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How to Rebuild a Transmission

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

How to Rebuild a Transmission

Car owners and enthusiasts oftentimes ask the question: should I replace or rebuild my transmission? The decision is not just based on cost, it’s also based on your knowledge and skill to actually take on the project successfully. One must be properly trained to perform such a complex task as rebuilding a transmission. Below is a short step-by-step guide to help you understand the process of rebuilding a transmission.

You Will Need:

  1. You will need a clean, heated and covered garage with lots of table space. In a pinch, a kitchen table will do the job. Just make sure the area is clean and you will have a lot of space to work around.
  2. You will need tools -- lots of tools. Most likely you will have to buy some tools, and it is not entirely unlikely that those will be expensive tools.
  3. A service manual isn't really needed but highly recommended. There are several places online that give these out for free but try giving your local dealer a call.
  4. Before you can do any sort of rebuilding, you need to get the transmission out of the car first. This varies from car to car, but what you basically do is remove the transfer case (if you have a 4x4), remove the engine mounts, unbolt the transmission from the frame, drain the fluid (you will need a lot of buckets), and then hopefully you still have all your fingers intact.  
  5. Next step is dissasembly, be sure to document this process carefully with pictures and notes. You'll want to follow the service manual or a step by step guide now, word for word. If you don't have the right tool, go out and buy one. Now is not the time to scrimp of this project. If the thought of whacking your transmission with the wrench goes through your mind, then it's time to take a break. 
  6. Re-assembly is straightforward. Just do everything in reverse. Hopefully you labeled everything and if something gets left behind, look over the disassembly pictures.
  7. Once you get everything back in place, start up the car and drive the car around the block a few times. It will take a while for the transmission fluid to get pumped up so go easy on the gas pedal.


If that sounds easy, then all the power to you. However, if you are hesitant about any of those steps thenperhaps it is not a project you should take on all by yourself.

Remember: rebuilds are not cheap. Rebuilt transmissions depend on the quality of work done. New transmissions have a full manufacturer’s warranty, whereas rebuilds get warrantied by the shop that did the work. Educate yourself. Find a good shop that has a team of highly skilled mechanics who have been in the business long enough to rebuild transmissions in their sleep. Be sure to inspect the shop to check if they have met standards in the industry, i.e., equipment and facilities.

Pro-Tech Transmissions is a family-owned and operated business based in Edmonton that has been providing excellent car service since 1999. Together, our pro mechanics bring in 40 years of automotive experience. We are committed to customer satisfaction and we offer a 1-year or 30,000 km warranty on all our services. Call us today at (780) 453-3300 to schedule an appointment, or click here to request a quote online.

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