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Old 09-04-2015, 05:07 PM   #1
shortrun
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Default Sub frame nuts

I want to replace the tranny mount. Because it is automatic I will need to lower the sub frame about an inch should I expect trouble loosening the 2nuts on the drivers side.?

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Old 09-04-2015, 06:25 PM   #2
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Default Re: Sub frame nuts

You do not have to drop the cradle. If you are using the OEM mount which is what you should use, then you shorten the mounting stud and to get the old one out lift everything as high as you can and cut the stud. Be sure to leave enough stud to take count for the cradle thickness and the nut. Figure the thickness of the nut + a lock washer and cut accordingly for the new mount.

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Old 09-04-2015, 07:59 PM   #3
shortrun
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Default Re: Sub frame nuts

Well I had this all apart several weeks ago and I could not get the old one out. We tried to come up with a way to cut the bolt with a hack saw blade but we just gave up. Lowering the sub frame will work but if I bust those bolts, then what?

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Old 09-04-2015, 11:01 PM   #4
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Default Re: Sub frame nuts

What happens is the captive nuts break free before the bolts break. Dropping cradle can turn into your worst nightmare. Go get a sawzall, works well.

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Old 09-05-2015, 02:56 AM   #5
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Default Re: Sub frame nuts

OldNuc's suggestion is probably easiest...wish I would have thought of that when I did mine.

But there is a way to do it without cutting the stud or lowering the subframe (which I have done before). However, you will need two jacks for it to work. You could even use one regular hydraulic jack, and the scissor jack in your trunk.

What you do is, while the trans side is supported with a jack, place a jack under the oil pan (with wood between the pan and jack). Remove the two nuts that hold the upper engine mount to the bracket. Then jack up the engine side until the engine mount lifts a bit. Once it does, remove the three engine mount-to-timing cover nuts. Remove the engine mount.

Now with the engine mount removed, you can push the entire drivetrain toward the passenger side of the engine compartment. This will give you enough room to get the lip of the new trans mount under the transmission and fully seated on the subframe. Then just put everything back together using the proper techniques and torque specs.

If you've already attempted to loosen one of the subframe bolts, and it is now spinning freely, don't worry. For the subframe bolt toward the rear of the car, there is an access hole that is covered up by one of the plastic weather protectors. There's enough space to put a vice grips in there to hold the speed-nut in place while you tighten back up the subframe bolt. I know this from experience.

BTW -- There's no where you can buy those speed-nuts new. They have been discontinued. So it's better to make your current one work somehow. I even had to remove mine, bend it back into the proper shape, and re-install it. It worked just fine.

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Old 09-05-2015, 07:34 AM   #6
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Default Re: Sub frame nuts

Why reuse the stupid stamped steel fake nut? Just get 4 more strut->knuckle bolts, nuts & washers. Heck, if you save the bolt and destroy the nut just get the nuts from the strut->knuckle bolts as they're the same thread pattern.
"But how do you hold it in place to torque down?" -hater :P
A deep offset wrench.

Forgot how stupidly annoying the trans mount is on an automatic, never had an issue with my 5spds getting it done with only lifting the transmission.

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

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Old 09-05-2015, 08:05 AM   #7
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Default Re: Sub frame nuts

I am very glad I asked and thanks for the answers. The new mount is going to stay in its box for a later date. The car runs and drives fine and I am going to leave it alone. Just not up for that kind of challenge, maybe next summer.

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Old 09-05-2015, 08:47 AM   #8
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Default Re: Sub frame nuts

Im not sure this is what you are thinking of doing but here is a Richpin video
you might want to check out.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5x1VMuWG5yw

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Old 09-05-2015, 09:26 AM   #9
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Default Re: Sub frame nuts

That video is where I started. Unfortunately the automatic transmission is harder, or at least different.

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Old 09-05-2015, 09:55 AM   #10
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Default Re: Sub frame nuts

The auto's have a larger case on that end of the transmission, so all that space you have on a 5spd to stuff it up towards the frame has to be created a different way, either by modifying the mount (probably the best idea for everyone) or dropping the cradle (not the best idea in the rust belt...).

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

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Old 09-06-2015, 11:22 AM   #11
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Default Re: Sub frame nuts

It will go in without modifying the mount or dropping the cradle. I've done it on 2 cars, both with autos. Use a jack under trans, and a nice strong and long pry-bar for between the trans and cradle. The second time I did it, I loosened the nuts on the engine mount before jacking up the trans. Loosen the 2 nuts on the frame side, not the engine. This made it easier. If you loosen the 2 on this side, you don't need a second jack or risk damaging the oil pan. This shouldn't take you more than 30 min.

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Old 09-06-2015, 12:09 PM   #12
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Default Re: Sub frame nuts

You will NOT get the OEM mount to drop in as it is about 3/8" longer. TOP mount has to come of and right dogbone dropped and left side bolt at frame backed off so you can shove it over far enough. Or trim 3/8 off the bolt. You can not get the OEM installed under a manual either without pulling mounts. The OEM and aftermarket are markedly different and you can not buy the OEM mount at the autoparts.

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Old 09-06-2015, 12:34 PM   #13
shortrun
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Default Re: Sub frame nuts

Lamp. -. I would need to see pictures of you doing this before I would attempt. Prying on the transmission case is not something I would just do on my own. But I think I understand the idea, the engine needs to be lifted on the passenger side by maybe a couple inches so the engine/transmission can be moved an inch or two toward the passenger side. Of course you need to watch all the wires and hoses to make sure no damage will happen.

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Old 09-06-2015, 01:31 PM   #14
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Default Re: Sub frame nuts

It is not the wires and hoses, it is the dogbones that will PREVENT moving to the right if not released on the right and the frame bolt backed out as far as possible without coming out on the left. You really do not want to disconnect every engine mount from the car with the engine balanced on a jack, things will go south rapidly from this point. The simple easy way is to cut the stupid stud. Go buy a Dremel tool and a tube of cutoff wheels it will be one of the more useful purchases you will ever make.

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Old 09-06-2015, 11:19 PM   #15
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Default Re: Sub frame nuts

Quote:
Originally Posted by shortrun View Post
Lamp. -. I would need to see pictures of you doing this before I would attempt. Prying on the transmission case is not something I would just do on my own. But I think I understand the idea, the engine needs to be lifted on the passenger side by maybe a couple inches so the engine/transmission can be moved an inch or two toward the passenger side. Of course you need to watch all the wires and hoses to make sure no damage will happen.
Below is a link to a post with pictures that may help:

http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...&postcount=114

In the first picture, the 2x4 is used to both pry upwards and push toward the passenger side of the vehicle at the same time. It would help to have an assistant place the mount in while you are pushing/prying, but I was able to get the new mount in without an assistant.

Remember, what OldNuc stated also. You would want to loosen the front bolt for the trans dogbone and probably both the bracket nuts for the engine dogbone. Don't remove either dogbone completely, but have them loose enough to give you enough play to move the drivetrain over a bit.

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Old 09-07-2015, 09:56 AM   #16
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Default Re: Sub frame nuts

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldNuc View Post
It is not the wires and hoses, it is the dogbones that will PREVENT moving to the right if not released on the right and the frame bolt backed out as far as possible without coming out on the left. You really do not want to disconnect every engine mount from the car with the engine balanced on a jack, things will go south rapidly from this point. The simple easy way is to cut the stupid stud. Go buy a Dremel tool and a tube of cutoff wheels it will be one of the more useful purchases you will ever make.
I was using an engine hoist so no problem with the engine falling. I have dremel with all the different bits. I really just could not get the old one out. I don't have a sawsall, I think that would be the right tools.

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Old 09-07-2015, 10:33 AM   #17
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Default Re: Sub frame nuts

Adjustable stroke and speed sawzall is exactly what you need. That stud is not hardened either. If you have to trim the new mount put a nut and washer on the stud and use it as a cut guide and cut thread straightener. After the cut and nut removal file the leading end of the cut thread down slightly so the nut will start on by hand easily.

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Old 09-08-2015, 06:58 AM   #18
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Default Re: Sub frame nuts

Getting the old one out is the easy part. I've only used OEM mounts. I've never had to trim the stud, but that does sound like an easy solution. It has been over 4 years since I've done this, but I don't recall touching the strut mount to get this done. Well, I touched the pass side one after I got the others bolted back up, to remove the pre-load, but we all know that this is required. I also was able to do this without an assistant.

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