Mechanics Tools and Shop Equipment – FWD Transmission Removal

10:12 am Auto Shop Tools, Auto Specialty Tools, Chevrolet

Above is a still image of the Malibu, see below for the You Tube Video.

©  Summary: In this car repair article I (Dennis Bandy) cover mechanics tools and shop equipment also specialty tools that make removing a transmission if a FWD (Front Wheel Drive) easier. A quick stop motion video is included showing the engine cradle and then the transmission being removed. The Chevrolet Malibu had a rear main seal leaking in an Ecotec engine. In the video I share one of my experiences that resulted with me on my back in a puddle of transmission fluid.

This AST  5820 engine support bar is similar to the one shown in the video.

When removing a transmission from a front wheel drive an engine support cross bar is usually the best way to support an engine. This helps to keep from causing stress from pulling on wiring harnesses, coolant hoses, power steering lines, A/C lines and other related components. Like I say in the video, I’ve done my share of jobs at the house that end up with me in uncomfortable positions. The Pontiac that I mentioned belonged to my father in-law. It had a front transmission pump seal leaking in the transmission. At the time what I did was use an engine hoist to support the engine from above. The car was on jack stands. I removed the engine cradle from underneath – by myself, by using cargo tie down straps to help lower it. I was then able to use a small floor jack to lower the automatic transmission. What a mess I had! Laying in transmission fluid, dirty, grimy and no help from anyone. Like I said in the video some jobs aren’t worth doing at home.

OTC 1585 Powertrain Lift like in the video.

  The OTC1585A Powertrain Lift with a Tilt Plate is one of the best shop tools available. It not only saves time, but it can also help prevent personal injury. It’s air operated and can be used on fuel tanks, engine cradles, engines and transmissions. It can handle 1,250 pounds! In the video cargo tie down straps were used to keep the engine cradle securely attached to the tilt plate. Drawbacks? Sometimes it may be a bit bulky, so it’s also good to have a regular transmission jack also to fit into tighter areas.   


The OTC1791 Transmission Jack is similar to the one in the video.

Transmission jacks just make handling so much easier. If it prevents dropping a transmission and breaking the housing, prevents a back injury or just helps line things up easier… transmission jacks are well worth the investment.

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