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Old 01-15-2013, 08:55 PM   #1
atx63bravo
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Transmission replacement guide?

I need to go ahead and swap out transmissions, since it looks like I cooked my transmission last week. It is an 06 with an A4 trans, and I would like a guide on getting it out. I did search the knowledge base, and I only found the trans removal/install for a manual transmission. If you guys had any info that would be great, like where to find a knowledgebase type guide, or even any pointers you guys may have. I am taking this one out and swapping in a Performabuilt transmission, so does anyone know how much fluid I should put in it since there will be nothing in there?
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Old 01-15-2013, 09:19 PM   #2
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I can give a few pointers. But I swapped my A4 out in the garage on jackstands. Not the ideal setup but it worked. The front was sky high in the air. Mine had headers already so some things might not apply as I don't know your setup.
All in all a basic job.
Disconnect battery
Put car on lift or jack stands as high as you can get it.
Unbolt mid pipes, O2 sensors etc. and remove exhaust.
I had to remove passenger header to get starter out.
Remove starter.
Remove drive shaft.
Unplug all electrical from trans.
Disconnect shit linkage.
Drain trans. I think I had to pour in like 6-8 QTS after install. Reinstall pan.
Remove bolts from flywheel to converter
Start removing bell housing bolts. I think there two at the top that required like 3ft of extensions to reach with a universal socket attached. Support trans with bottle jack or equivalent. I used a motorcycle jack. It had wheels and made moving the trans out from under the car so much easier.
Remove trans support brace and lower the rear of the trans. You will most likely need to do this to get those top bolts.
Once all is unbolted. Pull trans out. Obviously its not that easy.. the trans is quite front heavy due to converter. So have a few sets of hands if you can. Like I said the jack I had was perfect.
Wish you the best of luck.

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Old 01-16-2013, 05:39 AM   #3
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unplug electrical connectors
drain transmission
remove bolts securing items to transmission
remove exhaust
remove bolts holding in transmission
remove transmission


its pretty easy
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Old 01-16-2013, 06:38 AM   #4
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Cool guys, thanks alot for the tips. Honestly I think I am just psyching myself up on it. I mean I have pulled transmissions on WAAAAAY larger vehicles while in Afghanistan, but I dont know why I find myself more intimidated to work on my GTO.
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Old 01-16-2013, 06:45 AM   #5
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yea i mean ive had a few manuals out of a few different cars. its really not that bad.

the auto should be easier since you dont have to worry about the input shaft.. just unbolt it and move it off the engine.
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Old 01-16-2013, 06:55 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atx63bravo...View Post
Cool guys, thanks alot for the tips. Honestly I think I am just psyching myself up on it. I mean I have pulled transmissions on WAAAAAY larger vehicles while in Afghanistan, but I dont know why I find myself more intimidated to work on my GTO.

Because it's a car you care about!
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Old 01-16-2013, 07:00 AM   #7
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Curious as to why you are going with Performabuilt?
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Old 01-16-2013, 07:06 AM   #8
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you will also have to remove the trans dipstick tube , easiest way i found , is to un bolt the trans mount and raise the rear of the trans to the floor that gives some more room between the head and the fire wall.
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Old 01-16-2013, 07:28 AM   #9
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I've done mine in the garage on jackstands a couple of times. It's a bit of a pain to just safely get the car really high in the air.

A couple of comments:
  • I never removed my starter (just let in hang there), so didn't have to unbolt the header
  • The dipstick is supported at the rear of the pass side head
  • I find it easier to remove the intake and get the top three bolts easily from above (easier to get that dipstick bolt too)

Ohh and...

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheRocket...View Post
Curious as to why you are going with Performabuilt?

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Old 01-16-2013, 07:48 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by housewolf...View Post
I've done mine in the garage on jackstands a couple of times. It's a bit of a pain to just safely get the car really high in the air.

A couple of comments:
  • I never removed my starter (just let in hang there), so didn't have to unbolt the header
  • The dipstick is supported at the rear of the pass side head
  • I find it easier to remove the intake and get the top three bolts easily from above (easier to get that dipstick bolt too)

Ohh and...

Wow, now you guys are making me nervous about my transmission decision. I actually went with them because I did some quick research on the forums and a I saw some great reviews about them from a few different GTO owners. Honestly I just needed it fixed, and the place that was recommended to me here in Austin said it would be like 2500 to put any kind of performance transmission in the goat. I honestly felt like I had made the right decision on it. Should I have gone with something else?
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Old 01-16-2013, 07:54 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by gotjuice78...View Post
Because it's a car you care about!

Yeah I feel you there, but when I was in Afghanistan if those trucks broke down in some of the areas we went through that could end up in a real bad situation, so I always made sure I NEVER messed anything up while I was over there. I am a pretty meticulous mechanic, I guess the fact that it is something that I personally OWN I am worried about messing it up. Not to mention if I screw up these parts, it comes out of my pocket, lol. I personally maintained my own truck as did most other wrecker operators, I guess I need to stop bein a bitch, lol.
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Old 01-16-2013, 07:57 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atx63bravo...View Post
Wow, now you guys are making me nervous about my transmission decision. I actually went with them because I did some quick research on the forums and a I saw some great reviews about them from a few different GTO owners. Honestly I just needed it fixed, and the place that was recommended to me here in Austin said it would be like 2500 to put any kind of performance transmission in the goat. I honestly felt like I had made the right decision on it. Should I have gone with something else?

If your not constantly beating the snot out of it, you'll probably be fine. I would have recommended Rossler or RPM, but I'm pretty sure they use the same parts.

I've flogged my RPM for four years and it still feels solid as a rock :knocksonwood:

Are you going to change converters too? I would at least do a cut & clean if you're going back with the same one.

ETA: and make sure you blow out the lines & cooler too if you have one. You don't want any trash in that new trans.

Last edited by housewolf; 01-16-2013 at 08:00 AM.
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Old 01-16-2013, 10:23 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by housewolf...View Post
If your not constantly beating the snot out of it, you'll probably be fine. I would have recommended Rossler or RPM, but I'm pretty sure they use the same parts.

I've flogged my RPM for four years and it still feels solid as a rock :knocksonwood:

Are you going to change converters too? I would at least do a cut & clean if you're going back with the same one.

ETA: and make sure you blow out the lines & cooler too if you have one. You don't want any trash in that new trans.

I have a circle D converter that was installed about 3000 miles ago MAYBE and I was hoping I would not have to change it out. I do also have a transmission cooler as well. How would I go about cleaning out the system if I am just doing this repair in my driveway?
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Old 01-16-2013, 10:23 AM   #14
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Also, is performabuilt not any good?
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Old 01-16-2013, 10:42 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by atx63bravo...View Post
Also, is performabuilt not any good?

My honest opinion is that there are better options out there. When my trans went in late summer and I was doing research and reading up, it was hit and miss with them. Sometimes they got it right, and other times not so much. If I were to buy a built unit, it would be from RPM. In any case, I had mine rebuilt here at my shop for almost next to nothing as far as trans rebuilds go. I would reconsider it again if you can. I would even call FTI up and see if they can do something for you.
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Old 01-16-2013, 12:07 PM   #16
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I may just go ahead and pull the stocker, swap this one in since it is already on a UPS truck headed down to Texas as of Monday, and then have the stocker rebuilt. Maybe I can find somewhere to send it and have it built and then just keep it as a back up. I am wondering why this happened to be honest. Anyone know any good places in Austin to get the TC checked out? I have a circle D 3200 stall in there right now.
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Old 01-16-2013, 12:11 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by atx63bravo...View Post
I may just go ahead and pull the stocker, swap this one in since it is already on a UPS truck headed down to Texas as of Monday, and then have the stocker rebuilt. Maybe I can find somewhere to send it and have it built and then just keep it as a back up. I am wondering why this happened to be honest. Anyone know any good places in Austin to get the TC checked out? I have a circle D 3200 stall in there right now.

Low fluid level, debris, dirt, heat, etc. 3-4 clutch failure along with the forward clutches being toast as well is a common issue in the 4L60E/65E. It just happens when you start putting a lot of power through these transmissions. It's definitely frustrating. As far as the TC getting checked out, I would seriously consider having it sent to Circle D for inspection and cleaning. If you can't and are in a pinch, try to fill and drain the TC as much as reasonably possible to ensure that you get as much debris out as possible. Also flush your lines as another member suggested.

Last edited by TheRocket; 01-16-2013 at 12:33 PM. Reason: I can't type.
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Old 01-16-2013, 12:26 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by atx63bravo...View Post
I may just go ahead and pull the stocker, swap this one in since it is already on a UPS truck headed down to Texas as of Monday, and then have the stocker rebuilt. Maybe I can find somewhere to send it and have it built and then just keep it as a back up. I am wondering why this happened to be honest. Anyone know any good places in Austin to get the TC checked out? I have a circle D 3200 stall in there right now.

Send it back to Squre D for clutches...
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Old 01-16-2013, 12:31 PM   #19
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yea id definintely send it back to circle d for a check up.
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Old 01-16-2013, 02:47 PM   #20
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I think I will just buy another one. I dont have time to wait to send it off and have it sent back to me. I will eventually send it to them and if it is good, then I guess I will have an extra transmission and stall converter.
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Old 01-16-2013, 04:38 PM   #21
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I put an exceptionally large photo down here so you can expanmd it and clearly see the bolt holes in the back of the block. Also the torque sequence on the flexplate if you change that too.



Longassed extenstion getting to the top bolts
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Old 01-16-2013, 05:33 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atx63bravo...View Post
How would I go about cleaning out the system if I am just doing this repair in my driveway?

It would be best if you could pump clean fluid through it. I just blew mine out with an air hose.

Again; I suggest at least looking at pulling the intake if you're comfortable with doing that. I've had mine off and on so many times I could do it with my eyes closed in 10 minutes. YMMV but those top three trans bolts and the dipstick bolt are a breeze (coming out & going back in) when you can get to them from the top.

Of course it you've somehow managed to bolt a Whipple on top your motor... by all means, use a "longassed extension"

Going back in, you need to make sure you... good directions here.

Important Very important!
Quote:
After transmission is bolted up check that converter will pull away from the flywheel at least 3/32" but no more than 3/16". - Use spacers as needed, if needed. - Check that pump is fully engaged.

If you end up needing to put spacers in, do it. It's a PITA but it needs to be done. Don't cut corners & risk a new trans.
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Old 01-16-2013, 06:21 PM   #23
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I put a Performabuilt in last year. There were some things with it that annoyed me (and continue to do so), but, overall, it's holding up nicely in the 500 easy miles I've run it. Swapping it out was a lot easier than I expected. If doing it on jackstands the car needs to be high up in the air, what I thought was a little crazy, make-you-nervous kind of high - make sure it's solid before you get underneath. With the passenger side front wheel off and my transmission jack angled as severe as I could get it, I was able to roll the transmission out with the bell housing on. It kind of pissed me off that the bellhousing bolts came out so easy after I had it removed from underneath the car. I could have removed them while the tranny was still underneath the car and maneuvered it out much more easily; however, many have had problems removing them, so I decided not to risk it. Performabuilt will not have a bellhousing on it: you will have to remove your old one. Use the correct Torx Plus socket on the bellhousing bolts...it is not a standard Torx socket and if you use a regular Torx bit, you will likely strip the heads out. If your old transmission is fouled, you will have to get the converter opened up, cleaned out, and freshened up. If Circle D is anything like FTI, they'll do this under warranty for the cost of replacement parts. Do not put the old one back in. You will also need to flush your cooler and lines the best you can. I did this with a combination of air and TCI tranny flush solvent in a can. I had to use shimming spacers on my FTI converter; make sure you measure it and shim as necessary or you will break the oil pump. Best of luck.
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Old 01-16-2013, 07:48 PM   #24
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FWIW. I have a Performabuilt and I beat the living dog crap out of it every time I turn the key in my car. I'm serious.....every time. I have had good experiences with mine. A few thousand HARD miles on the first one with zero problems until I got caught in flood water. Insurance claimed that none and have 2k on this one with zero problems so far.

Also as far as those top three bolts go just use a ratchet wrench. It works miracles.
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Old 01-16-2013, 07:53 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by esau999...View Post
I put a Performabuilt in last year. There were some things with it that annoyed me (and continue to do so), but, overall, it's holding up nicely in the 500 easy miles I've run it. Swapping it out was a lot easier than I expected. If doing it on jackstands the car needs to be high up in the air, what I thought was a little crazy, make-you-nervous kind of high - make sure it's solid before you get underneath. With the passenger side front wheel off and my transmission jack angled as severe as I could get it, I was able to roll the transmission out with the bell housing on. It kind of pissed me off that the bellhousing bolts came out so easy after I had it removed from underneath the car. I could have removed them while the tranny was still underneath the car and maneuvered it out much more easily; however, many have had problems removing them, so I decided not to risk it. Performabuilt will not have a bellhousing on it: you will have to remove your old one. Use the correct Torx Plus socket on the bellhousing bolts...it is not a standard Torx socket and if you use a regular Torx bit, you will likely strip the heads out. If your old transmission is fouled, you will have to get the converter opened up, cleaned out, and freshened up. If Circle D is anything like FTI, they'll do this under warranty for the cost of replacement parts. Do not put the old one back in. You will also need to flush your cooler and lines the best you can. I did this with a combination of air and TCI tranny flush solvent in a can. I had to use shimming spacers on my FTI converter; make sure you measure it and shim as necessary or you will break the oil pump. Best of luck.

My bell housing bolts came out pretty easy too. I used a regular torx on mine though. I was just really careful.
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Old 01-16-2013, 08:15 PM   #26
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Damn dude, all this shimming talk and it is making me consider just taking it to a transmission shop and then letting them do it. That way they would have all the necessary tools at hand.
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Old 01-17-2013, 03:33 PM   #27
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I just ordered a new circle d stall, should be here tomorrow. This way I know everything is good.
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Old 01-17-2013, 03:53 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by housewolf...View Post
It would be best if you could pump clean fluid through it. I just blew mine out with an air hose.

Again; I suggest at least looking at pulling the intake if you're comfortable with doing that. I've had mine off and on so many times I could do it with my eyes closed in 10 minutes. YMMV but those top three trans bolts and the dipstick bolt are a breeze (coming out & going back in) when you can get to them from the top.

Of course it you've somehow managed to bolt a Whipple on top your motor... by all means, use a "longassed extension"

Going back in, you need to make sure you... good directions here.

Important Very important!


If you end up needing to put spacers in, do it. It's a PITA but it needs to be done. Don't cut corners & risk a new trans.

Quote:
Originally Posted by esau999...View Post
I put a Performabuilt in last year. There were some things with it that annoyed me (and continue to do so), but, overall, it's holding up nicely in the 500 easy miles I've run it. Swapping it out was a lot easier than I expected. If doing it on jackstands the car needs to be high up in the air, what I thought was a little crazy, make-you-nervous kind of high - make sure it's solid before you get underneath. With the passenger side front wheel off and my transmission jack angled as severe as I could get it, I was able to roll the transmission out with the bell housing on. It kind of pissed me off that the bellhousing bolts came out so easy after I had it removed from underneath the car. I could have removed them while the tranny was still underneath the car and maneuvered it out much more easily; however, many have had problems removing them, so I decided not to risk it. Performabuilt will not have a bellhousing on it: you will have to remove your old one. Use the correct Torx Plus socket on the bellhousing bolts...it is not a standard Torx socket and if you use a regular Torx bit, you will likely strip the heads out. If your old transmission is fouled, you will have to get the converter opened up, cleaned out, and freshened up. If Circle D is anything like FTI, they'll do this under warranty for the cost of replacement parts. Do not put the old one back in. You will also need to flush your cooler and lines the best you can. I did this with a combination of air and TCI tranny flush solvent in a can. I had to use shimming spacers on my FTI converter; make sure you measure it and shim as necessary or you will break the oil pump. Best of luck.

For the sake of my own sanity, can someone go into detail about these spacers/shimming spacers on the converter and what happens when the converter is not fully engaged in the pump.
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Old 01-17-2013, 05:12 PM   #29
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When you have a new trans and converter on the bench. Fill the conveter about half full of trans fluid. Insert the converter into the trans as far as you can, put a little pressure on it---with your hand, and then turn it until you feel it slip into the pump with a solid clank. Install the trans on the engine, look at the mounting feet on the converter and line them up with the mounting holes in the flex plate---do not let the converter slide toward the flexplate yet. Now measure the gap between the converter mounting tabs and the flexplate. Make sure it is no more than 3/16". If it is, get the correct thickness spacer and gap it correctly. If it is too big of a gap, when you pull the converter to the flexplate, you are pulling the pump drive out of the pump and it will probably crater on you when you jam on the gas.
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Old 01-17-2013, 06:46 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by housewolf...View Post
It would be best if you could pump clean fluid through it. I just blew mine out with an air hose.

Again; I suggest at least looking at pulling the intake if you're comfortable with doing that. I've had mine off and on so many times I could do it with my eyes closed in 10 minutes. YMMV but those top three trans bolts and the dipstick bolt are a breeze (coming out & going back in) when you can get to them from the top.

Of course it you've somehow managed to bolt a Whipple on top your motor... by all means, use a "longassed extension"

Going back in, you need to make sure you... good directions here.

Important Very important!


If you end up needing to put spacers in, do it. It's a PITA but it needs to be done. Don't cut corners & risk a new trans.

LoL my intake weighs 80 lbs

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lakegoat...View Post
When you have a new trans and converter on the bench. Fill the conveter about half full of trans fluid. Insert the converter into the trans as far as you can, put a little pressure on it---with your hand, and then turn it until you feel it slip into the pump with a solid clank. Install the trans on the engine, look at the mounting feet on the converter and line them up with the mounting holes in the flex plate---do not let the converter slide toward the flexplate yet. Now measure the gap between the converter mounting tabs and the flexplate. Make sure it is no more than 3/16". If it is, get the correct thickness spacer and gap it correctly. If it is too big of a gap, when you pull the converter to the flexplate, you are pulling the pump drive out of the pump and it will probably crater on you when you jam on the gas.

+1 I wrecked a converter last summer when I installed it wrong. I would say this is the single most important part of the entire transmission install. Also on my TH400 the shift linkage adjustment is very important. If there is tension against the shift lever it can wear the tranny out PDQ. Also the park brake didn't work when the cable was out of adjustment

Last edited by wrp; 01-17-2013 at 06:52 PM.
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