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Old 03-29-2009, 08:19 PM   #1
lite1979
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Default 2001 Honda Civic DX automatic transmission replacement

I'm not going to post a huge DIY here because I lack the pics, but I'll post my success (if I have any)

My roommate's 2001 Civic DX auto tranny failed on him a few weeks ago, so he bought a good used tranny out of an '05 and we've been working on it ever since.

Right now; we've got the tranny sort of bolted up to the engine and I'm ready to start putting everything back together, but this is my first auto honda tranny job. Any suggestions?

Has anyone here had trouble with the torque converter sliding onto the input shaft? Everything seems to be working fine when we turn the engine over, but you can only do that a couple turns before the pressure's too much to turn it, so I'm worried that I may not be properly aligned. It's not being too much of a pain, but it didn't seem to want to advance that last half-inch to get right up next to the engine.

All help appreciated!
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Old 03-30-2009, 08:38 AM   #2
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Default Re: 2001 Honda Civic DX automatic transmission replacement

44 views and no one has done this before? It's going to happen again. The 2001-03 automatic transmissions fail really early compared with previous honda automatics, and honda actually extended the warranty on those trannies to 106,000 in some cases. Unfortunately, my roommate's got 132,000 on his 7th gen...

Last edited by lite1979; 04-11-2009 at 06:19 AM. Reason: correction
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Old 04-02-2009, 01:18 PM   #3
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Default Re: 2001 Honda Civic DX automatic transmission replacement

Ok, well, it wasn't a CVT tranny after all, but it's in the car now, and the car's running poorly. It has a CEL and seems to be really sluggish starting from a stop. The motor sounds good; hopefully he just has a vacuum leak or something like that. How do I read the tranny fluid dipstick? I think I may have too much fluid in it. Would that make the car sluggish?
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Old 04-02-2009, 01:55 PM   #4
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Default Re: 2001 Honda Civic DX automatic transmission replacement

Quote:
Originally Posted by lite1979 View Post
Ok, well, it wasn't a CVT tranny after all, but it's in the car now, and the car's running poorly. It has a CEL and seems to be really sluggish starting from a stop. The motor sounds good; hopefully he just has a vacuum leak or something like that. How do I read the tranny fluid dipstick? I think I may have too much fluid in it. Would that make the car sluggish?
the dipstick is read like any other dip stick...i'm not sure what you're asking.

what does the code say?
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Old 04-02-2009, 02:35 PM   #5
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Default Re: 2001 Honda Civic DX automatic transmission replacement

the dipstick should read between full and add. and i need to replace my tranny on an 01 dx myself. i put it in drive or reverse or any other gear at it won't move. what can it be? and think you can give me a step by step kind of procedure how to do it? i have'nt done too much work on cars and nothing this big.
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Old 04-06-2009, 08:28 PM   #6
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Default Re: 2001 Honda Civic DX automatic transmission replacement

Well, it's not my car; it's my roommate's. I forget if you're supposed to read it warm or cold.
Warm, it was over the "full" mark. At this point, I'm worried that I may have blown out the seals by overfilling it. Is there supposed to be a rubber O-ring around the torque converter? I was leaking ATF after I put the new tranny in, and I couldn't figure out why. When I saw that I had overfilled it, I was sure I had ruined the seals, but I think that since it was running in limp mode the whole time; I might be good. Either way, the only cheap way to figure it out is to put the tranny back in with the right O-ring (if it needs one), make sure the ATF is at the right level, connect all the electrical connectors (we were missing on on the last install, hence why the "D" light blinked the whole time it was running), and see if it runs normally. If not, I'll bring the new tranny back to the place that sold it to me, or to a tranny shop to have the seals replaced...

As for the tutorial; now that I've removed the tranny twice, I can say it's not that hard. You need a 10mm, 12mm, 14mm, 17mm, 19mm sockets, both shallow and deep would be good; a few extensions, and I recommend having all those size combination wrenches as well. You also need a pickle fork and a sledge hammer because you'll have to get the ball joints off to get the axles out. PB Blaster is also helpful if you're from the rustbelt like myself (salted roads in winter rusts stuff FAST). It will help to have three hydraulic jacks and several pieces of wood, and rags and cardboard. This job is messy because of all the tranny fluid that can get everywhere. You should also have a pair of needle-nose pliers

I don't have any pics, sorry.

Jack the car up at least 18" in the front; I recommend two feet. Put jackstands under the frame and let it rest on the stands.
Remove the wheels.
Drain the fluid out of the tranny (3/8" square end of a ratchet or extension removes the drain plug). Get rid of it in an environmental manner.
Disconnect the hoses to the radiator after you've drained all the fuid out of the tranny point the cooler lines (rubber) down and let them drain all the way.
Remove the battery and intake from the engine bay (all 10mm)
Remove the starter.
Remove both the left and right ball joints with the pickle fork and sledge hammer.
Jack up both the engine and tranny with two jacks and some wood. Just enough to support their weights.
Remove the covers for the shift linkage from the bottom of the transmission (all 10mm)
Remove the shift cable from the tranny
Remove the lower bracket that connects the tranny and engine (two 12mm, two 14mm)
Remove the dust shield (there should only be one 10mm bolt holding it in now)
Remove the side tranny mount (two 17mm nuts on the top)
Remove the rear motor (tranny) mount (three 17mm bolts)
Remove the front motor (tranny) mount (two 17mm bolts)
Your engine is now only supported by the two jacks and the motor mount on the engine side
Now, from underneath the car again (your neck will be sore after this job), you have to remove all eight 10mm bolts that hold the torque converter to the drive plate. You have to put a 19mm socket on the nut on the crank pulley and turn the engine from that side to get to all eight bolts
Remove all the 17mm bolts that hold the tranny to the engine.
Place a jack under the sub-frame on the tranny side
Remove the 14mm bolts that connect the sub-frame to the engine bay (one on each side)
Remove the four 19mm bolts holding the sub frame up. This may give you the extra room to get the ball joints all the way out, too and remove the axles. There's one 17mm bolt between the engine and tranny that hides above the motor-side inner CV. If you're just removing it now, you'll see it; it may be the last bolt holding your tranny to your engine
You should now be able to use a screwdriver to split the tranny and engine.
Get a good gap between the two, then start lowering the tranny and sub-frame with the jacks
Eventually, it'll drop low enough to pull it out from the side of the car. Be careful; the torque converter will be full of fluid, and may slide off the pump (input shaft) of the tranny, causing a spill.

Still working on installation, since I obviously messed it up the first time. Wish me luck, fellas!

Last edited by lite1979; 04-11-2009 at 07:42 AM.
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Old 04-11-2009, 06:01 AM   #7
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Default Re: 2001 Honda Civic DX automatic transmission replacement

Success! Got it back in there, roommate over-filled it so it leaked out a little near the bell housing, but cleaned it up, no blinking "D" no check engine light. New transmission works like a champ! If anyone wants some pointers, feel free to e-mail me:
greasdlitening@aim.com
or get me on AIM: LITE1979
or myspace: www.myspace.com/lite1979

Last edited by lite1979; 04-13-2009 at 07:04 PM.
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Old 04-11-2009, 07:47 AM   #8
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Default Re: 2001 Honda Civic DX automatic transmission replacement

good work. i do think your the first to do a DIY of this
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Old 04-13-2009, 12:40 PM   #9
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Default Re: 2001 Honda Civic DX automatic transmission replacement

I'm lookin to do a auto to stick swap in my 05 civic can you guys write me a list of parts i need?

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Old 04-13-2009, 12:41 PM   #10
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Default Re: 2001 Honda Civic DX automatic transmission replacement

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I'm lookin to do a auto to stick swap in my 05 civic can you guys write me a list of parts i need?

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Read the FAQ's. http://honda-tech.com/showthread.php?t=2247386

There's a DIY link in there.
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Old 04-13-2009, 07:03 PM   #11
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Icon4 Re: 2001 Honda Civic DX automatic transmission replacement

Yes; all the parts for an auto to manual swap are listed in that FAQ post. It's a bit more involved than what I did, but the grunt work is about the same, save putting in the shifter, which involves more looking up from the ground for several minutes at a time.

Again, if anyone needs a hand with replacing his/her automatic transmission, let me know. I'll have that e-mail and AIM forever...
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Old 04-14-2009, 08:21 AM   #12
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Default Re: 2001 Honda Civic DX automatic transmission replacement

I can buy any parts for a manual tranny that are any year from 2001-2005 civics right?
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Old 04-14-2009, 08:31 AM   #13
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Default Re: 2001 Honda Civic DX automatic transmission replacement

finding parts is hard -_- especially when you dont know much lol
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Old 04-16-2009, 07:02 AM   #14
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Default Re: 2001 Honda Civic DX automatic transmission replacement

Check the FAQ. He lists all the parts you need. Your best bet is to get a parts car that's been wrecked but still has good axles and tranny and shifter. Take the ECU, axles, shift cables, shifter assembly, and transmission out of it. It's also not a bad idea to get new motor mounts if your car has higher miles, and you can replace the rear main crankshaft seal once you get the old tranny separated from the engine. DO NOT REUSE THE BOLTS THAT HOLD THE AUTO DRIVE PLATE TO THE CRANKSHAFT. BUY NEW ONES FOR A STANDARD TRANSMISSION. I hate to yell, but you'll hate having to drop the tranny again and find out the auto tranny crankshaft bolts are too short and you've ruined your crankshaft and need a new engine...
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Old 11-05-2010, 04:10 AM   #15
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Default Re: 2001 Honda Civic DX automatic transmission replacement

Hey just wondering if anyone new if the tranny swap done for the DX works for a 2001 Civic GX that has the wonderful CVT, would it work with a newer auto transmission? Would I have to swap anything else?
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Old 10-31-2011, 07:06 AM   #16
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Default Re: 2001 Honda Civic DX automatic transmission replacement

In response to your question, Bond (a year later), someone just IMed me a few nights ago regarding a CVT transmission, and he followed this how-to to do it. As long as you're using the same transmission as what you're taking out, you'll be fine. You can't put a regular automatic in to replace a CVT, or vice versa.
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Old 12-04-2011, 12:58 PM   #17
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Default Re: 2001 Honda Civic DX automatic transmission replacement

old post but having the same problem i also emailed you if you didnt get it.. .... looks like your roommate went through the same problem im having now. i put my 2001 civic ex into R D D1 D2 D3 all just revs and goes nowhere. now i am looking for a replacement tranny and saw an 05 one for sale. would it fit in and is it a direct plug and play ? also how is the transmission working now 2 years later ?? my other question is do you know if the transmissions on the ex dx lx etc is the same ?
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