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Changing the converter

This is a discussion on Changing the converter within the Automatic Transmission forums, part of the Drivetrain category; How many here have changed their own torque converters out? I've never changed one in this body style, but have ...

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    Member jag42420's Avatar
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    Changing the converter

    How many here have changed their own torque converters out? I've never changed one in this body style, but have replaced at least 10 on other GM vehicles. This one seems a bit more intimidating with the engine sitting under the firewall. I guess the bolts come out from the bottom, but I have yet to see how hard it will be to get to them.

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    Member jmhvenom's Avatar
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    All I can tell ya, is dont go too high, i cant stand mine (4300)

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    Member jag42420's Avatar
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    TCI, Summit, and JEGS all suggested a 3000-3200 stall. Most people on LS1 sites recommend a 3500-3600. I haven't ordered one yet, but am trying to decide if I want to mess with it or not before I do. I need to go out to my garage and take a peek, but the garage floor is so cold right now...

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    Veteran 0rion's Avatar
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    I have a fuddle 3500 in mine and love it. I couldn't see me wanting anything less than that.
    I pulled my tranny....twice. Once to do the stall and again to replace the front seal that I should've replaced when I did the stall. Nothing like pulling your tranny again for a $10 part so my first advice would be to go ahead and replace that seal while you're at it. Some people don't and have zero issues but it sucks to get it all back together and have it leak.
    The dipstick bolt sucks, the e-clips suck, and the top 2 bolts suck but other than that it's not a hard job at all. Get a helper. The extra set of hands will come in really handy when you're getting the tranny off of the pins. Get at those top bolts from the rear of the tranny by letting it sag on the motor mounts and using a ton of extensions. I found it was easier using a bunch of smaller ones than 2 24" extensions. The smaller ones give you a little wiggle room. I also put some masking tape around the joint of a swivel and that helped also.
    If you've never dealt with the e-clips around the lines those will kick your ass until you figure them out then they aren't that bad. I lost one. Don't do that.
    Make sure to also install a tranny cooler.

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    Member jag42420's Avatar
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    I did the seals thing on my 1st stall change in high school. Since then I've replaced front and rear seals every time I pull a tranny, and inspect the flywheel (I've had to pull one again to change a flywheel too). GM trucks are easy (<2 hours). My 79 Z was easy (<2 hours), my SS Montes took 4 hours. This TA looks to be pretty tight up around the bell housing from what I can see.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 0rion View Post
    I have a fuddle 3500 in mine and love it. I couldn't see me wanting anything less than that.
    I pulled my tranny....twice. Once to do the stall and again to replace the front seal that I should've replaced when I did the stall. Nothing like pulling your tranny again for a $10 part so my first advice would be to go ahead and replace that seal while you're at it. Some people don't and have zero issues but it sucks to get it all back together and have it leak.
    The dipstick bolt sucks, the e-clips suck, and the top 2 bolts suck but other than that it's not a hard job at all. Get a helper. The extra set of hands will come in really handy when you're getting the tranny off of the pins. Get at those top bolts from the rear of the tranny by letting it sag on the motor mounts and using a ton of extensions. I found it was easier using a bunch of smaller ones than 2 24" extensions. The smaller ones give you a little wiggle room. I also put some masking tape around the joint of a swivel and that helped also.
    If you've never dealt with the e-clips around the lines those will kick your ass until you figure them out then they aren't that bad. I lost one. Don't do that.
    Make sure to also install a tranny cooler.

    I have a 3800 TCI in mine and agree with everything Orion said, excellent advice.
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    Senior Member mrr23's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jag42420 View Post
    How many here have changed their own torque converters out? I've never changed one in this body style, but have replaced at least 10 on other GM vehicles. This one seems a bit more intimidating with the engine sitting under the firewall. I guess the bolts come out from the bottom, but I have yet to see how hard it will be to get to them.
    here's how i did mine
    http://stealthram.com/transmissionremove.htm

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    Member jag42420's Avatar
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    Nice writeup. Pics are great. Doesn't seem much different than a normal GM torque converter install overall. How long did it take? I'm allotting an entire weekend and a case of beer, you never know...

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    Member jmhvenom's Avatar
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    You will need to tune when you get a new stall... I forget the exacts, but the aftermarket ones are bigger and have more rotating mass so mine was stalling at low RPMS (Might not be the exact reason, it was a thread awhile back). But I had to have my idle speed riased up

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    Veteran 0rion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmhvenom View Post
    You will need to tune when you get a new stall... I forget the exacts, but the aftermarket ones are bigger and have more rotating mass so mine was stalling at low RPMS (Might not be the exact reason, it was a thread awhile back). But I had to have my idle speed riased up
    That's good advice. I would plan on having it tuned for the stall. I had to also raise my in gear idle a tad and you'll want to firm up the shifts. I can't remember if I had to change the shift points or not. I can look back at my notes on the laptop and tell you what all I had to do if you'd like.

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    Senior Member mrr23's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jag42420 View Post
    Nice writeup. Pics are great. Doesn't seem much different than a normal GM torque converter install overall. How long did it take? I'm allotting an entire weekend and a case of beer, you never know...
    yeah really no different. about 4 hours overall.

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