Transmission Rebuild

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  #1  
Old 02-02-04, 10:28 PM
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Transmission Rebuild

Can an everyday mechanic rebuild a transmission (if you know how/have a book, whatever), or does it require machining and a billion special tools?

Mathius
 
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  #2  
Old 02-02-04, 11:04 PM
mike from nj
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it entirely depends on the vehicle, what failed, what caused it to fail, how willing you are to pay attention to the smallest detail, how good a book you have to follow, and how much patience you have. it can be frustrating or greatly rewarding.

'special tools' also depends on who made the trans and how willing you are to fabricate things if need be. i've compressed clutch return springs with 2 deep sockets and a vice before, because i had to.


ask away, there's no better forum.
 
  #3  
Old 02-03-04, 03:55 PM
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You also have to install it to test your rebuild if it's not working properly tear it back out and start over.What type of vehicle?Year/make/model always helps.Special tools abound for trannies but as mike said it depends how deep you need to go.My opinion is when you take a tranny apart you need to find out why it failed before you attempt to repair it.This means you don't take a tranny apart with air tools because an improperly torqued bolt could be the cause.Let us know what you have and we will go from there.A freind of mine rebuilt a 400 just by buying a video and booklet and his worked but I don't think he rebuilt the whole trans just refreshed it.Hey Mike have you ever rolled a seal?
 
  #4  
Old 02-03-04, 10:43 PM
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I know it would help if I could add the year make model, etc, but right now I have a few applications in mind, and I'm not sure where I'm going with this....

For starters, I fear the clutch just blew on my '89 Ranger, which has what I'm pretty sure is a Mazda 5 speed, it's manual, 4 speed w/overdrive, and everyone told me it was a mazda 5 speed tranny (it's mated to a 2.3L motor if that helps). I want to upgrade the engine to a 302, and the tranny to a t5, a tremec t5 if I could find one at the right price. Problem is, I'm moving, so I'm trying to decide what to do. It doesn't make sense to pull the tranny, put a new clutch in it and put the old tranny back in if I'm just gonna pull it again to put the t5/302 combo, but then if I don't put the mazda 5 speed back in, then I have to find a means to tow the truck when I move, and I'm always without that second vehicle, if my other one fails. So I guess I'm interested in knowing if I pull the mazda tranny, would it be worth it to rebuild it and sell it, or should I just pull it and sell it. I'm fairly sure my clutch is the problem, and not the tranny.

Also, I definately am interested in rebuilding the t-5 whenever I pick one up.

Down the road, my '76 Malibu will be getting a different tranny, a 5 or 6 speed, depending on what I can get to mate up to a big block, so that'll be the 2nd or 3rd rebuild. I think I need to start with a general book first, before I tear my first one apart.

My dad said I would probably need a shop press, to press the gears in when rebuilding a tranny, is this true? He didn't seem certain.

Is it worth it to rebuild the 5 speed tranny, or will it not be worth the cost. I really haven't looked into how much a rebuild kit costs, but I don't think this tranny is rare, or sought after, right?

Mathius
 
  #5  
Old 02-03-04, 11:47 PM
mike from nj
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davo---our trannies aren't as hard as yours, the lip seals go in easy. i will admit to cutting a teflon 'seal ring' once, it burn't the clutches before it got around the building. then there's always that extra snap ring that you find on the bench when you're done----was that when i got my phone call, or is someone messing with me?

mathius---you are talking a whole different ballgame, manual trannies are as complex, but they aren't. they are like a 1000 piece puzzle. a service manual is an absolute must have!!

it makes things go a lot easier with a press, but it isn't mandatory. without it, you would need a whole lot of specialized tools, to take the place of the press. my local NAPA store lets me use their press when i have a job going at home, and work is closed(provided i buy something off them).

unfortunately, a manual trans usually requires many more specialized tools than an automatic, some you can't do without either.

i was like you when i was young(i'm guessing your a teen/low 20's) i wanted to do all kinds of project cars, even took a few apart. guess what----they never went back together.

fix what you have, when it comes time to make a big conversion, have every piece you need ready. engine, trans, rear, driveshaft, suspension springs, radiator, complete brakes, welder, torch, iron for fabricating, beer! if you start without all that, you will lose interest and start another project and never fix this one. i've been there.

is there any way you can see inside your bellhousing, like a rubber boot or an inspection plate. you would know if it was a burn't clutch the second you open up that opening. the smell is overwhelming.
drain the trans fluid, if only dust comes out, or there's big parts floating, or the fluid turns your stomach, you need a trans. if the fluid is somewhat clear, and full, it might be OK.
i've found that when most manual trannies 'go', you still have 4th gear. if you can stall the engine in 4th, it's not a clutch.

if you can see the clutch 'fingers' on the pressure plate, that will tell you if you need a clutch or not. it's been my experience(can't speak specifically about mazdas)that when the fingers are level with the flywheel, the clutch is good. if there is a good angle to the fingers, pushing the throwout bearing all the way back, then is clutch time.

let us know what you find
 
  #6  
Old 02-04-04, 10:04 PM
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Originally posted by mike from nj

unfortunately, a manual trans usually requires many more specialized tools than an automatic, some you can't do without either.

i was like you when i was young(i'm guessing your a teen/low 20's) i wanted to do all kinds of project cars, even took a few apart. guess what----they never went back together.

fix what you have, when it comes time to make a big conversion, have every piece you need ready. engine, trans, rear, driveshaft, suspension springs, radiator, complete brakes, welder, torch, iron for fabricating, beer! if you start without all that, you will lose interest and start another project and never fix this one. i've been there.
Can you tell me what specialized tools I might need? Or does anyone know of a book I can look in?

I'm trying to do just what you said, get everything together first. I'm trying to do it a piece at a time. My Chevelle is nearly road worthy, I have to finish the floorpan so I can actually have a place to put my feet, rebuild the carburator, flush the radiator, and change the tranny fluid, but except for the floor, none of those have to be done right this moment.

With this in mind, I'm going to get my camaro running again (I took it apart to paint it, but the engine bay took longer than I thought, and it got too cold) and take it to some body shops for quotes on paint. I think it just had some bad gas and a slightly dead battery. I threw some octane booster in the tank and it tried to turn over, so I charged the battery, which was pretty dead. I'll try starting it soon.

Once those 2 things are done, I'll feel solid with 2 vehicles behind me that I can work on the truck. I don't want to pull the tranny whether it be a bad tranny, or a bad clutch, and fix it, and then have to pull the tranny again when I do the engine swap, so I've decided to just park it.

Right now I'm in the gathering stage to figure out what parts and tools I'll need to restore my truck and make it into what I want. The first step will be pulling the engine and tranny and either getting rid of them, or putting them away to swap into something else. I have a buddy at work that has the same truck I do, just a few years later, that needs an engine. I may rebuild mine as a side project to do it for the first time, and then if it goes well, throw it in his truck and sell it. He just wants to get rid of his truck and told me he'd give it to me.

Once the engine and tranny are out of _my_ truck, the plan is to do the suspension first (frame mods, lower it, clean up the frame (rustproof) bigger rear end) then body mods (shaved doors, frenched antenna), then paint, then engine and tranny last.

So I have thought it out and have a plan, The Camaro will also be up for sale after its painted. I'd do that myself, but I'm realistic, my garage is not suited to be a paint booth.

So... back on task...

1. What specialized tools would I need, assuming I can get a press?

2. When you say service manual, are you talking about the factory shop manual?

I know it seems like I've got way too much on my plate right now, and I do really, but I had a plan and it didn't call for my truck to break down The Camaro was running fine a few weeks ago, 'til it didn't start one morning and it was too cold for me to want to mess with trying to jump it.

Yesterday I had the truck put on storage, and the camaro put back on full coverage, so I'm really gonna keep at it!

Mathius
 
  #7  
Old 02-04-04, 11:58 PM
mike from nj
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i doubt highly any chiltons or haynes manuals will show the detail needed to rebuild a manual trans. you can find a good factory service (shop) manual on ebay if you wait long enough, and it will be cheaper than those two i mentioned.

that manual will list the rebuild, step by step, and show you each tool you would 'ideally' need. if i spent the time looking for each and every tool in the service manual, the job would take me days to do. most tools listed are extra, and not really needed. i'd say i use about 10% of what the service manual calls for.

you would only know what you need and don't need when you're actually there, with it on the bench and coming apart. i can do an entire T-5, usually with a 3-jaw puller and a pipe to hammer it back together. it's crude, but it works. maybe for an input shaft bearing would i need a press.

each trans is different, i couldn't give the specific details of your particular trans, since i've never done one.

let us know how it turns out, it sounds like you're on the right track.
 
  #8  
Old 02-05-04, 11:30 PM
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Generally speaking, if I'm going to sell this transmission, is it usually better just to sell it outright, or is a rebuild kit cheap enough that it will make up for the price of itself when I sell a rebuilt tranny?

Trying to decide if I should bother rebuilding this one, or just sell it and use the money to get a headstart on the price of a t-5.

Mathius
 
  #9  
Old 02-07-04, 09:22 PM
mike from nj
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i don't know of any rebuild kits, i'm sure someone somewhere gathers a few brass blocker rings and puts it in a box and sells it as a 'rebuild kit'. anytime i'm inside a manual trans, it's usually getting parts replaced that are worn or broken, plus new seals. these parts are NOT cheap either, nor is the labor. it's not uncommon to make up an estimate for the parts needed, and exceed the price of a new unit. (this is especially true of a diesel trans, and the NV family of trannies). i couldn't say either way to fix it or just sell it broken, and you don't even know for sure it's broken, do you? that's why my initial response was to just put a clutch in it and drive it.

i also wouldn't sink too much money or time into a T5 trans, they are a weak trans by design, and are at their limits of power behind a stock 5.0L mustang. if you do any mods to the engine, the trans will be broken in short order, especially third gear. my brother (and many friends) have been through many of them. he is now with a C-4 automatic and is more reliable AND faster.
 
  #10  
Old 02-13-04, 10:09 AM
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Any other suggestions for a manual that'll keep up with a 302 or 347?

I've seen Tranny rebuild kits at summit and jegs.

Here's one:

http://store.summitracing.com/partde...=HUP%2DHP3288K

Mathius
 
  #11  
Old 02-14-04, 11:21 PM
mike from nj
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that's a kit for rebuilding an automatic trans, and a chevy one too.


i know there are a bunch of ford-only forums out there, the information from other people who've done what you want to do is much better than what i can offer.
 
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