Pulling Hair Out with ZF5 Install - What's the Trick to Installing One?

bulletpruf

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Ok, so I installed the rebuilt 7.3 IDI in my '87 F350 a few weeks ago and now I'm trying to install the ZF5 that I rebuilt.

I'm doing this in the driveway, by myself, using a transmission jack. I'm using a Luk clutch/pressure plate/flywheel kit.

I got the trans lifted up and somewhat bolted on, but I couldn't get the trans fully seated. There was probably a 2" gap from the trans to the block, and I didn't want to force it.

I ended up unbolting the trans because I was worried that I had boogered up the pilot bearing or something along those lines. However, pilot bearing was fine, and it doesn't appear that anything was damaged.

What's the trick here? Do I need to use all thread and/or longer bolts and just slowly use them to pull the transmission in? If this was a Muncie or Borg Warner T-10, I'd just wrassle it into place, but the ZF-5 is a big heavy lump, and it's not easy to wiggle and jiggle it around.

Thanks in advance for any input!

Scott
 

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IDIBRONCO

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Do I need to use all thread and/or longer bolts and just slowly use them to pull the transmission in?
Yes. That's what I do. I put a little bit of tension on the bolts/all thread, then I wiggle and push on the transmission to move it forward, then repeat until it's installed. I have the transmission in gear so I can rotate the output on the transmission to help line up the input shaft splines with the clutch disc. If it won't quite go all the way against the adapter plate, you can install the slave cylinder and slowly push the clutch pedal to the floor to release the clutch so that it can align itself with the input shaft I've only had to use that trick a few times over the years and you only want maybe 1/2" between the bellhousing and the adapter plate or else you can overextend the push rod in the slave cylinder and then it leaks.
 

Jesus Freak

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And, I'm not trying to be a butt, but maybe do the alignment tool again just to make sure that the clutch is centered. And try yelling, nothing vulgar, just kinda like Stallone in a Rambo movie. It might not get the tranny any closer, but you'll feel better.........I promise.......AAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!
 

hacked89

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it’s fun to do.
I have two guide studs that I made out of bolts and notched to be able to use a flathead on for removal which I put at the top of the bell housing. Then a good transmission jack that can adjust all angles. Occasionally turning the crank. And then just muscling it on. Once you get it, it goes right on. The first time you do it, it can take hours. Then sometimes it slides on in minutes. The angles have to be just right. The first time I did it I pulled the engine twice to mate the trans to the engine outside the truck to be able to see it up close and it went on dead easy. It was hard to believe it went on so easy outside the truck on a linear plane and then once you start with the angles it gets grumpy.
 

Nero

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It shouldn't be that difficult. In my experience, as long as the clutch is aligned with the pilot, the trans should drop right in to the mounting face. Some wiggling necessary. But 2 inches? That's longer than the dowels. Something else is jacked up.
 

david85

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Clutch alignment would be my first guess (2", sounds about right for the pilot bearing and splines to not be inserted). You can use the bolts to help get it closer, but gently. Hand tighten them while wiggling the transmission to sort of walk it into position. If the bellhousing is still 2" away and any amount of torque results on the bolts, you're probably using too much force and risk breaking something.
 

hacked89

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Clutch alignment would be my first guess (2", sounds about right for the pilot bearing and splines to not be inserted). You can use the bolts to help get it closer, but gently. Hand tighten them while wiggling the transmission to sort of walk it into position. If the bellhousing is still 2" away and any amount of torque results on the bolts, you're probably using too much force and risk breaking something.
Agreed, that’s why I don’t use any bolts in the process
 

bulletpruf

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Ok, sounds like I had a clutch alignment problem; I didn't have the trans in gear. I'll double check with the alignment tool, put the trans in gear and try again using the all thread for alignment.

Thanks for the input!
 

mexicanjoe

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I helped my buddy put a new clutch in a Jeep CJ6 , with q 4 speed transmission. WE used a transmission jack to get it aligned, I then laid on my creeper, lifted up on the transfer case, and using my feet pushed the whole shebang into place. The whole set up was awkward and bulky but non other method seemed to work. Just remember to use a chain under the transmission to keep the transmission from falling on you as you guide it.
 

BlindAmbition

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I marked the topmost spline on the alignment tool on the engine side , then lined up the transmission shaft to that mark before putting it in, went smoothly that way. Maybe a fluke, was my first and only time putting the ZF in.
 

Jesus Freak

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I helped my buddy put a new clutch in a Jeep CJ6 , with q 4 speed transmission. WE used a transmission jack to get it aligned, I then laid on my creeper, lifted up on the transfer case, and using my feet pushed the whole shebang into place. The whole set up was awkward and bulky but non other method seemed to work. Just remember to use a chain under the transmission to keep the transmission from falling on you as you guide it.
This is basically my style....... while yelling!
 

Nero

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Oh boy, look at that pto.

By the way, did you know that some transfer cases came with a pto option? I was under my truck the other day and forgot mine had it. Big ol rectangle plate on the side of it.
 

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