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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Does anyone know of a mechanic in the Philly, PA or Trenton, NJ areas (I live in between) who would be good to replace the torque converter on my 2003 Passat GLS 2.8L Automatic ? I will provide the new torque converter.

It's just the trans removal that has me scared. It seems really difficult to get to all the bolts that join the trans to the engine.

Alternately, do you know of a write-up that you feel is the easiest way to get the trans out ? I'm discouraged because the Bentley manual has a different procedure than the Haynes manual. The Bentley is saying that the subframe has to be lowered for the V6. But the Hanynes seemed to be saying that the subframe needed to be lowered only for the 4 cylinder Passats.

I'd feel better about doing the job myself if I knew that I was following the most efficient procedure, and not removing things uneccesarily, but on the other hand, to also make sure that I am removing anything that would be worth removing to make the bolt access easier.

Thank you in advance for any advice.
 

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I'll toss in my .02 cents worth.
I've pulled a number of V6 (Passat) engines/transmissions in my day. I'm going to be straight up honest here, I've have never actually pulled just a transmission out. I started to one time then realized how much of a royal pain it it would be without a lift. From that moment on I've ALWAYS pulled the engine and transmission out together. Now I that sounds absolutely ridiculous, but hear me out on this.
If your doing this job yourself and don't have a lift available, taking into consideration the amount of hassle and struggle it is to manipulate that giant pig of a transmission, going at it from top side makes it a whole lot easier.
Every engine / transmission pull I've done, I've done by myself without any struggles.
The amount of 'extra' work to prep the engine to get pulled out along with the transmission pales in comparison to the struggles required of rustling underneath a car that's only 20 inches off the ground.


This was me pulling my wife's engine/transmission a few years back.
Engine, transmission and exhaust all come out as one piece. Easy peasy.

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Here I am getting ready to put the engine back in after a complete rebuild.

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And here I am about 15 minutes later while my wife is casually watching me and snapping pictures.

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Like I said, there's 'extra' work by doing it this way, but for for a one man job this is by far the easiest way to go about it.
I've done this exact same procedure to ALL of my V6's (5 of them - my 98 GLS was done twice) and a number of others that I've done for other people.

I'd be more than happy to give you the procedure to do it this way.
 

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As far as the instruction manuals go, the Bentley Manual is the final word. Period.
That's if you go by the book procedure anyways.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Wow, thank you so much. If how you did it is the easiest way, then I might just sell my car for parts at this point. That looks like an incredible amount of work. Thank you so much for sending your reply with the pics. It is really interesting, and impressive, to see how you took out the whole assembly like that !
 

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Wow, thank you so much. If how you did it is the easiest way, then I might just sell my car for parts at this point. That looks like an incredible amount of work. Thank you so much for sending your reply with the pics. It is really interesting, and impressive, to see how you took out the whole assembly like that !
Now I feel guilty that you're considering selling the car for parts. It's really not that bad of a job.
The picture I posted is a little misleading.
I know in that picture the entire front end of the car is torn off but that was because I basically replaced everything on the front end at the same time I did the engine.

What about getting the mechanic option?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you again. Much appreciated. Well, the car does have 495,600 mi on it. My goal was to get to 500K. I can't believe that I got to within 1% of reaching the 500K, and now this happens. I'm seriously thinking about following the Bentley manual's instructions. It's really not that bad. I just bought an engine support bar and a transmission jack from Harbor Freight. I'm going to give that a shot.
 

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As long as you can get the car up high enough to maneuver the transmission around without to much difficulty you should be ok.
That was my biggest problem. I couldn't get the car up high enough and still feel safe with what it was sitting on. Jack stands only go so high before they get pretty sketchy.
 

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I updated my 1st TC change thread with pics. I could actually drop the trans with just the standard 3 ton stands I have (about 17" high), but I would not be able to remove the trans from under the car while it's on the trans jack. It's enough to swap the TC, but I decided to buy 6 ton stands. They were on sale, and I knew I would use them in the future. I've done several V6 trans pulls on my garage floor with them. It's still a hassle to get the cats off, but the rest is not hard.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thank you both for your latest replies. I totally agree about the jackstands and height issue. I'm going to take a look for some bigger jackstands like PZ did ! Thank you again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I just ordered the larger 6 ton jack stands (from ebay). Performance Tool brand, for $75 and free shipping (for the pair). This brand seemed to have the widest base footprint, which is something I was specifically looking for, to maximize the stability.
 
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