Do you have to take out the engine to replace the transmission on a 62 Thunderbird?

Asked by Suebird Oct 15, 2013 at 12:51 AM about the 1962 Ford Thunderbird

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

Looking at 15K for new brakes, drums, rebuilt transmission, generator...told the engine has to come out to get the transmission out. Is that true? I am stunned at what my mechanic is quoting.

5 Answers

I have never taken a transmission out of a '62 TBird but I think not, manual or automatic either. Sure, it's old, but some things are constants. Maybe a transmission was hard to find and expensive, he figures if you can afford a 1962 TBird, it;s a classic for sure, at: ....... ..they are listed from $6k (not running) up to $89,000.and everywhere in between those two numbers. No typo, $89k. ..for a really nicely restored convertible but not all tricked out, just really good restoration job. $15k for those items (is it 6 volt?) maybe he wants to convert to 12 volts and an alternator, that can get expensive, parts hard to find, rust? If you ARE talking about a restoration then $15k is very reasonable actually. But to just put a rebuilt transmission, brakes and generator on that is too much..but not by a whole lot. Even if the engine does have to come out, maybe not HAS to but is easier to pull the whole thing together, you have a genuine classic on your hands and with that and paint, and paint can run $3,4k or more for a quality job, you have a car worth $40k easy. If interior is good.

2 people found this helpful.

sounds like your mechanic is giving you the business. check elsewhere immediately.


I had to replace my rear engine seal which was leaking all over my garage floor. As long as you have a rack that can get the car up in the air to where you can get under the car, you can pull just the transmission. Maybe he doesn't have a lift. Labor rates run from$45-$100/hr around here so his price may not be as out of the ball park as you think. Now, if you pull the engine and transmission, you can paint the engine compartment, engine parts, etc which would enhance the value of the car. $15k does sound like a really high price for what you asked for.


First, no the engine does not need to be removed to re and re the transmission. If your mechanic is telling you that, find a new mechanic. FAST! New brakes are not difficult or expensive for that car, either. Changing the shoes is about an hour an axle. The biggest expense might be the new drums, but even they should not be more than $100 a piece. I can't see the generator being more than $200 or so for a quality rebuild, plus the labour to re and re, which is MAYBE one hour. The transmission rebuild, at a GOOD transmission shop should be no more than $1,500 to $2,000, including the re and re. After all, it is a C-6 and parts are plentiful for that transmission. I would think about doing some of this work yourself, or farming it out to the right shop for each job. After all, your mechanic is unlikely to do the transmission rebuild himself, anyway. If he does, chances are it won't work properly anyway. There is a knack to them and without that, the rebuild will be a waste of money. Experience talks. Removing the generator is a simple job that involves 2 retaining bolts and a wire or two. Not difficult. Then take it to a good rebuilder to have it done right. Put it back yourself. You'll save an easy $200, at the minimum. Anybody with experience doing brakes can handle the brake repair. There is nothing strange or esoteric about the drums on that car. If you drive it, not show it, it is even possible to do a conversion to front discs using all Ford parts from a late-70s midsized car. Cougar, LTD II, or Thunderbird. Use the master cylinder to match, and you have the added safety of a dual circuit master cylinder, too.

2 people found this helpful.

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