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ibd2328 01-24-2014 12:09 AM

Transmission removal/install notes
More pictures will be added. Tired of typing tonight.

This is article is based off a 2003 F150 with 5.4L FX4 and 4R70W transmission.
Note: There are different methods for transmission removal depending on your tools, garage, lifts, etc. These notes are in general and can be used for any removal application.

**Do this on flat ground if you do not have access to a lift of garage..**
If you have 4wd it is always a good idea to lock it in before starting this procedure so both drive-shafts stay in the same location relative to their differential mounting plates.

Necessary tools:
Floor Jack
another jack of any kind
Lift Stands(this can be optional but works when helping support the tranny)
10-18mm open end wrench set. (Use good quality tools)
1/4 ratchet for tight spaces
3/8 ratchet for general purposes and draining transfer case
1/2 ratchet for the support bracket
Assortment of 10-18mm sockets. Deep well will be needed is some cases.
Extensions for all 3 sockets.
Pry Bar
Buckets for fluid

Helpful tools:
Truck Lift
Impact gun
Transmission Jack
Help from friends
Metal chisel

1) Ground Terminal
Always remove the Ground terminal/cable from the battery post.

2) Safe working space, blocking tires.
Block all 4 tires up (if not on a lift).

3) Drain your transfer case fluid.
Use a 3/8 ratchet to loosen the drain plug (bottom left one, top is for filling).

4) Drive-shaft removal.
Unbolt the rear drive shaft ( Four - 12mm/ 12point bolts).
Note: A lot of people like to mark the relationship of the drive shaft to the rear differential plate. However, your drive shaft (slip yoke will only go in two different ways: mine did anyways).

Once it is unbolted, pull from the back to (get a partner to help you) so that you can pull it free of the transfer case. Make sure not to mess up the spline's on the inside of the drive shaft housing.

5) Front drive shaft. (4wd)
If you have 4wd you will need to unbolt or remove your frot drive shaft. I chose to leave my transfer case under the truck with a few ratchet straps. Thus I only unbolted the front shaft from the front differential. Again this is four 12mm/12point bolts.

6)Skid plate removal. (4wd)
Now remove the skid plate under the transfer case for easy access. There are four bolts total. 2- 10mm bolts on each side connecting to to the frame.

7) Transfer case removal.
First unhook the transfer-case wire harness. Its a simply push pull type connector.

Your transfer case is mounted to the very back of the transmission with 6 - 13mm bolts. The top two (one on each side can be a hassle to get to with a socket, so take your time). You may need a swivel extension of ratchet to get them off.

ibd2328 01-24-2014 12:12 AM

Once you get all 6 bolts out, you will notice a steel dowel located on the top left to help alight the transmission and transfer case.

I found it easiest to leave the transfer case under the truck, so I moved it off the dowel and pushed it towards the back of the truck with the help of a friend. We then used ratchet straps to hold it in place while we moved on with our transmission removal. I left the front drive-shaft attached to the t-case so I ratcheted it up out of the way as well.

8) Optional, front differential support member.
You do not have to do this step, however, it makes life a lot easier from here on out if you remove the front differential support. Its a large bar from each side of the frame which holds the front differential housing in place with a bushing. It is not necessary to remove the bolt/bushing holding the housing in place. I chose to just remove the 4-15mm bolts (2 on each side) that would allow me to push the support bar out of the way to give me better access.

9) Inspection cover and access hole plug removal.
The inspection cover is simply a metal plate on the bottom half of the transmission. It is about 2 inches from the bottom of the oil pan on the 5.4L enginge. The metal cover is held up by two short 13mm bolts directly to the transmission. Remove both bolts and pull out the metal cover.

The access hole plug is on the drivers side at the front of the transmission. It is a type of rubber and simply pulls out.

10) Remove the four torque convert retaining nuts.
Once you have the transmission inspection cover removed you will be able to see your flex-plate. So with your truck fully supported or blocked off put the truck in neutral. This will allow you and a friend to turn the crankshaft (use the harmonic balancer) to put each torque converter retaining nut in sight through the in inspection cover. These nuts are fragile so be sure to get a good bite on them with a 13mm wrench or socket. The flex-plate and converter will move so have your friend hold the balancer while doing this.
Once the 4 13mm nuts have been removed, its time to remove the starter.

11) Starter removal.
I'm not going in depth on this because this is a very good article and how-to
I will point out, with a 12" extension and a 1/4 ratchet you can get the top bolt off the starter. Air tools aren't a necessity for this. Also, you only need to remove the ground wire (which is on the stud) to remove the starter. You can use a bungee cord to hold it away from the tranny with the solenoid and all other wires in-tact.

12) Shift cable bracket removal and connector removal.
There are two bolts that hold the bracket in place, I dont remember the exact size, I am thinking they are 13mm.

ibd2328 01-24-2014 12:14 AM

With the bracket removed use a flat screwdriver to help remove the connector from the swivel on the gear selector.

13) Drain Tranny Fluid.
Now you have your choice of how to drain the transmission and or T.C.
Heres a pic of the T.C. drain bolt.

14) Remove the transmission cooler lines.
I found this easier to do when removing the 10mm bolt holding the heat shield to the transmission support member.

Try to leave the main connector in the transmission and just remove the outer one. This may require two open end wrenches.

15) Unplug all sensors connecting to the transmission.
There are two heated oxygen sensors, the vehicle speed sensor, the output shaft sensor, the transmission range sensor (left side of tranny sitting in the drivers seat). Then the solenoid body assembly (on the right side).
Heres just a few snap shots.

16) Engine support
Although the engine mounts will hold it in place, it is always a good idea to place a board and jack under the engine oil pan or other place to help support it when completing the rest of the steps.

17) Using transmission or floor jacks to lift the transmission.
I did not have access to a transmission jack so I used a floor jack with a 2x6 for this. Place the jack under the transmission just enough so it is snug.

18) Removal of transmission mount nuts from the support member.
With the jack snug against the tranny remove the two 18mm nuts and spacer connecting the transmission bushing/mount to the crossmember.

Once you have the bolts removed slow lift the transmission up with the jack enough to take pressure off the cross-member. Make sure it is steady and holding the weight, because the next step is removing the cross-member.

ibd2328 01-24-2014 12:15 AM

19) Removal of transmission support member.
Now with the two nuts holding the transmission bushing mount to the support, it is time to remove the support. On each side of the frame you will find 3 large bolts. Use a 18mm wrench or ratchet to remove the nuts from the inside of the frame. The bolts will nut turn on the outside.
Here is an inside view: There is one more nut on adjacent side.

20) Removing bolts from crossmember.
Once you have all 6 nuts off the bolts holding the cross member to the frame, use a hammer or punch to push the bolts out of the frame some the cross-member can pull out. You may have to use a piece of wood and hammer to knock the member out, just be careful to not hit the supporting jack.

21) Removal of transmission mount/bushing.
This fairly simple. Remove the two 13mm bolts holding the mount/bushing to the bottom of the transmission.

22) Removal of the dipstick tube.
First pull your transmission dipstick out. Then try to pull up on the tub entering the transmission. I had to lower the transmission a bit to allow me to do this, jsut be careful and use straps in-case of a jack failure or miscue.

23) Removal of exhaust pipe bracket and pipe.
If you noticed in step (21) the exhaust pipe bracket was bolted to the transmission support. Thus you only lack one but to remove the "L" shaped bracket supporting the exhaust system in that location.

NOTE: I found it much easier to remove that entire section of the exhaust. I actually cut on the passenger side after the 02 sensor and unbolted the clamp holding the other side. This will allow you to pull the transmission out much easier in the later steps. But do this at your own discretion.
The clamp is in the far right of this picture.

24) Optional, remove exhaust pipes from the exhaust manifolds. I really don't like doing this because the bolts and studs break easy and gaskets are a PITA. So this step is up to you, but not 100% necessary. I know a lot of manuals suggest it, but that is once again your choice.

25) Remove the fuel lines from all connectors.
Do a final check to make sure no connectors are attached to the transmission. I know at the very top of the transmission next to the engine, there is a metal bracket that supports the fuel lines, it is best to remove that before beginning the next step. It is super hard to reach, but imperative to move.

Prior to this step, make sure your jack is in a good position and use ratchet straps to help hold the weight and secure it. I actually lowered the front on mine down with a come-along, so just be safe. You can never use enough straps and supports.

ibd2328 01-24-2014 12:16 AM

26) Remove the transmission to engine bolts.
These are all 13mm bolts and the top two are really hard to see. You will need around an 18" extension to be able to get a ratchet and socket on these. The top two bolts also hold brackets for wiring and fuel lines, so be safe. Also note: on the starter side of the transmission you have bolts heads facing the front of the truck. However, on the other side of the transmission you have bolt heads facing the rear of the truck. Make sure you remove all of these. Also note that the overflow pipe is connected to the top right enginge mount bolt.

Here are some pictures for reference.

27) When removing tranny.
Make sure when you are removing the transmission to get a c-clamp or other device to hold your torque converter against the pump gear. Also make sure you pull it back far enough to clear the flexplate and not mess up the teeth the starter turns on. Slowly let down your jacks/straps/come along pushing the tranny back slowly.

28) Consumer rest of beer. :thumbsup:
NOTE: Only if you are of age. :party:

ibd2328 01-24-2014 10:57 AM

Install notes will be posted today.

Tackle 01-24-2014 11:06 AM

Hey. Can you re-do this, pictures and all after washing the underside of your truck? Can't get past the dirtiness.

JK. Great write up, once again! I think this is the first one I've seen for removal on our trucks.

ibd2328 01-24-2014 11:24 AM


Originally Posted by Tackle (Post 3251511)
Hey. Can you re-do this, pictures and all after washing the underside of your truck? Can't get past the dirtiness. JK. Great write up, once again! I think this is the first one I've seen for removal on our trucks.

Haha damn salt trucks around here like to dump the whole load on one street. It kills me. Thanks bud.

ibd2328 01-24-2014 02:48 PM

I need to repair my rockers bad. I'm about done with how - to's lol

MyFX4Project 01-24-2014 02:55 PM


Originally Posted by ibd2328 (Post 3251907)
I need to repair my rockers bad. I'm about done with how - to's lol

You can be done with how to's after you do a rocker panel one. I know there is already a good one on here but you seem to go more in depth about everything.

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