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Now we start getting into the fun part of the project. I'm not going to go into a lot of detail on the steps necessary to remove the AX15. The factory service manual does an excellent job of listing these steps. I'm just going to give a quick overview and list a few snags that I ran into.
Remove the interior console and shift boot. Then unbolt the shifter housing from the top of the transmission
Remove the front and rear drive shafts
Remove the starter
Support the motor and transmission using floor jack under oil pan
Remove the cross member
Unbolt the transmission mount
Disconnect the transfer case linkage
Disconnect the speedometer plug at the harness
Remove the transfer case
Support transmission using tranny jack. (I highly recommend that you borrow or buy one. I bought this one at Harbor Freight for $69.)
Remove external clutch slave cylinder
Unbolt dust shield bolts (Some of these are hard to see. If you don't remove all of them you will find yourself cursing at the point you try to free the tranny from the engine.)
Remove bell housing bolts. (The top 2 bolts require reverse torx sockets. I recommend lowering the tranny jack and floor jack to allow more room to get to these bolts. You can replace these with standard bolts if you like.)
Remove the transmission. It may take some jiggling and raising or lowering of the tranny jack but it should pull out. (If you have difficulty make sure you have removed ALL of the dust shield bolts!)
Roll the tranny out from under the Jeep.
Unbolt the clutch and flywheel from the crankshaft.
***There is one more little step that we can't forget to overlook. Look at the wiring harness where the AX15 once was. Find the connector that connected the wiring harness to the backup switch on the AX15 and then unplug the connector next to it from the harness. This connector does 2 things. First it completes the circuit for the backup lights. Second it is the manual transmission neutral safety jumper. We need to completely remove this from the TJ for good. It provides a ground and bypasses the neutral safety switch. Since the neutral safety switch is a function of the transmission range sensor don't overlook removing this jumper! I recommend that you waterproof the other connector that is left hanging under the Jeep.