This post is a bit of a departure from my norm. Over the weekend I had to replace the transmission in my Dodge Ram 1500 4×4. Unfortunately, I found that there are very few videos online that are specific to the type of transmission I have or year of truck I have. To put it mildly, I was hunting and pecking a lot. To help anyone else that has to do this swap, I decided to add a few tidbits of knowledge that I gained while doing this job.
- Make sure to take out the 4 engine mount bolts on the driver’s side. I am referring to the ones that actually bolt to the block. There is a bracket that the frame engine mounts bolt to that has to be loose enough to pry out of the way for the transmission to make it past. This bracket also attaches to the front of the transmission (same side) by 2 bolts.
- Remove the transfer case. You will be lacking about 3 inches of room to be able to pull the transmission and transfer case as a single unit. To get to the bottom bolts of the transfer case, you do have to pull the cross member and transmission mounting brackets.
- Transmission jacks are very nice and almost required. Don’t assume that you can strong arm it or just use a couple of floor jacks. The problem is that you have to turn the transmission a little and then twist it back into position to miss the engine mount bracket.
- There is an inspection plate right behind the oil pan. It is held on by 4 bolts and the transmission actually bolts onto this pieces as well. Make sure to take it off to bolt your torque converter onto the flywheel.
- Don’t listen to any of the old Chevy guys that say that you should just put the torque converter onto the transmission and slide it all in as a unit. You will end up dropping the torque converter several times and probably get hurt. Even though it is hard no matter what way you do it, just bolt on the torque converter and then slide the transmission shaft into the torque converter from there.
- There is a metal plate that goes around the whole bell housing that likes to slip while trying to place the transmission. Don’t let it slip down a hole on the driver’s side. It will try to and loves to make your life miserable. Don’t let it.
- The wires and loom at the back of the engine will also get pinched if you are not careful. Just move them out of the way because any use of zip ties WILL cause you to blood your knuckles up while trying to get the wires loose after the transmission is installed. Don’t ask…..
I should have taken some pictures or video of the whole process, but I was more interested in getting the transmission installed. These tips I gave you above will really help you out while doing the swap, however. All other aspects of the swap are fairly straight forward.