04-17-2012, 12:37 AM
Join Date: Jul 2008
There are about 30 steps to removing the transmission. Nearly half of them have little tricks that one person or another has found. Some folks, like myself, actually add a step here or there.
The thrust of a lot of the work is to tilt the motor rearward in order to gain access to the two topmost bolts holding the clutch case section of the transmission to the cylinder block.
You start with removal of the shift assembly for all of the obvious reasons. The next 15 pr 20 steps are all intended to allow the motor to be tilted without damage to any system.
When removing the steering joint to avoid damage to the power steering torque sensor, I also unbolt the steering column inside the car. It's not in the manual but it makes the job more doable.
One of the tough parts is removal and replacement of the top mounting bolt on the starter. It runs from the front through and secures into the clutch case segment of the transmission. An expert on this recommends shining a LED light stalk down between the two last runners on the intake manifold to illuminate the bolt while observing through the second and third runners as you are sliding a socket on a long extension (I use a 24" extension.) to unscrew the bolt. I did not say remove the bolt because he does not do that. He leaves it hanging in the hole to make it easier to reassemble.
I do the opposite. I remove the autotensioner base, the intake log brace and disconnect the knock sensor so that I can just lay an LED light in there and have a clear shot to remove and replace the bolt without risk.
The expert unclips the harness connectors from the manifold stay, I don't. I unbolt it.
The expert does not disconnect the power steering connector, I do.
The expert does not unclip the TDC sensors. I do.
When unplugging the connectors for the O2 sensors, speed sensor and reverse switch, I mark the plugs before unplugging to make a match even though the gender and wire count for the plugs are unique. The expert does not.
I remove the CAT or TP, the expert simply disconnects the exhaust manifold and holds it aside with a bungy.
I use two OEM jacks to support the front subframe while dropping the support bolts. The expert places a block of wood on a jack saddle to use the jack to hold and lower the front subframe.
The expert removes the two upper transmission clutch case bolts from on top of the motor. I use a 30" extension run over the top of the transmission from under the car to get and replace them.
If you are not going to disassemble the transmission, there is no need to remove the rear mount as the manual says.
Ryan's suggestion is good. Do some research on what others have written. You can use the tricks that you find to modify the process set out in the Helms manual. However, the Helms manual itself, is the definitive guide.
BTW, to replace these remote bolts I cut strips of aluminum tape and put them into my socket (some 14mm and some 17mm) until the bolt head binds sufficiently to prevent the bolt from falling out and make it maneuverable but not enough that the socket will pull off of the extension when you try to remove it.
If you get stuck, feel free to send a PM to me.