Thursday, June 12, 2014

Replacing the transmission on a Jaguar XJ8 (how to get to the rear main oil seal)

This is not a job everybody wants top tackle, but you can never have to much information or pics! So here is the procedure for taking out the transmission on a Jaguar XJ8 (the XK is pretty similar):

One hint before your begin:  Buy this stuff: Blaster 16-PB Penetrating Catalyst - 11 oz. and spray all the bolts in the bell housing, tranny mount, and exhaust with it the night before. 
  • Start by removing the expansion tank. It has a bolt at the top, a bolt through the side, three hoses at the top, and a hose at the bottom. Don't forget to unplug the sensor from the bottom before you start pulling on that tank!
  • There is going to be a heat shield covering the top catalytic converter bolts. You have to remove the three screws holding it. Then there is 4 nuts that hold the top of the converter in place. I removing with a deep swivel 15 mm and a long 3/8 extension. The other side has no cover so just remove the 4 bolts holding the converter in place. 


  • Now is time to unplug the oxygen sensors. As you can see in the pic is the two grey and two black connectors. There is also a bigger connector in the same bracket, you need to unplug that too, is for the transmission position sensor. When the connectors are unplug, you need to unclip them from the bracket and push them down in such a way that they won't get caught when you fish out the exhaust.
  • With the top bolts removed for the cat, and you need to remove the two pairs of bolts that hold the cats in place, and at the opposite side of the exhaust loosen the two 15 mm nuts. Then you have to remove two 10 mm  that hold the center bracket of the exhaust. Then is the pain of pushing the exhaust forward and fishing it down. At least two people to do this, three recomended. 


  • Here is a pic of the back exhaust nuts.


  • Here is a couple of more pics of the exhaust so you have an idea of how to work it.

  • Then you need to undo the bolts that hold the converter in place. They are 16 mm if I remember correctly. With the car on neutral, remove the rubber cover that covers the converter bolts (by where the crankshaft position sensor is) and turn the engine with a half inch drive and a 15/16 socket, until you can see one of the converter bolts. Then crack it with a 3/8 ratchet and a 16 mm socket, and take it out. Turn the engine and repeat to remove the other two bolts for a total of three. Then remove the other plastic cover at the bottom of the bell housing and with a pry bar push the converter back.

  • Remove the two 8 mm bolts and the 13 mm nut holding the shifter in place.

  • Now it's time to place a piece of wood and a jack at the bottom of the transmission to support it. Then we are going to remove the bolts that secure the transmission mount to the car and the bolt that secures it to the transmission. The one to the car ar torx 40 (I think) and the one to the tranny is a 10 mm. Then with a wrench and a 3/8 ratchet remove three bolts and nuts that hold the driveshaft in place and move it out of the way.


  • Lower the jack a little bit so as to "tilt the tranny and the engine". Now you have to remove the bracket in which all the oxygen sensors where clipped. There are two 10 mm bolts that hold this bracket in place. This will allow you to access the bolts at the top of the bell housing with the help of a long ass (and I mean looooong ass) 3/8 extension. Remember a bunch of 3/8 extensions can me a long ass 3/8 extensions. I use a swivel 13 mm at the tip of that 3/8. There is three pain in the ass bolts at the top of the bell housing. Then there are a lot of bolts at the sides, but when you have one left stop. 





  • Now is time to remove the lines, make sure you catch all the tranny fluid and don't contaminate our environment! If you don't care about the environment do it because you need a good idea of how much tranny fluid you lost when refilling the transmission, if you are putting the same transmission back.



  • Then with your buddies you are to remove that last bolt and pry the transmission out of its guides, and slowly lower it down. Make sure that no harness gets caught and that you are not pulling anything. And make sure it doesn't fall on your head, one guy on each side of the transmission balancing it until is down. When is down with your buddy's help lift it and put it on the floor, don't leave it in the jack.

  • If you are replacing the rear main oil seal then this is what you see with the tranny removed:


  • Notice the seal is out of place. If you buy a new seal it comes with detailed instructions on how to change it, and a special tool to do it. Below there are pics of the flywheel removed and the new seal in place.



  • To put it back just trace back your steps :D


3 comments:

  1. Thank you so much for this great tutorial! So what did you do for transmission fluid? I'm seen ZF engineers discuss the actual need for ESSO ATF LT 71141 and transmission repair folks claim aftermarket equivalents are fine? I've read 60k is the actual sweet spot for transmission fluid change vs. 100k or sealed for life bs.Thoughts? You should do a transmission fluid change tutorial. Thanks again!

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  2. The three bolts at the top of the bell housing are easily removed from above with a deep 13mm and a ratchet, after removal of the air plenum. You can leave the throttle body in place and even the radiator catch tank.

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  3. Thank you for the detailed procedure on how to remove the transmission. The comments by Fangioparis worth noting. I have just dropped my xj8 3.2 transmission as I shall have a go in overhauling mine. Thanks Bill.

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