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Tranny removal nightmare

Discussion in 'Stock 1995 - 2001 Explorers' started by Mountaineerrider, July 31, 2011.

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    1. Mountaineerrider

      Mountaineerrider New Member

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      So ive been here done that but a long time ago when the internet didnt yet exist. My problem is this and Im thinking Im not the only one who has encountered this problem.

      I am removing the transmission and replacing it on my 98 Mercury Mountaineer 4x4 all wheel drive. Everything is going as expected with hard to reach bolts, impossible to reach, etc. I have just started to remove the 4 nuts at the torque converter to flywheel and they are frozen. I used a breaker bar but that pretty much destroyed one nut, used the impact on another and it will not break. I have stopped in hopes that somebody has a trick here. These nuts are already quite rounded on the top from manufacturer and impossible to get a good bite on considering the hard to get to space where the starter lives.

      My God can Ford make it any harder to pull a tranny???

      Any other tips would be awesome as I have already scoped out the top tranny to engine bolts at the top with 1" of clearance to the firewall.....lookin forward to that!!!
       
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    3. vroomzoomboom

      vroomzoomboom Elite Canuck STOCK SUCKS! Elite Explorer

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      AWD, i assume it has a 5L from factory, or is it a 4L motor.
       
    4. Mountaineerrider

      Mountaineerrider New Member

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      5.0L, auto tranny (should have said flex plate in lieu of flywheel)

      Thanks for quick response
       
    5. vroomzoomboom

      vroomzoomboom Elite Canuck STOCK SUCKS! Elite Explorer

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      the only one thing i can think of is you see if you can get up in there with a air chisel, and hit one side of the nut. i have had to do that once. makes a hell of a miss out of the nut, but it should work. you may also have to pull the carpet out, and console up. there is a plate in the floor you will have to remove to get at a few of the bell housing bolts (so i have heard, haven't done a 5L trans yet, but it is in the near future).
       
    6. Mountaineerrider

      Mountaineerrider New Member

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      Yeah, I tried the cold chissel but it didnt work, Im thinking the torch is too dangerous and Ive never had any luck with penetrating oil. The air chisel sounds like it may work. I have new TC so im not concerned about the old one with the welded bolts on it or the nuts obviousely I can get new ones.

      Great tip on the removable floor panel, I will look into that

      Anyone else have the magic bullet on this problem....all suggestions welcome
       
    7. Turdle

      Turdle Has Pleasure Chamber Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      Yup, on my 98 2 were frozen so badly I had to use an air chisel on the edge of the nut in the direction of turn-if it makes any sense. That poped em loose. :thumbsup:
       
    8. Mountaineerrider

      Mountaineerrider New Member

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      Liking the sound of this so far.....thanks for chiming in
       
    9. svt4cam

      svt4cam Active Member

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      Easiest thing to do with the bell housing bolts is to remove rear crossmember with a jack holding up trans and slowly release the jack a few inches to get more room to work then get a 3 foot long extension and have a friend guide the socket onto the bellhousing bolts with you out behind the trans to apply torque when sockets in place. Sounds tough but once you do one it becomes pretty easy.
       
    10. gmanpaint

      gmanpaint Back in 5 minutes Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      BINGO! :thumbsup:
      You can also add a floor jack to the oil pan along with a jack under the trans for more support. Impact gun on a series of extensions if you dont own a 3' size.

      For those pesky TC nuts, Harbor freight, Sears, and others sell extractor sockets for stripped out nuts in metric sizes. If you do manage to round them off, these work wonders. If your worried about fire from heating them up, try freezing them with a can of Wart remover. Sounds weird, but it might work. :D
       
    11. Mountaineerrider

      Mountaineerrider New Member

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      This is awesome, usually forums in the past have not produced so much feed back. Very much appreciated

      Keep em coming, I packed it in for the day and will have to dig out the air hammer tomorrow or maybe a sears trip, wart remover....all good stuff....anyway, I have a few hours until I start in again.
       
    12. vroomzoomboom

      vroomzoomboom Elite Canuck STOCK SUCKS! Elite Explorer

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      heres something for when you go to put it back in. grab a couple of long 1/4 inch extensions. when you got to line up the trans to the motor, side one extension into the bell housing bolt holes (like one at the 3 and 9 o'clock holes if you know what i am getting at). then will act as a guide and help you line up the dowel pins.
       
    13. Scout3

      Scout3 Active Member

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      Not sure if you have enough room, but can you go ahead and slide the trans out and get a better shot at the converter bolts?

      Ed
       
    14. gmanpaint

      gmanpaint Back in 5 minutes Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      You really do not want to do this as it can cause damage to the pump. Convertor needs to be removed with the trans at the same time. It would make it a lot simpler to work on, but it's not worth the chance.
       
    15. bluestream1

      bluestream1 Active Member

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      Can the bolts be cut off with a die grinder? Get the tranny out then deal with whats left when you have room to work?

      Heat will work too but must be oxy-acetylene. Propane is not hot enough...
       
    16. Turdle

      Turdle Has Pleasure Chamber Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      One again, been there before and a sharp air chisel is the ticket to the torque converter nuts. Just a couple raps and they will start turning.
       
    17. Scout3

      Scout3 Active Member

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      Gman,
      How would it hurt the pump? The converter just slides on the splined shaft. He has a new converter anyway.

      Ed
       
    18. Mountaineerrider

      Mountaineerrider New Member

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      Update - used the air hammer and new chisel bit so I would get a good bite on the nut (which happens to be on the flywheel so you don't even come close to damaging the TC) I put the pressure up to 120 lbs and within a couple seconds of hitting the nut in the direction of spinning off the TC bolt, it spun loose. Ironically, it was only 2 nuts that were frozen just like other posters here (sorry I didn't name names, I'm posting from my phone) anyway, nuts need to be replaced but this was an easy method for freeing up the frozen nuts in a hard to reach place.

      BTW, my air hammer was shot so I went to Home Depot and got a new air hammer for 15 bucks.

      BTW again, there is an access plate under the center console to get to the upper tranny bolts and the electrical connectors. This is a big help as I don't see getting to them with a 3' extension......you can't get the tranny low enough on top of clearing all the vent tubes and wiring harness.

      Great feed back and much appreciated

      Thanks
       
    19. Turdle

      Turdle Has Pleasure Chamber Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      I'll bet my 98 mounty and yours were near each other on the same line, and the same torque head did this. How is that for an assumption? :D


      Glad you got them off. Note how the new ones are "tapered" --rather "smashed" to make the threaded hole oval. Beware of this going back on.
      I think this makes the nut hard to fit a socket too also--BTW
       
    20. gmanpaint

      gmanpaint Back in 5 minutes Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      If the shaft got stuck in the TC while removing the trans, it would pull the shaft out along with it. The splines on the shaft could mess up the pump. If the trans and engine were in perfect alignment with each other when separating, there most likely wouldn't be any harm done. Since we all know that will never happen, and the trans will come off at an angle, the weight of the trans pushing down on that shaft can cause some damage inside as it is removed.

      I am sure there are other reasons why your not supposed to pull the trans w/o removing the convertor from the flexplate. Anyone else want to chime in?
       
    21. Scout3

      Scout3 Active Member

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      OK. I didn't know the shaft just pulls out of the trans. He was replacing the trans and the converter so it would not have mattered if it got damaged. He got it loose anyway so the problem is solved. Have a good one.

      Ed
       
    22. Mountaineerrider

      Mountaineerrider New Member

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      Girlfriends car - she used to live in Hawaii and drive it down to the beach. Bet she would park it in the water and just so happened that when she turned the car off.....the flex plate and TC landed in the same position exposing those two bolts to salt water......hmmmmmm.....assumption up!!!
       

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