Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

Removing Taurus transmission

I’m just about ready to remove the AX4N transmission from my 1997 Ford Taurus (216,000 miles) wagon so I can take the trans to a shop to be rebuilt.

We have the engine supported with a support bar, the trans supported with a trans jack, and everything disconnected and/or out of the way. We are ready to unbolt and lower the trans out.

It looks like the trans will not drop straight out, because the drivers side front corner of the trans will not clear part of the frame rail.

It appears that once we are unbolted the trans will have to go straight back horizontally about 3/4 inch, then lower down and out.

You guys that have done this before, does that sound about right?

I could be wrong, but the sub-frame may need to be dropped. I think I have seen the engine transmission attached to the sub-frame dropped as a complete assembly on G3 Bulls.

It sounds like you have all the tools you need except for he most important one…a repair manual. A Haynes repair manual for your vehicle is about $20 at most auto parts stores. You do have a trans jack so I applaud you on having the proper equipment.

One tip: As the transmission is moved back you will be able to swing the transmission from side to side a little. That should help in removing the tranny. Make sure you remove the torque converter bolts before you start back on the transmission.

I just took a quick look at the Autozone repair manual for a 1997 Ford Taurus. Yes the subframe needs to be removed in order to get the transmission out.

I learned this the hard way last year while removing the manual transmission from my 2004 Hyundai Sonata.

A repair manual takes the guesswork out of most jobs. It’s one of the most important tools you can own.

Thanks, everybody, for the input. I do have a Haynes guide which is very helpful though it doesn’t get into clearance issues and doesn’t mention the subframe. It does, however, instruct me to remove the transmission mount. Thanks again and I’ll let you know how it goes.

The transmission shop that is going to rebuild your tranny will be HAPPY to R&R the tranny for you. What you are doing is simply not worth the money you are trying to save…Let experts do this work, their labor is worth every penny…

Well, if I had an extra $800 lying around for the R&R labor, I’d go for it. But alas we must play the cards we are dealt.

Also, just to be clear, the clearance issue I see right now is not the subframe, but the frame rail itself.

Please let us know when this car is again drivable, and how much it cost to get it that way…

Sometimes it’s A LOT easier to pull the engine and transmission out as a unit. That’s how it was installed at the factory.

OK, will do.

Popof9 – nice to see you back. I understand and admire your desire to do the R&I yourself. Note, however, the experience of one recent Poster here, who did the same thing, and then ran into a hassle with the repaired transmission that didn’t work because the shop cannot test it w/o the car. (As I recall, the shop was willing to redo the work, but the Poster expected the shop to remove the tranny for free!!) I hope you have better luck (or a better transmission shop).

Nice to be back!

I think the best I’ll be able to do is have the shop machine-test (dyno?) the trans for me. If it tests out OK on the machine, I’ll risk the rest.

btw a little more background. This project is mainly for learning for my son and me. If we get the car working again this will be a plus. And he will get a working vehicle out of it. But he and I are having a great time working on it together. I suspect one way or another we’ll get this thing working.

OK – after some months of non-work on this project (due to more urgent home repair projects taking precedence) we are back on-task on this project. We have the trans out of the car (removed topside with engine per recommendation on this thread). I have lined up a trans tech to rebuild this thing for a discount if I supply the rebuild kit. I notice there are rebuild kits of three primary varieties. One is a rebuild kit with basically gaskets, and frictions. A slightly more expensive rebuild kit incliudes the gaskets and frictions and also includes the bonded pistons. A third and substantially more expensive rebuild kit includes all of the above plus some of the steels and shift kits.

It seems to me the middle one is the way to go becuase I think it is probably a good idea to replace the bonded pistons on a trans that has 200k+ miles on it. And I don’t think a Ford Taurus station wagon that never hauls anyuthing needs a shift kit. I do realize there may be addiional hard parts that need replacing that will be iidentified once the trans is disassembled.


Did you happen to ask the transmission rebuilder what s/he thinks? It seems to me that its pretty hard to decide on what ought to be done before actually tearing the thing down. An experienced rebuilder should also have some ideas beforehand just b/c there are often very common things that go wrong based on transmission model.

I have had good luck with parts from . All they do is parts. No rebuilding. They ship worldwide, and have been very helpful to me on every project. Their prices are excellent.

On the last Taurus transmission I participated in we didn’t drop the whole “K” Frame. We just dropped the transmission end of it and loosened the other end. I’m not saying it was easy, but it took less time than pulling the engine and trans out the top. BTDT too.

Well this off and on project (mostly off, due to house and other car projects taking precendence) is finally done, and the car drives and shifts like a dream. Everything was less than $1000, including some suspension parts that were discovered to be toast which we replaced while we had the thing torn apart. My sons and I had a great time with this, and got a great sense of accomplishment once done. My sincere thanks to everyone here for your input. You guys are the best.

Congratulations and good to know things are working well again. I wish I had the guts to take on a project this large, then again, I can’t really go without a functioning car for more than a week.