Chevy S10 Transmission Removal

by Gus Stephens
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Two-wheel drive 1994 to 1998 Chevrolet S10 pickups shipped with five-speed manual transmissions from two sources: Borg Warner and New Venture. The Borg T-5 was used on 1994 and 1995 four-cylinder S10's; 1996 four-cylinder trucks came with the New Venture NV1500. New Venture's NV3500 was installed on all six-cylinder models.

When To Remove The Transmission

Virtually no work can be performed on an S10 manual transmission installed in the vehicle. Routine clutch servicing is the most frequent scenario for transmission removal. S10 manual transmissions are generally robust but with high mileage may require removal for rebuild or replacement. Gears become difficult to engage or pop out of gear unexpectedly. Lubricant leakage and noise are other indicators for overhaul. Engine-related problems in an S10 may necessitate pulling the transmission, too, most commonly replacement of a leaky rear engine oil seal.

Why Do It Yourself?

Few home mechanics are equipped to tear down an S10 transmission and diagnose and overhaul its internal components. However, removal of the transmission for repair at a shop or exchange is doable and can result in substantial savings on labor rates usually charged for transmission removal.

How Is It Done?

S10 transmission removal is manual labor and a two-person job. For most home mechanics, it will require the better part of a Saturday. Removal of heavy exhaust system and drive shaft are no-brainers but require physical dexterity. While most steps are straightforward nuts-and-bolts stuff, a few like clutch alignment require precision and strict standards of cleanliness: If you get it wrong, you won't know it until after you've reassembled the entire truck.

What Do You Need?

You're probably already equipped with most of what you'll need: Socket wrenches with extensions and a breaker bar, end wrenches and a good torque wrench. You need a standard floor jack to support the engine under the oil pan, too. What you probably don't have is a good transmission jack with tilt and swivel capability and a cradle and straps to hold the transmission in place. Don't try to improvise; do yourself a favor and rent a professional transmission jack.

What Can Go Wrong?

Transmissions are heavy. You'll be lying or standing beside yours when its mounting bolts are removed. Make sure the transmission jack properly supports the unit. Disconnected fuel lines may seep small amounts of flammable gasoline. Also, remember that your S10 is equipped with one of three different manual transmissions depending upon model year and engine. Slight but critical variations in the installation/replacement procedures exist among different transmissions and models.

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