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Pelican Technical Article:

Transmission Removal

Time:

3 hrs

Tab:

$0

Talent:

***

Tools:

Torx socket set, jack + jackstands, Triple-square removal tool

Applicable Models:

Porsche 986 Boxster (1997-04)
Porsche 986 Boxster S (2000-04)

Parts Required:

-

Hot Tip:

Have a buddy help you when you're ready to drop the unit

Performance Gain:

Ability to access engine

Complementary Modification:

Clutch replacement, replace transmission mounts
101 Performance Projects for Your Porsche Boxster

This article is one in a series that have been released in conjunction with Wayne's new book, 101 Performance Projects for Your Porsche Boxster. The book contains 312 pages of full color projects detailing everything from performance mods to changing your brake pads. With more than 950+ full-color glossy photos accompanying extensive step-by-step procedures, this book is required reading in any Boxster owner's collection. The book is currently available and in stock now. See The Official Book Website for more details.

One really nice feature of working on the Boxster is that you can drop the transmission out of the car without dropping the entire engine. This allows the potential for you to complete many different projects that would have taken a lot more time and had been a lot more difficult to perform. As a result of this design, a clutch job on the Boxster is a fairly straightforward task and is not too terribly daunting. The first step of course, is to remove the transmission from the car. Follow the list of steps below:

The transmission weighs more than 100 lbs, so make sure that you are prepared when you pull it out and lower it. I recommend placing the transmission on a rolling furniture cart so that you can easily move it around and work on it.

Installation is pretty much the reverse of disassembly. See Project 45 for the proper installation of the slave cylinder. When attaching the transmission to the engine, tighten all of the M12 bolts down to 63 ft-lbs (85 Nm) and all of the M10 fasteners down to 33 ft-lbs (45 Nm).

The procedure is a bit more complicated for removal of the automatic transmission. You need to order some special tools in order to secure the torque converter when separating the transmission from the engine. You also need to disconnect the vacuum lines, the shift selector mechanism, and the coolant lines prior to removal. Due to space limitations here, I am not able to go over all of the details, but fortunately, most automatic transmissions do not need to be removed very often. The Bentley manual has a detailed section on the automatic transmission removal process.

Remove the right side heat shield from the support bracket.
Figure 1

Remove the right side heat shield from the support bracket. Do not forget to reinstall this when you put the transmission back into the car, as it protects the shifter cables and mechanism from the extreme heat of the exhaust system.

With the muffler removed from the car, remove the aluminum reinforcement bar from underneath the car (attached with bolts indicated by green arrows).
Figure 2

With the muffler removed from the car, remove the aluminum reinforcement bar from underneath the car (attached with bolts indicated by green arrows). Detach the muffler support bracket from the end of the transmission (orange arrow).

This photo shows the process of disconnecting the shifter cables.
Figure 3

This photo shows the process of disconnecting the shifter cables. Using two screwdrivers placed on either side of the ball, pull up and snap each shifter cable end (green arrow) off of its ball mount (yellow arrows). Detach the shifter cable sheath from its bracket by removing the small spring clips and prying them out of their bracket (inset photo, upper left). Inspect the inside of the cables carefully, as you may find that they are cracked and need replacement (right arrow). Unfortunately, at this time, you cannot replace just the bushing in this cable, but only the cable itself. I am currently working on having repair kits made for these cables however: check the website link at the beginning of this project for details.

This photo of the engine with the transmission removed shows location and type of the fasteners that attach the transmission.
Figure 4

This photo of the engine with the transmission removed shows location and type of the fasteners that attach the transmission. The location and orientation of the hardware can be very confusing and it's not well documented in the Porsche factory diagrams, so I've provided a legend with part numbers for all Boxsters 1997-08 here: M10x40mm triplesquare (999-073-118-09) B- M12x1.5x100mm (999-072-010-09) C- M12x1.5x100mm (999-072-010-09) with 15x28x3.5 washer (N-905-028-02) D/G- M12x1.5x70mm (999-072-008-09) E/F- M12x1.5x90mm (999-072-009-09) H- M10 hex nut (900-377-011-09) attached to M10x30mm stud in transmission case (999-218-088-09)

This photo shows the bottom of the transmission as we are pulling it away from the engine.
Figure 5

This photo shows the bottom of the transmission as we are pulling it away from the engine. The engine weight is supported by a jack stand (white arrow). Place the jack stand on the boss of the engine case where the green arrow is pointing. As you pull away the transmission from the engine, you will see a small gap begin to appear (yellow arrow). This indicates that you are proceeding correctly, and the transmission is beginning to come out.

Although you can do it yourself, I recommend having a transmission-drop buddy around to help you.
Figure 6

Although you can do it yourself, I recommend having a transmission-drop buddy around to help you. Using your jack, carefully line up the bottom of the jack with the bottom of the transmission as shown. If you position it just right, you will be able to balance the transmission perfectly on the jack. Don't put your arms, legs, or face underneath the transmission as you are pulling it out: once the mainshaft disconnects from the center of the clutch it will become really wobbly on your jack. Lower it to the floor carefully and pull it out from under the car.

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Comments and Suggestions:
Lou Comments: Is there a repair kit for the transmission side of the linkage? Thanks!!
August 3, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I'm sure the linkage can be had.

Give The Pelican Parts parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can figure out what part or repair kit you need.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Mike Comments: Hi Guys- have a 98 Boxter tiptronic 2.5 with major transmission failure. Can I fit the 2.7 Tiptronic..Are they compatable if sensors and solinoids are replaced with those out of my old transmission
July 13, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I am not 100% sure. You will have to check the wiring for each one to see. Also compare part numbers to see if ti may have come as equipment in your vehicle. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
JP Kroger Comments: Is it possible to just remove the flanged shaft that the inner CV Joint is connected to. My cv joint came loose and damaged one of the threads so I can't bolt the new axle and CV joint. I have a 2003 Boxster S.
May 13, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The stub axle?> Yes. Install a punch between the flange and the trans, then tighten a bolt into the flange to pull it out. I would grab a repair manual. It will have the procedure, special tools and torque specs.

Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Hillbilly Comments: Can a trip tonic trans from a 2.5 1997 go onto a 2.7 1999
May 13, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: There were no 1999 2.7 engines in the US. So you must mean the 2000 model. The 2.7 trans is different, so it would not fit. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
GaryS Comments: With the tranny out, can I remove the cover from the IMS to inspect it without having to bring the motor to TDC and lock the cams since I don't have the tools.
May 7, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: No, once the cover is removed the tension on the chain will pull the shaft. It has to be locked down before removing. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Jerry Comments: I have a 2001S 3.2 and a mini cooper. Had very similar struggles with the cooper replacing the slave cylinder. Elevation differences make it very difficult to get all the air out. So I broke down and bought a good quality vacuum pump. pulled a vacuum at high point reservoir. Connected fluid source to slave bleed port and opened it until reservoir level came up over an inch. Repeated with master only had to add a tee because there is no bleed port.
Note: had to make a special reservoir cap with a test fitting. Also, when bubbles quit, there is still lots of air in the system. Air bubbles stick to tubing walls and so you must maximize flow and sustain it for as long as practical during bleed to entrain the rest of the air.
April 30, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for sharing your installation process and experience. These type of comments add so much to the Pelican tech community.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Max Comments: Please help. I'm trying to torque my flywheel fasteners; but, I don't know how to keep it from turning. Is there a trick or tool that I can use keep it from turning so I torque it to specs. Thank you.
April 17, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: There is a tool that bolts to the engine to lock the flywheel. Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can help you find the right tool.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Max Comments: My tranny seems to be missing 2 fasteners. According the figure 4, I'm missing bolt E and bolt G. I'm trying to locate them on your part catalog; but, I'm not sure they are available for purchase. If they're available, would someone please direct me to the link? Thank you.
April 17, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff:
I’m not the best with part numbers.

Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can figure out what part or repair kit you need.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
blue987s Comments: Need some help! I have a 987 2005 Boxster S and whenever im in 2nd gear it pops out everytime i deccelerate. Is there a solution to prevent this from happening or do i need a new transmission?
January 14, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: No parts are available for rebuild, as I understand it. So it will likely need a new trans. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
SimonS Comments: The head of the triplescare bolt is broke, if I cut the head,Will I be able to remove the transmission or the transmission has fillets and will retain the transmission and engine in one piece ?
December 30, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: On what vehicle? Most times, if you cut the bolt head off, the trans will come out. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
fifomotorsport Comments: hi, i need to know if I can put 5 -speed transmission of a 986 boxster 2.5l a 3.2l engine
July 22, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I would need to know the year and model of each vehicle to be sure. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
tarik986 Comments: hello i need my leak fix on transmission
986 boxter 99, its leaking from main seal.
ny, queens
any adviced techs. i can bring the car any other states
love my girl :
July 20, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Sounds like you are looking for a Porsche mechanic. I would contact your local Porsche club chapter and ask for some recommendations. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
PorscheFan Comments: '04 Boxster with 5speed TX. Ian having a tough time removing the transmission bolts. With my compressor at 120 psi the air tool is not able to nudge the bolts loose. Is this normal? I can't even remove bolt B with the airfoil, how will I remove D with the socket extender adding to the loss?
January 24, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Try using a breaker bar. The impact wrench may be vibrating too much. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Paul Comments: I put a new clutch in my 08 Cayman 6mt and had to wrestle wiith the triple square bolt. I found a nice hex head replacement at Advanced Auto. It is a M10 x 1.5 x 40 mm long flanged head hex bolt. Strength is 10.9. Fits perfect and can be tightened with a box wrench. Goodbye triple square!
January 23, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for sharing your installation process and experience. These type of comments add so much to the Pelican tech community. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Canada Lad Comments: I've decided to finally deal with the worn 2nd gear syncromesh on my '03 Boxster S. My current thinking is to drop the existing transmission, break it down, replace parts as necessary, and reinstall the unit.

As it will take some time to break down and rebuild the transmission, I'd like to get some advise on the best and safest way to move the disabled vehicle out of the shop bay while the rebuild is being completed.
November 20, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I would remove the engine and trans together, then separate them. With them out, you can secure the axles up and install the subframe support, then roll the vehicle outside. Be sure to chock all four wheels. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
sam Comments: I have the same problem as above. The shifter will not move in the sideways in the direction of 3-4 and 5-6. It operates normally in 1-2 and reverse. I can drive as long as I don't go faster than 35. The clutch operates normally and the car drives and shifts but I can't move the shifter to the right beyond the 1-2 shift gate. I took the console apart to check if the shifter was jammed. It works normally once I remove the cable from the shifter that controls the sideways movement. That means it is jammed at the transmission.
Do I need a new transmission. If the cable was broken wouldn't it move freely and just not shift the transmission. Any advice would be great before I remove the transmission. Maybe someone else has had this issue.
Thanks
September 15, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: It could be the cable itself. Try disconnecting from the transmission and seeing if you can pull it back and forth. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
BoxterLover Comments: Thank you for this great forum! I have a question: Can I install a transmission from a 2005 Boxter to a 2000 Boxter? Would it work? Thx
August 12, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I would need the part numbers from each transmission to be sure. Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799, they can help. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
mgfranz Comments: Since I didn't have a "triple-square" M10 drive laying around, I found one at NAPA that was the correct size for the two lower bolts, however it was too long to fit between the bolt and the case, so I modified it a little.
Also, I removed the muffler as a single unit, I simple swung the lower bars out of the way and unbolted the cat-back by removing the three bolts securing them.
Also, instead of disconnecting the linkage cables from the linkage brackets, thereby risking tearing or breaking the rubber mounts, I simply disconnected the brackets from the tranny and the single mount bolt from the shift rod.
April 19, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional info. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Marcos Comments: Hi, my question may sound estrange but what about if you install a 996 4WD transmission into a boxster 986 S and make it four wheel driving? It´s possible? The cars are exactly the same from back seats to the front and may be only have to put a shorter cardan due the smaller body of the boxster. I see photos of the two transsmisions and look similar, maybe the 996 4 have the palliers in a little lower position. Will be exciting to build a car like this, so agile and with 4WD :D
March 16, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The Boxster engine in mid mounted and the 996 is rear. So a lot of modifications to the driveline would be needed. Not sure it would be an easy swap/ - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Dave Comments: General question for using loctite or other product. What do you recommend for the application of transmission bolts? And for other general fasteners aluminum braces, transmission mounts, muffler mount, etc. for this project?

Also, just an FYI. The 10mm triple square tool I got from Pelican needed to be modified to fit onto a '02 Boxster 6 speed transmission bolt. There is an interference with one of the ribs on the transmission housing, the tool is too long. Had to chop it off. Attached a photo to try and explain.
November 18, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I would only use loctite where is was originally used. Do not add it to fasteners that normally are loctite free. With the proper torque, the bolts will stay in place. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Porsche Squared Comments: I would like to offer my thanks for the information tips offered by this site. I have used this to swap out my '01 Boxster clutch and will be doing another in my '02 Boxster S. I believe that you can not give up cursing and change a clutch in the same week. That being said, I found the exhaust system nice and tidy to remove except for the rear hanger. Just removing the rear nuts was not good enough, there was not enough clearance. I found that I had to loosen the top hanger nuts and then completely slack off the three bolts attached to the rear of the transmission then, twist and contort the system to clear the rear bumper skirt. As well as getting the pipes to clear the sway bar mounts prompted many utterances. When I was removing the transmission I was missing the 'G' bolt in your diagram. Could it be that the Porsche dealership forgot to put it back in when they last serviced the car? Should I go out and buy a new one and insert it? I purchased a set of triple square Allen key style wrenches and it worked well although I can't guarantee that it was torqued to 33ftbl. Why does Porsche and VW even have this style of bolt and only ONE OFin there to begin with. Surely they could have used another 16mm bolt Lord knows every socket kit comes with one, not!in that position. Is it just so that you have to get it serviced by them?

Again thanks very much for this article,
Brent
May 19, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: If you are missing a fastener as noted, I would replace it.

Triple square fasteners are used due to bolt head clearance and torque applied. The offer a better solution than an Allen style head. - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Chadwick Comments: Is there any significant differences to removing a 987.1 Cayman Tiptronic transmission than a 986 one? I need to remove mine in about a month. Special tools? Thanks guys!
May 15, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: It will vary slightly. Also depending on the model of the transmission. But the article will get you most of the way. If you're experienced, it should be no problem. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Gaz Comments: Gaz from Down Under. Wayne, you have an awesome depth of info
on the maintaining of a 986 and for a former aircraft fitter
Viet Nam vet, now pensioner, it is a huge help to be able to own such a remarkable car.Will be in touch for parts and order
ing your 101 projects book.
December 4, 2012
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the feedback. Glad we could help. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Hakim Comments: perhaps a dump question but i'll still ask. I'll need the car to be level to remove and install the transmission right?
Most often I use rhino ramps to just raise the rear side, since it is so convenient.
August 3, 2012
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: It is easier if the vehicle is level. This helps with removing and when reinstalling. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
'97 986 Comments: I am using the illustrations here just to replace my shifter cables at the tranny end. It turns out the cables for my '97 are the type with cotter pins. Will the other style of cable ends work on my car?
June 10, 2012
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I suggest buying the cables specific to your vehicle. Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can help you find the right part. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
WayneD Comments: On a 987 how far does the transmission need to separate from the engine to drop down. Do you need to remove the muffler completely if you remove the the mounting plate at the back of the trans that supports the muffler? It seems that the 987 has more clearance than the 986 between the trans and the muffler.
May 24, 2012
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Porsche recommends removing the engine and transmission as a unit. It is much easier this way. However, if you want to remove it with the engine in place, it can be done. You will n eed to pull the transmission back about 8 - 10 inches to clear the engine and associated components.- Nick at Pelican Parts  
Jerry Comments: Replaced the original clutch and IMS bearing on my '97 Boxster with 105K miles. I have the transmission on a cradle and high lift jack but can't align to engine. Any trick to getting the two mated?
January 11, 2012
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: It helps if the engine and transmission are at the same angle. Assuming you mean they are not lined up. If it is the clutch that will not engage, the clutch disc may not be aligned correctly. Re-center it wil the special tool and try installing the transmission. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
tim Comments: Would love the same article for a 996 Tranny Removal??? Is there one in existance...6 speed manual
December 29, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: We've got one coming soon... - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
WhipE350 Comments: 59coupe - yup I'll be headed to Northern Tools tomorrow to get a 10mm Triple Square. I remember now having seen it in the past but totally forgot.
December 22, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the input on this one. We appreciate the help. The tool can also be purchased from Pelican Parts here: http://www.pelicanparts.com/Mercedes-Benz/catalog/shopcart/TOOL/POR_TOOL_WTD026_pg157.htm - Nick at Pelican Parts  
59coupe Comments: Wayne, maybe you should put 10mm triple square socket at the top of the tech article. This has become a showstopper for me. To all those preparing to do this, do not proceed without it. hopefully you will see these comments before you start
December 18, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Okay, thanks. I added that to the list of required tools. - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
Wayne at Pelican Parts Comments: Requested: Instructions for dropping the automatic transmission.
December 18, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I posted them here: http://www.pelicanparts.com/techarticles/Boxster_Tech/37-TRANS-Drop/Auto-Drop.pdf
- Wayne at Pelican Parts
 
Antonio Comments: Can this be done with the car on a ramp? I understood from a supposed former Porsche tech that removing the diagonal aluminum braces somehow unsupports the wheel carriers, and heinous damage would result if the car's weight was still on the tires.

I'd rather not have to work under jackstands. Any help appreciated.
September 2, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: You can place the weight of the car down on the supports without the cross-brace installed, but you will need to have the car re-aligned later on. We did this continuously when pushing our project car around the shop during the engine swap. As for a ramp, I'm not sure that's safer than jack stands - if you feel odd about the stands, then put the car up on the ramps, then jack it up and leave the ramps in place, so that if the jack stands fail, the car simply rests back on the ramps. - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
Aaron Comments: Is this for a tiptronic tranny? Thank you so much for the article!
December 1, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: This shows the procedure for the manual transmission. The Tip is a little trickier, requiring some special procedures and a few tools from Porsche. - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
Brian Comments: Thanks for the great article. One little criticism of your list of tools, which was nearly a showstopper for me, was the 10 mm triple square bolt A in the picture. I eventually wrestled it out with a small vice grip and 6 point torx. Where do you get a tool that will do this more easily?
New clutch is great!
June 21, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Hmm, I thought we had these in the catalog, but I couldn't find them either. I will have my staff track them down and add them to the catalog. - Wayne at Pelican Parts  

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