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

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

But that does not mean that it is impossible to drop it at your home. You just have to know how to drop a transmission without a lift. And the good thing is that you will not have to worry too much about approaching the matter with an alternative method. There are not many intricate steps. Continue reading to find out!

How To Drop A Transmission Without a Lift

How To Drop a Transmission At Home?

So, to drop the transmission off of your car at home, you just need to go through these simple steps:

Step 1: Get the required tools 

The transmission dropping job requires a good number of tools. However, the good news is that none of them should be hard to work on if you are a fairly experienced DIY motorist. Here is the list:

  • 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 has a lot of rust. The small continers and markers are there to help you to organize nuts and bolts. And 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 with 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 in contact when you are working with the vehicle’s body.

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 for 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 will also want to get the bell housing to engine bolts that you can access at this stage.

Step 5: Raise the vehicle

Place a chock under the wheels. If you do not have a chock, you can work with a wooden block. Then, use a floor jack to lift the front 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. That 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 make it release from the differential. Pull it out and set it aside.

Step 7: Work with the 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, do away with 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

You should 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 need to work with 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. You will need to remove it. If it is not possible to get it out, you should at least get the crossover pipe removed. 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 and see if anything will interfere with the separation of 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 need to get the transmission out from the car’s underside.

Final Words

Although it might seem impossible, taking the transmission out at home is surely doable. All you need to do is know how to drop a transmission without a lift. And as you know by now, instead of the lift, you will be basically relying on jacks and jack stands.