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69 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I found an insight at a junkyard that was rear ended.
What is the easiest way to remove the transmission?
Transmission and engine as a whole?
Transmission only?
Can they be pulled from the top?
I can take a Sawzall so even thought about cutting one side of engine bay for easier removal if needed
Any advice suggestions?

Super Moderator
1,767 Posts
Take just the transmission out the bottom.
If the car has the tool kit with the jack use the jack to support the engine. Once you get the transmission out you can just leave the jack there.


127 Posts
I removed a transmission from an Insight in a junkyard and then replaced my my grinding transmission with the spare after I did the synchro mod and replaced the ISB and some seals.

As far as tools go, I'll try to name everything I used:

Needle nose pliers
Impact wrench
5lbs hammer
PB Blaster/WD-40
Breaker Bar
Torque Wrench

My first trouble was removing the starter. The 12mm main power wire was fused and the moment I used an impact wrench, the surrounding metal base shattered. Thankfully I grabbed the spare starter from when I pulled the spare transmission from the junkyard, so consider grabbing the starter.

My second trouble area was removing the cotter pins from the shifter linkage. They were horribly rusted and broke. I couldn't get the upper piece out after it broke so I had to use a grinding wheel to grind it smooth so the washer could pass over the stud. The bottom one came out better and did not require grinding, so just be careful bending these to gently pull them out.

I gravity bled the slave cylinder. Now would be a good time to do that as well. Only takes 10 minutes or so.

I did not use an engine hanger. Instead, I just stacked 2x4s under the oil pan. At the junkyard, a jack or a few spare tires will work.


It would be a good time to replace or repair your rear and driver side motor mounts. For the side mount, all you need to remove is the bracket like the manual says. For the rear, I opted to just remove the 4 rear bolts and left the entire mount in tact because my motor mount had already been repaired. It would be far easier to just remove the two larger frame bolts, leave the 4 rear bolts and have the whole thing come off with the transmission. The 4 rear bolts are kinda a pain.

I only removed the driver side CV axle. I did this by removing the 2 large knuckle to strut bolts. This is where you'll need 2 19mm sockets or wrenches, PB Blaster/WD-40 and a 5lbs hammer or impact wrench. Those bolts are tough! I also turned the steering wheel to give me a better angle to wack the wrench and use a breaker bar. I'm not sure of the exact size of the axle nut, but a 32mm socket worked for me. Once the knuckle pulls away from the strut, you can press the control arm down toward the floor and it will give you enough room to remove the CV axle. For the passenger side, all I did was pop out that side from the transmission before I dropped it. Unfortunately, it still stretched the inner boot and I had to remove the metal strap and realign the inner bearings. In order to avoid that from happen, one person can lower the transmission while the other prys the CV axle out from the transmission.

Breaking the transmission loose is kinda a chore too. I wiggled it a little and then gently tapped a flat head screw driver between the bell housing and the IMA housing. Once it broke free, it slid away pretty easily with it being supported by the jack stand.

I also had a leaking rear main seal so I had to remove the IMA motor as well. I slid folded thicker paper in around the entire circumference so the magnets would not move the inner part once removed.

The rear main seal came out easily after drilling a small hole in the seal, screwing in a screw and prying it out with a claw hammer. To insert the new, I ensured the inner lip was correct and then simply spun the seal so the inner lip was properly seated. Then I gently tapped it in with a hammer.


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