Before dismantling the transmission, we cleaned it externally, while taking care not to get the cleaning fluid into any openings that would have introduced it to the inside of the transmission.
The previous owner had already drained most of the transmission fluid, otherwise we’d have made a point of doing that, too.
To do the work, we needed a very clean and dust-free work-space, as shown above. The floor has been painted white; the dark spots are scuffed paint, not dirt.
Our transmission jack is a $99 special from Harbor Freight but it did the trick.
We also had a variety of hand tools ready. We also bought the official ZF repair manual for this transmission, and downloaded the free-of-charge ZF spare parts catalog from the ZF website. Sadly, we own none of the ZF tools as referenced in the repair manual, but we were happy to improvise.