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  #1  
Old 01-14-2019, 05:02 PM
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Replacing transmission. DIY?

As some know my transmission went out on my way to SF last week. I’ve been calling around for quotes and it ranges from $2000 to $3500. Now my question is, how hard would it be to install a transmission myself and would it be cost effective. A rebuild transmission at sun Valley is $1750. How many hours does a shop need to install one? One of the things that has me think about having it done is ease of mind and a warranty.

If a buy one myself at Sun Valley will it be a bolt on ready transmission?
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Old 01-14-2019, 05:57 PM
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I personally would not do this job as a DIY. There are plenty of advanced DIYers here who have done so but I think there are other things that should be done at the same time; driveshaft carrier bearings, flex couplings, perhaps even a driveshaft balance.

Speaking only for myself, for this job I would be pleased to give a few hours to a shop that knows what they are about.
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Old 01-14-2019, 06:21 PM
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Good point. And an important issue with large repairs is having confidence in my own repair work. Finally after a year and 5000 miles after doing the head gasket I feel confident I did a good job.
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Old 01-14-2019, 07:11 PM
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I'm with Rocky on this. I'd do it myself but then I have a few years of experience doing mechanical work.

Since you probably don't have a transmission jack you would need to rent or borrow one.

More than likely the exhaust will need to be removed, fluid drained, lines undone, starter pulled, drive line dropped, engine supported all while the car is on jack stands (or a lift if you are lucky enough to have access) plus the myriad connections you'll find. Finagling the transmission/torque converter into place can be tricky.

Mostly time consuming stuff, not particularly difficult separately but as a whole, for a first timer, frustrating.
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Old 01-14-2019, 07:34 PM
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Is it feasible for you to have Sun Valley do the install? It is a major but doable job, not technical but a large amount of heavy work. Although I've done it, I wouldn't recommend a diy install without a lift.

Check exhaust hangers, shifter bushings, center support bearing, front flex disc, trans mount and trans cooler hoses at the radiator and have them on hand if they need replacement.

Good luck!!!
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Old 01-14-2019, 07:55 PM
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Yes, that could be an option. I’m going to give them a call again, didn’t crossed my mind that they could do the entire job.
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Old 01-14-2019, 08:19 PM
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Sun Valley Transmisions doesn’t install transmissions themselves, they have a shop they recommend close to their shop who does it for $750. Including the transmission it would come to $2500.
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Old 01-14-2019, 08:42 PM
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Don’t know the miles on your SE or the condition. Also don’t know how much free time you have for the project. I DIY as much as possible and it would be a tough decision to do it or have a shop do it. For $750 labor I would probably have it done at a shop. Especially if they do a lot of these. Be prepared to pay a little more because usually something comes up that makes sense to fix.
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Old 01-14-2019, 09:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jorn View Post
Sun Valley Transmisions doesn’t install transmissions themselves, they have a shop they recommend close to their shop who does it for $750. Including the transmission it would come to $2500.

Doesn't sound like a bad deal. Don't forget to have them do an engine rear main seal, along with anything else you do. It only costs a few bucks, but it can only be done with the transmission out.
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Old 01-14-2019, 09:44 PM
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+1 for farming out the re/re it's not an easy job even for the experienced home wrencher.
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  #11  
Old 01-14-2019, 10:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Mxfrank View Post
Doesn't sound like a bad deal. Don't forget to have them do an engine rear main seal, along with anything else you do. It only costs a few bucks, but it can only be done with the transmission out.
Will do, thanks!
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  #12  
Old 01-14-2019, 11:08 PM
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Well I have done a few of them but assuming I had all the tools rounded up and ready to go, and car already jacked up I can have a transmission pulled out and put back in under an hour. Well, its been a little while since I have done them so I might be out of practice so maybe it would take me 2 hours.
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Old 01-15-2019, 02:23 AM
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That price might be net of a core shipped back to Sun Valley. Warranty might require a new torque converter.

If you can replace a cylinder head you can replace a transmission. Do you have all the tools for the job? Do you have a place where you can take your time doing the job?

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  #14  
Old 01-15-2019, 04:41 AM
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Replacing a trans is a very straight forward job. Head gasket is much more difficult and involved. More steps to the operation, more parts and fasteners to keep track of, lot more stuff that could go wrong.
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  #15  
Old 01-15-2019, 09:01 AM
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About five years ago I had to make this decision on my '81 300SD (well actually the decision was whether to replace the tranny or junk the car). Believe it or not a small shop in Opelika, AL, found a used tranny and installed it for about $1400 if I remember right. They did not know how to adjust the vac modulator and it shifted awful when I drove it home but I got on the forum and with some help from Kerry got it adjusted properly. Have not had a problem with it since then.

This was not a nice rebuild from the California guys but I think the labor was about $600 so your quote sounds reasonable.

I say this to help reinforce your decision not to junk the car. Do not think I have heard any forum member say that he got rid of one of our 30+ year vehicles and replaced it with a modern car and was happier with the new one. Most everyone laments letting the old car go.
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