your tranny pan has to drop to change the filter.
if you see oil leaking from the input shaft then the seal is gone. if difficult to tell then you need to degrease and pressure wash the under belly of the car and then wait to see any fresh oil drip down. At any rate regardless, you are most probably in for a tranny rebuild. and in this case needs to be removed. And as suggested; consider swapping a 5sp in.
yes there is a way of testing...you just did it...if it doesn't shift...your tranny is smoked.
you have reverse gear and that means time for rebuild.
not uncommon for seal to leak after many miles.
3 wheels turn due to the all wheel drive set up. once on the ground it will apply drive to the wheel which has traction but all should be moving if the transfer case is solid. you can do the jack test in reverse once on the ground to see if your transfer case is functional.
oh, forgot to mention. the transfer case and tranny are different between the IX auto and 5sp. you will need to swap this as well along with a different drive shaft. lets just say it isn't an easy job. :-)
Last edited by Ceeker; 01-03-2012 at 04:49 PM.