Assume the position

Those that have been following along knew this was coming and this weekend it was finally time to pull out my transmission and replace the clutch that I had destroyed via various acts of stupidity and generosity. The first step is to gather some naive and/or generous friends to help you out, this is not a job you want to do by yourself.

Always a good idea to find ones how have experience working on your sort of car

Then tear everything off that is attached to the car from the transmission that are best accessed from the top, that’ll include things like the starter, numerous grounds, some sensors, a slave cylinder, the dogbone and finally the top transmission bolts. Then, get the car up good and high, high enough to get the trans out from underneath, but not so high as to make working under it a pain (you do have to pull the trans off the engine and shove it back on). Now you can tear everything off underneath, remove those minor things like half shafts, prop shaft, a pesky exhaust pipe, shifter cables and then finally the bottom transmission bolts.

Pictured: semi-important bits for making the car move

At this point the transmission should just slide right off the back of the engine into your awaiting bear hug below. Except in reality it won’t do that because it’s probably (definitely) seized to the engine. So now you begin releasing strings of expletives, try shaking the thing, end up just rocking the engine cause the mounts are so soft. At which point more expletives are required and you get out a hammer, maybe some putty knives, cold chisel and assorted pry bars and what ever else you can fit in there to try to split the two. With a little luck the thing will finally let go.


The carefully calculated car height was just enough to get the thing out

Time to survey the damage:



Pressure plate may have gotten warm a couple times
Tons of friction material left here!
The reverse


and begin cleaning everything up than needs to go back in

A wild 5+1 transmission stalks its prey

Use a healthy dose of brakleen to degunk the bell housing, paying special attention to the input shaft and pivot ball (a couple cans should do it), give the shifter fork a good cleaning and inspection too before spreading some hightemp grease on all the contact surfaces


Pink Power!

reinstall the fork and a new throw out bearing (OEM please). The old TOB was trashed as well, the outer and inner races had significant play, no wonder that was making noises as well. Installation is the reverse of disassembly(just ask the FSM)


so much room for activities (removing old flywheel)


That was fun

Send a quick prayer to the gearhead god, that you’ve dotted your T’s and crossed your I’s and turn the key and see if it will come back to life and move under it’s own power. Now re-learn how to drive the car with the new lightweight flywheel and stronger pressure plate (prepare for lots of stalling)


This whole escapade took me and a rolling group of 5-7 buddies of mine about 8 hours to complete from 10 am to 6 pm and by the time we were done we’d all pretty much had our fell or working on cars for the day so my new strut tops will have to wait for another day.