Make Replacing Your Transmission Easier With The Right Tools

Posted by on Friday, August 23rd, 2013

Replacing your transmission can be an easy job or a total nightmare, depending on the tools you have.  For example, pulling a transmission from a car sitting up on jack stands is much harder than pulling one that is on a lift.  Having the right tools can made all the difference in the world, including in your bottom line if you’re a profession mechanic.  Having the correct tools can make the job safer, too.  Let’s take a look at the tools that will make your job easier.

Using the right tools makes removing a transmission safer and quicker


Although some of these suggestions will be obvious, this article is meant to appeal to a broad range of readers, from beginners to seasoned professionals.

Lift: At the very top of everyone’s list should be a lift. Although not exactly practical for the DIY home mechanic, the price of lifts has become so inexpensive that if you have the room you should invest in one. Besides making the removal of your transmission easier, they can be used for all sorts of other things, such as performing oil changes to storing two cars in the space of one (one on lift and one under lift). Do your research before you purchase a lift. Not all lifts are of the same quality.

Air Tools: Air tools will really speed up the removal of your transmission. You will need a good compress that puts out a decent amount of CFMs. Stay away from oil-less compressors, as they have shorter lives and are very noisy.  Get yourself an impact hammer, a drill, two different size ratchets (1/4” and ½”) and a variety of accessories for blowing things off (air blower valves).

Air tools will make your job easier


Transmission jack: There are two different types of transmission jacks. One is designed to adapt to the saddle of a floor jack and is useful in removing transmissions when the car is low to the ground. The other type is much taller and is designed for use with a lift. With a lift, you almost have to have a transmission jack as it is nearly impossible to hoist a transmission over your head with one hand while trying to tighten bolts with the other.

A transmission jack is a nice luxury when it comes to removing your transmission


Drain pan: You need to drain an automatic transmission before you remove it from the car or risk making a huge mess. The little pan that you use for changing your motor oil won’t cut it. You need a pan that is at least 2 – 3 feet wide. It should have the capacity to hold at least 15 quarts to be on the safe side.

Torque wrench:  Get a good quality torque wrench. You risk under tightening (and having the bolts come lose) or over tightening (and cracking the case) the transmission bolts without one.

Manual transmission specific tool:  A clutch alignment tool will make the installation of your manual transmission much easier! It allows you to perfectly center the clutch disk on the flywheel before securing the pressure plate. This will assure you that the input splines on the transmission will slide in easily.

On a side note, if you decide to replace the transmission in your own or your customer vehicle, I highly recommend you do so with a re-manufactured transmission over one that was simply rebuilt. A re-manufactured transmission will include major internal modifications and upgrades designed to make them stronger and more durable. A rebuilt transmission will not include these features. A re-manufactured transmission will also include a much better warranty; three years compared to an average 90 days for a rebuilt transmission. And if you ever have an issue or question about your re-manufactured transmission, a quick answer is only a phone call or email away.

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