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The gang at Hagerty realized they weren’t exactly sure what all the parts of an automatic transmission were, or how they worked, so they did what any rational gearhead would do: They took one apart to find out.

Using a Ford Thunderbird as a donor, the team lifts the car, pulls out the guts, and gets started taking apart this automatic transmission.

The first thing you’ll notice is all the sludge. On behalf of all drivers everywhere, we would like to apologize to all cars that have to haul around a sludge puddle like that. The Thunderbird was probably super relieved to get that out of its system.

Next, the team breaks down all of the components into the tiniest elements. Screws are unscrewed and neatly lined up for reassembly. Since this is a time-lapse video, you get to watch the great puddles of grease spread out on the towels the team smartly lays out on the tables before taking things apart (Home restorers, take note: You can’t just throw your tiny doo-dads around the garage).

Seeing everything come apart makes it even more satisfying when you see everything get cleaned up and put back together. Despite the sludge at the beginning, everything goes together all neat and tidy-like, though the team reports that they are just as unenlightened about the inner workings of an automatic transmission as they were at the beginning of the video. At least they know the process, right?

It is just mesmerizing to watch them completely tear down the transmission, get all the pieces cleaned up, and replace clutch packs, seals, and gaskets before putting it all back together.

Now, if only every rebuild could go as smoothly as this video… and be complete in under five minutes.

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This post was originally published on May 30, 2017.

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