1996 SSEi Trans Cooler line Rusted out - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


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Old 01-18-2007, 12:07 PM   #1
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Default 1996 SSEi Trans Cooler line Rusted out

Hello, the 1996 Bonneville SSEi i am in the process of buying has recently developed a rather bad transmission fluid leak from the lines going to the cooler. The transmission still shifts fine provided it is kept full of fluid, although I havn't driven it any distance since the leak began...

I did a search of the site, looked through some related topics (along with a good deal of looking on the car itself) and where it'* leaking appears to be on the metal line, transmission side, right before it'* connected to the rubber line. The rest of the line looks OK (not much rust).

What would be the best way for me to solve the problem? replace the entire assembly, replace just the metal line, or cut the line and clamp the rubber hose to the less rusted part of it?

Also, if replacing the line, what price do they usually go for from the dealership?

Thanks in advance
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Old 01-18-2007, 12:22 PM   #2
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I ended up replacing a line because of a rubthrough, was close to poping when I noticed it... At the time I believe the line was $25 from my local dealership..

Might check with them and see what price you can get

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Old 01-18-2007, 02:05 PM   #3
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I just replaced both lines from the dealer on my '95, with tax they cost about $55. I would recommend dealer parts for this, as it is a safety (fire) issue.
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Old 01-18-2007, 02:32 PM   #4
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thanks for the quick replies! i'm definately gonna replace the lines completely.

What is the best route to get to the fittings on the trans? can i reach them with the car on the ground or would i need to use a jack/jackstands, maybe a grease pit?

I know when i replaced the lines on my cutlass, i hadta use the grease pit but then again that was a RWD car...

also, since i've lost most of the old fluid that was in it, would this be a good time to go all the way- drop the pan and do a fluid/filter change?

thanks again guys, this is a great resource
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Old 01-18-2007, 05:57 PM   #5
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You've got to get under it somehow - pit or jackstands, or lift. You will need a 5/8" open end, and a 5/8" line or flare wrench plus a 3/4" or 7/8" for the backing nuts. The plastic splash panel under the front end needs to come off (10mm / 8mm) so you can undo the plastic clips that hold the lines in place as they go across from the trans to the passenger side of the radiator. When you have the line replaced, don't take the car off the stands. Start the car, top up the trans fluid and let it warm up a bit. Run the shifter through the gears, then get out and check for leaks. I had to tighten mine twice more after I initially installed the lines to stop the leaks at the trans fittings.

Good luck and welcome to the club!

Where are you around Pittsburgh?
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Old 01-19-2007, 12:06 AM   #6
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i'll put it on the pit then, that'* the easiest access, sure beats the stands alone for me to do anuthing like this... plus the garage is heated comes in handy in the winter.

Sounds like i got all the tools too...

Thanks for the heads up on the leak! i'll make sure those little $*(@!'* don't leak, nothing worse than taking something that you thought was done out for a drive and finding out it leaks cuz u didnt tighten it to the car'* liking...

i'm from weirton, wv actually. It'* about 30 miles from pittsburgh.

i should be getting the car sometime in the next week or so, as soon as i drop off the 500$ for it- as soon as I do, that line gets replaced.. I better start praying that the fittings arent rusted stuck too bad

thanks again for the advice, the quick response, and the welcome, definately quite a nice as well as helpful group of people here
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Old 01-19-2007, 02:10 AM   #7
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It cost me $150 to have my trans shop replace the rubber section on both the trans lines (not what I told them to replace). All they did was cut the metal line on each end of the rubber and put new high pressure hose on and secure with hose clamps.
I had originally told them to fix the fluid leak where the trans line goes into the cooler itself.
Got the car back and found the problem was still there. I then replace the trans cooler the following weekend for $65 (including 1 qt of fluid) in less than 20 minutes.
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Old 01-19-2007, 03:11 AM   #8
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ouch... i hate it when mechanics do that kind of thing

I was thinking about taking it to the local trans shop and having them do it (so I wouldn't have to deal with the rustiness), but the more I think about it, it seems more logical for me to just do it myself and save the green for something else the car needs

like a new parking brake assembly

Theres nothing like the satisfaction of a job done right- and knowing that you did it yourself

Two more questions(for now), about how long does it usually take to do both lines on these cars? and the plastic splash panel is missing, will it hurt anything to go without it?
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Old 01-19-2007, 03:25 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rustedmetal86
ouch... i hate it when mechanics do that kind of thing

I was thinking about taking it to the local trans shop and having them do it (so I wouldn't have to deal with the rustiness), but the more I think about it, it seems more logical for me to just do it myself and save the green for something else the car needs

like a new parking brake assembly

Theres nothing like the satisfaction of a job done right- and knowing that you did it yourself

Two more questions(for now), about how long does it usually take to do both lines on these cars? and the plastic splash panel is missing, will it hurt anything to go without it?
Shouldn't take you more than an hour. I removed the right side fan to provide better access to the fittings on the radiator. It is helpful to have a selection of little vinyl caps that you can slip over the line ends to keep from getting dribbled with trans fluid. You might want to spray the line fittings and the bolts that hold the metal and plastic line clips with Power Blaster penetrating oil an hour or so before you start, even better, the day before. Without the splash shield, the fittings and fasteners may be pretty corroded. The main negative battery cable ground and starter connections may be more corroded too. You shouldn't have to pay too much for a used splash shield at a junkyard. Things will stay a lot cleaner with it in place.

BTW, I grew up in Rochester, PA, about 25 mi NW of Pittsburgh. Lived in Morgantown, WV for 18 years after that.
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Old 01-19-2007, 03:35 PM   #10
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Thanks, and doing the work won't be rushed as long as my grand prix holds out for the time being... so i'll prolly soak all the fittings/fastners at least a day or so beforehand

i drive to fairmont (about 15 miles past morgantown on I-79) and back about every 2 or so weeks.

while i'm doing this, are there any other related upgrades (aux trans cooler, etc) that I should do?

I'll try to find a splash shield at one of the local junkyards, is it the same piece between the SE and the SSEi?
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