I’ve got a 98 Mazda Protégé (185k miles) up on jack stands so that I can remove the automatic transmission to gain access to the rear main oil seal on the engine block so it can be replaced because it’s leaking oil. I’m almost ready to unbolt the torque converter from the flywheel and remove the transmission but I’m starting to get a little nervous because I’ve heard that it’s important to install differential side gear holders into the spleens where the inner joints of the drive shafts plug into the differential. I’ve got both drive shafts completely removed but wasn’t able to find the differential gear holders before I started this project. However, I did read online that it was okay to just run a long zip tie through the differential gears while the drive shafts are removed to keep them from turning/falling out of position. This is what I did but now I’m having second thoughts…
What do you guys think about the zip tie trick, will it work well enough to keep me out of trouble?
And what happens if the differential gears do come out of position, does the transmission have to be taken apart to put the gears back into position?