Took the car out for a spin today, as I couldn't do it yesterday because it was all day rain. First I tested the transition from R - N - D and that went okay. The other day when I had the car jacked up I went through the gears and there was a bit of grinding. I later established this was because one of the rear brakes needs to be adjusted, so the brakes weren't braking the axle when I applied the brakes, or at least hard enough to stop the movement of the wheels, so, think along the lines of trying to put a car in D when it's still in R, you'll get the grinding. Another dumb moment on my part, but hey, I'm blonde.
All was good with the transitions. Then I embarked on a whole new journey through the abyss. I took the car around the block, and nearly crapped my pants at every shift. No grinding, no slipping, no vibrating, no problems. Pulled back into the driveway...no leaks. So far so good.
I did check the fluids again, and I'll need to add another quart! Jeebus, she's a thirsty old transmission
I noticed earlier that I didn't have any updated pics of the car itself on here, so here are a few. In the last pic you can see the transmission dipstick crammed in between the firewall/floorpan and the transmission itself. There is very little breathing room between the two, something I consider very lucky.
After a dauntless past two weeks, with more problems than solutions, I've finally got everything straightened out. First I needed a smaller flexplate (had two 168 teeth rings laying around, only to NOT need either and spring for a NEW 153 toothed ring : $48 - eBay), then my starter wouldn't throw. We got the starter fixed (bad solenoid $42, WTF!) then found myself completely dumbfounded and needing shims to space the starter (FREE! It pays to be a regular at O'Reily's). Got the transmission installed (for the second time) and found a crack in my vacuum line (which caused about an hour of head scratching, luckily I had 6 ft of hose laying around from the cooler lines). Added 4 quarts of fluid, and got the car to turn over, only to have it die after a few seconds (leak in the valve cover vacuum line, fixed by tightening the clamp). Got it to STAY running, but wouldn't shift out of reverse. Figured out I had to let the car run in reverse for a little to get the fluid through to the cooler. Added 2 more quarts of fluid, ran in 1-2 gears for 5 minutes. Added 1 1/2 more quarts of fluid to top it off.
So, 7 1/2 quarts of B&M Trick Shift ($7/bottle), a $650 deficit, over 35 hours of agonizing ignorance, countless trips to O'Reily's, and many visits to HR.com later, I have a running 6 cylinder with a th350 behind it. Definitely one of a kind.
I have no pictures because...laying on your back on cold concrete really doesn't provoke much motivation to get the camera out and take pictures. Plus, when I'm working on my car...I'm in the zone.
Got the transmission bolted back up to the block, no clearance problems all around. I forgot how much more heavier the automatic trannys are compared to the manuals, so getting it up to the mounting studs was a bear of a job. Nothing like laying on the cold concrete, getting dust and other misc. particles in your eyes while trying to maneuver an abnormal chunk of metal onto two 1/4" studs. But it's all for the joy of getting goofy looks from jealous people as you pass them on the road in your two-ton green tank chugging along with Rod Stewart playing from the single 6x8 speaker.
I didn't get a chance to test the drive-shaft for clearance but I doubt any problems will occur. I measured exactly 5 inches difference between the 3 speed and th350 (3 speed: 22.75" - th350: 27.75"). I did have to grind about 1/8" off the back lip of the transmission crossmember, as well as cut a small groove on the inside lip. The th350 stud (where the cm bolts to the trans) was a bit too wide to sit comfortably inside. Other than that, all was peachy.
Not much for pictures, but heres one of me sending the sparks-a-flyin, and a shot of the sweet dust shield.
Why must it always cost more to finish our projects than we expect right away? I wasn't expecting to spend more than $200 on the transmission swap (and thats including new filters and fluid). Here's the price breakdown so far.