Airstream Forums

Airstream Forums (
-   Mechanics Corner - Engines, Transmission & More... (
-   -   How to drop the tranny? (If I even need to) (

Impala SS Guy 10-03-2003 06:35 AM

How to drop the tranny? (If I even need to)
I took the bus in for a tranny fluid flush the other day at a local shop that has a machine that swaps the fluid using the tranny pump to make the fluid flow. My bill was supposed to be $110. They also found that I needed a new steering stabilizer type of a part and also new rear brake pads. All of a sudden my $110 bill had turned into $960. Then when they test drove it, they said it wasn't driveable and that my tranny, that shifted fine the whole way there, was all of a sudden toast.

My problems are these:

1. My tranny guy is a small shop that doesn't have the room or capability to deal with the whole bus - but he is willing to rebuild it for $450.

2. The shop it's currently at wants to sock me for 6 hours of labor to R&R the trans - then I still have to get it to and from the tranny shop.

3. When I mentioned just trying to drive slowly to get it home to the shopowner, he immediately replied with "You have to understand that sometimes tranny problems can act spurradically at first - so I could very well shift just fine for you the whole way home" I haven't driven it yet, but this made me suspicious.

4. I am NOT paying them guys $400+ MORE dollars to drop and replace my trans when I can have it towed home very cheap (insurance towing coverage), buy a tranny jack, do it myself, be money ahead, and still have the tranny jack for the rest of my life! And I don't even plan to have 6 hours of labor into it with doing it at home!

I just need a few words of wisdom as to what the shortcuts for this job may be.

My plan is to support the back of the motor with a chainfall that I'll have suspended from a 4x4 that will be sitting across cinder blocks on each side of the doghouse on the inside. My buddy also suggested to just remove the crossmember by gringing out the rivits and just bolt it back into place later - since that would gain me a ton of room and make things easier.

I also plan to blow out the lines and install a brand new externally mounted 35,000 lb tranny cooler.

ANY help/advice/tips/tricks/donations/volunteer offers for this transmission removal/re-install from ANYBODY would be greatly appreciated.

Please let me know - and thank you very much in advance.

74Argosy24MH 10-03-2003 06:56 AM

Pull the bolts holding the carrier bearing.
Disconnect the drive shaft at the trans, wrap the caps with tape to hold them in place.
Pull the 2 trans mount bolts.
Pull the linkage, speedo cable, kickdown wire, neutral start switch, and cooler lines.
Support the engine by using a jack and block of wood under the oil pan.
Remove the trans bolts to the block.
Usually the trans crossmember is bolted in, but if it is riveted bolts are a good replacement. Lift the trans slightly, remove the crossmember and the trans will slide out.
It is not a bad job, less than 2 hours easy.


Impala SS Guy 10-03-2003 07:05 AM

Excellent! Thanks John.

Do you know if the tranny will slide out from under the bus with it sitting flat - or will I have to have it up on jackstands?

Also, I'm sure it will be fairly obvious once I'm under there, but what's a carrier the bearing?

Thirdly, where in MI are you located. I'm not trying to recruit you or anything - just curious as to who is where.

74Argosy24MH 10-03-2003 07:16 AM

I would build a ramp out of 3 pieces of 2x6 and run the fronts up on it. It will give you more room to work and the trans will slide out.

The drive shaft is 2 piece, the carrier bearing is between them and bolted to it's own crossmember. You'll know it when you see it.

Waterford/White Lake border, where in Flint?


Impala SS Guy 10-03-2003 07:28 AM

That's what I thought the carrier bearing was - but wasn't positive.

Thanks for the ramp tip.

I'm on the southern end of Flint towards the Grand Blanc side of things - RIGHT off of US23. We're not that far apart at all. Pretty cool considering how national/global this forum is.

74Argosy24MH 10-03-2003 09:01 AM

The internet really does make it a small world. I'm glad Al Gore invented it.


Impala SS Guy 10-03-2003 09:23 AM

Me too

davidz71 10-03-2003 09:49 AM

I hate to say this but how much trust do you put in this place? You already said this was not your reguar tranny guy so could these bozos be trying to rip you off? If the rear brake pads are shot then definately replace them but if your transmission shifted fine on the way there then something is not right. Seems to me they are looking for a way to get into your pocket. Maybe I'm wrong.

Impala SS Guy 10-03-2003 12:21 PM

I have feelings of both trust and dis-trust. I'll be trying to limp it home tonight to see which way it goes. They could have really stuck me for a lot more of brake parts and money - but didn't. That = the trust part. The not trust comes from the whole fishy nature of this tranny situation.

We'll have to see how it works out tonight. Luckily I can take mostly not busy backroads, throw on the four ways, and not really care who I piss off - if it even comes to that. I also will have the phone number for the wrecker in my pocket and someone to take me the rest of the way home following me.

Cross your fingers for me

davidz71 10-03-2003 01:12 PM

I hope your transmission starts to work like it should. It could be that during the flush they stirred up contaminates inside that worked themselves into some passageways causing problems. I guess you will just have to wait and see. I know that many really like to flush their systems out but I am not one of them. I figure that if I change the fluid and filter often enough, what is left in the cooler and system shouldn't cause a problem. Good luck.

dinoburb 10-03-2003 06:11 PM

Check the fluid level FIRST!!!
Before starting back home check the fluid level first.. I'd be very leery of a shop that says, after you indicate you're going to drive it home as is, ""You have to understand that sometimes tranny problems can act spurradically at first - so I could very well shift just fine for you the whole way home"" Sounds like the trans probably works OK but the shop needs to build hours. Check the fluid, drive it home, and if it drives OK get a reliable second opinion. It could save you mucho dinero!

Just a thought.

71tradewind 10-03-2003 07:10 PM

Impala ,this is not uncommon for older transmissions to all the sudden develope internal leaks due to changing fluid ,reason being is that over the years the seals harden up ,the seals remain sealed mainly due to "dirt " if u will keeping them sealed. As soon as you flush the trans it also flushes the "dirt" away from the seals, thus causing them to leak ,usually not externally ,ie where you see fluid on the driveway ,but internally.One thing I would try before you drop the trans. is a product called Trans Medic , I have had great results with this ,in cases just like yours, what it does is goes into the trans fluid and softens the seals making them pliable again . Hey !!!! what do you have to loose at this point any way ......worse case is still have to rebuild .My word of caution is if you do try it and it still seems to slip after the recommened usage , stop the rig and call a wrecker so as not to create more damage. No matter what baby it a little till the Trans Medic works its way into the seals. I truely hope this helps you as it has many of my friends! Tom

yukionna 10-04-2003 05:17 AM


Originally posted by davidz71
Seems to me they are looking for a way to get into your pocket.
Geez...and I thought that only happened to us women! :D :D :D

Impala SS Guy 10-06-2003 07:03 AM

First of all, the tranny really is bad after all. I spoke with the shop owner for 20 minutes about the whole deal when I got there and he really is a good guy. He said his 6 hour quote was because that's what the book called for and he had never done one on a MH to know any different. I'm ready to admit that my visit with him really did renew my confidence in his shop and his honesty.

Also, I read about the trans medic after I had already got it home. I appreciate the suggestion, but probably would not have used it anyways for two reasons. Firstly, that might have been a good temporary band-aid but I would then be afraid to go anywhere with the family while relying on that band-aid to get us there. Secondly, when we do sell the bus, I want to do so with clear conscience and be confident that the next guy will not be stuck with a lemon. I know that I wouldn't appreciate it. Also, in my younger years I had sold some cars that were less than perfect so I could raise tuition money, and I feel that it seemed to cost me more in the long run. It just seems bad for the "mojo" if ya know what I mean.

Lastly, if someone wants to charge you $400 to R&R your transmission, JUST PAY IT!!!!!!! It might seem like a lot until you're in your fifth/sixth hour of laying on your back on the cement - and it's all of about 45 degrees outside!! it seems like my pride is biting me in the ass on this one way more than my wallet ever would have.

Live and learn, I guess. After about 7 hours, I only have ONE more bolt to go but ran out ouf time before I had to clean up for a group outing that required my attendance.

I have plenty of tips if anybody needs them. I'll probably post them when the job is finished.

Thanks for all your helpfull tips. Keep them coming,


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 05:49 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.