Thursday, August 26, 2010

An E34 has risen from the grave!

Grabbed my brother, the new parts, and my tools this morning and swooped to Baltimore again to finish the auto tranny swap. Got there earlier than they expected, I thought I would hit a little traffic...

Anyways, we started with preparing the transmission for mounting, then tried to finagle it in. That lasted about 3 hours. It just didn't want to seat. Finally we pulled it off and looked at the mating splines one more time. We noticed that there was an empty shaft that had a couple slots in it, look at the tranny, and there's a couple teeth that should mate up with these slots. We turned the torque converter to get the slots close to matching, put it back in position, then we heard the most beautiful hollow CLUNK! that you can imagine as the tranny seated. Everything else was pretty much gravy from there, but there are a LOT of parts of the car that you touch when messing with the tranny. Driveshaft, tranny subframes, tranny cooling lines, differential, heat shields, exhaust, front swaybar, and tranny shift linkage.
Then we had to get oil in the tranny. oops, no fill or dipstick tube. there is however a fill and drain plug on one of the tranny oil pans. However, that fill plug is right next to the frame rail; very awkward. I finally pulled the big pan, and dumped 3 quarts of ATF in there. Ended up losing some, but got enough to not KILL the tranny the first time it was run.

So, now the big moment. The owner gets in the car and twists the key. NOTHING.
oops, battery's dead. His brother was running the radio earlier in the day. Nice.
So I back the x3 up and we jump the car. Starts up fine, he's got it in park, and revs the engine, and it lurches backward. ummmmmm... Guess I better adjust that tranny linkage. So he keeps the car running to charge the battery, brake pedal floored, and the emergency brake on, I jack up the driver's side of a RUNNING vehicle and get under it to adjust the linkage. Worked a charm, and I didn't even die!! Now park was park, reverse was reverse, and he had drive, but he had to rev the engine a bit to get it to move. I'm thinking it's just a symptom of low tranny fluid level. He's going to have it towed to a friendly shop to check over my work and fill the tranny all the way up. I think it's pretty good to go.
After a year parked in the same spot, the car moved on its' OWN POWER!! YESS!!

After we did the initial cleaning of hands and pack up all the tools, two guys come up to the x3 before we pull away. "Hey man, can we have a card?" huh? "I'm having tranny problems, and I've been watching you. You performed a miracle! In a parking lot!!" haha. I don't think I'm really up for this long distance, haul all my tools, working in a parking lot stuff on a regular basis. I'm just happy that I beat the odds, and the car moved!

I'm super happy that the car works, although he will need a professional to spend an hour, tops on the car. A lot better than the $800, and a threatened tow from his landlord.

p.s. This was my first tranny swap. DOOOOOOOOOD. :)
p.p.s. That's right, Orlando; I'm FEARLESS.

1 comment:

///MARINE said...

Dude. You are Don Draper in an E30 t-shirt. You are the Man.