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Mr. Lee
Mr. Lee UberDork
12/3/17 7:20 p.m.

Yep, trans mount has to come out to get to the upper bell housing bolts. be careful lowering the tail of the trans, as the ignition cap is right there and that big HEI cap likes to go crunch when you droop the trans too far on some cars.

If you have a few long extensions and a universal you can work back by the tail of the trans where there is more room after breaking it loose.

Trans removal should go something like this.

Inspection cover removal
torque converter bolts
kickdown cable removal. (there's a little hook on the end of it inside the trans) 10mm bolt if I recall correctly holding the cable to the trans,  pull the bolt, then pick up on the cable. It will slide out some, plus the slack inside the trans, and you unhook it from the little plunger. EDIT : Try not to play with the adjustment, remove the cable from the throttle linkage side first, then remove it from the bracket. Don't push the plunger down on the "self adjuster" and push the cable back that way.

Trans cooler line removal. Use line wrenches if you've never pulled it before, SOB's are in there TIGHT.

Torque arm mount

Trans mount and crossmember

lower trans tail,

upper bolts, then lower bolts on each side after supporting trans and putting something under the front of the engine to keep it from slamming forward on the motor mounts.

Give it a wiggle to get off the damn dowel pins, and remove trans after disconnecting the few wires that go up top if you haven't by now.

Book calls for 4 hours total to R&R a F-body trans. it took me 12 the first time. Second time 6, by the 4th time I was down to 2.5

Mr. Lee
Mr. Lee UberDork
12/3/17 7:29 p.m.

In all honesty, if you can pull the motor and trans together you'll save yourself a nightmare. When I say it's TIGHT in the trans tunnel to get to those upper bolts, I'm serious it's a b$%ch to get to them. Like a cussing throwing tools b$%ch to get to them. 

My brother in law was crying about pulling them in his 88 C1500, and I just reached up and removed them because of the experience I had removing them from my camaro. It's a matter of holding your arm just right and going through the right path to get to it. Once you've found it, it's not that hard, but till you do. It's bad.

zordak
zordak Reader
12/4/17 5:14 p.m.

I have most of the stuff removed or disconnected to pull the engine. Reading the manual it said something about cutting the floor to get at the bolts. I think I will pull the trans then the engine. Most of the reason is I have limited room to work and am probably going to put the cherry picker from the side. As far as hard to get at trans bolt try the bolts on a 6 cyl Rambler American. Had to borrow extensions from a couple of people to do it.

Mr. Lee
Mr. Lee UberDork
12/4/17 5:27 p.m.

Then you know what you're in for. 

 

Just a thought, you might be able to get to the upper bolts with a box end wrench from the engine bay if you jack up the tail of the trans. Might have more space with TBI vs the TPI monstrosity I was dealing with.

GCrites80s
GCrites80s New Reader
12/4/17 7:22 p.m.

Trans removal is definitely doable fairly quickly by someone experienced. I've helped out with quite a few 3rd Gen trans droppings over the years, but never have been the brains behind the operation. A buddy of mine in high school got it down to 45 minutes. The last one I did with help was about a year ago when we swapped a T56 into my IROC. That time it took about 1.5 hours, but we also cut all of the lines and cables since we weren't going to re-use them. Long extensions and several swivels and wobbles are key.

zordak
zordak Reader
12/7/17 5:47 p.m.

After changing many automatics by balancing the trans on a wobbly jack and muscling them in and out, I splurged on a trans jack. Nothing fancy just a cheap Harbor Freight low profile one. The temps up here dropped 30 deg. so I took a couple of days off from working on the car. Today I set up the torpedo heater to warm up the garage and started to get the trans out. I decided to just drop the trans down and leave it under the car. I am hoping for a warm winter but only time will tell.

GCrites80s
GCrites80s Reader
12/7/17 8:12 p.m.

La Nina, which is Spanish for "The Nina", says it's not looking good for much of the country on that front.

zordak
zordak Reader
12/16/17 7:49 p.m.

It warmed up this weekend, if you can call 45 deg warm, so I got help and removed the hood and have the trans disconnected from the engine. I did not remove it from the car, just lowered it a little. I believe the trans was replaced at one time. The upper bolts were not very tight and the the lowers required a long bar to get loose. In addition there are 2 different types of bolts holding the trans to the engine. I have not gotten a good look but the top center bolt was missing. Tomorrow I am going to try to get the engine out. I hope I can use my cherry picker from the side and pluck it right out. Probably not that lucky but I will see.

Mr. Lee
Mr. Lee UberDork
12/16/17 11:14 p.m.

Yeah, someone's had it out before. It's pretty common to not replace that top bolt. 

zordak
zordak Reader
12/17/17 3:55 p.m.

O.K. one more "nice" day and I went for it. I got the engine out. Almost dumped the trans on the floor because of the TV cable but its out.

Now I need to get the longer throttle and TV cable and get them installed. Also the motor mounts are worn and I want to replace them before I drop in a higher HP motor. Has anyone used the Prothane or Energy Suspension mount inserts?. From what I could tell you drill out the weld and re-sandwich in the new urethane  piece.

I can't believe how small the engine compartment is on these 3rd gens, there seemed to be more room when I dropped a 350 SBC into a 71 Vega. The strut towers seem to be the major problem as the Vega had double A arm suspension with a spring between the A arms.

Anyway going to wait on parts and get the trans back on the jack and move parts over. Of course this has to wait on warmish weather again.

Oh yeah the trans does not have a top bolt.

Dusterbd13
Dusterbd13 MegaDork
12/17/17 4:30 p.m.

I didn't like the poly mounts on a street car.  Too much nvh for me. This was on 4cyl fwd stuff.

 

Used a poly trans mount in my duster and never cared for it either.

Mr. Lee
Mr. Lee UberDork
12/17/17 6:37 p.m.

Check your steering linkage parts while you're in there. They're easy to get at right now.

Mr. Lee
Mr. Lee UberDork
12/17/17 6:39 p.m.
Dusterbd13 said:

I didn't like the poly mounts on a street car.  Too much nvh for me. This was on 4cyl fwd stuff.

 

Used a poly trans mount in my duster and never cared for it either.

I only ever used a poly trans mount because 3.73's and 700r4's first gear combined with TPI torque was shredding rubber mounts. Tried a solid mount, and that was miserable on the street, the poly mount was better, but it still sent a TON of vibration through the car. 

GCrites80s
GCrites80s Reader
12/17/17 7:37 p.m.

I don't mind the poly trans mounts on mine. The stock ones appeared to be in good condition when it came out, but after previously adding sticky tires there was a loud bang on hard acceleration. Poly mounts on both the crossmember and the torque arm end cured it. Of course I changed over to the T-56 at the same time so that part got changed too. Maybe something was loose or the rubber had gotten too hard with age (it was only last year).

zordak
zordak Reader
12/18/17 9:39 a.m.

I know the trans mount is easy to damage from my '89 TA. I think I will go with stock motor mounts, this will be more weekend drive through the country than track day car. I will check the steering. I don't think there will be a problem the steering felt good and tight before.

AClockworkGarage
AClockworkGarage HalfDork
12/18/17 10:37 a.m.

I've used a poly trans mount with both the TH350 and the 700r4 in my Z. No complaints with either. I wouldn't trust a rubber one TBH.

zordak
zordak Reader
12/25/17 1:53 p.m.

Not much to update. Ordered throttle, and trans cables as well as what Rock Auto called HD stock motor mounts. The wife gav e me a nice hose reel for compressed air. Now I can have easy access to an air hose and get it out of the way, so, maybe I will use the impact more often. Never had an air compressor or impact before I built the garage so I do not always think to use it.

gearheadE30
gearheadE30 HalfDork
12/26/17 11:34 a.m.

Sounds like you're past this, but after trashing a set of stock engine mounts in my Caprice, I ended up going with the Energy Suspension stiff poly inserts. They were kind of a pain to install, but they've survived well and massively improved shift quality since the engine doesn't move every time I hit the loud pedal. Before going poly, the shifter would move so much that at WOT, 1st gear would move over to where third gear normally was. No real NVH increase, but that's a body on frame car so YMMV. I'm curious how the HD ones work out, as I jumped over that as I can count on body mounts to take care of NVH for me.

zordak
zordak Reader
1/7/18 2:59 p.m.

After  a couple weeks of sub zero nights and single digit days it finally warmed up to freezing(30deg F). I changed the trans and throttle cable and attempted to change the motor mounts. Now the rubber mounts are bolted to the K member and a steel stamping bolts on the motor. The problem is they used a screw and a nut on the mounts to the K member and there is not much for access to the nuts inside the K member. I need to buy or make a long 15mm wrench to get at the screws. After running into this problem I went to getting the trans back on the jack and moving stuff from the old motor to the new one. I am using sensors from the old engine so to better match the existing wiring harness. So far I moved the O2 sensor and oil pressure sending unit. I will probably move the water temp sending unit for the gauge so it will read the same. I also moved the motor mounts and front pulley. This needed a little measuring as the balancer is different between the motors, but a measurement from the block to the face of the balancer showed the same so there is not a problem moving the pulley. I wanted to get more done but ran out of steam.

zordak
zordak Reader
1/15/18 9:50 a.m.

Non progress update: I had to replace a brake line on the DD. It took most of Saturday. Sunday My daughter bailed on the plans we had and the wife decided we needed to go get the blower from the furnace in the place up north. I have seen this problem before, the furnace will light up but only blow for 1-2 minutes then quit for 10 min or longer and blow for 1-2 minutes etc. The magnets in the induction motor get weak and they start to draw too many amps. So got the blower out, froze my ass off doing so, brought it home and I will tear ito it to identify the motor and get a replacement. Still need to get the longer 15mm wrench and get some work done on the 'bird.

zordak
zordak Reader
1/22/18 9:36 a.m.

Yet another non progress up date: Despite warmer weather I case fo the local crud has put me down for a while. Started last friday and is still hanging on today. Hopefully next weekend.

zordak
zordak Reader
1/29/18 9:38 a.m.

Well I felt better this weekend but other things got in the way. Looked at a travel trailer up near the property up north so not to waste a trip, we went to the property and I installed the blower and it still blows for a short while and stops going to try a thermostat next. That took up Sat. Sunday turned int to install a trailer brake controller on the Grand Cherokee as we made a deal on the travel trailer and need to go get it  next weekend. Then it was on to the DD. Thought I fixed the brake leak but It also had a bad slave on the rear drums and just to make it more fun the rear shoes were bad. That took up most of the day and I was cold, still and sore by the end. One good thing is I scored the long wrench I needed for the motor mounts. Got a set of long metric wrenches at the local Harbor Freight.

zordak
zordak Reader
2/3/18 8:12 p.m.

So finally I am feeling better and had time today to work on the Firebird. First I wrestled with the motor mounts and got them replaced. Then I swapped the coolant sensors around and then swapped the engines and put the old one on the stand and had the new one hung from the cherry picker. Then a lot of pushing and pulling grunting and removing the headers I got this:

The engine is in and the bolts are in the motor mounts, but it wouldn't go in with the headers on, so now I need to figure out how to install headers in with the engine in.  I still need to install the trans and everything else I took off then start on rewiring for the new ECM. Damn those headers are going to be a pain.(can you tell the header problem is really bothering me?)

zordak
zordak Reader
2/19/18 7:26 p.m.

Another non progress update. Have a trip planned for the third week in march and have to get the new travel trailer ready to go.  We got new tires with it but not mounted so a morning spent pulling wheels and running over to the auto shop in town to get then changed. The afternoon spent installing a trailer sway control and adjusting the weight distribution hitch. and sunday was taken up finding and covering the leak in the sky light over the tub. Still have to work on the furnace at the property up north. I may get something done before vacation depends on what else I need to get done.

zordak
zordak Reader
3/4/18 4:09 p.m.

Hey I got the headers in. Wasn't easy. Needed to slot the #8 out side hole

Then to clear the hvac stuff this had to happen.

I also had to remove the A.I R. bung on the #8 cylinder. This means disabling the system in the ECM because when it turns on the solenoid for the manifold ports it adds a value to the O2 sensor to compensate for the added air, not disabling it will cause the mixture to lean. Getting the dipstick in was a pain as was re-installing the plugs and wires. Well next is getting the trans back in then on to the accessories. Still a lot of work but I do not see anymore show stoppers.

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