How To Drop A Transmission Without a Lift? Easy-To-Follow Process

Dropping a transmission without a lift is a lengthy process, however, it’s doable if you follow the steps correctly. Just make sure you have all the necessary tools. Start your mechanical surgery by disconnecting the battery. Then remove the transmission fluid tube and starter motor. Raise your car with a floor jack (alternative to a lift), and start removing all transmission components i.e. driveshaft, electrical connectors, and flywheel, one by one.

Transmission is one of the components you will have trouble working with at home. So, how do the vehicle workshops do it? They have a lift that raises the vehicle high up. This eventually makes it easier for a mechanic to work under the car and drop the transmission.

But that does not mean that it is impossible to drop it off at your home. You just need to have the right tools and know the steps for dropping a transmission without a lift.

Continue reading to find out those exciting steps!

11 Steps To Drop a Transmission At Home

To remove the transmission from your car at home, simply follow these simple steps in the order listed below:

11 steps To Drop a Transmission infographic

Step 1: Get the required tools 

Dropping transmissions requires a good number of tools. However, the good news is that none of them are hard to work on if you are a fairly experienced DIY motorist. Here is the list:

  • A can of penetrating lubricant
  • Shop Rags
  • Hydraulic Floor Jack + Jack Stands
  • Fluid Drain Pan
  • Drop Light
  • Wrench Set
  • Small containers and a marker
  • Screwdrivers
  • Hammer
  • Socket Set w/Extensions
  • Pliers
  • Pry Bar
  • Transmission Jack
  • An assistant to help lower the transmission

Among all these, the can of penetration lubricant is a must if your car is rusted. The small containers and markers are there to help you organize your nuts and bolts. Although the transmission jack is optional, it will be very handy for this process.

Step 2: Disconnect the battery

With all the tools near you, you need to start working on the vehicle. First, remove the negative battery cable. But do not just leave the line hanging around the battery post. Instead, move it farther away from the post so that it does not accidentally come into contact with the vehicle’s body when you are working with it.

You can also wrap a rag around the end of the cable and place another rag over the battery terminal. That will offer you extra security.

Step 3: Work with transmission fluid tube

Locate the fluid dipstick and pull it. Set it aside and work with the dipstick tube. Remove the nut that holds the tube in place. If it is hard to remove the nut at this stage because of obstructions, you can remove it after a couple of steps.

Step 4: Focus on the starter motor

Remove any of the starter bolts that you have access to. Generally, you will not need to remove the starter entirely. Just pull the starter out of the housing and push it aside after getting the bolts out. You should also get the bell housing for the engine bolts that are accessible at this point.

Step 5: Raise the vehicle

Place a chock under the wheels. If you don’t have a chock, a wooden block will suffice. Then, use a floor jack to lift the front side of the vehicle. Secure the car with jack stands.

Step 6: Drain the transmission fluid and remove the driveshaft

Take all the pan bolts out except the ones that are on the end of the pan. This will enable the pan to drop down and let you collect the fluid.

After draining, put the bolts back in place and reposition the pan.

Remove the four U-joint bolts and use a screwdriver or a small pry bar to get the driveshaft out. Pry it forward to get it released from the differential. Pull it out and set it aside.

Step 7: Disconnect all electrical connectors and hoses

At this point, you will need to disconnect all the electric hoses, cables, and connectors that are connected to the transmission.

Step 8: Detach the oil cooler lines and torque converter to flywheel bolts

There should be 2 transmission oil cooler lines, which you will need to remove. You can use a line wrench to get it off.

Then, take away the inspection cover that is on the bottom of the torque converter bolts. Use a droplight or flashlight to look inside the housing, locate all the nuts, and remove them.

Step 9: Take the transmission bolts and cross member out

Position the hydraulic jack right underneath the transmission pan. Raise it slightly and remove the transmission mount bolts.

After getting all the mount nuts out, you will need to get the cross member out. Again, you will have to remove some bolts to get it out.

Step 10: Remove the crossover pipe and bell housing bolts

There should be a crossover pipe on your vehicle. It connects to the left side of the exhaust; remove it.

Then, work with the bell housing bolts. Remove all of those bolts. 

Step 11: Get the transmission out

Before anything else, check whether all the electrical connections are disconnected or not. Also, double-check to see if anything will interfere with the separation of the engine and the transmission.

Get some assistance from someone to keep the transmission stable using a jack. Take the jack away from the engine a little bit and slowly lower the jack. When it’s lowered, remove the transmission off the jack slowly. Make it drop slowly to the floor.

Finally, you will just need to get the transmission out of the car’s undercarriage.

Final Words

Although it might seem impossible, taking out the transmission at home is a doable task. You just need the proper tools and the right direction. With the steps mentioned, you will surely be able to do it yourself. Lastly, you won’t be needing a lift; you will be basically relying on jacks and jack stands.

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William Baldwin

This Is William Baldwin, The Founder & Managing Editor of this website. Me and my team share automotive tips, tricks, and news

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Talha Atta

Talha Atta, a Mechanical Engineer and experienced technical content writer and editor at with a passion for the automotive industry.