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Old 02-28-2010, 12:37 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Question Trans side cover removal

Well, I could not come up with any more excuses as to why I should not get this project done (None that my wife would believe!)

Since I could not locate any detailed info on the net, I would like to share my experience. Just for the record, I am a simple home mechanic with average tools and an above average mechanical aptitude. I have diagnosed my problem to be the Pressure Control Solenoid, but since there are four solenoids in there, I decided to change all four at the same time (PCS, TCC, Shift1-2, Shift2-3)
  • Time to Complete: 12 Hours (2 hours wasted trying to re-compress the suspension spring, 1 Hour for lunch)
  • Estimate from GM Dealer to fix: $1200.00
  • My Cost to Repair: $297.31 plus tax (All parts purchased from GM dealer)

GM Parts List:
  • VALVE SO - 24225825 - $70.37 - Pressure Control Solenoid
  • VALVE - 24227747 - $52.87 - TCC Solenoid
  • VALVE AS - 24219819 - $26.34 - Shift Solenoid
  • VALVE AS - 24219819 - $26.34 - Shift Solenoid
  • GASKET K - 24206959 - $94.79 - Side Cover Gasket Kit
  • ATF - QT - 12346143 - $26.60 - 7 Quarts Transmission Fluid


  1. Disconnect the battery.
  2. Loosen the wheel lug nuts.
  3. Jack up the car, block the rear wheels, and place sturdy jack stands under the car just behind the sub frame.
  4. Remove the wheel, the brake caliper assembly, and the rotor.
  5. Use a small phillips screwdriver to remove the three small expanding fasteners that hold the black plastic mud flap from the front of the wheel well.
  6. Remove two bolts that hold the shift cable bracket to the top of the transmission case. You will not need to disconnect the cable from the shift lever.
  7. Disconnect the steering Tie Rod from the wheel assembly. Note: When the nut was nearly off of the threads, the entire ball joint began spinning. So use a C clamp to apply pressure on the ball and the nut will come off.
  8. Use a 34mm axle nut socket to remove the axle nut. Note: I had to make a trip to Advance Auto to find this socket. It was 14.99.
  9. Remove three bolts from the backside of the wheel bearing assembly. Use a small hammer to knock the assembly out and off of the drive shaft.
  10. Remove two lower bolts from the suspension strut/spring. Remove the top three bolts from the strut/spring assembly. Note: I made the mistake of removing the single large nut from the strut itself, which caused the spring to uncompress !!! If you want to same a lot of time and keep from having to rent a spring compression tool, and also prevent possible bodily harm then I suggest that you simply remove the three nuts that attach the entire spring/strut assembly to the vehicle. This way, the spring stays compressed and you won't have to waste two hours trying to reassemble it.
  11. You can now flex and then push the outer drive shaft back into and through the frame that holds the wheel bearing assembly (I do not know the correct name for this piece).
  12. Use a small prybar that has a 90 degree bend on one end. Place this bent end between the drive shaft and the transmission case and press firmly. The drive shaft will pop out.
  13. Attach a cherry picker (engine lift) to the lift lugs on the engine and take the slack out of the chain.
  14. Remove the four bolts from the sub frame.
  15. Remove the two upper engine mount bolts.
  16. Remove the cold air intake tube and the front cover of the air filter box from the vehicle. There was two or three electrical connectors and one vacuum line.
  17. Disconnect the large electrical connector from the transmission
  18. There is a wire loom that is fastened to the front crossmember of the subframe (It travels clear across the subframe. Unclip the fastener that holds the loom to the subframe and is closest to the passenger side.
  19. Looking through the wheel well, you will see a motor mount that connects the transmission to the subframe. Remove the four bolts that attach the bracket to the transmission side cover. Remove the two nuts from the bottom of the motor mount. The bracket can now be removed. Note: If you do not have tension on the cherry picker, the engine will drop about 4 or 5 inches.
  20. Begin removing the side cover bolts that you can reach from the top. Leave one single top bolt loose but in place to prevent the pan from falling when the other bolts are removed. All of the bolts are the same except for the 5 bottom bolts. They have a T40 Torx head. You may need to manipulate the height of the engine several times to get all of the case bolts out.
  21. Attach a come-along from the diagonal support tube on the passenger side to the right side engine hoist point. This will pull the engine towards the passenger side. (I pulled until the engine would not move any further)
  22. Use your foot to step on the A-arm of the drivers side. This will pull down the sub frame from the engine.
  23. Begin lowering the cherry picker until the side case will clear the wheel well opening. You made need to put some pressure on the sub frame to get the cover to fall out.
  24. Remove the old case gasket and the round rubber gasket that seals around the drive shaft output. Clean the mating surfaces.
  25. Three solenoids (PCS, TCC, Shift) can now be seen on the left and a single solenoid (Shift) on the right. Make a note as to the electrical connector locations and then disconnect the harness from the solenoids and move it out of the way.
  26. All of the solenoids have a small clip that retains them. This clip looks like a hairpin and can be removed with a small pair of needle nose, or in my case I used a dental pick to pull them. The solenoids are removed easily once the clips are pulled. (The solenoid will break if these clips are not removed first, don't ask how I know)
  27. Re-insert the new solenoids and re-attach the electrical connectors.
  28. Now reverse the procedure to re-assemble and you're done!


NOTES:

The rubber boot that surrounds the bottom of the steering shaft will separate when the subframe is lowered, be sure to re-seat it after you raise the subframe!

All wrenches/sockets used were metric! A large breaker bar comes in handy as well as an Impact wrench and an air ratchet.

I chose not to drop the pan and drain the fluid until after the solenoid job was complete. This allowed for a small amount of fluid to leak onto the floor after I removed the driveshaft. It could have easily been done before I started the removal process. I just did not want to go to all that trouble until I had a chance to evaluate the solenoid situation.

After the job is complete, you may need to have your wheel alignment checked, but mine appears to be OK.

Please note, I have a 2003 Impala 3.4 - 6 cylinder with 80k miles. This worked for me and may not work for you.

I have attached some photos:

Good luck.
Attached Images
          


Last edited by Ogriv; 03-11-2010 at 07:03 AM..
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Old 03-11-2010, 07:05 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Talking Update!

Greetings,

I have driven just over 300 miles since the repair and I have not been able to reproduce the original symptoms. I shall call this a success!

Thanks,

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Old 11-13-2010, 10:38 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Excellent Post Ogriv!

Is your vehicle still running good? What symptoms did you have that lead to your diagnosis?

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Old 07-06-2011, 02:46 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Greetings,

The repair is holding up just fine! I have put a few more thousand miles on the car and the original symptoms have yet to reappear. I did receive a few PM's requesting the details of the original symptoms so I will briefly explain them here.

I had two symptoms. The most prevalent occurred when I would accelerate from a dead stop. The engine would rev up but the car would not move for a second or two then it would act like you just popped the clutch on a manual transmission and would "clunk and jerk" into motion. This would also occur from the shift from 1st to 2nd while in motion at a speed under 30 mph or so. The second symptom was less noticeable but was just as annoying. You could hear a low "whining" sound coming from under the steering column. This sound was coming from one of the defective solenoids. I'm not sure if it was coming from the coil of the solenoid or from the fluid rushing by the partially open or closed valve of the defective solenoid.

-Ogriv

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Old 05-06-2013, 03:15 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ogriv View Post
Greetings,

The repair is holding up just fine! I have put a few more thousand miles on the car and the original symptoms have yet to reappear. I did receive a few PM's requesting the details of the original symptoms so I will briefly explain them here.

I had two symptoms. The most prevalent occurred when I would accelerate from a dead stop. The engine would rev up but the car would not move for a second or two then it would act like you just popped the clutch on a manual transmission and would "clunk and jerk" into motion. This would also occur from the shift from 1st to 2nd while in motion at a speed under 30 mph or so. The second symptom was less noticeable but was just as annoying. You could hear a low "whining" sound coming from under the steering column. This sound was coming from one of the defective solenoids. I'm not sure if it was coming from the coil of the solenoid or from the fluid rushing by the partially open or closed valve of the defective solenoid.

-Ogriv
I am having those exact same symptoms, and will probably need the same in the near future. But, for the time being, I am babying it. I never drive over 60 on the freeway, and don't race it off the line. I've got 162K on mine.

Curios as to why, when you were that far in, that you chose not to replace the driveshaft output seal...as this seems to be a source of leakage that would lead one to believe they have a transmission leak. One of your pictures clearly shows how accessible it was when you had everything apart, and it seems that for the time you put in, that it would have been a good idea to replace it at the time.

Again, just curious.

Excellent article, and I will keep it in mind for the future.

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Old 05-16-2013, 01:35 AM   #6 (permalink)
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11. This part is called your "steering knuckle"

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Old 05-26-2013, 04:42 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Trans Side Cover Removal on 07 LTZ

I want to add my experience with this walk-through on my 07 LTZ with the 3.9L engine and 80,000mi. I was having the same slipping symptoms (not positive on the whining solenoid, but I think I could hear what Ogriv was talking about). Before it was doing it 100% of the time that I accelerated normally. If I put the selector manually in 1 it would not slip, or if I was REALLY easy on the gas it wouldn't do it.

The instructions in the original post do apply perfectly (as far as I can tell) to the 8th gen impalas like mine.

I did skip step 10, and anything related to removing the steering knuckle and strut/spring. This prevents any concerns with an alignment.

I had quite a few issues with rusty/stubborn parts that I'll mention; perhaps they'll be helpful to someone else. I'm in a similar skill range as Ogriv; a simple home mechanic with average tools and not afraid to buy more tools or tear into new things.
I lifted only on the drivers side lift point which seemed to work well (see number 4 below: if you remove all 4 sub frame bolts, youíll need to have your hoist on both lift points).

1. My axle shaft was frozen inside my wheel bearing. I wanted to save the bearing, so I didn't introduce heat, but it took a very long time to get out. I used an air hammer in the indentation of the axle shaft, which didn't work at first. I soaked it with penetrating oil and spun the axle nut back on until the outside faces of the nut and axle were flush. Then I worked it with a 4lb sledge and the air hammer again. It finally came out.
2. The trans side of the axle shaft didn't pop off the internal clip and out with my pry bars. I went to autozone and rented a slide hammer and a FWD CV Axle Puller Adapter. It's perfect. Get one before you start just in case.
3. To use the slide hammer, I had to remove the dust cover that is trapped in place by the wheel bearing. When I was getting the wheel bearing out, it came apart and I had to buy a new one.
4. It wasn't implicitly clear to me that I had to lower the sub frame way down (I thought the 4 bolts in step 14 were the engine mount bolts). I figured that out quickly, as the standard opening is much too small to do this job. Upon the recommendation from another friend whoís done this job, I removed the 2 driver's side sub frame bolts and backed the passenger's side out 2 turns.
5. I had bad luck with the strap (come-a-long) from the passenger brace to the driver lift point like it says in step 21. It pulled the engine back, yes, but it also pulled it up. I got the cover out by putting my strap from the middle of the passenger brace to the passenger lift point. That pulled it a little towards the passengerís side and twisted the driverís side of the engine a little towards the driverís seat. This was all with the engine lowered way down.
6. I never got the cover to "fall out". At this point, I slid the cover down into the opening I'd created, but then had to spin it 90 degrees counterclockwise to get the fat side of the cover out first.
7. The solenoids are very simple to replace. I used needle nose pliers to remove the clips. I got all 4 solenoids and the gasket from Rockauto. The gasket wasn't listed on the "automatic transaxle", but if you go to "manual transaxle" for the same car (don't think chevy actually put a manual transmission in the 8th gen impalas?) it has the gasket with the proper AC Delco number.
8. On reassembly you need to make sure the steering shaft boot is pushed back down onto its groove. It is really easy to do, but it is important to remember to do so you protect the area from water.
9. I lost about 6 qts of trans oil during the process. I let it sit overnight, so that time added to the loss. I didn't drop the pan before I started, because I just changed the filter last month to see if I had any debris from a true trans failure.

Letting the engine drop that far with the hoist was very intimidating for me. Be aware that this job will stretch your comfort zone if you've never manipulated your engine with it partially installed. I'm very pleased with the results though. Thanks to Ogriv for the write-up and thorough description of symptoms; I wouldn't have tried this project without your information.

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