open the hood.
Remove the negative battery
cable. Move the cable end away from the battery post.
eliminate any chance of battery arching, after removing the battery
cable, wrap a rag around the cable end and place a wrap over the
Note About Radio Code:
On many newer vehicles, whenever the battery is disconnected a radio
code is needed to get the stereo working again. Check your
Vehicle Owner's Manual for the code or contact the service department
of any auto dealership that sells your make vehicle for
assistance. Have your vehicle identification number (VIN)
readily available before making the call.
On some vehicles, it may be necessary to remove the black plastic air
intake components to give your sufficient space to work.
Now, locate the transmission fluid dipstick - pull it out and set it
aside. The dipstick tube (also called transmission fill tube)
normally secured to the transmission or engine with a single nut or
bolt. If you can see this nut/bolt and it is easily
go ahead and remove it along with dipstick tube now. If not,
can remove it later from underneath.
working under the hood, locate and disconnect any transmission
electrical connectors you see.
Remove any brackets, cables or hoses that connect the transmission to
Now, locate the starter motor. Remove any starter bolts that
are accessible. Any starter bolts that are not removed now
will be removed later from underneath. Complete removal of
the starter is normally not necessary. Once the bolts are
removed, just pull the starter out of the bell housing and push
aside. Use a wire or strong bungee cord to hold the starter's
weight - do not hang from the starter wiring.
Look closely at the top rear of the engine (back by the firewall) where
the transmission bell housing bolts to the engine. Remove any
of the top bell housing to engine bolts that are accessible - otherwise
the bolts will be removed later from underneath.
Note: You should be placing nuts and bolts
in their labeled containers as you remove them.
removing brackets, mark their locations or make a simple drawing
showing their locations. When disconnecting hoses and cables,
make a drawing showing how each one is routed. Taking photos
before disconnecting brackets, hoses and cables should serve the same
purpose, which is to make the installation of these components easier
Chock Rear Wheel - Raise front of
Place a wheel chock or
wooden block behind one of the rear
wheels. Using a floor jack, lift the front of the vehicle and secure
with jack stands. Although it is not absolutely necessary,
lifting the rear of the vehicle and supporting with jack stands makes
the job a little easier.
jacking up the vehicle, be sure to give yourself ample room to work
underneath. Also, keep in mind that once the transmission is
removed and lowered to the floor, the vehicle must be high enough off
the floor to allow the transmission to be slid out from underneath the
DRAIN TRANSMISSION FLUID:
all the pan bolts except for a few bolts at one end of the pan - only
loosen these. This will allow the pan to drop down on one end
so the fluid can drain into your catch pan. See image>>>
After draining the fluid, reposition the pan back to its original
position and re-install the pan bolts, but only hand tighten.
driveshaft. Remove the 4 U-joint bolts that hold
the driveshaft to the rear differential. Then, using a small
pry bar or screwdriver, pry the driveshaft forward to release it from
the differential. Now, pull the driveshaft out of the
transmission and set aside. Place the U-joint bolts and
hardware in an appropriately marked container.
pulling the driveshaft out of the transmission, be careful not to allow
it to fall hard to the floor. Also, wrap tape around the
joint caps to keep them from falling off and the pins from falling out
of the caps.
CONNECTORS AND HOSES. Disconnect electrical connectors,
hoses and cables that are attached to the transmission.
markers to mark connectors and hoses for easy and correct installation.
Mark the connector and its respective plugin with the same color. Do
the same with vacuum hoses and any other parts that might be confusing
DETACH TRANSMISSION OIL
Detach the two transmission oil cooler lines at the transmission.
It is best to use a line wrench when loosening and tightening the oil
cooler lines. Also, when pulling the lines out, be careful
lose the thin metal washers. The fittings will leak if these
washers are not replaced.
you have not already removed the started bolts, do it now.
complete removal of the starter is normally unnecessary. Just
pull it out and away from the bell housing so that it does not
interfere with the removal of the transmission. Secure the
starter with a piece of wire or bungee strap. Do not allow
starter to hang by the starter wiring.
Remove torque converter
to flywheel BOLTS
gain access the torque converter bolts, remove the inspection
plate/cover located at the bottom front of the bell housing.
cover is normally made of thin metal or aluminum and is held in place
by a several 10mm or 12mm bolts. Once cover is removed, using
flashlight or droplight, look inside the bell housing to locate the
bolts/nuts holding the torque converter to the
flywheel/flex-plate. You can only remove one bolt/nut at a
before having to rotate the engine to gain access to the next bolt/nut.
can rotate the engine in one of two ways; Use a breaker bar and large
socket to rotate the center harmonic balancer bolt on the front of the
engine or by leveraging a small pry bar or large screwdriver between
the teeth of the flywheel and the bell housing in such a way that
allows you to turn the flywheel in either direction. To make
task easier, remove some or all of the spark plugs from the engine.
If you are unable to access the torque
converter bolts after removing the inspection plate cover then your
vehicle may be one that requires the converter nuts/bolts to be
accessed and removed through the starter opening in the bell
housing. These are usually more difficult to remove because
there is very little space.
absolutely certain you remove all the torque converter bolts/nuts or
else the converter will hang to the flywheel/flex-plate as you are
trying to pull the transmission back away from the engine to lower it
to the floor. This situation will create a real mess and can
TRANSMISSION MOUNT BOLTS/NUTS
Position your hydraulic jack (or
transmission jack if you have one) under the transmission pan and raise
slightly. With the weight of the transmission resting on the
jack, remove the transmission mount bolts. Removing the
transmission mount bolts (or nuts) allows the transmission to be
separated from the cross member.
Remove the cross member to frame
mounting bolts and then remove the cross member.
Tip: If cross member bolts are difficult to
remove, you need to raise the transmission jack to take more of the
weight off the cross member.
REMOVE EXHAUST CROSSOVER PIPE
Depending on the vehicle, it may be
necessary to remove certain parts of the exhaust system.
Unless the vehicle has duel exhaust all the way back, which most do
not, there is a crossover pipe that connects the left side exhaust to
the right side. At a minimum, the crossover pipe must be
crossover pipe is removed, look closely at the exhaust pipe, (the
section of the exhaust system that includes the catalytic converter and
muffler) to determine if it also needs to be removed.
any section of the exhaust system that you feel could interfere with
your ability to separate the transmission from the engine and lower it
to the floor. Having to remove parts of the exhaust after the
transmission is separated from the engine is much more
TRANSMISSION BELL HOUSING bolts
all the bell housing bolts except one. The bolt you leave in
should be one of bottom bolts that is easy to get too.
To remove the top bell housing bolts,
if you have not already done so, lower the transmission jack so that
the rear of the transmission
drops down and away from the undercarriage of the vehicle.
will increase the work space on the top side of the transmission
enabling you to use a ratchet and long extension to remove the upper
bell housing bolts.
lowering the transmission in order to give you the added work space
needed to remove the top bell housing bolts, the weight of the
transmission still needs to be supported by the jack. If the
is lowered completely, the engine will tilt severely on its mounts,
possible weakening or breaking the mounts.
hydraulic floor jacks are very sensitive when lowering and can drop
suddenly. For added safety, place a jack stand directly under the
rear of the transmission to serve as a hard stop.
TRANSMISSION FROM ENGINE AND LOWER TO THE FLOOR:
Before removing the last bell housing
bolt, check to make sure all transmission electrical connections have
been disconnected. Also check to make sure nothing else will
interfere with separating the transmission from the engine and lowering
it to the floor.
Remove the last remaining bell housing bolt.
the help of an assistant, hold the transmission steady on the jack and
move the jack back and away from the engine just slightly so that the
transmission separates from the engine - then slowly lower the
jack. When the jack is fully lowered, carefully slide the
transmission off the jack to the floor. Now, slide the
transmission out from underneath the vehicle.
the transmission is separated from the engine, there is nothing holding
the torque converter to the transmission. Therefore, it is
crucial that the transmission remain level (or slightly titled down in
the rear) while being lowered to the floor. If the front of
transmission is allowed to tilt downward, the converter may slide out
of the transmission and fall hard to the floor. The converter
very heavy and filled with fluid – if it falls, it could injure you or
your assistant. The converter could also be damaged and it
surely create a huge mess.
TORQUE CONVERTER FROM TRANSMISSION
Once the transmission is moved out
from underneath the vehicle, pull the torque converter out of the
transmission and drain the fluid into a catch pan.
will need to be drained from the converter regardless of whether you
plan to reuse it or replace it. If you plan to replace the
torque converter with a new or rebuilt converter, the old converter
must be drained of the fluid in order to use it as a core when
purchasing the new or rebuilt converter.
removing the transmission, you have several options:
your Transmission Rebuilt
||Call around to some local transmission
shops and ask for pricing on a "bench job" rebuild.
a Rebuilt or Remanufactured Transmission - Get An Estimate Below Free!
a Transmission Estimate online