The Studeblogger

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Tranny time.

It's been a long wait, but I've finally got my transmission back from the rebuilder. And look how she shines! Sure is a lot better than when she came out.

It cost quite a bit of cash, more than I expected to put it right. Frankly, I hadn't expected to have to do the trans at all, because it was operating well before I pulled it. It engaged all gears, didn't shift badly, went when I stood on it (which was only twice, when I bought it!). I figured it would be OK. But when it got opened up, well, that was another story.

The transmission pan was dented in pretty badly on the bottom. From this, and from the dirt and weeds I'm still digging out of the frame rails, it's pretty obvious that someone took the car off-road; it belonged to a teenage girl, so I'm guessing a midnight joyride through a field or something. Well, that whack to the pan caved in the rear suction tube so badly that it couldn't pass fluid to the rear pump, which went dry and burned up.

Also burned up were the clutch discs, all eight of which were welded together. The direct pressure plate was similarly smoked, the transfer tube below the throttle body smashed, and ALL the bushings were toast. Not to mention the torque converter, which had to be exchanged for a rebuilt unit.

All of that translated into 8 hours of bench time at the mechanic's shop... whew. As I said, I hadn't planned on that.

Along the way I've been sourcing other small parts, like the speedometer drive gear, which must have fallen out of the case and been dragged along for a while (see the pic and you'll see what I mean), the throttle pressure linkage (mine was bent at an incorrect angle), new transmission mounts, and new bolts to mount the bellhousing, torque converter and inspection plates.

By the way, when I was reading through the chassis parts catalog to find the right speedo gear to order, I found another clue to the car's past. The Twin-Traction rear end wasn't on the build sheet, so I thought perhaps it had been added by a dealer. But it's a 3:31, and the speedo gear that came out of the tranny was for a 3:07. A dealer install surely would have included changing that gear — another indication that a real "Stude guy" owned this car prior to the 17-year-old PO.

Next on the list is the front suspension. I've got some cashflow problems at the moment, so I've got to figure out how to get that hardware, which will run about a grand for new tie rod ends, inner and outer A-arm bushings, kinpins, steering bellcrank assembly, and new coil springs. I really want this car on the road!

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