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Hagerty
Hagerty Employee

Removing a transmission on a mid-rise lift | Hagerty Media

As soon as I sold my friend Mike's 1973 BMW 2002tii on Bring A Trailer, and it no longer occupied space in my garage, I suddenly had some space. For about a minute.
https://www.hagerty.com/media/opinion/the-hack-mechanic/removing-a-transmission-on-a-mid-rise-lift/
17 REPLIES 17
Davis_H
New Driver

The amount of love you have for this green machine is amazing.

All of this work just to drive a slow and tired version of a car you already own???
thehackmechanic
Detailer

I love my Z3 M Coupe, but it's a completely different car. In many ways, the Z3 is more fun. It's worth much less so I'm not concerned about it. The suspension is much softer and thus more comfortable for general driving. And as cool and quick as the "clownshoe" is, nothing beats dropping the top in a roadster. As I've said, it's like rolling Xanax.
drjim
Detailer

Way to go, Rob!
MoparMan
Advanced Driver

Back in my "young, dumb, strong and stupid" days, I changed a transmission using only a floor jack and a piece of 2x4, aided by arm strength! Then, I discovered the ease of a transmission jack!! I KNOW that I'm not the only one who's done this (then, NOT NOW!,LOL!) 🙂
TomBrattin
Pit Crew

A couple of years ago I was on my back under my wife's 2005 Suburban pulling the transmission to get to a leaky rear main seal. I built a wooden platform to go on my floor jack, and used it to pull the transmission back. Then in an instant, the transmission tilted to the side and fell to the ground. Luckily I and the transmission were not injured, but I quickly determined that I could not get the transmission back on my makeshift platform (way to heavy at the awkward angle). I ended up renting a transmission jack, and used the floor jack to slowly raise the transmission on stacked blocks of wood until I could get the rented transmission jack under it. With the transmission on the proper transmission jack, reinstalling it was a snap.

Of course in the end, the rear main oil leak was caused by a blocked PCV orfice and the whole job was a waste of my time.
MoparMarq
Detailer

Glad to hear that I'm not the only one who has turned a little job into an unnecessarily big job!
Tinkerah
Technician

You earned my like with sympathy alone.
TimK
Detailer

I see some of the jury rigging in this post and remember when I had to do things like that to get the job done and sometimes the real danger I put myself even foolishly working under a car supported only by a bumper jack. I was severely corrected by my father, who incidentally got smarter the older I got, over that bit of stupidity. So I understand when shortcuts or make do procedures are taken out of necessity. Just remember to take all precautions possible for your safety. I still remember the motto of a former employer that I haven't worked for in 40 years: "No job is so important that all safety precautions cannot be taken." In other words, I you can't do it safely, don't do it. Hire it done if you need to. Your life is well worth the extra money it will cost.
JeepCJ5
Intermediate Driver

Automotive repairs/hacks that are immediately preceded by "this is how I did it, but don't do it yourself" are ones that I enjoy the most. The Hack Mechanic and a couple of shows on MotorTrend and YouTube are my favorite. I'm not a reader at all - other than some articles here on Hagerty and vehicle specific repair forums. But I did just get a couple of Rob's books for Christmas that had been on a wish list. So far I'm really enjoying the first one I started!
thehackmechanic
Detailer

Thanks!
cosvega76
New Driver

I know you have the scissors lift and it probably doesn't owe you anything, but have you considered a MaxJax? Two-post lift for low ceilings, and stores away when you're done.
thehackmechanic
Detailer

Those weren't available yet, I don't believe, when I bought the mid-rise. If we stay in the house, I might have a look at them, because what I went through with the mid-rise, the platform, and the lift table was pretty miserable.
Historian
Detailer

Love the ingenuity!
TG
Instructor

I admire the ingenuity, but that particular transmission could probably be hossed out by hand 😉
thehackmechanic
Detailer

It's 80 pounds. I can't bench-press that. And the position and angle of the legs on mid-rise lift make it difficult for two people to get under there and do it. I've tried.
farna
Detailer

Reminds me of when a friend and I (in our early 20s!) removed the trans from his four speed Vega in my back yard in base housing. I ended up with the little trans on my chest with the front of the car up on jack stands. Those were the days!!
Tinkerah
Technician

Just goes to show what a clever guy can do with two scissors jacks, a purpose built transmission jack and a neat and well lit work space. I call that cheating.