How to Change a Dodge Transmissionby Don Bowman
Changing a Dodge transmission can be an expensive proposition, if done at a shop, because it is labor-intensive. You can change a Dodge transmission yourself if you have the time to put into it. A transmission does not break often so that you have to replace the entire transmission, but replacing parts, such as clutches, also requires complete removal of the transmission. With the proper tools (there are no special tools needed), one can change a Dodge transmission in his driveway.
Raise the vehicle enough to remove the transmission from under it then support it on jack stands. Disconnect the negative terminal on the battery. Place the drip pan under the transmission pan. Drain the transmission by removing all but two pan bolts. Slowly remove the last two bolts, allowing the transmission fluid to drain into the pan. Once drained, re-install the bolts in the pan.
Remove the driveshaft by taking out the four bolts in the rear yoke with a wrench and pulling the driveshaft from the transmission. Remove the starter using a 3/8-inch drive socket. Disconnect the transmission shift linkage using a wrench.
Remove the two oil cooler lines on the passenger side using a line wrench. Disconnect all electrical plugs. Remove all the torque converter bolts using a 3/8-inch drive socket. Remove the two bolts in the bottom of the transmission mount with a socket.
Place the floor jack under the transmission oil pan and raise the transmission until it is clear of the cross-member. Remove the two bolts on either side of the cross-member that secure the cross-member to the frame. Remove the cross-member.
Lower the transmission enough to gain access to the passenger side bell-housing bolts. Remove the bolts on this side. Remove the dipstick tube, which is held in by one of the bell-housing bolts. Lift the dipstick tube out of the transmission case and move it out of the way.
Remove the remainder of the bell-housing bolts and slide the transmission back and lower it to the ground. Replace the transmission in reverse order of removal and fill with transmission fluid. Run the transmission through the gears and re-check the fluid level.
- Changing a Dodge transmission can be hazardous if done on the ground. Care should be taken to balance and secure the transmission once it is removed due to its weight and bulk. Provisions should be made to capture any fluid lost when the transmission pan is removed and prevent a spill on the driveway. The vehicle must be raised sufficiently to remove the transmission from under it.
Items you will need
- Floor jack
- Jack stands
- ½-inch drive ratchet
- ½-inch drive extension
- Set of ½-inch drive sockets
- 3/8-inch drive ratchet
- Set of 3/8-inch drive sockets
- Set of wrenches
- Set of line wrenches
- Common screwdriver
- Drip pan
- The writer is a master ASE technician.