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mhmitszach 12-15-2010 03:08 PM

Transmission is about to die...what to do?
My transmission is pretty much shot. It constantly slips on all gears now, it's terrible in the city. Fine on the highway once you get it into gear, usually has to rev up to 5k at least once.

So now what do I do? Car runs great, exhaust is needing to replaced soon but has new tires, decent brakes, no serious body damage. Typical amount of rust for a 98.

But....Transmission rebuild is at least 900 plus parts.

Used transmission shipped with 150k miles is $250

Junkyard transmission is going to be at least $400 plus core

Just labor to put the transmission in is going to be around $500.

So it'll likely be at least 1000 to fix this car....but the car only cost $1600.

I don't have the money to buy a new car either, and this car is basically only worth like 500-800, maybe.

What do I do?

Varn 12-15-2010 04:04 PM

Is the OBD2 interface showing any codes? You might get lucky and find that it is a bad sensor.

My ford mini van started showing a p0720 code. After resetting it twice it quit doing it and is behaving for past month. It is in similar shape. 161000 miles probably worthless as a trade in.

mhmitszach 12-15-2010 06:02 PM

No codes. Transmission has been getting progressively worse since 115k so then we flushed it and changed the fluid then.

Just had it in for new tires, trans was 3 quarts low. Leaking apparently.

gone-ot 12-15-2010 06:22 PM

...sounds like the "flush" contained something that 'shrunk' the seals, hence causing the 'leaking.' the "old" days, a quart of TRANS-X™ would often solve the problem, by introducing a chemical (benzene?) that caused the seals to "swell."

...of course, once used, you have to continue using the TRANS-X™ or the seals would 'shrink' back from their swelled condition and leak even WORSE than before

...don't ask *how* I know about this.

IsaacCarlson 12-15-2010 06:28 PM

might be a good time to swap for a manual? If there is one available for your car. I would pick up a transmission repair book and do it yourself. They are not that complicated once you see inside.

mhmitszach 12-16-2010 01:50 PM

Well, I always wanted to swap to a manual.

But I live in an apartment, 4 hours south of "home". So working on a car or having tools is not possible. Plus it's winter and I have no garage at home either.

The flush may have started the leak, but it's shot now. And actually, I put lucas transmission treatment in it to help stop the leak/slip. Helped for about 2 weeks ha.

IsaacCarlson 12-16-2010 06:53 PM

Look around for a good shop or home mechanic. If you are going to have someone install a new tranny anyway, you might as well have them install a manual right? :rolleyes: I think a manual is cheaper anyway. It would probably come out the same, dollar wise, as a new automatic. Look around and get some quotes.

dcb 12-17-2010 10:54 AM

I'm not one for luxuries, but I would say a semi-heated workspace is a requirement for a manual swap (or a stretch of nice weather if outdoors). And even then it will take some planning/resourcefulness and some basic tools. I've done maybe 3 full fledged auto to manual conversions and removed plenty of transmissions.

The simplest approach is to get a parts/salvage car with a stick from a compatible year, and commandeer a two car garage. You want a new clutch disk and throwout bearing while it is apart, but the rest of the parts you need (including clutch pedal and narrower brake pedal and computer) should be swappable from the parts car. There will probably be some other parts that are in better shape that you want to swap over as well. Maybe it has cruise control, or just a non-cracked windshield or a working jack or new tires or something.

Ebay has a parts car category and the right search on craigslist can also be fruitful. My last swap cost me $400 ($300 parts car plus new clutch and etc) and it has paid for itself probably 7 times over in the last 3 years (including gains from manual techniques).

But for a car (especially a cheap one) to be cost effective, you really have to figure out how to do the work yourself, or have some barter arrangement with a friend who has the space/time/skills/tools to help.

IsaacCarlson 12-17-2010 11:18 AM

A tarp shelter also works well. I have roped up tarps on multiple occasions and it can be fairly warm even at -30. If you can find a donor car the rest is easy. Maybe there is a tool handy member nearby. I would love to come and help, but I live in NW WI. Do you know someone with a garage? It need not have heat, as a mr heater will do in most climates.

mhmitszach 12-17-2010 03:51 PM

Looks like I'm just going to buy another ZX2, found one with 71k auto for 4k.

Swap out the new tires I just put on mine. Whatever other parts. Then sell my old one off. Can probably get about 500.

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