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5,887 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I’ve been using my Spyder as a Daily Driver, and I’ve been hoping to get 300,000 Miles out of the Drive Line.. Well that did not happen..

As I was leaving work.. I was approaching the Freeway from the City Street, I put the Trans into 4th Gear.. and some ‘Not very Good’ sounds started to emerge from it.. As I went into 5th, it sounded no better.. I proceeded to drive home and the Sound kept me company on the Drive ( 1 ½ Hours 88 miles) .. The next Morning on the Drive in.. I did not notice the Sound.. ( Perhaps I was tired? it is Harvest Time).. but again on the Drive home, I noticed the Noise.. a little louder.. And If I dropped into 4Th it was the Same.. but 3rd was fine.. So was 1st and 2nd. I stopped at the Autoparts Store on my way Home, and Picked up some Trans Oil.. Just to drain out what I could see.. Check the Level, and fill back up and Check for the Noise again..

I drained the Oil, and it was mostly Clean.. just a hint of Brass Shimmer, and a Few ‘Metal Shards’ Very Tiny .. Got just short of 2Qt of oil out.. I put a Short 2Qt back in a took it for another drive.. No good.. Noise still there.. That’s It, I’m parking it.. Arranged to get a Trans from a Member.. and also got a Corolla 5Th gear Swap from another.. I’ve wanted to do the Corolla Swap.. Now is the Time..

After I got all the Pieces here, I did the Corolla Swap on the ‘New’ Old tranny ( That part went without a hitch ).. and Changed the Axle Shaft Seals.. First Clue something might be wrong.. Brass Shavings behind the Old Shaft Seals.. HHmmmm..

I had read previous articles about pulling the Tranny.. and a Pawed over this in the Library..

I remember a Member that was in San Luis Obispo.. ( an Aircraft Mechanic ) that did his a little Differently.. He did not pull the Axle Nut or the Wheel off.. I figured I give that a try.. That is the Way I did it on the First Generation Hondas.

As I was pulling the Bolts out from my tranny, I ran into the First Snag.. The 10 MM bolt ( 14 MM Head ) located behind the Exhaust Manifold, at the Tranny.. Got very tight ½ way out.. NOT moving.. Tried to put it back with pent oil on it.. NOPE!.. ( I had to reach this from under the Car.. ).. I tried to use a ‘Cheeter Bar’.. not enough room.. So off to ‘OSH Hardware’ to get a Craftsman Long Handled ‘Hinged’ 3/8 Ratchet.. This way I could get at it from above.. and behind the Exhaust Manifold.. ( The Hinge let me do that ) I was able to get a Purchase on it.. But it was tight going in and out.. I added some heat from the Torch.. it loosened a little.. added oil.. NADA.. So.. I was using a 6 Point Sockett and I just kept twisting till I broke it off.. Fine.. that is out of my way.. I'll fix it later.. ( Next year.. it’s the Old Tranny )

That set me back about 1 hour or so.. On to pulling the rest of the Stuff..

Like I said, I decided not to pull the Wheel or the Axle bolt.. that choice went smoothly.. I ‘Tucked’ the Axle into the Rear Sub Frame, to get it out of the Way..

I did the ‘Dremel Slice’ on the Front Motor Mount.. and I remember a Member that had let his Slave Cylinder ‘Dangle’ and the Oil Pressure pushed it apart.. So I also Tucked my Slave Cylinder up in the Front of the Left wheel..

I also removed the Front Motor ( Tranny ) mount completely.. gave more room.. I also removed the Lower half of the Upper Tranny Mount.. again, to give more room..

The Front arm of the Wheel, was left to rest on the Parking Brake Cable..

I also chose not to Disconnect the ‘Three Amigos’.. right or wrong, that is the way I chose to do it.. we’ll see if I screwed up the Flex Joints..

I was able to get the Old Trans out by laying on my back, and dropping it on to my Chest.. Everything was disconnected, and had no problems getting it to let go.. Not sure it that was a Wise Move, as when the Tranny came out and I ‘Set it’ on my chest, I herd an felt a lot of Crunching on my Back.. I’m not sure if it hurt or felt good.. but I had no lasting effects from it, so when I do the Tranny Swap again, I’ll do it the same way..

Before I stabbed the New Tranny, I took the Shift Cables, and put them on top of the Radiator Hoses.. to keep them up out of the way.

Putting the Other Tranny in, I chose to balance it on the ‘Number Two’ floor jack.. the ‘Number One’ floor jack was holding up the engine.. this allowed my to ‘Fanagle’ the Different pieces to get the Clutch to line up.. From start to finish of ‘Sticking’ the Tranny in.. took about 7 to 10 minutes.. Not in a hurry.. and move around and check out the ‘Snags’.. there are a lot of them.. Make sure the ‘Parting Line’ of the Engine and the Trans is Paralell.. then it will go.. Went in no problems.. Once it all lined up..

I chose to do a Clutch Change.. (with 175K Miles on the Factory Clutch.. I thought it wise to change..) I went with the Finest Kragen has to offer ( Standard Krap ).. paid about $140 for the Clutch Kit, and the Axle Seals..

As I was bolting up the Replacement Tranny, I found the First problem.. The Lower Starter Bolt Hole ( Threaded ) had been Drilled out for some reason, so no threads ( Why?? ) .. Off to the Parts Store Again.. Nope.. Ended up getting a 3/8-24 *3” long Bolt, and Nut set ( Did not have a Metric Assortment ) at the Hardware Store.. Then I was able to Snug up the Starter.. Proceeded to hook up all the other stuff..

Hook up the Shift Cables, before fully raising the Tranny up to the Final Position.. ( Still sitting on the Jacks ).. this will give you more room to Hook things up.. then raise up the Tranny, and hook it to the Upper Mount First.. Then you can remove the Jacks..

Filled up the Trans with what ever oil I had ( New .. 80W-90 GL-5 ) ‘Cauze I’ll be changing it in a few miles ( Flushing it ).. then I’ll put in the GL-4

When I went out for a Drive, I found the Second Problem.. ‘Ka-Snicka’ downshifting from 5 to 4th gear. Damit.. Guess we now know where the Brass Shavings came from..

The Tranny Sounds good.. and the Corolla 5Th Gear swap makes my 70 MPH cruse at 2900-2950 RPM ( LARGE rear tires.. 205-65*15 ) .. It’ll take a while to get use to the New Engine Noises.. at road speed.. and the Clutch feels like Mush.. the factory clutch was ‘Snapier’ to the feel.. but for $118 for the Clutch.. what did I expect..

When I checked out the Factory Clutch.. I had about .030 above the Rivets on both sides.. so I had a few more miles to go on it... the Cover had a few slight ‘Marks’ but nothing that my Finger tips could feel.. so it was just heat stress.. could have put it back in.. The Flywheel looked new.. No Marks.. No Discoloration.. No ‘Waves’.. That was unexpected..

The Corolla 5th gear swap, went better than expected.. But was still like working on a tranny. If you don’t have the Corect Pullers, or ‘Pushing Tools’ you’ll be improvising.. I did both.. some of the Stuff nessasary I had.. some I had to Modify.. and some I had to Improvise.. I’m Impressed that Littlerocket is able to do the Corolla 5Th Gear Swap with the Tranny in the Car.. I imagine that he has done it more than once, and has specialized tools and tricks.. I’m Still Impressed..

Thanks to all that have posted about 'Tranny Removals' as it made this job Simpler for me.. I was able to learn from your mistakes and successes.. so I was more comfortable on my 'Maiden Voyage'


1,305 Posts
I too found the removal-intallation instructions on this website most helpfull when I changed my clutch last fall (2009)


go to post #49-53

Load the suspension before torqueing the control arm bolts.
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