First off, I wish the OP
would check back in to this thread, I know it's old but would like more info please. Questions for you first then my input follows...
Do you have any other pics? ie, you mention a chain and pump with 3 bolts to remove to get to the filter, but I see neither of those landmarks in your pics.
If debris caused the TC to fail, the debris came from other failing parts in the trans, changing the filter must have only been a temporary "fix" IMO. Did your trans eventually fail and need a rebuild?
What sealant did you use when reassembling the case halves (looks like Ford uses a white/grey color)?
Did you replace any of the seals while you were at it?
I'm in the process of swapping a donor trans into what should be my DD 08 T-X AWD
Limited (yeah, Limited road time lol). I pored over YT, here, and anywhere else I could get info and there wasn't much, and unfortunately I didn't get a set of dealer manuals yet which I usually do with my vehicles.
To remove the trans in this platform you MUST remove the K member cradle, whether you drop the enter engine/trans with it or suspend eng and only drop trans, it MUST be removed. On the donor 08 Sable AWD
I suspended the eng with the eng/trans susp tool (I wish I had 2 lol), but on the T-X I'm dropping the eng/trans/K member together, then separating the eng/trans, it took me forever getting it donor out (the AWD PTU
complicates things), I also want to do the water pump as preventive maintainace (145,000 mi but new to me).
I had no problem removing ball joints or tie rod ends, like most vehicles, before and after removing the nuts spray with penetrating oil, find the meaty side of the steering knuckle where that part mounts, and whack a few times with a hammer and the usually pop right out.
I found it easier to disconnect the lines to the rack and leave it on the K member rather than removing and suspending it.
That's as far as I got to this point, if getting to that filter is as easy as the OP
makes it sound I am adding it to my RA order and will change it out.
Hopefully the OP
and those with this experience will reply.
And to astute viewer, yes I'm also trying to find a donor eng for my 06 Trailblazer and Yes I also have old faithful a 02 Sable Wgn LS Premium (only vehicle I own out of 6 currently running).