How to remove front wheel drive transmission

Written by justin cupler | 13/05/2017
How to remove front wheel drive transmission
There are many different transmissions, but most front-wheel-drives have a similar removal process. (New car engine gearboxes image by Christopher Dodge from

With automotive repair labour rates continuing to rise with no sign of slowing down, doing your own repairs can be beneficial. Removing your own automatic transmission can be one that saves you hundreds of dollars. The task is a fairly complex task, but you will be learning the integral steps in removing any front-wheel-drive transmission.

Jack up the front of the car, secure it with jack stands and remove the floor jack.

Remove the wheels from both sides of the vehicle by loosening the lug nuts.

Remove the bolts connecting the downpipe of the exhaust to the exhaust manifold and the catalytic converter. Remove the downpipe from the vehicle.

Remove the bolts from the transmission oil pan and allow the transmission fluid to drain out of the pan and transmission and into an oil drain pan.

Remove the lower ball joint cottar pins and loosen the nuts on both sides of the vehicle. Pound the lower ball joints out of the lower control arm with the hammer. Keep the nut on the very end of the threads to protect the threads from damage by the hammer.

Remove the outer tie rod end from the steering knuckle by removing the cottar pin, loosening the nut and pounding the tie rod end out.

Remove the axles from the spindle by removing the cottar pins, removing the axle nut and pounding the axle while prying the spindle.

Remove the axles from the transmission by prying them out. Do not pry in only one spot, pry a little then rotate and pry again.

Remove the torque converter shield by loosening the bolts holding it. There should be about eight bolts securing this shield to the front of the transmission.

Remove the torque converter nuts; you can now access them with the shield removed. There will be between 12 and 15 nuts holding it to the flex plate. You can only access a few nuts at a time, so you must remove the nuts you can access then use a screwdriver or pry bar to turn the converter to access more nuts.

Remove all of the nuts and bolts around the bell housing of the transmission holding it to the engine.

Remove the gear selection linkage by loosening and removing all bolts securing it. The number of bolts varies from vehicle to vehicle.

Use the floor jack to hold the transmission in place and remove any bolts holding the transmission mounts in place. There will be one or two transmission mounts depending on the vehicle.

Pull the transmission away from the engine. This may require some prying and shaking to loosen it from the engine.

Lower the transmission very slowly, disconnecting any wires that are still connected to the transmission. The number of wires will vary greatly depending on the vehicle.


Have a friend nearby when lowering the transmission to help you watch for wires.

Tips and warnings

  • Have a friend nearby when lowering the transmission to help you watch for wires.

Things you need

  • Basic mechanics tool kit
  • Floor jack
  • Jack stands
  • Pry bar
  • Screwdrivers
  • Oil drain pan
  • Hammer
  • Repair manual (Haynes or Chilton's)
  • Axle nut socket
  • Impact gun

Show MoreHide

  • All types
  • Articles
  • Slideshows
  • Videos
  • Most relevant
  • Most popular
  • Most recent

No articles available

No slideshows available

No videos available

By using the site, you consent to the use of cookies. For more information, please see our Cookie policy.