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Old 07-14-2015, 01:09 PM   #1
94cobra69ss39694cobra69ss396 is offline
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Default Started Working on the Chevelle

After over three years of the Chevelle not running and the guys at Crest not being motivated to help I decided to go pick up all my trans stuff from them and try to put it together myself. Lucky for me I had a spare TH400 with 16,000 miles on it that just needed a new output shaft to work in the Chevelle. So I picked up the spare and my old trans which the old one was in pieces and have started to swap out the output shaft.

I have new clutches and steels but there is no wear on the ones in the spare trans so I don't have to replace them. I'm also installing a new transbrake on it so it will take me a little while to do since I have never worked on an auto trans before and I know nothing about how they work. I do a have a book on the TH400 so hopefully I will be able to complete this on my own.

Here's where it's at right now.

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Old 07-18-2015, 10:38 PM   #2
VettezukiVettezuki is offline
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If anyone here can rebuild an auto trans here (other than pro mechanics) it's you. I'm sure you can do it, just a matter of how much time and head scratching.
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Old 07-19-2015, 09:33 AM   #3
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I got the trans put together only to realize that I had to take it back apart to modify internals for the transbrake install. Part of which would have required a press which I don't have. The transbrake requires new stiffer springs in the direct drum as well a 1/16 hole drilled in it. Luckily I still have the drum from the old trans which had that done already and it was in good shape so I installed the clutches and steels in it and put it all back together again.

I spent yesterday installing it in the car which is a pain doing by myself laying on the floor. The most difficult part is that the car isn't high enough to roll the trans under it while it's on the jack so I had to slide the trans under the car and then lift it up onto the jack while under the car. Once I got it onto the jack it was fairly easy getting it seated to the block.

I also had the modify the cross member because it didn't clear the edge of the pan. I'm not sure why but since I have a welder it wasn't that big of a deal to do it. I also had a difficult time installing the crossmember. With the old pan there was just enough room for the crossmember to slide in between the frame rails bit I'm using a deeper pan And it no longer clears. So I had to remove the pan to install it and then reinstall the pan which is when I discovered the pan wasn't going to clear.

I have a few things left to do like connect the cooler lines, wire up the transbrake solenoid, bolt the torque converter to the flywheel, etc. that is another thing that is different. I need longer torque converter bolts. I currently have 3/8-24 x 5/8 but they are too short. I need to get back under the car and check the size of the hole in the flexplate and converter because while researching bolts I found that Summit only carries a 3/4 length 3/8 bolt which I think I need 1 inch. They carry a 1 inch 7/16 though so I need to check and see if the hole is for a 7/16 bolt and if not then if a 3/4 length will be long enough.

I won't be working on it today though because we are going to the Lucas off-road series at Glen Helen today.
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Old 07-19-2015, 02:38 PM   #4
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Cool!

Just FYI, I have a set of truck stands that go up much higher than typical stands, you would have had plenty of room underneath to operate. Also, I have a 20 ton press if needed in the future.
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Old 07-19-2015, 05:05 PM   #5
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Thanks, I have a set too that go to about 3ftmand when I need a press I just run over to GTR. They're a lot closer but thanks again.
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Old 07-27-2015, 11:41 PM   #6
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I didn't get a chance to work on the car this weekend but this morning I received a text from my nephew who works for a TV production company that said they were looking for a muscle car for a shoot and they needed by Tuesday. So I called in sick today and cranked on the Chevelle hoping that when I finished that It would work and that I didn't screw up building the trans. I texted him back and told him I was going to try and finish it today and I'd let him know if I did and if it worked. I'm happy to report that it works great. I texted my nephew again to let him know but the person who needed the car didn't get back to him on whether they still neede one. He's going to let me know in the morning.

After I finished fixing everything on the Chevelle I put 5 gallons of 91 in it with a bottle of Torco and turned the key so the fuel pump would fill the bowls. I had drained the tank and the carb when I parked it because I knew it was going to be a while before I had the trans back in. The car has been down for almost 4 years with the trans being out and down at Crest for about 3 years. After priming the squatters a few times to get gas I pumped the throttle a couple times and then cranked it over. To my amazement the car fired right up. I went through all the gears, checked for leaks and finished filling the trans. I then backed it out of the garage and took it for a test drive up the street.

I don't have exhaust right now so I only drove it a little to make sure that it shifted in all gears and that when I left off the gas in 2nd gear that it was still engaged when I gave it gas again. That was an issue with the old trans. After that I washed it and then Mya wanted to go for a ride in it so we drove to the gas station and I put 4 more gallons of 91 in it. Hopefully the Torco works well. I've used it in the Cobra before so I have faith that it will be fine.
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Old 07-28-2015, 11:13 PM   #7
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Torco is awesome stuff. Used it for years in small amounts to get me to 93 or so. Glad to hear the trans works. Add that to the list of mad skills.
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Old 08-01-2015, 05:30 AM   #8
Shaolin CraneShaolin Crane is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vettezuki View Post
Torco is awesome stuff. Used it for years in small amounts to get me to 93 or so. Glad to hear the trans works. Add that to the list of mad skills.
For real, I want Ron skills when I grow up.
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Forget about winning and losing; forget about pride and pain. Let your opponent graze your skin and you smash into his flesh; let him smash into your flesh and you fracture his bones; let him fracture your bones and you take his life. Do not be concerned with escaping safely lay your life before him

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Old 08-02-2015, 01:02 AM   #9
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Thanks guys. I was planning on doing a X-pipe and Dynomax Race Bullets for the exhaust but with needing a clutch on the Cobra I decided to just use the old exhaust. So I went over to Leedom's dad's house and picked it up. I need new header flange reducers so that I can weld it all up so I ordered those on Friday along with a set of new front springs that are softer than the one I have on the car now. The front spring I have now are factory big block springs with 336 lbs/in which are stiff plus I cut a coil off so they are even stiffer. They also ride too low now. The new springs are 271 lbs/in so they should allow the front end to rise quicker to transfer weight.
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Old 08-08-2015, 10:31 PM   #10
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I love this car!
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