Here is a post to the thrasher shift kit install (stage2) to my 1999 SLE with pics. It took me two hours with taking photos. Probably take 1 hour w/o snapping shots and if you're comfortable turning wrenches. There are other shift kits out there, but I decided on this one due to price and what I'm looking to gain with my mods.
1) Get the car up on ramps or stands and drain the tranny pan. Following the directions I loosened all the bolts accept those running on the "flat" side of the pan(driver side) per instructions. This allows tranny fluid to drain slowly from "tip" side without making a mess. It Works!
2) I used brake cleaner to clean the pan and magnet. Can not stress "clean" enough.
3)Here is a picture of what you need to remove. The Accumulator.
I will note here that the instructions, while good, are xerox copied and washed out. I removed some bolts on the accuator that were supposed to be removed after the accumulator is out. This didn't present me with any problems at all though. Do try to keep the assembly together as you take it out though. After all bolts are removed and taking the assembly out, the tubes slip easily out of position. Keeping the assembly together makes installation much easier. Take pics like these as you go along, it WILL help with reinstallation. I would tackle this installation all at once so as not have to play the "how does that go in there" game if waiting 1 or more days after taking it out.
4) Here is the accumulator assembly out on the floor.
5)This picture entails the accumulator assembly.....Disassembled. I cleaned everything with brake cleaner and compressed air. Get everything as clean as possible!!!!! Upper parts in pic not cleaned yet.
6)This is a pic of what comes with the kit. Basically replacing the stock wimpy spring with 2 (per piston) heavier duty springs and installing a set of guides dependent on what "stage" of shift kit you want. Also comes with filter and new accumulator assembly gasket and piston seals(rings).
Note in this pic the difference between stock spring and two supplied springs(one fits in the i.d. of the other). Stock is on left. Supplied with kit are on the right.
7)Kit put together and ready for top accumulator plate and then install.
Picture of kit installed.
9) I then installed new filter. I tried for about 10 seconds and saw I would do more damage then good trying to get the new tranny filter seal in. Damage can easily be done trying to remove seal with a screwdriver or pick. Search in 92 to 99 forum for Bill Buttermore'* comments on this. When replacing the tranny pan I can not stress enough the proper tightening sequence and use of a torque wrench!!
10) Many posts say you need to replace about 5 1/2 quarts of TF. Mine needed 8
This could be because it was low before doing this mod.
Report on drivability with new mod: Shifts are firmer. Not neck snapping but no lag as seen with stock. Basically what I was looking for. It should be known that this is the first mod done on my otherwise stock bonnie. Future mods may increase the benefit of this mod.
EDIT: I also replaced the tranny pan gasket. Wasn't leaking but figured I'm going to drive this sucker till it don't drive no more so why not replace it now instead of later. I reccomend a GM factory replacement. Advance Auto tried to sell me one that came with a kit. The kit was 19.95. The gasket was HOPELESS!! Went to the local dealer and paid 45.00 for a new one. Thankfully. Hope this post helps anyone interested in doing a shift kit. Don't know if it applies to what is necessary for INTENSE kits. I've done plenty of work under the hood but first time under the tranny. Don't be afraid. If you like to turn wrenches.....Just do it!!