This Howto will be a work in progress for a while. But I want to document the exacts as I go, so that nothing is forgoten.
1/2" drive socket wrench
13/16" socket for 1/2" drive
15/16" socket for 1/2" drive
pry bar that will fit over 1/2" drive socket wrench
4 way (to loosen lug nuts)
Step 1 - Loosen lug nuts
Knock the front lug nuts loose with a 4 way.
Step 2 - Get the front end up on jackstands
Should be self explanitory. Jackstands are a must. Do not just support the car with just a jack. Jacks can give out, and you will be working under the car a lot. Don't risk your life on this job.
Step 3 - Set stops in front of and behind the rear wheels
I use 2 by 4s. They work pretty well.
Step 4 - Set up fail safes
Setup a second set of jackstands, or place something under the frame. Set it so that it isn't touching the frame/cradle, but will if the car drops. Don't skip this step. You will be rocking the car pretty hard, while under it.
Step 4 - Get the wheels off
If you did step one, you should be able to get the wheels off easy. I suggest puting the lug nuts back on the studs after the wheel is off. That way you don't lose them.
Step 5 - Remove strut to knuckle nuts
Now for the real work. I suggest soaking it in the lubricant of your choice (like PB blaster) for 10min. Don't even think about using a 3/8" drive socket wrench on this. It will snap in no time. I know. I snaped one. I hammered on (nut was rusty) a 12 point 15/16" socket, but a 6 point would probably be best. Put the 1/2" drive socket wrench on your socket, and use the pry bar to knock it loose. You should not even need to touch the bolt heads.
Step 6 - Remove strut to knuckle bolts
First, try to hammer it out. I used a small sludge. If you can't break it free, use the 13/16" socket, and pry. This will sheer the grips on the bolt. You may want to replace it (has to be the dealer bolts).
Step 7 - Pry half shaft out of trans
I was lucky. I didn't need to pry mine out. You may not be so lucky. Some people have had to leave a piece of the half shaft in the old trans, because it siezed. Mine came out by hand.
Step 8 - Support half shafts
I used zip ties.
Step 8.5 - Drain fluid
Optional really. Makes the trans much easier to handle though. Just remove all the 10mm pan bolts, except one in each corner. Leave them on loose. Enough for the pan to fall a little. Then just knock it loose with a piece of wood and hammer. If it doesn't want to come loose, just start cuting the gasket (RTV).
Step 9 - Remove exhaust hangers
These are on the back of the trans. Just unbolt them, and they come right off.
Step 10 - Remove trans to engine supports, and torque converter cover
The supports are only two 15mm bolts each. TC cover is a few small bolts. I don't remeber what size. Maybe 10mm.
Step 11 - Remove torque converter bolts
For this, you will need a 18mm open end wrench. Socket won't fit. It's best to have a second person with a 15mm socket and pry bar on the crank bolt, while you try to loosen the bolts. Otherwise it will spin on you. Mark a spot on the flex plate and torque converter to mark the relationship. I just sprayed a bolt hole with bright yellow spray paint.
Step 12 - Disconnect crank position sensor
It's best to access it from the top. It's easy to see on the 3.5L, once you remove the coil packs.
Step 13 - Remove starter
Disconnect the ground, harness, and other wires. Remove the 15mm mounting bolts.
Step 14 - Remove heater hose braket
At the top of the trans, you will find two of these bolts/studs.
One side holds the trans to the engine, while the other holds the famous heater hose braket. These bolts are a pain in the ass to get to. I suggest removing the plenum to get to them.
This is thier location on the trans:
You will need to get a 13mm socket on them to remove the nuts that hold the heater hose braket. To locate them, just follow the fuel lines down to the trans, then feel around.
Here is a picture of my socket wrench on one of the nuts, to give you an idea where they are at: