Likely they removed the tail. So what, they were rebuilding the trans anyway. The key is the engine did not have to be removed. It worked perfectly with the method they did and the charge was in line with normal trans rebuilding.It can't be done without disassembling the transmission. There is insufficient space to remove the transmission in one piece. Your transmission shop charges by the hour. There is an article in the CTCI Thunderbird Restoration Specifications and Details Manual that explains how to disassemble the Fordomatic for removal w/o removing the engine and transmission as a unit.
I know an owner of a 57 who removed the Fordomatic in pieces. However, to make sure that everything lined up properly during installation, he removed the engine, attached the transmission, and installed the as a unit.
What are you doing with your 3 speed tranny? Don't suppose you want to trade for the Fordomatic in my '57? I'm looking for a 3 speed.Is it possible to remove a 3 speed 1957 overdrive manual transmission without removing the engine or disassembling the transmission while in the car?