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Speed Sensors and ATF+4 and the like

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 #371817  by billl
Hello to all in this club, I found you because I found a 2004, 300m with a bad transmission. Very clean 150,000 car but when its started and put in gear the transmission sounds like making margaritas with brass nuts, that's if transmission is in drive or reverse. When it does engage it grabs then releases, and chatters real bad, took me a few trys to get over the garage door lip. I am leaning toward the torque converter tore its guts out or the chain has slipped. Fluid still pink but shinny specs thru-out. I bought this car for 500 dollars and a 100 to have towed. I am headed to get a transmission tomorrow and install this week. Can any tell me how had is it to remove the trans axle from the car? Can one person lift the assembly up into the slots and get the bolts started?? I am guessing the weight of the tranny is about 150 to 200? Tips, tricks and pain relieving curse words would be helpful.

Cool Club
looks like I bought a good car.
Thanks for helping.
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 #371818  by FIREM
Have not yet done a trans swap but maybe this info from Alldata will help.
Skill Level B 5.1 Hrs.
The transaxle can be removed without having to remove the engine.
1.Disconnect battery.
2.Remove wiper blades.
3.Remove right and left wiper module covers.
4.Remove steel cowl/strut support.
CAUTION: Be careful of sharp edges around cowl/ wiper area.
5.Remove engine air inlet tube.
6.Remove transaxle harness connectors at cowl area.
7.Remove upper bell housing stud nuts from bell housing studs. Detach heater hose tube and throttle body support bracket.
8.Remove upper bell housing studs.
9.Lift vehicle on hoist.
10.Loosen clamps at intersection of rear exhaust system to front catalytic converter pipes.
11.Separate rear exhaust from left catalytic converter pipe and right extension pipe.
12.Remove rear exhaust system.
13.Remove nuts retaining exhaust pipes to transmission mount.
14.Loosen clamp at right extension at right catalytic converter. Remove right extension.
15.Disconnect crankshaft position sensor connector and remove sensor (Fig. 10). The sensor is located on the upper right side of the transaxle bell housing.
16.Remove dipstick tube.
17.Disconnect the gear selector cable from the transaxle.
18.Disconnect transmission range sensor connector. Disconnect input and output speed sensor connector.
19.Disconnect and plug transaxle cooler lines at the transaxle.
20.Remove lower control arm pinch bolts.
21.Pry lower control arms down and out of steering knuckles.
CAUTION: Do not allow drive shaft or CV joint to hang freely. Internal joint damage may occur if allowed to hang freely.
CAUTION: Drive shaft retainer clips and seals located on the stub shafts must be replaced before reinstalling drive shafts.
22.Using a pry bar, disconnect the inner tripod joints from the transaxle (Fig. 11).
23.Pull bottom of knuckles and drive shafts outward to allow clearance during transaxle removal. The drive shafts do not have to be completely removed from the vehicle. Do not allow the inner tripod joints to hang unsupported or joint damage may occur.
24.Disconnect 02 sensor wiring and remove left catalytic converter pipe.
25.Unbolt starter assembly. Do not disconnect wiring or completely remove the starter from the vehicle. Allow the starter to sit between the engine and the frame.
26.Remove engine oil pan collar.
27.Remove torque converter bolts. The torque converter is indexed to the flex plate. Mark the torque converter location to ensure that the torque converter is reinstalled correctly.
CAUTION: The drive plate to torque converter bolts and the drive plate to crankshaft bolts must not be reused. Install new bolts whenever these bolts are removed.
28.Place a transmission jack under the transaxle. Secure the transaxle to the jack.
29.Raise transaxle slightly to relieve the weight on the rear transaxle mount.
NOTE: Bolts for the crossmember bridge are different lengths, side to side.
30.Remove rear crossmember bridge bolts.
31.Remove rear mount adapter plate mounting bolts.
32.Remove the rear crossmember bridge, mount, and adapter plate as an assembly.
33.Lower the rear of the transaxle to gain access to the bell housing bolts.
34.Remove side bell housing bolts.
35.Remove dipstick tube from transaxle. Be prepared to plug the dipstick hole when removing dipstick to prevent fluid from spilling out of the transaxle.
36.Disconnect solenoid/pressure switch assembly connector at top of transaxle.
37.The transaxle can now be lowered from the vehicle.
 #371893  by billl
Thank You For the info.

I have her down to the cross-member and two bell-housing bolts and she will drop out. Not a bad car to work on, I am impressed, I thought this would be a knuckle busting cussing match, but so far they have engineered some access I was never expecting. However the fool who used the hell glue to weld the bolts to every bolt hole in the motor, may your stools sir have the same trouble getting out of the hole as I had getting the 4 top bolts out of the bell-housing. The old trans had the black gooey metal flake bottom in the pan, clutches are toast. Dropping old trans out in the morning and will do a quick autopsy to see what broke. Then slip new in and relax. LOL!
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 #371894  by Mottman
Welcome to the club.
Your pic shows a pretty clean body M.
Seems you have a pretty good handle on the repair already.
Alot of times the torque-converter fails and sends debris through the whole trans
all in one shot.

Some more advice.
( 1 ) If you have any concerns about the starter, now is the time to get it addressed.
( I imagine you already saw that )
Usually the starter motor itself is good, its the starter solenoid that wears out.
( there is a solenoid rebuild kit for approx $16.00 on Amazon )

( 2 ) Make sure the torque-converter is correctly seated on ALL 3 of the transmission
input shafts BEFORE you try to mount the trans. back into the engine.
Trying to force the torque-converter on by bolting the trans. back onto the engine
WILL damage the pump / housing, torque-converter, shafts or more.
( usually voids any warranty on the trans as well )

( 3 ) If you are swapping in a salvage-yard trans: Find out what car it was from.
Or more accurately, Find out what ENGINE it was bolted to. ( 2.7L or 3.5L ).
If it was from an Intrepid or Concord with a 2.7 L engine or a 300M SPECIAL you will
have to swap out the rear sprockets, chain and chain-snubber to ensure correct
final roll-out ( gear ratio ). Its not difficult, just alot easier with the trans out of the car.

( 4 ) And make sure the yard provides you with the torque-converter from that
replacement trans. ( or use new ) don't use your old one ( guess you know that already )
This is also the best time to install a new front trans. seal. And it wouldn't hurt to check
the rear main seal on the engine too.

( 5 ) Be certain to find and follow the FACTORY SERVICE MANUAL to use the correct
tightening sequence for the transmission lower support collar.
Bolting / tightening this up wrong could ( WILL ) crack the back of the engine oil-pan.

( 6 ) Without a doubt. Flush the trans. cooling system BEFORE you reconnect the lines
to your replacement transmission.
Chrysler recommends mineral-spirits, I recommend low pressure air ( 10 - 15 psi ) to
help push the mineral-spirits, then fresh ATF+4
( again, with a little push of low pressure air ) to flush out any traces of the
mineral-spirits. If it wont flush out easy, replace the secondary trans. cooler
( the plate & fins cooler in front of the a/c condenser. this is the cooler that gets
clogged with trans. parts debris after a torque-converter failure. I wound up
swapping mine out for a Hayden aftermarket, medium-sized truck tube style
cooler from NAPA ).

( 7 ) ABSOLUTELY ! Use ONLY ATF+4 trans. fluid in these transmissions.
Its pretty much a fact, the #1 cause of failure for these transmissions is almost always
related to someone using the wrong fluid
( The power steering pump works real good & quiet on ATF+4 too.)

Anyways, Hope this helps. Let us know if you have any more questions. And good luck.
When you get done. Join as a member and show off some more pics.


 #371914  by billl
About that tightening sequence, I have found the torque value but no sequence. I have a case of Mopar 4 coming and I was thinking about closing off the radiator cooler and going with a bolt on but I was concerned about the computer freaking out about the temperature of the transmission. The gal who owned this car had a new radiator installed and the old trans cooler lines they put back on were leaking bad. Could be how the tranny got blown. Guess a trial run will tell, I can always hook back up. Thanks for the advice, I expect it will take a few weeks with only weekends to work on it.
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 #371922  by Mottman
The tightening sequence can be found in the
LH series cars.
Somewhere in the members only section of the knowledge-base
is a link to it.
Hopefully a member can provide a link for you.
Keep in mind. this tightening sequence goes in steps.
( you torque the bolts in a certain order to one torque spec.
then repeat at a higher torque spec. and finish by re-re torquing at
the final torque spec in sequence.
( In other words, you'r creeping up to the final torque spec in 3 steps
in the correct sequence).
( say that backwards 3x real fast ! )

I know, it sounds like a cheesy sales pitch, but if you become a member
its easy to find this info. ( So says the guy who goofed and forgot to renew
his own membership, WHOOPS ! )

As for bypassing the radiator cooler. Not sure you should do that, unless you
go with a fairly large plate & vane style cooler.
The cooler in the radiator usually dosent clog. ( its just a straight tube )

the leaking lines you were mentioning, that is a well known issue.
Most of the time if the hoses are good, the clamps just need re-tightening
if the hoses are going bad of course replace em with transmission spec
hose, and use fuel-injector line clamps at the radiator.
( most folks also double up the clamps ).

And don't forget, what FIREM's post pointed out about " do not re-use the
Torque-converter to flex-plate bolts"
You want to replace these with OEM new and torque to spec.
They come with blue thread-lock already on them, but I would add some
medium before installing as well.
The reason being, once these bolts are torqued then removed, they stretch
and if they bottom out before they are re-torqued they can dent the
torque-converter housing. and this is where the lock-up clutch's friction-plate is
bonded inside ( the same friction plate that fails and disintegrates from wrong
trans. fluid, and most likely caused you'r trans. failure in the first place ).

Lastly, ( as if that wasn't enough, right ? ) you should also replace the O-rings
and locking snap clips on the trans. output shafts.
I would also recommend you slather up those shafts with a good coat of some
high quality grease of some sort ( I use BELL-RAY assembly lube ) especially on
the left output shaft. The left side drive-axial fits very snug on this shaft with
almost no play. Unlike the right side, that is loose enough to make most folks
concerned ( Believe it or not, that WEIRD fit difference is normal ).

To finish, you really seem to have a good handle on this situation. We cant wait
to see some pics when you are done. So hit us up if you have any
more questions. And good luck.

 #371938  by billl
Old transaxle is out. Switch out some seals and rings and install donor trans. This has factory add on cooler, I dont know if this was standard equipment but it may get a new lease on life as a power steering cooler to replace the plain tube it has now. I got a HD hayden trans cooler coming and I am bypassing the factory water cooler so all new lines and no contamination. The pan off the old one is full of nice sparkly metal flakes. Can anyone spot the problem in the first picture? That's the way it came off the car.
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 #371993  by Mottman

All LH cars had 2 transmission coolers
( one in left tank of radiator, one in front of condenser ).
Read the instructions with that Hayden cooler.
Even they recommend using the radiator cooler.

Problem with first pic ? Hmm. I see 3 possible problems.
( 1 ) Judging by that super long bolt on the shift linkage arm,
I would say someone has replaced that trans already.
( 2 ) Where is the dipstick tube ?
( 3 ) Where is the wiring harness ?
( or did you pull that for the swap )

Let us know, good luck.

 #371997  by billl
The bolt is in the back of the clamp, tightened down on the metal bar, I lifted the arm off without turning the bolt at all and it was tight on the back of the clamp. Former owner had it from new, complained about loose shiftier, she took it to several dealerships and they could not find the cause. Factory or shade tree, either way, There ya go! This radiator has cooler lines on both sides of the plastic tanks. I live in the southern states, no need for heat in the tranny in winter. This is mid range cooler and should keep temps at a good temperature, its in some good air right in front a fan and the transaxle will let me know if it needs more cooling. Going to leave the plumbing to factory coolers just in case.
I pulled the valve body today and no smoking gun yet, put it in plastic sack and shelved it for future use. Lots of metal shavings but no broken parts I can see. When I get time I will pull the final off and get the clutch packs out, see what they look like. cork plugs work much better than dipsticks when installing.
Anybody know what size the half shaft o-ring is. I cant find any. Also when I removed the crossover bridge bolts they were full of water. One is rusted pretty bad. If I can find bolts to replace the rusted ones I think it can be sealed from the top.
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 #372134  by M-Pressive
Good luck with the install!
 #372161  by billl
Thank You. Got the trans mated with a couple bolts today and shut down for the night. Hardest part was working around the passenger side exhaust and catalytic converter. Short of lowering the sub frame you have to wrestle that thing around like toilet paper out of briar vine. Waiting for the converter bolts and trans mount to show up, old one was cracked all the way thru. Should be a good car when I'm done.