We are a team of ASE certified mechanics that have created this guide to help
you save money while doing the job yourself, or at least see what you are paying
for when having the job done at a shop. A manual transmission is similar but not
quite the same as an
installation when removing or installing it, this job is a prerequisite when
doing such services as a clutch replacement.
This guide is for rear wheel drive vehicles, we feature a front wheel drive manual
transmission removal in the video below this guide.
What Goes Wrong?
A manual or standard transmission is trouble free for the most part, made of
mostly mechanical parts it does not rely on electronics or sensors to operate, most
of the time the manual transmission is removed to
perform a clutch replacement service.
High mileage or extreme usage can cause the transmission to wear, requiring a rebuild
due to worn out Syncors, internal shift linkages or broken gears.
What's the Cost?
The labor charge will vary due to the manufacturers' design but in general it
will range from 9.0 to 12.0 hours to remove and replace the unit. The price or the
rebuild or repair will vary depending on the problem the transmission is having.
Unless the vehicle is at a transmission shop most normal service shops including
the dealer will just install a rebuilt unit obtained from an outside source. Many
places sell rebuilt units which will range from $800 to $1,400 US that is why more
and more people are doing the R&R themselves. If exact times or procedures are needed
you can ask our experts to supply you with the information
(free), or consult an online resource such as AllData DIY (pay), this guide and
video will be sufficient in most cases.
Let's Jump In!
To start the vehicle will need to be
lifted onto jack stands
on level ground with the battery
disconnected to help prevent electrical short circuits while the job is
being done, the transmission also needs to be left in neutral. The exhaust system
may or may not need to be removed before the transmission can be unbolted. This
can be determined by evaluating the room needed to accompany the transmission
removal, in the example below the
exhaust system needed to be removed.
Unbolt the driveshaft at the differential and center support and it should
slide out of the rear of the transmissions in most cases, in this case the
driveshaft needed to be unbolted
at the transmission as well, as the driveshaft comes loose keep your hands on
Position a transmission jack under the transmission case and raise it slightly,
enough to lift the weight off the transmission mount. In this example you can
see a full range jack because the vehicle is on a lift needed to film, you can
rent a floor style jack from the local parts store for a small amount.
Remove the transmission crossmember mounting bolts, this will allow the
transmission to rest on the jack which is needed to lower the unit while holding
the transmission steady.
Locate and remove the transmission crossmember bolts or nuts to the rear
transmission mount, it will become loose so keep your hands on it so it does
not fall. The jack is now holding the weight of the transmission.
Once the transmission is removed the engine will need to be supported. If
the exhaust system was removed, here we use a wood block to sandwich between
the engine pan and frame, a small jack will work or any means needed to keep
the engine from dropping backwards, the wood will compress slightly.
With the transmission lowered slightly remove all wiring connectors such
as the vehicle speed sensor and reverse light switch.
Remove the shifting linkage, this will vary, for example some transmissions
have a plate where the shifter enters the transmission, this must be removed
from inside the car or from the top of the tail housing.
On this particular design the starter motor is bolted to the bell housing
which needs to be removed, this is why we disconnected the battery in step 1.
Remove the starter motor
mounting bolts and gently set it to the side.
Use a pick or small screwdriver to gently pry the retainer clip from the
clutch hydraulic line at the bell housing, if an externally mounted secondary
cylinder or clutch cable is used, unbolt or unclip from the transmission.
Gently grasp the line and twist back and forth to pull it from the slave
cylinder, fluid will start to leak, insert a rubber cap to stop the fluid.
Locate and remove the engine plate or dust shield bolts from the bell housing.
At this point everything on and around the transmission has been removed
or disconnected except for the main engine to bell housing mounting bolts, the
upper bolts can be difficult to remove unless a long extension with a universal
Guide the extension over the top of the transmission to gain access to the
upper bell housing bolts and remove the bolts completely.
Continue to remove the transmission bell housing bolts until all but the
bottom two bell housing bolts remain, use a flashlight to double check.
Securely reposition the transmission jack underneath the transmission and
attach the safety chains around the case to avoid it from slipping off the jack.
With the transmission securely supported by the jack, remove the last two
bell housing bolts.
Please watch this video of the job being done, then continue down the guide
to glean additional helpful information, pan and filter guide below with video.
Even after all of the bolts have been removed, the housing could be stuck
on the alignment dowels mounted in the engine block along with the input shaft
inside the clutch disc, use a large pry bar and gently wedge it between the
engine and transmission, apply pressure to "pop" it loose from the engine, further
work the pry bar to fully separate. The transmission must be at a "neutral position"
to separate, in other words the jack cant be too high or low, this creates a
bind which will make the removal more difficult.
The transmission will then be loose behind the engine, keep the transmission
steady on the transmission jack as you begin to lower it.
Slowly lower the transmission while keeping it steady, with a helper remove
the transmission from the jack, it is now ready for a rebuilt unit or to have
the original unit repaired.
After repairs have been made or new/rebuilt transmission is ready position
it on the jack, slowly raise the unit back into position behind the engine.
When bringing the transmission up to the engine and while the installation
is in progress, keep the gap between the engine and transmission equal, clear
all wiring harnesses and vacuum lines etc. from between the engine and bell
housing, this is a common problem. Do not allow the transmission to "hang" on
the engine at this point, it could bend the clutch disc which will cause it
to not disengage.
Push toward the engine while wiggling the transmission into position, the
gap will close as the input shaft pushes through the clutch disc. If the transmission
doesn't want to go into position, back the transmission up and slightly rotate
the input shaft, repeat.
Once the input shaft is fully in the clutch disc, the gap between the engine
and transmission will begin to close.
While keeping the gap even, install one mounting bolt on each side and slowly
tighten (evenly) to close the gap completely.
The upper transmission bolt holes can be difficult to access.
An old automotive trick is to add a small piece of paper to wedge the bolt
into the socket which will hold the bolt while installing.
Continue to install and tighten and bell housing bolts evenly, once completed
finish by tightening the bolts to the correct torque, in this case it is 34
Once all bell housing and engine plate mounting bolts have been installed
and tightened, remove the rubber cap from the hydraulic clutch line and push
it back onto the secondary cylinder, reinstall retainer clip before installation.
Reinstall the starter motor and attach wiring and positive battery cable,
tighten the mounting bolts to spec, in this case 24 foot pounds of torque.
Reroute and install the transmission wiring harness and connectors to the
reverse light switch and vehicle speed sensor.
Reinstall shifter mounting nuts and bolts.
Raise the transmission jack up into position and install the transmission
cross member and the mounting bolts, tighten to spec, in this case it is 36
foot pounds of torque.
Once all cross member bolt are tight, lower the jack while guiding the transmission
mount into place.
Reinstall the transmission mounting nuts and bolts, tighten to spec which
in this case is 34 foot pounds of torque.
Reinstall the driveshaft by installing front mounting bolts, or sliding
the yoke into the transmission, finish by tightening the differential flange
mounting bolts. Reinstall the exhaust system including gaskets and hangers.
Use a flashlight and inspect for any missing nuts, bolts or connectors, check
and refill the transmission fluid. Lower the car and reconnect the battery,
there might be a small spark while connecting, if a large spark occurs, recheck
the connections at the starter.
Locate the clutch fluid reservoir and refill, some vehicles use the brake
master to supply fluid to the primary clutch cylinder.
Most hydraulic clutch systems are self bleeding, just pump the clutch pedal
until normal pedal operation returns, this can take up to ten minutes. The vehicle
is ready for its first test drive, listening for any strange noises or sounds
which can be an indication of a problem.
Front Wheel Drive Manual Transmission Removal Video