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A4LD removal & replace

Rotagotideas

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Transmission
Automatic
Ok so here is a transmission pull out and replace thread.
I had an A4LD that went bad; it wouldn't hold OD after driving for 40km.
I couldn't find any affordable M5OD-R1's so I looked for another A4LD.
Turns out a TRS forum member in the USA had one he was looking to get rid of, $150 later (including auto transfer case) it belonged to me. But it didn't have a Torque converter. Oh well. So I did some hunting around for a shop that had the best price on a 4.0L TC and it turns out that buying hard parts in Canuck land (Canada) is way too expensive, so I found one for $130 (after exchanging my old TC). I also bought some gaskets and fluid (of course) and the total tally for everything I did was $320. :yahoo: :headbang: Dirt cheap compared to having a Transmission shop take it out, rebuilding it and shoving it back in. :thefinger:
All the work was done at my uncle’s shop in Michigan, with all the proper tools and extra little things that made the job easier. This was a rusty Ontario truck that had seen 20 winters of salty roads :annoyed:
My truck does not have a body lift, if you have a BL on your truck it will make the job easier.
Step 1: raise the truck up so that you can remove the drive shafts. On a 4x4 you will have to remove the transfer case skid plate.
Step 2: remove the starter
Step 3: get that Y pipe outta there! I suggest that if you have to cut your exhaust up because it's welded up that you cut after the catalytic converter and torch the bolts through where the y pipe get bolted to the manifold
Step 4: remove the shifter cable and kick down cable. And then remove the electric connectors to the transmission.
Step 5: drain the ATF by removing the transmission pan with something underneath to catch the ATF
Step 5: remove the oil filter it will give you more room for the next part
Step 6: Remove the cooler lines from the transmission, if I remember correctly it's a 9/16 line-wrench that you need for it, they are an :annoyed: SOB to get at.

Step 6: Assuming that you have given the trans some time to drain, put the trans pan back on and thread in a few bolts to hold it in place so that you don’t get slippery ATF on you when you get to working on other things
Step 7: Remove the speedometer cable and the transfer case connector
Step 8: just below the back of the oil pan there is a little cover over the flywheel that can be moved to get at the TC nuts, move this cover and undo the nuts. You must turn the crank to get at all of them.
Step 9: disconnect the vacuum modulator line from the engine as it will come out with the transmission
Step 10: put support the back of the engine with a ratcheting tie down or chain by putting in under the oil pan and over the frame. You must do this before moving onto the next part
Step 11: remove the transmission cross member and support the transmission with a transmission jack or tall jack stand
Step 12: start unbolting the transmission form the engine, there is one on each side and 4 uppers that are hard to get at. The trick to get these off is to piece together 4 ft of extensions and a taped up swivel joint with the appropriate size socket and an impact gun, or breaker bar and ratchet wrench.
At this point everything holding the transmission to the frame or engine should be unbolted or removed. All fluid & vacuum lines and electrical should have also been removed by now if you have followed all these steps.
Double check everything before proceeding to the next step.
Step 13: Remove the POS transmission :thefinger: :icon_hornsup:
If you cannot get your hands on a transmission jack then make sure that you have another person or two helping you for this part (especially if you still have a transfer case hanging on the back of your transmission) the transmission weighs 108 lbs without the TC (torque converter).
With a good shove and maybe a kick the transmission should pop right off the engine. And if you do not have a body lift on your truck it will take some wiggling to get it out because of limited clearance between the body and radius arm cross member. Bring it down to the ground so that you can pull off whatever you need off of it for the truck or other transmission (as in my case) but if you are having it rebuilt, bring it to the trans shop. Since I was replacing it with a newer one I just brought it outside so that I could vent my frustrations from doing this job on it (kick it, hit it with a sledge and shoot it).

Replace following the reverse order or the removal process (step 13 to 1) as well as fix anything that you destroyed or broke in the process.
One thing to note is that the Haynes repair manual that I had was useless. We already pretty much knew what we were doing. Job difficulty 4.5 out of 10 (0 being removing and replacing wheels, 10 being rebuilding every little part that makes up the truck and 4 linking a 1 ton swap). With 2 people and the proper tools & know how, it’s a 2 day job.
Pictures will be in my next post
 
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jhammel85

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Thanks for writing up!

I do have two things to ask though:

1. How is the shifter linkage connected to the shifter / trans? Are they pins or bolts?

2. Do you have a Body Lift on your's? I was hoping having a body lift would help me by not having to mess with the Y-Pipe:sad:
 

chrwilkins30

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You wouldn't need a body lift either way it will fit witout removing the y pipe.The linkage has these rubber cap that fit over a nipple on the linkage to connect them all.
 

jhammel85

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Awesome. Thanks for clarifying. I've always wondered about those things. I've done transmissions many times, just never on a 4x4.
 

chrwilkins30

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nearly impossible
but it is. Did it on a 90 ranger with a 2.9. And what driver side bolt are you talking about. They are all accessible even without a body lift. The ranger did not have one. Using extensions and a universal joint will make it easier.

I also removed my a4ld with out it having a body lift at the time, and that was with disconnecting the cooler lines.
 

Rotagotideas

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Ford
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2.9L
Transmission
Automatic
pictures

1st picture is the new torque converter,
2nd is the newer transmission and transfer-case.
3rd is my exhaust that has been removed from the truck at the manifolds, I was lucky that I only had to torch one bolt, heated and impact gun on the others.
4th shows the linkage with the cables removed and what it looks like (of course),
5th is the electronic push button transfer-case connector and the speedometer cable removed.
6th shows the cooler lines, nuts & their location (once again I recommend that you remove your y-pipe to do this job, it will make life easier), if you have an external or aftermarket cooler like I do make sure that the output line goes to it first and not the radiator. this picture shows the position of one of the bolt holes on the Trans (by the point the picture was taken we already removed the bolt.)
7th picture shows where and how we supported the engine from tipping back on us and destroying something.
picture 8 shows the original bracket that held the shiftier cable
picture 9 shows the one on the newer transmission, so we just swapped them over.
10th picture is the transmission on the transmission jack and it being freshly removed from the truck
11th picture: after transmission has been removed this is how the flywheel looks, this picture also depicts the position of the dowels and the bolts that hold the transmission to the engine, the top 2 are the hardest to get off due to their position (13mm socket, 4ft of extensions, a swivel & breaker bar or impact is the easiest way), the 2 upper side bolts require some maneuvering to get off if you don't have a bunch of extensions and a swivel.
12th: the ugly old transmission and my ugly frustrated mug.
 

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HRTKD

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Thanks for the write-up. I need to remove my transmission and was looking for instructions.
 

4.0B2

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Yeah I drop mine without taking the exhaust out. Not sure it's any easier than either way though.

I also drop my transfer case seperate
 

HRTKD

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I think I need to realign the catalytic converter so I might as well disconnect the y-pipe. This will be my first transmission removal so anything to make it easier is good.
 

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