URGENT.. NEED HELP!! Can't get bellhousing bolt out of tranny

Discussion in 'SVT Tech Forum' started by banks, Jan 9, 2010.

  1. banks

    banks Member

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    We are working on a 2001 cobra, and we are trying to get the last bolt out of the bellhousing. It it the very top bolt on the driver's side. Are there any tricks to this. we have tried different sockets and swivels and extensions moving the tranny up and down to get different angles etc...

    It seems that the previous owner had something done to the tranny because every bellhousing bolt was extremely hard to break loose. It took a lot more effort to break the bolts loose then previous tranny's i have done. with the bolt being this tight it is making it ver hard to keep the socket on the bolt with the swivels and extensions. do you guys have any ideas what else we can try??
     
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  2. wmburns

    SN Certified Technician

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    Use a 6pt 13mm flex socket

    The bolt is hard to get to. Have you tried a 13mm "Flex" socket and a long extention? Use the 6 point type. Try different length extensions. Too long or too short won't work.

    May help to loosen motor mounts and rear transmisson support. Lower the transmission/engine combination. Make sure everything is well supported. Letting the transmission angle down may improve the angle to reach the top bolt.
     
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  3. banks

    banks Member

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    probably going to try loosening the motor mount bolts tomorrow. we had it set tonight where we could almost get straight on the bolt over the top of the tranny w/o a swivel but it wasn't quite enoug
     
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  4. SNAKEBIT7

    SNAKEBIT7 New Member

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    When you finally round the head off, take a grinding wheel drill attachment and grind the head down flush with the bell housing. I rounded a top bell housing bolt head off once on a 5.0. I had to grind the head off flush. With this done, the bolt basically becomes a location pin. You can then slide the bell housing/tranny out. Then you've got plenty of room and plenty of "bolt shank" to take a large set of vise grips or something to hold the bolt and unscrew it from the block.

    Good Luck
     
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  5. wmburns

    SN Certified Technician

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    While I have never removed the transmission on a 5.0, I have done it on a 4.6. I couldn't image even being able to get enough clearance to "grind" off anything. The space is soooo tight that everything is done by feel from a distance. It is not possible to access from above because of firewall clearance.

    One of the problems is that the flex socket has to be angled at an extreme angle. This makes it difficult to apply enough pressure to hold the socket onto the bolt. That is why a flex socket is better than a regular socket and a u-joint extension. The flex socket needs less space behind the socket before the extension starts bending.

    It does help to have fewer long extensions rather than a bunch of short extensions tied together. When multiple extensions are tied together it gets "floppy" which reduces the amount of pressure that can be applied to keep the socket on the bolt.

    Another option is to use a flex style impact socket. However, it may not work because it may not be able to get a sharp enough angle.

    Bottom line, if it was possible to get a grinding tool onto the bolt to cut it off, then in all likelihood the bolt could be removed with regular tools.

    OBTW, as for other options. Consider removing the engine/transmission as a unit.

    Another option is to remove the intake manifold. You will find it possible to access the two top transmission bolts from the top. You may have to use a stubby wrench but at least it is possible.
     
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  6. banks

    banks Member

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    what exactly is a flex socket?? is that a socket and swivel that is one piece??

    we considered removing the intake but there just wasn't enough time and we had to put the car back together and try it another weekend.
     
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  7. wmburns

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    Yes. Basically it is the socket combined with the flexible U-joint all in one package. The advantage is the over length is shorter than a standard socket/U-joint pieced together. This improves the angle in tight locations.

    Also, the really long extensions tend to be thicker. This reduces rotational flexing that will occur when multiple short/thin extensions are combined. I bought a couple of Craftsman units 18" and 24" long. It made a huge difference.

    Also, consider having a buddy hold the socket on the top bolt from the top engine bay. The area is too tight to get anything more than a couple of fingers on it. However, this may provide enough to keep the socket from walking when torqued off.

    Of course, the SC Mustang may be too tight for even a finger.

    http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_12605_00994497000P?keyword=13mm flex socket
     
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  8. Busted Boosting

    Busted Boosting New Member

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    You need to find a mexican kid! Just set him on the motor and let him at it! lol
     
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  9. seths99cobra

    seths99cobra Member

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    you do not need to do any cutting trust me had the same problem. take the trans mount off so the back of the tranny hangs down. go to sears and the sell a socket extension that is 2ft long you need 2 of them to get it out and back in. its for a 3/8 socket. that with a wigler will get it out and in every time. it will be tight. but that will work and the easiest. try that before pullin the motor or cutting it off.
     
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  10. 7upstang91

    7upstang91 Active Member

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    Thanks, maybe next time. The car went to a shop.
     
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  11. 7upstang91

    7upstang91 Active Member

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    Those comments are not welcome on stangnet.:mad:
     
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  12. David Wishengrad

    David Wishengrad New Member

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    I have done this more time than I care to count, so I will try and add a few tips not already said, (great stuff) for this and a few other issues regarding pulling the 5 speed.

    If you encounter super tight bolts at the top of the bell housing and have an issue with the head of the passenger side top bolt, rounding over, the fastest and easiest solution I have found is grinding the head off.

    This can be done by removing water heater hoses, and harness from the passenger side. There are a couple of big connectors and the drop for the oxygen sensor. Stock, there is a plate at the top of the bell housing that holds the connectors. Remove the oxygen sensor from the passenger front exhaust and remove from harness below before removing the harness above. You probably already have that removed if you are reading this.

    On a Mach 1 or Cobra the connector line is folded over the release, thank you for that Ford. I just pop that off with a screwdriver and break the attachment point and use a tie down to secure later. Remove the windshield wipers, the plastic that wraps the bottom of the hood, windshield, and the plastic curved tray that wraps the top of the fire wall. There will be metal lip made of spot welded metal protruding off the top of the full length of the top of the fire wall. Some of these have an additional metal ledge that sticks out even further right above the heater core pipes protruding. If this is the case, bend it straight down with some vise grips and bend it back later. With the harness removed and out of the way on that side, exhaust pipes removed, drive shaft removed, and cross member removed, stick removed, battery and started removed, jack up the tail of the 5 speed as far as it will go up into the tunnel.

    Now hit the hardware store and buy a 12 extension for wood bits. Vermont American makes them and they are about 7 bucks. Pick up 3 grinding wheels that are about 1” in diameter and about 1 ½ tall. Get some decent Vice Grips and grab 2 of the washers from the already extracted 2 rear exhaust pipe flanges, and clamp them on the edge very tightly right above the bolt head we want to grind off, with the opening of the washers over the edge of the metal lip that runs the length of the top of the fire wall. Grab a drill and grease for the shaft of the extension, ‘cause you’re going to need it. Feed the shaft through the clamped guide washers and attach to drill. Grind away. It can be done with 2 wheels, but 3 is usually required for first timers. It takes some finesse and about an hour of continuous grinding. When you pull the 5 speed later you will be able to remove the stud with your fingertips. No engine pulled, no intake pulled!!! Keep in mind that 32 valve heads cause the engine to tilt less and so fairly straight access to the top bell housing bolts is not achievable as with the 16 valve models. The little bit of difference is the difference between being easily able to extract the top bolts with extensions and a universal from the rear, regardless of how tight the bolts are, to almost impossible on the passenger side. The driver side extensions can be shimmed and wedged from moving much easier than the passenger side. One screw up on that bolt head and you will be required to grind if off, or remove intake and probably grind anyway, or pull the engine out, or to make some other tool to grind the bolt off with. Remember to top off and burp and top off your cooling system after finishing if you removed the heater core hoses for access!!!

    The top starter bolt is a pain, but can be easily accessed in from of the x brace engine mount with the right length extensions and a universal.

    The bottom passenger side exhaust nut is 15mm. This requires the engine square, careful of broken mounts, a ½” drive 15” 6 point socket that is just deep enough, extensions, and ½" universal. Standard short or long sockets will bind and cause another big issue. Have this socket handy. If you don’t have the right length 15” socket and can’t get to the store to find one, cut a deep socket down. Once stuck due to using the wrong tool for the job you will be required to get the right socket and twist the studs off. Not on a lift? Expect 4 hours with a 5” breaker bar to break the bottom stud off. Once you have the exhaust out you can use a small 4” grinder, high speed steel drill bits and a hacksaw blade in hand and can cut a slot from the edge of the flange right to the bolt stud. Weld a socket extension to the end of the stud, wedge a screwdriver in the slot to help relieve some tightness, and back the stud out with a ratchet.

    On reassembly, crazy glue the passenger side exhaust flange gasket to the top of the pipe and carefully put the pipe into place without knocking it loose.

    When reinstalling the 5 speed, go to the front of the car and get a standard 16 oz wood hammer and push the engine backwards so the tail tilts down as far as it will go and wedged it there with the hammer. A good place is just to the left of the radiator on the frame and to the valve cover. It is very important that the engine is pointed down as much as possible at the rear or the input shaft of the 5 speed will hit the clutch springs.

    Do not ever jack your car up on a hill where it is leaning sideways without seriously preventing it from sliding down hill at both front and rear wheels. If your can slide sideways jacking it up it WILL slide down hill as soon as the last wheel leaves the floor, maybe sooner!!! If your surface is flat enough the 5 speed will balance on the jack, but try to rotate. Not a big deal. If you are on a hill you will need to be strong enough to lift the 5 speed by suspending the rear with your knees and benching it in.

    Jack the car up only as high as necessary. Too much room means having to life the 5 speed higher.
    Make sure your oxygen sensor wiring is away from any exhaust pipe and secure them to insure they will not get burned.

    Work safe. Wish you all well. Thanks for all the great tips and sharing.

    Had to fix many typo's. I'm tired.
     
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  13. Thomas Morrison

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    To make the bolt easier to break loose put the two lower ones back in to take the pressure off the top one. Tighten them down good. You have all the weight of the trans on one bolt that just happens to be the hardest one to reach
     
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  14. Thomas Morrison

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    Don't cut anything its not necessary. You need the car high off the ground as to clear the shifter from the access into the cab. I just did this two weeks ago. You need a tranny jack for sure. Take the top bolts out first and work your way down. lean the motor back just a little. Once you are on the bottom bolts pick the tranny back up to take the tension off them. I REALLY hope you have not rounded any off. If you want easy access on the top ones taking the intake off is really worth your time as stated before. If the car is not high enough you are going to hate going through all this bolt trouble to find out the shifter link and the input shaft fight each other getting it out. It should slide out really easy if the car is high enough. I had mine out on level ground with a trans jack and a 3' extension, also had a swivel on a socket, in less than two hours by my lonesome. Had the intake off too lol. 20011 Cobra
     
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  15. David Wishengrad

    David Wishengrad New Member

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    Thomas,

    You don't realize how many times others have done this.

    There is no need to remove the intake for a rounded over bolt.

    The bolt's are frequently too tight. By feel, all my son's bolts were between 125 and 150 ft. lbs.

    I have no idea what you are talking about with the shifter link and input shaft.

    I can pick up and put it in by hand if I have to. They are not balanced left to right. Perhaps your trans. was rotating on you? They don't go in like that.
     
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  16. Thomas Morrison

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    I do realize

    If the shifter link cannot get out of the opening into the cab the tranny will not back up enough to clear the input shaft from the clutch.

    I cannot get anything i have up in the top of the bell housing without leaning the motor beyond my comfort.

    Not everybody is Hulk
     
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