Planning to get your Ford F150 transmission replaced? Well, you can save about $500 to $1000 off transmission shops if you plan to do so at home by yourself. It may take you a little longer time to complete the Ford F150 transmission replacement when you will be doing it at home, but it will surely help you save your money and will also build your technical understanding of your truck.
The Ford F150 transmission can be replaced at home within a couple of hours with some basic tools and a helping hand. In this Ford F150 Transmission Replacement Guide, we will be guiding you with all the rights steps you need to take to replace your Ford F150 transmission at home. Remember to work with caution since safety is our primary concern.
Replace Ford F150 Transmission
Well, the first step is to park your car on level ground, pull the hand brake and use a hydraulic floor jack to lift the vehicle high enough so that the transmission is accessible and can be removed underneath the vehicle. The mechanic would have done it using a vehicle hydraulic elevator but since you are doing this at home this is your alternative option.
Once the truck is elevated enough, you need to place jack stands to keep the vehicle steady at this position. You cannot rely on the hydraulic jack for this since that is only recommended for temporary work. Once the jack stands are placed under the truck’s frame, you can lower the vehicle using the hydraulic floor jack onto the jack stands.
Time to get your hands dirty. Start off by removing the transmission oil. You will need to loosen the transmission pan bolts and drain the oil in a container. Reinstall the pan once the oil is completely drained, but do not tighten the bolts.
Now open up your bonnet and locate the transmission oil fill tube, then remove the oil dipstick.
Next, loosen the bolts that fasten the transmission oil fill tube and remove the tube. Once removed, insert the oil dipstick back into the oil fill tube and place it aside.
Put the vehicle in neutral gear, then remove the two U bolts that secure the rear axle and the driveshaft to disconnect them. Angle the universal joint in a degree so that one bearing cap faces the yoke while the other one points away.
Now by turning the drive shaft, the two yokes will separate. The universal joint will remain with the shaft. Rotate the driveshaft and angle the 4 point bearings to disconnect it from the rear axle yoke and to separate the shaft from the rear axle. With the help of the turning motion, when one bearing cap is facing the yoke, the other one will come out freely.
You will now remove the driveshaft from the transmission. The shaft’s spindle may be hard to remove, so you can consider tapping it with a hammer to get it free.
Using a pair of wrenches, reach the point where the engine connects to the transmission and loosen the torque converter bolts. You will need to turn the flywheel to remove all the torque converter bolts which you can do by turning the truck’s starter to rotate the flywheel.
Once the torque converter bolts are loosened are removed, secure it with the transmission using cable ties.
Now place the hydraulic floor jack under the transmission pan and give it a slight lift to relieve the weight from supporting foundations. Then unfasten the cross frame that is under the transmission. This cross frame consists of multiple fasteners which secure the transmission to the truck chassis. You will need to unfasten these fasteners both from the chassis as well as from the transmission itself.
Unfasten the transmission’s bell housing bolts at the front side. After removing the bell housing bolts, the transmission will only be holding its place with the help of the two alignment guides. Carefully lower the transmission onto the jack as you remove the last few bolts.
After lowering the transmission onto the jack, remove the jack and carefully place the transmission on the floor. Then pull it out from beneath the truck. This will require the help of a friend.
Installing The Ford F150 Transmission
Great job. Now it is time to install your new Ford F150 transmission. Before you jump on installing the new transmission, it is recommended to inspect your truck for any damages or broken parts. This is just a suggestion though because you have your transmission removed and if there is any other replacement part that is damaged, it can also be replaced right now. For example, if you find rust on any of the bolts, or a broken transmission pan, you can readily replace it.
Moving on to the installation, the steps will generally remain the same but will run in reverse, however, we will still be guiding you so you don’t get confused. Here are the Ford F150 transmission installation steps:
Remove the transmission pan from the old transmission and install it on the new transmission if you have not bought a new oil pan for it. Place the transmission on the floor and bring it right below the mounting position under the truck. Then place it on the hydraulic floor jack with the transmission pan facing downwards and slowly elevate the transmission till it sits on the two alignment posts. Then tighten each bell housing bolt at the front end of the transmission.
Once the bell housing bolts are tightened, elevate it just a little so you can easily install the cross frame with the truck’s chassis and transmission body. With the transmission’s body weight supported by the jack, you will easily be able to engage and tighten all the bolts.
Cut the cable ties that were holding the torque converter to make it ready to connect with the new transmission.
Next, you will connect the torque converter with the front part of the transmission. Place the bolts and tightly secure the torque converter with the transmission. Use the starter to turn the flywheel of the truck to access each bolt.
Now install the drive shaft into the transmission. If the spindle is hard to connect, apply some grease evenly and lightly hammer it into the transmission.
Angle the 4 point bearings and rotate the driveshaft to get it coupled with the rear axle yoke, just like we did while removing it but in reverse. This may sound confusing but will be very simple once you have already experienced removing it. Similarly, couple the two yokes together.
Angle the universal joint as required to connect the rear axle and driveshaft, then fasten the two U bolts.
Remove the oil dipstick from the transmission oil fill tube then install it back on the transmission by fastening its bolts. Insert the dipstick afterward.
Open the transmission oil pouring cap and add transmission oil. Do not use the old oil from the previous transmission. Add new oil and monitor the level using the dipstick, then close the cap.
Now that the transmission is completely secured, use the hydraulic floor jack to elevate the truck and remove the jack stands.
After removing the jack stands, lower the truck onto the ground by lowering the floor jack. Once lowered, remove the floor jack.
Key Points To Remember
Congratulations, you just replaced your Ford F150 transmission. That wasn’t so hard, was it? Now, start your truck and give it a drive. If you sense any vibration during the drive, that may be because of any loose bolts, provided that you have fastened the transmission correctly. Lift your truck again using the floor jack and jack stands and inspect for any loose bolts. On the other hand, if everything runs smoothly, you are good to go.
Some important points to keep in mind before planning to replace the Ford F150 transmission by yourself:
- You have all the proper tools which include ratchet, extension, socket and wrench set, jack stands, and a hydraulic jack.
- Whether you are physically strong enough to perform the transmission replacement activity?
- Whether you have the exact new transmission available? (We don’t want to remove the old transmission and later find out that we have got a different model).
- Whether you have a helping hand? (A friend maybe?)
- Whether you have level ground and a proper space to perform this activity.
Some important points to keep in mind while replacing the Ford F150 transmission by yourself:
- Ensure the tight fastening of each bolt. (A loose bolt can cause serious damage to both the engine and the transmission).
- Balancing the truck properly to avoid any accidents during work.
- Balancing the transmission while removing and installing it using the floor jack.
- Adding new transmission oil instead of the old one.
Ford F150 Transmission Replacement FAQ’s
Besides these, people also have some questions that they usually ask, here are the answers:
Question: How much does it usually cost to replace a Ford F150 transmission?
Answer: The cost for a Ford F150 transmission ranges from $1700 to $4000 depending upon the model and year. But this the cost of the part alone, the charges for its replacement varies from $500 to $1000.
Question: How much time does it take to replace a Ford F150 transmission?
Answer: Well if you are doing it by yourself, it will take you almost five to six hours to complete the job, the mechanic will do it in a much smaller time frame due to his expertise and availability of tools.
Question: How do I know what transmission I have in my F150?
Answer: Well, you just have to find the white vehicle description card that is pasted to the side of the driver’s door. On this card will find all the technical details about your Ford F150. You can take these details and then search for the relevant transmission for your vehicle.
Question: What year F150 is the most reliable?
Answer: According to the data released by National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration, the worst Ford F150 models were 2002, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2010 2013, 2015 and 2016, whereas the most successful model years were 1993, 1994, 1996, 1998, 2001, 2003, 2009, 2012, 2014 and 2018.
So here you have it, a detailed guide about Ford’s F150 transmission replacement.
I would also like to share my opinion, or what I would do if I were you and I ever encountered a problem with my Ford F150. Well first I would take my truck to the mechanic and let him diagnose the problem. If the fault is repairable and does not cost too much to get fixed, I would get it repaired. However, if the transmission is totaled and requires replacement, I would consider whether I have all the relevant tools and space to change the transmission myself.
There is no big deal in replacing the transmission. It is just a mechanical part with a few bolts in tight places which needs to be loosened and tightened back once the part is replaced. If you have time, energy and the right set of tools, you too can do it by yourself and save money.
But if you are just trying to save money and lack the confidence and technical understanding for performing this job, I’m sorry but this is not for you. It is better if you let the professionals handle it. The transmission is crucial for running your car, if you mess with in order to save some money, it will only cost you double since it will wreck the engine as well.
I hope this guide will help you in replacing your Ford F150’s transmission and let you make a wise decision if you are not sure whether you should do it by yourself or get it done by a professional.