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I have the engine out of my '89 for overhaul/replacement. The transmission has never faltered during my ownership, shifts smooth and appropriately, fluid looks good and there are no leaks. However, since I have been reading this forum, it has become apparent that the transmission is the weak link in the drivetrain. My questions are, since the engine is out should I take the opportunity to do the transmission at the same time? Can I do any diagnostic work to it while it is accessible to make sure I'm not pulling this engine again in three months to do the transmission? Do I just rely on its previous faultless functioning and forget it?

BTW, I am grinding out the exhaust down-tubes while they are off -- actually just the one with the O2 sensor. What kind of restriction exists over the weld lines on the flange end? They seem like pretty big seams but they aren't as obtrusive as around the sensor and I'd like to grind them down at the same time but I don't want to hurt the integrity of the weld. Is it worth while to do this?

Thanks

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You didn't mention how many miles are on your transmission;

I've had really good service from my '88, put on over 160 K miles myself and it worked beautifully until it was pulled out last week for the Engine/ Tranny Swap.

I did an annual service on it every Fall.

I'd be inclined to replace output Bearings and Seals and perhaps someone with more experience will comment on replacing the Torque Convertor.

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I bought the car in March, 2002 with 136,000 miles on it and it now shows 144,000 miles. I have never serviced the transmission and I know the previous owner did not service it either (he owned it about a year and put on about 3000 miles). I know nothing about any previous owners.

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A lot depends on how it has been driven. At 144k I would probably pull the clutch pack and check for wear. Also want to check the thrust washers and bearings. Just my thoughts but am not really a trans person.

Saw an overhaul kit on line somewhere for about U$400.

440T4/4T60 is not a bad trans, is used in millions of cars just at 3300 lbs and with a 3800 is at the upper limit.

Good place to look for transmission info.

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Padgett,

Do you or any of our Reatta sages know what tranmission would be a good replacement to the stock one in the Reatta? I'm tinkering with rebuilding mine but if there is another GM tranny out there that would be better I'd sure like to know. Also if there is would it be a direct replacement or would there be any modifications required? confused.gif

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Well you could do like Greg and replace with a Getrag. smile.gif

Seriously the Reatta has a 440T4 aka 4T60 trans. Believe there was also a 4T65 (GTP) and a 4T80 (Cadillac) but have never looked into a swap. (4 speed, transverse mount, last two digits relate to the torgue rathing). Later units (starting in '91) added electronic controls (and a "-E" suffix) - to put one in an 89 you would need to rewire or obtain one of the external control boxes.

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Regarding the exhaust mod: The interior welds on the connection at the head are still larger than the exhaust ports themselves. That said, the welds are large and there can be areas that may hang out into the exhaust flow, so, cleaning them up until relatively smooth may be beneficial. They are only welded inside so you shouldn't grind them too far, just clean them up. If you want to do a little more work, (besides the outlet mod.), and spend some money, remove the heat shields, clean up the outside and have them ceramic coated. Cost was about $225 four years ago. Underhood temperatures really do go down and they look great.

As for the transaxle, there are wide variations in the longevity. Some replaced at 60k and others that have gone 200k. If it has not been serviced regularly, I agree that it should be looked at now. Your conjecture is probably a good one plus a fresh engine will have more output than the tired one. Good time to add a trans. cooler too.

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