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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all,

I've been a member here for some time and used to have a different name (Watt), but somehow my login stopped working and so I've been lurking from this new moniker for awhile...

I've got a 69' Nova and am pulling the engine (400 SBC) and trans (TH350) this weekend and have everything for the engine stripped, bagged, tagged, wires labeled etc. Now I'm onto the transmission and I've been looking around through google and SNS but can't find a step by step on what needs to be done to get the transmission ready to be pulled with the engine.

If anybody has some information would they mind helping me out?

Thank you in advance!


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Want some good advice? Pull the trans out first, I know it looks all cool on the build shows but it's a major pita. I pull the trans first then take the 2 upper hood hinge bolts out completely and loosen (but not remove) the lowers, your hood can then be propped way up to get the engine easily removed. I don't even pull the radiator doing it this way, I work alone so messing with hoods and crazy removal of engine and trans together is just too much.
 

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The radiator has to come out to pull them together. The driveshaft and trans crossmember has to go as well as the transmission cooler lines and any electrical connection that may be in the way. Once you start up with it and everything tilts you are going to have a mess if you don't put something over the tailshaft. I try to keep a spare yoke to slide in the transmission but I have just used a gallon ziplock bag and some good wire ties.

Don't know if you've taken your headers off but they need to be off also. Check your exhaust pipes. They may have to go. When everything is loose put a chain or something on your engine. You want a little slant to be able to get your engine up over the radiator support. Go slow and keep your eyes open for anything you may have missed. It has always been easier for me to get the front of the car up a little before pulling both together. It is not a one man job. Once it has started out it may be easier to put the car back down so you can roll it back out of the way.

When we were working a lot in the shop we could have it out laying in the floor in a couple hours tops.
 

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Whether you pull them together or separate I would suggest having a spare slip yoke (that fits your transmission) to keep the transmission fluid from leaking out the tail shaft. Rags and bags can work to a point but they can be easily snagged or torn and then you have to mess.. The slip yoke has been the best way to keep the transmission fluid where it belongs.
 

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I think that for most backyard builds, pulling the motor and transmission together is going to be easier. If you try to pull them separately, you usually have to get the car up on stands high enough to get the transmission out from under the car.

The aim here is to disconnect everything and yank them.

1. 4 bolts on ujoints to remove driveshaft. Wrap the ujoint caps with tape.
2. Trans mount / crossmember removal.
3. All electrical disconnected and labeled. Usually this is like starter, ignition system.
4. remove speedometer cable
5. remove trans cooling lines
6. remove upper and lower radiator lines
7. remove all mechanical and electrical gauges lines (i.e. temperature, tach, etc) label as needed
8. remove shift linkage
9. once it appears that the motor and transmission are free of all obstructions, yank it after pulling the motor mount bolts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I think that for most backyard builds, pulling the motor and transmission together is going to be easier. If you try to pull them separately, you usually have to get the car up on stands high enough to get the transmission out from under the car.

The aim here is to disconnect everything and yank them.

1. 4 bolts on ujoints to remove driveshaft. Wrap the ujoint caps with tape.
2. Trans mount / crossmember removal.
3. All electrical disconnected and labeled. Usually this is like starter, ignition system.
4. remove speedometer cable
5. remove trans cooling lines
6. remove upper and lower radiator lines
7. remove all mechanical and electrical gauges lines (i.e. temperature, tach, etc) label as needed
8. remove shift linkage
9. once it appears that the motor and transmission are free of all obstructions, yank it after pulling the motor mount bolts.
Excellent. Thank you! I'm going to get this prepped today and wait till I can get a couple friends over this week to help me get them both out safely.
 

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I just went through this 6 months ago alone. My 2 cents... An engine leveler is a must with lift chains bolted to the front and back of the heads, $50 from HF I think. Get a $10 plastic trans plug to prevent leaks. Pulling trans and motor is a breeze with those. Definitely pull the radiator, the fins bend to easily if you bump it so spend the 10 minutes removing it. Once the engine is high enough and trans is level to clear the core support then roll the car out of the way. Wait till the above is complete, then drink beer...
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I just went through this 6 months ago alone. My 2 cents... An engine leveler is a must with lift chains bolted to the front and back of the heads, $50 from HF I think. Get a $10 plastic trans plug to prevent leaks. Pulling trans and motor is a breeze with those. Definitely pull the radiator, the fins bend to easily if you bump it so spend the 10 minutes removing it. Once the engine is high enough and trans is level to clear the core support then roll the car out of the way. Wait till the above is complete, then drink beer...
Thanks for the info Dan. I borrowed a friends hoist with his chain leveler so glad I'm headed in the right direction there. Ordered the trans plug earlier this morning like snolan mentioned as well. Will definitely remove the rad for the extra inches.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I was trying to undo the cooler lines going into the trans but the extension pipe that comes right after the header was in the way. So I thought I’ll just undo the headers now and hope that gives me enough room. Got all the bolts out until the last one that’s close to the firewall. I can’t get a socket on it because the header is in the way (header is dented in for the bolt), and I can’t get a wrench on it from top or bottom either because it’s a tight space. Any suggestions on a tool or a trick that might help me?
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You’ve got to do your best to figure out the header bolt. Good chance it went on with the motor in the engine compartment so, there’s got to be a way of getting it off. Don’t hesitate to hammer the header to give yourself room if necessary but chances are you just haven’t gone at it the right way with the right tool. Sometimes you can only get a partial turn before having to reset a wrench brother. 🤜🏻🤜🏻🤜🏻
 
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