So, the last few weeks has been….just shy of HELL. The transmission that has been making all kinds of noises, mostly at decel, finally let go. But, Poison Ivy didn’t leave me on the side of the road. I drove about 25 miles to my daughters softball game, and then back home while the transmission was smoking, making very loud noises, and reeking of transmission fluid.
By the time I got home, the entire passenger side of the car was absolutely covered in gear oil. I popped the hook and smoke was spewing out of the weep hole atop of the transmission.
I jacked up the front of the car and was easily able to see where the issue was. There was a hefty hole in the 5th gear case. At this point, I was sure it’d be weeks, if not months until I was able to afford a transmission and drive the car down the road again.
So now, I needed money. I really needed money for bills, but sacrifices were made. I got a hit on a guy wanting to buy my 1G AWD Thermal R&D full exhaust. It just so happened that he had a 1G AWD 23 spline transmission in known good condition, and he only lived an hour and a half from me. So we made plans to meet up and we traded straight up.
I yanked off the old transmission and cleaned and painted the new one.
Soon after, I got the new transmission on and he rest of the car completely back together. I didn’t have any help and didn’t use an engine hoist, so I had to man-handle this heavy ass tranny up and onto the engine by myself. It wasn’t easy. I started putting in the transmission mounting bolts and when I tried putting the 12mm bolt on the bottom side of the trans, it wouldn’t go in.
It felt like there was a snapped bolt in the hole preventing the bolt from going in. I now realized I hadn’t really looked this transmission over very well. I knew it was very common for these 12mm bolts to snap in this hole, but I never looked before doing all the hard work and lifting the transmission up and on. I removed the transmission and sure enough, there was a snapped bolt in the hole.
Next, I got ahold of my buddy who has always been good at removing snapped bolt holes. I definitely didn’t feel confident that I could get this bolt out as I am about 0-22 for drilling out snapped bolts. I took a trip out to his place with the transmission and we got to work. Things were going great, we got a hole drilled through the entire bolt, and then the E-Z Out bit snapped.
We thought we were screwed. We then drilled several smaller holes around the broken E-Z Out bit and finally were able to remove the bit. Hours later, the bit and the snapped bolt were both removed and a Heli-coil was installed.
The next day I huffed and puffed and got the transmission back up onto the engine a second time. Finally, I was ready to go for a drive. I got in the car and it was stuck in gear. I looked at the shift linkage on the transmission. Something was clearly not right and I couldn’t manually get the transmission into neutral.
After fighting with the thing for awhile, I gave up and pulled the transmission back off. I was figuring I must have broken a shift fork or shift rail so I began taking the transmission apart beginning with the 5th gear assembly. I noticed the large nuts that hold the assembly in place were unable to be turned as the trans was locked up. I started taking apart the assembly and when I went to remove the 5th gear fork, the transmission freed up and I was able to get it into neutral.
So I decided to stop here and start putting the assembly back together. I RTV’d the 5th gear case on and let it sit over night. The next day, I began putting the transmission back up onto the engine for a 3rd time. I could not for the life of me get it on. After 2 hours, I opted to assemble the engine lift and use that to help install the trans. Finally, I got the transmission on. Later that night, I got everything else together and fired up the car. Everything worked as it was supposed to so I took her up the road. The trans shifted beautifully, easily the best shifting transmission I have ever had in any of my 9 DSM’s in the past.
After a few good days of driving, the car was still in tact and running better than it had ever ran before. Saturday rolled around and my daughter and I went up to the car meet here in town. I had a blast, a few decent cars showed up, and Poison Ivy was once again the center of attention all night.
It is now Monday and I couldn’t be happier with the car. It has been running flawlessly. No oil leaks, no coolant leaks, she’s running cool, she’s running quick, launching hard, she is simply amazing right now.
Over the weekend, I did however screw up my USB cable that is used to flash/log. Today, I fixed that. I cut off the old USB port end and soldered up a new USB end that I chopped off of a perfectly good cell phone charger. I ran it through EvoScan and it is working perfectly once again.