Ok, here follows a how to on the transmission removal, i hope it makes sense what i wrote, if not let me know:
A HOWTO ON DROPPING THE 5-45RFE ON THE WJ
This writeup will not be a complete step by step story, but more or less a relembrance of the transmission removal/installation I did last year.
First you need to decide if you will use a lift to put the jeep on, or just use the poor mans way, like I did, and put it on stands. I used medium size stands (which lifted the jeep approx. 30 cm from its normal height) and even then didn’t had enough space to get the transmission out from under the jeep completely horizontal. I used a small lifting platform, which probably is around 15cm from the ground in the down position, but still had to lift the transmission at the tail to get the large bell housing from under the jeep. The transmission is quite heavy, but two men can handle it. (I didn’t weigh it, but expect it to be around the 70 Kg.) You could lower the weight a bit by removing the fluid and take the valve body/transmission solenoid out. You will have to remove the valve body lateron, to get access to remove the transmission access cover.
So when the jeep is in the air, the work can begin. First disconnect the battery negative terminal. Then mark the front and rear propeller shafts with a scratch pen or water resist marker, so that you can install them in exact the same way as they where. Now remove both propeller shafts. Close the open end of the T-case with some tape, so that no dirt can fall in.
You can now loosen the Y-pipe from the exhaust manifolds. The nuts are kept from turning by some metal lips, so just loosen the bolts from below. Some PB blaster will probably help. There is an other exhaust hanger mounted to the transmission side, so that one should be removed as well. I could not split the Y-pipe from the rest of the exhaust and didn’t want to ruin the pipes, so I just left it hanging. You will need to disconnect the O2 sensor connectors before lowering the pipe.
Next is the T-case. Since the aft transmission mount also acts as the aft engine mount, you will have to support the rear of the engine. There are special hoists which can do this from up in the engine compartment, but I used just a simple jack and a large piece of thick wood and lifted it under the engine oil pan. The piece of wood should be a bit larger then the pan, so that the weight is evenly devided. Take care to not dent the pan, because that could lead to a closed oil pickup tube and oil starvation to the engine oilpump. Use a jack, so that you can raise or lower the rear end of the engine(needed lateron).
Now with the engine rear end supported, you can remove the cross member from the jeep. The transmission and T-case are now hanging free at the end. Disconnect the T-case operating cable and loosen the T-case to transmission nuts. You get a bit more space for the upper nuts when you lower the jack under the engine. Take care that both cylinder heads will finally hit some body structure in the engine bay, so keep wiring away, so that it will not be pinched. You can now remove the T-case. Do this with care and don’t let it drop, the casing can be damaged easily.
Remove all the connectors from the transmission (left side 2 speed sensors and the large solenoid block connector, right side the line pressure sensor) and remove the shifter cable. Put all loose bolts and nuts in plastic bags and mark them, will make live much easier during assembly. Eventhough I did this, I lost the two starter motor bolts. L
Now you can remove the starter motor. I left the wiring connected and just stowed it with a wire. Remove now also the structural cover between engine and transmission bellhousing. You will now see the torque converter and can remove the 4 bolts which keep it fixed to the flex plate. Rotate the crankshaft, so that you can remove the 4 bolts one by one (rotate the crankshaft pulley clock-wise).
The lower transmission to engine bolts are easy to see and get out, but for the upper bolts you need to drop the engine/transmission by lowering the engine jack. In this way you will just create enough space to see the upper bolts and to remove them with the use of some extensions on a ratched. Keep 2 easily accessable bolts on both sides handtight and remove the rest. Put a jack platform under the transmission (one whith small wheels would be ideal, so that you can easily get the tranny from under the jeep) to hold the weight of it. Remove the last 2 bolts and move the tranny to the rear of the jeep. Take care that the torque converter is now loose and can/will fall out when the bell housing is pitched down. When you remove the torque converter, the center of gravity of the tranny moves backwards, so hold it steady.
So now that the transmission is on the ground, you better put it on a work bench or alike. If you didn’t remove the valve body before (6 bolts only), you have to do it now. Work clean and don’t let dust/dirt or alike enter the transmission. You now will have to remove the front cover inner and outer snap rings. With the valve body removed, you can look towards the bell housing (internally) and see the front cover from the inside. Use some blunt stick to tap the front cover loose and take it out of the bell housing. You are now looking towards the transmission oil pump. You can now remove the seal which is mounted on the center of the pump housing and put a new one on. (if you ever thought about installing a Transgo shiftkit, then this would be the perfect opportunity. The kit has some stronger springs for the oil pump valves and the pump can be easily removed now). You can now re-install the front cover with new seals
Check very well the torque converter itself, because it could eventually be the source of the leak. Also the torque converter shaft needs a new o’ring before installation.
Installation is just the other way around. Install the torque converter into the oil pump and keep it in place during installation. Don’t try to install the torque converter to the flexplate first, this will most probably result in an other leaking seal and maybe damage to the metal surface of the torque converter shaft.
Align the tranny with the dowel pins and slide it in place. Fastened the tranny first with some bolts to the engine, before you attempt to install the 4 torque converter mounting bolts. Again you will have to turn the crankshaft to be able to install each bolt. After you installed all transmission to engine bolts, you can raise the engine and install the crossmember with aft transmission mount.
The rest of the job should be not too difficult. Any questions feel free to ask, I will see if I can remember how it was.
Success with the job.