How to Remove the Transmission From Ford Cars

by Contributing WriterUpdated June 12, 2017

Pulling a transmission out of a Ford car sounds like a big job, and it is. In most cases, this sort of procedure is best left to trained professionals, however, if you and a helper have muscle power and elbow grease to spare, you can tackle this task at home in less than a day. Before beginning, it is best to get a repair manual, such as a Haynes Manual, specific to your Ford car model and year. If you get in a jam, having the manual on hand can save a lot of time and frustration.

Under The Hood:

 How to Remove the Transmission From a Ford Ranger

Draining the Transmission

Disconnect the ground cable from the negative battery terminal. Loosen the retaining bolt using a wrench. Pull the clamp off the terminal.

Raise the vehicle using an automotive jack and support with jack stands placed underneath the frame.

Slide a waste oil collection pan directly underneath the transmission.

Loosen the transmission oil pan bolts, beginning at the rear of the transmission, using a socket.

Unscrew the transmission oil pan bolts from the transmission using a wrench. Wait until all the fluid has drained from the pan, then remove the pan from the transmission.

Unscrew the two bolts that secure the torque converter access cover to the converter housing using a socket. The cover will be located between the engine and transmission.

Unscrew the four torque converter to flexplate nuts, using a socket.

Slide the drain pan underneath the torque converter.

Unscrew the torque converter plug from the converter using a socket. Allow the fluid to drain completely.

Disconnecting the Transmission

Unscrew the bolts and nuts that connect the driveshaft to the rear axle yoke, using a socket.

Lower the driveshaft underneath the rear axle and slide it rearward until it disengages from the transmission tailhousing.

Unscrew the speedometer cable. Using pliers, unscrew the retaining nut that secures the cable to the transmission tailhousing.

Pull the retaining pin that secures the shift rod to the driver's side of the transmission, using needle nose pliers. Slide the shift rod away from the transmission.

Pull the retaining pin that secures the downshift rod to the driver's side of the transmission, using needle nose pliers. Slide the shift rod away from the transmission.

Unscrew the bolts that secure the starter motor to the engine block, using a socket. Tie the starter motor to the vehicle’s frame using a plastic wire tie, so that the motor does not hang from the wiring harness.

Unscrew the transmission cooler lines from the passenger side of the transmission, using a line wrench.

Label the neutral safety switch wires on the transmission tailhousing, using a marker and masking tape. Pull the wires off the switch.

Label the vacuum line attached to the modulator on the driver’s side of the transmission, using a marker and masking tape. Pull the line off the modulator.

Removing the Transmission

Slide a transmission jack underneath the transmission and secure the transmission to the jack using a safety chain.

Raise the jack slightly; do not lift the vehicle off the jack stands.

Unscrew the bolts that connect the transmission tailhousing to the transmission crossmember, using a socket.

Unscrew the bolts that secure the transmission crossmember to the vehicle’s frame, using a socket. Pull the crossmember from the vehicle.

Unscrew the bolts that secure the transmission to the engine block, using a socket.

Slide the transmission backward, away from the engine.

Lower the transmission jack and slide it out from underneath the vehicle.

Items you will need

  • Wrench set

  • Automotive jack

  • Jack stands

  • Waste oil collection pan

  • Socket set

  • Pliers

  • Needle nose pliers

  • Plastic wire ties

  • Marker

  • Masking tape

  • Transmission jack

 How Do I Remove the Transmission on a Ford Focus?

Raise the front of the Focus with your floor jack and securely support it on the jack stands. Disconnect the back yoke and move the driveshaft forward using your crowbar. Slide the pan directly under the rear of the transmission and stick a rag in the back of the transmission to prevent fluid leakage.

Disconnect the modulator vacuum line and the transmission oil filler tube. Remove the clamp holding the speedometer cable to the transmission and slide it through the firewall to remove it. Disconnect the wires attached to the transmission.

Take your tube wrench and disconnect the cooler line from the transmission. Disconnect the rear transmission mount and the exhaust tube from the transmission. Using your wrench and socket set, remove the bell housing and then take off the cover over the transmission and engine.

Use your ratchet set to disconnect the mounting torque converter bolts beneath the bell housing. Take your crowbar and pry the converter off so that you have easy access to the bolts around the converter.

Place your transmission jack beneath the transmission oil pan and raise it so that it supports the transmission under the frame of the Focus. Use your jack clamps to securely attach the transmission to the transmission jack. Use your socket set to disconnect the cross member that supports the transmission.

Roll the transmission jack slowly toward the back of the Focus, allowing the transmission to lower along with it. Make sure that the transmission has plenty of clearance while lowering it and that nothing is still attached to it.

Items you will need

  • Wrench set

  • Tube wrench

  • Socket set

  • Jack stands

  • Crowbar

  • Floor jack

  • Jack clamps

  • Pan

  • Rag

  • Transmission jack

 How to Remove the Transmission on a 1997 Ford Escort

Removing the Transmission

Use sturdy jacks to elevate the front and back of your 1997 Ford Escort. Place the jacks in a flat and strong surface to avoid movement. Disconnect the negative and positive battery cables. Remove the battery and set it aside.

Locate the top bolts of the transmission and loosen each one with a 13mm socket. Disconnect all cables linked to the transmission such as the shift linkage, throttle kick down and speedometer. Remove the cooling and vacuum hoses.

Activate the emergency brake and remove the front tires. Place a U-joint at the rear end of the transmission and carefully slide it outward to reveal its middle body. Support the U-joint with a transmission jack and place it under the transmission to slowly elevate it.

Unscrew all bolts at the body of the transmission such as the torque converter bolts and bell housing bolts. Unscrew the two strut bolts with a 17mm wrench. Pull up the rear transmission mount while jacking up the transmission a few inches more to remove the cross member.

Pry the right and left axles using a pry bar while avoiding any damage to the transmission. Jack up the whole transmission at a minimum of 42 inches above the hood and slowly slide it forward. Put it down a few meters away to make sure it won't disturb the installation of the replacement.

Items you will need

  • Jack

  • 13mm wrench

  • U-joint

  • Transmission jack

  • 17mm wrench

  • Pry bar

 How to Remove a Transmission From a Ford Truck

Push the parking brake in, put your safety glasses on and set the wheel chocks around the left, rear wheel.

Jack up the front of the truck and set the jack stands under the frame in the front on both sides. You will want the truck high enough to slide the transmission underneath, so keep that in mind when setting the jack stand height.

Move to the rear and jack the back end up. Place the jack stands under the rear axle, out near the wheels.

Slide under the truck and remove the transmission cooler lines. Place a rag around the end of the lines so no dirt or other foreign material can get into the lines before you reconnect them later on.

Disconnect the wiring harness to the transmission, if your model is electronically controlled. You will also need to disconnect the shift cable at this point.

Unbolt the drive shaft with the socket set and move it off to the side.

Move the jack under the transmission pan. Place some rags between the jack head and the pan so you do not damage the pan.

Use the socket set to remove the transmission mount. Set the mount off to the side. Make sure the jack is supporting the weight of the transmission.

Unbolt the transmission bell housing from the engine. You will need the socket extension to reach the bolts at the top of the bell housing. In some cases, you may also need to put a universal joint socket adapter between the socket and the extension to allow the socket to contact the bolts properly.

Carefully pull the transmission away from the engine. You may need a pry bar for this. It is best to do this with the aid of a helper. Once the transmission is away from the engine, lower it slowly with the jack.

Items you will need

  • Safety glasses

  • 2 wheel chocks

  • Floor jack

  • 4 jack stands

  • Rags

  • Socket set

  • 36-inch socket extension

  • Universal joint socket adapter

  • Pry bar

  • Haynes Manual

 How to Remove a Transmission From a Ford Explorer

Open the hood to access the battery on the driver's side of the truck. Disconnect the battery with a socket wrench.

Raise the front of the Explorer with a jack. Place the jack stands under the front crossmember and lower the truck on to the jack stands. This will provide plenty of room to work.

Disconnect the electrical connectors at the side of the transmission by hand. Ensure all the connectors are disconnected.

Unbolt the crossmember directly under the tail shaft with a socket wrench. Unbolt the tailshaft from the crossmember to free it from the bottom of the truck. There will be a series of bolts to unscrew to free the crossmember.

Unscrew the hanger bolts holding the drive shaft in place with a socket wrench. Pull the drive shaft out of the back of the transmission. Let the drive shaft rest on the ground.

Unbolt the starter at the front of the engine with a socket wrench. Unbolt the wiring from the starter with the ratchet. There will be two wiring harnesses to remove.

Unscrew the transmission cooler fluid lines with a line wrench. Ensure both lines are disconnected.

Place the jack under the tailshaft of the transmission. Strap the back of the transmission to the jack. This will help prevent the transmission from falling to the ground.

Unscrew the nine bolts holding the transmission to the engine. They will be centered around the back of the transmission's bell housing.

Raise the transmission up with the jack and pull it away from the engine. Slide the transmission out from under the truck. Some assistance may be required because the transmission is heavy.

Items you will need

  • Jack

  • 2 sets of jack stands

  • Socket wrench

  • Socket set

  • Ratchet straps

  • Line wrench set

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