1996 Auto Transmission Removal

This
was my first time removing an automatic transmission from a Vette so I
thought I\’d share the experience.
First off, you\’ll need to
get the car elevated. I managed to pull this off with the car on jack
stands and less than 13 inches of clearance. Don\’t even think about
reinstalling the tranny without a lot more clearance than that.
Also
make sure you\’ve drained the transmission.
Next step is to
remove the exhaust system. Unbolt from the converters first and unclip the
rear O2 sensors if possible. The drivers side converter uses 2 studs and
1 bolt. The passenger side is slip clamped.
Now move rearward and
remove the small bolts from the hangers in the middle.
Lastly, the
welded hangers will have you loosen the clamps at the body.
Now
work some side-to-side magic and weasel the exhaust off the slip fit
converter.
IMPORTANT: Now you need to get a jack in place to
support the transmission. A trans jack is best but I lacked the clearance
so I used a piece of plywood on a regular jack.
Center the jack just
slightly aft of the front of the transmission pan. Put very slight
pressure on the transmission pan at this time. This step keeps things
aligned for the following.
Once the exhaust is off you\’ll need
to remove the drivetrain support member that runs along the driveshaft.
There are nuts for the bolts on top of the support member that will spin.
My method was to break loose the bolt first then manage to get a matching
size wrench on the top nut (18mm for the front, 21mm for the rear).
It\’s a bit tight but I got regular sized wrenches to fit.
Remove
the bolts and pry the support member towards the passenger side. This may
take a pry bar to break loose the sealant.
Next remove the U-joint
straps to the driveshaft. These are little 8mm bolts so get a quality 6
point wrench and fit it to the bolt. To break these loose I wedged my knee
into the tire (to hold things still) and whacked the wrench with a 2 pound
hand sledge. All the bolts broke loose easily.
Remove the straps and
remove the driveshaft. Be careful with the U-joint caps… don\’t knock
them off.
Back to the drivetrain support. Slide the support
rearward as far as possible. Then use a pry bar to help the front of the
support to clear the tranny tailshaft. It doesn\’t take much. Remove
support.
Move back to the tranny and unclip the shift selector
cable and the speed sensor connection.
Remove the catalytic
converters. To do this easily (I found this out later) now is the time for
a tranny dip. Lower your jack and tilt the engine/tranny. Keep an eye on
the engine bay as the AIR injection crossover tube on the passenger side
and the tranny dipstick tube can hit the firewall.
You should now be
able to reach most or all of the bolts with a combination of extensions
(must be long) and a universal jointed 14mm socket. Just remove the bolts
holding the converters at this time. Don\’t forget the O2 sensor
connections. Also, the lower bolt on the driver\’s side converter is
also a ground stud. Remove the first nut, remove the wires and then use a
deep socket to remove the bolt itself.
Jack the
engine/transmission back level.
Remove the starter. It\’s pretty
easy. Two bolts, two wires.
Remove the transmission dust shield.
Remove all the sparkplugs and remove the accessory
belt.
Remove the torque converter bolts.
This is easiest with a
flywheel holder/mover to rotate the engine while under the car. Snap On
has a suitable one for $18. Rotate the flywheel to gain clearance for a
socket wrench and wedge something (I used a long prybar) through the
flywheel and against the floorpan to prevent rotation. Break loose the
converter bolt. Repeat for the remaining two bolts.
Now we\’re
down the home stretch.
Lower the jack to tilt the engine/tranny
(don\’t forget to check engine bay clearance). With your ultra long
extensions, remove the remaining transmission bellhousing bolts (there
should only be two left.. the upper ones).
Pull the tranny fluid level
tube loose from the transmission (the upper right tranny bolt was holding
it in place). Also remove any electrical transmission
connections.
At this time you really need to make sure your jack is
positioned properly before moving the transmission. You don\’t want it
to tilt over on your head while performing the next step.
Next
thing I did was shove the tranny tailshaft towards the driver\’s side to
give me access to the cooler lines. It\’s a good idea to soak these line
connections in penetrant and clean them up as well as possible. Also be
sure to have a high quality flarenut wrench (13mm or 1/2 inch). Cheap
wrenches will flex and ruin the connector by rounding off the edges. I
used a Craftsman 1/2 inch flarenut wrench and it broke the connections
loose without drama. The fit on the nut was quite tight and I had to tap
the wrench on with a little bitty hammer.
Be very aware of the
transmission\’s position. If you aren\’t using a proper trans jack,
it\’s possible to knock that transmission right on your head. Stay
aware.
Once you\’ve removed the cooler lines, work the
transmission rearward and downward being careful of the balance of the
tranny on the jack.
I found out that with the transmission down,
off the jack and on the floor, you can get it out from underneath the car
with only 12.5 inches of clearance.
Remove the converter while under
the car (do this quickly and you won\’t spill much fluid). Position the
transmission bellhousing where the floorpan has the widest relief with the
tailshaft pointing out from underneath the car. Now just lift the
tailshaft while pulling the tranny from under the car. It\’ll slide
right out.
This tip is probably not as thorough as it could have
been and may have items that can be improved upon but I hope it
helps.