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Old 04-17-2015, 11:42 AM   #1
tfgorman
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Default Manual transmission removal

1999 sl with manual transmission, no power steering, ac, 218000 miles.

My tranny has developed a bad leak from under the inspection cover. So, looks as if I will need to remove it to figure out where the leak is coming from. It is leaking about 0.5 quart a day.

I have not yet inspected the diff pin, but planning on doing that sometime this weekend. If that is the issue, from what I've learned on here my best option is just to replace the transmission.

My biggest question - can I remove a manual tranny without pulling the engine? I have searched and found videos and instructions for removal, but haven't found anything for removing the manual from the drivers side wheel well.

I have done a ton of work on this car, especially on the front end, so I feel as if I have the knowhow to do this. However I don't have access to a motor lift, so if I need one I may just have to part ways with the vehicle. I don't want to get 80% of the way into tearing out the tranny and realize I can't get it out all the way without pulling the engine. I really want to keep it going though, badly.

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Old 04-17-2015, 12:38 PM   #2
fetchitfido
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2001 SC2
Default Re: Manual transmission removal

Drop the passenger side of the cradle about 2", which is about all the bolts will let you without removing them.
Remove the bolts for the driver side of the cradle.
Pull transmission out.

That's assuming you've already done the rest of the work, getting the driver side axle out and undoing the mounting bolts.

...
The proper way to fix a S-Series automatic is to replace it with a 5spd O:)

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Old 04-18-2015, 05:50 AM   #3
emilmata
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Default Re: Manual transmission removal

Hey funny you just posted this because i just recently dropped my transmission through the driver side (with out pulling the motor) and it was not to bad, just wrestling it out by myself was the hard part. Below I posted a link, it describes how to replace a clutch, but dropping and pulling the transmission is the exact same. Let me know if you run into any troubles as it goes i can help.

BIGGEST THING, Make sure you jack the front of the car nice and high with the e-brake pulled and the rear wheels blocked by 2x4 pieces of wood. Double check that it is properly lifted and wont fall on you while working. The link is below. since i apparently havent made enough posts please put in the www before the cristhomas and a . html at the end sorry

cristhomas.com/cars/Clutch/ClutchHowTo

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Old 04-18-2015, 08:29 PM   #4
tfgorman
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Default Re: Manual transmission removal

Excellent, thanks so much. The link helps me out a ton. It is great to know going into this that it is possible. Hopefully I can squeeze it out as you did. I may just give it a try tonight.

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Old 04-18-2015, 09:51 PM   #5
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Default Re: Manual transmission removal

Not a hard job overall.
That is why I originally joined this forum, in 2008. I had gone to the dealer to ask how to install a clutch, they said you have to drop the whole subframe. With a special dealer-only lift....

Thank goodness for this forum! That spring I installed a clutch, it didn't work, removed it, had a mechanic check it, reinstalled it, didn't work, removed it and installed a Luk kit. Success.

I was pleasantly surprised that you don't have to touch the rt. axle too. Good luck!

...
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Old 04-20-2015, 06:12 AM   #6
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Default Re: Manual transmission removal

I am in the middle of removing the tranny. Your right, doesn't seem too terrible so far. I may be more than half way done, but going to take some time as I will only be able to work on this a few hours at a time, a couple nights a week.

Ran into a problem. One of the bolt heads on the right ignition coil block is completely stripped badly. The instructions state that these need to be removed. I have tried "easy" methods for removal, but nothing yet has worked. So, I guess it will have to come out the "Hard" way. Long story short, I would prefer to get this bolt out with the tranny removed from the car. Do I have clearance to drop out the tranny from the drivers side wheel well with the ignition block still connected, or does it absolutely have to come off before I can drop it out?

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Old 04-21-2015, 09:57 AM   #7
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1997 SL
Default Re: Manual transmission removal

Looking at my SL, it seems that the coil block should be removed, although I don't remember doing so (7 years ago )

If you don't remove it, it might cause interference when you pull the trans.

...
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Old 04-21-2015, 03:37 PM   #8
wi111y
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Default Re: Manual transmission removal

Quote:
Originally Posted by tfgorman View Post
I am in the middle of removing the tranny. Your right, doesn't seem too terrible so far. I may be more than half way done, but going to take some time as I will only be able to work on this a few hours at a time, a couple nights a week.

Ran into a problem. One of the bolt heads on the right ignition coil block is completely stripped badly. The instructions state that these need to be removed. I have tried "easy" methods for removal, but nothing yet has worked. So, I guess it will have to come out the "Hard" way. Long story short, I would prefer to get this bolt out with the tranny removed from the car. Do I have clearance to drop out the tranny from the drivers side wheel well with the ignition block still connected, or does it absolutely have to come off before I can drop it out?
You'll have clearance issues. It's already a real tight fit without anything hanging off of it.

Drill the bolt out, or cut/grind the head of it off. Try not to damage the coil.

...
'95 SL 5 Speed 220k - DD
'95 SW2 5 Speed 230k - Gone!
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'00 Tahoe Z71 - Truck stuff

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Old 04-22-2015, 06:12 AM   #9
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Default Re: Manual transmission removal

Thanks much for the advice. I will get the bolt off one way or another, just trying to avoid it if I could.

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Old 04-22-2015, 06:26 AM   #10
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Default Re: Manual transmission removal

I am now diving in head first. I have now decided to replace my engine cradle at the same time as pulling the tranny to fix the leak. While in the process of getting the transmission out, I noticed my cradle was badly rusted. something I have had my eye on for a while actually. I did some searching on this site, and decided to take the plunge and replace the cradle at the same time, just to be safe.

I found an engine cradle with control arm from a 2002 SL at a local used parts place for $75. It is already pulled from the car, and is supposed to be in "really great shape!" says the owner, with little rust. We shall see, I am picking it up today. Hopefully it will have some other good parts attached to it.

I am also planning on replacing my engine mounts while doing this work as well. Plan on getting good used OEM mounts. The engine runs great, but at low idle there is some vibration I would love to go away.

What about replacing my clutch? I think it is original 200,000+ miles. I don't think the previous owner replaced it. I have had the car for 7+ years, and 120,000 miles and have never replaced the clutch. I almost think I should leave well enough alone.

I would love other suggestions of things that would be a good idea to replace while I am tearing into it. But the clutch is my biggest question.

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Old 04-22-2015, 08:26 AM   #11
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Default Re: Manual transmission removal

The clutch is one of those things you ought to replace just because you've torn it apart that much. The leaking fluid will eventually make it's way onto the disc, then it's toast. Have the flywheel resurfaced or replace it along with the clutch disc.

...
The proper way to fix a S-Series automatic is to replace it with a 5spd O:)

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Old 04-22-2015, 12:52 PM   #12
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Default Re: Manual transmission removal

You could also remove the Manual Transmission the Saturn way too

Saturn Training Module on Manual Transaxle R & R
that runs about 30 minutes.

http://https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BBue8XTbcog

...
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Old 04-27-2015, 02:27 AM   #13
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Default Re: Manual transmission removal

Well - got the transmission out and engine cradle out this weekend. Pretty sure the transmission is toast, as there is a crack/hole in the case of the transmission underneath the far end where the throw out bearing assembly arm pivots on the transmission case. The new to me used cradle is ready to go up into the car, but I have an important question before I go forward any farther.

Only had a few broken bolts during the process, but all can be repairable. One I am worried about, so that is what I wanted to ask about. In the photo I attached, I have a pic of the front drivers side engine cradle bolt, threaded partially into its spot, while the engine cradle is removed. This bolt gave me more troubles getting out than the other three of the cradle, but based on the size of the bolt and the rust on the car nothing that I wasn't expecting. I am planning on getting new cradle bolts before I put up the new cradle just to be safe.

The "nut" that this bolt screws up into is moving around pretty good up inside of the frame when I try and thread the bolt into it. I will call this a "nut", but I am not sure exactly what this is or how it is shaped, but either way it serves the purpose of the nut for this engine cradle bolt and is buried in the frame and not accessible as far as I can tell. The other three bolts of the cradle thread into their nuts up within the frame and the nut doesn't move around and seems almost attached to the frame somehow.

Is this a problem that this "Nut" is moving around up inside of the frame? Or am I OK to just tighten down the bolt into the nut when installing the cradle? I am pretty sure the cradle bolt will tighten down inside of this nut just fine. The threads of the nut are a little rusty, and the bolt might not thread into the nut super easy, but it should thread in and tighten down with a little effort.

If this is a problem, what do I do about it? Maybe I am being dumb with this one, but it seems as if this "nut" is buried in the frame and not replaceable!?
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Old 04-27-2015, 07:54 AM   #14
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Default Re: Manual transmission removal

Not only is it not a legit nut, but it's not fun to replace either. All 4 of the cradle mounting nuts are the same as the 2 you can see (and easily replace) on the firewall side and they love to turn into a round circle instead of the wanted/needed square when you use more effort than a brand new just installed bolt would take.

Cut a hole in the side of the frame, tack a nut borrowed from a strut->knuckle bolt in there (or get a new nut using the same thread pitch) and weld the removed panel back into the hole.

...
The proper way to fix a S-Series automatic is to replace it with a 5spd O:)

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Old 04-27-2015, 02:10 PM   #15
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Default Re: Manual transmission removal

Ok, thanks. Not exactly what I wanted to hear, but kind of what I expected.

I don't think the nut is that rounded. I can still thread into it, it moves around a ton, but eventually the sides of the nut catch inside of the frame and it then let's me tighten down the bolt. I was hoping that since this nut caught on the sides of the frame that I would be ok to just tighten down and move on. I guess not....

I can cut a hole, and I know someone who can weld this for me. Dang.

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Old 05-05-2015, 12:36 AM   #16
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Default Re: Manual transmission removal

I got the nut repaired for the cradle bolt. There is actually a small access hole on the back side of the frame that is not visible in the picture. I fished around in there with a magnet and got all parts out, cleaned up the nut and threads and re-bent the holding device for the nut and put it back in. All seems fine now, no cutting or welding needed.

I am finally ready to put everything back in the car this weekend - new clutch and resurfaced flywheel, replacement transmission, , replacement used OEM lower engine and transmission mounts, and replacement new black and shiny engine cradle, along with some other random assorted parts from the pick and pull yard. I can't wait to get it up and running.

What are the torque specs for the flywheel to engine bolts? Seemed like they were on pretty tight when I removed them.

Also, what are the torque specs for the clutch bolts? I have the Haynes manual which says 18ft-lbs, but I remember reading on this site that 18 is incorrect.

Any other pointers/tricks for the clutch? I feel very confident with everything else I am doing.

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Old 05-06-2015, 11:09 AM   #17
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Default Re: Manual transmission removal

Flywheel to Crankshaft 59 Ft/lbs.
Clutch Pressure Plate 19 Ft/lbs.
Hopefully you have purchased the Luk Clutch kit, complete with pressure plate, clutch disc, throwout bearing, and alignment tool.

...
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Old 05-12-2015, 02:04 AM   #18
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Default Re: Manual transmission removal

It is up and running again
No Issues with clutch, or replacement transmission after reassembly. I found a transmission from someone local who had one laying around in his barn, and got it real cheap. It was a gamble, but so far so good, no leaks and works well and shifts real smooth. Reassembly of everything wasn't that difficult, when compared with getting all of the rusted things apart.

Now two more issues. The first issue I now have is check engine light on. I will get code read, but it seems as if it engine was missing only in 5th gear when at 50+ mph. I could feel it kind of puttering in and out a tiny bit. Didn't seem to miss until at higher speeds. I had to put some used coils in the car after all of this work because the original coils cracked when I removed them. My best guess is that is the culprit. But who knows. Last issue that I have noticed is that sitting over the winter, my gas tank strap rusted and gave out, and is completely broke. One strap still holding on, but looks like I will have to replace that very soon before gas tank falls out of the car.

I replaced the engine cradle and transmission, and had to remove the tie rods from the knuckle obviously when doing this. The car seems to run fine and goes straight down the road. Should I get an alignment done? My ball joints and tie-rods are somewhat new, and my bearings sound good right now, so hopefully if I did get an alignment done now I wouldn't have to touch anything on the front end for a while after aligning. My tires are new and I don't want to ruin them.

Thanks to everyone. Couldn't have done it without all of the nice people on this forum!

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Old 05-17-2015, 10:06 AM   #19
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Default Re: Manual transmission removal

Check the surface under the ICM and make sure it is clean to the bell housing. It needs to be clean for the ICM to be able to function properly. If all your connections check out to the plugs and control module, I would simply suspect an issue with the used coils.

But many people neglect the surface under the control module. It needs to be clean to make a proper ground.

...
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Old 05-20-2015, 01:41 AM   #20
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Default Re: Manual transmission removal

It ended up being an O2 sensor fault. Probably because the car sat for 3 months over the winter. When I finally restarted it, there was a cloud of blue smoke that filled the neighboorhood, garage, and the house after my wife opened the door garage door.
I cleared the check engine light and it has not came back on since. The puttering has gone away.

Probably just needed some time to clear itself out. Seems to be running fine now, no more sputtering, and gas mileage back on track where it should be at 40mpg. Burned a lot of oil in the first 200 miles since I got it back up and running, so that is a little concerning for me, but hopefully that will taper back to where it had been at 1 qt per 1000 miles now that it is running good again.

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