Tackling T5 Transmission Removal
This weekend was the first real chance I’ve had to work on the Mustang since the last time I posted. Last weekend I worked the Russo & Steele Newport Beach auction (lots of fun!), and the weekend before that I spent both days installing an above-ground vehicle lift. A lift would’ve been nice to have three years ago when I started the restoration on the Disgustang, but I’m glad it’s here now. Thanks to the lift, the T5 transmission removal went faster than I thought it would, and yet, it was still a major pain.
The Easy Part
T5 transmission removal is a relatively straightforward, though sometimes frustrating process. To start, I drained the transmission, disconnected the speedometer cable, disconnected the rear U-joint, pulled the driveshaft, and still made a puddle of transmission fluid on the ground. From there, I supported the transmission with the floor jack and removed the cross-member mounting bolts. After removing the transmission bolts that hold it to the bell-housing, I removed the pressure from the floor jack and then fiddled with the cross member until it dropped down, freeing the transmission. Then I wiggled the transmission out, supported it on my chest and stomach, and rolled out from under the car. That was the easy part.
The Hard Part
The hard part was getting the bell-housing off. That required pulling the starter, disconnecting the hydraulic clutch slave from the fork, removing the bolts for the separator plate, removing the bell housing bolts, and a lot of swearing. Even with all the bolts and screws removed, the bell-housing wouldn’t pull off of the alignment dowels. And to add insult to injury, there was nothing to pry on to separate the bell from the engine.
I tried gentle tapping with the rubber end of a hammer. I tried tapping harder with the metal head. I pried with a putty knife in the hope that I could then get a pry-bar inserted. No dice. I tried pulling out the fork to see if I could get a long pry-bar in and ended up whacking myself in the face with the pry-bar handle. I watched videos on YouTube to see if there was something I was missing…I wasn’t missing anything.
And then, in a fit of rage, on the verge of tears, I decided to try using the slide hammer bearing puller on the cable clutch hole. And it worked! Of course I’d already knocked half the paint off the oil pan by rocking the engine up and down so much, but I was happy to have not destroyed the bell housing while taking it off.
A Mixed Outcome
With everything disassembled, I pulled the ball socket off to see if I had a washer that would fit, and I didn’t, so I stopped there. Stopping isn’t ever the end, of course, because I then had to put away every tool in my tool box (or so it seemed), empty the drain pan, lower the car, push the car back into the garage, and re-cover it. Tomorrow I’ll head off to the hardware store to find the right lock-washer to solve my clutch issues (hopefully!) once and for all.