Suzuki Samurai/Sidekick/Tracker 1986-1998 Repair Guide

Manual Transmission Assembly

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REMOVAL & INSTALLATION



Samurai Models

See Figures 1 and 2

  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable for safety.
  2.  
  3. From inside the passenger compartment, remove the transmission shift handle.
  4.  
  5. Raise and support the vehicle safely at a height which will be convenient to work from both above and below the vehicle.
  6.  

Later in this procedure, the exhaust center pipe must be removed for clearance. If you do not have air tools (which make exhaust fastener removal MUCH easier) take a moment now to spray the exhaust center pipe fasteners with penetrating oil to help loosen them.

  1. Either drain the oil from the transmission case or have a transmission case plug handy for the extension housing (some aftermarket tool companies like Lisle® make plastic transmission plugs for just this purpose. If a plug is not available, a large plastic bag can be stretched across the extension housing and secured with a rubber band. This second method will catch some fluid, but if the transmission is left with the rear downward for any length of time you will wind up with smelly gear oil on the garage floor or in the driveway.
  2.  
  3. Locate the switch wiring which is run through tab rubber-coated metal wiring guides on the top of the transmission housing. Detach the back-up light and fifth switch lead wires at the electrical connector.
  4.  

This is usually most convenient at the wiring to chassis harness connector.

Make sure any wires which are left connected to the transmission are positioned in the wiring guides and will not catch on something during transmission removal.

  1. Tag and disconnect the lead wires from the starter motor which is mounted to the engine, through the transmission bell housing. This step can be avoided on some models, if the starter motor can be positioned out of the way, with the wiring still connected. You'll have to use your judgment here, but if you try this, be sure that the starter is properly supported (so as not to stress or damage any of the wiring) and be careful that the starter does not get in the way during transmission removal.
  2.  
  3. Remove the starter mounting bolts and either support the starter motor aside or remove it completely from the vehicle.
  4.  
  5. If applicable, remove the fuel hose clamps from the transmission case.
  6.  
  7. Disconnect the clutch cable, then remove the clutch housing lower plate.
  8.  
  9. Matchmark and remove the driveshaft between the transmission to transfer case.
  10.  
  11. Matchmark and remove the driveshaft between the transfer case and the front differential.
  12.  
  13. Disconnect the bolts fastening the cylinder block to the transmission case.
  14.  
  15. Remove the transmission cross-over protection pipe located under the transmission case. The mounting bolts are located on each side of the frame.
  16.  
  17. Disconnect the center exhaust pipe.
  18.  
  19. Position a transmission jack (or a floor jack with a block of wood if a transmission jack is not available), support the transmission, and remove the transmission rear mounting member from the chassis and the transmission housing.
  20.  

Make one final check to be sure that all connections have been removed from the transmission. Make sure any wiring and the starter (if still in the vehicle) will not be caught by the transmission during removal.

  1. If you do not have a transmission jack, this is a good time to get some help from a friend or neighbor. Carefully pull the transmission straight back until the input shaft is free of the clutch assembly. Then carefully lower the transmission from the vehicle.
  2.  

To install:
  1. Clean and inspect the transmission components located in the bell housing. Check the throwout bearing, fork and pivots, along with the input shaft for wear. Now is a very good time to check or replace the clutch and throwout bearing.
  2.  
  3. Apply a light coating of high temperature lithium grease to the input shaft pilot and splines. Be careful not to apply too much grease which could contaminate the clutch and pressure plate assembly.
  4.  
  5. Apply a light coating of high temperature lithium grease to the thrust surfaces of the throwout bearing.
  6.  



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Fig. Fig. 1: Before installation, be sure to clean, inspect and lightly grease the input shaft-Samurai models



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Fig. Fig. 2: After installation, don't forget to check and top-off the transmission assembly with gear lube

  1. Carefully raise the transmission into position using the transmission jack and/or a friend. With the transmission raised to the proper height, carefully slide the transmission forward inserting the input shaft through the clutch and pressure plate until the splines mesh.
  2.  


WARNING
DO NOT force the input shaft into the clutch since damage may occur to the input shaft or the clutch and pressure plate. If the splines do not easily mesh, pull the transmission back enough to carefully insert your CLEAN hand and turn the shaft slightly. Another method (when the friend comes in handy again) is to temporarily insert the driveshaft into the back of the transmission and rotate it to turn the input shaft as the transmission is carefully pushed toward the engine. Of course this second trick only works when the transmission is in gear.

  1. Once the transmission is in place, install the transmission-to-engine bolts finger-tight.
  2.  
  3. Install the engine rear mounting member, then tighten member retaining bolts and the transmission-to-engine bolts to 159-248 inch lbs. (18-28 Nm).
  4.  
  5. The balance of the installation procedure is the reverse of removal. If the transmission was drained, or even if it wasn't but some fluid leaked during the procedure, be sure to check and fill the transmission when you are finished.
  6.  
  7. If the clutch was replaced, or if the adjuster was disturbed when removing the cable, check and adjust the clutch before attempting to drive the vehicle.
  8.  
  9. When you are finished, double check all wiring connections, wiring clamps, breather hoses, etc. to make sure everything is back the way you found it.
  10.  
  11. Connect the negative battery cable. Start the engine; check for any leaks and proper clutch operation.
  12.  

Sidekick, Tracker, Sidekick Sport and X-90 Models

See Figures 3 through 23

On 4WD models, the transmission and transfer case are removed as an assembly, since the transfer case is bolted directly to the rear of the transmission and takes the place of an extension housing.

  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable for safety.
  2.  
  3. From inside the passenger compartment, remove the transmission shift handle.
  4.  
  5. On 4WD vehicles, remove the transfer case shift handle from inside the passenger compartment.
  6.  

Although removal of the transfer case shift handle is recommended, it is not always necessary. If you would like to leave the handle in place, just remove the shift knob (which uses a setscrew), boot and boot cover. But, be very careful not to damage the shift lever when lowering the transmission/transfer case assembly from the vehicle. If the lever is left in place, it may be necessary to shift the transfer case lever to different positions while lowering or raising the assembly.

  1. Free the transmission breather hose from the clamp at the rear of the cylinder head.
  2.  
  3. Bend back the rubber-coated metal clamp at the rear of the intake manifold to free up the wiring harness. Then, disconnect the harness coupler.
  4.  



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Fig. Fig. 3: Before removing the transmission, you should start by removing the shift lever(s)



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Fig. Fig. 4: Cover the openings left by the transmission and transfer case shift levers (as applicable)



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Fig. Fig. 5: Matchmark and remove the driveshaft(s)-the front driveshaft of a 4WD is pictured here



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Fig. Fig. 6: Three sets of fasteners must be removed to free the center exhaust pipe-2WD shown (4WD similar, but bracket bolts are under transmission)



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Fig. Fig. 7: Loosen and remove the center pipe fasteners ...



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Fig. Fig. 8: ... these spring loaded through-bolts are found on the flange at the rear of the converter



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Fig. Fig. 9: Remove the center pipe converter-to-transmission bracket bolts ...



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Fig. Fig. 10: ... then carefully lower the center pipe and converter assembly from the vehicle



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Fig. Fig. 11: Turn the knurled knob counterclockwise to loosen the speedometer cable ...



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Fig. Fig. 12: ... then withdraw the cable end from the speedometer gear-on 4WDs this is located on the transfer case



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Fig. Fig. 13: With the transmission supported, loosen and remove the rear mount-to-chassis bolts ...



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Fig. Fig. 14: ... and the rear mount-to-transmission bolts



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Fig. Fig. 15: Remember that mount bolts on the passenger side have lock tabs ...



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Fig. Fig. 16: ... which must be bent away from the bolt heads before they can be loosened



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Fig. Fig. 17: With all of the fasteners removed, the rear transmission mount is easily lowered from the vehicle



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Fig. Fig. 18: A wooden block should be positioned between the engine and firewall to prevent the possibility of damage if the engine should pivot back while the transmission is being removed



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Fig. Fig. 19: Some models are equipped with a left transmission-to-engine reinforcement brace ...



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Fig. Fig. 20: ... and some models are equipped with a right transmission-to-engine reinforcement brace (yours might have one, both or none).



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Fig. Fig. 21: Pull the transmission assembly STRAIGHT back until the input shaft is clear of the pressure plate ...



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Fig. Fig. 22: ... and the bell housing is free of the lower engine studs/bolts, then lower the transmission assembly from the vehicle



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Fig. Fig. 23: Before installation, be sure to clean, inspect and lightly grease the thrust surfaces in the bell housing

  1. Tag and disconnect the lead wires from the starter motor which is mounted to the transmission bell housing through an engine mounted flange. This step can be avoided, if the starter motor is supported to hold its position relative to the engine and the engine mounted flange which sits between the engine and transmission bell housing. You'll have to use your judgment here, but if you try this, be sure that the starter is properly supported (so as not to stress or damage any of the wiring). This can be done with a combination of a large block of wood below the starter motor, leaving the upper starter mounting bolt in place (after removing the nut) and using a few creative wire ties or bungee cords.
  2.  

If you decide to remove the starter, you will need an ignition wrench or a creative combination of1/4in. drive tools to reach the wiring retainers.

  1. Remove the starter mounting bolts and remove it completely from the vehicle, or remove the lower mounting bolt and remove the nut from the transmission side of the upper mounting bolt, then secure the starter in position so the wiring will not be damaged.
  2.  
  3. Remove the 2 upper transmission-to-engine mounting bolts. Unfortunately, this is another tight spot. You will either need a large breaker bar with a very short socket or a large combination wrench with a slight offset to really get at the bolt on the driver's side of the vehicle.
  4.  
  5. Unbolt the fan shroud (usually 4 bolts) and hang it from the front of the engine. This will allow the engine to pivot slightly on the motor mounts once the transmission is removed, without jeopardizing the cooling fan.
  6.  
  7. Raise and support the vehicle safely at a height which will be convenient to work from both above and below the vehicle.
  8.  

Later in this procedure, the exhaust center pipe must be removed for clearance. If you do not have air tools (which make exhaust fastener removal MUCH easier) take a moment now to spray the exhaust center pipe fasteners with penetrating oil to help loosen them. Spray both the 3 nuts and studs at the exhaust manifold and the 2 through-bolts at the rear of the converter.

  1. If equipped, remove the front skid plate for better access.
  2.  
  3. On 2WD vehicles, either drain the oil from the transmission case or have a transmission case plug handy for the extension housing (some aftermarket tool companies like Lisle® make plastic transmission plugs for just this purpose. If a plug is not available, a large plastic bag can be stretched across the extension housing and secured with a rubber band. This second method will catch some fluid, but if the transmission is left with the rear downward for any length of time you will wind up with smelly gear oil on the garage floor or in the driveway.
  4.  
  5. On 4WD vehicles, you do not have to drain the transmission, but it is probably smartest to drain the transfer case. If you are really adamant about not draining either, you've got 2 options. Either buy 2 transmission plugs that will fit where the front and rear driveshaft slip-yokes go or buy 1 plug and leave the front driveshaft in position, just unbolted at the front differential. Both have the potential to be a pain and to be really messy, but it's your call.
  6.  
  7. Matchmark and remove the rear driveshaft from the vehicle.
  8.  
  9. On 4WD vehicles, matchmark and remove the front driveshaft between the transfer case and the front differential.
  10.  
  11. Disconnect the clutch cable from the throwout arm, then remove the clutch housing lower plate.
  12.  
  13. Unbolt and remove the center exhaust pipe:
    1. First, use a long extension (or a few shorter ones) and a deep socket to loosen and remove the 3 center pipe-to-exhaust manifold stud nuts.
    2.  
    3. Second, loosen the 2 spring loaded center pipe through-bolts at the rear of the converter.
    4.  
    5. Finally, hold the center pipe and remove the 2 converter bracket-to-transmission bolts (located on the side of the transmission for 2WD vehicles or underneath the transmission on 4WD vehicles.
    6.  

  14.  

Center pipe removal is another item you may be able to get away without, but ONLY on 2WD vehicles. Although the exhaust pipe itself does not really interfere with transmission removal (it does make it a little more awkward), the problem occurs with the 4WD converter-to-transmission bracket. If you do not remove the bracket, you CANNOT remove the transmission. And, the seemingly easier solution of removing the bracket from the converter is usually impossible because the fasteners which attach the bracket to the top of the converter are so badly cooked and rusted from the extreme heat that they break off on the first attempt (TRUST US ON THIS ONE).

  1. Place a wooden block 8 in. (200mm) tall X 4-6 in. (100-150mm) wide X 1.8 in. (45mm) thick on its side below the distributor cap, between the cylinder head distributor housing and the firewall. Lower the transmission jack slightly, to preload the wood. This wood will keep the engine from pivoting any further and possibly causing damage to the distributor or to the motor mounts.
  2.  
  3. If equipped, remove the 2 bolts from the right and or left transmission-to-engine reinforcement braces.
  4.  
  5. Carefully pull the transmission (and transfer case assembly on 4WD vehicles) toward the rear of the vehicle until the input shaft pulls clear of the clutch and pressure plate assembly, and until the bell housing pulls off of the lower engine-to-transmission studs/bolts. Although one person can do this, if you don't have a transmission jack we REALLY recommend that you get a friend to help you with this step. Lower the transmission from the vehicle.
  6.  

To install:
  1. Clean and inspect the transmission components located in the bell housing. Check the throwout bearing, fork and pivots, along with the input shaft for wear. Now is a very good time to check or replace the clutch and throwout bearing.
  2.  
  3. Apply a light coating of high temperature lithium grease to the input shaft pilot and splines. Be careful not to apply too much grease which could contaminate the clutch and pressure plate assembly.
  4.  
  5. Apply a light coating of high temperature lithium grease to the thrust surfaces of the throwout bearing.
  6.  

There should be 1 or 2 metal bushings which press into the transmission housing at the lower bell housing bolt holes or they may be left on the lower engine-to-transmission bolts/studs. If used on your application, make sure they are in position before you crawl under with the transmission assembly.

  1. Carefully raise the transmission assembly into position using the transmission jack and/or a friend. With the transmission raised to the proper height, carefully slide the assembly forward inserting the input shaft through the clutch and pressure plate until the splines mesh.
  2.  


WARNING
DO NOT force the input shaft into the clutch since damage may occur to the input shaft or the clutch and pressure plate. If the splines do not easily mesh, pull the transmission back enough to carefully insert your CLEAN hand and turn the shaft slightly. Another method (when the friend comes in handy again) is to temporarily insert the driveshaft into the back of the transmission and rotate it to turn the input shaft as the transmission is carefully pushed toward the engine. Of course this second trick only works when the transmission is in gear.

  1. Once the transmission is in place, install the transmission-to-engine bolts and nuts finger-tight.
  2.  
  3. Lift the transmission jack slightly to pivot the engine forward and remove the wooden block.
  4.  
  5. Install the engine rear mounting member, then tighten member retaining bolts 29-43 ft. lbs. (40-60 Nm).
  6.  
  7. Remove the transmission jack and install the left and/or right transmission-to-engine reinforcement bracket bolts, as applicable. Tighten the reinforcement bracket bolts to 44-51 ft. lbs. (60-70 Nm).
  8.  

Some of the Geo factory guides list a specification for the reinforcement bracket bolts of 51-72 ft. lbs. (70-100 Nm), but on 2 of our teardown vehicles the bolts began to strip before that specification was reached. Some of the Suzuki technical guides don't mention these brackets, while others use a lower bolt torque. We recommend that the lower torque be used in order to prevent possible damage to the transmission case or the engine block. If you are at all unsure, use a thread locking compound such as Loctite® to be certain that these bolts won't loosen in service.

  1. Position the center exhaust pipe using a new pipe-to-manifold gasket. Torque the mounting bolts, spring-loaded bolts and stud nuts all to 29-43 ft. lbs. (40-60 Nm).
  2.  
  3. Tighten the engine-to-transmission bolts and nuts to 51-72 ft. lbs. (70-100 Nm).
  4.  
  5. The balance of the installation procedure is the reverse of removal. If the transmission and/or transfer case was drained, or even if it wasn't but some fluid leaked during the procedure, be sure to check and fill the transmission when you are finished.
  6.  
  7. If the clutch was replaced, or if the adjuster was disturbed when removing the cable, check and adjust the clutch before attempting to drive the vehicle.
  8.  
  9. When you are finished, double check all wiring connections, wiring clamps, breather hoses, etc. to make sure everything is back the way you found it.
  10.  
  11. Connect the negative battery cable. Start the engine; check for any leaks and proper clutch operation.
  12.  

 
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