well i probably have all the resources but i might not know what im doing cause ive never did it before.But i do have a haynes manual and pretty good experience working on cars.seems the only problem i might have is removing the front part of the exhaust according to the haynes manual
I was wondering the same thing, but I don't see myself doing it in 5 hours. And I am handier than most people. When you say remove, you mean remove the whole thing, including the casing or can you just remove the innards?
Before I'd do that I'd verify the fluid level, solenoids, and transmission pump were good.
I agree its not too hard, but I wouldnt have done it myself if I had not had another car I could drive in the interim. The special tools I had were a cheap hoist hanging from large wooden A frame, an acetylene torch (only needed for loosening any nuts/bolts rusted up - such as were on the exhaust system), and a 30" truck tire 'spoon' and a cold chisel with a tapered shape for prying the axles out of the differential. I used WD-40 in several places - like the bolts holding the battery tray and the driver's side motor mount.
I dont know how to check the solenoids without dropping the valve body out, and I wouldnt do that with the tranny in the car: Because I prefer having the tranny in front of me on a workbench to lying on my back with ATF dripping in my face.
If you opt to use a tranny from the junkyard, I advise getting the new "oil pump relief valve and spring" to put in it. This comes with a master repair kit, but is also available separately, and costs about $20. Any outlet that sells transmission 'hard parts' would probably have it. It is easy to install, can be even be installed with the tranny in the car. (But as its on the bottom of the tranny - lots of ATF would be coming out). It corrects a problem of low ATF pressure at low rpm that the F4EAT trannies had. You get to it via a large hex headed plug on the bottom part of the oil pump casting - the large rusty item on the drivers side end of the tranny.
As for time - I spent a lot more than 5 hours getting the tranny out, but Im a hobbyist, not a mechanic by trade or training. I have more time than money to spend.
Its slightly different, mainly because the manual tranny has to slide several inches (4 or 5?) directly away from the engine before the input shaft of the tranny clears the pressure plate; and there's not room for this to happen without lowering the tranny/motor a ways.
With the automatic transmission, you only need to slide the tranny 2 Inches at most before it can move independently of the motor & lower it. This is after you have unbolted the torque converter by working through the access hole in the bottom of the engine oil pan. This assumes you have already removed the lower support member that runs under the tranny, as well as the axle shafts and the motor mounts that are on the tranny. I think it weighs a little over 100 lbs. You have to have the front of the car elevated, but not extremely. I used blocks of wood stacked to about 11 or 12 inches high, sited under the body right below where the front doors hinge on each side. This gives you room underneath, but you can still reach over the fenders/radiator support.
You do need to support the engine, either using some overhead 2 by 4's and a lenth of chain bolted to things like the manifold studs, or holding it up with blocks from below, or even using the special tool made for the purpose. (But which I dont have).
Knowing what I do now, I prefer to take the engine and tranny out together, which means hoisting it up, tilted with the tranny low. This is because by the time the auto tranny needs rebuilt, or the 5 speed needs a clutch, its probably worthwhile also fiddling with the motor - new piston rings, a valve job for the head, new crank bearings and main seals. Then Im ready for another 100,000 miles of more or less neglecting it - and just driving.
If I was a paid pro mechanic, I probably wouldnt have the luxury of doing things in a way to make the job fun, but that runs up the labor hours.