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Discussion Starter #1
Hey everyone, I may replace the solenoids on a 2003 Impala 3.4 base, have watched the mph video on youtube but still have a few questions:
1. Do I disconnect the fuel lines near the throttle body? They look too inflexible to have any give as the trans is lowered. And do you just lift up on those levers to disconnect?
2. I know to disconnect the trans cable bracket but the cable end should also be disconnected? Is it a press fit so it can just be lifted off?
3, Do I need to worry about the smaller gasket in the side cover itself that goes around the axle? Haven't ordered a replacement.
4. I'm getting the side cover gasket and 5-piece kit with four solenoids and a pressure switch manifold. Is there anything else I can do that's fairly simple while I'm there?
5. Any problem adding several magnets on the outside of the bottom pan?
Thanks!
 

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I wouldn’t worry about the fuel lines. The whole thing only needs lowered a couple inches. If you do want to take them off get some GM fuel line removal tools.
You should be able to take off the 1 or 2 bolts holding on the trans cable bracket and it will flip around enough to not worry about.
It wouldn’t be a bad idea to replace the axle seal in the cover while you’re there. Cheap insurance.
4 sounds good nothing I can think of
If you’re getting this far into your trans why don’t you take the pan off and replace the filter and add a magnet or 2 while you’re in there. The solenoids go “bad” because of dirt in them. Replace your filter and clean out the pan anyways. With trans work, it pays to do it right :)
I think that is about it. I’ve done this once but the trans was out of the vehicle and it was a PM thing.
Have fun :)
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Ok, thank you. I do plan on changing all the fluid and filter. Have two magnets in there already. And one 2" on the outside. Just wondering if a couple more on the outside could affect anything. I wouldn't think so but I've been mistaken before - long, long ago. I'd like to catch as much gray sludge as I can.
Axle seal, yes, I was going to let it slide since I'll use a slide hammer/axle attachment to remove it. I suppose I should at least have one on hand.
I'm not sure I can get even 2" out of those fuel lines so I may disconnect. Looks like the lever locks the lines together and you just lift up? And you still need a removal tool?
Thanks again for taking the time.
Update: ok, found out you do lift up the lever, then use the usual tool.
 

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I forget on the fuel lines if the tool is needed. I know for a fact I have used the removal tools on a 3.4L in a venture but haven’t done it in a 3.4L Impala. One things for sure, you’ll know when you need them :)
 

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If it has the steel and silicone side cover gasket you can re-use it as long as it's not damaged. If it gives you warm fuzzies replace it with another one from GM. I wouldn't use an aftermarket gasket on that cover.
The pan gasket can be re-used too if it's the steel core with silicone beads. I throw the cork pan gaskets that come in the WIX filter kits away.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
I'm hoping the side cover gasket is ok. I have to use the Fel-Pro one I have, if not.
I was wondering about disconnecting the steering rack from the subframe. Both bolts have to be removed completely but it looks like the passenger side bolt will be blocked by the sway bar. Maybe just loosen the sway bar a bit. Anyway, I don't want to deal with the connection at the steering column and the limited space to bolt it back together. Looks too tight for me.
Also, after replacing solenoids, is it advisable to "clear TAPS" or Transmission Adaptive Pressures? I can do it with a Tech 2 clone.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Just a followup. I disconnected the fuel lines, had to use the metal disconnect tool, plastic wouldn't work for me. Also disconnected the emissions line which is near the fuel lines, running about parallel to them. Popped off the transmission cable, it just lifts off. And the bracket as well. Loosened the bolts for the engine mount, just below the harmonic balancer. Finally, disconnected the first set of rubber supports for the exhaust. I didn't want to take a chance bending anything. Still, I was worried about one of the power steering lines; there's one that doesn't have a rubber section. But turned out ok. I did disconnect the steering column, taking out the one bolt beneath the black gaiter just above the rack. Getting in back in was pretty easy though I can see that it could be difficult. Other than that, I pretty much followed the youtube video by mph (4t65e PCS Replacement, P1811, long shift, Chevy, GM PT1). There are five parts. If the car is old, get a new trans harness. I broke every plastic locking clip on mine. I was lucky to get a "good" harness from amazon warehouse for $12. Turned out to be brand new. They're usually over $50. After all that, I didn't notice a huge difference. There was some metal fragments on the solenoid screens but not much and they ohmed out within spec. Still, was driving ok and I began NOT to worry about it for the first time in months. I added a transmission cooler last week. Then, last night, I guess a seal opened up and started leaking trans fluid. I was thinking about unintended consequences when adding the cooler -- how it might affect the operation overall. But could just be age, 280K. Right now, I'm trying to decide if I can replace the seal myself, if that's what it is, or just pay the $1800 and get it rebuilt.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Another update: I'm going to take a chance and replace the torque converter and seal and hope that stops the leak. I suppose I'll know if either one is leaking once I drop the trans.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Update. So I did replace the torque converter and the torque converter seal without being sure that it would cure the leak. The old seal looked ok to me; certainly not damaged enough to cause the streaming leak I had. Maybe it was the torque converter although I couldn't test that except for inserting two fingers in the opening to make sure a part of it only rotated clockwise, which it did. I disconnected the aftermarket cooler for now and flushed the lines and the radiator cooler. I removed the valve body to look at the pump drive and seal but it looked ok. Anyway, I was relieved that it no longer leaks. Yes, I threw parts at it which I'm not fond of doing, but, this time, I got lucky.
 

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Awesome! Glad to hear it’s back on the road!!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Well, I didn't exactly say that! I noticed the subframe was missing the upper insulator - goes between the subframe & car body. I looked all over the garage for it thinking it popped off somehow. I even looked in the engine bay. I couldn't believe that it's been missing for the past 8 yrs. Anyway, ened up ordering the Dorman kit for $45 but Advance Auto was late delivering it so finally thought of looking on ebay and found just the part I needed for $20, new and oem. So, tomorrow it should be back on the road.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Quick update. Drove it for an hour and it was ok. My wife took it to work and it made it the first leg. Got off of work and drove for 30 seconds, then no gears. Like it's in neutral, which is how all this started 5 months ago. I went there and drove it home 27 miles in heavy traffic and it's been fine since - about a week anyway. No doubt needs a rebuild although there are no indications of that currently. I read somewhere it may be a seal somewhere that leaks intermittently so the necessary pressure isn't there. I'll try some Lucas no-slip maybe or something that reconditions seals? I'd love to try a rebuild myself. If I could only be sure that it would still work.
 

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Quick update. Drove it for an hour and it was ok. My wife took it to work and it made it the first leg. Got off of work and drove for 30 seconds, then no gears. Like it's in neutral, which is how all this started 5 months ago. I went there and drove it home 27 miles in heavy traffic and it's been fine since - about a week anyway. No doubt needs a rebuild although there are no indications of that currently. I read somewhere it may be a seal somewhere that leaks intermittently so the necessary pressure isn't there. I'll try some Lucas no-slip maybe or something that reconditions seals? I'd love to try a rebuild myself. If I could only be sure that it would still work.
It might've been some errant goo that got kicked loose when you had it open.

I think I'd leave the 4T65E to an expert like Dave at TEP. I sure wouldn't pick that for a first rebuild. The 4T65E isn't as bad as the NV3500 but I'd say it's running a close second.

Give the Lucas transmission goo a shot. I've read that Dave recommends it.
Did you add the pan magnets like the TSB says to?
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Hi Hatzie - yes, followed the tsb on the magnets. And replaced all the Dex III with VI. I hope it was just debris in the wrong place. It's shifting fine with nothing over .3 seconds. I'll drop some Lucas in there and probably hook up the external cooler again. I don't see how that could have anything to do with the leak and last time out in the afternoon, the fluid temp was 92°. It's sure to get hotter than that this summer especially in traffic.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
That should be 192°, not 92°. No clear indications that anything is wrong when driving. Shifts are smooth and quick or so it seems to me. But when I put the Tech2 on it, the TCC slip speed seems all over the place. I don't know how to interpret it but the most noticeable is when going slowly up a hill it will hit 1200 rpm so I suppose that means it's slipping because of the extra load of going uphill. And the TAP cells for 1-2 shift read 20 for cells 4 & 5 and about the same for 2-3. For the 3-4 shift it's fairly low, around 5. I'm just beginning to look around for a remanufactured trans. I know now that I can swap it myself. It sure would be disappointing to do the work and the new trans doesn't work right; then having to pack it up to ship and waiting on a replacement. Maybe a local source is better.
 

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Dave at TEP has a very very good reputation for his work on the 4T65E.
Local outfits are an unknown. Most brick and mortar outfits will not warrantee it if you do the R&R.
 
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