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 Write-Up: Transaxle Removal & Installation

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T Riley
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PostSubject: Write-Up: Transaxle Removal & Installation   Wed Apr 02, 2008 12:52 pm

I NEED A WRITE UP ASAP PLEASE..............
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Transaxle Removal & Installation   Wed Apr 02, 2008 1:11 pm

DEEKSTER....... YOU DID A TRANNY PULL....... how long did it take you and what method........ i wanna start today
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Transaxle Removal & Installation   Wed Apr 02, 2008 1:27 pm

It's not really that hard. You need to support the engine and trans, drop the subframe, then drop the trans. I have the FSM at home I'll post up their instructions as soon as I can tonight.

-D
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Transaxle Removal & Installation   Wed Apr 02, 2008 1:29 pm

deekster_caddy wrote:
It's not really that hard. You need to support the engine and trans, drop the subframe, then drop the trans. I have the FSM at home I'll post up their instructions as soon as I can tonight.

-D

THAT WOULD BE AMAZING................... THANKS BUD

thumbsup thumbsup thumbsup thumbsup thumbsup thumbsup thumbsup
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Transaxle Removal & Installation   Wed Apr 02, 2008 1:54 pm

I'll be doing mine tonight. But it should be noted I'm at a shop with a lift.

Support engine/trans via chain supported by good board/post from rad support to cowl. Disconnect trans electrical connector(s) and gear selector cable.
Remove three bolts from engine to trans, leave the one/two you can get from underneath.

Lift car.

Drain trans fluid and unhook trans lines at trans.
Remove both tires, pop both ball joints and remove both axles, reconnect right ball joint.
Unhook VSS, engine to trans bracket and take out backwards bolt from engine to trans.
Unhook PS rack from subframe
Unhook all trans to frame mounts.
Swing subframe out of way with right balljoint holding it. (saves on lifting, H body subframes are heavy)
Using trans jack support the trans and remove the last bolt or two.
Lower trans.
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Transaxle Removal & Installation   Wed Apr 02, 2008 1:54 pm

If you want to get started, it takes a few hours to get the subframe out. Best of my recollection, it's unbolt the steering rack and support it somehow, I was able to drop the lower ball joints without taking the CV shafts out, I actually left my CV shafts attached to the hubs/bearings and didn't even have to take the brakes apart when I did my trans...

carefully remove the splash shields from the wheel wells and under the radiator
unbolt the rack
unbolt the power steering cooling lines from the subframe (10mm)
undo the front and rear trans mounts (still held on by two side mounts)
get those big-ass subframe to body bolts out (18mm)

That's a good start and I'll see what else it mentions when I get home.

Be sure to support the car safely (and not by the subframe!!) before you start.
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Transaxle Removal & Installation   Wed Apr 02, 2008 1:57 pm

BillBoost37 wrote:
Swing subframe out of way with right balljoint holding it. (saves on lifting, H body subframes are heavy)

oooh, neat idea. I think that works on a lift, but not on jack stands... plus while I had my subframe out I wire brushed the rust and painted it with some rustoleum black crap.
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Transaxle Removal & Installation   Wed Apr 02, 2008 9:56 pm

THANK YOU VERY MUCH GUYS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i didn't have time to ATTEMPT to start it........ i did look at it and i just shook my head...... i will get a local person to help me and guide me along........
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Transaxle Removal & Installation   Thu Apr 03, 2008 7:58 am

It is a lift trick Derek, which is how I do things like the trans when possible.

1 hour and 20 minutes the trans was in the truck and on the way to the trans guy's place. Keep in mind though... my stuff has been apart and my joking about using velcro isn't far from the truth when none of the bolts fight.
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Transaxle Removal & Installation   Thu Apr 03, 2008 12:17 pm

yeah, must be nice to have access to a lift!! smile
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Transaxle Removal & Installation   Thu Apr 03, 2008 2:17 pm

Remember on NEP when I screamed murder about N* engines. Mechanic bubdy owes me...trust me on that one.

Back to our regularly scheduled topic.

It's nice if you have a lift. If not, Deek is the resident expert. I hear his install etc went quickly and w/o a hitch.
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Transaxle Removal & Installation   Thu Apr 03, 2008 6:40 pm

deekster_caddy wrote:
yeah, must be nice to have access to a lift!! smile

i have access to a lift....... but my teacher would tow my car away if it sat overnight gripe gripe
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Transaxle Removal & Installation   Wed Apr 09, 2008 12:16 am

deekster_caddy wrote:
If you want to get started, it takes a few hours to get the subframe out. Best of my recollection, it's unbolt the steering rack and support it somehow, I was able to drop the lower ball joints without taking the CV shafts out, I actually left my CV shafts attached to the hubs/bearings and didn't even have to take the brakes apart when I did my trans...

carefully remove the splash shields from the wheel wells and under the radiator
unbolt the rack
unbolt the power steering cooling lines from the subframe (10mm)
undo the front and rear trans mounts (still held on by two side mounts)
get those big-ass subframe to body bolts out (18mm)

That's a good start and I'll see what else it mentions when I get home.

Be sure to support the car safely (and not by the subframe!!) before you start.

hey do you still have access to those instructions man? im gonna do it myself.... and i have to do the lim gaskets too.... oh boy.... nervous
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Transaxle Removal & Installation   Wed Apr 09, 2008 7:21 am

I can't believe I didn't mention this..

When the engine or trans is out. You should always check the rear engine cover bolts. Many people find they loosen and allow oil to seep, it looks like a pan gasket..but isn't.
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Transaxle Removal & Installation   Fri Apr 11, 2008 6:01 pm

deekstercaddy!!!! hey do you still have access to those instructions man?
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PostSubject: Write-up: Transaxle Removal/Installation   Tue Apr 22, 2008 8:15 pm

Guys, sorry this took me so long to do. It's a whopper. Much of it was taken from my FSM. No pics, but it's pretty descriptive. Add pics if you can - generally when I'm this far into the car I'm in no mood to take pics nor am I clean enough to touch my camera... Here goes:

Transmission R&R in order
Read notes before starting:
Notes:
These instructions are mostly from the full FSM, with some of my own additions to save you some effort where possible. Sorry about the sarcastic asides, I can't help it. Some of them should be helpful so even if you have no sense of humor read the asides!!

Where applicable, I listed socket/wrench sizes that I could recall from my '98. Most bolt-on accessories were 13mm, most frame/body bolts were 18mm.

I moved a step - I was not able to remove the rear transaxle mount bolt until I started to lower the subframe. You could probably remove it by lifting up the trans, but you are dropping the subframe anyways so might as well wait a bit on that one instead of killing yourself trying. The horizontal bolt you need to slide out interferes with one of the brackets vertical bolts that drops through the subframe.

I was able to leave the CV shafts bolted to the hubs and pull the struts far enough out of the way to remove the CV shafts from the trans and just bungee them up out of the way. You may need to remove the CV shaft if you can't do that but I didn't have to. No need to unbolt outer CV joint from hub.

The first time I put mine back together either the subframe or the steering rack was out of position a little bit and although my alignment felt straight, the steering wheel was crooked. I loosened the rack and nudged it to one side and that took care of it.

While I had my subframe out I discovered the control arm bushings were very loose. It's actually pretty easy to make the lower control arms a complete seperate job. Good time to inspect the bushings though.

Remove Transmission procedure

Disconnect Negative Battery Cable (don't they all start this way? Yes really, do it!)
Remove Air Filter assy
Disconnect Transaxle electrical connector
Unbolt and remove shift control cable bracket with cable attached (13mm and 15 mm)
remove top transaxle case bolts (3 and 4) (18mm)
disconnect rear O2 wire

Remove subframe
(following steps are just for removing subframe)

Remove vacuum reservoir (I skipped this)
Support engine/transmission. I laid a 2x4 across the upper radiator support and my STB, then ran a tie-down strap across the lifting brackets and 2x4. Yes I still have the lifting brackets.
Remove 2 drivers side rack and pinion bolts. I used 5 extensions and a wobble on a 15 mm socket from the top. These bolts were two of the hardest for me.
Remove top bolt of rear transaxle mount (13mm)
Raise car and support body very well. Don't support it from the subframe! Raise the front AND back of the car as high as you can safely. I recommend 4 very solid jack stands.
Remove front wheels
Remove left and right splash shields (a whole bunch of those little plastic pull-out pins, pliers and sometimes a screwdriver)
Remove ball joints from steering knuckle. I was able to unbolt mine with an open-end (18mm I think) and tap the knuckles side to side with a hammer until they dropped. (Don't forget to remove the cotter pins first)
Not men
Remove front air baffle under front bumper/radiator - more of those little plastic pull-pins
Remove brackets retaining power steering cooling line. 10mm (5 retainers I think)
Remove passenger side rack and pinion retaining bolt, 15 mm from underneath next to exhaust downpipe
Support steering rack from above. I lowered a strap down from the top and just looped it under the rack, ran it over the engine and hooked it out front somewhere.
Support the frame with a floor jack.
Remove the 6 frame insulator bolts. These are the big 6, the main mounting points for the subframe. Mine were 18mm and I actually snapped my 12 point socket on a breaker bar trying to bust them free. I don't think penetrant can reach the threads on these bad boys, so big-ass impact gun if you got one... might do it here. PITA.
Start to lower the frame, then stop -
Remove front and rear transaxle mount bolts. These are horizontal - 15mm bolt 18mm nut on rear
Lower frame.

Continue removing trans:

Remove flexplate covers 10mm
Remove flywheel to torque converter bolts (15mm)
Mark flywheel position to torque converter before you remove the last bolt. White out or tire crayon did fine for me.
Disconnect Input speed sensor electrical connector (pass. side near output)
Remove engine to transaxle bracket (13mm, 4 bolts pass. side near output)
Remove dipstick tube (13 mm)
Remove rear engine mount. This is drivers side, oval shaped thing bolted to the frame, actually more like a transmission casing mount than a 'rear engine mount'. Who names these things anyway? I was actually able to leave mine bolted to the frame and just drop the lower two nuts off it. 15 mm deep socket. Another PITA if you really do remove it. I recommend against it.
Remove remaining transaxle to engine bolts. Don't forget the "Bastard Bolt". That's one that goes from the engine side and threads into the transmission. To make it more fun, it's hidden in the rear. I used a mile of extensions and did this from outside the passenger wheel well. 18mm.
Remove trans cooler lines. Don't remove the adapters, or if you do keep track of where they were. One of them has a check-ball in it. I supported mine out of the way with a bungee cord from above.
Support transmission with jack. Lower a bit to get past "rear engine mount". Wiggle that sucker out. You did it!

Installation:
Raise transmission into place, wiggle onto guide pins and up over "rear engine mount".
Install all 5 transaxle to engine bolts, including bastard bolt. Tighten to 55 lb ft, 18mm.
Connect cooler lines. Thread most of the way by hand as these are easy to cross thread. Tight but not too tight.
Install dipstick tube. 15 lb ft if you care.
Install transaxle brace to engine. rear, pass side, 13 mm 4 bolts, 44 lb ft(Didn't they call this engine to transaxle bracket in removal procedure? Who proofreads these things, jeez).
Connect input speed sensor electrical connector
line up torque converter mark with mark on flywheel, install all 3 bolts, tighten to 46 lb ft going around TWICE. (says so in the directions!)
Install flexplate covers (10mm)

Install Subframe:

Raise subframe into place
Install front and rear transaxle mount bolts when it's close to the top - 48 lb ft, 15mm bolt 18 mm nut, bolt goes in from drivers side
Install 6 frame insulator bolts. Use big phillips screwdrivers/dowel pins with alignment holes near rear bolts to help center it before you tighten it up. Tighten to 142 lb ft (mine were just fine at cheapo impact gun tight as possible tight), 18mm
Remove rack and pinion support strap
Install pass side rack and pinion bolt, tighten to 48 lb ft, 15mm
Install power steering cooling line retainers, 53 IN lb (very light), 10mm
Install CV shafts
Install ball joints, tighten nuts good and tight (hard to measure with open-end wrench) and add cotter pins
Install drivers side rack and pinion bolts, tighten to 48 lb ft
Install Vacuum Resivoir if you removed it.


Continue Trans install:

Connect O2 sensor
Install top rear transaxle mount bolt, 13mm 42 lb ft
Connect shift control calbe and bracket, 13 mm
Check adjustment of shift cables, re-adjust as needed
Connect transaxle electrical connector
Install front air baffle and side splash shields, little push-pins (available at NAPA if you lost some)
Install front wheels (100 lb ft)
Install air filter assembly
Connect negative battery cable
Check transmission fluid.

You're done!
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Transaxle Removal & Installation   Tue Apr 22, 2008 9:02 pm

I've been reading and re-reading this looking for typos or missed items. If I've missed anything, please PM me and I'll edit it so we don't mess up the thread with stuff that doesn't need to be here.

Aaron, if you could add this to the write-ups section it may help others...

-Derek
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Transaxle Removal & Installation   Tue Apr 22, 2008 10:55 pm

THANK YOU BUDDY!!!
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Transaxle Removal & Installation   Tue Apr 22, 2008 11:02 pm

hey, where are you at with this? Still waiting for my writeup or did you get it done somewhere or what?
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Transaxle Removal & Installation   Tue Apr 22, 2008 11:04 pm

deekster_caddy wrote:
hey, where are you at with this? Still waiting for my writeup or did you get it done somewhere or what?

It's sitting in my garage peacefully awaiting a new tranny,

As of right now FINANCIALLY i could afford to do it myself

BUT.......
I don't want to risk anything and i would have to buy a tranny jack, and make a engine hoist...... i am going to look around to some smaller shops to see where the best deal is for a trannsmission install
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Transaxle Removal & Installation   Wed Apr 23, 2008 6:31 am

Like I said in the write-up, you don't need much of a hoist, I made one with a 2x4 and a strap. A floor jack with a board is enough to server duty as a tranny jack if you have some helpers to balance it on the way down.
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Transaxle Removal & Installation   Wed Apr 23, 2008 8:50 am

Will do! Excellent write-up, thanks very much for the info, Derek.

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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Transaxle Removal & Installation   Wed Apr 23, 2008 9:27 am

Great write up Derek..

A personal suggestion and I know the FSM is basically laid out the way you wrote this up. I suggest undoing trans lines, speed sensor, backwards bolt..and anything else that you can while the frame is still bolted in. This lessens the amount of time you are under a motor/trans. The engine support should have no trouble holding, safetly first whenever possible and if you aren't under it, that's safer.
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Transaxle Removal & Installation   Tue Aug 16, 2011 11:10 am

Thanks for the great write up!! I have a '98 Buick LeSaber with an 3800 Series II engine that needed replacing. I decided to do this myself, but ran into a problem since the AllDataDiy diagrams didn't show the "bastard bolt" you mentioned. I thought i would share a photo of the extensions required to get to remove the bolt.
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Transaxle Removal & Installation   Tue Aug 16, 2011 7:16 pm

Thanks for the addition, nice pic! I also found I was able to reach the bolt from the trans side if you have the crossover pipe removed, with a standard 18mm box wrench. The closed side can slide right over the bolt, if you know where it is. You may need to "double-wrench" it to break it free though.

Glad my writeup was able to help you out!
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