How to Replace a Transmission in Vehicles

by Contributing Writer; Updated June 12, 2017

The transmission on a Vehicles is technically called a transaxle, though the usage of the word "transmission" is common. The transaxle combines the differential gears with the transmission in one housing, instead of two separate housings (as is done with rear-drive Vehicles. The transmission in a Vehicles is an automatic transmission and should be trouble-free Vehicles the life of the car. However, on rare occasions, gear teeth do chip or wear down to a point where the transmission will not shift properly. When this happens, it's best to replace the transmission.

Under The Hood:

 How to Replace a Transmission in a Grand Prix

Disconnect the cables running to the positive and negative battery terminals by loosening the nut on the cable clamps and sliding the clamps off the battery terminals.

Remove the nuts holding the battery tie down in place. Then remove the battery from the engine and battery tray underneath the battery.

Remove the bolts holding the air intake system in place. Remove the hose clamp connecting the intake to the throttle body. Mark and remove all electrical connections to the intake assembly using masking tape and a marker.

Remove the four bolts that hold the power distributor to the engine block on the left side of the engine. Mark the location and orientation of the spark plug wires with masking tape and marker. Pull the wires off of the distributor and remove the distributor.

Mark all hoses running to the transmission with masking tape and marker and disconnect all of the hoses.

Mark all of the electrical wiring running to the transmission with masking tape and marker. Then remove all of the electrical wires.

Detach the power and ground leads running to the starter motor and remove the upper mounting bolt from the starter motor.

Pull the cooler hoses running to the transmission and plug the hoses with a clean rag to prevent fluid leaks.

Push down on the tensioner for the throttle valve and remove the pin on the end of the throttle cable from the cable pin guide by sliding it out of the cable pin guide. Then, slide the throttle cable out of the cable guide.

Loosen the front wheel lug nuts with a tire wrench by giving them a quarter turn counterclockwise with a tire wrench.

Raise the Grand Prix onto jack stands by lifting up on the front jack point with a floor jack. The front jack point is located behind the radiator.

Continue to remove the lug nuts and pull the wheels off the wheel hub.

Remove the engine splash pan and inner fender lining that is secured by plastic rivets. Prying the rivets up with a flat head screwdriver.

Place a catch pan under the Grand Prix's transmission and remove the drain bolt by turning it counterclockwise with a socket wrench. Drain all of the oil into the catch pan.

Remove the exhaust pipe bracket and cable holder from the torque converter cover.

Remove the bolts that hold the torque converter cover in place and then remove the torque converter cover.

Disconnect the shift cable from the transmission by removing the pin holding the cable in place.

Mark the relationship of the torque converter to the driveplate with masking tape and a marker. When you reinstall this component, you'll need to have the orientation correct.

Remove the bolts holding the torque converter to the driveplate.

Remove the nut holding the radius rod to the front crossmember.

Remove the bolts holding the steering knuckle and lower control arm together. Swing the hub assembly out of the way while you pry the axle from the transmission with a screwdriver. Do not damage the seal on the transmission housing while you are doing this.

Place a block of wood under the oil pan and support the engine at the oil pan with a jack. Support the transmission with a separate jack.

Raise the jack on the transmission just enough to take the stress off the mounting bolts. Remove the bolts securing the transaxle to the engine.

Lower the transmission slowly while you pull the transmission off the engine

Install the new transmission. Installation is the reverse of removal.

Items you will need

  • Safety glasses and mechanic's gloves

  • New transmission

  • 2 floor jacks with 4 jack stands

  • Socket wrench with socket set

  • Flat block of wood about 1' x 2'

  • Oil catch pan

  • Clean rags

  • Masking tape

  • Marker

  • Pliers

  • Tire wrench

 How to Replace a Transmission on a Honda Accord

Drive the front end of the Honda Accord onto ramp lifts. Look under the Accord and locate the transmission. Place the drain pan under the drain plug on the transmission. Remove the plug using the ratchet set. Allow the transmission fluid to drain completely into the drain pan.

Remove the starter on the side of the transmission next to the engine by removing the mounting bolts and disconnecting the wires.

Remove the drive shaft from the transmission. The drive shaft is held in place on the differential with two bolts. Remove the bolts using the ratchet set. Disconnect the differential from the drive shaft and pull the drive shaft out of the transmission.

Remove the speedometer cable and shift linkage from the transmission using pliers and a wrench to loosen the nuts, securing them to the transmission.

Remove the flywheel bolts using the ratchet set. Pull the flywheel off the transmission. Remove the bolts that connect the bell housing to the transmission. Remove the bell housing from the transmission.

Place the jack under the transmission. Raise the jack to support the weight of the transmission. Remove the bolts connecting the transmission to the engine using the ratchet set. Lower the jack and pull the transmission away from the Honda Accord.

Connect the new transmission in the exact opposite way that you disconnected the transmission from the Honda Accord.

Items you will need

  • Ramp lifts

  • Drain pan

  • Ratchet set

  • Pliers

  • Wrench

 How to Replace the Transmission on a 1995 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo

Park your Jeep and firmly engage the parking brake. Place the jack under the front frame cross member and lift the Jeep high enough to provide room to work comfortably. Place a jack stand under the frame behind both front wheels and lower the car onto the stands. Place the jack under the rear differential housing and lift the Jeep to the same height as before. Place a jack stand under the axle housing on either side of the differential and lower the car onto the stands. Turn the bolt or nut on the negative battery terminal counterclockwise to loosen and remove the terminal by twisting and pulling straight up.

Rotate the four nuts securing the driveshaft to the differential yoke by turning them counterclockwise using a wrench. Remove the nuts and U-bolts. Push forward on the driveshaft, lower the rear of the shaft and pull the driveshaft out of the transmission tailshaft. Wrap the end of the tailshaft in a plastic bag to limit leakage.

Loosen the bolts on the transmission oil pan by turning them counterclockwise with a socket and ratchet. Remove the bolts from one corner of the pan. Insert the screwdriver between the pan and transmission body and twist to separate the pan from the transmission. Loosen the remaining bolts enough to allow the fluid to drain out after placing the drain pan and extension under the transmission.

Remove the bolts securing the transmission cross member to the frame and the center transmission mount to the cross member by turning them counterclockwise with a socket and ratchet. You will need to hold the bolt heads on the cross member to frame the bolts while turning the nuts.

Remove the speedometer cable by removing the bolt locking it in place with a socket and ratchet, turning the bolt counterclockwise and pulling the retainer and speedometer cable from the transmission. Remove any electrical connectors and vacuum lines from the transmission. Remove the cooler lines by turning the fittings counterclockwise using a flare nut wrench. Disconnect and remove the linkage. This is usually accomplished by removing clips or pins using the long nose pliers.

Remove the transmission pan completely and drain completely. Replace the pan by holding it in place and threading a few bolts in by hand. A minimum of four are needed. Place the jack under the transmission pan with the plywood piece between the pan and jack pad. Raise the jack enough to support the transmission. Align the jack so it rolls front to rear.

Remove the bolts securing the transmission to the engine by turning them counterclockwise with a socket and ratchet. Twist and pull up on the dipstick tube and remove the tube. Use a piece of wire to suspend the starter without removing it.

Remove the four bolts securing the torque converter to the flexplate by turning them counterclockwise with a wrench. Turn the torque converter using the flywheel wrench to access all four bolts.

Grasp the transmission firmly and push towards the rear to separate it from the engine. You can use a prybar to help disconnect the two components. Once the torque converter is clear of the flywheel, lower the jack and roll the jack and transmission out from under the car.

Reverse Steps 1 through 9 to install the replacement transmission

Items you will need

  • Floor jack

  • 4 Jack stands

  • Wrench set

  • Socket set

  • Ratchet

  • Extensions

  • Universal swivel socket

  • Long nose pliers

  • Flare nut wrench set

  • Drain pan with extension

  • Straight screwdriver

  • Flywheel wrench

  • Piece of plywood, 1 foot-by-1 foot

  • New or rebuilt transmission

 How to Replace the Transmission in a 1997 Jeep Grand Cherokee

1997 Jeep Grand Cherokee Transmission Removal

Disconnect the negative cable from the battery. Place a brick or block of wood behind the back tires. Lift the front of the Jeep with a jack. Place two jack stands underneath the Jeep.

Unplug the distance sensor, neutral switch, solenoid and O2 sensor harnesses. Remove the harnesses from the retaining clips on the transmission. Label the harnesses with masking tape and a pen. Set the harnesses to the side.

Label the vacuum lines with masking tape and a pen. Pull on the vacuum lines to remove the lines from the transmission. Remove any exhaust system components that are in the way.

Position the drain pan underneath the transmission pan. Remove the rear and side mounting bolts with a socket and ratchet. Loosen the front bolts four turns with a socket and ratchet. Pry the transmission pan loose with a screwdriver. Let the fluid drain.

Remove the remaining bolts. Remove the pan and gasket. Remove all traces of the gasket and sealant with a gasket scraper.

Remove the filter retaining screws with a Phillips screwdriver. Remove the filter. Reinstall the transmission pan.

Draw a straight line on the driveshaft yoke to the rear differential yoke with chalk.

Insert a flat-head screwdriver through the driveshaft yoke. Remove the flange bolts from the driveshaft with a wrench. Tape the bearing caps to the spider with duct tape.

Lower the rear end of the driveshaft manually. Remove the front of the driveshaft from the transmission.

Pull the transmission cooler lines off of the transmission. A special tool is not required. Cover the lines with tape to prevent leaks and protect the transmission from contamination.

Pry the shift cable off of the shift lever with a small screwdriver. Pinch the housing tabs on the bracket together with pliers. Pull the shift cable and housing through the bracket.

Loosen the clamp on the air filter housing with a Phillips screwdriver. Remove the duct from the air filter housing.

Remove the clips. Remove the air filter housing mounting nuts with a socket and ratchet.

Lift the housing up. Detach the housing from the fresh air intake duct. Remove the assembly from the engine compartment.

Push the cable mounting ears together with pliers. Remove the cable from the engine bracket.

Position the jack under the transmission. Raise the jack to support the transmission.

Remove the bolts that attach the rear insulator to the rear crossmember with a socket and ratchet. Raise the transmission slightly with the jack. Remove the crossmember-to-frame bolts with a socket and ratchet. Remove the crossmember.

Remove the bolts on the torque converter access cover with a socket and ratchet.

Remove the nuts on the starter motor with a socket and ratchet. Disconnect the wires. Remove the wires from any retaining clips. Remove the starter mounting bolts with a socket and ratchet. Remove the starter.

Draw a line with white paint from the torque converter to the driveplate.

Move the crankshaft clockwise to gain access to each bolt. Remove the torque converter-to-driveplate bolts with a socket and ratchet.

Support the engine with a jack. Remove the lower transmission-to-engine bolts with a socket and ratchet. Slightly lower the transmission. Remove the upper transmission-to-engine bolts with a socket and ratchet.

Unplug and remove the crankshaft position sensor. Remove the transmission dipstick tube bolts with a socket and ratchet. Remove the dipstick tube. Throw the O-ring away.

Move the transmission backward to disengage the transmission from the engine block dowel pins. Make sure the torque converter is detached from the driveplate. Tie the torque converter to the transmission.

Lower the transmission. Remove the transmission out from under the Jeep.

1997 Jeep Grand Cherokee Transmission Installation

Remove the chains from the transmission. Move the transmission off of the jack. Remove the torque converter. Install the torque converter on the new transmission. Place the transmission on the jack. Use safety chains to stabilize the transmission.

Push the transmission underneath the Jeep. Raise the transmission into position. Connect the transmission fluid cooler lines to the transmission.

Turn the torque converter to line up the bolt holes with the holes on the driveplate. Line up the white paint mark on the converter and the driveplate. Move the transmission forward slowly until the engine dowel pins and torque converter engage.

Install the transmission housing-to-engine bolts. Tighten the bolts to 30-lb., using a torque wrench for 46RE transmissions. For all other transmissions, tighten the bolts to 50-lb., using a torque wrench. Lower the jack under the engine. Remove the jack.

Install the torque converter-to-driveplate bolts with 23-lb. torque, using a torque wrench. Install the bolts for the torque converter access cover with a socket and ratchet.

Position the crossmember in place. Install the rear mount-to-crossmember and crossmember-to-frame bolts using a socket and ratchet.

Remove the jack from underneath the transmission.

Install the dipstick tube with a new O-ring. Tighten the bolts with a socket and ratchet.

Install the starter motor. Tighten the bolts with a socket and ratchet. Secure the wires to the clips. Connect the wires to the starter motor solenoid. Tighten the nuts with a socket and ratchet.

Install the vacuum hoses. Plug in all electrical connectors. Attach all the wire harness clips.

Snap the shift cable housing into the bracket. Press down on the clamp until it snaps into place.

Connect the air filter housing to the fresh air intake duct. Install the mounting bolts with a socket and ratchet. Install the clips. Attach the duct to the air filter housing cover. Tighten the clamp with a Phillips screwdriver.

Slide the front of the driveshaft into the transmission. Lift the rear of the driveshaft into position. Align the marks on the driveshaft and differential yoke.

Remove the tape from the bearing caps. Install the straps and bolts with the wrench. Install any exhaust system components that were removed.

Remove the bolts on the transmission pan with a socket and ratchet. Remove the pan. Install the transmission filter. Tighten the screws with a Phillips screwdriver.

Run a thin bead of RTV silicone along both sides of the new gasket. Install the pan. Tighten each bolt with a socket and ratchet a little at a time, working around the entire pan.

Raise the front of the Jeep with a jack. Remove the jackstands. Slowly lower the Jeep. Remove the jack.

Fill the transmission with 8 qt. of transmission fluid. Run the engine. Look for leaks.

Move the shifter into "Park." Press on the brake. Attempt to start the engine in each gear. Adjust the shift cable If the engine starts while the transmission is not in Park or Neutral.

Raise the front of the Jeep with a jack. Place jack stands underneath the Jeep. Pry the shift cable off of the shift lever with a small screwdriver. Pinch the housing tabs on the bracket together with a pair of pliers. Pull the shift cable and housing through the bracket.

Snap the shift cable housing into the bracket. Press down on the clamp until it snaps into place. Raise the Jeep off of the jack stands with a jack. Remove the jackstands. Slowly lower the Jeep.

Press on the brake. Try to start the engine in all gears. The engine should only start when the Jeep is in Park and Neutral.

Items you will need

  • 2 floor jacks

  • Jack stands

  • Masking tape

  • Pen

  • Drain pan

  • Socket set

  • Ratchet

  • Flat-head screwdriver

  • Phillips screwdriver

  • White paint

  • Small screwdriver

  • Pliers

  • Transmission

  • Rope/bungee cord

  • Torque wrench

  • Gasket

  • RTV silicone

  • 8 qt. transmission fluid