Just another guy who can't get his tranny back on - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


Drivetrain Tech General discussion of drivetrain for the Ford Ranger.

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Old 1 Week Ago
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Icon8 Just another guy who can't get his tranny back on

Alright I hate to do this but I've been reading and trying different things since this past Sunday, wrestling with the transmission for about 3 hours everyday after work (12 hours or so of setting tile) so needless to say I'm desperate and exhausted, very tempted to have a mobile mechanic come out and put the damn thing on for me. I've done several clutch jobs in the past, never once had one out up this much of a fight. Now that that's out of the way I'll provide a full description of my situation: pulled transmission to replace the pilot bearing and as I suspected it was destroyed. Went ahead and bought a whole self adjusting clutch kit with pilot bearing, got the new bearing in, aligned everything with the provided tool (don't have a spare input shaft for this truck) but I ensured the tool slides in and out easily. Torqued all the pressure plate bolts down to 20lbs in the correct order, and when I finish the tool still slides in and out easily. Roll the transmission up onto my chest and wiggle it into the clutch just fine, try to move it into the bearing and it will not go, no matter how hard I push on it! And this is the kicker, after about a half hour of wrestling it I need a break so I pull the transmission back out and check the alignment and it's misaligned to the point that the tool won't slide into the bearing, despite being aligned before I tried to make the transmission. I didn't remove my flywheel, however I set my pilot bearing in flush with the bottom of the chamfer. Any help would be awesome, in all the cars I've owned I've never had to take it to a shop but this is driving me insane, plus my back hurts 😥
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You need a transmission jack, it's a bear even with a jack, I can't imagine rolling that thing on my chest !
You must work out _ a lot !!!

First, take your clutch alignment tool and carefully wrap some electrical tape on it (took one layer on mine) so it fit's snuggly into the pilot bearing.
Be carful not to overlap the tape, if you need another layer, then add another.
The idea is to take up the slack on the cheap plastic alignment tool and keep it square and centred. You want it to fit snug into the bearing, but not so tight, that it tears the tape.

Yours is a 3 litre, same as mine.
I let the engine rest on the front mount at a steep angle _ had to do this so the trans clears the body.
The fan and shroud will have to be removed to allow the engine to rest at this angle.
Keep an eye on the engine wiring harness and any coolant hoses that might not like being stretched this much.
I think the bottom one needs to come off, I left mine on and it leaked at the block side.

With the trans jack you can carefully mate it up, but it still won't go in easily.
I think it's the self adjusting clutch.
The pressure plate is coming in contact with the slave cylinder bearing before it's fully mated up.
Once everything is in place and you activate the clutch for the first time, then the "self adjusting" clutch adjusts itself and you're good to go.

As you mate it up, get the two outer bell housing bolts started _ and as many as you can as you use the outer bolts to draw it in _ it won't just slide in.

Watch that you keep the trans and bell housing parallel as you use the bolts to draw it in.

I removed the flywheel, but I can't remember where the position of the pilot bearing was in mine, but it was almost to the bottom of the crank, not all the way though.
I didn't have to replace mine, so I wasn't paying attention where the exact position was, but it sounds like yours is right.
However you may want to remove the flywheel just to be sure.

And if you're doing he clutch, you may want to get it resurfaced at a machine shop.

Consider replacing the rear oil seal as well.

Here's a thread that I started on my crank seal problems.
I have since installed a new Teflon seal with a sleeve, and it's leaking too.

https://www.ranger-forums.com/2-9l-3...l-leak-151784/

Last edited by Jeff R 1; 1 Week Ago at 11:42 AM.
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Ah the tape is genius! Way better than cutting up an input shaft! However, I'm not having a hard time aligning everything, however somehow the clutch plate is shifting once I try to slide the transmission on and misaligning itself. I have the motor in the same position as you as well, makes it a hell of alot easier to manage a transmission on your chest
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If the clutch plate is shifting, then this must be happening when you try to mount the trans.
It's being shifted side ways as your lining things up.
That's all I can think of.

If the bolts on the pressure plate are tight, it shouldn't shift ???
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Exactly, and if 20lbs is tight enough then yes
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It may also have something to do with the self adjusting clutch and how it works.
The pressure plate isn't right up hard on the disc and until it's use, it may have a tendency to move.
When I bolted up pressure plate, it barley caught on the dowel pins.
Where's yours at ?
How far were you able to mount the pressure plate on the flywheel ?

If the self adjusting clutch is the reason for the disc moving as you mount the trans, you may have to rent a transmission jack.
Muscling the thing in on your chest will inevitably always cause movement.

Last edited by Jeff R 1; 1 Week Ago at 01:47 PM.
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I may have to unfortunately, and this is my first time using one of these clutches so what you're saying does seem right with the extra thickness for the adjusters; if I remember correctly my dowel pins are exposed by about 1/16 inch, not sure how much was exposed with the previous clutch and though.
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My dowel pins were exposed about the same.
So the only conclusion is that the disc is moving as you're trying wrestle it there.

I can see you getting to a point and then having to adjust yourself, causing movement of the disc as the splines are just about to catch.

Just can't imagine trying to mount that big trans with out a jack.

I did a TR7 once by hand, but that was just a little crumby 4 speed.
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Figures, probably once I get it in and move my hands off the bell housing and the input shaft rests on just the clutch, I didn't think the clutch would move that easily though considering the bell housing side doesn't weigh THAT much. Anyways, I'll rent a jack sometime this week and let you know if that was the case.
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I've done it a couple of times without a trans jack on RBV transmissions and not had the issue of the moving clutch disc. Not sure what's causing that. However, it is an absolutely miserable job without a good transmission jack. If/when I ever have to do it again, I'll definitely find one to use. I've usually needed a couple of breaks before getting everything together properly and my shoulders/arms are pretty wrecked by the end.
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As everyone has said, mating the transmission to the engine just plain sucks. I've done it a couple of times now and it never gets easier. I definitely recommend a transmission jack.
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Did you make sure the the input shaft would engage the pilot bearing before you put it in? Had one in a kit that was the wrong size before and couldn't get the trans to seat. Fought it like you did. Your clutch plate is moving probably because you are wiggling the trans around. Thats where a good jack comes in handy with a smooth alignment and insertion.
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