Trans Rebuild time! - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


1987-1991 Parley with regards to your 1987 to 1991 Bonneville, Olds 88 or Buick Le Sabre Please use General Chat for non-mechanical issues, and Performance and Brainstorming for improvements.

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Old 03-05-2006, 03:28 PM   #1
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Default Trans Rebuild time!

Greetings to all

My brother recently picked up a 1990 Lesabre. It has a bad transmission. He bought a book, rebuild kit and we are getting the stuff together to try this formidable job. He has nothing to lose at this point, since he got the car right, so if this fails, we can pick up a boneyard trans and get it going.

Tools we have to work with are limited to,

Cherry Picker
Jackstands
Chocks
Handtools

After much consideration, we have chosen to pull engine/trans as a unit, since the engine needs a cam sensor anyways (code41) least of our problems lol.

Can the subframe be left in place, it looks like it can, but I have only pulled engines from these cars and never the trans, so we are learning as we go. Any wisdom is appreciated here
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Old 03-05-2006, 04:25 PM   #2
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I've pulled motors from the '86-'91s, and motor-trans from '92 up.

I'm guessing that you will be fine pulling motor-trans. You should not have to mess with the subframe.

See procedure for '92-up here:

http://www.bonnevilleclub.com/forum/...e=article&k=84
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Old 03-05-2006, 05:25 PM   #3
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The trans rebuild is totally possible. If you have skills, many hours of time, a few tools [you'll actually need a lot, but not as many specialty tools as you'd think, nor as many as the shop manual says], and a spotless environment.. it'* possible. Just make sure the manual isn't just some haynes crap, get a real shop manual from GM. I have one, and it has the complete breakdown of every single little part, including differences from year to year [they are sidenotes], in case your trans is not the factory or whatever the case may be.

Just be sure to pick up the best quality kit you can. If the kit comes with raybestos clutches, it'* most likely a high quality kit. Trust me, it'* worth the extra cost.
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Old 03-05-2006, 11:03 PM   #4
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You may be able to pull the side valve body pan first and check it out.
Sometimes the pump goes bad or the valve body needs repair.
If it were running you could check for fluid pressure at the radiator cooler.
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Old 03-05-2006, 11:46 PM   #5
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What'* the fluid like? If it smells burned, the clutch packs are gone and need replacement. If it'* clean, you might get away with a valve body or pump fix.
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Old 03-06-2006, 12:03 AM   #6
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You can definately rebuild it. I did mine, and Justin'* right. You don't really need ANY specialty parts, besides the special tool for removing the accumulator pistons. And you DO want to take those out, the 2-3 piston spring is known for snapping in half (mine was). The good rebuild kits will have a MUCH beefier, redesigned GM spring. Also, be very careful with the valve body check balls. Don't lose a single one. And keep yourself CLEAN. I can not stress this enough. That inside has to be spotless. Get yourself an ASTG Transmission rebuild manual or a complete service manual, there are detailed specs about how it gets put together. Many of the parts in there look correct two ways, but need to be put back very carefully. I'm sure you'll be able to assomplish this though. I'm a newbie, even my boss, a veteran of over 40 years automotive experience, had never rebuilt one of these tranny'*. Be prepared to take many brain-breathers, cig breaks, beer busters, whatever suits you. Do NOT rush. Like working on a lady . I kid, but you should be fine.
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Old 03-06-2006, 12:18 AM   #7
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Yeah its wasted, would go fine in reverse and first, wouldnt ever get outta first. Fliud stunk and was black, when we pulled the pan, there were some pieces of small metal rings in there with teeth inside the circumference of the ring. Didnt look good. We did look for an engine support fixture locally, no one has ever heard of one, but I have seen them before. Lack of that litle gem, plus the code 41, and we elected to pull the complete assembly.

We arent in a hurry, its not a primary driver (yet). Rest of the car is spotless, NO rust, still mostly shiny and straight, all options seem to work, save for one window motor. Its worth fixing, so fix we shall
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Old 03-06-2006, 12:48 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alec_b
You can definately rebuild it. I did mine, and Justin'* right. You don't really need ANY specialty parts, besides the special tool for removing the accumulator pistons. And you DO want to take those out, the 2-3 piston spring is known for snapping in half (mine was). The good rebuild kits will have a MUCH beefier, redesigned GM spring. Also, be very careful with the valve body check balls. Don't lose a single one. And keep yourself CLEAN. I can not stress this enough. That inside has to be spotless. Get yourself an ASTG Transmission rebuild manual or a complete service manual, there are detailed specs about how it gets put together. Many of the parts in there look correct two ways, but need to be put back very carefully. I'm sure you'll be able to assomplish this though. I'm a newbie, even my boss, a veteran of over 40 years automotive experience, had never rebuilt one of these tranny'*. Be prepared to take many brain-breathers, cig breaks, beer busters, whatever suits you. Do NOT rush. Like working on a lady . I kid, but you should be fine.
Wow! It can be done by a regular Joe? Just the words I wanted to hear, Alec_b. You've given me the inspriation to attack my old busted 4T60E later this summer. Hope I can lean on you a bit if I need some help. Will the FSM have everything I need to do it? I've already got that.

(sorry for the hijack)
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Old 03-06-2006, 01:18 AM   #9
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An obvious suggestion, and I don't always take my own advice, but have a digital camera and take LOTS of pictures as you dissasemble. If there'* the slightest question of where or how a part goes, take a pic before it comes apart, or take it apart, lay it in sequence and take a pic. That will make it sooo much easier to put back together.
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Old 03-06-2006, 10:11 AM   #10
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Definately take pictures, that would have helped me out several times. YES you definately need the FSM, it'* got a whole section just for transmission teardown. It'* got all the diagrams you need.
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