Question: Are there any known shortcuts to get enough room to separate the transmission just enough to remove the drive plate and replace the rear main seal?
My original 2002 Honda Odyssey EX-L transmission now has 136k miles and operating perfectly fine and shifts like new. I drain and refill transmission fluid every other engine oil change using Autozone's Coastal Multi-Vehicle Synthetic Blend ATF (a much less expensive equally rated alternative to Honda's ATF). I have been doing this procedure for about 60k miles ever since I had a tranmissions pressure switch fail – so it must not be harming and must be helping. The ATF when draining has been clean and very few particles are attached to the magnetic drain plug.
My dilemma now is I’ve had an annoying rear main seal leak for the past 2+ years that is getting on my nerves enough that I’m ready to tackle it. I’m tired of pressure washing under than van, cardboard on the garage floor to contain the oil, checking the oil level, being afraid to go on very long trips with it, etc, etc. I had been waiting for the transmission to fail or show signs of failure to justify tearing it all down, but that hasn’t happened yet. I have tried using different brands/types of engine oil (full synthetic, partial synthetic, high mileage, and so forth), stop leak products, replaced the PCV valve, etc; nothing works. Obviously, the leaky seal is not related to my special treatment of the transmission, but given the good condition that I think the transmission is in; I don’t want to replace/rebuild it yet.
I have the Haynes Repair Manual and I simply don’t want to go through the process stated of removing everything from the A/C to the radiator and drop the engine/transmission just to replace a $15 seal.
Are there any known shortcuts to get enough room to separate the transmission just enough to remove the drive plate and replace the seal?
If so, please share details.
I just thought I would ask before I start the huge endeavor.
Thanks for any repsonses.