How to Remove a Ford F150 Transmission

by Francis Walsh

Transmission shops charge about $500 to remove and install a Ford F150 transmission. If your Ford F150 needs a new transmission, consider removing and installing the transmission at home. You can save yourself a lot of money and it takes only a couple of hours to complete. Remove a Ford F150 transmission at home with a little help from a friend and some common tools most home mechanics have available.

Use a hydraulic floor jack to elevate the Ford F150 high enough off the ground that you can pull the transmission out from underneath the vehicle.

Place jack stands under the truck's frame rails, one on each side of the truck. Lower the truck onto the jack stands and remove the adjustable floor jack from its lifting position.

Loosen the transmission pan bolts with a ratchet wrench and socket. Place a drainage container underneath the transmission pan and drain the fluid. Replace the pan but don't tighten the bolts completely. Remove the used fluid and clean the work area of spills.

Raise the hood of the truck and find the transmission fluid fill tube. Remove the fluid level stick inside the tube.

Locate the transmission bolt that secures the fill tube and loosen it. Remove the tube by pulling upward, insert the fluid dipstick back into the tube and set it aside.

Disconnect the drive shaft from the rear axle by removing the two "U" bolts that fasten the drive shaft and rear axle together and put the vehicle in neutral. Pitch the universal joint so that one bearing cap is close to the yoke and the other is pointed away.

Turn the drive shaft; the two yokes will separate while the universal joint stays with the drive shaft. To separate the drive shaft from the rear axle, turn the drive shaft and pitch the four-way bearings so they can be freed from the rear axle yoke. When one bearing cap is in close to the yoke, the other comes free from it and allows for the turning motion to separate the two.

Drop the rear of the drive shaft below the axle and pull the drive shaft out of the end of the transmission. You may need to tap the drive shaft with a hammer to get the spindle of the drive shaft to come out of the back of the transmission.

Use a box-end wrench and an open-end wrench to access the nuts and bolts between the front of the transmission and the engine. Turn the fly wheel each time you remove one of the torque converter bolts so you can access the next one. Use the truck's starter to turn the fly wheel enough to access the next torque converter bolt.

Secure the torque converter in place with tie straps once all the torque converter bolts are out. Loop tie straps through two torque converter bolt holes and tie it back to the transmission bell housing.

Place a floor jack under the transmission pan. Slightly lift the transmission up so any downward pressure onto the transmission cross member is relieved. Remove the cross member that lies under the transmission tail. A transmission cross member consists of fasteners at each end that secure it to the truck's frame, and two bolts that fasten the transmission to the cross member. Use ratcheting wrenches and open end wrenches to loosen and remove these fasteners. With the transmission weight being supported by the adjustable floor jack, remove the transmission cross member.

Loosen each bell housing bolt around the front of the transmission with a ratcheting wrench, extension and socket. Once all the bell housing bolts are removed the transmission will sit in place on two alignment posts. As the last few bolts come out, make sure the weight is balanced correctly to avoid it falling from the jack.

Lower the transmission slowly onto the floor. Remove the floor jack from under the Ford F150 transmission and lower it to the ground manually with the help of a friend. Pull it out from under the truck.

Tips

  • check Use tape to hold the Ford F150 drive shaft cap bearing in place after the drive shaft has been removed. These cap bearings can fall from their positions and become damaged if not held in place with tape while the drive shaft is out.
  • check An extension that can reach in at an angle will help you reach the transmission bell housing bolts.

Warning

  • close Never get in a position where you become trapped under a vehicle with a heavy weight on your chest. Always have a friend ready to help you lift or carry heavy loads from under a vehicle.

Items you will need

About the Author

Francis Walsh has been working as a freelance writer since 2003. He has contributed to websites such as Shave, Autogeek and Torque & Chromeas, as well as provided content for private clients. Walsh has worked as a performance part-packer and classic car show promoter, now serving as crew chief for Nitrousfitz Racing.

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera shift stick image by BaSSaBaS from Fotolia.com