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Pelican Technical Article:

Transaxle Removal

Steve Vernon

Time:

3 hours3 hrs

Tab:

$0

Talent:

***

Tools:

8mm triple square, floor jack, jack stands, wheel chocks, safety glasses, torque wrench, transmission jack and/or a helper

Applicable Models:

Porsche 944 Turbo (1986-89)

Hot Tip:

Get a friend to help stabilize the transaxle

Performance Gain:

Power to the road

Complementary Modification:

Change transmission fluid

You will need to remove the transaxle from the Porsche 951 for a variety of reasons including performing a clutch change or fixing a leaky seal. Dropping the transaxle (red arrow: in picture 1) is not a job to be feared. If you take your time and follow these instructions you can complete the work in a few hours. If you do not have a transmission jack it is a really good idea to get a friend to help when dropping the transmission, as it is a tight fit. Getting the shift linkage out can involve using more than one set of hands.

You will need to safely raise and support the rear of the vehicle to remove the axles so please see our article on jacking up and supporting your Porsche 944 for additional assistance.

Dropping the transaxle (red arrow) is not a job to be feared.
Figure 1

Dropping the transaxle (red arrow) is not a job to be feared. If you take your time and follow these instructions you can complete the work in a few hours.

There are six 8mm triple square bolts that hold the axle to the transmission or differential flange.
Figure 2

There are six 8mm triple square bolts that hold the axle to the transmission or differential flange. These bolts usually get covered in oil, grease and assorted road debris. Make sure to clean the bolt heads. Make doubly sure that the socket is well seated in the bolt before attempting to remove it. You DO NOT want to strip these; they are easily strippable (red arrow). Remove the six bolts, and hang the axles up out of the way.

One of our bolt heads was stripped.
Figure 3

One of our bolt heads was stripped. I was fortunate enough to remove it by using an easy out (red arrow). Make sure to replace any bolts that are starting to get rounded.

There are three half-moon washers holding the bolts into the drive flange (red arrow).
Figure 4

There are three half-moon washers holding the bolts into the drive flange (red arrow). Make sure all of these are clean and included when reinstalling the axle.

While you can remove the transaxle without pulling the muffler, I find it easier to remove the muffler.
Figure 5

While you can remove the transaxle without pulling the muffler, I find it easier to remove the muffler. It gives me more room to work. If you would like to remove the muffler (red arrow), there are six bolts in total; four of them at the catalytic pipe joint (yellow arrow) and then two at the hangers. Please see our article on muffler removal for additional instruction.

The Porsche 951's have an external oil cooler (red arrows); you do NOT need to remove the cooling lines.
Figure 6

The Porsche 951's have an external oil cooler (red arrows); you do NOT need to remove the cooling lines. Once you separate and tie the axle (yellow arrow) up out of the way the transaxle can be removed with them in place.

Disconnect the speedometer wiring connection (red arrow) from the left side of the transaxle just above the flange (yellow arrow).
Figure 7

Disconnect the speedometer wiring connection (red arrow) from the left side of the transaxle just above the flange (yellow arrow).

Pull back the boot on the shift rod and use a 13mm socket to remove the bolt (red arrow).
Figure 8

Pull back the boot on the shift rod and use a 13mm socket to remove the bolt (red arrow). Slide the shift rod to the rear (yellow arrow) and off the intermediate shaft.

There are two access covers for the torque tube bell housing; one is open (red arrow) and the other you just use a flathead screwdriver and pop the rubber cover off (yellow arrow).
Figure 9

There are two access covers for the torque tube bell housing; one is open (red arrow) and the other you just use a flathead screwdriver and pop the rubber cover off (yellow arrow).

Rotate the torque shaft until you can get access to the 8mm Allen bolt on the front of the coupler (red arrow).
Figure 10

Rotate the torque shaft until you can get access to the 8mm Allen bolt on the front of the coupler (red arrow). You need to completely remove the bolt, as it sits in a groove in the spline. You will not be able to slide the coupler off the shaft with the bolt in place. You can use a 24mm wrench and turn the main crankshaft bolt, if the car is in gear, to turn the torque shaft.

Rotate the torque shaft until you can get access to the 8mm Allen bolt on the rear of the coupler (red arrow).
Figure 11

Rotate the torque shaft until you can get access to the 8mm Allen bolt on the rear of the coupler (red arrow). You will need a wobbler or universal joint to get a good fit in the Allen bolt. You also need to completely remove the bolt, as it sits in a groove in the spline as well. You will not be able to slide the coupler off the shaft with the bolt in place. You can use a 24mm wrench and turn the main crankshaft bolt, if the car is in gear, to turn the torque shaft.

Use a large flathead screwdriver and slide the coupler all the way back onto the transmission shaft until you can see a clear gap between the torque and transmission shafts (red arrow).
Figure 12

Use a large flathead screwdriver and slide the coupler all the way back onto the transmission shaft until you can see a clear gap between the torque and transmission shafts (red arrow).

Remove the electrical connections from the reverse light switch (red arrow).
Figure 13

Remove the electrical connections from the reverse light switch (red arrow). Using a 13mm socket, remove the two nuts and washers on the two bolts on the top of the transmission mount (yellow arrows).

There are four places the torque bell housing is attached to the transaxle; three use a 10mm Allen (red arrows) and one is a 17mm bolt (yellow arrow).
Figure 14

There are four places the torque bell housing is attached to the transaxle; three use a 10mm Allen (red arrows) and one is a 17mm bolt (yellow arrow). Loosen these until you are ready to remove the transaxle.

The upper bolt on the right side can be difficult to access if you have an external oil cooler.
Figure 15

The upper bolt on the right side can be difficult to access if you have an external oil cooler. I like to remove the fuel filter to give me more room to work. You will need to remove the access panel on the fuel pump and pinch off the line (red arrow). Then you can remove the filter (yellow arrow). Even with the line pinched off fuel will escape from the filter and lines so be prepared. Please see our article on replacing your fuel filter for additional information.

Remove the shift knob cover and separate the knob linkage from the shift shaft: On our car it was a circlip (red arrow).
Figure 16

Remove the shift knob cover and separate the knob linkage from the shift shaft: On our car it was a circlip (red arrow). Separate the shift shaft and knob linkage and turn the shaft and push it all the way forward under the console between the foam. This will remove the shift shaft from the transaxle tube in the rear.

Place a small piece of wood between the torque tube and torsion bar tube to keep the torque tube level while removing the transaxle.
Figure 17

Place a small piece of wood between the torque tube and torsion bar tube to keep the torque tube level while removing the transaxle. Lift the transmission enough to take the weight off the mount and slide the two 13mm bolts out from the top, then remove the four bolts joining the bell housing to the transaxle. You will need to lower the rear of the transaxle and slide it back. The most difficult part of the job is clearing the shift shaft tube from the transmission (red arrow). Once this is clear you can remove the transaxle fully from the vehicle.

Congratulations, you have removed your transaxle.
Figure 18

Congratulations, you have removed your transaxle. Installation is the reverse of removal.

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