Welcome to the board
First thing is to check the fluid level in the transmission. It may be over full with water, this is common. The level check is on the left side of the transmission. It's a small pipe plug. If fluid drains then it was over full. The tranny will only hold 3 1/2 pints of fluid. If the level is correct and the fluid is coming from the base plate then a gasket is in order, an easy fix
If the fluid is coming forn the shift lever itself that's another story. Mr. GW has written an exellent atricle about that fix and it's located on Rudi's server.
As for the hood, you'll have to disconnect the lights and the fuel line. Remove the dog legs, the air cleaner cover, and the muffler if so
equipped. Under the dog legs there are 2 5/16-18 bolts (one on each side) these connect the hood to the radiator supports. At the opposite end of the hood there are 4 1/4-20 bolts holding the dash to the hood.
Once the the 5/16 and the 1/4 bolts are removed the hood will lift off.
Get some manuals
it will be well worth it. But in the mean time checkout Rudi's server:
He tells me it's a labor of love