View Single Post
Old 07-27-2016, 04:53 AM   #1
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: Zootopia
Posts: 12
Vehicle: 1993 Nissan HB
Thanks: 2
Thanked 5 Times in 2 Posts
Default A comprehensive guide on removing the 5-speed manual transmission (4-cyl, RWD model)

I have attempted this past week to remove the transmission on my 5-speed 4-cylinder RWD Hardbody and while I was ultimately unsuccessful, I have learned exactly how to do it up to the point of it being removed!

If you are going to remove the transmission yourself be prepared for extremely tight bolts, areas with little space, random matter falling onto your face, and unending frustration.

I will tell you right now that one of the key reasons I took mine to a shop after attempting to remove it was my lack of physical strength, ground clearance of the truck and a transmission jack. Some people will drive on a couple of ramps and rent a transmission jack to circumvent this. None of my local parts guys (O'Reilly, Autozone, Advance, Napa) would rent out transmission jacks, but you may have better luck.

I strongly advise that you do not attempt removing this yourself if you do not have the proper equipment and experience. Paying a few hundred dollars for a shop to remove your transmission is much cheaper and convenient than having to pay thousands of dollars to a hospital for seriously injuring yourself.

Of shifters and lifters

Before you lift the truck, you should begin taking out the screws for the shift boot. There are six phillips head screws, one on each corner and two towards the bottom of the boot that you need to remove. They will be hard to get to without moving your carpet around, so what I did was just make holes where I felt them. Once the outer rubber is free, there is a black inner boot you will need to slide up as well. the shifter is held into the (socket?) by a snap ring. It goes without saying that you will need snap ring pliers because if you try to just pry it out like me, you will have a very difficult time putting it back on. After you remove that snap ring, you should be able to remove the shifter by moving it around a little. If you need to drive up ramps, drive it now and then remove shifter. If you are going to lift it where it is, remove the shifter now.

Now that we have the shifter off and the truck lifted, we should remove the negative battery connector and then remove the electrical connections to the transmission, which should both be on the driver's side of the transmission. One comes right off, the other will need a flathead screwdriver to be unclipped. After that, go ahead and remove the clutch slave cylinder, which will be towards the passenger side. It has two bolts (14mm IIRC) and just make sure not to push the clutch pedal once its removed!

Drain it now rather than later...

Before you begin disconnecting the driveshaft, you should take this time to drain the transmission fluid. Place your collection container under the drain bolt. Get a 1/2" breaker bar and unscrew the drain bolt. While that is draining, now is a good time to grab a drink. Once it is done draining, put the drain plug back in and proceed to removing the driveshaft.

So that's what that big metal pole is!

The tool you will need to remove the four bolts at the end of the driveshaft is a 14mm wrench. The bolts are going to be very tight, which means a breaker bar is your friend. Don't have one? One clever trick you can do is put the round end of your wrench on the bolt, while locking the round end of ANOTHER wrench into the open end of your 14mm wrench. This will give you much more leverage but I'm pretty sure professionals would advise against it as you *could* damage the wrenches. Once you remove those four bolts, you need to remove the two bolts on the carrier bearing mount. This is where you face a tight space as the bolts are going to be on the top side of the base of the mount (which, frankly, is stupid in my opinion but probably made sense to the engineers). The bolts are a weird size, like 17 mm (which I didn't have a standard wrench for @_@). Looking back, this would be a great time to use a breaker bar (I hadn't bought one at this point). Once the top and base of the mount are separated, you can pull back on the driveshaft and remove it from the transmission CAUTION: There may be some fluid that comes out.

So you've made it this far...

The next item you will be removing is the starter. If you plan on replacing your starter sometime soon, do it right now because this is a pain in and of itself. You have two bolts on opposing sides of the starter's base that I believe are going to be 14mm. You will need to get a wrench in there to start off and then you should unthread the top bolt by hand first, then the bottom. Disconnect the plastic connector and then remove the bolt that secures a bundle of wires (for lack of an exact term). By the way, the starter weighs about 16 pounds... Be careful please.

And then, Satan giggling, remarked "he thought that was tough!"

After you have successfully removed the starter, you can begin removing the engine-to-transmission bolts. There are six of these and they are 14mm. There are two on the bottom, two kind of in the middle, and two near the top that are an absolute pain to remove. Get the top ones loosened first and unthread them by hand. The one on the driver's top side is best loosened from the top side of the engine, while the bolt on the passenger top is best loosened from the bottom of the engine. Getting your breaker bar in there will be tough. Grab it at an angle that allows you the most room to push the bar upward. You will find there is a tiny space if you push the bar a little forward to go up more. This was a godsend. Loosen the bottom bolts. Before removing them completely, get your transmission jack set under the transmission and get something to support the engine (a floorjack, perhaps?). You will need to remove the supporting crossmember before pulling the transmission. The actual removal of the transmission is unknown to me, but I have heard you will need to pull it away from the engine and then lower the transmission. Please don't attempt removal without a transmission jack. The transmission weighs at least 75 pounds!

Since you're in there anyway...

If you need to replace the clutch, do it now rather than later. I cannot explain the procedure of the clutch replacement, but I'm sure others on here can teach you that.

It goes without saying...

Assembly is the reverse of removal.

Tools and supplies I recommend

A combination 14mm wrench

A combination 15mm wrench if you don't have a breaker bar

An adjustable wrench to help with getting the negative battery cable disconnected.

1/2" Breaker bar

Socket wrench(es) (at least one must be 1/2" if you don't have a breaker bar)

14mm and 17mm sockets

Flathead screwdriver

Phillips screwdriver

Snap ring pliers

Transmission jack

Vehicle lifting apparatus

A support for the engine

Collection container for transmission oil


GL-4 transmission fluid when you replace your transmission


Safety glasses


Plenty of water for yourself
MrJay is offline   Reply With Quote
Thanked by:
jp2code (07-28-2016), Kevco34 (11-30-2017), Nate. (04-24-2017), redness1 (03-26-2017)