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Old 06-13-2011, 01:04 PM   #1
jerrussell1976
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Default transmission removal

I have a couple of questions. I have a 1998 Saturn SL that has a bad manual transmission. I am not much of a mechanic, but I can do some work. My father-in-law is a pretty good mechanic and we are going to tackle replacing the transmission.

Does anyone have instructions on how to remove and reinstall the transmission without removing the engine and with removing the engine?

Which method would be easier removing the engine or leaving it in?

What are the advantages of removing the engine?

How long does it take to perform each procedure?

Should anything else be replaced with the exception of the throwout bearing and clutch?

Thank you for looking and any information you can give me,

Jeremy

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Old 06-13-2011, 01:13 PM   #2
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Default Re: transmission removal

The manual is small enough you can squeeze is out the driver side wheel well. Take out the driver side strut (might get away with just disconnecting the knuckle). Then remove the cradle bolts on the driver side (start "PB Blaster"ing the evil buggers now) and loosen the passenger side bolts ~1".

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Old 06-13-2011, 01:21 PM   #3
holydiver
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Default Re: transmission removal

Taking out the transmission may be done without removing the engine, but my experience tells me that installing it will be a pain in the butt for this reason: lining up the splines on the input shaft to the flywheel assembly. I just went through something similar with trying to install the engine with the transmission still in the car. It was a huge pain and then it was made easy by us taking both out and lining up the splines, attaching the trans-to-engine bolts and then lowering the whole thing into the car. It may seem like a pain, but it's better than the massive frustration I went through. Just saying.

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Old 06-13-2011, 02:26 PM   #4
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Default Re: transmission removal

What's "bad" about the transmission? They're nearly bulletproof; about the only semi-common thing that can kill a 5-speed is the dreaded slipped differential pin, grenading the case.

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Old 06-13-2011, 03:02 PM   #5
jerrussell1976
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Default Re: transmission removal

Quote:
Originally Posted by holydiver View Post
Taking out the transmission may be done without removing the engine, but my experience tells me that installing it will be a pain in the butt for this reason: lining up the splines on the input shaft to the flywheel assembly. I just went through something similar with trying to install the engine with the transmission still in the car. It was a huge pain and then it was made easy by us taking both out and lining up the splines, attaching the trans-to-engine bolts and then lowering the whole thing into the car. It may seem like a pain, but it's better than the massive frustration I went through. Just saying.
Would having a transmission jack make lining everything up easier/quicker if you do not remove the engine?

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Old 06-13-2011, 03:19 PM   #6
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Default Re: transmission removal

Quote:
Which method would be easier removing the engine or leaving it in??
You can go either route. Probably less work to pull just the tranny through the wheel well. You have to partially drop the subframe and remove the strut to pull in out that way.

Quote:
What are the advantages of removing the engine??
You don't have to mess with the subframe. It is easier to deal with the flywheel / clutch and line up the tranny out of the car.

Advantage of leaving the engine in is: You don't have to remove all the belt driven accesories. Most of the harness can stay in place.

Quote:
Should anything else be replaced with the exception of the throwout bearing and clutch??
I would replace the flywheel. You can get a new one from AAP for about the same price as having the original resurfaced.

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Old 06-13-2011, 03:22 PM   #7
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Default Re: transmission removal

Quote:
Would having a transmission jack make lining everything up easier/quicker if you do not remove the engine?
I don't think a tranny jack would help much with these cars.

I would try to hang it from a hoist while you maneuver it into position and line up the input shaft.

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Old 06-13-2011, 08:33 PM   #8
jerrussell1976
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Default Re: transmission removal

Quote:
Originally Posted by jerrussell1976 View Post
I have a couple of questions. I have a 1998 Saturn SL that has a bad manual transmission. I am not much of a mechanic, but I can do some work. My father-in-law is a pretty good mechanic and we are going to tackle replacing the transmission.

Does anyone have instructions on how to remove and reinstall the transmission without removing the engine and with removing the engine?

Which method would be easier removing the engine or leaving it in?

What are the advantages of removing the engine?

How long does it take to perform each procedure?

Should anything else be replaced with the exception of the throwout bearing and clutch?

Thank you for looking and any information you can give me,

Jeremy
Also, one more question. I replaced the clutch/throwout bearing about 4 years ago when I replaced the engine and the car has been sitting for about 22 months, so should I replace them again or will they be all right?

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Old 06-13-2011, 08:45 PM   #9
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Default Re: transmission removal

How many miles were driven in those 22 months and what brand clutch did you use? I would consider replacing the clutch and TO bearing just because you're giving yourself a 2 year head start on it since you'll be in there.

The MT weighs about 60 lbs I think and two people can maneuver it into place fairly easily. One stands over the engine bay and holds the tranny, while the other person lays under the car and tries to position it. If you've done the clutch you've done 99% of the transmission removal.

As mentioned above, remove the driver cradle bolts (they're 18mm) and you'll have plenty of room.

I swap manual transmissions in about 5 hours.

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Old 06-13-2011, 09:04 PM   #10
jerrussell1976
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Default Re: transmission removal

Quote:
Originally Posted by ShawnV View Post
How many miles were driven in those 22 months and what brand clutch did you use? I would consider replacing the clutch and TO bearing just because you're giving yourself a 2 year head start on it since you'll be in there.

The MT weighs about 60 lbs I think and two people can maneuver it into place fairly easily. One stands over the engine bay and holds the tranny, while the other person lays under the car and tries to position it. If you've done the clutch you've done 99% of the transmission removal.

As mentioned above, remove the driver cradle bolts (they're 18mm) and you'll have plenty of room.

I swap manual transmissions in about 5 hours.
Probably about 30,000 miles, so not to many. I was messing with the car last August and it felt pretty good, but that was only sitting after about 12 months. I had my mechanic replace the clutch when he replaced the engine, so I am not for sure what brand clutch. He probably got it from Autozone or CarQuest. I am trying to do this job myself to save money, because I don't want to stick that much money into the car.

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Old 06-20-2011, 10:59 AM   #11
jerrussell1976
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Default Re: transmission removal

Quote:
Originally Posted by jerrussell1976 View Post
I have a couple of questions. I have a 1998 Saturn SL that has a bad manual transmission. I am not much of a mechanic, but I can do some work. My father-in-law is a pretty good mechanic and we are going to tackle replacing the transmission.

Does anyone have instructions on how to remove and reinstall the transmission without removing the engine and with removing the engine?

Which method would be easier removing the engine or leaving it in?

What are the advantages of removing the engine?

How long does it take to perform each procedure?

Should anything else be replaced with the exception of the throwout bearing and clutch?

Thank you for looking and any information you can give me,

Jeremy
Well we were able to get the transmission out of the car by taking it out of the side of the car without pulling the engine. We were able to put it back in the same way and it lined up without to much trouble. However, after we put it all back together and I stepped on the clutch pedal it was a little hard to press down. When I continured further by stepping on itb I did not have a pedal after that and the pin to the hydralics is now laying in the bottom of the transmission bell housing or some place in there. I really hope I can fish it out with a magnet, but i know it is a long shot. However, my real question is does anyone have an idea why the clutch pedal was so hard and the hydralics did what it did?

Thanks you for your time and help,

Jeremy Russell

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Old 06-20-2011, 01:56 PM   #12
trevino1
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Information Re: transmission removal

probably a bad hydraulic clutch. u may have to check the cylinders and make sure you have pressure, and fluid. if you do not youll need to install a new one. as for the pin i used a flexible magnet pick up tool and was able to manuever it out without to many mother effs. email me at ryan_trevino@att.net if u have any other questions! goodluck!

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Old 06-20-2011, 02:40 PM   #13
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Default Re: transmission removal

I've owned mostly manual transmission cars and have come to the conclusion that if you drive it right, the clutch lasts indefinitely. The clutch wears due to heat. So if you avoid things that make it hot (prolonged slipping) it should last. I pulled mine after 350,000 miles on my Toyota and it looked so good I just put it back in.
So I would say it depends on how it was driven more than miles.

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Old 06-20-2011, 10:08 PM   #14
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Default Re: transmission removal

Jeremy - When you reinstalled the clutch slave your push rod missed the clutch fork. This is what made your clutch pedal feel like a wall. When you stomped on it you blew up the hydraulics and they need to be replaced now. The hydraulics are non-serviceable and have no bleeder. You could try placing the push rod back in the slave and try lining it up again with the clutch fork and see what happens, but usually your hydraulics are blown when you stand on the pedal like that.
shawn

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Old 06-20-2011, 11:05 PM   #15
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Default Re: transmission removal

I found that removing the transmission through the top was the easiest way to go. Unbolting the entire subframe and getting it to move out of the way is a PIA. What I did was remove the two nuts holding the brake master cylinder in place, and then bend it out of the way. This is something that shouldn't be repeated often, and shouldn't be done at all if the lines are rusty. However, it worked twice for me, and was, by far, the easiest way.

I had very little trouble, both times, lining up the spline with the driven disc. Everything bolted together wonderfully.

The reason why it's best to just remove the transmission is because you can do it without an engine hoist, and you don't have to disconnect as many things, though I believe that it's still necessary to unbolt the exhaust at the flange, to access certain bolts, etc.

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Old 06-21-2011, 12:45 AM   #16
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Default Re: transmission removal

Magnet won't work; too many other ferrous parts in there. Low Saturn has a procedure for retrieving the errant rod.

I'd pay to see (well, not really....) a transmission removal through the top on an ABS-equipped car......

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Old 06-21-2011, 02:26 AM   #17
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Default Re: transmission removal

Quote:
Originally Posted by ShawnV View Post
Jeremy - When you reinstalled the clutch slave your push rod missed the clutch fork. This is what made your clutch pedal feel like a wall. When you stomped on it you blew up the hydraulics and they need to be replaced now. The hydraulics are non-serviceable and have no bleeder. You could try placing the push rod back in the slave and try lining it up again with the clutch fork and see what happens, but usually your hydraulics are blown when you stand on the pedal like that.
shawn
This, most definitely. Did this on a different car, and ended up bending the rod on the slave cylinder, had to get a new one.

I disagree about not being able to bleed them though, its definitely able to be done, just a pain.

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Old 06-21-2011, 07:37 AM   #18
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Default Re: transmission removal

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Originally Posted by madpogue View Post
Magnet won't work; too many other ferrous parts in there. Low Saturn has a procedure for retrieving the errant rod.

I'd pay to see (well, not really....) a transmission removal through the top on an ABS-equipped car......
Well, you can pay me twice, because I removed and replaced it twice through the top on my ABS equipped (unfortunately, because ABS sucks!) car.

Very easy. ...A little rotation and manipulation, and it's out. It's practically a one-man-job on the way out, though both times I had a slight bit of help, either holding the transmission or keeping other items out of the way, and on the way in it's definitely only a one-man-job.

Into the fender, then bell housing up first, rotate as necessary, and it's out. Replace facing the same way (5th gear down, bell housing up).

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