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Auto gearbox removal 740T 1990 (How-To)

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Old Sep 8th, 2013, 22:11   #1
Paffel
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Default Auto gearbox removal 740T 1990 (How-To)

I removed the gearbox from my 740 1990, which has an AW71 mounted to a B230 engine. Would be lovely if I could have easily found a how-to with pictures, but never got hold of one. So, to hopefully help someone else out and save you some time, here is how I did it (with a few techniques I discovered on the way!)

I'm not a qualified mechanic, however i'm of the mindset cars are just "nuts and bolts", so this is merely my opinion, and shouldn't be used as a professional publication. Equally i'm not responsible if you break something!

Safety first then, make sure you lift the car safely and on level ground where possible, and use plenty of support, be this hydraulic lifts/axle stands, and remember to give yourself enough clearance under the car to work safely. Keep a phone nearby in case you need to call someone, and tell someone where you are before you start!

I did it on 4 axle stands, lifting the whole car off, on a level concrete floor. Once satisfied it was stable, I left the wheels on the car (in case it fell I would at least just be pinned, rather than crushed), and I also added some bricks under the jacking points, about half inch underneath the lifted car - sort of a last resort.

You will be underneath for a while, so get comfortable, and above all else, make sure you are safe! I cannot stress this enough - you are responsible for your own safety, take whatever measures you see fit!

You will need;
- Trolley jack, and a GOOD set of axle stands.
- A good set of sockets, 1/2 inch. Universal joints, extension bars as well.
- Open ended spanners - 8mm (dizzy cap), 15mm (fluid union) plus anything in between if you think you'll need them.
- Stilsons/Mole grips to hold the fluid union pipes.
- Adjustable spanners - great for the dipstick union.
- 13mm ring spanner for the turbo-to-exhaust downpipe nuts, and any exhaust unions that need separating.
- 15mm/16mm ring spanner for the prop shaft nuts.
- Oil filter removal wrench (optional, just in case you need to remove your oil filter).
- 16mm shallow knuckled spanner for the flexplate-to-TC bolts.
- 24mm socket for the crankshaft.
- Flat blade screwdrivers for prying various things (E-type clip washers for rods, etc)
- Several containers for old fluid - rags to clean up, sawdust is great to absorb oil.
- Cold chisel - used to help the gearbox bellhousing separate from the engine once all bolts are done.
- Transmission cradle or substitute to support transmission.
- A friend!
- An iPod full of music and a long day.

1. Jack up the front - make sure you get a good clearance. I found I needed the front wheels at least 9-12 inches off the ground, to allow enough room to get the box out.
Axle stands on the front near the jacking points, on something solid - I used a small piece of wood to provide a better surface area for my stands.
Jack up the rear - place the jack under the rear axle, just forward of the lip at the back of it. Once up to adequate height, axle stands somewhere solid here too. Make sure the car hasn't moved forwards - check your front axle stands are still level.


2. Disconnect that battery, you won't need it! Raise the bonnet too - you'd be surprised how much daylight it will let through. Pop the selector in neutral, so you can still rotate the prop shaft later on.



3. Firstly, i'll disconnect the propeller shaft. This is the shaft connecting the gearbox to the rear axle. It splits in two if you're on your own and wish to take it out. Here's my rear axle. You can see I have a leak from the front - looks like the pinion seal may be gone!



This is the view forwards, connecting to the gearbox output flange.


There's 4 bolts and nuts on each end - 14mm bolts and 15mm nuts (if I remember correctly)!, you'll need to hold the nuts with a spanner while undoing the bolts (or vice versa).
Being as the shaft is balanced, it's a very good idea to make some marks in the prop shaft and what it connects to - so that when (if) you refit it, you'll be able to put it back on the way it was before. I marked each with some spray can primer, so that I can refit it correctly.
Once you've undone one bolt, rotate the shaft by hand, and you can access the next bolt - keep going until you've done all 8.
The prop shaft will not fall, it is still held in the middle.



4. In the middle of the prop shaft is this plate. It holds the center bearing adn secures it to the underside of the car.



Undo the 4 corner bolts and the shaft will fall down. At this point, you ca either remove the whole prop shaft by taking it to the rear of teh car - or do as I did, and split it in half. It just pulls apart. HOWEVER - make a note of the splines and how both pieces fit together - again make a mark so you can put it back together correctly!

Halfshaft removed (leaving the "male" side showing the splines, and the "female")


And showing the plate still attached to the centre bearing (I never bothered removing the two center bearing bolts.



And the whole propshaft out of the car (Rejoined for photo purposes!)


5. With that out of the way, you can start on the gearbox. The bulk of the work is removing things attached to it, the actual gearbox removal wasn't too taxing.

First, disconnect the kickdown cable from the throttle spindle. Fairly easy, just get some slack, and the hammer shape at the end should just slide out.
(Kickdown cable is the cable on its own, in the middle of photo.)




Pop the gearbox into "P". This will keep it in place.

6. Looking from the rear on the left (passengers side), you can see the gearbox linkages - a reactor rod and an actuator rod. These are both "E" type clips, and are secured by a washer at the top.


I removed one of the rods so you can see the E clip. The head of the pin is at the top, and the washer is at the very bottom. If you can pry the washer off, you can push the pin through.



And this shows one of the washers...


Once both rods are released, and the electrical connector is undone, the gearstick is now released and can be removed if you wish.




7. Drain the transmission if you have a plug! mine is underneath the sump - the very flat bit of my gearbox - you can see half of the bolt on the right of the photo here;



The fluid unions are on the right (drivers) side of the gearbox. these need to be released now. 15mm spanner will grab the unions, and ideally something similar to mole grips/stilsons to hold the pipe. 2 unions to release.



8. As per the above photo, the dipstick tube needs to be released also - this needed a counterhold, and I needed 2 big adjustable spanners. Took a lot of strength to remove but it came out eventually. Note, that you can't remove the dipstick tube completely yet, its still attached to the starter motor bolts.

Dipstick tube released (trail of fluid coming out of it).


9. Starter motor now - here is the motor attached to the box (black thing at top), and the dipstick tube that is also attached. 18mm bolts will remove these, however I needed a 12inch extension and a universal joint to get at them.



The motor also has electrical connections, and some 14mm nuts holding them on. Make note of where they are, and then remove them.



The bolts are long, and the motor is heavier than it looks, remember this is you're lying underneath it!



This will also release the dipstick tube and that can be removed from the car.



And this leaves a nice hole so you can see the flexplate.



10. The engine will tilt rearwards when you lower the gearbox, so as a precaution, I removed the distributor cap. 8mm captive bolts on these, and it should then come out. Remember where each of the ignition leads go!
(Blurry photos)





11. The exhaust downpipe is also attached to the gearbox housing. This also needs to be removed. You'll need to remove the 3 very annoyingly placed 13mm nuts from the turbo-to-exahust downpipe section, which are in a triangular layout.



I found I could access the top two with a 13mm socket and then a 13mm ring spanner, but the bottom was a little trickier. Some bleeder had already had a go, so I had to destroy it to remove it. Removing the oil filter (drain the oil first) make it easier to gain access.

My car also had a lambda sensor - so remove this too - I think it was a 22mm, but good luck getting a spanner on it. I just cut the wires for now.

Once you've released it from the turbo, it will allow you to move it backward a small way - and you can undo the 15mm bolt holding it to the gearbox housing.



I actually needed to lower the entire system to allow enough movement to remove the exhaust from the long thread...



12. An aluminium plate now gets in the way. Remove this with the 6x 14mm? bolts holding it on - it will the show you the bottom of the flexplate. If your gearbox has a vent, remove this too, and you can then see the curve of the torque converter.





You now need to remove 4x 16mm bolts holding the converter to the flexplate.
I could not get a socket on this, so I had to get a spanner with a shallow knuckled end.




Equally, I could also get a crows foot spanner on it.

I used a 24mm socket on the crankshaft pulley, with a wrench set to turn only clockwise - and a brick on the floor to stop it rotating while i'm applying force to the flexplate bolts. I then gave it some with the spanner and the bolts did come off.



13. Now you can start actually removing the gearbox itself. You'll need an assistant, and ideally a proper transmission cradle. I did it with a jack and a large block of wood, but i wouldn't recommend doing it this way if you are refitting.

First up, the transmission cross member. 5 bolts on mine - a centre 15mm nut, and 4 14mm bolts holding it on. Once you're sure that the transmission has been supported adequately, remove them.



Crossmember removed...



Its a great time to renew that gearbox rubber mount in the middle too!

14. Time to lower the box. Make sure that nothing will be crushed when you lower the box - as the engine will tilt backwards. Slowly lower the jack until the gearbox is clear from the jack, and then raise the jack back up a little just to take the weight of it.





You can now access the remaining bellhousing bolts. There were 3 left for me to do, a pair on the drivers side (one shown here the other is just below it), and one at the VERY top of the gearbox.



19mm for the thread nut showing, 18 for the bolt just underneath it.
The one at the top was an 18mm, but I needed 3 foot of extensions to get at it. Its easy to see of you look from the rear of the lowered gearbox.

Once all the bellhousing bolts have been removed, the gearbox will slide off rearwards. I lowered the jack again, so it was barely touching the gearbox, and I pulled the gearbox back by using a length of chain wrapped around it. It came off fairly easily. It also landed nicely on the jack, and I lowered it to the ground.
Its advisable not to let the gearbox sit partially on the engine - it could bend the input shaft on the gearbox side. Make sure if there's nothing supporting it, that it can slide straight off. IT IS HEAVY. Too heavy to help down with arms outstretched.

Good idea to mark up the torque converter against the flexplate, so you can determine how it came off. I'm not sure this is necessary, but I marked it anyway, so that if I needed to replace it for any reason, I could align it and put it back in the same position.

15. Marvel at your greatness, and pull the gearbox out from under the car.

Here is my box - my torque converter remained in place, and I took it out afterwards.







And here is the flexplate still attached to engine - to remove it, remove these 8 bolts and it will come off. Take note of its orientation though - it needs to go back on the EXACT way it came off - rotational and orientational. It has a tooth missing which the car uses as a sensor!



I hope this helps, it may not be the best way but I found it to be one way to do it!


Edit: link to original thread
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Last edited by cumbrianmale; Sep 8th, 2013 at 23:05. Reason: link back
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