Transmission Bellhousing Bolts Removal GM Chevy Tahoe Vortec LS Engine vid 15

Some bell housing bolts are easier to get to on my Tahoe 5.3 Vortec LS

Some bell housing bolts are easier to get to on my Tahoe 5.3 Vortec LS

The 15 mm head on this bolt made turning nearly impossible. I replaced all the bolts with 12mm by ARP. Much easier to put on my GM 5.3 Vortec LS on the Tahoe

The 15 mm head on this bolt made turning nearly impossible. I replaced all the bolts with 12mm by ARP. Much easier to put on my GM 5.3 Vortec LS on the Tahoe

One of the top bellhousing bolts hiding behind a bracket on the GM 5.3 Vortec LS Engine

One of the top bellhousing bolts hiding behind a bracket on the GM 5.3 Vortec LS Engine

Transmission bellhousing bolts, how hard can 8 bolts be?  Well, the two on the bottom were pretty straight forward and easy.  The next two side bolts (on the driver’s side), not too much harder.  On to the passenger side.  There is a !@#$%n bolt ….. it hides behind the Y pipe and some hard transmission cooler lines AND is wedged in between two metal “ribs” on the transmission itself.  Getting a ratcheting wrench in there would have been great, but it did not work for me because it was too fat to fit between the ribs.

I heard (on the forums) of guys using a 3 foot extension from behind, and over the tranny to get to it.  I tried this and failed miserably.  Maybe because I don’t have a 3 footer and was using 3 [one] footers interconnected.  Also might have been due to the 4 wd transfer case.  I can see where this might be much easier on a 2wd without a transfer case.  Anyway, I ended up using a universal on a deep socket curved at a precarious angle.

Bell housing bolt pass side - Note the angle of the wrench. This is how I got it off my Tahoe 5.3 Vortec LS

Bellhousing bolt pass side – Note the angle of the wrench. This is how I got it off my Tahoe 5.3 Vortec LS

It fell off about 40 times, but 1/8 turn by 1/8 turn, I did finally get it.  For reassembly, I will get either the 3 footer, or, someone said a “wobble” socket extension was very helpful.

On to the ones on top.  After much deliberation, I had to lower the transmission cross member down to drop the front of the tranny enough to get good access to the bolts from the engine compartment.  Both of the top ones have 13 mm nuts holding a brackets (that need to come off) prior to taking the actual 15 mm suckers off.  If I had been aware of this ahead of time, I would have saved myself some tears.  Yes, I think I actually cried some at this point – it was late and I just wanted the damn engine to be separated from the transmission.

Top bell housing bolt has a 13 mm nut holding a bracket, and then a 15 mm nut to the engine block for the 5.3 Vortec in my Chevy Tahoe

Top bell housing bolt has a 13 mm nut holding a bracket, and then a 15 mm nut to the engine block for the 5.3 Vortec in my Chevy Tahoe

 

 

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