Matt's Old

Fiddling with Rambler's since 1995

Rambler American Restoration

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Surprise, Surprise, Surprise!
An Unexpected Transmission Rebuild.

Last Saturday (April 10, 2010) I pushed my wagon out of the garage so I could clean all of the sealer up that fell on the carpet from removing the windshield (the car is going to get the roof and the quarter panel I worked on painted). I was greeted by a good sized puddle under the car. Since my garage floor is pretty dirty right now, it looked like engine oil. I took the car back to the place that changed the oil and they told me it was leaking from the transmission. Tuesday, I took the car in to a local transmission shop and after a road test and some other general checking, they told me it was leaking pretty much everywhere and would need to come out so they could reseal it. That isn't really the surprise part.

The surprise came the following day when I got a call saying that it needed a full rebuild. I could tell they were a little surprised as well since it shifted perfectly during their road test. How they found that out is when the guy working on it pulled the valve body, a part slipped down into the case and he was having some problems fishing it out. To get to the part he dropped, he had to take it apart a little bit more. When he did that, he saw that the friction material on the front band was almost gone. That caused him to finish taking it apart and that revealed that the friction material on the rear band was flaking off. I'll admit the call was a bit of a shock (especially since they wanted me to come and see it!) but I'm actually glad things worked out the way they did.

You may be thinking that this is a little strange since a full rebuild is obviously going to be more expensive than just replacing gaskets but here's the deal: Once the front band had lost the rest of its friction material (this probably would not have taken very long), it would have destroyed the planetary gear set carrier. From what I've been told, this is one of the hard to find parts and that usually translates to expensive. Also, this would have again required a complete tear down of the transmission so I would have wasted the $600 - $700 it would have cost me just to have it resealed.

I did go in and see the transmission and it was nice to see that the shop was well organized and clean (even the tear down area was clean). Also, the guy working on my car spent a good 20 minutes showing me all of the parts that were bad as well as the ones that were good and did a good job explaining why things needed replaced. I should have the car back in the next few days and then its off to the paint shop.

Last Updated 04/18/10 03:43:48 PM