Whew what a day. First thing went out and bought a 1 1/4" long socket to get the axle nuts off. Mom holds the brakes and no problem. Long ass breaker bar with extensions stuck on the end
After that it kinda sucked for a while. I removed the strut bolts and the brake line clip, got myself a block of wood and started banging on either axle end. No matter how hard or much I hit it, they wouldn't budge. Got a centerpunch and tried that. No dice at all. The Haynes manual said if all else fails get an hub/axle puller. I call NoVTECSER and he saids try some WD40 on them and see if that will do anything, otherwise go rent a puller from your local auto store. The WD40 didn't work at all, so off to the auto parts stores I go.
First Autozone. They don't have anything like that, and the manager tells me the way shops do it is they leave the wheel on the hub and YANK quick and hard. I told him that would rip my CV boot in two. He disagreed. I went somewhere else.
Pop Boys. No tool to rent, nor to buy off the shelf. Same thing with Advance Auto Parts.
So then I head to Carquest knowing I would have to buy one. $40 for one. Ah well, it will be used at other times in my life I'm sure. Never seen anything like it. It's got the center long bolt with the pointy end like other pullers, but the way it holds on to a surface is there is a flange on the other end that you put over your lugs and bolt your lugnuts on and that's what holds it in place. Worked well. NoVTECSER said the puller should just pop them out with ease. Well, using a 3 foot crowbar to hold the hub from turning (between the tool and lug) and a 2.5 foot breaker bar at times, the puller pulled it off.
Guess 2 Indiana winters did their dirty work to my hub splines. There were rusty as hell. Using some anti-seize on those babies when they go back on.
I removed the passenger side axle from the tranny because 1. it is necessary and 2. it is effortless. The splines in the tranny were like new. No rust. Go fig. Left the driver's side one it 1. from advice from Mike Jez 2. it takes effort to remove that I did not want to spend and 3. it's not necessary to remove to remove the tranny.
Got everything disconnected, removed the starter, the clutch cable, electrical connectors, supported the engine, got a jack under the tranny (this was all like 2 hours, dad is anal about doing a job right, which is good, just takes forever
). Got all the bellhousing bolts out. Forgot one, got that one out. Then the tranny just wouldn't come off. After 30 minutes we stop and look everything over I had removed the seeable bolts from the rear (of the car) engine mount bracket and couldn't free it, but thought nothing of it since it should come off with the tranny too. Nope, with it still on a part of hold the tranny on if it is not removed. Looked and looked for that damned last bolt. Aha! It's in the center where you can't see! Bastard. Removed that, got the bracket out, tranny popped right off no problem.
Clutch was another few minutes, same with the flywheel. Got my first glimpse at the cracked rear main seal retainer. I break things good
Got pictures of everything too, regular film though so it will be next week before I get the pics.
Time to go to sleep now. Me tired. Don't think I've ever done so much to my car in one day