Fixin’ a Jeep old school style!

Every now and then an opportunity comes along which you cannot ignore. And sometimes you think about the opportunity and wonder if you should be an intelligent human being and ignore it. Well, we took the opportunity just to say we did it. A customer dropped off a Jeep needing transmission work. I believe he was inspired by the photo below when he told us to flip it on its side if we wanted to.

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During WW2 if you had a bunch of fellows with nothing to do, and wanted easier access for a repair I guess this was an option. I have seen several other photos of mechanics tipping and flipping Jeeps for repairs. Since none of us are young (but we are obviously sometimes stupid) we used a Jeep and winch to bring this Willys MB up on its side.

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Once it was on its side we set about removing the offending transmission from beneath. There are several things one must think about when doing this. First is blocking the engine in place.

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With shims and wood cut to size we set up a “field expedient” set of blocks to keep the engine from falling out. Later we would strap it in place with heavy straps and a 6 by 6 piece of lumber. Here is Mike getting to work removing the transmission.

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Removing the transmission and transfer case gave us alot of time to think about the wisdom of what we were doing. If you had a group of young, healthy fellows you could perform the removal easily. However, installation would really not work this way. You would not have enough control when maneuvering the transmission back in place. At that point we strapped the engine in and decided to lower the Jeep back down. But not before taking some great vintage pictures. Below is a photo of myself after removing the transmission.

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And here is a photo illustrating why we do not let Mike drive the Jeeps 🙂

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What did we learn from this? First off tipping the Jeep did NO damage to the body, I am impressed. I did make sure to drain all fluids and remove the battery before tippping. While as a field expedient this might make work on driveshafts and such easier, it is not a practical method for swapping a transmission. And I must emphasize, PLEASE DO NOT try this at home. We are professional idiots 🙂 Stay tuned as I will be updating this post later with a video of lowering the Jeep.

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