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Discussion Starter #42
Got the new transmission. To my surprise, it does not come with axle stubs. Oof.

This is a 2001 non-VDC transmission.

It seems like the available wisdom says that I should take this time to replace the axle seal and the o-ring that is behind the retainer. (Or should I just leave everything alone and whack the new axle stubs in there with a plastic hammer?)

To remove the stubs from the old transmission I plan to put a bolt through where the axle pin usually goes and then use a slide hammer (ha, ha, I don't have a slide hammer) or creativity to pry the axle stub out of the socket. On the new transmission, I'll try to remove the retainers (marking their current orientation) and replace the seals and o-rings.

I think that this is OK because I read about people doing this. However, some suggest that I need to separate the the front differential case and take a circlip out before removing the axle shaft. Any wise words from someone who has been there?
 

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read of people using a pvc pipe with dado notches cut out of the tip to match those and make them easier to unscrew.
 

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If you replace the shaft seal you need to set the preload on the bearings which is done by screwing the cover plate a fixed amount. Those seals do not tend to leak, I would leave them alone.
 

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Discussion Starter #45
Took one of the stubs out using an Electrolux washer leveling wrench that was sitting in the laundry room, and a pry bar.

The circlip on the axle stub is shot. I ordered several (part number 805329010 CIRCLIP-INNER). So now, with one axle stub out and needing to replace the circlip before I put it into the new trans, there's a big hole in the old trans and the garage is starting to smell like gear oil. Someone close to me may have mentioned this fact. Cling wrap and rubber bands to the rescue, temporarily.

To install the new circlip, I assume I just use circlip pliers to take the old one off and put the new one on. Then I plan to coat it in gear oil, shove it carefully into the new trans, and hope for the best.
 

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Discussion Starter #46
Yes, I am still at this project. New circlips are on axle stubs. The salvage yard pinched the axle seal. I tried removing the sundial to replace the seal but it is stuck fast. I gave up on that and put both axle stubs in.

On the trans that came out of the car, the torque converter separated. I seated it all the way this evening. The torque converter on the new transmission will not seat all the way despite many attempts. It came from the salvage yard with a retainer on it but the converter is a little bit too far out. I guess I will have to pull the converter all the way out and see if the clip on the tube is damaged or something. I wonder if I could just swap torque converters.
 

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Discussion Starter #47
I pulled the torque converter out. Just looking in, I could see the infamous clip half off in there, so that's what was preventing the seating.

It was so loose that I was able to easily fish it out. See attachment. Fortunately it's intact so there are no pieces floating around.

Here's my question: do I really need the clip? Over in the Torque Converter Clip thread and the long thread linked from there, several people say that the clip is just for assembly purposes.

Without the clip in the way, the torque converter seats normally with two stages of clunk, the last one finally putting the converter where it should be in respect to the bell housing.

With the torque converter bolted to the flex plate, and then engine and trans bolted into the car, it's not like anything is going anywhere. I'd like to avoid the whole fish-the-whole-oil-pump-shaft-out-of-there shennanigans.
 

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Discussion Starter #48
Upon close inspection of the salvage yard transmission, it appeared that a wild ape had taken a sledgehammer to the pan. This was disappointing. Another setback. But, life is full of setbacks. In order to replace the pan I mounted the transmission on my engine stand.

468860


Put a new pan on, then back into the car through the engine bay. Note for anyone trying to do this: the tail of the transmission needs to be seriously lower than the front if you're going to make it in. I used adjustable straps to keep the tail low, then a regular load leveler once I caught the tail on the transmission jack under the car.

468861


468862


New transmission cooler line hoses are in place. There was some more drama reattaching the shifter cable.

Meanwhile I've done a valve cover gasket and spark plug tube seals on the engine, new PCV valve, replacement tensioner and pulley. Still to be done: rear main seal.
 

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Discussion Starter #49
So many little things. Engine is back in. New hoses almost everywhere. New clamps. New studs in the exhaust manifold since the old ones came out. A stubborn starter bolt threading that would have been so much easier to fix before I put the engine back in. Luckily a $5 die, 10 x 1.25, from Amazon and many repetitions of thread-cleaning later, the starter bolt is in. Bonus, that die works on the remaining exhaust studs, which badly needed cleaning.

Two questions still.

I've pulled fuse 13 which is the fuel pump on the fuse panel inside the car behind the driver's coin tray (which I found filled with fuses, not a good sign). I plan to crank it a few times to get things lubricated before putting the fuse back in. Are there any other rituals that you guys do before you start up a car you've just put together?

Also, I only have the front half of the exhaust on (headers through exhaust hanger off transmission), because I had to use some force on the spring bolts so the back half of the exhaust will need to go on later. Any harm in running the engine without the rear pipe/catalytic converter/muffler?
 

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Discussion Starter #50
Well we fired it up. Engine starts and runs. AT TEMP light solid, then blinking. A cornucopia of CELs appears. I went through the TCM code process and here's what we've got.

TCM: 76 2-4 brake duty solenoid. Detects open or shorted output signal circuit.

ECM:

P0333 knock sensor 2 circuit high bank 2
PO748 pressure control solenoid A electrical
P0778 pressure control solenoid B electrical

So it looks like the wild ape mentioned earlier in this thread did go a little nutso, and the salvage yard transmission actually has a damaged solenoid.

It's possible that I could open the original transmission and swap in the solenoid from there, though if you look at post #10 in this thread the AT TEMP light was on when the original trans was in too.
 

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Discussion Starter #52
OK folks, going to wrap up this thread because we have success. Checked to make sure the trans pump was working by disconnecting the far hose from the trans cooler line on the radiator. Started and ran for 5 seconds. Yes, pump is working fine.

We opened the pan and the plastic connector from the 2-4 brake duty solenoid and the pressure control solenoid had cracked completely off, and the wires just hung down.

Carefully removed both of the solenoids from the old transmission and replaced the broken ones with these. Both of these have red connectors. The pressure control solenoid was a little tricky because the ground is held under a bolt that also holds the low clutch timing solenoid in. So care must be taken to get the old ground out and the new ground in without pinching the wires that go through that area or dropping out the clutch timing solenoid.

Closed up the pan, torqued the bolts, filled it with ATF. Put the exhaust back on (removed for clear access to pan) and fired it up again. AT TEMP light is now off. Both of the pressure control solenoid CEL codes are gone (knock sensor one is still there). Sweet victory. We have successfully swapped in a transmission.

Lessons learned from this saga, in no particular order:

  • if the car has rust, do not buy the car even if it's a great deal
  • do not believe what the salvage yard tells you
  • the bull pin method rocks for separating ball joints quickly and easily
  • check your solenoids while the trans is on the engine stand
  • the ground bolt for the 2-4 brake duty solenoid is free-floating; if you have the trans upside down hang onto it or it will drop into the valve body
  • torque the exhaust hanger before the trans goes into the car
  • you need a transmission jack
  • you can do it, keep at it
 
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