hi guys, the transmission recently broke in my 1997 900se. blew a hole straight through it. i was wondering if there was a way to replace the tranny without a lift? id love to keep the car and keep it going rather than a scrap yard have it.
I've done it without a lift. You need to remove the subframe, then support the engine while you take the trans out though the bottom. No way for it to come out except for through the bottom. a lift certainly makes it easier. You can get your car pretty high on jack stands, then maneuver it all out the bottom. It really helps to have a transmission jack as well but I have steadied it on a regular jack before. For that it is really good to have a helper.
Yeah no problems doing it without a lift at all. The manuals weigh about 90lbs, so using a jack isn't even required. I usually use a 3x3 square of foam rubber flooring on my chest so it doesn't poke me, then shimmy under it and press it into place. There's some technique, but very doable shade tree style. The autos are heavier, never did one of those so can't speak to it. I've done maybe 15 or so manual jobs trying different clutches and for friends etc.
While a bit heavier, the auto is easier to finesse into position than the manual.
Either way, with a way to support the engine (I've used a couple 2X6's bolted together as the cross brace) the rest gets pretty easy.
Drop the subframe, rain the box, pop out the left driveshaft and then disconnect the transmission from the car. Support the transmission and disconnect it from the engine. Slide it out far enough to clear the right output shaft/flywheel and lower away.
The job will kill the heck out of a Saturday.
If you're working on a manual with hydraulic slave, don't forget to bleed the slave beforehand. I've found using an e-z bleeder with a hose routed back to the reservoir the fasted way to bleed the clutch MC once everything's together.