Repairing a transmission problem could certainly drain your wallet because it could require frequent visits to the repair shop, not to mention the hassle of having to call your mechanic relentlessly. The task is not anything like changing the oil or inflating a tire as it can be challenging on a greater level and will definitely require the expertise and knowledge of a trained mechanic. Fortunately you can prevent all those problems by learning how to rebuild a transmission. The key is to find the right tool and gain enough technical expertise.
But before we discuss the step by step process of rebuilding a transmission, you must first understand the mechanism of the transmission system. The transmission system is the mechanism that transmits the power that the engine of an automobile generates to the driving wheels. The power generated in the engine is used by the transmission to keep the wheels spinning and keep the engine within a certain range of revolutions per minute. The appropriate range in each car is distinct, so the transmission needs to be calibrated to your vehicle. The configuration of the transmission depends if the vehicle is all-wheel drive, front-wheel drive, or rear-wheel drive.
To maintain the correct RPM ratio and connect to the input shaft there is such a thing as planetary gear. It uses a central gear, or sun gear and two or more smaller gears thus the term. These are kept with an outer ring together. Although the central gear remains in the same position, the smaller gears, like the planets in the solar system, work around it.
There is also a hydraulic system in your transmission that helps control gear shifting, lubricates parts for optimum output, and keeps the whole transmission system cool. In order to generate pressure to keep the vehicle running, the hydraulic system is used to help control the fluid inside the transmission. The system is important to maintain the transmission in good condition and well lubricated, and is an integral part of the oil pump, clutches, bands, and more.
A torque converter takes the place of a clutch if you're driving an automatic transmission vehicle. This system helps, even though you're stopped, the vehicle keeps going. It can be found mounted between the transmission itself and the motor, and is an essential part of your transmission system although it is not within the transmission. The torque converter helps keep your engine speed constant in the optimum range using a turbine, pump, and stator. Inside the converter housing, these parts work together to provide power and direct the oil flow.
The role of lubricating the engine parts is performed by transmission fluid. The fluid maintains the transmission system's proper functioning. There are two kinds of sensors, the sensor of speed and the sensor of strain. The speed sensors identify the speed of the transmission's input and output. In turn, it transfers to the Transmission Control Unit (TCU) the same information. The data helps to monitor pressure and determine which gear to engage with. The hydraulic pressure on the transmission components is determined by the pressure sensors.
It also helps to reduce the heating of the engine, which means the engine remains cool. The fluid is viscous as well. It is a channel through which power from the motor to the transmission system flows.
There are also two types of transmission, which are the automatic and the manual transmission. The automatic transmission is where the vehicle without the driver's guidance changes the gears on its own. It implies that the driver does not change the car's gears. While a manual transmission on the other hand requires that the driver changes the vehicle's gears. This comes to pass through the help of a transmission stick and a clutch pedal, this occurs.
Although you might not understand all the parts of your transmission or exactly how they function to keep your car going, learning the basics will help you determine issues with your transmission and how to rebuild the system.
Is rebuilding a transmission worth it?
Before getting your hands dirty for rebuilding a transmission, you may ask is it really worth the trouble? Transmission issues create thoughts of costly repairs or even a new vehicle but there is a better choice.
Over the short term, rebuilding a transmission will save you a lot of money, while keeping car payments out of your monthly budget. For several, it is worth the initial cost to rebuild their transmission. So yes it's worth the trouble.
It can cost you twenty-five hundred dollars or more to repair a transmission, which is a hefty sum but it pales compared to the expense of a brand new transmission or the purchase of a new car. New transmissions can cost thousands of dollars more than restored ones, and depending on the vehicle you choose, the down payment criteria for a new vehicle can be even more.
Usually, rebuilt transmissions come with guarantees, ensuring you get the most of your money out of the machine. The cost of rebuilding a transmission is not a joke, but if you plan to forgo the purchase of a new one, you'll be left with more money in the bank. The same applies to buying a new car, as monthly installment payments will make life even harder.
There is less financial pressure on you and your family from the net impact of rebuilding a transmission. The less debt you have, the healthier your finances will be in the long term. You'll have more discretionary monthly earnings over the short term that you can use to spend or save for retirement.
Repairing your transmission also postpones car payments and interest on debt for buying a new car. For cars and trucks with defective transmissions, most dealerships pay little or none, but if your vehicle still has a working unit, when you trade it in, you will get more money for it. Overall, it has important financial advantages for you to prolong the life of your car.
Transmission Rebuild Kit
A transmission rebuild kit helps you to fix any problems that occur in the transmission of your car. It is important that you invest in a high-quality automatic transmission rebuild kit to ensure that there will be no problems in the immediate future. However, it is a difficult task to find a kit that lasts longer and provides high efficiency. And how can you get yourself the right kit? Ok, here are a few things you should remember when ordering a kit.
Check out the quality of the kit regardless of the make / model of your vehicle. It is important that you choose a kit that is made of material of superior quality. Through doing so, you will not only ensure that your transmission delivers top-notch road output, but you will also enjoy reliability, which is important when you restore your pride or go on a long trip. Experts recommend paying careful attention to the efficiency of automatic transmission rebuilding kits.
Also look at the components of the kit, which usually comes with a wide variety of components such as gaskets, bands, seals, clutches, steels, O-rings, modulator, filter, bushings, washers, and other parts of the transmission. Make sure your package has everything you need for the best results, whether you have a manual transmission or an automatic one.
The price of automatic transmission rebuild kits usually depends on the name of the manufacturer and the make or model of the vehicle for which they are built. Make sure that the kit you select has quality components at a fair price. These kits, fitting for the model of your car, can also be supplied to you by several online providers. With these manufacturers, at reasonable prices, you can pick from a wide variety of kits and order the one you need.
You can buy or borrow the kit, but what is important is that it has all the tools and it comes with a complete instruction manual. The best kit also comes with a warranty. The type of kit will be based on the type of your vehicle that you have.
Step by Step How to Rebuild a Transmission
After making sure that you have the right rebuild kit and enough knowledge about transmission you’re ready to rebuild a transmission.
The first step is to remove the Transmission from your vehicle. It involves removing it from the entire engine block. Also remove the torque converter, and then the oil pan.
Removing the transmission from your vehicle allows you easy access to it. Remember that a transmission has many near identical parts. So do not remove anything without paying close attention to these parts. Having the parts labeled can be crucial.
Second step is to disassemble the transmission after successfully removing it from the vehicle. Be sure that you have drained all the transmission fluid before doing so. This is a messy process so have a pan in place to catch the transmission fluid. Take the transmission to a clean dust free area. Covering the surface of the location with plastic.
The next step is cleaning and inspecting the transmission parts to identify the faulty part. The parts will be cleaned by a specially formulated chemical. Replace the wonky parts that need replacement with new ones. And for the parts that are still in good condition, just clean it and reattach to the transmission. However, take note to replace all the oil seals and gaskets with new ones. This is to help you avoid any leakage that the old ones might cause. Also remember that parts with friction surfaces, like bands and clutches should be replaced. The torque converter also needs to be replaced, and it is often with a remanufactured one.
After all wonky parts are replaced and parts that can still work are cleaned proceed to reassembling of the transmission. This step requires your full attention to every piece. Have everything fitted precisely in its rightful spot. Remember that if you make even a little mistake you will have to start all over again. So this is why labeling each and every parts while removing them is important.
The second to the final step is to ensure that all parts have fitted precisely in its right place and then performing the pressure test, which will help you make sure whether the pressure is too low or too high, or if it is leaking or not. Take note of why the pressure test in the transmission is being done. So never forget to carry out pressure tests and checks. Mount back the rebuilt transmission to the vehicle. It should not be too difficult with the right tools in place. Proceed to doing a test drive also to adapt the vehicle's computer to the newly rebuilt transmission.
After the test drive do a QA Check. This is the final step, which includes checking for leaks, correcting fluid level and double checking for loose or missing bolts. Also make sure that electrical harnesses are securely fastened and then finally do a final check for any transmission related codes in your vehicle’s computer.
So now you already have an idea how to rebuild a transmission but how long does the process take. The answer is that the pace depends how skilled you are. The rebuild may take a day up to 4 days when you have sent it to a mechanic. It will take about a day to remove the parts and the following days will be spent diagnosing if a problem is yet to be determined, doing the repairs and then reinstalling the parts.
You will save time or it will take fewer days if you have already decided in the first place that you’re going to rebuild the whole system because the majority of the parts are also going to be replaced anyway.
Installing modern transmissions can be very tricky and complicated and a small error can damage the transmission altogether or other components leading to a very costly repair. So make sure to be fully equipped with knowledge and tools if you should ever attempt to do a DIY rebuild. If you’re not a hundred percent confident best to go to an experienced mechanic.