Well, what was expected to be an unpleasant job this time of year in new england, had become downright ugly.
The transmission I bought was from a 1994, and will not work for my 1996. The 1994 had the traditional lower cover on the bellhousing that allowed access to the torque converter bolts. On the 1996 there is a full bell housing and bolts go from the bell housing into the cast aluminum oil pan.
I figured it was warm (50*F) so it was a good day to at least remove mine and free up any frozen fasteners. But the best laid plans seldom work out as planned.
So far the transfer case, cross member, and starter are out, all lines and wires are unplugged. disconnected, or retainers are removed from teh transmission. I haven't removed the cooler lines yet, but saw they are quick diconnects so I will need to take a look at how those come apart so I don't damage them.
That was the good part. The transmission is still in there and the bell housing bolts on the top seem impossible to get at, at least with my hands getting cold and the light being reduced to my drop light and an LED headlight. The only suggestion I've found so far was to loosen the body mounts and raise the body to get room to get at the bolts, not appealing, but I'm frustrated enough to try it.
The torque converter bolts and the full bell housing make me wish mine did have the dust shield like the older automatics. There is an inspection hole, but I don't see any way to get a wrench on the bolts for the torque converter. I was thinking either bending a cheap wrench to make a custom tool, or maybe through the starter opening?