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1st Gen 2.4L Repair Musings: Oil pan & A43D Trans

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Old 09-07-2012, 09:50 PM   #21
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Adjusting the automatic transmission shift linkage:

After my brother had this 2WD (2003) Tacoma lifted, the gear shift never properly revealed which state the transmission was actually in. N actually meant D. R meant that the orange indicator wasn't even showing. Some showed orange mixed between shift settings. It was pretty dangerous to say the least and relied entirely on feel and hope that the transmission was properly and fully shifted from one state to the next.

Fixing this is pretty simple.
  • Put wheel chocks around one of the tires
  • Turn the truck on
  • Shift to N
  • Turn off the truck
  • Climb under the truck
  • Look for where a metal rod extends from the gear shifter location and is bolted to another metal rod which leads to the side of the transmission.
  • Loosen, but don't remove the nut for this connection
  • Get back in the truck and move the shifter so that the orange readout actually shows up next to N
  • Go back under the truck, finger tighten the bolt, then torque to 10ft-lbs
  • Turn on the truck and test shifting (some adjustment might be necessary)
  • Don't forget to remove the wheel chocks when done

This didn't resolve the problem entirely, but it's nearly perfect and won't confuse a state inspector.




-Jeff
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Old 09-12-2012, 08:34 AM   #22
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Nice little writeup, was this due to a bodylift? There are quite a few little details that a BL will affect.
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Old 09-13-2012, 07:37 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beefed Taco View Post
Nice little writeup, was this due to a bodylift? There are quite a few little details that a BL will affect.
Thanks. The "stretched" shifter linkage definitely was. Before I had any interest in this truck, I passively thought that my brother got a suspension lift. Instead, it turned out to be a whopping 3in body lift.

Thanks for all your 2WD/5-lug compatible products. I wish I would discovered your Street Tacos store earlier on.


-Jeff
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Old 09-24-2012, 08:49 PM   #24
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New toys:


^ All Pro bumpers


^ Trail-Gear parts for an axle flip & some Gorilla nuts


^ Flippity-flip!


^ Fabtech spindles.


^ Pro Comp alloys (this is swampland, not high sierra, so no steelies).


^ Obligatory "Badlands" winch.


^ Gator head for the dash. Adds +5HP at the wheels.


-Jeff
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Old 09-24-2012, 08:59 PM   #25
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Also, a sneak peek at an upcoming project. No further details for now.










Edit: A new arrival to add in:




-Jeff
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Old 09-25-2012, 08:56 PM   #26
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A couple more packages arrived:


^ Ichiba spacers for the rear to match the front spindles. The Gorilla nuts shown further up will be used to hold these to the hub.


^ These ET nuts will be used for all 4 wheels (the shorter acorn nuts on the spacers will be abandoned). Next to the nuts is a B.A.M.F. BPV bracket.


^ Here's the truck as she sits as of this afternoon: new windshield, updated inspection sticker, and removed front bumper. The mis-matched wheel is a spare--every tire on this truck was a different brand and most nearly bald.

EDIT: The Gorilla nuts weren't needed for anything after all. The nuts that come with the spacers (for connecting the spacers to the axle) are the best choice and are properly tapered to fit the the vendor's design.

-Jeff
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Old 09-27-2012, 03:17 PM   #27
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I spent my lunch hour finishing up the paint on the Toxic Tacoma's "All Pro" front bumper, eager to install it before a road trip. Only, that lunch hour dragged on and became a lunch afternoon upon discovering that the bumper was a whopping 1/4 inch (>5mm) out of spec and the bumper and paint job are scratched up pretty badly now from failed install attempts.

It was only when another resident at my apartment complex saw me fire up an angle grinder that a solution presented itself: we used his come-along hand winch and were able to pull the frame rails together just enough to clear the bumper for installation. In my mind, that's a horrible solution and the stress on the bumper welds might eventually tear the bumper apart. I'm sure it's also not good for the suspension.

I've written All Pro Offroad a frustrated letter and am awaiting a hopefully professional response on the matter.

Here are a few photos of the results:


^ Bumper in the paint booth.



^ This looks less serious than it was. Multiple measurements revealed a more significant disparity in sizing overall.



^ Front shot. The 3in body lift's dead obvious and ugly, but not as bad as expected. I have a plan for resolving the gap in a decent and functional way. (Looks uneven due to the way I was holding the iPhone.)



^ Beauty shot.


-Jeff
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Old 09-27-2012, 08:00 PM   #28
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^ Hub centering rings from "Just for Wheels" for lugcentric rims.

Given the frustration I'm reading about regarding aftermarket wheel configurations, I'm eager to see how well--or if--these will work with the Pro Comps and rear spacers.


-Jeff
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Old 10-21-2012, 05:20 PM   #29
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^ Spindle swap.
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Old 11-07-2012, 11:43 PM   #30
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The spindle swap ran pretty late into the night and had to be finished up the following evening, but turned out well. The front sits much better despite the extra weight (bumper + winch) and the wheels don't rub anymore. The spacers and centering rings fit perfectly in the rear and the wheels appear to line up nicely with the front.


^ The height change, however, created some noticeable positive camber. Some higher offset hubs/rims with wider tires will be installed in a few weeks, so that'll give me some time to consider buying alignment tools (to shim the lower control arms and adjust some newly installed outer tie rod ends) or just take it to an alignment shop and throw $100 at them since a quality alignment's really worth it.


^ During the spindle swap, me and my friend replaced the front rotors and brakes. I have no knowledge of any such servicing in the truck's 130k mile history and some mild grooves were worn into the original rotors, so this seemed like a no-brainer.

Brake quality is something you really want to be careful about and generally what's supplied by the vehicle manufacturer is guaranteed for a variety of (tested) braking conditions. Nevertheless, I wanted to try out the el cheapo Duralast products at Autozone to see how well they hold up for the price. A lot of people get wary of franchise products like these, but amidst all the ranting, I never see anyone show proof of poor quality. (The Duralast tie rods ends, for example, were actually manufactured in Japan and had grease fittings!) Also, Autozone's brake pads and shoes have a "lifetime guarantee", which allows you to bring in worn pads for free replacement as their way of building customer loyalty and trust. Whether the pads and/or rotors wear faster than OEM is the big question though. So after the successful front brake swap...


^ ...I bought all new drum brake replacement parts.

And just for fun:


^ Assorted Hi-Lift products



^ NATO 20L cans


-Jeff
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Old 11-10-2012, 10:44 PM   #31
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^ Today I changed one (1) brake drum. Not two, but one. And it was a royal PITA. At the same time, I love the elegance of design and raw stopping power of drum brakes.

Several complications occurred, however:
  • I already had the spacers on, so the tire and spacer had to be removed and later retorqued. Those spacers are complicated to work with on a free-moving hub.
  • The shoes, drum, springs, retainers, etc. were all replaced, so it was a bit tricky for a noob. What's nice about this design's that you really only need a couple tools once the drum's off. Much can be done simply by hand, a flathead screwdriver, and a set of needlenose pliers.
  • Autozone sells the wrong brake shoes for the base Tacoma. I tried two stores and a sales clerk worked with me to try to match the (~10in) shoe I brought in. No dice. Went to O'Reilly on the drive home and the guy knew right away that we'd run into a size issue. Of their two choices, I ended up buying Wagner shoes (PAB505) at a bit of a markup, but they were readily available and also included a lifetime warranty for wear and use. Wagner has a good reputation despite being funded by communism. The really weird thing about all this though is that Autozone sold me the CORRECT drum, but the wrong shoe. I'm going to return the wrong ones and see if I can help them correct their inventory.

^ Wagner brake shoes

A few observations along the way:
  • The right side of the piston actuator wasn't reliably pushing that brake shoe out. Might be in need of eventual replacement.
  • Even with the self-adjuster on the lowest setting, I could hear some rubbing of the shoes against the drum (before pumping the brakes). I decided just to leave it this way and let the initial grit smooth down and the adjuster should properly set itself for appropriate braking tension.
  • Regarding the spacers, a lot of people are concerned over the nuts loosening and the spacers becoming a wheel hazard. You're supposed to retorque them after their first 10 miles in use, but I admit to waiting until now--over 100 miles of aggressive driving--to look 'em over. While I didn't check their "break free" torque, the spacer nuts needed real work to losen. Very happy about that.

Tomorrow my car buddy's going to work on the other drum with my supervision. Hopefully that'll considerably shrink the install time.

Once the rear brakes are done, I'll be focusing on the tires and am awaiting a return call from Interco. They've invited me out to their HQ in Rayne, Louisiana, so I won't pass that up!


-Jeff
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Old 11-11-2012, 07:33 PM   #32
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My friend did a great job rebuilding the drum assembly on the passenger side. However, we had significant trouble getting the actual drum on.

One oddity was that the Duralast drum had some weights on it, presumably from the product coming out of the lathe unbalance. No worries as the same's done with flywheels, flexwheels, rotating assemblies, etc.

The second oddity was that the drum measurements as stamped on the inside were in max inches and the first drum was in max millimeters like the Toyota products. Not a huge deal, but it was such an excruciating pain getting the drum on, turning the wheel hub at all, and pulling the drum off that I exercised my warranty. They swapped it for another one of the same part number--and no receipt--without hassle. Ironically, that one looked just like the first and fit on far better. There was some still some scraping, but the wheel hub could be rotated by hand easily and at that point I had to get back on the road. I'm going to hope for the best right now and check it again next weekend. The warranties cover wear and/or basic ignorance and I'm happy for that--less for ignorance though. I'm finding way too many irregular aftermarket parts these days and am suspicious more of that. One of the ebrake kits had a bent part that I only barely noticed, but it would have caused the unit to malfunction.


-Jeff
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Old 11-18-2012, 10:10 PM   #33
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After spending some time on the road, I noticed quite a bit of clunking from the drum brakes. Even though the self-adjusters are able to self-adjust, they take a long time to do so. It's a good idea to set the adjusting screw assembly as correctly as possibly or else there will be a whole lotta' shaking going on.

There's also way too much speculation and confusion about drum brake clunking online, but any such noises after replacement = brake shoes flopping around under load (friction). Always set the adjuster as carefully as possible. I still have some clunking, but it's milder.

Today I worked on setting up my ECU/ECM replacement board to eventually read VR cam and Hall crank sensors. The next step is getting the ignition circuits in place.


^ Custom ECU and firmware designed by friends.

It was also a good day to get the "All Pro" front bumper to finally fit correctly. Two bolts still needed to be properly secured in place. To my knowledge All Pro builds these bumpers against a mock-up, but I'm still not ready to blame the truck given the amount of work it's taken to get the install right.


^ A hole on the driver's side of the front bumper was slightly misaligned with the threaded hole in the frame. A bit of grinding with a Dremel, some paint to repel rust, and in it went.


^ Here's another photo to show the reshaped left side of the hole.


^ The white shape in the middle's a bolt on the passenger's side of the bumper. You can see how the washer (which isn't removable) presses against the pipe and weld joint. Since this is positioned to work with the way the bumper fit on the frame ends, I used the Dremel to saw a crescent out of the washer and now it wraps nicely around the weld with bolt sitting flush.


-Jeff
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Old 12-04-2012, 06:58 PM   #34
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I got a question for you! I was trying to replace the filter on the A43d transmission but there is a small pipe running across it. I wasn't sure about pulling it so I left the old filter alone and just replace the pan gasket! How do I do remove the transmission filter? Thanks!
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Old 12-05-2012, 09:23 AM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 98shortaco View Post
I was trying to replace the filter on the A43d transmission but there is a small pipe running across it. How do I do remove the transmission filter?
Always good to see someone else crack their transmission open.

Here are the actual steps per Toyota's documentation. Click on the images for larger versions:


^ Removal


^ Reassembly

Be gentle with the pipe and remove it slowly, alternating between both sides as you work the pipe out of the holes either end sits in (it's an exact fit between the holes, so don't pry one side out and then the other or you'll risk warping it). Be sure to have ample lighting when you reinstall it so you know the ends are going into the holes correctly and of course don't force it. The first time I removed the pipe, it was easy, but I pounded it back in strongly enough with a rubber mallet that the second time around one side wouldn't come out without a fight. I ended up bending it slightly. So just be patient...unlike me!

-Jeff
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Old 12-05-2012, 07:39 PM   #36
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I really appreciate the response Jeff! I read your removal and rebuild so I would like to know if there are any special tools or tip to remove our transmission beside the transmission jack. Also, where can I get the Toyota repair procedure you provided? Thanks again!
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Old 12-05-2012, 09:15 PM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 98shortaco View Post
I really appreciate the response Jeff! I read your removal and rebuild so I would like to know if there are any special tools or tip to remove our transmission beside the transmission jack. Also, where can I get the Toyota repair procedure you provided? Thanks again!
PMed!

I mostly ended up using a cheap boxwrench set and various sockets with a socket wrench, everything metric. The one thing I can't say enough is to label sandwich bags and keep all the bolts and parts separated by stages of disassembly. Taking photographs can help quite a bit too. In cases where two wrenches are needed (one to hold a bolt and the other to loosen a nut), I either used the SAE equivalent wrench/socket or a really solid crescent wrench.

Don't move the car around any more than you have to since it's easy to damage a RWD transmission by pushing it around or towing.

You'll NEED jackstands to lift the vehicle enough to pull the transmission out from under it. Also, just to say it, never work under a car only lifted with a jack (I know a 300-400lb guy who changes his Mustang oil using only a jack to hold the car up. He's a statistic waiting to happen). Also, put a chock or something behind a wheel to keep it from rolling.

From memory:
  • Unplug the car battery and then the harness from all of the transmission electrical connectors, only lightly loosen the nuts of the throttle cable (that runs up to the top of the engine) so you can disconnect it and work its way down, then unbolt the dipstick shaft and pull it out. Unhook the shifter linkage from the shift circuit on the side, but keep in mind which state is "Park" before you disconnect it just to be sure you return it to that state when putting everything back together.
  • Depending on what you're trying to do, you might want to use whiteout to mark a line down either end of the driveshaft to the differential and transmission end so you can put everything back like it was and keep your driveshaft perfectly aligned. You'll then unscrew the 4 bolts that hold the driveshaft to the differential. Once those are off, the driveshaft will slide out of the back of the transmission. I bought a plastic orange transmission plug from Harbor Freight to keep the rear of the transmission sealed.
  • The cooling lines will need to be disconnected from the passenger side. These are really fragile and one of mine was completely destroyed during the loosening process. New ones run about $10 or you can fab one if you're handy and have the cutting/flaring tools and a nearby hardware store. A better option is to get "race" style braided stainless steel tubing with AN fittings, but only if you have the money to blow. The existing cooling lines should be cleaned out with compressed air (if you don't have a compressor, cup your hand around one end and insert the needle from a cheap can of computer duster air to at least get it somewhat clean) into one and a large soda bottle covering the other end to avoid gunk spraying everywhere. Plug any open ends up as best you can either with plastic plugs from an auto parts store or use towels/rags and tape.
  • Loosen the 4 bolts that connect the rear mount to the transmission's extension housing. You also have to remove the mount itself from the crossmember, but I wouldn't do that part until after you're ready to drop the transmission since it'll hold the rear up.
  • Remove the four bolts at the bottom of the transmission on the engine side which hold the black metal dust shield in place, remove the dust shield and the rubber seal connected to it, then look for the drip groove at the bottom of the transmission's bellhousing. I used that groove to keep a flathead screwdriver from slipping while as the screwdriver held the flexwheel in place. You can use a socket wrench to loosen the 6 (I think) bolts which hold the flexwheel to the torque convertor, rotating the flexwheel with the screwdriver as you need to get from one bolt to the other. Note that it's a good idea to loosen the bolts a little at a time maybe over two passes. That way you're not putting any excessive pressure on the flexwheel at any specific point. The engine has a timing chain, so it won't need to be re-timed after turning the flexwheel, but I can't recall if it's better to go clockwise or counter-clockwise at the moment (you want to follow the natural path of the rotating assembly).
  • Then start unscrewing the two transmission mounts from either side of the engine block and bellhousing (two bolts on each side). I thought it might be easier to at least leave those on the block, but they really get in the way. You might have to remove a cooler line bracket from the passenger side to get to the bolts.
  • Now you'll have to remove the major transmission-to-engine bolts (~3-4) and then some smaller ones. This is a good time to start thinking about a transmission dolly, sturdy box, or something to hold the transmission up. Once the transmission's unbolted, it'll be sitting on two pegs. Mine was rusted on one peg and the freaking thing needed a massive beating to come off. Be patient and careful.
  • With the transmission held up in some fashion, remove the rear transmission mount from the crossmember (don't remove the bolts that go through the rubber shock absorber as it'll likely mess that up if there's any age to the rubber). Consider using some wood or something to hold the rear of the transmission up so removal puts less stress on the torque convertor. If everything's good, you can start to gently rock the transmission and pull back and it should eventually clear the two alignment pegs. You can use something to help "encourage" the transmission to back off from the engine, but I recommend against using anything metal. Having said that, a large flathead screwdriver used extremely carefully will help. The main thing to be careful about here other than personal safety is to not put all the weight of the transmission onto the torque convertor once the bellhousing clears the pegs or else internal assemblies can get damaged.
  • If you're not dead from the transmission falling on you, the whole thing now has to be lowered at an angle, front first. This is a royal pain and the torque convertor's going to want to fall right out once the angle's steep enough. Since it won't be drained much of fluid, be aware that it'll be especially heavy during a very uncomfortable stage of unforgiving work. You'll want someone helping and maybe another person who can grab and walk off with the torque convertor to reduce the overall weight of the transmission as you're lowering it to the ground. Keep in mind this transmission weighs close to 300lbs, so be prepared.
  • To keep weight off the pan and it's gasket, I used a Harbor Freight furniture mover to sit the transmission on. The dipstick tube bend on the pan should be watched at all times if you decide to do this since it can easily get damaged by the rolling mover's wooden slats and natural weight of the transmission (this will make sense when the transmission's being placed on there). Those moving dollies are fairly cheap and have wheels, so at this point you just roll the now-lowered transmission out from under the vehicle and it'll move around a lot easier. If the dolly ends up being too high or hard/unsafe to work with, lower the transmission directly onto the tarp and you can pull it out from under the vehicle by pulling on the tarp. Much easier on the body to do it that way.
A humid/rainy environment will start to rust the flexwheel now that it's exposed, so try not to let it sit like this too long. You can lightly spray it with some WD-40 and that will help protect it. Be sure to plug all holes to keep bugs or moisture from getting in easily or ATF from dripping out. Have lots of paper towels and consider using a tarp under the vehicle and where the transmission will be rolled to. It's impossible to not spill at least a little fluid during this process. O'Reilly Auto has some $10 rubber mats with a grey carpet-like top to them for absorbing fluids. I like those a lot.

This is all I can remember at the moment. Hopefully it's useful and not too confusing. Be sure during reinstallation to verify torque ratings of everything and put it back together right. You can get different types of cheap, pre-calibrated, torque wrenches from Harbor Freight and Sears.

-Jeff
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Old 12-06-2012, 10:13 PM   #38
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Just got word from Beefed Taco (of TacomaWorld and Street Tacos fame) that my rear shackles and "intermittent wiper" control lever are on their way. Here's a glamour shot he sent of the shackles:


^ 100% Beefed!

Thanks to Brian for his kind words and update.


-Jeff
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Old 08-10-2013, 07:12 PM   #39
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Hi

Hi Jeff just wanted to compliment you on your rebuild. Believe it or not I have the same transmission on my 1987 Ram 50 and Im close to finishing putting together. You got your case so nice and clean, how did you do it? This was a tedious task for me and it wasnt as nice as yours. Also, I seem to have what could possible be an extra 'sun' gear that I dont see in any of the illustrations but im 99% sure it goes inside the rear planetary gear. Did you find the same in your rebuild? Thanks!
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Old 08-11-2013, 02:36 PM   #40
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Hi Jeff just wanted to compliment you on your rebuild. Believe it or not I have the same transmission on my 1987 Ram 50 and Im close to finishing putting together.
Thanks! As you might have noticed, my results weren't 100% and I ended up finding another transmission. Hopefully you'll have better success.

How on earth did you up having this model transmission in your Dodge Ram? Is that stock? I've seen Asian transmissions ending up in domestic cars before, but that seems oddly paired.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Obsidian8 View Post
You got your case so nice and clean, how did you do it? This was a tedious task for me and it wasnt as nice as yours.
Don't let the rattlecan silver spraypaint mislead you! I spent a great deal of time with wire brushes, scotchbrite pads, and aerosol degreasers (not all are aluminum friendly), but also had generous shop owner run it through his shop's jetwash. Even then it wasn't pretty to look at, but a whole lot better. Once it seemed like there wasn't any more loose dirt or improvement with additional cleaning, I gave it several coats of spraypaint (after a thorough cleaning and taping off of anything that wasn't the exposed external side of the case, including screw holes and bare metal where washers and fittings went). The one that eventually went in is as ugly as I found it at the junkyard...too much trouble to do a second time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Obsidian8 View Post
Also, I seem to have what could possible be an extra 'sun' gear that I dont see in any of the illustrations but im 99% sure it goes inside the rear planetary gear. Did you find the same in your rebuild? Thanks!
I moved a few states away, but brought the old transmission with me to tear apart and inspect. It's still together at the moment, so I'll have to look over photos for reference. Do you have any photos of the part or can you draw any diagrams? I don't recall any extra gears, but did find what appeared to be mistakes in the rebuild manual (such as instructions not matching the diagrams).

I'm very excited to hear about your rebuild. It was a painful period, but it really made me respect entire businesses built around transmission repair and I'd love to rebuild a few for race and off-road applications.

-Jeff
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