How to Clean a Transmission

During this part of the rebuild I will show you how to clean your transmission with chemicals, and steer clear of using sandblasting, which you can never get all the grains of sand out of the casting.


Here we have a 67 VW Bus transmission. To remove the drum we use a 356 porsche tool. It will remove any drum with out much damage. These drums were used on a dune buggy and showed a ridge on the outer edge of the brake drum contact area. I would say the sand did a good job of keeping the drum clean. Once the drum was removed I could get to the backing plate and have it removed. This allows you full access the the drop gear housing. Putting as many parts as possible in a solution of caustic degreaser for soaking. Malco products potent purple is just such a caustic degreaser.

While soaking I welded a washer on the access plug and used a monkey stick to pull the cover off. A monkey stick is a long round rod with a scissor jack attached to go up and down the rod with a hook designed to attach a chain to pull with.

Most body men will have such a tool, they use it to straighten radiator core supports and is quick work by an expert. After I did my first access cover I can tell you if you weld a 1″ square tube on one end a weld a big 3″ round washer on the other end you can with some effort gripping the big washer and giving it a wiggle from side to side that plug will come off. tThe monkey stick will pull it off straight and true with a couple of jack handle cranks. If you go to Harbor Freight and Salvage, you can buy a set of blind bearing pullers for 39 dollars, a total bargain.

You will also need an axle bearing puller kit, or you will destroy stuff by being stupid. Clean all the bearing and lube with some light oil. Spin them by hand to feel for rough noise then look at all the rollers for rust or pitting. These german bearings are very high quality and will last forever with care.

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One Response to “How to Clean a Transmission”

  1. parrotpilot says:

    Nice job Leo. Looking forward to seeing the finished project!