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Old 12-27-2011, 04:18 PM   #1
dbetz will become famous soon enoughdbetz will become famous soon enough
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Grand Rapids, MI
Posts: 414

1999 SW2
2000 SL
Default Successful Trans Mount Replace - Auto

Got lucky with replacing my transmission mount in that I got it free without cutting, bending, scraping, or even too much cursing. Thought I would post what I did in case it might help others. Sorry for the roundabout description of everything I did, but I wanted to include everything I did in case something I did, not obvious to me, contributed to my success.

I have a 1999 SW2 with Auto trans. Looked up richpin’s video on replacing the mount, and decided he made it look easy enough. Then I read through some of the comments and found that replacing the mount for the auto trans can be a “bit of a stinker.” So more research on saturnfans, which turned up some good threads discussing what others did with the auto trans. Figured I’d take a chance (not the most car-savvy for how to get out if I get stuck).

Fast forward to having the wheel and splash shields off and starting to take out the 15mm nut. Ended up getting a metric set for my impact, as the threads were really rusty (I presume . . . couldn’t see it), and struggled to work it off. It broke free easily but was a bear to thread off. I figured the impact would ease it off better and not ruin my sockets. Also now have a set of metric 6-point sockets. Then I loosened the 10mm bolts and lifted the trans.

Sure enough, I hit the frame, like everyone said I would (hey, maybe I’d get lucky . . .) before I got the stud clear. Need about another inch. Didn’t hit the battery tray, like some thought. Completely removed the 10mm bolts to see if that would help. . . nope. So I disconnected the dogbone on the thought that maybe it was hanging up the trans (there were some recommendations that leaving it loosened but connected would help keep the trans lined up for reinstall). No such luck.

One set of threads discussed lifting the engine by the oil pan to change the angle of the trans to give clearance. Ended up taking the upper mount off completely to raise the engine a couple of inches (Second "jack"). No luck. Still can’t get the stud clear.

So I am getting frustrated and considering cutting the stud on the old with a sawzall to get it out and cutting down the stud on the new so to make it fit. But I figured that since everything else on this car is (relatively) simple to get in or out, that there had to be something missed that would make it work on the manual and not the auto. So I go back to the internet, and there are discussions about shoving the tranny toward the passenger side to give room. Well, I can’t get it to shove that way, but decided to get a prybar (piece of 1-3/4” conduit) and move it around to see what I can do.

So I find a wedge point and get the bar in above the subframe and lever the trans toward the passenger compartment. Only moves about Ľ” to ˝”. Darn. On a whim I yanked at the mount . . . and it came free!

Apparently that shift was enough for the mount to clear. Quick dropped the new one in to see if it would fit . . . no problem – dropped right in! So I yanked it out, cleaned up the rust as best I could, dropped it in and started reassembly.

To remount, all I had to do was drop the trans straight down about 1-2” so I could lift the mount up to the holes to reinstall the 10mm bolts. Didn’t need to shift it forward or back as it was lined up pretty well. Kept the bolts loose 1 turn per richpin and lowered the trans to the subframe. Anti-seized the stud and reattached the 15mm nut (kept the old one – it was in pretty good shape). Then tightened all the bolts down. It wasn’t real clear, but I used 24ft-lbs for the 10mm and 35ft-lbs for the 15mm.

Reattached the upper mount to the engine, then lowered it onto the frame and rebolted the mount down (35 ft-lbs for all 5 bolts?). Put everything back together and clean up the mess.

I don’t know how much having the top mount removed helped or didn’t help getting the trans mount in and out. “Next time” I would try to do it from the trans only and see if I could shift everything back like I did this time. It doesn’t seem right to need to do it with 2 jacks, and I don’t know if there is a good way to support the engine and trans both with one. All I know is that there was a lot of “mobility” with both mounts removed which may have contributed to my being able to shift the trans. I don’t know how rigid the upper mount might make everything. Then again, richpin had to shift the trans back with a prybar to get it to line up for reinstall, so maybe there is more play there than I realize.

Post-mortem: The old mount was squashed ˝” smaller than the new one and it was broken in half (the upper metal piece came completely off of the rubber). In fact, when I was originally removing the 15mm nut, the lower half of the mount would pivot. The engine seems to run smoother with the new one in place, but it is subtle enough to not be sure if it is not placebo. I DO notice that it shifts smoother. Shifts are now physically unnoticeable unless the rpm difference is really significant between gears, and it changes the “pull” the engine has.

Some people talk about having a lot of vibration from broken mounts. At 148k miles I replaced an upper mount that was broken in half. At 151k miles I replaced the trans mount that was broken in half. And with 2 broken mounts I never would have described the engine as having a bad vibration in it. It definitely runs better now with them replaced, but in my opinion, waiting for a “terrible” vibration won’t necessarily diagnose a broken mount.

Question: I noticed on the old mount an anchor stamped in it. The car was originally my in-laws’, and they put the first 80k on it. I put on the next 70k. Nothing in their recollection (I haven’t detail perused maintenance records) would indicate that the mount would have been changed. I know I hadn’t changed it. Is Anchor, then, an OEM supplier? I got my mount from GM Parts Direct, but saw Anchor listed on some sites as an option to buy. I never checked it over that thoroughly before installing it, unfortunately. It would be nice to know if Anchor mounts are OEM for those looking for quality mounts.

Also wanted to say thank you to everyone here for all the participation in all the threads related to getting this done. Especially richpin, for making the video and laying out the majority of the procedure. Thanks!
Thanks! David

1999 SW2 Auto 150k miles; Dark Plum Metallic
2000 SL 5-Speed 214k miles; Silver
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Old 12-27-2011, 04:26 PM   #2
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Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Far Southwestern Iowa
Posts: 66,694

1998 SC2
Default Re: Successful Trans Mount Replace - Auto

Anchor also has supplied the OEM mounts.
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