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How to Remove the Transmission on a 2001 Cavalier

by Cayden Conor

The transmission in the 2001 Chevrolet Cavalier could be replaced or rebuilt when it malfunctions. Either way, you must remove it from the vehicle. It is easier to remove the transmission if you have a lift, but if not, you can remove it on the ground, using a floor jack and jack stands. The transmission is a front-wheel drive, and you must remove the CV axles before you can remove the transmission. It is a good time to replace the axles if they have been clicking.

Disconnect the negative battery cable, using the appropriate wrench. Set it aside, ensuring that it does not touch metal. Loosen the clamp on the air duct hose, located on the intake plenum, using the screwdriver. Pull the hose off the intake. Install the engine hoist, using the appropriate sockets.

Unplug the wiring harness connectors from the transmission and the PNP switch, located on the transmission. Remove the upper transmission-to-engine bolts and one stud, using the appropriate sockets. Loosen the lug nuts, using the lug wrench, but do not remove them.

Jack up the vehicle, using the floor jack, and support it with the jack stands. Continue removing the lug nuts, using the lug wrench. Remove the wheels. Remove the left-front splash shield, using the appropriate socket. Disconnect the engine strut from the lower engine mount strut bracket, using the appropriate socket. Remove the wiring harness from its retaining clips.

Remove the steering gear mounting bolts, then tie the steering gear into place, using mechanic's wire. Unplug the wheel speed sensor wires from both front wheels and the frame. Separate the ball joints from the steering knuckles, using the ball joint remover tool.

Unbolt and remove the front exhaust pipe. Remove the front anti-lock brake system (ABS) wheel speed sensors and their wiring harnesses from the suspension support. Disconnect both lower ball joints, using the ball joint remover tool. Remove the tie rods from the steering knuckles by unscrewing them. Count the number of turns it takes to remove them, as they must go back on exactly that number of turns, else you will need to get the vehicle aligned. If the brake line runs along the support frame, remove the brake pipe from its retainers.

Remove the front suspension support brace, using the appropriate socket. If you are using a lift, lower the vehicle until the front suspension cross-member rests on the jack stands. Remove the front suspension cross-member mounting bolts, using the appropriate socket. Raise the vehicle off the front suspension cross-member, using the floor jack. Remove the lower control arms, using the appropriate sockets.

Remove the two bolts from the transmission brace. Disconnect the shift cable from the shift linkage, using the screwdriver or appropriate socket, depending on the retaining bolt or screw. Remove the cable from its bracket. Remove the flywheel inspection cover, using the appropriate socket.

Remove the starter wiring, using the appropriate wrench. Put the nut back onto the stud, so you don't lose it. Unbolt and remove the starter. Match-mark the position of the torque converter on the flywheel, using the chalk. Remove the bolts holding the torque converter onto the flywheel, using the appropriate sockets.

Slide the drain pan under the under the transmission cooler lines, then remove the nut that holds the bracket onto the transmission case, using the appropriate socket. Unplug the vehicle speed sensor's wiring harness from the sensor, located on the transmission. Remove the CV axles from the transmission. Remove the transmission mount bolts.

Lower the transmission and the engine, using the engine hoist, just enough to facilitate removal of the transmission. Raise the vehicle, using the floor jack. Slide the drain pan under the transmission pan. Remove the transmission pan, using the appropriate socket, by loosening all the bolts first, then removing the bolts starting from one corner, and working your way to the last corner. Allow the fluid to drain as the pan starts to come off the transmission.

Reinstall the transmission pan. Support the transmission, using the floor jack. Remove the nut holding the transmission to the engine. Separate the engine and transmission, then, balancing the transmission on the jack, roll it out from under the vehicle.

Items you will need

About the Author

Cayden Conor has been writing since 1996. She has been published on several websites and in the winter 1996 issue of "QECE." Conor specializes in home and garden, dogs, legal, automotive and business subjects, with years of hands-on experience in these areas. She has an Associate of Science (paralegal) from Manchester Community College and studied computer science, criminology and education at University of Tampa.

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