While it is not as easy as learning how to bird watch or how to change your oil, rebuilding a transmission is definitely something that a good amateur mechanic can accomplish. If you are looking to rebuild your own transmission, we’d like to offer you some helpful advice. Because with the right tools, attention to detail, and know-how, you can do your own transmission work.

Already ready to throw in the towel? That’s fine, too. Give us a call to learn more about our transmission rebuilding series, or stop in to our Houston shop to speak to our staff. We have over 25 years of experience and take great pride in offering transmission services that are top-notch and affordable.

Tip 1: Removing the Transmission

Removing the transmission is a step that requires a lot of care and attention. There are a number of components and many similar-looking parts. These can all be easily confused if not properly noted and organized. More often than not, you will be required to remove the entire engine block before you can remove the transmission from the engine. Performing this step requires you to remove the torque converter and the transmission oil pan.

Before isolating the tranny, it is crucial to have a nice clean area prepared. Covering your area in a plastic sheet can be a great way to eliminate dirt and dust. Additionally, having this clean area will make it easier to spot all the various inside springs and shims that have a habit of flying off when released. When you disassemble the transmission, be sure to drain out all of the fluid, and then label and organize each component. This step will make the reassembly much, much easier. 

Tip 2: Cleaning and Replacing Parts

Finding replacement parts is rather simple. What’s not always so simple is identifying which parts need to be replaced. Although this assessment can be easy for someone who works on transmissions day after day, for the untrained eye it requires some research and plenty of cleaning. After you have disassembled and cleaned the components, it will be much easier to detect broken parts, synchronization problems, and so forth. However, if you still can’t identify your transmission’s shortcoming, try taking it to a transmission shop for some advice. 

Another thing to consider is purchasing a transmission rebuild kit. These are kits that combine all the tools you need to perform a rebuild. While these kits cannot give you the know-how necessary, they have all the tools you need and often include helpful instructive manuals. However, remember that these kits often make the whole process seem much easier than it actually is.

What Parts Need To Be Replaced?

When performing a transmission rebuild, more often than not, it seems that the majority of parts are replaced. This helps improve the likelihood that your transmission will last for years and years. The parts replaced may include:

  • Clutch plates and bands
  • Seals, gaskets, and sealing rings
  • Solenoids
  • All parts that are disassembled

Tip 3: Reassembling the Transmission

Probably the most important part of the whole process, the assembling of your transmission is a crucial step. No matter how new the parts are, if they are not put together correctly, they won’t work. This is where taking the time to meticulously label your parts when tearing apart the tranny comes to pay off. If you labeled and organized your components so that they were in a specific spot, waiting for their turn to be reassembled, this will make all the difference. After you have put everything back in its place, make sure to conduct all the relevant pressure tests. This is also the point where, if you have any doubt about the rebuild, consult with an expert. Don’t try driving your vehicle unless you are confident in your work.

Tip 4:  Get Help When Needed

We all know what it’s like to be stubbornly committed to a task. But part of becoming an expert on something is being able to swallow your pride and realize when you need help and seeking out the help you need. This will not only save you time and energy, but it can also help fill in those knowledge gaps, allowing you to handle the task the next time around. Additionally, as you know, transmission repairs require lots of special tools and skills. If you are skeptical about these areas, contact your local transmission shop for help.

How Long Will It Take?

This all depends on how skilled you are, how much time you have to devote to the task, and how quick of a learner you are. That being said, a full rebuild can be done in as little as a day. However, the average time it takes for an amateur rebuild is probably around three to four days. In most cases, to perform a rebuild in a single day, the transmission must be already removed.

Rebuilding your own transmission can be a fun challenge that also saves you some serious moola. However, this takes gumption, a solid automotive understanding, and the right tools. Although the function of a tranny is relatively simple, working on them is more complex. If at any point you decide that you are in over your head, seeking professional help is always an option. Contact us today to get a free quote or to schedule a service appointment.