78 cj5 clutch change, split trans/tc - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 6 Old 07-11-2020, 03:45 PM Thread Starter
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Working on changing the clutch in my my 78 cj5 4.2 t18 trans. I have the clutch and bell housing (luk clutch, Sachs flywheel) all in with no issues. Clutch alignment tool goes in and out fine. But for the life of me I cannot get the transmission installed. I get the transmission about 2 1/2 -3 inches from the bellhousing (shaft in throw out bearing) and am stuck. I have a hf trans jack to hold the trans, trans ratcheted down, and then a floor jack on the back of the transfer case to help even it out.

Today I tried using a longer bolt on the top driver side but it was really tight and felt like it did not want to go in so I stopped.

I think part of the problem is the size of the t18 and Dana 20. I was thinking can I split the trans and transfer case then make it easier to install? I am at a loss and about to take it to a shop...or burn it down

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post #2 of 6 Old 07-12-2020, 01:37 AM
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1979 CJ5 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Kingsville
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Originally Posted by chappys4life View Post

I am at a loss and about to take it to a shop...or burn it down
Lol, I feel your pain as I have had several “burn it down moments” during my rebuild. I’m no pro at all but I have installed a couple trannies, just not the T18. I recently installed my T-150 with the Dana 20 and couldn’t get it to go anywhere until I put two long bolts in the top two mounting holes. I’m not sure just placing one on the drivers side will do it because if you are twisted at all then its not going to go through that bearing. It helps with the one but the second bolt should line you up better. Go with at least 4 -6” of bolt sticking out of the housing (cut the hex heads off). The tranny jack is great, I wish i had one. Is your engine just hanging on the mounts? You may need to carefully jack it up in the rear as well or use a hoist with a load leveler. I fought it for a while with my wife but once we put the two longer bolts up top it lined up and pretty much slid home. Good luck!
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post #3 of 6 Old 07-12-2020, 05:53 AM
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something to keep in mind is that the engine normally sits at a down-angle to the rear so you've got to match that angle with the trans positioning in order for the trans input shaft to mate up easily. It doesn't take much difference in the angles for the tranny to hang up.

Another thing that can help is for someone to work the clutch as you try to slide the tranny in. Sometimes the tranny shaft gets hung up a little on the throwout brg. as you try to push the tranny in.
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post #4 of 6 Old 07-12-2020, 07:07 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the tips. Yes right now the motor is hanging by just the engine mounts. I just put new poly squatting mounts in while the transmission was out.

I will try the dual bolt and work the clutch action as well.

No one has mentioned about splitting the two? Would it be super hard to install the tc after? Seems like it makes sense to separate them
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post #5 of 6 Old 07-12-2020, 07:53 AM
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the way i install a transmission is to us a couple of long bolts that i cut the head off of as guide pins. i screw them one on each side of the engine block. then using a transmission jack you can get the transmission and bellhousing to slide down the guide pins. they will align the you right and left. then tilt the transmission till it looks even with the engine. then after that its normally just a couple of wiggles and the input of the transmission goes right into the pilot bushing . then your in. i put the top bolts in then remove one guide pin at a time and install the bolts.
to make it easier i woupld also make sure you are supporting the engine. i have a big jenga block i made out of 2x4 that sits under the oil pan when i had my transmission out.

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post #6 of 6 Old 07-12-2020, 01:00 PM
John Strenk
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I also put the trany in gear so I can rotate the input shaft splines so it lines up with the splines in the clutch.

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