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Old 10-16-2010, 11:02 AM   #1
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Hot to reach those two bolts on top of bellhousing?

Hi all, I hope your beer is ice-cold

I'm working on replacing the torque converter on my '97 TJ 2.5L. The tranny oil dipstick must go away. I just can't find a way to reach that damn bolt holding the fill tube at the top of the bellhousing.

Same for those two other bolts at the top of the bellhousing.

What's the trick?? How do you reach those bolts and which tool fits there? Seems like the entire engine-transmission must tilt to make room for a tool to make it there...

[IMG]file:///D:/30RH%20&%2032RH%20AUTOMATIC%20TRANSMISSION_files/0_30RH_FILLTUBE.jpg[/IMG][IMG]file:///D:/30RH%20&%2032RH%20AUTOMATIC%20TRANSMISSION_files/0_30RH_FILLTUBE.jpg[/IMG]

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Old 10-16-2010, 01:10 PM   #2
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right.. title should read "How to..." lol

Anyhow any ideas welcome

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Old 10-16-2010, 01:39 PM   #3
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Not sure if you can do it on a jeep but all other cars I just dropped the tail of the transmission and used a long extension to get at them.
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Old 10-16-2010, 01:57 PM   #4
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I'm in the process of dropping the transmission on mine as well. I'm taking the transfer case off first to give me a bit more room, and I think I can get to them with an extension like ThrashN said. If that doesn't work I have a set of super short ratcheting wrenches that I got from harbor freight for 10 bucks. Those stupid things have saved me so much time and trouble it's rediculous.
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Old 10-16-2010, 02:12 PM   #5
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LONG extension and a universal should do the trick
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Old 10-16-2010, 02:16 PM   #6
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I used 3 feet of extensions and a ratchet with a snip on the end go over the t case and the tranny and just get someone to watch when the socket (torx) is on the bolt. That's how I did it. Worked like a charm and don't have to lower the tranny or t case or anything like that
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Old 10-16-2010, 07:48 PM   #7
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X2 on the long extensions. I put many together to literally make the extension 2-3 feet long, but it worked.
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Old 10-16-2010, 09:10 PM   #8
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On my nv3550 I dropped the transmission as far as possible then I could fit an impact on those e12 bolts
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Old 10-17-2010, 07:35 AM   #9
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@ThrashN: that's the idea my wife suggested and.. I dismissed it as "blonde silliness"

So what you are saying is that the engine swivels on it's supports when tail of transmission is (carefully) dropped, thus freeing room above the tranny and repositioning those upper bolts on the bell-housing and making them more accessible for i.e. a 2-3ft long chain of extensions...

Damn'... if I do this my wife's going to bug me until X-mas singing "I was right-I was right"



Bdw on the 1997 TJ 2.5L with 30RH, having removed half of them, bell-housing is held by 5x 18mm bolts... along with a handful of other sizes holding thingies around and... two devilish T-55's holding the starter motor, one of then requiring removal of exhaust
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Old 10-17-2010, 10:54 AM   #10
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Yeah sorry to say you're gonna have to admit that the wife was right, boy you're never gonna hear the end of that.

Once you remove the transmission cross member you should be able to tilt it down low enough that the top bolts should be accessible.
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Old 10-18-2010, 12:28 AM   #11
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lol

Will try this today after work and report about it later on.

Just a silly question made it's way in my mind: how do you hold the nuts up there? Bellhousing bolting hardware are "bolt & nut" kind. I had to use a ratchet wrench & wrench to undo. A set of extensions may reach the bolts alright, but can't see a hand reaching there with a wrench to hold the nut? Especially when reassembling... don't tell me you glue the nuts in place
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Old 10-18-2010, 01:06 PM   #12
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You are all great, many many thanks. Beer is on me today

So, I
-supported the transmission placing a jack under transmission oil pan
-removed the skid plate
-freed the TC selector pin by pushing the transmission to the right (of the TJ)
-let the tail drop carefully, disconnecting electrical connectors, vent tubes etc on the way... and the transmission dropped surprisingly far (ca. 25°)

So image one is how the tunnel looks from the left side, looking forward (I hope u can see the pictures)

Click image for larger version

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Then I assembled a ratchet with a 3ft long chain of extensions and a universal joint at the end. Passing very easily above the TC and transmission I could plug it into the 1 o'clock bolt holding the fill tube, and very easily unbolt it.

Click image for larger version

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Only one small detail prevented me from dropping the transmission... a striped T-55 torx bolt holding the starter motor

Unable to find a solution (I'm a banker, not a mechanic) I got myself a large pint of ice cold German beer and sat thinking about where I will invite my wife to celebrate

So cheers to all and many thanks for the support
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Old 10-18-2010, 02:06 PM   #13
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When I dropped the tranny I had the same problem. A socket with a joint or get some one with small arms I had to in thread them a 1/4 turn at a time because the space is so small
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Old 10-18-2010, 02:08 PM   #14
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you should really try an impact. I just did this last weekend. and used the 1/2 drive impact gun, attached to an adapter and then a deep E12 socket...those bolts were easy as pie like that. If you don't have air tools get them, they make life so much easier.
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Old 10-18-2010, 02:35 PM   #15
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Glad to hear it's working out for you, with the exception of the torx bolt
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Old 10-23-2010, 07:51 AM   #16
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Update!

damaged TORX T-55 gone! Some details that may be of help to someone:

Used first an extractor that ended up breaking inside of the bolt... Those extractors are made of some very hard metal that I could not drill even with HSS bits. So ended up using a light angle grinder with a 1mm disk to cut the head of the bolt. The starter motor came off immediately, the left over bit of bolt was most easy to remove using another extrator and a simple battery operated scredriver. Note that the exhaust has to be removed to make space for the grinder.

What was blocking the bolt was the head, not the threads. A friend engineer gave me the clue: steel & aluminum in very long direct contact tend to weld toghether due to a chemical reaction called ###### (don't ask me I got lost at that point lol)


Conclusion: there is something to say about cutting heads to get rid of a problem lol

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