SaturnFans.com
saturnfans.com - classifieds - forums - webmail


Go Back   SaturnFans.com Forums > Models > Saturn S-Series > S-Series Tech

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 03-14-2008, 12:21 AM   #1
Ackpacket
Member
Ackpacket is on a distinguished road
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 82
 
Default A lesson in transaxles

Hey all, long time reader first time poster. First let me just say how much I love my '02 sl2, it responds cheerfully to the least bit of love you give it.

Alas, my transaxle(automatic) is failing (or so i've been told... by aamco). They wanted to charge me 1095 in labor to take it off and put it back on, who knows what the parts would've cost. They said 2500 at most for everything, complete overhaul.

So, what are my options basically?
Where is a good place to find another transmission?
How can I find out which transmissions will fit my car?
Where can I learn to rebuild the transmission myself? I'm pretty mechanically inclined, and more than likely have all of the tools necessary. My dad was a professional mechanic for 35 years, and when he passed away I inherited that lifetime collection of tools. I have no transmission experience so i'm wondering where I can get some very thorough reading material, hopefully specific to my transmission as opposed to those general haynes manuals. I would really love to rebuild it myself as opposed to putting a different one in, I love experiences like that.

Thanks in advance for any advice you can offer!

P.S. Some important info:
123k miles
last transmission service: unknown. Only have had the car for 1.5 years, it was also inherited from my dad.
Specific symptoms: Bucks very hard when shifting into third gear. Getting slightly worse, problem has began to slightly cover other gears. It gets worse with cold and better with heat. Filter was just changed when a friend mistook it for the oil filter. Unfortunately only a cheap Fram filter was put on.
Ackpacket is offline   Reply With Quote
SaturnFans.com Sponsored Links
Old 03-14-2008, 06:56 AM   #2
BarnOwl
Super Member
BarnOwl is just really niceBarnOwl is just really niceBarnOwl is just really niceBarnOwl is just really nice
 
BarnOwl's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Hickory, NC
Posts: 10,029
 

2000 SW2
1998 SL2
Default Re: A lesson in transaxles

First off the fluid and filter needs to be changed every 30K and you should have done it when you got the car. If you're really lucky, yours will respond to just a change. You might want to put some Sea Foam Trans Tune in there a couple days before the change.

Rebuilding a transaxle is beyond the skills of most of us. However, you probably can get by with a valve body. Aamco is irratic at best when it comes to making the proper diagnosis. They just say rebuild. There's one brand of valve body, Transtar I think, that seems to get a lot of bad reviews. Look in the How-To Library for valve body and you'll find some instructions. You can do it without removing the transaxle.
...
There is nothing more frightening than ignorance in action.
BarnOwl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-14-2008, 08:04 AM   #3
Uzzy
Master Member
Uzzy has a spectacular aura aboutUzzy has a spectacular aura about
 
Uzzy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Windsor, Ontario Canada
Posts: 9,326
 

2002 SC1
2005 VUE 2.2L
Default Re: A lesson in transaxles

Never ever ever ever trust Aamco. It seems like no matter where you are, the Aamco is crooked.
...
Aut viam inveniam aut faciam
...
If your ECTS is not brass...your ass is grass.
...
If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find him, maybe you can hire Uzzy.
Uzzy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-14-2008, 08:43 AM   #4
white-sl2
Member
white-sl2 is on a distinguished road
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 70
Default Re: A lesson in transaxles

your first reply my second. I assume you've checked the fluid, I might have missed it in your post who knows, anyways I second the fluid change. Dont think a cheap filter matters. I replaced my auto trans fluid about 110,000 for the very first time and it was black as night, put some new fluid and a cheap filter and it works fine. And when you take it to a place like Aamco, its always broke. Thats how they make their money.
white-sl2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-14-2008, 12:36 PM   #5
ExMiata
Member
ExMiata is on a distinguished road
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 58
 
Default Re: A lesson in transaxles

My 2001 SC2 is at a Relco shop now. My neighbor had his van towed(rollback) to the shop, trans rebuilt and returned with a one year warranty for $900.

I got a third party warranty on my SC2 when I got it in January - something I NEVER do. So, if they pay, it will be worth the cost of the warranty.
ExMiata is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-14-2008, 12:46 PM   #6
rc1488
Master Member
rc1488 has a spectacular aura aboutrc1488 has a spectacular aura about
 
rc1488's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Carmel, NY
Posts: 5,660
 

1997 SL2
1995 SC2
Default Re: A lesson in transaxles

Start off with new fluid and filter. From there if the problem persists, try the seafoam as Barnowl suggester and also try Wolfmans reverse slam remedy.

After those with no success, the next step would be to put a new imput shaft nut on, and then finally a new valve body. Hopefully you dont get this far as it gets more expensive
...
Current: 95 SC2 Man 97 SL2 Auto 98 SL1 Auto 01 SL1 Man 02 SL1 Man
Past: 94 SL2 Man 95 SL2 Man 95 SL2 Man 96 SL2 Auto 97 SL2 Man 98 SL2 Auto 99 SL2 Auto
2010 SCCA Mohud Street Championship-2nd Place
rc1488 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-14-2008, 12:51 PM   #7
ringed1
Member
ringed1 is on a distinguished road
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Mid-Atlantic
Posts: 313

1994 SC2
Default Re: A lesson in transaxles

Here's how it works with the less honest Aamco shops: they give you a definite labor estimate for pulling and re-installing the trans (theirs seems high, BTW). As for what's wrong, that's the variable. Once the trans is out and disassembled, that's when they really have a customer over a barrel. Whatever estimate on repair was given usually goes up. Don't like the new quote? Just fine...a customer can pay them for their labor and have the disassembled tranny and the car towed from the shop.
ringed1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-14-2008, 12:52 PM   #8
sl_don
Member
sl_don is on a distinguished road
 
sl_don's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Canada
Posts: 457
 

2004 VUE 3.5L
Default Re: A lesson in transaxles

Try the fluid change and if that doesn't fix it then i would look for a used transmission from a similar year wrecked car. i do not trust rebuilt transmissions it is rarly done right and they don't generaly last.

you could do it yourself if you are patient, meticulous and have the factory service manual. the secret to successfully rebuilding an automatic transmission is following the procedures to the letter. they are very sensitive to clearances and tolerances so a good set of quality measuring devices (calipers feeler guages and so on) is a must.

Places like Ammco just bu the wear items and through the transmission back together. sometimes they last 100k miles and other times they don't make it out of the lot.
...
If it isn't broken.........Your not trying hard enough

2002 SL first brand new car in my family since the 1981 Pontiac Phoenix (sold)
2004 Vue AWD V6 bought used (current)
sl_don is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-14-2008, 07:13 PM   #9
Ackpacket
Member
Ackpacket is on a distinguished road
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 82
 
Default Re: A lesson in transaxles

Thank you all for your replies. Very helpful stuff! I knew I'd find what I was looking for here. I have a few more questions:

So, assuming nothing works, where do I look for another transmission? I have no idea.

Also, my trans fluid seems to have a tiny bubble or two in it when I check it on the dipstick. And the level is really hard to guage.

Now, all of you are suggesting a fluid change. There is a drainplug for that. If i take the fluid out through there, will this include the fluid from the torque converter or will I be mixing new fluid with old?

Should I try some synthetic if I do change the fluid?

What's the difference between a fluid change and a flush?


Thanks again for all of the answers! I love my saturn.
-Steven
Ackpacket is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-14-2008, 07:45 PM   #10
tacinc1
Junior Member
tacinc1 is on a distinguished road
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 21
Default Re: A lesson in transaxles

I've been on this site for about a month. BarnOwl is an expert in this area
and has dedicated alot of his time and knowledge. You would be well advised to follow his thoughts. I purchased my VB from Valvebody Pros. They have been excellent with their support. If you do the valve body, it may be a
good idea to rent an impact wrench for the input shaft nut and torque the
nut on beyond the 111 ft. lbs. Well beyond. As I understand, the over
torque can't hurt and may save you from having to redo the INS.
tacinc1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-16-2008, 03:48 AM   #11
Red Sc2
Member
Red Sc2 is on a distinguished road
 
Red Sc2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: DE
Posts: 395

1995 SC2
Default Re: A lesson in transaxles

I recently purchased (then sold) a '95 sl2 automatic.... Needed a new tranny since I bought it. When I bought it, it only had between one and two gears.... I went to the junkyard and bought one there for $250 with a 9o-day warranty... Had my mechanic take out the old tranny, and put in the new one, as well as service it for $250.... Grand total = $500 for a used tranny and installation...... If worst comes to worst, go that route


As far as which years are compatible.... Im thinking any OBDII tranny will go but dont quote me- I dont know much about the tranny area- especially autos.... But either way, I would go with 2001-2002 since your car is 2002, the newer the tranny, the better the condition most likely! ESPECIALLY WITH SATURN AUTOMATICS....

Shoot, while your at it, you might as well drill a couple of holes in the firewall and just replace the one you have now for a 5-speed

Last edited by Red Sc2; 03-16-2008 at 03:55 AM.
Red Sc2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-16-2008, 07:24 AM   #12
Uzzy
Master Member
Uzzy has a spectacular aura aboutUzzy has a spectacular aura about
 
Uzzy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Windsor, Ontario Canada
Posts: 9,326
 

2002 SC1
2005 VUE 2.2L
Default Re: A lesson in transaxles

Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Sc2 View Post
As far as which years are compatible.... Im thinking any OBDII tranny will go but dont quote me- I dont know much about the tranny area- especially autos.... But either way, I would go with 2001-2002 since your car is 2002, the newer the tranny, the better the condition most likely! ESPECIALLY WITH SATURN AUTOMATICS....

Shoot, while your at it, you might as well drill a couple of holes in the firewall and just replace the one you have now for a 5-speed
In '98 they changed the gear ratios, so anything before that won't work. They also went to the adaptable programming, in that year, I think. Any 5-speed would work with the right PCM.
...
Aut viam inveniam aut faciam
...
If your ECTS is not brass...your ass is grass.
...
If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find him, maybe you can hire Uzzy.
Uzzy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-16-2008, 09:25 AM   #13
fredsfix
Member
fredsfix is on a distinguished road
 
fredsfix's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Corning NY
Posts: 222

1999 SL1
1997 SL1
Default Re: A lesson in transaxles

I can't help but think that a 35 year veteran mechanic had a trans fluid change on occation. What makes me nervous is the idea that you had someone else (who evidendly was clueless) change the oil and you're considering rebuilding the transmission. Am I to assume that the cheap Fram oil filter is still on the transmission? Ever think that might cause a problem seeing how a transmission filter costs three times more than the Fram oil filter?
Barnowl has it right - start with an immediate fluid and correct filter change!
After that investment of about $20 you should notice an improvement with a little driving.


OMG - WHAT YOU SAID !!!

Also, my trans fluid seems to have a tiny bubble or two in it when I check it on the dipstick. And the level is really hard to guage.

I BET THERE IS 5-30 WEIGHT IN YOUR TRANSMISSION. YOUR BUD DRAINED AND CHANGED THE WRONG SIDE OF THE ENGINE COMPARTMENT!!
...
You can't call yourself a mechanic if you're surprised it runs!
fredsfix is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-16-2008, 10:47 AM   #14
Uzzy
Master Member
Uzzy has a spectacular aura aboutUzzy has a spectacular aura about
 
Uzzy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Windsor, Ontario Canada
Posts: 9,326
 

2002 SC1
2005 VUE 2.2L
Default Re: A lesson in transaxles

Quote:
Originally Posted by fredsfix View Post
I BET THERE IS 5-30 WEIGHT IN YOUR TRANSMISSION. YOUR BUD DRAINED AND CHANGED THE WRONG SIDE OF THE ENGINE COMPARTMENT!!
But nobody's dumb enough to pour engine oil down the tranny dipstick, are they?
...
Aut viam inveniam aut faciam
...
If your ECTS is not brass...your ass is grass.
...
If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find him, maybe you can hire Uzzy.
Uzzy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-2008, 09:08 AM   #15
fredsfix
Member
fredsfix is on a distinguished road
 
fredsfix's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Corning NY
Posts: 222

1999 SL1
1997 SL1
Default Re: A lesson in transaxles

We can't let this slide to the back pages until we get an answer about the color of the "tranny fluid".
...
You can't call yourself a mechanic if you're surprised it runs!
fredsfix is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-2008, 01:38 PM   #16
BarnOwl
Super Member
BarnOwl is just really niceBarnOwl is just really niceBarnOwl is just really niceBarnOwl is just really nice
 
BarnOwl's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Hickory, NC
Posts: 10,029
 

2000 SW2
1998 SL2
Default Re: A lesson in transaxles

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ackpacket View Post
Should I try some synthetic if I do change the fluid?
What's the difference between a fluid change and a flush?
Given the difference in cost, I definitely wouldn't go with synthetic in a transmission I consider doubtful. Actually, I don't run synthetic in my transaxles anyway. I install tranny coolers and change the fluid every 15K instead.

DO NOT HAVE YOUR TRANSMISSION FLUSHED!!! This used to be recommended and a lot of shops still do it but, in my experience, it tends to stir up a lot of junk that was better off left where it was. I know a guy at work I told to change his fluid when he got an S-series. He didn't know any better and got a flush. Now, he can hear a solenoid buzzing in the valve body. Changing the fluid you get by draining it, is recommended. You won't get it all but, you'll get enough.
...
There is nothing more frightening than ignorance in action.
BarnOwl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-2008, 04:32 PM   #17
SonnyD
Advanced Member
SonnyD is on a distinguished road
 
SonnyD's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Overland Park, Kansas
Posts: 794
 

1999 SC1
Default Re: A lesson in transaxles

Quote:
Originally Posted by Uzzy View Post
But nobody's dumb enough to pour engine oil down the tranny dipstick, are they?
You and I both know the answer to that

Regards Sonny
...
I LOVE MY SATURN!!!!
99 SC1 "Marvin"
2007 Harley FLHX "Street Glide"
Fender 50's Strat...The Guitar That Put the "Rock" in Rock&Roll
SonnyD is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-2008, 05:07 PM   #18
Uzzy
Master Member
Uzzy has a spectacular aura aboutUzzy has a spectacular aura about
 
Uzzy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Windsor, Ontario Canada
Posts: 9,326
 

2002 SC1
2005 VUE 2.2L
Default Re: A lesson in transaxles

Quote:
Originally Posted by SonnyD View Post
You and I both know the answer to that

Regards Sonny
Yes, but it shouldn't be possible.




Hey, post #9000 That's a lot.
...
Aut viam inveniam aut faciam
...
If your ECTS is not brass...your ass is grass.
...
If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find him, maybe you can hire Uzzy.
Uzzy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-2008, 07:08 PM   #19
rc1488
Master Member
rc1488 has a spectacular aura aboutrc1488 has a spectacular aura about
 
rc1488's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Carmel, NY
Posts: 5,660
 

1997 SL2
1995 SC2
Default Re: A lesson in transaxles

Quote:
Originally Posted by Uzzy View Post
Yes, but it shouldn't be possible.




Hey, post #9000 That's a lot.
Another grand and youll be the 4th Super member
...
Current: 95 SC2 Man 97 SL2 Auto 98 SL1 Auto 01 SL1 Man 02 SL1 Man
Past: 94 SL2 Man 95 SL2 Man 95 SL2 Man 96 SL2 Auto 97 SL2 Man 98 SL2 Auto 99 SL2 Auto
2010 SCCA Mohud Street Championship-2nd Place
rc1488 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-2008, 09:05 PM   #20
amazinghl
Master Member
amazinghl will become famous soon enough
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 7,989
Default Re: A lesson in transaxles

Quote:
Originally Posted by Uzzy View Post
But nobody's dumb enough to pour engine oil down the tranny dipstick, are they?
My turbo dodge transmission calls for engine oil...
...
85 GLH 367whp. http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/showthread.php?p=2261629#post2261629
00 Insight 72mpg
amazinghl is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
so i've learned my lesson... ion skater6912 Ion General 27 02-18-2012 12:40 AM
A well learned lesson... kickarse S-Series General 7 03-12-2006 12:47 PM
Lesson Learned SW1philly S-Series Tech 3 04-27-2005 10:35 AM
Hub Lesson: ReZDoG Miscellaneous Tech 2 04-12-2004 09:30 PM
A lesson in humility. MyL300 General Saturn Discussion 14 08-02-2003 01:25 PM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 02:07 AM.

Advanced Forum Search | Advanced Photo Search


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions Inc.
SaturnFans.com. The Saturn Enthusiasts Site.