Rebuilding a transmission, while not as easy as giving your car an oil change, is definitely something a good amateur mechanic might find fun and challenging. While there are varying levels of transmission complexity, doing your own transmission work can be accomplished with some know-how, the right tools, attention to detail, and possibly some helpful advice from your friendly neighborhood mechanic.
Removing the Transmission
The last thing you want to do while rebuilding a transmission is to remove it carelessly. Transmissions have a variety of similar-looking parts that, if removed without paying attention, can become easily confused with other parts. More than likely, you will have to remove the entire engine block from your vehicle before you remove the transmission from the engine. In addition, you will need to remove the torque converter and the transmission oil pan. While this may sound like a daunting task, it is possible for a novice with the right direction and determination.
Once you have isolated the transmission, you can take it to a prepared location. (Preparing a location requires a clean area free of dust and other particles—covering your surface in plastic trash bags is a great way to ensure a dust-free environment.) When you disassemble the transmission itself, drain the transmission fluid out of the transmission. This can be a messy process, so be sure to have a pan to catch transmission fluid. After this, have space set aside to place and label every component of the transmission. This will make reassembly much easier.
Cleaning and Replacing Transmission Parts
Finding transmission parts can be a simple process. Identifying which parts you need can be tricky, but one you’ve figured this out, locating and ordering them is the easy part. Cleaning your transmission parts and replacing broken ones is where everything comes together. Once disassembled, the transmission’s shortcomings should be evident to someone with a little training. If you’re unsure of a part, taking it to a transmission shop for advice is a good solution. There may be broken parts, bits of grime and other objects, or a number of synchronization problems that you can detect once the transmission is fully disassembled. Again, as long as you have a place for every part and a way to clean them, the process can be completed by an amateur mechanic. While some heavier tools may be required to disassemble and reassemble, it is doable.
Another option you may want to consider is purchasing a transmission rebuild kit. These kits have all the tools you need to rebuild your transmission combined into one convenient package. Take care when purchasing a transmission rebuild kit as some of them may give a false sense of ease. Look for one with a detailed instruction manual, and make sure that you have all of the tools necessary to complete the process. While a rebuild kit will make it easier, someone with no transmission experience or know-how may find that these kits make it look much easier than it actually is.
Reassembling the Transmission
Reassembly is of course the most important aspect of rebuilding your transmission; perfect parts won’t work if they’re not put together correctly. This is where the importance of labeling your parts scrupulously comes in. You should have every tiny piece of your transmission in a specific spot, waiting for its turn to be incorporated into the rebuild. Once you’ve reassembled the transmission, make sure you conduct all proper pressure tests. Everything has to be exactly where it should be for the transmission to work properly. If there is any doubt as to the rebuilt transmission’s workability, you should consult an experienced transmission mechanic before trying to drive your vehicle.
Rebuilding a transmission can save you money, and can also be a point of pride for any amateur mechanic. While the process can seem like a complicated puzzle at some points, rebuilding your own transmission can be a worthwhile experience. Best of all, if you do decide the process is too advanced, or find yourself ‘in over your head’ after beginning, enlisting professional assistance is always an option. The mechanics at My Transmission Experts are experienced in the area of rebuilding transmissions and would be happy to help you get your transmission rebuilt and your vehicle running. Contact us today to get a free quote on any of your transmission rebuild needs.