drtidmore

440T4 tranny 2nd clutch MIA.....

64 posts in this topic

14 hours ago, 89RedDarkGrey said:

 

Some words of caution when using THIS are be mindful where our lifting eyelets are, and try to "spread out" the weight on the edges of our plastic fenders. I had found out that the support "A" legs of the H.F. version weren't tall enough, and to keep directly in line with the rear engine lifting eyelet, the "A" legs hit the Strut Towers. Also- the front bar was way too close to the engine, because the "A" leg wasn't tall enough. That is why I improvised with my partially home-made wood brace. I hope the OTC setup is different.

 

 

Engine= roughly 700 pounds, Tranny= 189 pounds (dry)  I would be very leery of using those included cables. An aluminum 4-banger, ok, sure. Our cast iron beast- no.

 

Good catch!  The Kent Moore support specifically for our cars attaches to the strut mount bolts that protrude above their respective nuts which is a much better setup, but that support runs between $600 and $800 so it is out of the question for a one time project (hopefully only 1 time) like this.  Wish I could find one to rent as that would be the way to go.  As I am not yet to the point of needing the support, I will think about how to proceed a bit more regarding the support.

 

After researching, I have pretty much discarded the idea of buying new 65E parts rather than going with a salvaged 65E for the parts.  It was going to be a mess of a ordering parts from several vendors and some parts were only available from GM.  The cost also was well above the cost of a '98-early 2000s 65E plus shipping, nulling out the cost the known parts that I intend to replace regardless.  I plan to get the salvaged unit first, tear it down for the required parts, then taking the remainder to scrap metal salvage.  I will rebuild the needed 65E components before starting on the teardown of the Reatta so as to make the rebuild on the 440/65E hybrid proceed a bit faster once I have it to that stage.  Still investigating the best approach as to the overhaul kit for the 65E vs getting just the required seals, bushings, pistons, friction plates, steels, etc.  

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Regardless of any other kits you buy- the one most important is that Transgo Jr. with the Parrot Plate. The accumulator cover always warps and leaks- and I've seen them crack before, too. A very poor design. The Parrot Plate acts as a washer, evenly spreading out the clamping force.

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Yes, I have the TransGo SK-440-JR on the list of absolute parts.  

FYI, I just snagged a relatively low milage (106K) 65E out of a recently wrecked, 1998 SC Grand Prix.  The guy at the salvage yard (local BTW) told me that the car was so immaculate that he was able to sell the entire interior as a unit.  Got the tranny for $300, but no shipping needed as I am running over tomorrow morning early to pick it up (guy at yard agreed to meet me on a Sunday!). So the adventure begins!  Now that have my donor tranny lined up, I know exactly which overhaul parts to buy to rebuild the 65E components that I will be using.

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http://www.tripleedgeperformance.com/

 

Drtidmore,

 

i have been following your thread on transmission work, and I commend your willingness to DIY an automatic transmission.  There is a vendor that goes by the name of GMTuner who has performed chip updates for some of our forum.  He also has a shop in Indiana that specializes in engine swaps for Fiero's and has done a number of  Reatta's check out this one (http://www.gmtuners.com/Customer/90ReattaL32/index.htm ) as well.  Among his list of Links is his automatic transmission guy who is Tripleedgeperformance, see link at the top of this comment.

 

In addition to offering rebuilt transmissions, he sells manuals and parts and one part in particular that I thought may interest you: http://shop.tripleedgeperformance.com/Engine-Support-Bar-AP5820.htm .  Actually there may be a number of parts and accessories that may be of interest to you if you look in his online store.  

 

Best of luck to you and your project!  By the way, I am not employed nor do I have any financial interest in Triple Edge Performance.  I am planning an engine and transmission swap in the next couple of years and I intend to use these two vendors because I don't have the skills necessary but I can afford to pay to have it done.  :rolleyes:

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That engine brace has the same design as many others, and as I've stated before- will not work on our Reatta. Look closely at your own. Even take a broom handle or similar to gauge it- the strut towers are very high, and the hood hinges are in the way perfectly. You can not rest any support on the edges of the plastic fenders, either.There is a reason I made my support the way I did.

 

Also- a typical "engine hoist" (cherry picker) is nearly useless here- the legs are in the way, and hoists tend to pull back as they lift, which would be catastrophic, possibly yanking the car off the stands.

 

The "Correct" T brace (Kent-Moore GM J-28467) is on eBay, but you must hunt down all the required components of the suitable brace for a Reatta. I think drtidmore mentioned he was fabbing his own brace, based on what's needed. It bolts to he strut towers.

 

TRANS_BRACE_J-TOOL.thumb.jpg.86b7ab7734e688e8845fdc65c4a68b6d.jpg

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I would think it would be pretty straightforward to make a tee brace for this specific application as drtidmore intends to do. It doesn't need any adjustable slides and such so could be pretty simple. Not looking to start a controversy, but I would bet the completely dressed 3800 weighs no more than 450# and likely less. I have two 3800's on stands now as well as a big block Chebbie, which is probably close to two of the 3800's. A big block 455 Buick comes in around 600#

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Yea, I can't offhand remember where I saw that "700 lb." figure. Maybe that's the engine/trans combo?

 

Trans= roughly 189 (dry, no converter) -700 = 511 lbs ?

 

Yes- I think my statement of engine weight was way off:rolleyes:

 

All I know- is that when I was crawlin around, cleaning, replacing, painting, (my Friend) welding- even though my brace was HD it still was unnerving at times. That's a lot of cold cast iron and aluminum and steel above me:o

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7 hours ago, 89RedDarkGrey said:

All I know- is that when I was crawlin around, cleaning, replacing, painting, (my Friend) welding- even though my brace was HD it still was unnerving at times. That's a lot of cold cast iron and aluminum and steel above me:o

I am in complete agreement on the sometimes uneasy feeling, like being in a mineshaft w/creaky timbers from an old western. :)

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I give you all of you lots of credit that have pulled only the trans out the side. But for me I would pull the engine\trans combo from the top using a engine hoist. Not sure on these cars which way may be easier. Best wishes on the trans repair.   

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Removing the entire powertrain as a unit is definitely not a 1 person job. Many more connections with engine, draining coolant, possible hood removal- then separating the two- having a stand or old truck tire to set the engine on, and transferring an 189 lb. TH440-T4 to a workspace alone is no fun and dangerous- to the mechanic and transmission, should it be banged or dropped.

 

If going up, with the entire powertrain was better- then why spend the money to design and build the KENT-MOORE J-Tools (Transaxle engine braces) and hundreds of other specialty tools for Dealerships to make their jobs easier, safer, and most of all quicker- actually saved many thousands of labor hours and Tech dollars.

 

KENT-MOORE Tools was so lucrative- that it was bought out by SPX Service Solutions, and still continues to manufacture specialty tools for Dealers of car makers around the world. 

Edited by 89RedDarkGrey (see edit history)

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I guess I have as much experience as anyone so here goes. When we did the tranny only removal we jacked the car up and used a Harbor Freight cherry picker to hold the engine in place and seperated the tranny from the engine and let it down with a tranny jack.  The cherry picker did not do much more then hold the engine in place. 

 When we did the engine and the tranny we removed the hood, radiator fans and radiator and pulled from the top.

 If I was "only" doing the tranny dropping it out the bottom is the way to go.

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I had Friends that worked for a Dealer here- a bizarre method they sometimes used (especially on Pontiac Transports) was to unhook all electricals, hoses, and the steering coupler- zip out the cradle bolts- the lift the body up, leaving the "powertrain module" on the floor. That was the only way certain things could be accessed on that vehicle; I'm not sure if it had a Doghouse like most vans of that era. Padgett had one- he can say what. I know they used to dread those coming in.

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Well, I see there has been quite a bit of discussion on my thread while I was busy over the last couple of days.  First off, I now have my donor 4T65EHD, a 1998 from a supercharged Grand Prix with 106K miles.  Car was a one owner, recently wrecked and according to the salvage yard the interior, which they NEVER mess with salvaging, was so immaculate, they pulled and sold it as a unit.  The tranny is fairly clean to have come from a 20 year old car.  I pulled the fluid with an extraction pump and it was not exactly pristine, so I suspect it had never been changed, but I am just interested in the hard parts in the tranny anyway so those should be fine.  All new bushings will be installed in 65E donor parts as well as in the the 440T4.  I am going with Raybestos Gen 2 racing frictions as while I don't plan to race the Reatta (LOL), these frictions offer superior performance such as higher coefficient of friction, lower heating, longer life.  Going with better frictions, along with new steels, will not change the feel of the transmission, so other than a small additional cost factor, there are no negatives.  

 

For those that have not picked up on what I am doing, this is going to be a hybrid rebuild using slightly modified 4T65E rotating parts with a few items from the 440T4.  It will also have the vastly improved charge pump design from the 65E (the pump shaft bearing on the 440T4 was a weak point and if that bearing fails, which it has a history of doing, metal shavings are spewed throughout the entire transmission, potentially destroying many parts in the tranny). At any point in the build, I have the option of returning to a straightforward 440T4 rebuild. I'm in contact with the individual that pioneered this hybrid build and I am confident of my success.  Yes, it is a bit more complicated than a plain 440T4 rebuild, but not dramatically so.  I will end up with a significantly stronger transmission and all the improvements that GM incorporated in the 4T65E.  

 

Now on to the whole engine support discussion.  I looked into every potential option as to how to securely support the engine as I pulled the transmission out the bottom.  I really preferred to go with the Kent Moore J-28467 tools as referenced in the FSM, but the costs I was finding seemed pretty outrageous ($600-$800 and it was not clear if that even included all the support components required).  I kept digging and finally came up with a definitive list of the individual part #s to assemble a genuine Kent Moore support specific to the Reatta (i.e. without ANY of the extra items that came with the dealer version).  eBay and a lucky catch after contacting one vendor, provided ALL the correct pieces to assemble the correct engine support and at way less cost than anticipated.  With the proper support holding the engine, I will pull the entire cradle/subframe.  I plan to replace all those subframe bushings as mine are factory and while they still look okay, they are 29 years old.  

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Looks like you are off to a good start. Hope it has a great ending!

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