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Discussion Starter #1
I believe i need to drop a perfectly good transmission in order to get 2 stuck half shafts out of my 96.

You could say that the shafts been stuck since 2010 when upon replacement I noticed I forgot to replace the seals, beating on it a week only put me in the hospital with a metal fragment in my cornea ...
Well I left it, any leaking seemed to be under control or minimal and the car has been driving like a champ until it was time to rebuild the rear end which has been completed this year.

Well 4 years later I've been back at it with the same failure.
I've tried all the usual pry bars, large screw drivers, the cv puller / slide hammer, pickle fork...
Dropped the oil pan and cat for accessibility to the passenger side, removed the battery and tray for access to the driver side....
I'm just shit out of luck so I want to ask about removing the transmission for better accessibility... What exactly do I need to do this job on my own?

The front is up on typical jack stands. I was planning to use my motorr cycle jack and perhaps make a cradle.

But for those who have done this, whats the weight I should be expecting to move around.
How tall, how much clearance will I need to slide it out?

Any advice from those who have done it is much appreciated.
I'm thinking this is a big job, tell me it's not....
 

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I have a cantilever hoist, the usual $200 cheap Harbor Freight kind, though it works fine. I like to take things out the top, due to my bad back and arthritic knees. I have never tried lowering it out the bottom, though other folks seem to have done it.
One poster talked about pulling the axle shaft and outer CV joints out of the inner end of the axle assemblies. At that spot they arent too hard to get to come apart, and can even be put back together with a new inner boot. And although I have not done it, you can apparently then remove the trans upward or downward, with those inner casings still sticking out of the transmission.

I have had one circlip give me grief, on the passenger side of the trans. The axle assembly had already been pulled apart by the prior owner, so I was able to get the driver's side CV axle removed, and the transmission onto my workbench. I had to use a pair of cold chisels, acting like wedges, and driven into the space between the trans differential case and the inner side of the CV casing. I had them facing in opposite directions, and after hammering - the CV casing finally pulled out of the splines in the differential output gear. The circlip was fractured, but no damage was done to the inner splines on the diff. gear. There was a little distortion to the side of the trans case, but was only superficial.
My neighbor had the problem with the driver's side on his 96LX. He dealt with it with the trans in place, by finally MIG welding a steel plate over the end of the CV casing (with the axle itself having been pulled out of the casing), and then welding a nut to that whose threads matched the end of his Snap-On Heavy Duty slide hammer. Then he was able to get the inner CV casing to pull out of the splines in the output gear. Another fractured "C" clip, also with no damage to the internal splines.

I had looked around for exact replacement "C" clips, without success. If you find a source for the proper size clips, please let us know.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
So ultimately you and your friend found you needed to destroy the circlip in order to get these things out?!
Depressing.

I don't imagine I have the muscle to break a circlip while the trans is in place...
 

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If the circlup is fractured, or is just too big to easily get squeezed back into the groove for it in the splined inner end of the CV axle, there isnt any way to get things apart - without the circlip getting chewed up. It just took a few hundred pounds of force (my estimate being 200-300 lbs) compared with maybe 50 pounds of force in the case of a circlip that was still intact and able to be squeezed down into the groove made for it in the splined inner end of the CV axle.
I doubt its all that rare for it to happen - which is why the Service manual says to use a new circlip each time. New circlips come with new or rebuilt CV axle assemblies at least.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
i would have to estimate the linear force needed well north of that...
anywho, im first machineing myself a proper wedge like those so called 'axle poppers"
this ive more or less done already but will try a nicely fitting, gradual increasing wedge with plenty of meat to bang in, made of a good 4140 alloy, and polished to slip in...
if not then the trans comes out...
but i recall another problem... i could never manage to get the spedo gear out.
Always tilted the vehicle with one axle in a pourd trans fluid in with a hose and funnel.
freakin escort.
 

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You are experiencing two of the worst four problems with working on a 2nd gen Escort; at least they are in my opinion.
Getting the driver's side CV axle assembly out is one.
Another is getting the Vehicle Speed Sensor out of the transmission. (The other two are dropping the front-to-rear crossmember that supports the bell housing, and installing a new lower radiator hose onto the water pump inlet and getting the clamp installed on it).

Folks who have an Escort that has never been in a climate where they use salt on the roads in winter may be able to just wiggle the VSS up and out. Of the 6 Escorts I have worked on, only two of them came out that easy. But in each case I was rebuilding the auto trans or putting in a new clutch in the 5-speed as well as rebuilding the engines - so my fight with the VSS took place on the workbench each time.
I am amazed you were able to get enough fluid into the trans the way you describe.
There have been quite a few posts about the 'stuck VSS' and the techniques members had to use to get them out. Not only are they nearly inaccessible with the trans in the car, they tend to be a little fragile when you put vise grips on them. Some members have drilled the guts out of them, then used an easy-out to get the wreckage of the VSS out.
My technique is to use a cheap wooden chisel, driving the tip of the blade as a wedge between the slight lip on the top of the aluminum part of the VSS, and the flat part of the trans case where it rests. Lots of penetrating oil, repeated tapping with a light hammer to drive the wedge in for 1/16", and even some careful use of my oxy-acetylene torch, and patience; to get the VSS free. Then I file off the crud on the VSS where it was corroded, and polish the interior of the bore it fits into, and liberal use of a silicon base antiseize compound, and reinstall. I check the trans fluid in my 5-speed once a year, and I re-apply the antiseize each time. With the automatic trans you dont need to take the VSS out until it quits working - which hasnt happened to me yet.
In one case I needed to get the VSS out of the 5-speed, working with the engine/trans still in the car. It soaked up time on 3 evenings, me lying under the car, using a sawed off wood chisel and a heavy framing hammer, to get it loose; because I didnt initially use my antiseize compound on the VSS!
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
U seem like the guy i need to know... wish u were in my neck of the woods.

So you dont consider dropping the trans that big a deal eh..
I never experienced the bell housing and will ditch the cat before I do, but u are dead on about the radiator hose. After installing my pump I went at that with for hours before bloodying hands them giving up and pulling the oil pump and dropping the engine (mounts).
I recall dousing the house end with silicone spray finally allowed it to slip on.
I use it to slip on any hose that gives me a hard time since.

But I would slip one thing ahead of that hose, the rear lateral links to wheel knuckle bolts... I've never swung a sledge hammer so hard on a bolt... 12 ton press wouldn't touch it do it.

I'm going to take a torch and vise grips squeezing those new circlips...
That's if these ever come out..

tell me something, would you first try welding the slide hammer trick or drop the trans first?
the fear id have in welding is if they dont come out and if i ruin the cv housings, then and cant even just reuse them as a last result... then again it would save dropping the engine.


Also, would u happen to know the diameter of the vss just under that lip?
I'll try to make a wedge for that as well...
 

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U seem like the guy i need to know... wish u were in my neck of the woods.
...............................

Also, would u happen to know the diameter of the vss just under that lip?
I'll try to make a wedge for that as well...
I too want to move denisond3 to MY neighborhood, ha.

I have a spare VSS [Gen 2 manual 5 speed transmission] so I miked it the best I could and seems to be planned for 1.100 inches, because it was right ON that mark, which translates to 27.94 mm.... so do ya suppose that hole is APPROX 28 mm? the hole perhaps slightly MORE than 27.94 but LESS than 28 mm? Remember the hole has to bee large enough to accommodate that O-Ring.

I won't confess how long it took ME to get the VSS out and BACK in; I think I set a record for MAX time, ha. Yet, my earlier TWO cars I worked on, both manual Gen 2's, came out EASY.......... so my THIRD came to keep me humble.

Good luck,

LarryR
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Ya that's plenty accurate for this idea, a U shaped chisel/wedge thingy with a 28mm opening.
Thanks. I sure don't look forward to any of this
 

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I think I would take out the transmission - which to me means taking out the engine also; hoisting from above. But then I am a retired guy, with more time than money, and old enough to need the exercise anyway.

P.S. I dont play any video games. I play a reality game, where I try to fix all that is wrong with a car, so I can drive it anywhere with reliability. I try do pre-emptive repair.
 

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Ya that's plenty accurate for this idea, a U shaped chisel/wedge thingy with a 28mm opening.
Thanks. I sure don't look forward to any of this
OK, I see what you're up to, but knowing THAT now, I'd go to 30 mm opening for starters so that you are more certain NOT to damage the part of the VSS that is below that surface. I'll measure the "rim" that is around that and report back later.

Good luck,

LarryR
 

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The rim is only slightly larger than the main diameter down inside - where the corrosion is. Thats why I only drive my chisel (wedge) directly at the rim-to-trans joint, but moved the chisel from side to side, so as to be able to hit it in areas that I hadnt already gotten slightly bent-up.
 

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After reading of many struggles with removing this VSS, I had often thought of grinding/cutting a pair of flat spots on the shoulder so that a wrench or even a good channel lock tool could be used to twist it to loosen it, and perhaps at the same time, provide a GRIP so that it could also be encouraged UPWARDS.

While doing my measurements tonight I discovered that there is ALREADY ONE flat spot on the shoulder, but which DIRECTION it points after installation is unknown, but CAN BE determined by the person at the time of RE-inserting. So there goes my idea as being probably not necessary.

OK, back to the measurements; please don't take me for a precise measurer, as my "micrometer" is a plastic one that is only RELATIVELY accurate, but for our discussion here, it should be ok.

So the shoulder diameter appears to be approx. 31.3 mm, which translates to approx. 1.314 inches, which translates to approx. 33.4 mm. Remember, the poster above is planning to make a "U-shaped" TOOL, so I'm only giving dimensions to help in that effort. And as stated earlier, I would NOT make the inner section to be a mere 28 mm for fear of gouging the VSS itself, underneath that shoulder.

So, I'm guessing that I'D make the inner "open" section approx. 29.5 or 30 mm and "aim carefully"........... and of course, the width of that "forking" tool should be a little larger than the diameter of the shoulder in case it isn't quite "centered" during use, perhaps go to a minimum of 35, 36, 37, or even 38 mm, AND be careful that you're not prying on that flat spot that I discovered is ALREADY CUT OUT/OFF.... or you'll be prying on NOTHING on that side.

If I was REALLY nice I'd post a photo, but perhaps somebody out there has a photo of this VSS to post. OH, and some folks in the past have complained about the clamping arm on the VSS.... did you know it SLIDES OFF and you can take it OUT OF THE WAY while struggling with the VSS main body?

No, I never passed the exercises we had on conciseness.

Hope ya'll can see what I mean and intend.

LarryR
 

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OK, here are the photos of my "spare" VSS............

Hoping they come thru.

LarryR
 

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Discussion Starter #16
thanks for the HQ pics
2 questions.
how much space do i have between under that lip and the trans case?

how deep does the corrosion get? to the O ring? past it?
or is it just at the rim?

i saw this part on line, seems 50 - 60 if i end up needing to drill it out
 

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thanks for the HQ pics
2 questions.
how much space do i have between under that lip and the trans case?

how deep does the corrosion get? to the O ring? past it?
or is it just at the rim?

i saw this part on line, seems 50 - 60 if i end up needing to drill it out
Space? zero inches. That's why it's so tough to get a screwdriver started; thus denisond3's use of an old "wood chisel"; need something THIN, yet strong to get it STARTED into that tight space.

You saw mine, right? I did NOT cleaning on that part, except to rub off a little grease around the shoulder so the photo would show it better. I saw NO corrosion on mine. Why so tough to get out? I've never figured it out yet, ha.

I don't know what you mean, 50-60????????????? you mean purchase for 50 or 60 dollars? I personally don't know what would be a fair price. I've NO memory to count on, but 15 minutes ago I read an open thread about WHICH brand to buy, Motorcraft or another brand............. wish I could find it for you.........reading THAT thread might shed some light for you too.

I'll glance around again and see if I can spot it.

[Edit; I can't find it; I KNOW they mentioned Motorcraft and another brand EBW?????? or another three letter brand, and it was a RECENT post; our "search" doesn't help here because if you search for VSS it says it's too common or too short to search for, hmmmmm]

[Edit num 2; it's HERE; and it was Fordparts.com and BWD brand they mentioned.
http://www.feoa.net/threads/clutch-master-replacement-time.83893/
end of edit num 2]

[Edit num 3; it's Fordparts.com, NOT Fordparts.cmo]

LarryR
 

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I had -thought- of grinding my wood chisel to have a curved face (to match the diameter of the VSS) instead of a straight one, to have additional width of the 'wedge' to better force the VSS lip up, but my homemade grinder was too small and slow; it would have taken too long to get the chisel ground to that shape. I still may do it someday, after I buy myself a two wheel grinder with a decent tool rest - so I can also properly sharpen woodworking tools.
For working on the VSS from under the car, I shortened the chisel by removing the handle. It was still hard to have room to swing a hammer. I used a fairly large ball-peen hammer, as my claw hammer took up too much space due to the 'claw'. Even then I held the hammer so the side of its head (the smaller dimension) was hitting the end of the wood chisel shank.
On the VSS's I had with visible corrosion, it didnt go past the "O" ring. My filing between the lip and the "O" ring probably made the VSS diameter there slightly smaller. I made sure that space was filled with silicone grease when I re-installed.
After a few years, the rubber of the "O" ring will probably sort of adhere to the walls of the bore for the VSS inside the trans case.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
i see so no room at all under that lip. Thus the sharp chisel idea seems the way to go first.
Speaking of which brings me to this:
http://tinyurl.com/m4zgmmq
and this:
http://tinyurl.com/ktcgrj7

Finished the half shaft removal wedge chisel popper thingy.
4140 alloy steel with a 35mm opening just enough to fit around the shoulder of the axle by the splines...
in hind sight i could have made it a bit more gradual with the slope.
But i was thinking if the circlip gets bent and pulls through, i may need as much wedge spacer as possible.

I really hope this works.
 

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i see so no room at all under that lip. Thus the sharp chisel idea seems the way to go first.
Speaking of which brings me to this:
http://tinyurl.com/m4zgmmq
and this:
http://tinyurl.com/ktcgrj7

Finished the half shaft removal wedge chisel popper thingy.
4140 alloy steel with a 35mm opening just enough to fit around the shoulder of the axle by the splines...
in hind sight i could have made it a bit more gradual with the slope.
But i was thinking if the circlip gets bent and pulls through, i may need as much wedge spacer as possible.

I really hope this works.
Ya But.................... I like the idea of "thinner" to get it started [VSS or CV]. THEN, we/you can graduate to a thicker, or even more conventional tool to go the rest of the way. As you point out, it's VERY difficult, to say the least, to get a conventional started. Not mentioning the space limitations for hands and handle, of course.

But for sure, a nice sharp, tapered "chisel" effect has got to help make it easier.

Good luck,

LarryR
 
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